The spread of Islam in Kashmir in the fourteenth century is regarded as an event of
The traditional oral account puts the number of people as seven hundred comprising religious luminaries, Sufis, artisans and skilled persons which is corroborated by the contemporary and later written sources.
In the spiritual
Sayyid Shah Moomin Haqani, Sayyid Shah Mohammad Shahid Haqani, Sayyid Shah Mohammad Fazil Haqani, Sayyid Shah Mohammad Yaqoob
One such great saint was Mir Syed Shah Qasim Haqani. He was born to Mir Sayyid Mohammad,
Incidentally, these were the days when political conditions in Kashmir were fragile as the titular king was Sultan Nazuk Shah but the reins of the state were virtually in the hands of Mirza Haider Dugghlat, a cousin of Babur. Mirza Haider ruled here from 1541 to 1551 A.D.
From his very
In order to subdue the instincts of Nafs, he took very little, kept fast without eating anything. For continuous eleven
Moving away from the capital city, he would engage himself in praying at the outskirts and sometimes at Harwan Srinagar. It is here that he is said to have had the auspicious meeting with Hazrat Khizar (A.S) who instructed him in Zikr Khafi and then he reverted to
Being extremely inclined, and himself adhering to the Islamic teachings, initially, he was against Sama (music). With this in mind, he went to
On approaching the Sufi and his congregation, he lost his wits and could not recover himself up to the Zuhar (Noon) prayers. As he opened his eyes, Mir Mohammad Khalifa intimated him that Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi (R.A) had informed him in advance that it was he (Sarfi) who was deputing Sayyid Qasim to get entrapped and that he should be conferred the title of “Shah”.
Sayyid Qasim came to be known as Shah Qasim and he
The shrines and/or the resting places of the Sufis and Rishis are otherwise also attracting the commoners besides their followers. It is not, here, possible to trace the causes of the origin of the devotees thronging their shrines or to discuss it being permissible or otherwise.
The burials of the rulers hardly attract anyone to visit there whereas the shrines of the Sufis are an attraction to thousands, the number exceeds lakhs in many instances. The people are regular visitors to the shrines whereas the graves of even prominent kings are not known to their decadents or their counterparts in the present times.
The graves of the ruling class have hardly something to offer to the spiritual thirst of a devout, in
The palaces of the former class reflected shine of their grandeur which in some cases is preserved till date but their graves are a quite contrast to it. The royals possessed and hoarded riches during their lifetimes but the spirituals led a life of austerity.
Bar mazari ma garieban nai chiragi nai guli
Nai pari parwana sozad nai sadai bulbule
There are neither
However, as said above the resting places of the Rishis and Sufis are conspicuous for other reasons also. When Khwaja Moin
Ganj Baksh Faiz Alam Mazhar Noori Khuda
Naqisan ra pir kamil, kamilan ra rahnuma
He bestows riches, benefactor of world, and reflector of Allah’s illumination
Likewise Dr Sir Sheikh Mohammad Iqbal has made similar utterances on seeing the shrines of many saints like Khwaja Nizam ud Din Auliya at Delhi. Similar is the case of a local saint Sayyid shah Qasim Haqani.
The ancestors of Sayyid Shah Qasim Haqani had immigrated into Kashmir during the fourteenth century along with Amir Kabir Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani (R.A.). He became a disciple of Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi (R.A.) in the Kubravi Silsilah.
Later on he acquired, at Ujjain, the instructions in Qadriya order from Hujatul Ullah Abul Maqarim Shaikh Fazl ullah, Naqashbandiya from Hazrat Jamal ud Din popularly known as Diwana, Chistiya from Shaikh Salim Chisti Fathapuri, Shazliya from Sayyid Sibgatullah Shariff of Makkah.
The grant of the title of Haqani to Sayyid Shah Qasim is more interesting. It is reported that one of the Sufis, Baba Ali Waali approached Hazrat Sheik Yaqub Sarfi, in some foreign land, with the plea that he was intending to visit Kashmir and needs someone to guide him there. The latter recommended him his prominent disciple, Shah Qasim.
On his arrival in Kashmir Shah Qasim enquired from Baba Ali Waali about his Murshid. The latter did not refer to Shiekh Yaqub Sarfi (R.A) in the required protocol. Shah Qasim felt hurt so much so that he suffered from acute headache.
Almost all the contemporaries and the latter sources reveal that during the following night, the immigrated Sufi (Baba Waali) had a dream wherein he saw Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and a person holding a (hand) fan.
Baba Ali requested for the introduction of the person. Prophet (SAW) referred to the person as “Aishaan” and added that had you referred to Sheikh Yaqub Sarfi R.A as “Aishan” (Them) yesterday the “Haqani” would not have got hurt.
It is said that since the morning of that day all began to call Sheikh Yaqub as “Aishan” and Shah Qasim as Haqani. It is also said that besides a leading Sufi, Shah Qasim Haqani was a versatile writer and he had a Dewan (Compilation) to his credit but has been lost to the vagaries of the time.
It was the 19th day of the month of Zul Hajj in 1033 A.D. Shah Qasim Haqani was not feeling well. The condition of the saint was failing day-by-day. One of his disciples, Mohammad Sharief by name, went to offer the Zuhar prayers at Khanqhai Moulla at Alludinpora (present Fateh Kadal).
A dervish while meeting Mohammad Sharief enquired about the condition of his Murshid Sayyid Shah Qasim Haqani. The disciple retorted that considering the feeble state of health of the saint, he might not recover from the illness.
The dervish remarked that Shah Qasim is no doubt unique and unparalled in the present times but prayed for his better end. The disciple of Shah Qasim exclaimed that his Murshid has guided hundred of immature (Naqisan) persons to perfection. Considering that why should he doubt his ending at Imaan. The dervish affirmed that Shah Qasim was far better than what Mohammad Sahrief was uttering but since he would arrange Sama which made him to comment so. Shah Qasim on seeing the disciple feeling dejected gave a detailed sermon to his disciples.
Here it would suffice to quote that he intimated them that after his burial if something sprouts from his grave, they should consider that he had been accepted(by Allah).
Many contemporaries reveal that Shah Qasim told his disciples that if the reed (Nai) grows from the upper side of his grave, it should be regarded as a sign of his recognition (Qubuliat) from Allah; if not they should take out his corpse and burn it to ashes so that no one claims to be a dervish like him.
During the last quarter of the same night on 29th Rabi Sani 1033 Hijra corresponding to 1624 A.D Shah Qasim left for heavenly abode. It was 29th of Phagun of Kashmiri calendar. Almost all the contemporary historians and hagiographers report that the reed began to sprout from his grave.
However, some put it that it sprouted the moment the grave was filled with earth, some say that it happened the next day and according to some it happened on the fourth day.
However, all are unanimous that reed began to sprout from the neighbouring area so much so that it appeared from the kiln/oven of the ironsmith neighbouring the grave yard of Shah Qasim. The entire area was filled with the reeds and the entire Mohalla came to be called as Nar Pir Asthan or the Shrine of the Pir having reed.
Zubani ke goyed madah dar shaani Haqani
Tu Haqani kuja dani zubani aan sukhan dani
Some interesting observations may be quoted here. The urs of Shah Qasim is celebrated on 29th of Phagun as per the Kashmiri calendar but the date surely falls on the 29th of a month of Islamic calendar. If you happen to be on the shrine of Shah Qasim on 29th of Phagun, one is stunt to see the reeds sprouting during the same night every year.
Ein nai ne nai ko ki be fahme to dar aayed
Ramzist nehani ki tura rehabari nai
Bashir Ahmad Dar