The Beginning of the Paper Industry

Paper, originally, was brought by the Muslims from China. From an art, the Muslims developed it into a major industry. Paper mills flourished across the Muslim World. The impact of Muslim manufacture of paper paved the way for the printing revolution.

The tools and technique of making paper leaf depicted in a volume illustrating crafts and trades, Kashmir (Source)
British Library: Making Islamic-style paper

Paper, originally, was brought by the Muslims from China.

It followed the battle of Tallas (751) fought between Chinese and Muslims, when Chinese prisoners revealed the secret of papermaking to the Muslims. From an art, the Muslims developed it into a major industry.

The Muslims employed linen as a substitute for the bark of the mulberry, which the Chinese used. Linen rags were disintegrated, saturated with water, and made to ferment.

The boiled rags were then cleared of alkaline residue and much of the dirt, and then the rags were beaten to a pulp by the use of a trip hammer, an improved method of maceration invented by the Muslims.

Many paper mills were built in Baghdad, and from there, the industry spread to various parts of the world. The paper mills constructed in Damascus were the major sources of supply to Europe, where as production increased, paper became cheaper and more available, and of better quality.

The technology of papermaking which first flourished in Iraq, Syria and Palestine, spread to the West. The first paper mill in Africa was built in Egypt around 850. A paper mill was built in Morocco from where it reached Spain in 950. The centre of fabrication there was Xatiba. From Spain and Sicily papermaking spread to the Christians in Spain and Italy. The first written reference to paper in the Christian West seems to be in the pseudonymous Theophilus Presbyter’s “The Art of the Painter” (first half of the 12th century). In 1293 the first paper mill in Bologna was set up. The first use of paper in England was in 1309, then Germany in the late stages of the 14thcentury; although, down to the close of the Middle Ages, the most important papermaking centres were in North Italy.

Of course, paper seems so ordinary today, but its use is fundamental to modern civilisation. By making use of this new material, paper, and manufacturing it on a large scale, devising new methods for its production, in the words of Pedersen: the Muslims: `accomplished a feat of crucial significance not only to the history of the Islamic book but also to the whole world of books.’

The decisive impact of Muslim manufacture of paper was, obviously, and directly to bring about a revolution in prepare the way for the invention of printing.


What is Zakat? Concept, Purpose and Importance of Zakat in Islam

Zakat is the third pillar of Islam which is compulsory on every financially stable Muslim who is wealthy enough to afford to it. Zakat is an Arabic word which means purification. Allah Almighty mentioned in the Holy Quran: “Take from their wealth so that you might purify and sanctify them” (Quran 9:103). Zakat is basically the compulsory giving of a pre-set proportion of one’s wealth to the needy people of society as charity. All eligible individuals are required to pay an annual percentage of 2.5% of the wealth and property they own as Zakat.

Zakat is not a voluntary charity not a tax but an obligation. The significance of Zakat could be realized from the fact that Allah (SWT) made it a pillar and by making it a pillar, Allah makes almost everyone experience it either as a giver or as a receiver. By giving Zakat, a Muslim is acknowledging that everything we have in this world is given by Allah and we do not really own it. Therefore, we should use it to remember Allah Almighty and help those who are in need. Zakat is an act which help us to free from excessive desire and greed, learn self-discipline and honesty.

In the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) combined it with salah on many occasions. Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran: “And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity: And whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah”. (Quran, 2:110)

The main objective of paying Zakat is to create balance in the society and never let a poor and needy people to suffer or die. Zakat is compulsory on Muslims when they have a specific amount of Gold, Silver or other properties that can be weighed and calculated. Zakat is payable every year after one year’s retention. Zakat helps to shape the human character of the rich people as it saves them from greediness and selfishness and establishes the concept of brotherhood and unity in the society.

