Archive for the ‘AWLIYAE KASHMIR’ Category

 

Urs of Sheikh Dawood (RA), an annual event of significance falls in the month of Rajab in Hijri lunar calendar. It is highly placed in the chain of events that mark the reverence in which Kashmiris hold their Sufi saints. Known as Resh-we’r (abode of Rishis) Kashmir from north to south is dotted with mausoleums of imminent Sufi saints. Their Urs—annual commemoration dots the calendar and is remembered by high and low, literate and illiterate, even house wives otherwise busy in daily chores keep track.

 

At the very top is Urs-e-Nabi (pbuh) in Rabi-ul-Awal followed by Urs Dastageer Saab, Urs Makhdoom Saab, Urs Naqshbandi Saab, and the Urs of the patron of Kashmir Sufi saints—Sheikh Noor-un-Din Noorani (RA). There are others in various corridors—Baba Shukur-ud-Din Saab atop a hillock overlooking Wular Lake, Baba Reshi Saab uphill on the road to Gulmarg, Hussain Mantaki Saab on national highway, Zain Shah Saab on the way to picturesque Phalgam. The name—Resh we’r is thus well earned.

In Resh-we’r, Rishis had spiritual guides (Murshid) following the tradition; Sheikh Dawood (RA) was guided by Hazrat Ad’Rishi (RA) as recorded in Tarikh-e-Kabir.  However initially he sought a teacher—Kh. Yusuf Katju, who ultimately led him to his spiritual guide. Murshid of Ad’Rishi (RA) was Hazrat Baba Hardh’e Reshi (Resh-e-mool of Islamabad) whose Murshid was Hazrat Hamza Makhdoom (RA). Makhdoom Saab carries the distinction of being guided by Hazrat Jamal-ud-Din Bukhari (RA). In the Sufi realm, the belief holds that Hazrat Jamal-ud-Din Bukhari (RA) was appointed to train Sultan-al-Arifeen by the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Sheikh Dawood (RA) thus followed a significant Sufi trail.

In an outer locality of capital city, Srinagar, is the mausoleum of Sheikh Dawood (RA). The locality is named after the saint—Batmaloo, a combine of inner settlements (Mohallas’ in vernacular). Before the advent of the saint the locality was called Wud’yar’wun, a part of Ramalna Pargana (agricultural division). The revered saint-Sheikh Dawood (RA) earned his alias Bat’e’mool/Bat’h’mool on two varied counts. One, he was believed to have been a great protector of Battas’ (Kashmiri Pundits) hence was called Bat’e’mool (father or patron of Battas’). Two, he was from a family of agriculturists and would distribute Bat’h (rice) to every passer-by, and as nature would have it, never ever was shortage encountered. Hence, he earned the alias Bat’h’mool ( provider of rice).

It is recorded in Tarikh-e-Kabir that Sheikh Dawood (RA) belonged to a family of agriculturists. He was son of Sheikh Shingl’e Bhat. Originally a pandit, Shingl’e Bhat embraced Islam. He was a rich agriculturist; Sheikh Dawood (RA) inherited agricultural holdings.  Besides pursuit of spiritual knowledge remained his forte. It is related that even though he was Ummi (illiterate) as far as worldly knowledge goes, he was otherwise well-versed in spiritual knowledge. Called Ilm-e-Ludni (inner knowledge) it reveals secrets of the self, a realm of knowledge, rishi’s of Kashmir and Sufi saints were well versed with. And acquiring the knowledge and providing guidance to masses led to spiritual richness of Kashmir. Sheikh Dawood (RA) holds a significant contribution in spiritual enlightening of Kashmir.

Vis-e-vis the alias–Bat’h’mool, Tarikh-e-Hasan, a Persian chronicle of Kashmir’s history records (volume: 3, page: 358) that Bat’h’mool would prepare soft form of rice (Wugr’e in Kashmiri) in what in vernacular is called (Daigh—a big utensil). He would keep it on the bridge in the locality he lived in, and ask every hungry passer-by to take it. It would be served with (Saag: Green leafy vegetable) and (Lassi: butter-milk). For his endearing endeavour, he was called Bat’h’mool. And, this is the name, he is remembered with. Tarikh-e-Kabir records that he served meals to hungry during famine.

Tarikh-e-Hasan also records his patronage of Kashmiri pandits. As Bat’e’mool (patron of pandits) he is revered for his  cosmopolitan approach and inter-faith understanding. He shared the much needed trait with other Sufi saints of Kashmir. High degree of tolerance and inter-faith understanding has been a common vein of Sufi saints. Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA) and Lal Ded institutionalized it; their poetic notes censor religious bigotry. Bat’e’mool took it to extremes by standing-up as their protector.

