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This section provides the information about Great Kashmiris !

Kashmiri Greats >> Page 2 << Page 1

  1. Khwaja Abdul Karim Kashmiri
    'Kashmiris have always been at their intellectual Zenith', writes the famous historian, G.M.D. Sufi, 'and among those great Kashmiris who achieved international recognition, Khwaja Abdul
    Karim was the one who spent most of his time outside Kashmir. Born in Iddgah locality of Srinagar city, Abdul Karim very soon became a great intellectual and scholar of his time. During the reign of Nadir Shah Durani he decided to go for Hajj and had to stay in Delhi in order to get visa from the royal court which in those days was mandatory for every Hajj pilgrim. Following the procedure, this Kashmiri intellectual presented himself in the royal court and made a request for visa. During his brief encounter with Nadir Shah he impressed the King
    with his extraordinary" intelligence to such an extent that Nadir Shah decided to take him to Iran and appoint him on an important position in the royal court itself. Khwaja Abdul Karim accepted the offer on the condition that he would be allowed to perform Hajj which Nadir Shah gladly accepted. Once appointed, this great son of Kashmir left an indelible impression of his capability and intelligence upon the Iranian King and his courtiers. He attained the position of Foreign Minister of Iran and was deputed to Turkey as an envoy of the King for resolving certain disputes between Iran and Turkey. After his diplomatic triumph in Turkey, Nadir Shah
    deputed him to Baghdad and Damascus in order to resolve some important issues between these countries. After completing these important diplomatic assignments successfully Nadir Shah sent him to perform Hajj in the company of a learned religious scholar, Muhammad Hashim. After performing Hajj Khwaja abdul Karim came to India from Jedah and spent sometime in Delhi with some European tourists. Subsequently, he returned to Kashmir and recorded his experiences of Iran and Arabia in a lucid and vibrant prose which is considered one of the most precious treatises in Persian literature. He has recorded his experiences in such a manner that the reader feels completely involved in the happenings at Nadir Shah's court and at the same time visualizes some important places and monuments of Damascus. He presents in just four pages a vivid picture of Nadir Shah's court and administration which seems to be a precise of a long epic. Khwaja Abdul Karim has recorded that Takht-i-Tawoos (the peacock throne) which Nadir Shah  along with the thrones of other captured kingdoms, had carried with him had decorated the royal court of Iran. Keeping in view the importance of these historical reminiscences of Khwaja Abdul Karim, an English writer Gladson translated them into English in 1793. In these reminiscences the documents pertaining to the period between 1739 to 1749 are considered very important because here Khwaja Karim has recorded some important development that took place in Iran and India during these ten years.
     
  2. Lalla Arifa
    Lalla Arifa is seen as a blend of Hindu-Muslim amalgamation. The Hindus regard her the reincarnate whereas the Muslims, a perfect mystic saint. The Hindus say that her name was Lal Ishwari born of the Hindu parents and remained absorbed in meditation and praise of God. The Muslims hold that she was averse to the Hindu religion, embraced the Islam at the behest of Syed Hussain Samnani, disliked the Pundits and the Brahmins.

    She is called by several names in Kashmir: Lal Vaid, Lalla-Ji, Lalla Ded or Lalla-Ishwari. In fact she was the lamp of Kashmir who benefited all the communities, Hindus as well as Muslims. Both love and respect her.

    Lalla Arifa was lost in spiritual wonderment; walked about naked; fought against her self; and renounced the world. Her teachings gave new lease of life to thousands of people. She was a blessed soul and could move the hardhearted man. Lalla Arifa was a poetess and sang of spiritual and divine bliss.

    Lalla Arifa was born in 1335 AD. To Shri Zaida Pundit or Zindia Bat, the landlord at a village Pander - then, three miles from away form Srinagar. He was God fearing gentleman.

    From the very beginning Lal Arifa was inclined to the matters spiritual in nature and engrossed in deep thoughts and was not interested in worldly matters. Pundit Shri Kanth, a mystic and Yogi of High order and the family teacher, realized the spiritual virtues in her and took over the responsibility to educate her in the matter.

    She was married at an early age to the illiterate son of the landlord of Pampore village. Apparently she performed her household duties, but inwardly she was given to meditation and knowledge. This resulted in the neglect of the house, which caused her mother-in-law, and husband complains. The mother-in-law treated her badly; put pebbles in a plate and placed some cooked rice around them. Lalla Arifa ate the few grains of rice and made no complaints. One day her Father-in-law came to know of it and he rebuked his wife. This angered her further, said untrue things about her to her husband, and turned him against her. He too treated her cruelly.

