Abu Ismaïl Abdullah ibn Abi-Mansour Mohammad or Khwajah Abdullah Ansari (1006-1088) was a famous Persian poet and Sufi. He was born and died in Herat (then Khorasan, now one of the cities of Afghanistan), and that is why he is known as Pir of Herat. He is also known as “Shaikul Mashayekh” [Master of (Sufi) Masters] and his title was “Shaikhul Islam”.
He was the disciple of Shaikh Abul Hassan Kharaqani. He had deep respect and faith for him, as he has said: “Abdullah was a hidden treasure, and its key was in the hands of Abul Hassan Kharaqani.”
He wrote several books on Islamic mysticism and philosophy in Persian and Arabic. His most famous work is “Munajat Namah” (literally; litanies), which is considered a masterpiece in Persian literature. After his death, his students and disciples compiled what he taught about the Tafsir of holy Quran, and named it “Kashful Asrar”. Kashful Asrar is the best and lengthiest Sufi Tafsir of Quran, being published several times in 10 volumes.
He practiced Hanbali sect, a school of Sunni Islam. His shrine is a place of pilgrimage for Afghans, and was built during the Timurid Dynasty.
The Khwaja ‘Abd Allah Ansari shrine is a funerary compound (hazira) that houses the tomb of the Sufi mystic and saint Khwajah Abdullah Ansari, also known as the guardian pir (wise man) of Herat. After his death in 1088, his tomb became a major Sunni pilgrimage center. The shrine enclosing the tomb was commissioned by Timurid ruler Shah Rukh bin Timur (1405-1447).