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The Chishtī Order or Chishtiyya 'is a Sufi order or school within the mystic tradition of Islam. It began in Chisht, a small town near Herat, Afghanistan in about 930 AD. The Order is known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and openness.[1]

The order was founded by Abu Ishaq Shami ("the Syrian") who taught Sufism in the town of Chisht, some 95 miles east of Herat in present-day western Afghanistan.[2]

The Chishti Order is mostly followed in Afghanistan and South Asia. It was the first of the four main Sufi orders (Chishti, Qadiriyya, Suhrawardiyya and Naqshbandi) to be established in this region. Moin-ud-din Chishti was a medieval saint who first introduced the Chishti Order in Lahore (Punjab) and Ajmer (Rajasthan), in the early or middle of the 12th century AD. From these places it spread out throughout medieval India. There are now several branches of the order, which has been the most prominent South Asian Sufi brotherhood since that time. Chapters and branches are also found as far as Europe, North America and Australia, introduced there by immigrants from present India and Pakistan.


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  1. Ernst, Carl W. and Lawrence, Bruce B. (2002) Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and Beyond Palgrave Macmillan, New York, p. 1 ISBN 1-4039-6026-7
  2. ORIGIN OF CHISHTIES Archived 2010-08-27 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved August 15, 2008.