    One day Lalla Arifa carried a pitcher full of water on her head. Her Husband arrived, and struck the pitcher with his stick in anger. The pitcher broke but water remained in body. She came to the house, filled in all the empty pots with water, and the remaining she threw outside into a forest from where ran a spring of water. The episode made her famous and people came to see her in large numbers and disturbed her. She then renounced her house and married life and engaged herself whole heartedly in prayers and meditation. At all times she recited verses, in Kashmiri language, in low tones in praise of God.

    To mention here the practice of Lalla shall not be out of place that in a state of extreme ecstasy and wonderment that she roamed about the forest and human habitations naked. Once she was going through a bazaar, she saw a saint, was terrified and exclaimed, "Here is a man, should cover myself." She ran to a baker's shop and jumped into the blazing oven. People raised a hue and cry that Lalla had been burnt. The saint also came and asked her to come out. Lalla Arifa came out, dressed in, a long shirt with a beautiful, coloured shawl on her shoulder.

    It is also said that during the condition Hazrat Makhdoom Jalal-Uddin Jehanian Jehan Gard met her, pacified her, and told her the good news that soon her teacher and guide, Hazrat Husain Samnani, would arrive and relieve her of her restlessness and sufferings. Eventually came Hazrat Samnani and Lalla Arifa, under his benign guidance, attained peace.

    Lalla Arifa said verses in the Kashmiri language on subjects of spiritualism and mysticism reaching the common people with the message that color; castes, envy, prejudice, narrow-mindedness, and greed are worthless. Real thing is search for the Truth. In brief, Lalla Arifa gave people of Kashmir the message of fraternity and equality and served them irrespective of caste and creed.
     
  3. Bulbul Shah :  People called him with the epithet of the nightingale of Kashmir, Bulbul Shah's Real name was Syed Sheriff Uddin Abdul Rehman and title Syed Bilal that owing to frequent use changed into Bulbul. Hence he came to be known as Bulbul Shah or the Bulbul-e-Kashmir. Bulbul Shah sought allegiance to the renowned saint, Shah Nemat-Ullah Farisi Shirazi, of the Suharawardy Order who, in turn, looked to Zia Uddin-Ul-Najeeb Abdul Qahiri.

    Bulbul Shah's native town is a matter of controversy among the writers. Dr. S. N Naz thinks, he was from the region of Tamkastan of the ancient Iran, some relates him to Baghdad; still others trace him from Turkistan. He reached Kashmir with his friend Mullah Ahmad. Some hold, he came to Kashmir with one thousand refugees out of the fear of the Mangols. Others believe, he entered the valley in 1324 AD. during the reign of Ranchan Shah. We think his arrival during the reign of Ranchan Shah, a Bodh ruler, is more probable. Rancher Shah was a seeker of Truth. Hinduism could not satisfy him and found the answer with Bulbul Shah. His meeting with Bulbul left a deep mark on him and he learnt the teaching of Islam from his precepts and actions. He embraced Islam under the assumed name Sadar Uddin, and along with him thousands became Muslims.

    Ranchan Shah shared a greater responsibility in the propagation of Islam. He ordered for the construction of a monastery for Bulbul Shah, came to be known as the Khanqah-e-Bulbul Shah which formerly stood in the Mohalla Bulbullinko. In addition to it, he raised a mosque and several other buildings which don't exist now and of which we read in books only.

    The nobles who turned to Islam included the commander of the Kashmir forces, Ravan Chandra. He adopted Bibi Lalla, the saint, as his daughter and foretold that she would be a great saint. This proved true.

    Hazrat Syed Bulbul Shah was a great scholar, a man of letters, and a theologian. Besides, he had reached the lovely end in intrinsic and spiritual learning. He illuminated the darkness of the hearts with the torch of the faith.

    Once it grew very cold in Kashmir. The water in the river Jhelum froze hard. People suffered for want of water. Bulbul Shah himself went in search of water but the Jhelum water was so hard that it refused to break. He saw towards the sky and said, "Where is the sun to melt the snow from its heat?" It is said, the sun rose and frozen snow melted.

    Bulbul Shah was a wonderful and impressive man. Whatever he said did it built a place of peace and quiet in the form of a monastery from where ran the stream of benedictions and Faith that lit the entire valley.

