Sufism and shi段sm in Medieval Kashmir: A Study of the Relation between State and Religion


Aijaz Hussain Malik

Research Scholar (History), Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067




The purpose of this study is to construct a connected history of Shi段sm 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段sm by the fifteenth century Shia-Nurbakhshiya Sufi Mir Shams置-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段sm in Kashmir, as well as its use for political purposes. During the brief period of Chak痴 as Sultans of Kashmir, Shi段sm received both political patronage and became 喪eference group culture.[1]

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.[2] These aspects have been discussed in three interrelated sections in this paper.


KEY WORDS: Shi段sm, Ahl-i bayt, Kubraviya order, Nurbakhshiya movement, Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi, reference group culture.



Modern scholars [G.M.D.Sufi[3], Abdul Qayum Rafiqi[4], Mohibbul Hassan[5], R.K. Parmu [6], Abdul Majid Matoo[7], S.A.A. Rizvi[8], J.N.Hollister[9], Shahzad Bashir[10] and Muhammad Ashraf Wani[11]] have discussed aspects of the history of Shiism in Kashmir, but there is no consolidated work on the subject. Scholars writing on Shiism in Kashmir have mainly discussed the contribution of Mir Shams置-din Iraqi, and there is no comprehensive treatment of the social, cultural and intellectual contribution of Shi段 Sufis of Kashmir like Sayyid Madani, Sayyid Qumi and Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi. Sayyid Muhammad Baqir made a singular endeavor towards deciphering the early history of Shi段sm in Kashmir through his work Akhtar i Darakshan, although the book lacks analysis and objectivity.[12]



My study is based primarily on contemporary and late contemporary Persian accounts of medieval Kashmir like Tarikh i Rashidi of Mirza Haider Dughlat (1546), Tarikh i Kashmir by Sayyid Ali (1579), Majalis ul Muminin by Qazi Nurullah Shushtari (1602), Baharistan i Shahi by an anonymous[13] author (1614), Tarikh i Hassan by Pir Ghulam Hassan (1616), Tarikh i Kashmir by Malik Haider Chadurah (1620-21), Tuhfatul Ahbab by Muhammad Ali Kashmiri (1642), a biography of Shams置-Din Iraqi, Waqi誕t-i-Kashmir by Muhammad Azam Didamari (1747 AD).


Besides, Muwaddatu値 Qurba, Arba段n fi faza段l Amiru値-mu知inin, Awrad fathiyya, Awrad Khamsa by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani supply crucial information in understanding the religious atmosphere of the fourteenth century Kashmir.



The chronology of the origin of Shiism in Kashmir is a debatable issue. The traditional date of introduction of Islam into Kashmir is 1128 AD.[14] For Shiism, the most probable date recorded is the arrival of Shams置-Din Iraqi[15] in 1481 AD (exactly a hundred years after Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani who came in 1381[16]) as an envoy of Sultan Mirza Husain Bayqara (1469-1506)[17] of Herat to the court of Sultan Hassan Shah (r. 1472-84) and his conversion of Baba Ismail Qubravi and Baba Ali Najjar to Shi段sm.[18] He stayed in Kashmir for about eight years.[19] The first section based substantially on the writings of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, particularly Muwaddatu値 Qurba[20], discusses the roots of Shi段sm in the teachings and preaching痴 of the Sufis of Kubraviya order.


According to a tradition among the Shi段tes of Kashmir, Sayyid Ali Hamadani (the founder of Kubrawiya Silsila in Kashmir) was a Shi段te.[21] His genealogy according to the treatise Khulasatul Manaqib of Nurud-Din Ja断ar Badakhshi can be traced to Imam Ali through his son Imam al-Husain, Sayyid Ali being sixteenth in direct descent.[22] Moreover, Nurullah Shushtari in his Majalis ul Muminin has included him in the list of Shi段te Sufis on account of his poetic compositions extolling the virtues of Ali and his successors [ahl al bait, the house of the Prophet].[23] This view has been contested by Mohibbul Hasan who rightly argues that many Sunni writers had done the same.[24]


