Hazrat baba Hyder Reshi (rahimahumullah)

Posted: October 31, 2014 by kashmirsufis in AWLIYAE KASHMIR

Hazrat Shaikh Haider alias Baba Harde Rishi (rehmatullahe alaih)
Hazrat Baba Harde Rishi, whose real name was Haider, is buried at Anantnag (Islamabad) town in southern Kashmir and is held in great respect by both the local Muslims as well as the Pundits. He was born in a village near Anantnag in 909 A.H. in a poor family of hereditary iron-smiths (lohars). He is said to have received direct spiritual instruction from the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). He earned his own livelihood by razing sheep and tilling the land. Later, he came under the influence of Makhdum Shaikh Hamza Almakhdoomi and joined the Suhrawardi Sufi order. The story is told that when Makhdum Shaikh Hamza Makhdoomi went to Anantnag to meet him, Baba Harde Rishi offered him a cup full of milk, to suggest that his own heart was full with divine wisdom (ma’rifat-e-ilahi). Makhdum Shaikh Hamza responded by placing a rose petal in the cup, suggesting that although his spiritual training was complete, yet, according to the shari’at, he had to take initiation (bayt) from a spiritual master. Thereupon, Baba Harde Rishi gave Makhdum Shaikh Hamza the oath of allegiance and joined the Suhrawardi Sufi order. Although in this way, Rishism came to an end as an independent mystical order in Kashmir, it was able to exercise a powerful influence on Sufis of other orders, particularly the Suhrawardis. Several leading Sufis are said to have become Baba Harde’s disciples, and many of them adopted Rishi practices thereafter. In recognition of his high spiritual stature, Baba Haider Tulmuli, a leading disciple of Makhdum Sahib, referred to Baba Harde Rishi as the sultan-ul auliya, the ‘king of the friends of God’ (Khan, 1997: 148). Baba Daud Khaki, despite being akhalifa of Makhdum Sahib, sought allegiance in the Rishi order, and became a disciple of Baba Harde Rishi after Makhdum Sahib’s death (Khan, 1997: 155).
As a Rishi, Baba Harde strictly abstained from eating meat and garlic, but he did so only once, after becoming a disciple of Makhdum Shaikh Hamza, in order to abide by the sunnat (practice) of the Prophet Muhammad. The Baba is said to have played a principal role in the spread of Islam in the Anantnag area and also to have constructed numerous mosques, rest-houses and ponds and to have planted several fruit-bearing trees (Rishi, n.d.: 169-82). He earned his own livelihood by tilling fields, and instructed his disciples that if they did not have the strength to do much they should at least cultivate the area the size of his prayer-carpet every day. He breathed his last on 1 Zul Qada, 982 A.H.. His annual festival or ‘urs is held on this day every year, and for several days before and after this day both the Hindus as well as the Muslims of Anantnag abstain from eating meat.

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