Historical narratives concur that he left for his heavenly abode on 21st of Rajab as per Hijri calendar, the year being 1070 A.H. It coincides with Baisakh, which heralds the spring, harbinger of agricultural season. While the Urs is dated on 24th of lunar month, prayer starts three days before on 21st of Rajab, and continue three days after the date of Urs. During these days devotees refrain from touching meat products in deference to the saint, who lived on frugal vegetarian diet. It is related that Urs became a routine after Governor Abdullah Khan issued instructions.

Sheikh Dawood (RA) lies buried in the dwelling; he lived in, with his family and disciples.  In the dwelling, he had constructed a mosque, a khanqah (Sufi dwelling—a place of prayer) and a pond in his lifetime. His name and fame spread and ultimately the locality he lived in, and where his mausoleum is located bore his name.  The name survives over last four centuries.

Tarik-e-Kabir carries the poetic note of his death:

Saal Tarikh Wafatesh Hatfi

Daad’h Ilhami Mara Az Bahr’Unn

Sheikh Momin Ba’Sur Ikhlas Guft,

Bat’h’mool Kard Mawe Dur Jinan

The narrator conveyed on his death

What an inner-voice revealed about him

Said the sacred Sheikh said with reverence

Bat’h’mool’s chosen abode is paradise!

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]

(Author is doctor in medicine, a social activist, and a senior columnist)y

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It is a rare spectacle of faith and fire that lit the hillock leading to the shrine of 15th century Kashmiri Sufi saint Zainuddin Wali, in this otherwise sleepy hamlet of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

 

Every year on the Urs (death anniversary) of Zainuddin, whose following cuts across religious and sectoral denominations, dozens of devotees carrying ‘mashals’ (fire torches) line up the zig-zag hilly track leading to his Shrine.

 

Villagers light earthen oil-lamps at their doorsteps to commemorate the Urs. Faith and fire rarely make a spectacle like the one seen here on Thursday night.

 

People from dozens of neighbouring villages and other places of the valley travelled to seek the saint’s blessings.

 

Many devotees had come to untie the votive knots tied at the shrine to seek fulfillment of prayers.

 

Each thread tied on the wooden windows or iron grill or railing of the shrine is for seeking blessings for the fulfillment of a desire.

 

Once a wish is fulfilled, a devotee returns to the shrine to untie the knots and offer obeisance at the shrine.

 

Zainuddin Wali was one of the principal disciples of Kashmir’s patron saint, Sheikh Nuruddin Wali, whose shrine is located in Charar-e-Sharief town of central Kashmir’s Badgam district.

 

Son of a Hindu ruler of the Kishtwar area in the Chenab Valley of Jammu and Kashmir, Zainuddin’s Hindu name was Zia Singh.

 

Historical records indicate the boy was constantly unwell, causing huge worries to his parents. One day, Sheikh Nuruddin Wali, during his travels through the length and breadth of Kashmir, came to Kishtwar.

 

The parents sought his blessings for the good health of their ailing son. Nurruddin Wali took a pledge from the parents that once fully cured, they would devote their son to the path of righteousness and piety.

 

 

A view from the annual urs.

In fulfillment of her pledge, the mother carried Zia Singh to Aishmuqam, where Nurruddin Wali was staying that time. It was here that Zia Singh embraced Islam and accepted the Sufi way of tolerance, love and compassion for every human being.

 

Folklore has it that under directions from his mentor, Zainuddin Wali retired to a cave in this village for prayer and meditation.

 

Finding the cave full of poisonous snakes, he carried them on a club gifted to him by his master, to a place far away from the cave so that they did not harm the devotees in future.

 

The saint is believed to have passed away inside the cave where his mortal remains are laid to rest.

 

Violence during the last 25 years has destroyed many institutions and turned beliefs and ideas upside down in trouble-torn Kashmir.

 

The mighty winds of violence, though, have not succeeded in eroding or shaking the basic edifice of Sufist Islam as it came to Kashmir 600 years ago.

He was instrumental in reforming hundreds and thousands of Muslims.
Bashir Ahmad Dar

 

Among the most venerated Sufis of Kashmir, Shiekh Hamza Makhdoom occupies a conspicuous position. In fact Sheikh Hamza is regarded next to Sheikh Nuruddin Rishi only, who is considered as the leader of the spiritual domain in the state. If Sheikh Nuruddin is revered as Shiekh ul Alam, Shiekh Hamza is remembered as Mehboob ul Alam. Whereas the former is known as Alamdar i Kashmir, the latter is called as Sultan ul Arifeen. The locals as well as the foreigners have regarded these two Sufis as the leading spiritual leaders of the state. It may be of interest to note here that it was most probably the reason that prompted the Afghan governor, Atta Muhammad Khan to mint the coins in the name of these two sons of soil.