The presumed Shi段 identity gained currency during the sixteenth century when Shi段sm gained considerable following, and was receiving royal patronage from the ruling dynasty, the Chaks. The presumed Shi段 identity of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and his son also emerged from the fact that they belonged to Shafi段 School whose followers professed devotion to Ahl-i bayt, in practice and in written word. Mir Syed Ali Hamadani痴 treatise Muwaddatu値 Qurba, based on the verses of the Quran ardently advocates the love for Ahl al-bayt. Apart from discussing the Quranic verses[25] and traditions of the Prophet (hadith) in praise of Ahl al-bayt, Sayyid Ali emphasizes the role and importance of Ahl al-bayt in Islam. Interestingly, he refers only to those traditions (hadith), which were well accepted among different sects of Islam.[26] In one of his quatrain (ruba段s) Sayyid Ali says:


的f you do not love Ali, and the family of Fatima, do not expect the Prophet痴 recommendation on the day of Judgment (Yaum al-Qiyama). You perform all the prayers prescribed in Islam, but if you don not love Ali, then nothing would be accepted by God.納27]


The Arba段n fi faza段l Amiru値-mu知inin by Mir Syed Ali is a collection of Ahadith (Prophetic tradition) on Ali痴 superiority over the Prophet痴 companions. His Awrad fathiyya comprises touching invocations to God,[28] repeating Divine names of Twelve Shi段 Imams rhythmically.[29] The Awrad Khamsa by the Mir invokes love and devotion to Prophet Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain[30], the Divine Five (Panjtan-i Pak).


The recitation of Awrad fathiyya and Awrad Khamsa (Invocations of the Five) in the mosques of valley was strongly opposed by Sayyid Ahmad Kirmani-- an orthodox Sunni of the fifteenth century. Possibly he saw into the versions of the Awrad prevalent at that time the seeds of Shi段sm. However, owing to the devotion of people towards teachings and preaching痴 of Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani, and their reluctance in excluding Aurad from their daily prayers, Saiyid Ahmad Kirmani had to let go his blinkered pretensions and acknowledge the importance and purpose of the Aurad for the Muslims of Kashmir in general, and for Islam in particular. Saiyid Ali writes in Tarikh-i-Kashmir:


鉄aiyid Ahmad Kirmani was a great saint and followed the Hanafi law. When he arrived in Kashmir, he observed that in every mosque Aurad-i-Fathiya was being recited after the five daily prayers. He prohibited its recitation. After sometime he decided to return to his native country (and left the valley) via Baramulla. When he reached Upalhak-Marg near the Bunyar village, he stayed there for the night. After the morning prayer while he was meditating (muraqaba) Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani appeared to him with a spear in his hand. Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani wanted to throw the spear towards Saiyid Ahmad, who most humbly asked the Mir as to what his fault was. Saiyid Amir replied that his worst fault was that he had prohibited the people from reciting the wird (Aurad) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It was this practice, which had helped the spread of Islam in that country. On hearing this Saiyid Ahmad repented for his mistake and bare-footed returned to Kashmir. He visited each and every mosque in the city and exhorted people to recite Aurad-i-Fathiya regularly after prayers particularly after the morning and evening prayers.納31]


The framework of devotion towards the Ahl al-bayt introduced by Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and his disciples was strengthened by the arrival of Shi段 Sufis, Sayyid Madani, Sayyid Qumi, Sayyid Mahmud of Sabzawar and the party of Bayhaqi Sayyids during the reign of Sultan Sikandar (1389-1437).[34] Their matrimonial alliance with Shah Mir dynasty gained them considerable political power. The Bayhaqi Sayyids belonged to the Shi段 region of Sabzawar.[35] Their cousins in Jarja remained Shi段s under taqqiya (dissimulation), but the political expediency in Kashmir made them rivals of the Chaks. The decline of Shah Mir Dynasty marked the rise of Chaks who had moved from Dardistan to Kashmir under their leader Lankar Chak during the reign of Suhadeva (r.1301-20).[36]


The framework of devotion towards the Ahl al-bayt introduced by Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and his disciples was strengthened by the arrival of Shi段 Sufis, Sayyid Madani, Sayyid Qumi, Sayyid Mahmud of Sabzawar and the party of Bayhaqi Sayyids during the reign of Sultan Sikandar (1389-1437).[34] Their matrimonial alliance with Shah Mir dynasty gained them considerable political power. The Bayhaqi Sayyids belonged to the Shi段 region of Sabzawar.[35] Their cousins in Jarja remained Shi段s under taqqiya (dissimulation), but the political expediency in Kashmir made them rivals of the Chaks. The decline of Shah Mir Dynasty marked the rise of Chaks who had moved from Dardistan to Kashmir under their leader Lankar Chak during the reign of Suhadeva (r.1301-20).[36]

Historians generally attribute the introduction of Shi段sm in Kashmir to the arrival of Shams置-Din Iraqi in 1481 AD, creating an impression of total nonexistence of Shia Sufi missionaries in fourteenth century Kashmir, in the process appropriating the lesser talked about Shi段 Sufis of fourteenth century in the larger Kubrawiya framework. However, Baharistan-i-Shahi and Tuhfatul Ahbab, two main sources detailing upon the History of Shi段sm in Kashmir, do mention the role played by Shi段 Sufis, Sayyid Madani and Sayyid Husain Qumi towards propagation of Islam. Here it becomes imperative to give a brief sketch of these early Shi段te Sufis of Kashmir.

