Posts Tagged ‘islam’

AbstractKashmir since the establishment of Muslim rule had
remained an important Centre of Sufism. It acquired fame as
Raeshwar (valley of Rishis). Among the sufi saints of Medieval
Kashmir, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi occupies an important place. He
was a man of international repute for his learning, scholarship
and piety. The present paper throws a brief light on the life and
times of Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi and his literary contribution and
apart from that the paper discusses in detail the role of sufis
particularly Shaikh’s role in the Mughal conquest of Kashmir.

Index Terms– Conquest, Kashmir, Learning, Mughal, Poet,
Shaikh, Sufism,
he history of Sufism in Kashmir is spread over a long period
of time starting from Bulbul Shah to the Sufi poets of
modern age. Kashmir is known as
Reshwaer (Valley of Rishis).
Sufi saints had always been the inspiring people of Kashmir by
their subtle mystical insights. Among the well-known sufi saints
of Kashmir, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi has been the distinguished
figure not only among his contemporaries but among all the Sufis
of his age. He was displayed with the accomplishments of
learning and the perfect qualities which distinguished him as a
pious man.
1 Modern scholars call him ‘Shaikh-ul-Islam.’2 He
was a man of international reputation for his piety, scholarship
and learning. He had occupied an important place in the history
of Kashmir and during the time Akbar he was given the title
Haji Sani’.3
Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi was the most prominent Sufi saints of
sixteenth century belonging to the Kubarwiya order.
4 The
Kubarwiya order had its remarkable influence on the different
aspects of the life of Kashmiris. People in the various walks of
life used to practice Sufi-value system including
sama as
ascribed by this famous order and work for the betterment of
humanity irrespective of any consideration. haikh Yaqub Sarfi belonged to the Ganai family of
Kashmir. He was born in 928 A.H/ 1521 A.D in Srinagar.
P4F5P His
father’s name was Shaikh Hassan Ganai
P5F6P who belonged to the
Asami clan. The Asami clan traces its descent from Asim, A son
of Caliph Umar (PBUH) and it was because of this he was also
called as Asmi.
زا سفاد عاسم کہ آں نيک خو
بده ابن فاروق اعظم نِکو
گنائی لقب داشت ابن عاصمی
کشاده خدايش در
ِ گنائی است دانا بہ عرف ديار
بہ عثمان گنائی شداد يار غار
و کشمير مثلش کسے بر نخواست
زو صفش مقصر فہوم رسا است
Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi studied under Mulla Aini who came to
Kashmir from Sialkot and the later breathed here the last and is
buried in the graveyard of Shaikh Bahauddin Ganjbaksh. Mulla
Aini was the pupil of the great Mulla Abdur Rahman jami (Jam
is a place in Herat). Mulla Aini, on seeing the intelligence and
scholarly qualities of Shaikh and power to acquire the knowledge
prophesied that Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi would rise to the place of
Jami due to his literary imminence and will acquire the fame as
‘Jami Sani’ (second jami).
P7F8P About which Shaikh Yaqub has
himself given a clue in one of his verse
بعد خسرو بود جامی بلبل باغ سخن
کيست جز صرفی کنوں آں مرغ خوشخواں راعوض
After Mulla Aini, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi studied under Mulla
Basir Khan Khandbhavani.
P9F10P Thereafter Sarfi Travelled
throughout the world to quench his thirst for acquiring
knowledge. He visited the places like Sialkot, Lahore, Kabul,
Samarqand, Mashhad, Mecca, Medina etc.
Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi became the spiritual successor of the
great master Shaikh Hussain of Khawarizm and acquired honour by performing the pilgrimages to the two great holy places of
Islam (Mecca and Medina) twice in his life.12 He received from
Shaikh Ibn Hajar a license to give instructions in the traditions of
Muhammad (PBUH) and clad in the robes of a Shaikh. He
travelled much and visited most of the Shaikhs of Arabia and
Persia and profited much by his intercourse with them and
received the authority to assume prerogatives of a religious
teacher and spiritual guide and as such he had many disciples
both in Hindustan and Kashmir.13 Shaikh also got benefited by
his intercourse with the famous sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chasti of
Fatehpur Sikri. They both spent a lot of time together during the
time of Hajj which was the last Hajj of Shaikh Salim Chasti.
They both exchanged the views of their respective orders. Sheikh
Salim taught him the teachings of Chasti order and learnt from
him the teachings of Kubarwiya order.14 Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi was
also well versed with the writings of Ibn-ul-Arabi.
Apart from worldly knowledge, Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi was deeply
interested in the spiritual knowledge and for this; he spent a lot of
time in the Khankah of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani in Srinagar.P14F15P In
the Khankah, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani appeared in his dream and
asked him to go to Khawarizm and visit Makhdoom Ali Shaikh
Kamaluddin Hussain Khawarizmi. After this Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi
left for Khawarizm via Sialkot, Lahore and Kabul and presented
himself before Sheikh Khawarizmi. Sheikh Khawarizm was one
of the great sufi saints of Kubarwiya order. He received Sheikh
Yaqub Sarfi with great respect and assigned him the work to
bring wood for the langarkhana of Khankah.P15F16P After some time
Sheikh Khawarizmi gave him the permission to return back to
Kashmir and perform the religious duties and was asked to look
after his parents.P16F17P After some time he revisited Khawarizm for
the second time and from there he went to Meshhad, Khotan,
Mecca and Medina. From Mecca, he received sannad and the
necessary license to give instructions in the traditions of Hadith
from Sheikh ibn Hajjar Makki who was a renowned Sheikh and
the great teacher of Hadith.P17F18P Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi also visited
many of the cities of Hindustan like Ahmedabad, Surat etc.
where he met many of the sufi saints and obtained spiritual
knowledge from them about which he wrote.P18F19P
احمد آباد و بہر گوشہ نگارے ديگر نتواں يافت بايں حسن ديارے ديگر
کارايں خلق ہمہ عاشقی و معشوقی است کس دريں شہر نديدم بکارے ديگر
گرچہ ايں شہر پرازما ہو شان است ولے جز ابوالفتح نخواہيم نگارے ديگر
گرچہ فارغ از يا ريم آں بے پروا حاہ ل کہ شوم مائيل يارے ديگر
It is necessary to mention that apart from Sheikh Salim,
many other Sufis of Hindustan were closely associated with Sarfi
and foremost among them are Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi also
known as Mujaddid Alfi Sani (reformer of the second
millennium). He studied the traditions of Prophet and Tafsir and

