Posts Tagged ‘islam’

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Amir-e- Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) the saint and his saintly works are integral to ‘K’ narrative of more or less 750 years –mid 14th century onwards. Study of Kashmir from any perspective—historical, socio-cultural, economic would be incomplete without reference to the much revered Amir-e-Kabir. His work and deft approach impacted all aspects of human activity in Kashmir. Irrespective of his ethnicity, his footprints could be seen from Hamadan, across Central Asia—where he lies buried in Khatlan to Kashmir. In Kashmir, his name is associated with a change, which was nothing short of a renaissance.

Amir Kabir’s name reverberated on social networking site a week or two back, as academicians, politicians’ journalists and netizens engaged in a passionate discussion on anthem of Kashmir University. It was pointed out that Amir-e-Kabir did not figure in the anthem, on the basis of his ethnicity being different. It needs to be asked—could a wandering saint of Amir Kabir’s stature stay encaged in narrow confines of ethnicity.  Strange, it might seem in Hamadan, he is hardly a household name as he is in Kashmir, though there are references to him in the literary hub. I should know it, as for over a decade, I worked in hospitals in cities close to Hamadan. Hamadan formed a place; I frequently visited, as some of my friends were posted there in various hospitals.

Amir-e-Kabeer’s period of stay in Kashmir weighed with the impact he had should add lustre to his immense input. The stay is related to be in three phases, comparatively shorter than the stay of his son—Mir Mohammad. On the sheer impact, what better we could have than the light Allama Iqbal throws on it. The way he illuminates it is dazzling:

Jumla ra aa’n shah’e darya asteen

Daad ilm va sanat va tahzib va deen

The couplet makes out that Shah-e-Hamadan with his inclusive approach and oceanic vision provided (to Kashmiris) knowledge, industry, culture and religion…could there be a greater proof that Shah-e-Hamadan identified with the needs of Kashmiris in multiple spheres and contributed liberally. He mingled with Kashmir to the extent of becoming an everlasting part of the vale, as Allama Iqbal makes out in the couplet preceding the one noted above:

Syed-e-aa’n Kishwar menu nazir

Mir va darwesh va salatin ra misheer

Syed of the country a la paradise

Guide of nobles, the saints, the sultans

Allama Iqbal glues him to the paradise of Kashmir.  It worked to Mirs’ (nobles) darweshs’ (saints) and sultans consulting Shah-e-Hamadan for guidance. It is related that Sultan Shuhab-ud-Din Shahmiri (1354-1373 A.D) sought his audience.

Allama Iqbal in his masterly Kashmir related Persian poem captioned ‘Ziyarat e Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani va Mulla Tahir Ghani Kashmiri’ imagines a Kashmir conference by the side of Hauz-e-Kauser, a well in the paradise. The poem forms a part of ‘Javid Nama’ a poetic treatise on flight of imagination, as Iqbal with his mentor Maulana Rumi sets on heavenly trail. Iqbal is seen feverish in anticipation of meeting his friends; a galaxy gathers—Rumi, Iqbal, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani and Ghani Kashmiri to dwell in ‘K’ related issues.  Rumi calms Allama by advising him to get over his anxieties.

Guft Rumi unche mee ayad nigar

Dil ma’dah ba unche be’guzasht pisar

Rumi says whatever you may get to see

Whatever passed, lose not your heart, son

Rumi further asks Iqbal to listen to Tahir Ghani’s tunes:

Shair’e rangeen nawa Tahir Ghani

Fukur’ou batin ghani zahir ghani

Tahir Ghani is introduced as a colourful poet, who lived a life of penury, yet his penury has a ring of richness, outwardly and inwardly too he is rich. The richness in the poetic tone shows Tahir Ghani’s state of contentment. Ghani is thus at peace with himself.  Rumi wants Iqbal to imbibe the state of peace, so that his state of restlessness over what is happening to Kashmir is set to rest. The prevailing scenario may not upset him, seems to be the advisory note of Iqbal’s mentor—Peer-e-Rumi.   Ghani’s tunes are registered, so is the presence of high bred Syed (read Amir-e-Kabir). He is introduced as a Syed of Syeds (Syed-ul-Sadat) and a leader of Iran (Salar-e-Ajam), who shapes destiny of nations (Mamar’e’Taqdeer’e’Umam: read Kashmir):

Syed-ul-Sadat’ Salar-e-Ajam

Daast ou mammar’e’taqdeer’e’umam

Allama’s statement is elaborate on Syed of Syed’s shaping the destiny of Kashmir and becoming an integral part of ‘K’ narrative. And, the poet traces his impeccable pedigree:

Ta Ghazali dars’e Allah’ho girift

Zikr va fikr az doodh’maan’e ou girift

Ghazali, relates Iqbal, until he grasped the essence of faith in one and only God had to rely on ancestors of Amir-e-Kabir to impart the all-important lesson. Imam Ghazali (1058-1112 A.D) who lived three centuries before Shah-e-Hamadan was the student of his ancestors. Ghazali’s stress on faith taking precedence over logic and reason is an important chapter in Islamic literary stream. It might be added though Ghazali in his dissent on Greek thought of primacy of logic and reason stressed on faith having its own logic.

The impeccable pedigree in Islamic realm, the immense impact on ‘K’ narrative makes it preposterous to even imagine that Ami-e-Kabir does not belong to Kashmir a la Tahir Ghani Kashmiri, irrespective of their Persian ethnicity. ‘K’ narrative owns him as much as it owns Kashmir being the citadel of Buddhism of yore hosting international conventions on Buddhist thought.

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

Dr. Javaid Iqbal

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

 

 

 

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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

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.

~Kalam-e-ShaykhulAalam~
Quran Paraan Koanou Moodukh
Quran Paraan Gowui Nou Soor
Quran Paran Zindeh Keth Roodukh
Quran Paraan Dodh Mansoor
——-EngliSh——–
How come art thee spared even after recitation of Quran?
Were thee not turned to ashes in its learning?
How art thee alive after studying the Quran?
Mansoor scorched in divine love after reciting the same !

“One who learns hadith but not fiqh is like a chemist who makes remedies but doesn’t know what they can cure.” ~ Imam Abu Hanifa

“Yemi wati pakaan soan Sardaarﷺ
Temi wati yiwaan mushik’in daar
Mushik seeth parznov Rauz-e-Mahshar
Kyah chu soan mushik-daar paygambarﷺ.”
– A Kashmiri Naat Shareef
(Through whichever way our Masterﷺ walks
The whole path becomes fragrant due to himﷺ
On the day of reckoning we will recognize him from his fragrance
See the grandeur of our fragrant Nabiﷺ)
________________________________
“When RasoolAllahﷺ walked down a road, anyone who happened to pass
along the same road knew RasoolAllahﷺ had been there due to hisﷺ fragrance.”
Khasaais Al-Kubra : Imaam Jalal-ud-din Suyuti, v.1, p.142

Sidi Ahmad Ibn ‘Ajiba al-Hasani (radiya Allah ‘anhu) said in al-Mabahith al-Asliyya (p. 10):
The conditions of spiritual wayfaring are eight:
1. To possess a sound intention,
2. To possess unmitigated truthfulness,
3. To possess well pleasing manners,
4. To possess purified states,
5. To safeguard the sanctity of one’s Shaykh,
6. To serve others with excellence,
7. To elevate one’s spiritual resolve and
8. To see one’s spiritual tasks to completion.
Its proprieties [adab] are five:
1. To shun blameworthy qualities,
2. To possess humility and brokenness,
3. To strive in preferring others over one’s self,
4. To keep the company of the pious gnostics and
5. To exert one’s self in obedience and invocation.