Baba Daud Khaki mentions an anecdote in Dasturul Salikeen narrated by his Murshid that Allah had been gracious enough to bestow two attributes to him in the very infant stage – one was that whenever a saint or a virtuous person would visit their house, he would cling to him leaving aside all childish affairs. Second one was that he would never lie. Once, while going to Madrassa, he, on the way, observing children engaged in play joined them. This resulted him in bunking off school for the day. On his return he was quizzed by his father about his engagements and though fully knowing the consequences of replying the truth, the child informed the father of his actual engagement (play). The father beat the son (Sheikh Hamza) to pulp so much so that he got bed ridden.  It was during this illness that he made up his mind to go for schooling at Srinagar. After schooling and spiritual initiation he was destined to become the leading Sufi of the state. The Sufi came to be known as Mehboobul Alam, Sutanul Arifeen  Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom(R.A)

Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom was originally a follower of Kubrawi tradition. He, in his early childhood learnt at the feet of his father. Later on, on his migration to Srinagar, he was tutored by Shaikh Fathaullh, the son of Shaikh Isamil Kubrawi who had established Daru Shifa near Kohi Maraan. Akhund Mulla Lutufullah was also one of his teachers. Then he moved to the Khanqah of Shams Chak. He learnt the Quran, fiqh, Hadith, allied science, Suifstic traditions and was also conversant with some works of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani. He got initiation to the Suharwardi Silsilah at the hands of Sayyid Jallaud Din (1308-84) of Uchh, popularly known as Makhdum Jahaniyan-i-Jahan Gasht.

Right from his childhood up to attaining the status of a Sufi, he was all through virtuous, and dedicated his life to the cause of Islam. He was instrumental in reforming hundreds and thousands of Muslims. He offered the nectar of Maurfat to all those who thronged his spiritual abode. It was at his hands that a number of his disciples were raised to the prominence in the Sufistic circles.  These include the illustrious Sufis Sheikh Daud Khaki, Mir Hyder Tulmuli, Khawaj Hasan Qari, Khawaja Ishaq Qari, Mulla Ahmad Chagli, Moulana Jami, Feroz Ganai, Mohammad Ali Raina, Baba Hardi Rishi, Mir Mohammad Afzal, Bayezid Shumnagi, Shaikh Roopa Rishi.

He toured the nook and corner of the valley and being a son of the soil succeeded in establishing intimate contact with the people. He insisted on the Sunnah being adhered to and the myths and legends to be discarded. The construction of mosques at a number of places particularly where the people dreaded ghosts and had ascribed myths may be regarded as a part of his campaign in furthering the cause of Islam. Hundreds of poor, destitute and hungry were fed in the Langar (hospice) established by the saint at Kohi Maran. It was Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom(R.A) who served as a meeting ground for the Rishis and Suharwardi saints.  His influence extended to the Rishi movement as he enrolled some Rishis like Baba Hardi Rishi and Roopa Rishi as his disciple. By paying a visit to the tomb of Shaikh Nur ud Din Rishi (R.A) he extended the influence of the Rishis even to the Suhawardi circles. It proved to be the reason that his disciples have preserved, with veneration, in their hagiographies the activities of the Rishis. According to a contemporary account, Tazkirtul Murshideen by Miram Bazaz, a lesser known disciple of Shaikh Hamza, on his visit to Hardi Rishi (R.A), Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom asked the former to taste food with him. Baba Hardi Rishi (R.A) refused to taste the meat. He is said to have cited the exhortation of Khizr(A.S), Christ(A.S), Moses (A.S), Idris(A.S) and Illyas(A.S) who are said to have been spiritually present on the occasion. Bab Hardi Rishi (R.A) informed the host about the spiritual experience as the reason why he was hesitant to taste meat. Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom(R.A) replied that it was the command of the Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) that he should share non-vegetarian food with him . In order to dispel the Rishi’s doubt, Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom invoked the help of the Prophet Mohammad(SAW) whose spiritual presence finally caused the Rishi to share the non-vegetarian meal with Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom(R.A), though it was only once in his life to do so. Likewise Khawja Hassan Qari, the illustrious disciple of Shaikh Hamza Makhdoom, narrates an anecdote of Shaikh Hamza thrashing a dervish with a stick who was indulging in Charus, to believe Qari leading to his ‘annihilation’. May be the account is riddled with supernatural events, however the patent objective reality is that it signifies that Shiakh Hamza Makhdoom was very particular about following the Shariah.

The Sheikh breathed his last in 984 Hijra (1585 A.D.). Sultan Ali Shah Chak, the ruler of Kashmir is said to have attended his funeral prayer while it was led by Sheikh Tahir Rafiqi and it included contemporary scholars and Sufis like Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi. As per the instructions of the saint he was laid to rest at Kohi Maran, the centre of spiritual emancipation established by him. Nearly fifteen years after his departure from the worldly abode, Akbar, the Mughal king, built a shrine there which was reconstructed during the Afghan rule by Atta Mohammad Khan around 1821 A.D. As a mark of respect and reverence, Atta Mohammad Khan stuck the coins bearing the names of Sheikh Nur Ud Din Rishi and Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom. This is probably the unique instance in the history of world when the coins have been stuck bearing the names of saints. This is also indicative of the reverence and the popularity the saints commanded among the people and also of the rulers.