Zakat can help to remove the hatred of the poor and raised a feeling of a fellowship from the recipients. Zakat cannot be given to anyone in need, there are eight kinds of people to whom zakat can be given. These 8 kinds of people are mentioned in the Holy Quran: “Indeed, [prescribed] charitable offerings are only [to be given] to the poor and the indigent, and to those who work on [administering] it, and to those whose hearts are to be reconciled, and to [free] those in bondage, and to the debt-ridden, and for the cause of God, and to the wayfarer. [This is] an obligation from God. And God is all-knowing, all-wise.” (Quran, 9:60)

In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) emphasizes on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping those who are in need. The more one helps, the more Allah Almighty helps the person, and the more one gives, the more Allah (SWT) gives the person in return. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to help the poor and needy people. Ameen!


Muslims Benefited the World

Muslims have never lagged behind any other people in their love for the motherland; in fact the prophetic teachings which recognize strength of character alone as the test of true faith, have made them the worthiest sons of the land they have inhabited. In appreciating the boons conferred by the lands of their birth, in the search and development of the hidden treasures of their countries, in the quest of knowledge and furtherance of their arts and culture and in maintaining a trustworthy chart and compass of the past endeavor of their forefathers, the Muslims have always been ahead of their contemporaries.


Historiography, in particular, received their special attention since it received impetus from the meticulous care Muslims had to take in the preservation of a trustworthy record of the sayings and acts of the Prophet of Islam. In the very beginning of their literary career, when they started compiling the Traditions, they had to collect the biographical details of the narrators of these Traditions and had also to frame the rules of isnad or historical criticism for the evaluation of voluminous narratives and the biographical data collected for the purpose. To whatever country they went thereafter the taste cultivated for collecting historiographies and biographical details and their critical evaluation set spurs to their attention for portraying the past happenings and achievements of their adopted homelands. In many a country of their descent they have thus been the precursors of historiography and study of the growth of nations.


To whichever country the Muslims took the torch of Islam, it witnessed a great revolution exhibiting a tremendous upsurge in the people in numerous spheres of social and political life. The touch of Islam unfolded the hidden potentialities of each country, lying dormant for thousands of years, in a variety of brilliant colours of light and shade. Taking a leap from the obscurity of dark ages, each one of these countries took Its rightful place in the comity of nations and made valuable contributions towards enriching human knowledge and culture. And what is more, all these lands also adopted these newcomers as their beloved sons and daughters.


  1. No country conquered by the Muslims was ever treated by them as a milch cow or a beast of burden
  2. Muslims never acted as parasites of the conquered land; they never contrived to transfer the riches of the country they held in hand to the land from which they had hailed like the nations of the West.
  3. Muslims diffused the most valuable treasure they had with them—the wealth of faith in One God and Prophethood.
  4. Muslims dispersed their conviction in virtues of human dignity and equality, their administrative skill and practical genius and their refined taste of arts and culture among the people of their adopted land.
  5. In every sphere of life, social or intellectual, in manners and customs, in arts and culture they inevitably impressed their mark.
  6. The forces they set in motion had always had profound and lasting effect upon society and culture, arts and literature of the land conquered by them.
  7. They established peace and order, planned and set up new cities, developed agriculture and commerce, promoted fine arts and architecture, set up educational institutions and cultivated new branches of learning not known to those countries. The lands they conquered were actually reborn, with a renewed zest and vigour, in a new and brighter world.

