Hazrat Sayyid Hilal Naqshbandi R.A

Sayyid Hilal Naqshbandi who introduces Naqshbandi SilSila In Kashmir (d. 861/1457)  

Syed Hilal Naqshbandi Shrine

In Kashmir the Naqshbandi order was initially intoduced by Sayid Hilal, who arrived in the reign of Sutan Sikandar (1389-1413 AD). Sayid Hilal is said to have been a direct disciple of Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband. He lived a quiet life and died in 862 AH/1457 AD at the village of Asham North Kashmir, where he had settled down. Sayid Hilal left only one disciple named Sayid Amin known as Wusi Sahib in Kashmir. He hailed from the Baihaqi family and was the second son of Sayid Husain Baihaqi or Mantiqi. Sayid Amin was adopted as a son by Baihaqi Begum, the wife of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, but the life of affluence did not appeal to him. Like his spiritual master he led a life of retirement at Asham. When Sayid Hilal died, he moved to Srinagar, where he confined himself to a room near Koh-i-Maran. He became victim of a political intrigue, when fifteen members of his family were killed in 889 AH/1484 AD.He was buried at Alikadal on the right bank of river Jhelum in Srinagar, where his tomb exists to this day. Sayid Amin left no disciple.

It was after over a century thereafter that Khwaja Khawand Mahmud arrived here at the end of 16th century AD. The Khwaja was the son of Khwaja Mir Sayid Sharif, who claimed descent from Khwja Ala-ud-din Attar, a distinguished disciple of Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Khawaja Khawand was initiated in the order by Khwaja Ishaq Safedki, but he claimed to have received inspiration direct from Khwja Baha-ud-Din Naqshband. Before entering Kashmir from Kabul, Khwaja Khawand had journeyed to many countries. The Khwaja did not stay there for long and soon left for Agra. However in the 17th century, when Khwaja Khawand made several further visits to Kashmir, the Naqshbandi order received a great impetus here. Later Khwaja Khawand preferd to settle at Lahore along with his other sons and deputed one of his sons Khwaja Moin-ud-Din to stay at Srinagar to look after the disciples and the affairs of Khanqah. The Khanqah which was earlier constructed by Budshah at Asham, was got shifted to Khwaja Bazar, where Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi was stationed later on. Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Naqshbandi lies buried in the masoleum near the Khanqah along with his wife (who was daughter of Aurangzeb) besides his two sons. The urs of Hazrat Khwaja Baha-ud-Din Muhammad Naqshband Bukhrai (RA) is celebrated on the 3rd Rabi-ul-Awal every year, besides the gatherings for special prayers (khatmat-muazzamat) are held for twelve days i.e. from 21st Safar to 3rd Rabi-ul Awal. These gatherings are held every day at 8 AM in the Khanqah-i-Naqshbandiya. On the urs day after the Asr prayers, special mass prayers are held called ‘Khoja Digar’. This practice continues as a tradition from the times of Hazrat Khwaja Khawand Mahmood i.e. from 1017 AH- 405 years.

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