– See more at: http://www.greaterkashmir.com/mobi/news/opinion/sultan-ul-arifeen-symbolising-spiritual-heights/203778.html#sthash.z1iFZosw.dpuf

 

Tradition is on a steady decline not in the West only, but in the East as well. The loss of faith in long lasting values especially religious values is a common phenomenon.

Religious places and learning centres are losing credibility, family as an institution has been passing through the most difficult times. The political system has also lost credibility. However with all these concern it would be naïve to jump the conclusion that ‘De –Traditionalisation’ or decline of tradition is a common phenomenon.

Muslims have long history of prolific scholars, saints and authors who have kept tradition alive amid an imminent fall.One among such traditionalists is Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani (R.A) born in Hamdan on Rajab714/22 October 1314. He was a religious scholar, prolific writer, political theorist and a widely travelled Sufi. He was author of about 170 books. Besdies he was a staunch traditionalist who never evades tradition, be it the field of Politics, Society, Economics or Religion.

The doctrines of Hamadani’s philosophy are based on traditions taught by known traditionalists like Ibn-i-Arabi, Junaid, Mansoor Halaj,Ghazali, Najamudin Kabra, Ibn-i-Farid, Simnani etc. He had a deep influence of ancestral traditionalists who represent the tradition of sacred knowledge system of Islam and Muslims.

He was both an alim (scholar) and an arif (Sufi). He used to guide rulers of the time. His Risala-i-Maktubat, a collection of letters, comprises letters to rulers in which he gives them guidance on political and religious matters from a traditionalistic perspective. His treatise- Zakhiratu’l-Muluk- contains regulations (Qawa’id) regarding both the “Spiritual (M’anwi) and mundane (Suri)” matters. Though he always remain way from rulers.

Fallowing the tradition he strongly prescribed Master-Disciple (Peer-Muridi) Islamic teaching which many Ulemas are now opposing. He like all other traditional sufis believes that no one can travel the path of Allah without the guidance of a preceptor. He says that a person with religious knowledge’s and mystical experiences can lead an individual from darkness to light. Sayid like most of the Sufis in a traditional way hold that love of Allah emerges from gnosis (Ma‘rifa), ‘greater the Ma ‘rifa, greater is the Love of Allah’.

One of the remarkable contributions of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani (RA) is socio-economic development after his arrival in Kashmir. He introduced traditional arts and crafts to treat a fragile socio-economic structure of Kashmir. Hamadani adeptly introduced sacred traditional art [more or less] while preaching Islam. Introducing Khanquahs, wood-carving especially in religious paces, wooden architecture, Persian arts and shawl weaving – he will be remembered for all such glorious traditions

History is a witness that when Hamadani arrives in this part of Asia, social system was pluralistic, culturally diverse and economically weak. But by carrying his sacred traditional knowledge, teachings and experiences he changed history. Without studying him, we can’t understand the history and tradition of Kashmir.

(The author is Secretary Literary Forum bandipora)

THE ZIARAT OF KHWAJA NAQSHBAND AT KHWAJABAZAR SRINAGAR

HAZRAT KHWAJA MOIN-UD-DIN NAQSHBANDI (RA) (d. 1085 H)