क्या आप जानते हैं

सवाल : पहले जुम्मा किसने क़ायम किया ?
जवाब : हज़रत असद बिन जुरारह ने
सवाल : क़यामत के दिन सबसे पहले लोगों के दरमियान किस चीज़ का फ़ैसला होगा ?
जवाब : ख़ून का
सवाल : सबसे पहले दुनिया की कौन सी नेमत उठाई जाएगी ?
जवाब : शहद
सवाल : इस्लाम में सबसे पहले मुफ़्ती कौन हुए ?
जवाब : हज़रत अबु बक़्र सिद्दीक़ रज़ियल्लाहु अन्हा
सवाल :- सबसे पहले बीस रकात तरावीह बा जमात किसने राइज़ की ?
जवाब : हज़रत उमर फ़ारूक़ आज़म रज़ियल्लाहु अन्हा ने
सवाल : इस्लाम में सबसे पहले राहे-ख़दा में अपनी तलवार किसने निकाली ?
जवाब :हज़रत ज़ुबैर बिन अव्वाम ने
सवाल : मक्का की सरज़मीं पर सबसे पहले बुलंद आवाज़ से कु़रान पाक किसने पढ़ा?
जवाब : हज़रत अब्दुल्लाह बिन मसऊद ने
सवाल : इस्लाम में सबसे पहले शायर कौन हुए?
जवाब : हज़रत हस्सान बिन साबित
सवाल :. इस्लाम में सबसे पहले शहादत किसकी हुई ?
जवाब : अम्मार बिन यासर की मां समिय्या की
सवाल : सबसे पहले गेहूं की खेती किसने की?
जवाब : हज़रत आदम अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : सबसे पहले सर के बाल किसने मुंडवाये?
जवाब : हज़रत आदम अलैहिस्सलाम ने मुंडवाये और मुंडने वाले हज़रत जिब्राईल अमीन थे.
सवाल : सबसे पहले क़लम से किसने लिखा?
जवाब : हज़रत इदरीस अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : सबसे पहले चमड़े का जुता किसने बनाया ?
जवाब : हज़रत नुह अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : अरब में सबसे पहले कौन से नबी तशरीफ़ लाए ?
जवाब : हज़रत हुद अलैहिस्सलाम
सवाल : सबसे पहले आशुरा का रोज़ा किसने रखा ?
जवाब : हज़रत नुह अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : सबसे पहले ख़ुदा की राह में किसने जिहाद किया ?
जवाब : हज़रत इब्राहिम अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : सबसे पहले साबुन किसने ईजाद किया ?
जवाब : हज़रत सुलेमान अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : सबसे पहले काग़ज़ किसने तैयार किया ?
जवाब : हज़रत यूसुफ़ अलैहिस्सलाम ने
सवाल : कयामत के दिन सबसे पहले शफ़ाअत कौन करेंगे ?
जवाब : मेरे आका सल्लल्लाहु अलैहि व सल्लम..
सवाल : सबसे पहले किस नबी की उम्मत जन्नत में दाख़िल होगी ?
जवाब : मेरे आक़ा हज़रत मुहम्मद सल्लल्लाहु अलैहि वसल्लम की उम्मत

Sheikh-ul-Aalam: A Rediscovery

images (45)

The shrine of Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani at Chrar-e-Sharief. The shrine was reconstructed after it was destroyed in a protracted stand-off between army and the militants in 1995 summer.

Immigrant Muslim preachers from Central Asia apart, there was a serious Dawah movement at the peak of Sultanate era that immensely contributed in Kashmir’s transition to Islam. It was led by none other than Sheikh Nooruddin Reshi. It worked in the vast space outside the Shehr-e-Kashmir, where from the rulers operated. Most of the top leaders of the immigrant preachers faced issues on account of language and culture and were mostly settled around the city.

But the narrative about the spread of Islam in Kashmir has, by and large, underplayed the indigenous movement. One key factor is that the persona of Sheikh has gradually evolved into that of a super-human around whom many super-natural stories were woven. His poetry was misinterpreted, wrongly projected and disconnected with the era he lived in or the incidents he reacted to. There is an immediate requirement of rediscovering the real Nund Reshi even after six centuries.