Amir Sayyid Ahmad Madani emigrated from Medina along with his family during the reign of Sultan Sikander and settled in Rainawari where a Khanqah was built for him, where all shades of opinion used to throng. Later for some time, he lived in Village Malmah (Pargana Bangil, District Badgam) [37] and at the request of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin moved to Nowshehr (New City), close to his imperial residence[38] where the Sultan built a mystic house for him. However, there remained an ambiguity on the faith he preached in Kashmir, as Shi段s claimed him to have professed their faith, while Sunnis claimed him a 全unni.端39] The fact remains that the Shi段tes of Malmah, ascribe the conversion of their descendants to Twelver Shi段sm to Sayyid Madani. Since, the contemporary sources include Madani among the disciples of Kubrawiya Sufi Mir Muhammad Hamadani,[40]whose love and reverence for Ahl al-bayt is so conspicuous in his writings, Lawrence without any further investigation categorizes him among the Sunni Sufis of Kashmir. Having engaged himself in teaching and preaching for quite a considerable time, Sayyid Madani, died in 1445 AD.[41]


Sayyid Hussain Qumi arrived in Kashmir from Iran.[42] Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin received him warmly and assigned him madad-i ma誕sh grant at Zaingair for residential and preaching purpose.[43] He lived, preached and died in Sa壇pora Sopore, a village in North Kashmir where his shrine stands as an exclusive and undisputed Shi段te shrine.[44] This shrine proved a connecting factor, binding the Shi段tes of Sa壇pora with the Shi段tes of other parts of Kashmir, particularly during the birth anniversary (Urs) celebration of the Sayyid.


The teachings of Kubraviya Sufis particularly Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani infused the awareness among the neo converts regarding importance of Ahl-i bayt in Islam, which was further strengthened and deeply imprinted on their minds by the presence of Shia Sufis, Saiyid Madani and Saiyid Hussain Qumi, preparing the ground for the propagation of Shi段sm by Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi afterwards.



This section discusses the historical setting and context in which Nurbakhshiya Silsilah through one of its dynamic propagandists, Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi left a deep imprint on the religious atmosphere of Kashmir. The founder of the Nurbakhshiya order was Sayyid Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Abdullah who was born in Qa段n in Kohistan in 795 A. H/1392 AD.[45] After finishing his education he became a disciple of Khwaja Ishaq of Khatlan, who was himself a disciple of Sayyid Ali Hamadani. Khwaja Ishaq bestowed on him the title of 哲ur Baksh [light giver] and conferred upon him the mantle of Sayyid Ali Hamadani, and then proclaimed him as the Mahdi, and Imam. But this brought Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh to the notice of Shah Rukh, Timur痴 son and successor, who had him incarcerated. As he did not completely renounce his pretentions, he had to undergo thrice long terms of imprisonment; and it was only at Shah Rukh痴 death in 850 A.H/1447 AD that he finally secured his freedom. He then settled in Ray where he died in 869 A.H/1464 AD at the age of seventy-three. He was succeeded by his son Shah Qasim Faizbakhsh as his Khalifa (d. 981 AH/1573 AD.[46]


