Suhail Abdul Khaliq profiles Moulana Anwar Shopiani a renowned religious scholar of Kashmir.
Moulana Anwar Shopiani is one of the noted personalities of our valley. He is considered to be the founder of Ahli hadith movement in Kashmir. Even Sir Walter Lawrence has written that some 200 households of Shupian first accepted the Wahabi doctrine. Moulana Anwar was born around 1850 in a small hamlet of Shupian. Though that was the time when Muslims of Kashmir were educationally backward but Moulana completed his education outside the state. Many consider him to be the student of Hafiz Abdul Manan Wazirabadi a well known scholar of hadith of his time. Moulana returned to Kashmir and started preaching Islam. He was deeply hurt by the practices of religious leaders who had made religion a source of income for themselves and were misleading people. Moulana took on himself the job of purifying the religion from the evil practices that had crept in and which were being practiced ignorantly by common masses. Moulana openly criticized these practices and called the people to shun them. This was the beginning of the Ahli Hadith movement in Kashmir. He called upon the people to the path of Quran and Sunnah. His actions called for a reaction from the "mullas" of his time and several cases were filed against him in the name of "insulting the "mazhab". Moulana was cleared of the charges and soon had a large number of followers. Moulana Anwar set up a mosque at Zaldagar Srinagar which acted as a centre for propagating his message. Moulana traveled extensively to areas like Kishtwar and ladakh preaching the message of Quran and Sunnah. His son Moulana Abdul Gani Shopiani who has written the famous Kashmiri poem "islam kis gulabas baye sue bahar yea na" rendered a helping hand to his father in mission of preaching the teachings of Quran And Sunnah.
Besides being a scholar of Islam Moulana had a complete command over Kashmiri and Persian poetry. Moulana used his poetry to propagate his mission. He is considered to be one of the best Kashmiri poet of his time (kasmiri zuban aur shairi by Abdul Ahad Azaad compiled by Muhamed Yousuf Teng. J&K cultural Academy).Moulana has many books to his credit. "Taleem Sunnat", "Basharatul Mumineen" are quite popular among the masses and these books are in Kashmiri poetry. His poetic collections by the name of 'dewan anwar' and "Guldasta Anwari" are available in the market. Most of his poetry deals with the praises of Allah and his messenger (saw) and renouncing the evil practices done in the name of religion. All in all Moulana was a model of the salf saleehin and led a pious life. Whatever he earned, he spent it in the way of Allah. Moulana left for heavenly abode in the year 1939. May Allah bless his soul.