In the last few years, two individuals have marked the beginning of this process. Both residents of Chrar-e-Sharief, the town that was the last abode of the Sheikh, the two books have attempted rediscovering the Sheikh who passed through different stages of evolution as Kashmir’s top Islamic preacher and an unparalleled linguist and poet. Assadullah Afaaqi wrote his Hayat-e-Sheikh-ul-Aalam in 2014. Ghulam Nabi Adfar published his Hayat-e-Sheik: Abiyat-e-Sheikh Kay Aaienay Mein in 2017. Self-published, both the books are low in style but high in research. Unlike Adfar’s book, which is a long essay, Afaaqi has lot more to offer.

The books recreate the situation in which the Sheikh lived and explain his leadership and his protracted battle against the Hindu and Muslim clergy, the feudal lords, the immoral bureaucracy and the despotic ruling elite. Had any researcher consulted Sheikh’s poetry and linked it with the politics of the place, Kashmir Sultanate would not look so fascinating and especially Budshah’s towering status might have reduced a few notches, if not more. He described the reign of Sultan Ali Shah and Budshah as Vaunder Raj, a monkey rule. During Ali Shah’s reign, there were some restrictions imposed on Sheikh’s activities, according to Afaaqi. Sheikh has praises Sultan Sikander, instead.

The two books have deconstructed the Sheikh and taken him out of the mythical clouds that shrouded the great revolutionary for centuries together. Sheikh was just not a monk or a sage alone. He was a statesman who had an opinion, rather a strong opinion on the politics as well.

Phal Daer Travith Mal Daer WouwumKal Boudh Khieneam Din Kyah RathSoun Rouf Travith Sartali RouwumKartal Featrim The Gari Meas Dreat

(I am such a foolish guy who sowed dirt and not the grains and spent days and nights for this. I threw away gold and silver and started crying over the loss of brass. Alas, I broke my sword and created a sickle from it!)

While rediscovering the real Sheikh, the two books have attempted clearing certain misconceptions about the person. The key interventions include a serious attempt at evaluating the real year of birth because a lot many historians and hagiographers have given different dates.


Hayat-e-Sheikh-ul-Aalam book on life and works of Sufi saint Sheikh-ul-Aalam.

“After a lot of investigation, historical evidence and rational thinking, I have come to the conclusion that 757 AH (1356 AD) as mentioned by Hazrat Baba Dawood-e-Khaki as his year of birth and 842 AH as his year of demise is correct,” writes Afaaqi. “Because it is within this time frame all the events including his meetings with Lala Arifa, Amir-e-Kabeer, his thirty years of wandering, his meeting with Hazrat Mir Mohammad Hamdani in 814 AH and his arrests in the era of Ali Shah and Budshah fit.” It means Sheikh lived for 85 years and not 67 as most of the “records” tend to suggest.

One major attempt was aimed at establishing the larger reality that Sheikh had not a modest background and was well read because his parents could afford his good education. They have fairly re-created the entire trajectory of the family’s migration from Kishtwar and their employment with various feudal lords. While some of Sheikh’s relatives actually perished in the massacre that Dulchu resorted to during his destructive raid, his two uncles had somehow owned huge estates – one in Daderkote area of south Kashmir and another in Rupwan belt of central Kashmir.

The authors have used Sheikh’s poetry to explain his family background, his childhood and upbringing. One stanza even indicates that Sheikh had even visited a Sanskrit school too. Sheikh was a second generation Muslim and his father Salaruddin had embraced Islam at the hands of Syed Hussain Simnani in Kulgam, not far away from Kheh Jogipora, where the family lived. Simnani was a close relative of Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamadani who came on an exploratory visit and settled in Kulgam, many years before the arrival of Saadaat hoards from central Asia.


At one point in time, his adversaries – the Muslim Mullas, the Hindu clergy and the government, attempted tarnishing his image by saying that in abject poverty he along with his brothers attempted thievery. It was in response to this that Sheikh has explained his family background, his knowledge and admitted that he was a “refugee” at the home of Pasban, a Sultanate era position of a village Chowkidaar, the same way, Pandav’s had taken refuge in a potters house. The Pasbaan’shouse belonged to Sangram Ganai, his father’s father-in-law on whose death the family migrated from Kheh Jogipora to take care of two little orphans in Qaimoh.