    He died on 7, Rajab 722 Hijri (1326 AD)
     
  4. Sheikh Hamza Makhdum : Sheikh Hamza Makhdum, entitled Mehboob-Ul-Alam, and Sultan-Ul-Arifeen, was born to Baba Usman, of the Chandra-Vanshi Rajput family, a hereditary landlord, a scholar and a mystic saint of high order. Sheikh Hamza Makhdum, in this manner, inherited the mysticism.

    He inherited the mysticism, and from the very childhood was inclined to the company of holy men, and to the truth. Having read the holy Qu'ran in the village, he went to the seminary of Sheikh Ismial Kabroi for higher studies.

    The title Sultan-Ul-Arifeen indicates to serious efforts and painstaking prayers did. During his studies he meditated. Baba Davood opines that Hazrat Makhdoom did not rest during night for years but remained engaged in prayers.

    The great sage followed the Sunni (Tradition) strictly not only in prayers but also in table manners, dress, manners, and etc. He scrupulously followed the Prophet and his love for him knew no bounds. These things helped him to reach the highest rank. Later, he had to forsake his love for isolation in order to serve the people.

    His greatest contribution was that he instructed the people to forsake superstitions and Un-Islamic activities through his speech and actions.

    Sultan-Ul-Arifin's whole life was full of strange revelations and miracles. One them to quote is:

    One day he went to the house of a saint Sheikh Khawaja Ishaq, and was served with roasted birds for the breaking of the fast (Iftar). The sage ate them, collected their bones raised his hands in prayer, and the bones joined together, the birds came to life and flew out of the window.

    Sheikh Hamza Makhdum died in the Hijri year 984 during the reign of Sultan Ali Shah Kochak. His colleague Tahir Rafique said his funeral prayer. He was buried near Hari parbat. Thousands of people visit the shrine to pay their respects and receive his blessings.
     
  5. Baba Payam-uddin "Baba Reshi":  Sheikh Alam Noor Uddin Noorani impressed upon the Kashmiri intellectuals, powerful men, and rulers, the reality and importance of Islam. He employed discourses, discussions, debates, revelations and miracles for the purpose. He initiated a new system Rishiyat bearing a strong impression of the country. With the passage of time from Sheikh-Ul-Alam Noor Uddin to Baba Payam Uddin Baba Rishi via Baba Zain Uddin grew stronger. There were many sages (Rishis) but the word Rishi simply refers to Baba Payam Uddin. Many places are related to him such as: Khanqah-e-Rishi, Islamabad, Ziariat-e-Rishi (Shrine) Habba Kadal, and a shrine, of the Rishi by the side of the road, on the reaches of Gulmarg hill. The Gulmarg monastery appears to be a place of solitude and peace from a distance.

    Baba Payam Uddin was born to a noble and a minister of the contemporary ruler, at Chander-nau-gaon in the region of Lar. It is also said that Baba Payam Uddin was himself a noble of high rank and a trusted man of the king and lived a life of ease and luxury. Still he liked the company of the saints and sages and sought their blessings.

    One day he rode a horse. On the way he saw a train of ants carrying grains. He descended and observed them. If God wills, He directs him with small things. He thought that the small ants were working hard to gather grains for winter. He was there entrapped in the glamour of the world unmindful of his next life. (A'khirat), Anxiety of the life after death sat so heavily on his mind that he resigned his job, renounced his home, and came to Baba Zain Uddin who put him to prayers and meditation. On completion of the internal training he asked his permission to retire in solitude at Tang-Marg in Rabnoh village. There lived men ill of nature and low of character that objected to his stay but finally he won them over and improved them.

    Baba Payam Uddin died on 3, Zil Haj 889 Hijri and interned at a place, 3 miles from Tang-Marg, by the side of Gulmarg. People from all corners of Kashmir; visit the Shrine in large numbers. It is believed whenever a fire breaks out in the Shrine some severe calamity befalls on the people of Kashmir.
     
  6. Gulam Ahmad Mehjoor : The revolutionary poet Mehjoor, . Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor popularly known as Shair-e-Kashmir (the poet of Kashmir) was born at Mitrigam, Pulwama  on Ist August, 1887.

    He is considered herald of didactic poetry in Kashmiri language. He was the first poet of Kashmiri language to incorporate themes closer to life and times of his age. Yet his lyrics have the magical appeal as those of  “Habba Khatoon”. His poetry for the first time in Kashmir seemed to be concerned about national resurgence. He stands as a towering figure of transitional Kashmiri poetry from old to new.

    “ Mehjoor” is the first and the only poet till now on whom a full-length movie was made. Thus he happens to be the only poet of Kashmir to have risen to the heights of legend in his life time.





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