The valley of Kashmir is world-renowned for its snow-clad mountain peaks orchards of apples and almonds, lush green pastures and meadows, Chinar trees, valleys of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and Sonamarg, magnificent lakes, springs, and essential water bodies like Jhelum, Indus and Chenab, Mughal Gardens, handicrafts and tourism and also elegant Pashmina shawls. But it is equally well-known for being the “Pir Waer” meaning the “Alcove of Sufis and Saints.
Mir Syed Ali Hamadani came all the way from Hamadan, a province of then Iran. He was divinely guided and assisted, and was hence able to revert a large population of Kashmir valley to the religion of Islam by way of love and peace. He awarded a booklet to the people of Kashmir “ Awrad-e Fatiyyah” This unique Arabic booklet is itself a piece of the identity of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani, popular in Kashmir as Amir e Kabeer and Shah i Hamadan. The “Tawheed” described in Awrad e Fatiyyah is the manifestation of Islamic “tawheed” simply and effectively so that the common masses of Kashmir would understand it and follow accordingly. It has been translated into many languages including Kashmiri. The pious script includes, “O’ Allah! You are the author of Peace, and from You springs Peace, and towards you is Peace. Keep me, my Lord, in Peace and grant me entrance in the Abode of Peace. Glory to Thee my Lord and Exalted are Thou, The Lord of Majesty and Bounty”. Which clearly depicts peace is the only key to a successful life here and there in the eternal world.
Sufis have left a deep and remarkable impression on the society of Kashmir. Immediately after their arrival in the valley, they engaged themselves for the betterment of people irrespective of religion. They influenced people through their morals, pure thoughts, kindness, and humanistic approach. People of Silsila were men of intellect, creative mind, administrators, scholars, medical practitioners, artisans, economists, etc. The earned groups Called land tillers and artisans were influenced by them. Learning has been defined by them as the highest attainment of humanity, a way leading to right conduct and cultivation of virtue. On the whole Qadriya Sufis succeeded in bringing marvelous change in the thought and life of all people whether people of faith or others. In general, they made people understand the relation between God and man. Concept of humanism developed in the valley of Kashmir. Their teachings and writings proved to be a great source of inspiration not only to rulers but also to the subsequent generations. They were having no lust or power and had not indulged in state politics. Even at present, their growing influence is visible in Kashmiri society.
The Sufi Saints traveled thousands of miles and left their fortune and properties only for the cause to connect people with one another so that peace can be imposed in Kashmir. Kashmiriyat is only on record and resonating around the corners just because of the foundation of humanity and hospitality laid by the Sufi Saints in Kashmir.
Unfortunately radicalism, due to its devastating impact, has become the most visible part of the proxy war in Kashmir, but cross-border strategists have realized that extremism and radicalism will not suffice to dislodge the elected governments in J&K or bring the administration to a grinding halt. The opponent countries have, therefore, sponsored a new front in Kashmir in the last few years. It has inducted a large number of extremists who have been spreading the extremist Islamist creed across Kashmir, calling on Kashmiri Muslims to give up their Sufi culture and return to “true” Islam. They now claim to have over a million followers in Kashmir.
The Script of Islam clearly pens down, that whosoever kills a person irrespective of the religion, creed, caste, or color, it shall be as if he has killed whole mankind. But nowadays we are witnessing innocent killings from day to day out just because radicalism is growing over Sufism.
The dire need of an hour is to revive Sufism; Sufism is the only way forward for the imposition of long-lasting peace in Kashmir.