also the teachings of Kubarwiya order from Sheikh Yaqub
Shaikh was a great sufi of his age. At the age of just seven,
Shaikh memorized the whole Quran.
P20F21P Abul Fazl also considers
him as the greatest authority on religious matters
P21F22P He was also a
great poet of his age. He himself writes in his
Diwan that he was
just eight years of age when he started writing poetry in
چودر سال ہشتم نہاد دم قدم
زطبعم رواں گشت شعر عجم
Abul Fazl praised him and says that he was well aquanted
with all branches of poetry.
P23F24P He wrote with the pen name of
P24F25P Mulla Abdul Qadir Badauni who was a close associate
of Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi praised him and says that he was among
the great personalities of the age. He was illustrious and relied
upon as an authority on all brancehes of learning which are
treated of in Arabic, such as Quranic commentaries, the
traditions of Prophet and Sufism. He was an authorized religious
P25F26P When Sarfi departed from Lahore to Kashmir, He wrote
a letter to Badauni from the other side of the river Ravi in which
Sheikh writes, “I hope you will not entirely efface the memory of
me from the margin of your heart and that you will adopt the
graceful habit of remembering the absent. If you should have any
need of Kashmiri paper for rough notes and drafts, I hope that
you will inform me of the fact so that I may send you from
Kashmir, the rough copy of my commentaries, the writing of
which can be washed from the paper with water so completely
that no traces of ink will remain, as you yourself have seen.”
On reaching Kashmir, Sheikh wrote another letter to Badauni
which was his last letter to him. In this letter Sheikh wrote, “I
hope that whenever you sit in Nawab Faizi’s apartment of
fragrant grass (
khas khana) on the floor, with its matting cooler
than the breezes of Kashmir, in the midday heat of summer,
drinking the water which, though originally warm, has been
cooled with ice and listening to sublime talk and witty
conversation, you will think of me, the captive of the hardships
of disappointment.”
It is an established fact that Kashmir has never been able to
produce a man, a religious scholar, a sufi saint or a poet who can
equal the place of Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi in History. He possessed a
vast worldly and spiritual knowledge and it was because of this
he is famous as
‘Jami al Kalimat Souri wal Masnavi’.P28F29P
Although, he was not involved in worldly pleasures, yet the
rulers and their nobles had respect for him. They used to listen to
his advises and practice over it.
P29F30P Humaiyun and Akbar had a
wonderful belief on him and conferred distinction on him by

dmitting him to the honour of their society, regarded him with
gracious favour, so that he was held in high estimation and much
honoured. He was generous and open handed beyond anything
that can be imagined of his contemporaries.
The number of literary works by Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi is not
known and neither all of them are available. Some of the famous
works include-
Sawati-ul-Ilham (it is an Arabic taqriz/
introduction to Faizi’s Tafsir-ul-Quran), completed a Khamsa,32
Manasik-i-Hajj,33 Sharah-Sahih al Bukhari34, Kunz-al-Jawahir,
Risala e Azkar.
35 Apart from that Sheikh Yaqub Safri is also
credited with a number of works like
Diwan-i-Sarfi36, Treatises
on the art of composing engimas and also Quatrains (
on the mysticism of sufi with a
Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi occupied an important place in the
political history of Kashmir. He was the pivotal figure behind the
Mughal conquest of Kashmir. In 1557, when Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi
was thirty-five, the Shah Miri dynasty was overthrown by the
Chaks. The Chaks traced their origins to Baltistan. Being from
outside Kashmir, they were not particularly concerned about the
welfare of the people of Kashmir. The Chak rulers persecuted the
Sunni subjects. This caused several Sunni scholars to leave
Kashmir and seek shelter elsewhere.
38 As an important Sunni
leader and scholar, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi is said to have been a
thorn in the Sultan’s flesh, and therefore, a conspiracy was
plotted to have him killed. When the Shaikh heard about the
conspiracy, he left Kashmir, and went on a long journey that took
him to Samarqand, Iran and then finally to the holy cities of
Mecca and Medina, where he spent several months in the
company of accomplished Islamic scholars, studying various
Quranic commentaries (
tafasir) and the Traditions of the Prophet
hadith). When he finally returned to Kashmir, the political
situation was grim, with the Sunnis labouring under considerable
oppression under Chak rule. Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi tried his best to
normalize the situation but that was never possible under those
circumstances. A royal decree was issued ordering that
callto prayer should be offered in shia manner and the name of
Hazrat Ali should be mentioned. Qazi Musa was killed for not
mentioning the name of Hazrat Ali in the callto prayer (
azan) and
his body was tied to the tail of an elephant and dragged through
the streets of Srinagar. This provoked the Sunnis of the town,
who rose up in protest. In order to put an end to the persecution
of the Sunnis, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi and a group of his companions

