Story of Salim Chisti and Fathepur Sikri

Sufism is a mystical cult and gave birth to numerous saints who had the mass following. Salim chisti is one among such revered spiritually to whom the common men to the emperor bowed. He was born in 1478. He comes from the family of Baba Farid of Punjab and after his birth in Delhi later he moved to Sikri close to Agra Mughal capital. Now close to his 450 Urs ceremony you get to know the various facets of his life, deeds and contributions.

He had a high esteem in the heart of Emperor Akbar as it is considered that he blessed akbar with a heir. As Akbar had no successor and sheikh salim gave him the blessing of an heir while he was travelling to Ajmer,the saint gave Akbar three custard apples to be eaten by the queen,the queen after eating the fruits gave birth to three progenies children in succession. The blessed emperor after the birth of his child from Hindu queen named him after the name of the saint as Salim. Salim was born at Rang Mahal Fatehpur Sikri and during the time of pregnancy empress lived in the Rang Mahal salim was born on 31 august 1569 and the entire palace was submerged in Mirth. A daughter of Salim Chisti was the foster mother of Salim. Thus Jahangir was much influenced by his foster nurse and while he became the ruler he appointed his son Qutub ud din Koka as the governor of Bengal and some others were also rewarded.

As with the other Sufi saints in vogue, Salim Chisti often travelled a lot to other countries. First he went to Mecca in 1544 and on his return made a house for himself at sikri. Similarly he travelled for around 14 years to the gulf countries and taught people about spirituality. He made a hospice under the sikri ridge. He had his following not only in the scholars, nobility but also in simple men, paupers, stone cutters etc.

Thus the stone cutters made a small mosque near his residence which is called as stone cutters mosque. It was at this place where salim chisti performed chilla (meditation) for 40 consecutive days. While ordered to shift his capital from Agra fort to Fatehpur Sikri he ordered to erect a new city to reside. As this order was implemented and the city came in to existence in 1571, to pay the homage to Salim Chisti a grand mosque and Khankah was build. The entire paraphernalia of the court and nobles were shifted from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri.

In 1572 sheikh salim chisti’s health started deteriorating and he died. The folklores say that he said to Akbar that while salim as an infant is not in a position to remember something taught to him by his father nurse, he will remain alive. As he starts to retain the remembrance, he will lose. It is similar to the biblical story of the Genesis of the forbidden apple and Adam and Eve anyway as he died Akbar was much bereaved and ordered to construct a mausoleum in his memory and entombed him on this red sandstone tomb. This is popularly known as Dargah of Fatehpur Sikri. Later this Dargah complex was embellished by Jahangir while he came in to power.