Shaikh Nasiruddin Mahmud was the last great Chisti saint of Delhi and the Khalifa or successor of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
There are three legends connected to his being given the name ‘Chiragh e Dilli’ or the ‘illumined lamp of Delhi’.
Sir Syed writes that when Hazrat Makhdoom Jehanian Jehan Gasht was performing umrah in Mecca, he was asked by Hazrat Abdullah Yafai, who was the saint in Delhi in those days. Makhdoom Saheb replied that during that time, the lamp of Delhi was illuminated by Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmood.
There are other legends too. One day, many mendicants were sitting with the Mahboobe-Ilahi Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Hazrat Nasiruddin also came there. His teacher asked him to sit down but he said, ‘My back would turn towards them.’ Upon which the Mahboob-IlahiIlahi replied, ‘A lamp has no back.’
A popular relates to the time when Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq Shah was building the city of Tughlaqabad. The Sultan, angry that the workers were working at nights on the baoli of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s dargah, stopped the supply of oil to it.
When Hazrat Nizmuddin Auliya came to know of it, he asked his disciple Hazrat Nasiruddin Mahmud to put water in the lamps and burn them. The order was obeyed. From that day Nasiruddin came to be known as Roshan Chiragh e Dilli.
However, in light of Prof. Mohammad Habib’s assertion , that contemporary historians don’t refer to any dispute between these two eminent personages, it is possible that either of the two stories may be true and the last a later-day fabrication.
More details in #ForgottenCitiesofDelhi
Book 2 of my #delhitrilogy