Baba Daud Khaki, Baba Ismail Anchari and Baba Mehdi
Suharwardi went to the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar at
Agra, requesting him to send an army to Kashmir and overthrow
the Chak rule.
39 In their audience with Akbar, Shaikh Yaqub
Sarfi and his companions insisted that after Akbar took over the
administration of Kashmir, he should ensure full freedom of
religion to all its people; That there should be no interference
with local commerce and trade; That no Kashmiri should be
enslaved; That the practice of beggar or compulsory labour be
abolished and that those who had been associated with the Chak
regime should be divested of their powers.
40 Akbar gave his
consent to these conditions, and then dispatched an army under
Mirza Shah Rukh against Chak ruler, in December 1585.
Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi himself accompanied this army. 42 The
Mughal invasion was more a reaction in anger than a seriously
thought-out plan, neither the season was suitable nor was the
internal conditions suitable for launching such an attack. The
leaders of the army had urge to wait for some months till the
roads are cleared of snow and should enter Kashmir through
Bhimber which was relatively a better route but Akber in haste
ordered them to march through the Pakhli route.
43 The Chaks
fought valiantly and defeated the Mughals. Then, in 1586, Akbar
sent a larger army to Kashmir, under Mirza Qasim Khan, which
inflicted a decisive defeat on the Chaks, and Yaqub Shah Chak
was forced to flee to Kishtwar, where he died in 1592. In this
way, the last independent Kashmiri dynasty came to an end, and
Kashmir was made a part of the Mughal Empire.
With the Mughal takeover of Kashmir, some Sunnis are said to
have launched stern reprisals against the Shi’as. Shaikh Yaqub
Sarfi is said to have bitterly protested against this, and is credited
with having made efforts to restore peace and communal
Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi occupies a place of prominence in the
history of Medieval Kashmir. He had acquired international
reputation for his learning, scholarship and piety. He was
displayed with the accomplishments of learning and perfect
qualities that distinguish him as the greatest sufi of his age. He
was the greatest authority of religious matters. He traveled
throughout the world to quench his thirst for knowledge. He was
the author of many sublime and beautiful works including

Khamsa, Commentaries of Quran and Hadith, Treatises,
Quatrains etc. He devoted his life to normalize the sectarian
tensions between the Shias and Sunnis of Kashmir. When the
situation was out of control he himself along with his
companions went to the court of Akbar and assured him of
necessary support for the invasion of Kashmir and when Akbar

dispatched the army Shaikh accompanied and guided them.
Above all Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi was a man for which Kashmir
feels proud. Though he did not left behind his successor because
his only son ‘Muhammad Yousuf’ died in infancy, yet Shaikh
had Khalifas/disciples throughout India and Kashmir like Mir
Muhammad Khalifa, Shah Qasim Hakkani, Arif Billah,
Habibullah Naushahri
44 etc. He died at the age of seventy- five in
1594 AD, in Srinagar. The tomb of Shaik Yaqub Sarfi attracts
visitors and is known as
from:- Sameer Ahmad Sofi
Research Scholar, CAS, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh

International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2016

1 Abdul Qadir Badauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, Vol. III (tr. W.
Haig), Patna, 1973, p. 200.

2 Peerzada Muhammad Tayyab Hussain Kashmiri, Auliya e
, Nazir Publishers, Lahore, 1988, p. 38
3 Auliya e Kashmir, op. cit., p. 38
4 A.Q.Rafiqi, Sufism in Kashmir from the Fourteenth to the
sixteenth Century
, Bharatiya Publishing House, Delhi, 1984, p.

5Khawaja M. Azam Diddamari, Wakiat-i-Kashmir (Urdu
translation by Hameed Yazdani), Srinagar, 1998, p. 224

6The literal meaning of Ganai is learned man, His family was
since centuries well learned and that is why they came to be
known as Ganai, for details, see, Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi,
Dewan-iSarfi, With an introduction by Mir Habibullah Kamli,
S.P.College Library, Srinagar, (1387 A.H), p. 2.

