ABDĀL ČEŠTĪ, ḴᵛĀJA ABŪ AḤMAD, described by Jāmī as the foremost among the shaikhs of Češt. He was born in 260/874 (on 3 Jomādā II, according to Sawāṭeʿ al-anwār and Merʾāt al-asrār, but on 6 Ramażān, according to Ḵazīnat al-aṣfīāʾ). His father, Solṭān Farasnāfa, belonged to the local nobility. Abū Aḥmad was a spiritual disciple of Ḵᵛāǰa Abū Esḥāq Šāmī. In Nafaḥāt al-ons, Jāmī relates an anecdote about their meeting. Abū Aḥmad, when he was twenty, became lost while on a hunting excursion. He encountered a band of forty holy men, including Abū Esḥāq, at prayer. Abū Aḥmad fell at the saint’s feet wishing to join the company of Sufis. He put on the coarse woolen garment (ḵerqa), which is the emblem of Sufis and, though later persuaded to return home, he remained dedicated to his new life. Eventually he converted his father from dissolute living to religious devotion.
Abdāl died on 10 Jomādā II (Safīnat al-awlīāʾ) or 1 Jomādā II (Ḵazīnat al-aṣfīāʾ) in 355/966 and was buried at Češt. He was succeeded in his spiritual mission by his son, Ḵᵛāǰa Abū Moḥammad Češtī.
Moḥammad b. Mobārak, Sīar al-awlīāʾ, Delhi, 1302/1917-18, p.40.
Jāmī, Nafaḥāt, pp. 323-24.
Dārā Šokkūh, Safīnat al-awlīāʾ, Ind. Off., no. 647, notice no. 102.
Allāh-Dīa, Sīar al-aqṭāb, B.M. Or. 214, fol. 61a.
ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān Češtī, Merʾāt al-asrār, B.M. Or. 216, fol. 137a.
Moḥammad Būlāq, Maṭlūb al-ṭālebīn, Ind. Off., no. 653, maṭlab 15.
Moḥammad Akram, Sawāteʿ al-anwār, Ind. Off., no. 654, fol. 76a.
Ḡolām Sarvar Lāhūrī, Ḵazīnat al-aṣfīāʾ, Lahore, 1284/1867, pp. 226-29.
Originally Published: December 15, 1982
Last Updated: July 15, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, p. 175
M. Imam, “Abdal Cesti,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, p. 175; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abdal-cesti-sufi-shaikh-of-cest-d-966 (accessed on 17 January 2014).