Mystic Sufi tradition, the Chisti order was able to find wide popularity through his noble silsila (chain of renown Sufi Saint). Its founder is referred back to Abu Ishaq Shami, however, the spreading of the Chisti’s practices is usually linked to the 8th Saint Kwaja Muinuddin Chisti, a Persian preacher and religious scholar from the 13th century.
Muinuddin promulgated Chisti’ism in the Indian Subcontinent (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) and soon it became the dominant Muslim spiritual brotherhood in medieval India. Muinuddin Chisti is also popular to have incorporated the usage of music during the spiritual ceremony, although this claim is refuted by some other saint belonging from the Chisti order.
Several venerated shrines around South Asia bears witness to the expansion
of the Chisti spiritual path. The Chisti Order remains one of the most popular Sufi
spiritual paths along with the Mevlna, Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Suhrawardi orders.
One of the most recent venerated shrines is The Sufi Saint (also called Pir Syed) Meher Ali Shah located in Gorla Sharif, in Pakistan. Pir Syed Meher Ali Shah was a supporter of Ibn Arabi’s Islamic perspectives in his autobiography Mehr-e-Munir, he mentioned the Unity of Being (to be one with the universe through our ruh (spiritual spirit)). Pir Syed Meher Ali Shah is mainly recognised for his leading role in anti-ahmadiya movement. He was able to refute several times the claims of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who proclaimed himself as the Messiah.
The shrine was at first a Central mosque in the old city of Rawalpindi as a symbol for Muslim unity. Pir Syed Meher Ali Shah began his preach, built a hospice and provided food and shelter for travelers and seekers. Through the donation. The descendant of Pir Syed Meher Ali Shah take care of over 10k seekers per day, the Chisti Order remains in continuous spreading through their devotee in Pakistan and India.
Sama: Evoking the divine by the beauty of Art, through rhythmic song, synchronized breathing, listening to Qawwali (devotional ceremony including musical instruments and reciting poetry).
Murakaba: Absorption in mystic contemplation.
Cilla: Forty days or more in spiritual seclusion to focus on contemplation.
Pondering over the malfuzat: a collection of the sayings, poems, and letters of previous Sufi Saints.
Charity for the sake of the divine.
Deep session of spiritual connection between a murshid (teacher) and a murid (seeker of truth, student).