Life at Chishtiya Ribbat

Life gets drenched in Chishti Rang as you enter the Noor Manzil, Chishtiya Ribbat.  Its old building with thick solid walls and period styled doors and windows transpose you to another period. The period much different from today’s world run by philosophy of ‘disposable’. Perhaps it’s time to dispose off this shallow lifestyle altogether. Chishtiya Ribbat helps you get out of the noisy consumeristic world. Its Islamic decor, gently lands you into some other era. The era of tehzeeb and adaab.

Soon you realize that Noor manzil is not just another havyli. In one corner you find some young people sitting around a scholar where fiqh and shariah matters are shared. While in room next door youth is taking advice on digital marketing or film making from a mentor. Or a young qawal is being trained to pronounce kalam properly. And among this all a murabit on the duty of ‘chaibashi’ is making sure everyone is served with tea.

With your tea cup you enter the zikr hall being prepared for a zikr mehfil. A new murabit laying a tray full of fresh roses and practicing his zikr on the go.  In zikr mehfil there is an order. People trained in zikr sit in the inner circle while the new comers get the back seats.

After Asr Prayer a group sits in a circle with beads in front of them. “Only the one with ejazat are going to participate. They are going to do Khatam-e-Khajgaan”, you are told. Urs of any sufi master falling on the date is celebrated.

Langar is an integral part of any Chishti Khankah. And here at Ribbat, Khan-e-Samaan  is entrusted with the duty. And everyone takes part in langar activity with a very strong religious zeal. Any murabit practicing any wazeefa which require special dietary plan is catered accordingly.

The time between Asr and Maghrib is where everyone sits together with mir-murabit, Sahibzada Asim Maharvi. The sitting is casual yet filled with pearls of wisdom, sprinkled with smiles and laughs, punctuated with questions on the saluk. These sittings are where much education and tarbiyat happens. In these gatherings rich and influential people melt and get mixed with the commoners.  Someone walks in and asks for a taweez or tasbeeh.

Chaibash gets an extra helping hand to serve the evening tea. A murabit brings barfi or other confectionary to the treat of other fellow murabitoon.  And comes upon Darbari Qawal of Hazrat Qibla-e-Alam Noor Muhammad Maharvi ; a sure sign that there is going to be a MehfileSeema after Isha.

Here you learn that Qawali or Seema is not a matter to be taken lightly. It’s not same as attending any other musical. There are rigorous adaab to follow while attending mehfil-e-Seema. It’s indeed one of those very few places where Seema is held according to the teachings of the great sufi masters. And no wonder it leaves long lasting effects on you.

In short it’s a place where you get the glimps of a khankah of the past. A khankah very alive, very functional.  A khankah with an enchanting soul and embracing the modern times.