After screening the facts from the recorded history, it appears to be authentic that Hazrat Khwaja Khawand Mahmood migrated from Kashghar, Bukhara to Gujrat in in the reign of Akbar.
The author of Tuhfa Naqshbandya Kh. Abdur-Rahman Naqshbandi writes about his ancestor:
Mahboobi Ilahi Hazrat Khwaja Khawand Mahmood Naqshbandi entered this paradise in 1010 H in the reign of Akbar, by the route of Gujarat and in 1017 H constructed ‘Khanqah Faiz Panah’ in Mohalla Sikandar Pora, now known as Khwaja Bazar and appointed his son Hazrat Kh. Moin-ud-Din as his successor for the propagation of Naqshbandi order and as caretaker of Naqshbandi Khanqah and that of the jagirs attached to it. Himself he settled in Lahore in the reign of Shah-i-Jahan (1037-1076), When Zafar Khan Ahsan was the Governor of Kashmir. He settled in Dar-us Saroor Lahore, where his other sons were residing. He got constructed a Jami Mosque and a Madrasa at Begum-Pora Lahore near Shalimar Garden there. He died there in 1052 H.
Kh. Azam Dedmri writes in ‘Waqat-i-Kashmir’:
In the Mohalla where his progeny resides, he got constructed a Khanqah for his disciples, where there was actually the house of the King of Kashmir Husain Shah and built a small mosque. When the Naqshbandi order progressed and the circle of disciples expanded, he intended to construct a vast Khanqah and it is said he was blessed in a dream by Prophet Muhammad (PBH) and got shifted the Khanqah of Hazrat Mir Baba Uwaisi at Isham village and a small mosque was built in its place at Isham. Tarikh-i-Hasn states that Husain Shah Chak had established a vast garden near the ziarat of Hazrat Kh. Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi and had passed a water channel (Lachma Khul) through it with installation of fountains and in the Mughal period Hazrat Kh Khawand Mahmood occupied it and constructed a Khnqah in it.
The records of history reveal that Hazrat Khwaja MOIN-UD-DIN NAQSHBANDI (RA) had entered Kashmir in 1010 H in the reign of Akbar, along with his father Hazrat Khwaja Khawand Mahmood (RA) and his family but had to leave Kashmir along with his father and reside at Lahore on the royal orders and later on Kh. Moin-ud-Din returned to Kashmir for permanent settlement and to propagate Naqshbandi order and look after the affairs of Khankahs and the disciples. Besides propagation of Naqshbandi order, he performed the job of writing books and took care of Khankahs and after his death , when all his three sons had died in his very life-time, the affairs were managed by his pious wife named GUL BEGUM- ( the daughter of Awrangzeb’s sister wedded to Kh. Abdur-Rahim Dahbidi ). Besides his grandson Kh. Nizam-ud-Din was too young to take this huge responsibility.
Histories are surprisingly silent about the details of the efforts made by Kh. Moin-ud Din Naqshbandi in propagation of Naqshbandi order, his teaching of disciples in Khanqah, sermons and other engagements, but whatever details could be obtained are mentioned here-under:
Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi got educated and initiation under the famous Islamic Muhaddis Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi. He obtained knowledge of Hadis also from him. Initial education he had received from his father. After obtaining the certificate of Fiqh and Hadis from Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi, he got engaged in the religious engagements and when he shifted from Lahore to Kashmir for staying permanently and to promote Naqshbandi order as recorded in various histories of Kashmir- all the known Scholars, Fuqaha, Fuzala called on him and their association continued with him till the last day. Among these renowned scholars were Mulla Mohammad Tahir ( son of renowned Fazil, Faqih, Scholar Moulana Haidar Allama- who too was the disciple of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlavi and a handwritten manuscript copy of Sheikh Muhaddis Dehlavi in five orders-(Qadirya, Shazilya, Madinya, Chistya and Naqshbandya) bestowed to Allama Haidar bin Feroz Kashmiri, is presrved in our library as our ancestor Sheikh Mohammad Moomin Shah Sayid Suhrawardy was a contemporary of Allama Haidar and a direct disciple of Allama Baba Dawood Khaki (RA)), Mulla Abul Fatah kaloo, Mulla Yousuf Muddarris, Mulla Abdul Gani, Sheikh Ahmad Mufti, Kh Allama Haidar Charkhi (mentioned above) and other religious scholars. Religious discourses were held with these great scholars and guidance to the thirsty seekers of the way was also thus provided. It was after the intercourse with such scholars that Kh. Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi produced the book FATAWA NAQSHBANDIYA

Some of the disciples of Kh. Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi (RA) who are mentioned in various references are: Moulana Abdul Hakim son of Kh. Abdul Kareem Bandey Baldimiri, Akhoond Mulla Tayyib (Sayid), Mulla Abd-ur-Rahim Faffoo, Kh Haidar Natnoo Allama–also disciple of Sheikh Muhaddis Delavi, Moulana Abul Fatah Kaloo -also disciple of Kh Haidar Natnoo Allama (as stated above). The other scholars associated with the Naqshbandi Khanqah were: Mir Mohammad Ali Qari (d.1070 H), Mulla Husain Khubbaz (d.1189H)), Shah Mohammad Sadiq Qalandar (d 1093), Hazrat Kh. Ahmad Yasvi Naqshbandi (d1114 H), Sheikh Abdur-Rahim Qadiri, Mulla Abdur-Razak Gojwari (1122H), Mulla Kazim Chaoo (d 1120 H), Mulla Mohammad Abid Topigaroo (d. 1122 H) etc.
The other authored by Kh. Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi are mentioned in the history as: Fatawa Naqshbandiya, Kanzul Saadah, Miratul Qaloob, Sair-i- Khairul Bashar, Mirat-u-Tayibah, Risal dar Ahwal-i- Khwaja khawand Mahmood, Maqamat, Mashariqul Anwar, Risala dar-raddi-Mulahidah, Tafsir-i-Mushif Majeed and Risala Raddi Shahtiyat-i- Mulla Akhoond Shah
Kh. Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi has connected his family tree upto Hazrat Qutb-ul-Irshad Kh. Ala-ud-Din Attar who was married to the daughter of Hazrat Kh. Baha-ud-Din Naqshband (RA). THe chain is as: Hazrat Kh. Khawand Mahmood s/o Hazrat Mir Sayid Shareef s/oKh Zia-ud-Din s/o Mir Mohammad Naqshbandi s/o Kh Taj-ud-Din s/o Kh. Ala-ud-Din s/o Kh Husain s/o Kh Ala-ud-Din Attar (RA)
The chain of initiation is from Hazrat Moulana Mohammad Qazi Khalifa of Hazrat Kh Ubaidullah Ahrar detailed as: Hazrat Kh. Khawand Mahmood- Khalifa of Kh Ishaq- Khalifa of his father Moulana Khwajagi Sayid Ahmad Kasani- Kh/o Moulana Lutfullah kh/o Makhdoom Khwajagi Ahmad Kasani- Kh/0 Hazrat Moulana Mohammad Qazi- Kh/o Hazrat Qutb-ul-Urafa Khwaja Ubaidullah Ahrar (RA)
With the efforts of his father the order of Naqshbandiya was revived in Kashmir after over 100 years. His disciples were spread in Kashmir and Lahore, among whom was Hafiz Khadim of Lahore – a famous person who was equipped with the exterior as well as the interior knowledge. Besides there were others whose names are inscribed on the wall of Khanqah Naqshbandya and about some of whom Kh Moin-ud-Din mentions in Maqamat.
When Hazrat Khwaja Moin-ud-Din reached the age of 70, signs of illness appeared on his body and he passed away on 29th Muharram 1085 H and was burried in the Khanqah-i-Faiz Panah. Since then every year on 29th Muharram falls his Urs day. The other Urs day of Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Naqshband of Bukhara (RA) – the founder of Naqshbandi order is celebrated on 3rd Rabi-ul-Awal every year.
Er, Mohammad Ashraf Fazili
Retd. Chief Engineer