The Nurbakhshiya movement was mystical, and a medium or reconciliation between the Shi段 and Sunni doctrines. Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh claimed to have seen the divine light and to have received the esoteric teachings of Ali through the Imam Ja断ar Sadiq. In his teachings, to a great extent, Shi段sm influenced Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh. Like the Shi段tes he believed that the Imam should be immaculate, just, brave, the knower of all things, and a descendant of the Ali And Fatima. He enjoyed love for the Ahl-I Bayt (the family of the Prophet), and both he and his followers never ceased emphasizing that their object was to spread the religion of Muhammad and the Twelve Imams. The Nurbakhshiyas celebrated Muharram, and some of them even wore black dress as an expression of grief for the martyrdom of Hussain.[47] They practiced Nikah al-Mut誕h (fixed-term or short-term marriage), reviled Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, and the first three Caliphs. However, like the Sunnis, they accepted the Ijma or the consensus of opinion, though they rejected the practices forced upon them by the rulers and represented as a result of Ijma. Their claim was to revive the teachings of Muhammad, enforce the Sharia, and root out the innovations and accretions that had crept into Islam.[48] In winter the Nurbakhshiyas pray with folded hands like the Sunnis; in summer with the hands hanging down like the Shi段s. Like the Shi段tes, they also perform masah (a substitute for wuzu in compelling circumstances). The main controversy arises in Muharram, as the Nurbakhshiyas maintain that mourning should take place in the mosque, but the Shi段s consider it improper.[49] The ideas of Nurbakhshis are contained in the work Fiqh-i Ahwat,[50] written by Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh. During his second visit to Kashmir, Iraqi brought with him a copy of Fiqh-i Ahwat.[51]


The Nurbakhshiya Silsila arrived in Kashmir with Mir Shamsu壇-Din Iraqi during the twilight of the Shahmiri dynasty (1339-1561 AD), when actual power resided with the local notables who enthroned and dethroned the monarchs based upon their mutual interests and factions. In the meantime, Mirza Haider Dughlat forayed into the area as a retainer first for the Mongol king [king of Mughulistan], Sultan Sayyid Khan of Kashghar[52] and later for the Mughal emperor Humayun.[53]


Shamsu壇-Din Iraqi痴 missionary activities in Kashmir have been documented by contemporary sources. Although 渡o details of Iraqi痴 early life are available,[54] he was a person of knowledge according to the evidence furnished by Pandit Suka,[55] who continued Rajatarangini down to 1596 AD. Iraqi was born in a village named Kundala, near Suliqan, to Darvish Ibrahim, a Musavi Sayyid and Firuza Khatun, from the Sayyid family of Qazvin, sometime around the year A.H. 630/AD.1429-30.[56] Iraqi it is believed ascended from Imam Musa al-Qazim.[57] Iraqi was a disciple of Shah Qasim Fayzbakhsh[58], the son and successor of Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh.[59]


Shams置-Din Iraqi arrived in Kashmir first time in 1481 as an envoy of Sultan Husain Mirza (1469-1506) of Heart to the court of Sultan Hasan Shah (1472-84) of Kashmir. Iraqi propagated Shi段sm secretly for eight years during which he converted Baba Ali Najjar, a distinguished disciple of Shah Ismail Kubravi to Shi段sm.[60] The reason for not preaching openly was his status as an envoy.[61] Other sources suggest that Iraqi worked under the garb of Nurbakhshiya only to use the reverence among Kashmiris for Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani,[62] since Iraqi was the disciple of Sayyid Ali Hamadani痴 disciple, Khawaja Ishaq Khatlani.[63] This seems to have worked for Iraqi as Kashmiris considered Sayyid Ali Hamadani more than a missionary. For them he was the founder of Islam in Kashmir. According to Iraqi痴 biographer:


徹nce during a discussion on dancing in ecstasy (wajd o sama), Sultan Hassan Shah asked Iraqi to which order of Sufis he belonged. Iraqi replied, 溺y path is that of the exalted order of Nur Bakhshiya and I have made allegiance to the great spiritualist Shah Qasim Faiz Bakhsh. He (Shah Qasim) has been staying in the capital city of Heart where he came from Iraq. He had dispatched me to Kashmir on the request of Sultan Husayn Mirza. It was on his instructions that I proceeded to these lands. I have nothing to do with the service of Sultan Husayn Mirza nor am I bound to him. I have no connections with any Sultan or king.


This contention that Iraqi propagated the Shi段sm in the disguise of Nurbakhshiya doctrines requires a thorough understanding of the doctrines of both Shi段sm and Nurbakhshism. A basic understanding reflects that the term Shi誕 included into its fold the Isna Ashari, the Zaydis, the Nurbakhshiyas etc. However, on coming into power of the Isna Asharis in Iran,[64] the term Shi誕 or Immamiya was exclusively used for Isna Asharis. This contention betrays the understanding that Nurbakhshiya order is but a branch of the Shi誕 Immamiya, for their beliefs and practices are quite similar with those of the Shi誕s to a great extent.[65]