7 Ibid
8Diddamari, op. cit., p. 224; Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p.3;
Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 3
10Diddamari, op. cit., p. 224; Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p.3;
Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p.3; G.M.D Sufi, Kashir : Being A
History of Kashmir from Earliest Times to Our Own,
p. 360
12 Diddamari, op. cit., p. 224
13 Badauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, III volumes, Vol. III,
(translated and edited by Sir W. Haig), Academica Asiatica,
Patna, 1973, p. 200

Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 4.
Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 4.
16 Diddamari, op. cit., p. 224; Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit.,p. 4.
17 Diddamari, op. cit, p. 225
18 For details see, Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 4.
19 Ibid, p. 5.
Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 5
21 Ibid, p. 3; Diddamari, op. cit., p. 224
22 Abul Fazl, op. cit., Ain –i-Akbari, III Volumes, Vol. I, (tr.
Blochman), Low Price Publications, Calcutta, 2011, p. 191

Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 3
24 Ain-i-Akbari, vol,I, op. cit., p. 651
25 Badauni, op. cit., p. 200
26 Ibid
27 Badauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, p. 202.
28 Ibid, p. 203
Dewan-i-Sarfi, op. cit., p. 6.
30 Ibid
31 Badauni, op. cit., p. 201.
32 Khamsa is a series of five Masnavis also known as Panj-Gunj
which includes
Masalik ul Akhyar, Wamiq-i-Uzra, LailaMajnun, Makhaz un Nabi and Muqamat Murshid. These five
works were written in imitation of
Khamsa-i-Nizami Jami),
See Badauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, p. 200 n., Diddamari,
op. cit.,p. 226.

33 Manasik-i-Hajj, It is written in Arabic prose and explains the
rules and regulations of the pilgrimage.

34 It is a Persian commentary in prose on the Sahih-al-Bukhari of
Muhammad bin Ismail Bukhari.

35 This work is devoted to the importance of the Zikr and to the
legality of
36 It is a collection of Ghazals and Ruba’iyat
37 For details see Dewan-i-Sarfi, p. 6
38 Diddamari, op. cit., p. 225
39 Auliya-e-Kashmir, op. cit., p. 39; see also P.N.K.Bamzai, A
History of Kashmir: Political, Social and Cultural,
1962, p. 346

40 P.N.K.Bamzai, Op. Cit., 353
41 Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, Vol. I, (Blochman), op. cit., p. 479.
42 Abul Fazl. Akbarnama, vol. III, (tr. H. Beveridge), Low price
Publications, delhi, 1939, p. 715

43 Abul Fazl. Akbarnama, vol. III, op. cit., pp. 722-23




It was the time when the present Nallahmar road was a famous waterway connecting Srinagar with wullar via Ganderbal. Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen (AR) was performing ablution at the bank of this river at Kalashpora Ghat. There came a procession of few boats decorated with gold and silver, the music of the ores was heard from a distance. It was the procession of the Qazul qazzah the then chief justice of Kashmir, Aalama Baba Dawood Khaki (AR) coming from Koolipora, Nowpora to attend his court. A man performing ablution at the bank directed the boat men to ask their chief justice to come to me. Baba Dawood Khaki(AR)  refused at the very first instance to obey the order of a person ordinarily dressed. The entire procession of boats came to standstill, despite the efforts made by boatmen to carry boats forward. No boat moved from its place. Baba Dawood Khaki (AR) was again remained by his men that he denied the order of a godly person which may be the cause for this episode. This was the turning point for Aalama Khakhi (AR), He came, as usual, well dressed, wearing costly costumes with Golden belts and Jewellery to see the man performing ablution. The Godly person asked a few questions to the Qazi, the questions were how much gold did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wear? Which fatwa you are going to give for a case that you don’t follow yourself? Aalama Khakhi(AR)  could not reply instead took out his outfit and began to  follow Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen(AR) whom he considered his  “Pir Murshad” now on and  till he was alive. Baba Dawood Khaki (AR)   narrates the all dealings, teachings, mission and vision of Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen(AR)  in “Virdul Muzeedeen”