I still remember those youthful days of my life when I, along with other village lads, would participate in the torch light processions at the shrine of Hazrat Zain-ud-din Wali. Usually held during the early spring season, in the evenings, these processions were then called as“Phruw’. The torches would usually be made of the rice straw or of small wooden pieces tied together.
We were young and naïve to understand the basic message of the whole activity while lighting up the torches was something that excited us the most. It actually took me years to know that the very aim of the festival was to celebrate victory of light over darkness, good over evil.
This was a symbolic gesture of the people to indicate the quality of the saint who had fought against darkness. To pay obeisance and respect to this great saint, people, mostly village children of south Kashmir, used to hold the torch processions in their respective village lanes. The largest among the gatherings would be witnessed at the shrine of the saint at Ashmuqam.
While during my childhood this festival was a delight and an occasion to celebrate, I than grew up with an interest in the‘Reshi movement’ of Kashmir. I came to know about the saint and his victory over the evil spirits. Numerous stories, both from the folklore, as well as some olden records conveyed the charismatic character of this saint whose strong belief in Almighty lead him to success over the evil spirits.
The tradition has survived the political, social, cultural and technological onslaughts as thousands of devotees visit the shrine, light up the torches, even today, and celebrate the occasion with great religious fervor.
Baba Zain Ud din Reshi was born at Bounderkote Kishtwar. He belonged to a Rajput Hindu family and was earlier named as Zai Singh. He entered into Reshi fold at the hands of Nund Reshi, the patron saint of the valley, and later came to be known as Shakhi Zain Ud din Reshi and became the leading member of the famous Reshi movement.
Noornama, the authentic source of Reshi movement records that Zai Singh, as a child, suffered from a life threatening disease. His mother left no stone unturned in search of some way, some remedy that could heal her ailing son. One day she heard about Nundreshi, a famous Kashmiri saint who had arrived in the village. She brought her ailing son before this saint and requested for his healing.
The saint, it is written, told her that he would treat her son but once he recovers, she would bring him to Kashmir valley. The mother who had lost all her hopes did not hesitate to enter into the promise and readily said yes to the offer. Nundreshi, with his spiritual power, healed the child and within a few weeks gradual improvement was observed by his family.
Now was the time when the mother had to keep her promise and she did that. She, along with her brother started the journey towards the valley of Kashmir. They were first received, in the valley, by another saint Baba Bamu Ud Din at Bamzu. Zai Singh alongwith his mother and uncle later on embraced Islam at the hands of Nudreshi when they reached him. The patron saint also gave him a new name-Baba Zain-ud-Din.
Noornama records that while narrating the first Reshi lesson to his disciple, Nundreshi revealed upon him the basic philosophy of life and told him,
Nafas mali ditikh auri meanith
Ghazakh chienth Karikh na fouth’
(Life of individuals is already calculated, understand it and never cry)
Now he was left into the guidance of Baba Bamu Din for learning the Reshi doctrine and was later advised to report to the village of Ashmuqam where he could meditate. When Zain ud din reached the cave of the village, he saw, the entire space filled with snakes. The saint told them that the cave had now been allotted to the saints and they should check out of it immidiately. Snakes while obeying the dictate left the cave and he began his meditated for years together and attained enlightenment. He also adopted the glorious profession of driving the sheep of the village (shepherd)
Nundreshi was very much impressed by the Reshi practices and zeal of Zain Ud din, and while appreciating his efforts and dedication, he declared him the source of‘Abihayat’-the water of life. “Zain Ud din pleased Almighty and dedicated his entire life to meditation and good deeds. So far as practice of good deeds is concerned, he succeeds his teacher. I vow and pray to Almighty for such a position which was granted in favor of Zain Ud Din Reshi” This, it is recorded has been said by the patron saint of Kashmir about his disciple. Baba Zain-ud-Din became famous for his‘Sakhawat’ -benevolent. His devotees believe that no one leaves the shrine without the blessings.
Baba Zain-ud-DinWali’s shrine has got a wonderful location in the lap of the rising Ashmuqam plateau. The saint lived in the cave and is said to have left for heavenly abode at the same site, while his funeral rites are shadowed with mystery as historian have written that when his corpus was put into the coffin, the body disappeared.
It is said that later he appeared in the dream of one of his friend and instructed him that his grave should be made exactly at the spot where the coffin was left. Besides his coffin, eighteen graves of his companions are also seen inside the shrine.
The structure of the shrine of the Reshi symbolizes the grace of the wooden architectural style of the valley. It is a masterpiece in wood works across the south Kashmir while the shrine serves as the most significant Spiritual site thronged by devotees. A big congregation is held during theUrs days of the saint when the devotees gather at the shrine and hold torches in their hands and prayers on their lips.
The Relics of the saint
There is a small but significant and rare collection of sacred relics housed in an open gallery to the right of the main shrine. The main shrine is raised on a plateau which internally has a cave which stands carved of a massive rock of local granite. It is known as the cave ofZain-ud-DinReshi. TheReshi is learnt to have meditated here. The saint’s mortal remains are also buried inside the cave.
There are few traditions preserved in the folklore of the site. Legend has it that this was basically the cave of some holy man, few identify with Prophet Moses. They believe that he arrived here and spent some time inside the cave. One relic, called“Aasa Sharief” the stick ofZain-ud-Din Reshi, is also attributed to Prophet Moses. While other some believe that some Buddhist monk had actually carved it for meditation, most of the people attribute this cave to this Reshi saint.
The mysteries still revolve round the“Aasa Sharief”. People claim that this is hardly shown to anybody, and at very rare occasions, not even during the Urs days. There are some who say that they had seen the“Aasa Sharief” some thirty years ago. Many believe that it appears something like a magical stick which, when you hold it, it pulls you upwards.
When it was exhibited, thirty years ago, the area was experiencing a major draught, said the local resident. At that occasion a big congregation was held at the shrine and during special prayers, this rod was exhibited to get rid of that natural calamity. Besides this, the shrine also houses several other relics ofZain-ud-Din Rishi, which areshowcased in a relic gallery of the shrine and comprise of bow and arrow, wooden bread, coffin and skull of the lamb. Surprisingly the“Aasa Sharief” of the Reshi is not showcased anywhere at this site.
The Spiritual deeds
‘Tareekhi Awliya-e- Kashmir’ states that during his stay in Ashmuqam, the saint used to drive the sheep of the village and severed as the best shepherd. Once a miscreant who vowed to bring a bad name to him stole a baby sheep and after killing the lamb buried it nearby the village. He then made a hue and cry accusing the Reshi of killing the lamb.
The Shepherd was summoned and asked to explain his position before the village jury. The Reshi told the jury that since he himself was accused of the theft, the better way was to let the lamb reveal the facts. He asked the jury to bring the body of the lamb which they did and people saw the dead body of the lamp with one leg missing.
It is said that the lamp came alive and revealed the facts. This spiritual miracle astonished the people and at the same time exposed the spiritual powers of this Reshi. He than left the profession and decided to live in utter solitude meditating in the historic cave.
Since Kashmir served as a great learning place for varied cultural traditions and Sufi practices shown and cultivated by great Reshis, the place also impressed travelers and external scholars reaching here.Abul Fazal the most famous Mughal traveler writes that,“The most respectable people of Kashmir are theRishis who although they do not suffer themselves to be fettered by traditions are doubtless true worshippers of God. They revile not any other sect and ask nothing of anyone, they plant the roads with fruit trees to furnish the traveler with refreshments. They abstain from flesh and have no intercourse with the other sex. There are two thousand of theseRishis in Kashmir.
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Remembering Baba Zain-ud-Din wali( R.A)