The choice of a bride for Sheikh was also interesting. He married Zahida, at the age of 16 years, a resident of Dadsara (Tral), whose father was Akbaruddin and had two brothers Jamaluddin and Kamaluddin. Between Kheh and Dadsara is a long distance even now and seemingly his in-laws were a well-to-do family. They were blessed with Zoni, the daughter, and Haider, a son.

The two authors have attempted negating the popular story about Lala Arifa encouraging him to get suckled soon after his birth but lack sound arguments to negate the legend. Both of them, however, explain in detail the importance of the ascetic who preached monotheism, was more a priority of Muslim writers throughout and had left a profound impact on the life and evolution of Sheikh as a socio-religious leader. She was around 57 years elder to Sheikh. She was also a wanderer, hated clergy and preached basic puritanical philosophy. Most of the Muslim writers are strongly supporting the idea that she was very close to Islam even if she apparently was not a Muslim.

The first most dramatic development in Sheikh’s life was when he left this world and started shuttling between two caves near Qaimoh. The two books have retrieved the entire poetic exchanges – first between Sheikh and his mother Sadra Bibi, then between him and his sister, then between the couple and finally when Zahida gets both her kids and leaves them in the cave with their father. These exchanges are an incredibly rich part of Kashmiri literature.


Hayat-e-Sheikh book on life and works of Sufi saint Sheikh-ul-Aalam.

The biggest drop-scene of this stage of Sheikh’s life was the death of his children. Unlike Afaaqi Adfar insists the brother-sister died in the cave after Sheikh flung his blanket over them. “Sheikh has himself mentioned that he was of 25 years of age when he was accused (of killing his kids) and in anger, her (wife’s) brother’s petitioned the government and he was summoned,” Adfar writes, albeit without offering a source. “From Islamabad, Kotwal Tazi Bhat was sent for Sheikh’s arrest but when he reached his cave, he threw his uniform away and fell on his feet and became his follower.”

That event changed Zahiba Bibi as well. Since then, she started taking food to her husband in his cave, as and when he was there.

The next major development that transformed Sheikh was his meeting with Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamadani, during his last visit to Kashmir. Afaaqi believes the meeting at Mattan took place in 786 AH (1384 AD) after which Sheikh spent almost half a year there.

This session has changed Sheikh completely and he started criticizing the very same thing he believed in till he met the Amir.

Aadneh Jungle Khasun Gayem KhamiMeh Zanou Yeh Tcheh Bead IbadatWuchteh Yeh Aaeas Bead BadnamiSareh Aes Kren Ikeah Kath

(Going to jungles was a mistake. I mistook the monasticism as a prayer but it was a big notoriety. I just had to explore one simple thing).

After his meeting with Amir, he was overwhelmed by the feeling of a family and said the forests are for the wildlife. His poetry suggests that he constructed a home as well. Afaaqi even insists that he mended fences with his wife and the follower Zahida Bibi buried in Chrar is actually his wife. The fact is that Sheikh’s meeting with the Amir marked the end of the escapism that dominated Kashmir’s Buddhist and Hindu period and had almost crept in at the very beginning of its conversion to Islam. This was despite the fact that in style, systems and interactions, the Muslim ascetics lacked any possible comparison with their Hindu and Buddhist counterparts.

Afaaqi believes that he has evidence that Mughal, after knowing the mass impact of Sheikh’s preaching on Kashmir society, identified almost 200 locations across Kashmir where Sheikh’s followers were buried. They gave them money and created a class that engaged people in grave-worship. The Reshi culture had actually made a return to Kashmir during Mughal era when, at one point of time, there were almost 12000 such ascetics who had renounced the world and were wandering in the forests. This “political corruption” stopped during the reign of Aurangzeb, however.