Shukur lillah hale maanhar lehzanay kotaar shudaast,
Sheikhu Sheikha Sheikh Hamzah ta mara rehber shudaast.
Hazarat Makhdoom Hamza(AR)   bin Usman was born at Tujar, a peripheral village in Zainageer area of Kashmir. He originated from Shahi Chak Dynasty. The elders of his dynasty were rich, honest, and pious and his  house was then a super centre for learning and teaching of Islam  quotes Aalma Khakhi. I met a few elders of his village who were pious, well adapted with the Shariah, as I inquired cause of their being so religious they quoted Baba Usman’s (RA) company with them as reason adds Aalma Khaki(AR). Hazarat Makhdoom’s(RA) family used to send zakat of their wealth and livestock to the Khankhah of Hazarat Moulana Sheikh Ismail(RA) who was scholar and religious leader of that time besides being a good friend of Baba Usman(AR)  , the father of  Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen(AR) in Srinagar.
Initially he was admitted to a local Khankah run by Sultan Shuhab ud din in this village. One fine morning this child (Hazrat HamzaAR) left his house for school, but joined other children who were busy in playing on road side. He didn’t go to school. In the evening when his father asked about the lesson of the day, the child emphatically agreed that he didn’t go to school despite knowing consequences he could have abstained himself from saying the truth. His father got annoyed and furious and beat child to pulp so much so that he was down with fever for a couple of days. Hazarat Sheikh Hamza(AR)  was not yet adolescent, when he was made to leave Tujar Shariaf and come to Srinagar after he recovered, his grand father brought him to Srinagar where he was admitted in the Khankah of Hazrat Sheikh Fattahullah, the successor of Moulana Ismail, situated on the foothills of Kohimaran. This Khankah consisted of a library, langer (community kitchen)/ hostel, an academy that was a well known establishment of Baba Ismail , It named Dar ul Shifa. He stayed here for one year and learned one para of Quran. From here Sheikh Hamza (RA) was shifted to another Khankah built by Malikh Shams Chak on the bank of Nallahmar a most distance from Jamia Masjid . The khankah had a provision for separate rooms for the scholars to live in. He had a long stay of 20 years in this khankah. For this long span he kept busy in ibadah.
Hazrat Sultan (RA) had a wonderful memory power, as this is known from the fact that he was admitted in the Malik Shams Chak Khankha. Being a minor, a very elderly righteous person was kept as a room mate with him. The room mate used to get up during middle of the night and recite “Surat ul Kahaf” of Quran. The minor used to leave the bed and listen the same. With in few days he posed challenge to his room mate that he can remember the Surat ul Khaf without any mistake. He was given a test and proved successful. The elderly room mate was amazed to see his alarming memory.
In beginning I developed affection of Quran and repeatedly reciting this Holy Book during a night, I remembered it by heart, says Hazrat Sultan(RA)  as quoted by Aalama Khaki in Dastooru-Salikeen.
Meanwhile what happens is that one person namely  Makhdoom Syed Jamal ud din Bukhari (AR) went for Hajj along with his brother Syed Abdul Wahab Bukhari. During their stay in Madina, an amazing episode occurred with Jamal ud din (AR).He was reported turned drowsy, and was taken in a meeting being conducted by Prophet (PBUH) with his pious Suhabis. As in this meeting, a lucky young man was introduced to whom Prophet (PBUH) shared special attention to the extent that Jamal ud din(AR)  was  amazed and inquired whereabouts of the young man. The house was informed that the young man hails from Kashmir. His name is Hamza(AR)  and Prophet (PBUH) has fixed you for his training as Murshad. Jamal ud din Bukhari (AR)  was directed to proceed to Kashmir immediately for the purpose. Here in Kashmir, one might while sleeping, some unknown person told me that you should be thankful to Allah as we have finalized and fixed a Murshad, the Guide for you.  His name is Makhdoom Syed Jamal ud din Bukhari (AR), he has reached Srinagar and you can see him in Khankha Ahmad Yatoo, whatever he directs you follow in letter and Sprit. Alma khaki (AR) quotes said Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen (AR).
Next morning, Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen (AR) reached the spot and found Jamal ud din Bukhari (AR) slepping in Khankah. He stopped for a while but didn’t wake him up but left without meeting. He again went on very next day, seeing him in sleep, waited outside the door. The Murshad opened his eyes and gazed at him and directed Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen (AR)   to come nearer. Don’t feel alone he said, I have been informed about you in Madeena spiritually. You have been handed over to me permanently, work hard, be punctual and obedient. Some one had brought mutton and bread to Khankah. He  was also offered some share says Hazarat Sultan (RA). I felt ashamed eating before so many people and made my mind to carry the share along with and eat in hostel. No said the guide, eat it before us all. We all have already eaten. I will be offering two more breads which you can eat at your place, said Jamal ud din Bukhari (AR) to Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen (AR) Then former kept his cap on the head of later and directed him to go for special prayers in isolation for a few days. He did the same. Whatsoever he was bestowed in exchange, he narrated to his  Murshad The Murshad was happy to note the  reward that was given by Allah to Hazrat Sultanul Aarifeen(AR). He remained initially under the control  of his Murshad for six months continuously. Lastly the disciple was stressed that whatever his Murshad has sheared, should be dissipated amongst the needy ones.Hazrat Hamza(AR) has met many times with Hazrat Khawaja Khazir(AS) and their first meeting was in Jamia Masjid Srinagar(Dastoor us Saleeken)
After that, Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah (AR)was blessed with a divine spiritual power, knowledge which goes  in agreement with a hadith Qudsi.P rophet (PBUH) once said when a Godly persons crosses a few stages  in Allah’s remembrances , the Malaika (angles) keep them friends  and he shines and becomes focus of affection for all. Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah (AR) continued to quench the thirst of thousands of devotees who aspire for Allah’s  favour, with his wisdom and knowledge. As is acknowledged by Aalama Khaki (AR) in Virdul Muredeen in following few lines.
“ Chou khuda elmayludan kard taleemash zemahr
Bahre asrare Illahi Aalim amhar shudast “
“ Ao sheryat raast nasir dartareekat mujtahed
Bahre asrare hakekat sadr o masdar shudaast “
“Roushanash anwaare quraan gasth hum asrare aan
pus khawasish dedo hum alfaaze aanash aabr shudaast “
During the period of Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah(AR) a number of great personalities existed amongst whom Hazrat Sheikh Yaqoob Sarfi(AR) and Hazrat Mir Syed Ahmad Kirmani deserve a special mention .They too bear witness to the fact that Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah(AR) had enormous spiritual power as is quoted by Aalama Khaki in Virdul Mureeden.
“Mir Syed Ahmed Kirman zaahil kashf bood
ashq o dard o souz awra deedah wahair shudaast “
Which  means, that Mir Syed Ahmad Kirmani (AR)despite being a man with kashf (knowing before hand ) was amazed to see  Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah’s(AR) earnest desire for Prophet’s (PBUH). There were a number of Khalifas of         Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah (AR) which include Baba Ali Raina , Mir Baba  Hyderi Tulmullah, Khawaja Hassan Qari, Hazrat Ishaq Qari , Mir Mubarakh Behaquee, Hazrat Roop Reshi , mulla Chouwgali, Hazrat Zeeti Shah Wali and Mian Abdul Rehman Manak(AR)etc.
During the regimen  of Ali Shah Chak, then administrator of Kashmir, Makhdoom Sheikh Hamzah left for Aakhirah on 24th of Safarul Muzzafar 983 Hijri at Makhdoom Mandaw, Kalashpora  Srinagar. Hazrat Mullah Mohammad Tahir Rafique offered the Gussal and Nimaze Jinazah in Iddgah. A huge congregation has been reported joined the heavenly departure of the saint and Kohimaran was decided his permanent place.This is the day when people celebrate his URS mubarak with enthusiasm.