Mohibbul Hasan has also argued that a great change had come over the Nurbakhshiya beliefs. Under the influence of Persia where Shah Isma段l, the founder of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), had declared Shi段sm or the doctrines of the Twelvers as the state religion, the Nurbakhshiya took on increasingly the character of a Shi段te movement. It gradually shed those of its doctrines, which were in conflict with Shi段sm, like messianism,[66] until there was nothing to distinguish it from the latter.[67]


Iraqi satisfied that the Nurbakhshiya way of life had attained popularity in Kashmir thought of re-union with his spiritual master, Qasim Faizbakhsh. At that time Sultan Fatah Shah (1486-93) was the ruler of Kashmir and the reigns of administration rested in the hands of Malik Saif Dar, a sympathizer of Iraqi. Government officials issued instructions to local physicians to collect elixirs that were required for the ailing Sultan Husain Mirza.[68] We are told, 双n his return to Heart, he was dismissed from service for reasons not known.[69] This ultimately made Iraqi live with his preceptor, Shah Qasim, at Ray. He was, however, urged upon by Shah Qasim to preach the Nurbakhshiya order in Kashmir.端70]


In Kashmir, his representative had renounced the Nurbakhshiya beliefs and had relapsed into orthodoxy.[71] And it was in response to this that he arrived in Kashmir for the second time in 1501-2.[72] However, the actual cause of this visit of Iraqi to Kashmir has been given by the author of Tuhfatul Ahbab, according to whom the state of religious affairs of Kashmir had deteriorated because of the policies of Zain-al-Abidin who, we are told, did not follow the way of his father, Sultan Sikander.[73]


It is the second visit of Iraqi to Kashmir that marks the real beginning of his missionary endeavors. 徹n his second visit to the land of Kashmir, writes Baharistan, 溺alik Musa Raina became his ardent follower and accepted his faith.納74]


溺alik Musa Raina held the reins of administration for about nine years (1501-10), during which period the enforcement of Islamic laws and religious tenets of the Prophet reached the highest point. Under the guidance of the righteous Amir Muhammad Iraqi, the pure religion of Muhammad and the prosperity of the Muslim community reached the highest pinnacle. Malik Musa Raina supported and advanced the mission of Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi.納75]


Iraqi is said to have worked for the welfare of the people due to which his popularity increased and the number of his disciples consequently swelled. In this regard, Saiyid Ali writes in Tarikh-i-Kashmir, 鍍he peasants of Hanjivir (a village on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway) who suffered untold miseries due to state exploitation approached him for getting some relief.納76] Their grievances were redressed and some among them were enrolled as soldiers.[77] This became another factor for people to visit him. This generous spirit seems to have furthered among the Shi誕 community of Kashmir, for a 19th century observer has noticed this approach of theirs. He says that, 鍍he Shi段s are a most respectable community, and in Srinagar many of them are men of good position. They are true to one another, and are kind and helpful to poor members.納78]


At the same time Iraqi was unhappy over the continuities of the shibboleths of pre-conversion times and the Muslim community痴 ignorance of the Sharia. To his great dismay, he found the women folk still practicing idolatry and many converts without circumcision. He called a meeting of the upper sections of Srinagar (khawaja wa arbabi shahr) and urged them to learn and practice Islam. He got many famous personalities of the time circumcised, as they had not performed this practice at the time of their conversion. Interestingly enough, he is perhaps the first missionary to lay emphasis on working among women folk for obtaining meaningful conversions.[79]


Keeping in view the overall persuasive approach of Iraqi, the coercive methods that the author of Tohfat値 Ahbab has attributed to him seems to be an exaggeration of his zeal towards propagation of Shi段sm. Thus his statement that only on a single day (10th Muharram, 1528 C.E.) some seven hundred apostates (reconverts to Hinduism) were put to sword[80] seems to be an over-estimation of the actual facts about the enthusiasm of Iraqi. Similarly the author of Baharistan-i Shahi writes:


典he idolatry and heresy which had existed prior to his coming to this place were effectively replaced by his preaching and propagation of Islamic laws and practices. He brought honour to all the infidels and heretics (zandiqa) of Kashmir by admitting them to the Islamic faith and bestowed upon them many kinds of rewards and benefactions. It is publicly known as well as emphatically related that during his lifetime, with the virtuous efforts and elaborate arrangements made by the fortunate Malik Musa Raina, Twenty four thousand families of staunch and stubborn heretics were ennobled by being converted to the Islamic faith. It is difficult to compute the number of people who had hitherto indulged in corrupt practices of a false faith and dissent and were put on right track under the proper guidance of Mir Shams置-din Iraqi.納81]