Posted: April 3, 2015 by kashmirsufis in AWLIYAE KASHMIR
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Not only in indigenous records, Kashmir Rishism is also well documented in foreign literatures as well. The travelers, who happened to be in this glorious valley during their respective times, had been impressed by the teachings and traditions of the Rishi saints. Abul Fazal, a traveler during the Mughal period, writes about Sufis: “The most respectable people of Kashmir are the Rishis who do not suffer themselves for being fettered by traditions. They are doubtlessly true worshippers of God. They revile not any other sect and ask nothing of anyone. They plant fruit trees along the roads to furnish the traveler with refreshments. They abstain from consuming meat and have no intercourse with other sex. There are two thousand of these Rishis in Kashmir.”
Jehangir, the Mughal emperor, was also impressed by their piety and other self abnegations. In his memoirs, he speaks of these Rishis as possessing simplicity and without pretence. They restrain their tongues of foul talk and the feet of leading them to vices. Eat no meat, have no wives and always plant fruit bearing trees.”
Early life
Baba is the second friend of Nund Rishi. He was born at Bounderkote Kishtwar as a Rajput Hindu named Zai Singh. He also entered into Rishi fold at the hands of Nund Rishi. He was asked to report at the cave of Aishmuqam where he could meditate for search of the truth. When he reached the cave, he saw it filled with snakes. Baba told them that this cave had now been allotted to the saint so please leave the spot. Snakes left the cave for the Baba where he meditated for years and attained the enlightenment. He then came to be known as Sakhi Zain-ud-Din Rishi.
Sufi devotees believe that no one goes empty handed from Baba’s shrine. Baba’s shrine is located midway in the lap of Aishmuqam hill. He is learnt to have left for heavenly abode at the site, however, details about his funeral rites are shadowed in mystery. Historians say that when his body was put into the coffin, it disappeared. Later Baba came into dream of one of his friends and told him that dig the grave where the coffin lies and later same was done.
Aishmuqam
It is one of the leading Sufi sites of south Kashmir where Sufis of contemporary ages gather on Thursdays and Fridays to perform their respective Sufi practices. A big congregation is held during the Urs days of the saint when devotees gather at the shrine holding torches in their hands. This Sufi festival is called as “Phrov” that means lightening of traditional torches. The torches are lit up in the corners of south Kashmir as well but the most outstanding celebration takes place at Aishmuqam.
Phrov
Candles are also lit at every Sufi shrine during their respective Urs days. These candles are specially made by potters, and are called “Kashur Choong” or Kashmiri candle. It looks like a small cup with no handle; instead having an opening towards the front. It burns not by Kerosene oil but by mustard oil. A cotton piece put into the candle catches the flame near its opening. Such earthen candles are already preserved in shrines and during the celebrations, the attendants of the shrine clean these candles, and devotees bring mustard oil for them. They consider it as the offering to the shrine. The shrine attendants would sit on the corners of the respective shrines (verandah) in evenings and would light these candles, which are laid in various queues all around the shrine. The shrine looks like a light house. These days, attendants are also helped by other lighting arrangements like electric bulbs etc.
The festival at Aishmuqam is held every year in the month of April. During this festival, the shrine of Zain-ud-Din Wali is beautifully decorated with superb lights. People from nearest villages and localities throng the shrine, holding torches of wood and straw. It is locally called a Phrov. It is not only observed at the shrine, but entire south-Kashmir celebrates it with great honour and gaiety. Mostly children are fond of celebrating this festival.
The shrine attendants at Aishmuqam shrine wear different type of turbans locally called Tasir. It is made up of lined cloth and these lines are embroidered over a piece of cloth, later cut to a desired length of a turban. Tradition reveals that the Zain-ud-Din Rishi has used such type of turban.
Baba abstained from other things and worshiped Allah only. He searched for the truth and attained the favours of the Creator in the blue forests and in the cave. He did not eat meat thus followed his Peer (spiritual guide) who took forest vegetation Vopalhak. It was the most favourite diet of the saint and he took very less quantity, sometimes nothing for days together. At the shrine of Zain-ud-Din Rishi is preserved a relic, called wooden-bread. It is recorded that the saint used to tie it with his belly when he had nothing to eat.
Cave
Another cave is seen at a plateau at Aishmuqam which has been hewn out of a massive rock. It is known as the cave of Zain-ud-Din Rishi. The Rishi is learnt to have meditated here. The saint’s mortal remains are also buried inside the cave., there is no proper record about its origin
Asa Sharief
A mysterious rod known as Asa Sharief of the Rishi is also learnt to have been preserved inside the shrine which is hardly shown to anybody. But one of the local residents told me that he has seen it about thirty years back. He says it is like a magic rod and when you hold it, it would pull you upwards. According to him it is exhibited at rare occasions. When it was exhibited thirty years ago, the area was experiencing a major draught, said the local resident. At that occasion a big congregation was held at the shrine and during special prayers, this rod was exhibited to get rid of that natural calamity.
The Aishmuqam shrine not only houses the rod, it also has several other relics of Zain-ud-Din Rishi that include a bow and arrow, wooden bread, coffin and skull of the lamb.