Soon Sheikh is busy creating one of the most elaborate systems for the preaching of Islam at Chrar-e-Sharief. With his strong argumentation, logic, oratory and knowledge, Sheikh led some of the biggest names of the era into Islam. The most notable was a Shivite scholar Bum Sadhu, operating from his Bumzu centre, who eventually became Baba Baamuddin, one of the most confidant’s of Sheikh. There was Jia Singh of Kishtwar who became Baba Zainuddin and Awat Rana of Madwan who became Baba Latifuddin, the famous Vedic scholar Kati Pandit who became Baba Qutubbidin. For most of Sheikh’s life, there was a vast network of his confidant’s who worked at designated places within the well-demarcated territories. The entire network was operating more like an organization.


Gutted shrine of Sheikh Noor ud Din, Chrar-e-sharief, in 1995.

Sheikh would take potshots on Hindu clergy based on common sense. “Shiva will not get you his attention by mere calling him. Why you throw so much ghee in the fire, eat it, it will give your energy. If you do not want to eat, give it to somebody who requires it,” one of his couplets says. “You use cow-dung to paste your kitchen walls. You drink cow urine. You love milk, curd and ghee. (But) when it comes to beef, you get scared. Why?” Sheikh was pained by the practice of aged Brahmins’ marrying young girls and then leaving them as young widows or forcing them to commit Sati. Budshah had lifted the ban on Sati and instead created a chain of buildings where the young Hindu widows would live in isolation.

All these activities triggered a bid for revenge by the Hindu clergy. Adfar talks about a serious bid on Sheikh’s life that was spearheaded by Srinagar based Brehman leader Taula Raina – apparently after Bum Sadhu converted. He led a gang of 1200 armed men that moved to Chrar-e-Sharief but it ended in a conversation and their conversion to Islam.

However, the celebrated event was when his antagonists wanted to honeytrap the Sheikh. It has been a medieval tradition practice in most of the subcontinent and was standardized by Kashmir Brahman clergy. They sent a damsel to his durbar. She was the most famous dancer of her time. She fell to his knowledge and character, converted and is known as Hazrat Shang Bibi in Kashmir’s Islamic history. Interestingly, the Sheikh wrote a gazal, Yawan Metch, addressed to this damsel detailing her character and the costs her actions would entail in the life hereafter. This particular composition is completely different from the entire poetry of Sheikh.

Post conversion, Shangh Bibi was part of Sheikh’s female followers and operated in a formal centre at Zalsu. These included Sham Bibi, a resident of Beerwa, whom Afaaqi terms as Kashmir’s first Marsiya Nigarwomen poet. Her elegy of Sheikh is the only detailed description of how the Sheikh looked like. Dehat Bibi and Behat Bibi were the two teachers of the centre.

Sheikh remained highly critical of the Brahmin, the Muslim clergy including the Mulla, the Syed and the Sofi, throughout. He traced their failure to their greed for resource and power and identified their weaknesses in keeping the mosque and temple happy. He was highly critical of the exploitative systems in place that would deprive the peasantry of their hard-earned harvest and the duplicity that was the order of the day.

Kashmir’s standard-bearer saint disliked the traditional Mulla so much that he adopted a dress that was common in the peasantry. Sheikh was never been seen with a turban. He used a Sozni bordered cloth on his head, always carried a walking stick, and had a dense flowing grey beard and long hair. He would usually wear a Pheran, and had Khraw, the wooden sandals, as his footwear. There has never been a mention of a rosary in his hands. He would eat modestly. Records including his own poetry suggest that he had a lot of green vegetables including the forest vegetables, cereals and meat throughout his life.

A good chunk of his poetry is about the neo-Muslim who had not converted by heart. He talks about the fake converts who would line up in the mosques but at whose homes their women would lay prostrate before the idols. By and large, he was referring to a huge chunk of neo-converts as Munafiqeen, a sort of religious hypocrites, who outwardly practices Islam and inwardly concealing their disbelief.