(The author is professor cum chief scientist and Head, Teaching Veterinary Clinical Services complex at FVSc & AH, SKUAST-K. Feedback at


Sheikh-ul-Alam was a great Kashmiri philosopher considered as the patron saint of Kashmiris. Sheikh ul-Alam is a saint of Reshi order who is known as Crown of the Saints of Kashmir and Flag bearer of the people of Kashmir. He is regarded as the founder of an indigenous Sufi order in fifteenth century. Sheikh-ul-Alam had not attained any conventional education but, still a great philosopher and a poet, having eternal knowledge about the existence of life. Sheikh-ul-Alam was having a sound consciousness about the reality of universe. His poetry is very influential, prestigious and esteemed at every angle. Every verse of his poetry is having a charm and conveys a message. His collection and combination of words are even unparallel. He used his poetry as an instrument to extend the true knowledge of absolute. He has used the word “Ilm” in his poetry that means knowledge which should not be confused with our often used term knowledge. His concept of knowledge is entirely different with its usual meaning. The present paper attempts to explore the word “Ilm” in his poetry which may further widen the horizon of our shrunk perception about “Ilm”. While teaching he often used the demonstration method where a person can empirically gets an opportunity to perceive a particular concept.


Keywords: Reshi, Ilm, demonstration method.


Sheikh-ul-Alam was a great Kashmiri philosopher regarded as the patron saint of people of Kashmir. He is considered as the founder of the Rishi order of saints that deeply influenced many great mystics like Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom, Resh Mir Sàeb , Shamas Faqir, Sakhi Zainu Din Wali, etc. A blessing of God unto the people of Kashmir, Sheikh ul-Alam was a saint of Reshi order who is also known as Taj-ul-Awliyai Kashmir means the Crown of theSaints of Kashmir and Alamdar-I-Kashmir means Flag bearer of the people of Kashmir. The admired saint is greatly respected by both the Hindu and Muslim communities of Kashmir. He also has to his credit for laying the foundation of an indigenous Sufi order in the fifteenth century. Reshi is a person who immerses himself into the Divine self. Speaking about the saint‟s life, Nund Reshi was born in Qaimoh (district Kulgam of Jammu and Kashmir) on Eid-ul-Adha. His parents Sheikh Salar-ud-Din and Sadra were pious, honest and sincere human beings and were well known because of their goodness. Sheikh-ul-Alam‟s parents were very much influenced by a great and prominent Sufi saint Hazrat Mir Syed Simnania. Inspired by his piety, it was through the hands of Simnania, that Sheikh-ul-Alam‟s parents embraced Islam. Sheikh-ul-Alam had not attained education through any formal or traditional mode but, still a great philosopher and a poet, having eternal knowledge about the existence of life. Whatever he acquired was the outcome of his meditation, good deeds, honesty and love for God. He wrote such powerful mystic poetry that he became the patron of saints and protector and embodiment of Kashmiri culture. The form of Sheikh-ul-Alam poetry is called SHRUK. Sheikh-ul -Alam‟s shruks are popular throughout Kashmir and have been spread and circulated orally by generations of people of Kashmir. Sheikh-ul-Alam left behind all those things which were bonded to material world. He detached all the connections which were linked to this world. He busied himself thoroughly in the remembrance of God and dedicated all his time in meditation and prayers in order to overcome and conquer the appetite of self, to strengthen the connection between him and God and to strengthen his spiritual power. Later he traveled to Kashmir remained in Charar-i-Shareef for a pretty long time where he met Syed Mir Mohammad Hamdani. Sheikh-ul-Alam was very much influenced by Syed Mir Mohammad Hamdani after having discussion with him and became the disciple of Syed Mir Mohammad Hamdani, who bestowed him the name “Alamdaar-i- Kashmir”. Sheikh-ul-Alam was quite aware about the reality of this universe; he could easily identify the mentality of a person at the very first sight. His poetry is very influential, prestigious and esteemed at every angle; every line of his poetry has its own charm and message. His collection and combination of words is unparallel. He used his poetry as a toolto spread the true knowledge of kindness beyond the borders of limitation. His verses are preserved in the Nur-Nama written by Baba Naseeb-ud-Din Ghazi in Persian. Besides Tasawuff Sheikh-ul-Alam composed poetry on different topics like the people of his time, about the time he lived, about towns and villages, about the self, about the lust of life and last but not the least about the practical education. There are number of schools, colleges, hospitals and institution in the name of Sheikh-Ul-Alam. University of Kashmir is conducting research on his poetry and philosophical thought in an exclusive research centre know as Markaz-i-Noor a centre for sheikh-ul-Alam studies. He used his poetry as tool to spread the knowledge of absolute. Tawhid (oneness of Almighty), Risala (Prophet-hood of Muhammad PBUH), Ma’ad (Materialism), human lust and importance of Education are main subjects of his poetry. He vehemently criticized the so called Mullas and other pseudo-scholars of Islam. One of his most famous and oft quoted couplets is (Kashmiri:”Ann poshi teli yeli wann poshi“) meaning ‘Food will last as long as forests last’. He was very much stressful about the conservation of environment the time when no one would even imagine about the current environmental crisis. Lal Ded the Shaivite poetess of Kashmir was his contemporary. She had a great impact on his spiritual growth. He has in one of his poems prayed to God to grant him the same level of spiritual achievement as God had bestowed on Lal Ded. (Khan, 2012) concluded not withstanding the fact that his personality has been unsheathed by myths invented by careless hagiographers, Sheikh-ul-Alam was a towering historical figure of medieval Kashmir. (Wani, 2012) revealed that of a very few subjects of Kashmir history, which has stimulated exceptional great scholarly attention, Sheikh-ul-Alam and his founded Rishi Movement occupies a prominent place. Yet, the corpus of literature produced on the Shaikh and his silsila (order) rests on a shaky ground in the absence of an authentic text of the poetry of the Shaikh which constitutes the basic source of his life and teachings. (Shah, 2012) conducted that the result of a study of the poetry of Sheikh-ul-Alam one of the most venerated and well acclaimed Sufi saints of Kashmir, which finally led to compilation of an inventory of plant species mentioned therein, with the broad objective to recuperate traditional botanical wisdom for sustainable development. The list of plant species is presented along with their brief description and pictorial support for understanding of common people. The conspectus of plant species is of significance, not only to provide useful insights into important floristic elements of that particular era, but also to rejuvenate the sense of species sacredness for their conservation. Such studies, if extrapolated for other regions in a multicultural nation like India, can potentially yield an invaluable traditional ecological knowledge base for conservation of sacred species. (Zaffar, 2012) Shaikh ul Alam was a man with increased knowledge and understanding which he himself Claims in one of his Shruks. The most effective means which made his movement pervasive throughout the Valley was common man‟s language and the genre he used to bring home to the people his message. He was very much concerned about the artistic and aesthetic elements in his poetry. In spite of being didactic in nature Shruks are loaded with artistic and aesthetic elements which bring more and more beauty in his verses. Therefore to understand and interpret his poetry one has to be more cautious, technical and skillful.


