Qadir Saeb e Kral's shrine at a village called Hirri in north Kashmir's Kupwara district is one of the most serene (and possibly cleanest) sufi shrines of Kashmir. This village is at a distance of 5-6 kms towards the western direction of Kupwara town. This friendly sufi shrine is revered by people of all faiths.
Kashmir is full of such small and big sufi shrines. Few of them are known, while the biographies of great many have been lost to history. Being a student of history, visiting and writing historical prospectives about such sufi shrines of Kashmir is my interest. Last month, I visited Hirri village of Kupwara. Billions of thanks to Farooq Shaheen, leading poet and Secretary Adbi Markaz Kamraz (AMK) for accompanying me to this village and also providing me some vital inputs.
From available oral sources this author came to know that Abdul Qadir Kumar popularly known as Qadir saeb e Kral, and reverently as "Kral Bab", of Hirri was a saint of high calibre. He had a galaxy of disciples and followers through out the length and breadth of Kashmir.
Dotted with a cornucopia of historical evidence Hirri village not only houses the Shrine of Qadir Saeb e Kral but also the wooden mosque built by this mystic. As per oral sources this iconic mystic sought the assistance of Alama Anwar Shah Kashmiri while constructing this mosque. This wooden mosque with a pound of 900 sq. feet approx. and a small spring under the grand Chinar tree has been built by this famous saint. This architectural marvel of Kupwara is decaying fast due to wooden moths and has become brittle, hence endangered.
Qadir Saeb e Kral belonged to Kral family (potter's clan) of Kashmir which has seen many sufi saints and poets like Soch Kral. So this clan is very revered. It is believed that he was born in 1885 and his father's name was Karim saeb e Kral. He was married at an early age and had two daughters -Az Ded an and Noor Ded and a son namely Gafoor Saeb e Kral.
As per family sources Qadir saeb e Kral started his mystic journey under the tutelage of a sufi saint namely Khair Saeb of Trehgam Kupwara. Under his tutelage Qadir saeb e Kral reached to great mystic heights.
This mystic strictly followed the Suhrawardi silsila of sufism. He spent days and nights in prayers and meditations. Always advised his disciples to pray five times a day, do good deeds and feed the family members with halal -honest- earnings.
From the available oral sources, this author came to know that this mystic preached love and brotherhood and to him simple living and love to mankind is the best way to come closer to Allah, the Almighty and His Prophet (peace be upon him).
Qadir saeb e Kral started a "langar" - free community kitchen, to feed the hungry. This langar still functions there.
A number of "Karamaats' , sort of miracles, say are attributed to this mystic which are beyond any explanation. One is narrated to me by an old Pandith woman of Zaloora, Sopore. She had no child. One day she and her husband visited the blessed darbar of Qadir saeb e Kral. They pleaded the saint to pray for them. The saint prayed and a son was born to them. After graduation, the son turned a naked saint. His parents then visited Qadir saeb e Kral, who gifted him his " pheran" to wear. In this way this Kashmiri pandith became his talib and wore the "pheran" of his "murshid" till his last breath. I know him personally. The only pandith of Zaloora who didn't migrate to Jammu. I used to visit him during my college days.
One more Karamat is narrated by Mohammad Ramzan Kumar (caretaker of the shrine). He says,"One day I felt very ill. The doctors labelled me a hopeless patient and my mother brought me to the blessed darbar of Qadir saeb Kral who put a sugar cube in my mouth and by the grace of Allah, I recovered."
One more Karamat is narratef by Dr. Rafiq Masoodi, Patron Adbi Markaz Kamraz, (AMK). "A village called Rengpat now in Qaziabad Handwara had no water to drink. The people of the village approached Hazrat Amma Saeb e Yaroo RA, who directed them to Qadir Saeb Kral of Hirri. When the people reached to his blessed darbar, this mystic told them not to take off shoes, instead go back as rain has entered their houses and it turned out to be true. The rain did not stop for days together. The village heads advised the same delegation to approach Qadir Saeb e Kral again and when they reached the blessed darbar the rain had already stopped".
Towering sufi saints of Kashmir like Hazrat Amma Saeb Yaroo (RA), Hazrat Syed Meerak Shah (RA) highly revered Qadir Saeb e Kral.
Qadir saeb e Kral left for heavenly abode on 22th of November 1985 and was laid to rest at Hirri. A habitation called Qadirabad at Hirri is named after him.
His shrine was renovated for the first time in 36 years since construction in 1985 by the "Awaam and Jawan initiative.This initiative saw locals from Hirri Kupwara working alongside with Army personnel to restore this shrine.
The annual Urs of Qadir saeb Kral is celebrated on 16th and 17th of June every year. The devotees throughout the length and breadth of Kashmir assemble in the shrine and recite “Aurad e Fathiyyah” and “Darood o Salaam” with passion. One may watch the langar of this iconic mystic feeding the people of all faiths.
Qadir saeb e kral lived an austere life and never took a penny from his devotees. His legacy needs to be preserved.
The author is a teacher by profession.