The purpose of this study is to construct a connected history of Shi’ism and its relationship with Sufism and contemporary state in Kashmir from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. How the framework of devotion towards ahl-i bayt (The House of the Prophet) introduced by the founder of Kubrawiya order in Kashmir, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani and the Sufis associated with Kubraviya order in the fourteenth century paved the way for the propagation of Shi’ism by the fifteenth century Shia-Nurbakhshiya Sufi Mir Shams’u-Din Iraqi and others after him. In this study I would like to investigate the impact the Nurbakhshiya movement had on the religious milieu of medieval Kashmir. I would also like to examine the role played by the Chak Sultans of Kashmir [1556-1586] in strengthening and nurturing Shi’ism in Kashmir, as well as its use for political purposes. During the brief period of Chak’s as Sultans of Kashmir, Shi’ism received both political patronage and became ‘reference group culture.’
The first and the main group that was influenced by the reference culture (Islam) belonged to the upper stratum of the society. Secondly, the Muslim preachers like Iraqi concentrated more on winning over the reference group of the pre-conversion Kashmiri society, nobles, ministers and officials, as a policy to win over the whole society. These aspects have been discussed in three interrelated sections in this paper.
Cite this article:
Aijaz Hussain Malik. Sufism and shi’ism in Medieval Kashmir: A Study of the Relation between State and Religion. Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 5(2): April-June, 2014, 207-220.