The great saint
We are blessed to have a soul like Shiekh-ul-Alam
PERSONALITY BY DR. FAROOQ AHMAD PEER
THERE are different meanings of the word Sufi. Some believe that the word Sufi has been derived from the word ‘Suf’ meaning `the wool’. A woolen garment was a symbol of simplicity of life and renunciation of luxury. Some believe its origin is from “ Ahl –us-Suffa” or the people of the bench.
The Sufis are united on the point that Allah is one, Eternal, All Knowing, All Powerful. The Sufis have the characteristics of having a spiritual leader whom they respect and obey with all devotion and dedication. They are also ready to sacrifice everything to be nearer to Allah, and they achieve perfection in everything.
They have absolute faith in Allah and their faith can not be shaken by anything. They achieve spiritual and mystical experiences by virtue of these qualities.
The valley of Kashmir is a land of Sufis who through their teachings have inspired the people here. It is due to these great souls that ignorance is absent and there is moral and spiritual illumination everywhere. Their education made the people to understand Allah and Prophet (SAW) and follow them with devotion and sincerity. These Sufis wrote poetry in Kashmiri also, and thereby widened the scope of Kashmiri language. In their hands the Kashmiri language developed, flourished and reached to us safe and sound.
The Valley of Kashmir happened to be originally a waterlogged land called Sati-Sar. It is believed that a demon or giant lived around the land and haunted and frightened the inhabitants. Fortunately, a Saint or Rishi called Kashyap is believed to have visited the waterlogged land and the people after knowing about his piety and miraculous deeds approached him and requested him to rescue them from the evil monster. The Rishi prayed to God with sincerity and an outlet for water emerged near Varmul and the monster got killed. The miraculous deed of the Rishi became instrumental in setting the foundation of the land of Kashp- Mir which slowly got changed into Kashmir afterwards.
Kashmir has been a place of shelter and meditation for the saints, Sufis, Rishis and other devoted worshipers of God. These saints belonged to different religions like Shaivinism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam which spread here after the arrival of the Sufis from the Central Asia. The important elements present in all these religions formed the making of a Sufi or Sufism Kashmir. In case the great Rishi and Sufi Sheikh (RA) would not have emerged on the scene of Kashmir, we would not be able to have the society and the creed we belong to at present. W are proud of the fact that we belong to the creed of Sheikh (RA) who taught us both, the tasks of this world and the life hereafter. The people of Kashmir hold special reverence for the Sufis, Saints and they pay homage’s at their shrines. The mission of saints was to bring the religion of Islam in its true picture and this surely influenced the Rishis here including the great Sheikh (RA). During the rule of Chaks and Shahmiris, the Sufis were given superior positions by the rulers and it was during those times that six orders of Sufism existed which were Qadiria, Sahurwardia, Kibrawiya, Naqashbandia, Noorbakhshia and Rishia, The first five had arrived from Iran and Turkistan and the sixth one was from Kashmir which had all elements present in it due to different religious orders which included Shaivinism, and Hinduism and which ultimately culminated into Islamic Sufism due to the inspiration of Sufis who had arrived here to spread Islam. Sheikh (RA) was also brought into the order of Sufis due to his great and sincere dedication to the cause of Allah, Prophet (SAW) and the system of Islam. Mir Mohammad Ali Hamdani (RA), son of the inventor of Islam in Kashmir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) entwined Sheikh (RA) into his creed through a decree (Khat-e- Irshad) under his seal and signature. Since Kashmir from the ancient times had a mystic order, a local spiritual movement developed as a natural consequence of the interaction between several mystic movements in this land of worshipers of God. Due to the devotion shown by the lovers of God and miraculous deeds which they performed due to their sincerity and dedicated worship, these spiritually motivated persons were called as Rishis. And when the Sun of Islam illuminated the lives of the people of this land and mass conversions took place at the hands of Sufi Saints, it was observed that the Mission of Sufis and Rishis in Kashmir was one, so this term Rishi became closer to the Islamic Sufis and the Sufi saints did not try to change this word Rishi as they were conscious that both the terms pointed to one and the same mission. Sheikh (RA) was not only a Saint, Rishi, and Spiritual head of Kashmir but he was a great writer and poet who through his verses taught Kashmiris importance of Islam, justice, sincerity, equality, truth, morality and spirituality. He has been has been the saviour of the Kashmiri language and did open new chapters in the literature of Kashmir.
The contribution of Sheikh through his Shruks enriched the Kashmiri literature and language . His poetry exhibited mystical touches, spiritual and religious values. It illuminated the vision of masses here and showed them a better path. It depicted the difference between good and evil and ultimate success of good over evil. The importance and relevance of of Sheikh cannot be ignored and it becomes the duty of every intellectual and student of Kashmiri language to bring out and concentrate on the literature of this great saint and poet. He really widened the scope of Kashmiri language which developed, flourished and reached us safe and sound.
We cannot count the contribution of this great poet and saint of our land, of whom we are proud of and feel dignified that he belonged to us.
(Feedback at Farooq_peer@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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