Concept of Ilmin the poetry of Sheikh-ul-Alam

“Ilm parith tae parith na palan Pheng payi lalan gash kati aasee

“Just acquiring of knowledge without following it in a practical sense would make a person blind with eyes”. We today are having a lot of knowledge just for the sake of knowledge. The real motive of having knowledge in the past was to practice all that we know. Today is the period of value crisis even having a very impressive literacy rates in developed and developing countries. More we gained the knowledge more we get deviated from the path of practicing values. The Sheikh mostly stressed over practicing knowledge. He considers a person blind who is not following the knowledge he has gained.

“Paran paran te par gayee Tim khar gayee kitab borah hayeth

Yim sahibas nish bakhabar gayee Tim nar gayee fazal ta ata hayeth”

The so called students who get education not in a real sense just as a formality are like donkeys carrying burden of books on their shoulders. But the students who realize their self and are very much aware about their heart are more successful.

“Yath waw haley czhong kus zale Tale kani zaleas alim ta deen”

Who is going to light a lamp in these heavy stormy and windy nights of ignorance, it‟s the only education and religious practices that can do it in real sense. He considered the ignorance as the strongest storm in the world that can damage the structure of humanity. He is saying that knowledge is the only lamp which will put an end to strong winds of ignorance.

Sheikh-ul-Alam and Demonstration method

Once Sheikh-ul-Alam was invite to a feast to accept an invitation is a part of teaching of prophet (PBUH) so he could not deny and went to the house of host wearing shabby clothes. Gate keeper did not recognize him and was not allowed to enter the party. He went home back and came again but now wearing new clothes. When all had sat for the lavish dinner, Sheikh-ul-Alam entered wearing a stunning cloak and was provide the position of admiration. When everybody started to take food Sheikh-ul-Alam extended out his sleeves and put them onto the plates full of food, people surrounded got surprised and asked him the reason, Sheikh-ul-Alam replied: Kheyev Badev Narew Kheyev ,Eat you rich clothes eat “

The feast was not for poor like me, it is for the wealthy who dress in rich clothes and long sleeves. In education this method of teaching is called demonstration method. The people at party were able to perceive the concept and his criticality by experience.


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Research by:-

Mirza Muneeb Manan* Sayar Ahmad Mir**

Research Scholar Research Scholar

School of Education and Training Department of English

MANUU, Hyderabad MANUU, Hyderabad

Presented at:-

International Conference on Recent Research and Innovations in Social Science & Education

