The shrine of Hazrat Baba Shakoor ud Din (RA), which sits high at a hillock called Sherkot, at Watlub, is a mystic marvel. It is at a distance of 17 kms in the north east of Sopore.
This spiritual hillock is also called as Kral Sangri. This shrine offers a pleasant view of the Asia’s largest fresh water lake, the Wulur and the adjacent villages. Here one could see mystic beauty as far as an eye can see. While visiting this shrine, one feels in close proximity of Allah, the Almighty.
Billions of thanks to the shrine management for providing the vital leads to this author for this column.
From the available written and oral historical sources the author of this column came to know that this great mystic had taken birth in a village called Arwath Pargana of Machhama in district Budgam in the year 790 Hijri.
No authentic record of his early life is available. As per written sources, as the saint grew up he started to work in his field. It is a well acknowledged fact that this saint got connected with mysticism by a Quranic verse, Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim (In the name of Allah,the beneficent the merciful).
As per available written and oral historical sources once his mother was carrying food for him in a big basket. On the way she met two pious men who asked her for whom she was carrying too much food. The mother replied that for her son, who was working in the fields.
The two pious men gave a Quranic verse Bismillah ar -Rahman ar-Rahim to the woman and asked her to say her son that recite this Quranic verse before eating the food.
They also told her to reduce the size of the basket every day. The mother of Hazrat Baba Shakur ud Din Wali did the same. A lot of changes began to appear in Baba Shakoor. This was indeed the beginning of his spiritual journey.
Once he asked his mother about the incident. The mother narrated the whole episode. Then Baba Shukoor asked his mother where she met these pious men. The mother pointed towards South Kashmir. On hearing this, Baba started his spiritual journey and reached Char i Sharief. There he met the founder of our indigenous Rishi movement, Hazrat Shiekh Noor ud Din Wali.
Baba Shakur narrated the whole episode to Hazrat Shiekh Noor ud Din, who then sent him to Ashmuqam to get benefited from the spiritual knowledge of Hazrat Zain ud Din Wali. In this way he deemed an honour to be the disciple of Hazrat Zain ud Din Wali.
On the advice of his teacher he spent about 12 years in meditation at Shangpal (forest) in Khoiham Pargana. Under the tutelage of Hazrat Zain ud Din Wali he learnt the basics of mysticism and soon reached great heights. As we know most of the sufi saints of Rishi cult are reported to have meditated in caves.
His spiritual mentor Hazrat Zain ud Din Wali too directed him to stay and meditate in a cave at the hillock of Sherkot at Watlab Sopore. Latter on a noble and very pious Baba Payam ud Din Reshi came to him and became his assistant.
He rendered meritorious service for him, carried water on his shoulders for Hazrat Baba Shakur ud Din from Wulur. One day Hazrat Baba Shakoor saw some wounds on his shoulders and got impressed by his service. Baba Shakoor prayed for him, threw the arrow and told Hazrat Baba Payam ud Din Reshi to find it. Baba Payam reached Tangmarg, where he found the arrow.
Baba Piyam stayed at Tangmarg and gifted a decorated wooden door to his Murshid, Hazrat Baba Shakoor. With his spiritual power bestowed upon him by Allah, the Almighty. The door got fitted itself and is still there. The villagers replaced the place of the door but on the next day they found it at its original place. From here one can view the shrine of Hazrat Baba Payam ud Din Rishi as well.
Hazrat Baba Shakoor ud Din meditated day and night and subsisted on wild grass. A lot of miracles are attributed to him which are beyond explanation. A cow used to visit him every day, and the saint used to milk it. Once the owner of the cow followed and reached to the cave of Baba Shakur ud Din.
He felt astonished on seeing the saint milking his cow because the cow had not given birth to any calf for last few years. He demanded the calves. Baba Shakur told him to go back to home and have faith in Allah, the most merciful and the most compassionate.
The owner of the cow reached home and found many calves in his cow shed. The news of this miracle spread like a wildfire. People began to visit Hazrat Baba Shukur ud Din in crowds to get the blessings of this great saint. Even now the shrine is thronged by people.
It is said that in 1996, a girl from Malangom Bandipora, whose one hand was not functioning, touched the mystical door and her hand became normal.
There are a lot of such miracles attributed to this great saint. The author of this column learnt from the people, as well as from the literature provided to him by the shrine management, that in 870 Hijri this great saint dug a grave for himself and jumped into it. The grave automatically got covered.
The shrine management hosts an annual urs of this great man on 27th of Jamid u Sani of the lunar calendar every year. The people of all faiths visit the shrine with lot of hope. A voice of tanks is some times heard near the shrine. Probably that is why he is known as Toap Andaaz i Kashmir. Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq (1964-71) built a masjid there. There is also a musafir khana and langar for the comfort and safety of devotees.
Devotees visit the shrine round the year due to which the langar remains always functional, serving food to devotees. The shrine of Hazrat Baba Shakoor ud Din is a beautiful place to visit. It offers mystic view and spectacular beauty which makes it a place for a perfect day out.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.