His commentary and the style on the sad state of affairs made people with power against him at all levels. Since the entire power elite was restricted to Srinagar, Sheikh would avoid the city. In his entire life, Adfar writes, he has spent only six months in Mukhta Pakhri in Srinagar. There was a conspiracy to even murder him using palace intrigue but somehow Budshah understood the plot much faster than his advisers thought. The immigrant preachers, some of whom had managed connections in the ruling elite, were increasingly becoming an extension of the power elite were very unhappy with him because he would tell them their Iman was knee-deep and half-baked.

Afaaqi has strongly criticized the Sultans for restricting Sheikh’s activities. They have found no evidence that Budshah attended his funeral though it has been one of the huge funerals of the medieval Kashmir.

During Ali Shah reign (1389-1413 AD), according to Afaaqi, Sheikh strongly reacted to the high-handedness of the neo-convert Saifuddin (originally Suha Butta). “Sheikh was arrested and restrictions were imposed on his movement as mentioned by Jonaraja”. Saifuddin was Ali Shah’s key governor.

In Budshah’s reign, Baba Zainuddin was banished to Tibet. Afaaqi says there is no evidence of his return from the arid region, so far.

When the Sultan undid part of the Sikander’s policies, Afaaqi says Sheikh reacted especially against the liquor permission and official patronage to singing and dancing. “He was arrested,” Afaaqi says. “Hazrat Bahauddin Gunj Bakhsh who was Sheikh’s very close confidant in Srinagar was murdered during a night.”

The other instance is that of a Mecca scholar who arrived in Kashmir during Budshah’s era. Identified as Sayed Saidullah, Afaaqi says he came with a lot of literature to Dubar. Budhah’s official historian also mentions it. Later, in reaction to the killing of a Brahmin hermit, Jonaraja says the Arab was punished: “Sadaula was not killed, owing to king’s kindness, but the king ordered him to ride on an ass with his face towards the tail and to be led about every marketplace, his beard drenched with human urine, his head shaved, every one spitting on him, and his hands tied with the entrails of the dead man.”



Sheikh-ul-Aalam was unhappy with Budshah for most of his life.

Afaaqi has attempted an explanation. He says Sheikh was unhappy with the king for his policies and had sent his confidant Haji Loli on pilgrimage. A resident of Chakoo village in Kulgam, Loli was perhaps the only follower of Sheikh who moved out as far as Mecca and later to Punjab. The idea for sending him there was to petition against the Kashmir king and in that response, Syed Sadullah came with a lot of books which pleased the king. However, he was later disgraced and Afaaqi says it was a conspiracy by the Brahmin clergy.

Interestingly, Loli is also buried in Chrar-e-Sharief. Prior to his return, he had married in Punjab and Allama Iqbal in a letter to his brother, Sheikh Atta Mohammad, on October 15, 1925, has mentioned that his family is the progeny of Haji Loli.

After Sheikh’s demise, Mulla Ahmad, a scholar who wrote the first book about Sheikh, was banished to Pakhli. Soon after, Syed Mohammad Amin Owaisi, a member of the ruling family, was murdered when he reacted to king’s policies, Afaaqi has written.

However, the destiny had something interesting to unfold.After spending 22 years in Kashmir, Mir Muhammad Hamadani, son of Amir decided to return home. Well before that, he took a huge delegation of the political rulers and the preachers to Sheikh’s Zalsu centre where they interacted and finally the Central Asian preacher issued Khat-e-Irshad. It was a declaration – signed by Hamadani, Sheikh and the ruler, that Sheikh is a Wali and would be responsible for spreading Islam.

Since the Sheikh had already sung in praise of his Pir, the Amir, it was just an addition to the status he already had. But it ended, to a large extent, the intrigue that was being manufactured in Srinagar, around power corridors against Kashmir’s most prominent Muslim in history.