19th May 2018

Genealogy of Alamdar-e- Kashmir…
The Paradisal pleasance of Kashmir does not merely mean the beauty and symmetry which this sphere of the globe
possesses but in fact means the grandeur of its inhabitants who have made its surroundings so fragrant that the
perfumes evaporated to vast areas of human habitations and atmospheres. From time immemorial the milky way of
the firmament of Kashmir did possess glittering stars emitting fluorescence to remove the stygian darkness amid
the terrains and lofty areas of the terrene. The brightest star appeared on the firmament in the shape of Sheikh Noor
ud Din who is the lone son of the soil enjoying the status of a flag bearer (Alamdar), besides the great sheikh of the
Sheikh is said to have been born on Friday the 25th Rabiul Awal, 774 Hijri corresponding to 24th of September 1373
A.D. The genealogy displayed by Naseeb ud Din Ghazi (disciple of Sheikh) is as under:
Raja Ogra Sanz……… Drupta Sanz……… Zanga sanz…………. Hunar Sanz…….. Wogra Sanz……….. Salar Sanz………. Nund
Mohi ud din Miskeen the well known author of “Tarikhi Kabir” states that the ancestors of this great man belonged
to Kishtwar area of Jammu & Kashmir and were the rulers enjoying the valorous state of Sanz -¬ The brave. Owing
to political instability in the region they migrated to this part of the region. The then rulers of Kashmir did not only
grant them the refuge but also granted them the fief dom of Rupvan, a village in North-East region of Chrar-i-Shareif,
03kms away from the township. Miskeen Jots down that Zanga Sanz the great grandfather of Sheikh was an
advisor to Khumni- a great grocer and ruler of village Tilsara located in the Eastern side of Chrar-i-Sharief 02kms
away from the town. Khumni was murdered in the upheaval of Dalchu and Hunnar Sanz the son of Zanga Sanz
remained hidden in dark dense forests of Chrar-i-Sharief which was then known as “Tsrar Van”. After confinement
among conifers did he appear in village “Gud Sathu” situated at Chadoora Budgam road and got settled there. Salar
sanz the beloved father of Sheikh was influenced by Yasmin Rishi and accepted Islam & was named as Salar ud Din.
Though historians are mum and mute about Salar sanz but the verse revealed by Sheikh implies his prosperity and
affluence as he says,
“Kaimoh kis Salar-dins….. Yes dowlatch manz boud aayie”
Means Salar-ud-din the inhabitant of kaimoh deserves felicitations as he yielded among riches to adopt the doctrine
of Islam .This proves that sheikh was nourished and cherished in a well-to-do family with all luxuries and dainties,
rejecting the concocted stories designed and devised for him. Sheikh’s mother a pious and noble lady did hail from
“khee” a village of in kulgam District. Historians have highlighted only the spiritual conduct of Sheikh and have
ignored his other dimensions of life which include his scholarly behaviour, linguistic approach, researcher’s aptitude,
philosophical temperament and missionary zeal. The tide of time has masticated his scientific innovations which
are eminent from his Kalam.
The details can have from my paper on scientific aptitude of this great man which I delivered in university of
Kashmir on 03 day international seminar on Shah-i- Hamdan’s contribution to learning & society. The paper is
published in local daily of Kashmir Frontier of 15 March 2012.
Falsified stories have been attributed to this man by our historians and writers either due to political hedges or
timely tides which is a separate debatable discussion. Sheikh proved sharp witted from the early childhood and did
posses a capacious brain to feel and catch temperamental beats and throbs of the time. He was a great philosopher
and a true time server of his time. He happened to be a great scholar and had a full command on knowledge. His
linguistic aptitude shows his majesty and stateliness. His multidimensional personality is the outcome of his multi
phased poetry which proves to be the sole alchemy for refinement of a multi shaped creature like man. His poetry
seems to be a perfect medicament, a complete therapy and a well known remedy for ailing and failing human souls
& spirits at different times and occasions.
Once the verses revealed makes a man to feathers for aerial trips but thereby abides him to drupe down to dust to
abide and adore one omniscient and omnipotent lord. His appeal for killing one’s appetite from worldly charms &
beauties do teach and preach the man the modes and styles of this world and world after. He analyses the different
aspects of life with scientific and innovative modes and moments. His message does not pertain to a sect of society but the humanity as a whole. His plain and chaste phrases undoubtedly sensitize the human intelligentsia
and makes a man to shun his lustful behaviour and to get accelerated for human aid and help. His verses act as
stimulants for secretions of wit and wisdom for thought full innovations of this living world and he proved to be the
best annotator of Quran.
Sheikh was a great missionary and he started missionary schools for both the genders of the society across the
length and breadth of his native land. Trained missionaries were plotted to disseminate the theology of Islam to the
grass root level. For its percolation he used the soft, sweet and candid sap of his mother tongue which created a
vigorous pressure to accelerate the human wit and will. Hardly a place is found in the entire terrain where the sole of
Shiekh would not have enjoyed the bill and coo of the soil/dust.
A like a jeweller, Sheikh with the art & craft of wit & winsome designed a long chain of his followers who in close
association with the society taught the people the essence of great religion. Such grooming did create a bonton
atmosphere around the Alps and dales of Kashmir. Among these followers; comrades like Latif ud Din, Zain ud din,
Bam ud din & Nassar ud din, Dhut Ded, Shanga bi & Sala Bi are of great importance. Sheikh is said to have remained
stationed for a long time at Draigam in Budgam, Chimmar in Devsor, Hoonchipora in Beerwah and Rup Van in Chrar-
i-Sharief Budgam. Besides he had brief visits to almost all the parts of Kashmir. Sheikh during his life selected Chrar-
i-Sharief as a permanent abode where he was laid for eternal peace in 842 A.H corresponding to 1438AD.

Article shared by
Sir 12139621_1198617893497877_405509982_nG N Adfar
Rozabal, Char-i-Sharief
Cell: 9419003402


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)





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.