Both Baharistan and Tuhfatul Ahbab have indulged in wild exaggerations to extol the position of their Pir as a ghazi next to none. And the reason for this exaggeration is not far to seek. Clearly there was a misplaced race among different Persian chroniclers belonging to different sects to represent their heroes as peerless iconoclasts to extol their positions in the eyes of posterity. This can be gauged by the fact that while the Shi誕 chroniclers and hagiographers give an unmatched portrayal of Iraqi as a destroyer of infidelity, the Sunni chroniclers and hagiographers omit his name completely from the list of missionaries of Islam; instead reproach him for having introduced schism among Muslims.[82]

Thus, it is in no way strange that the author of Baharistan, as a representative of 鍍he religious fanaticism of a section of Muslims of the period is so much critical of the religious liberties granted by Sultan Zain al-Abidin to Brahmans.納83] He Writes:


滴e (Zain al-Abidin) had permitted idolaters and polytheists to revive the practices of infidelity and they had propagated heresy (kufr) and false religion (din i batil).納84]


Same is the case with Tuhfatul Ahbab, which makes it imperative to delve into the truth and facts of re-conversion.


Despite the freedom of reconversion given by Sultan Zain al-Abidin, we do not come across any instance of reconversion, neither in the works of his court historians nor in any other Persian chronicle save in Tuhfatul Ahbab written by a zealous Shi段 to extol the position of Iraqi as an extirpator of Kufr. It is nave to believe that the court chroniclers of Zain al-Abidin would have missed a significant development like reconversion to Hinduism when we see them recording minute details of their patron痴 reign, especially his treatment of Brahmans and the Brahmanical religion. Also, such a development would have reinforced the Sanskrit chroniclers implicit theory of 素orced conversions during the reign of Sikander and Ali Shah.[85]


Moreover, Tuhfatul Ahbab and Baharistan exaggerate only the potential zeal, which Iraqi possessed. This zeal was, however, stabilized by the circumstances that prevailed in the Kashmir of his time. About these stabilizing circumstances, we are told that, 的raqi was a zealot who believed in the policy of imposed Islamization, but he faced resistance from the Brahmans as well as from the Sultans so much so that he had no other alternative but to win the people through persuasion rather than persecution.[86]


Thus, by dint of his learning, especially his having a Nurbakhshiya Sufi tilt[87] and his missionary zeal, checked by circumstances and turned into a unique persuasive approach, Iraqi was able to convert a large number of people to Shi段sm.[88] He is also said to have built many mosques and appointed prayer leaders (imams) in different villages.[89] Moreover, he built mystic houses (Khanqahs) at different places, the most important being the Khanqah-I Zadibal in Srinagar.[90] The foundation of this hospice was laid in 1503-4, and it was built the next year.[91] The chief source of financial aid to this hospice was Musa Raina who provided the land as well as finances for its construction.[92] The couplets that were inscribed on its door indicate not only its name as Khanqah-I Nurbakhshiya but also attribute its foundation to Iraqi.[93] To make his hospice the nerve center of Shi段tes of Kashmir, Iraqi declared that, 殿ny Muslim who would circumambulate my Khanqah seven times, it would mean that he has made a circumambulation of Ka誕ba, and he would earn the same reward (sawab) as he would earn by circumambulating Ka誕ba.納94] This declaration earned dividends for a contemporary chronicler, whose religious susceptibilities were greatly hurt by the success, Iraqi achieved in propagating Shi段sm with his Khanqah as focal point, writes that, 努hen the common people noticed that the high functionaries of the government were visiting the Khanqah of Iraqi, they, too, for worldly interests followed in their footsteps.納95]


However, a political change at the court went against Iraqi, which led him to leave Kashmir for Skardu where, like a missionary, he spread his creed among the Buddhists of Skardu.[96] The author of Baharistan-I Shahi reflects upon the circumstances that compelled Mir Iraqi to move out of Kashmir:


甜During] those very days, Amir Shamsu'd-Din 'Iraqi was on his second visit to the land of Kashmir. Malik Musa Raina became his ardent follower and accepted his faith. But he could not get on well with Mir Sayyid Muhammad Baihaqi, and not before long they came to loggerheads [over some issues], as a result of which Shams Iraqi proceeded on his travels to Tibet [Skardu].納97]


Tuhfatul Ahbab states that Iraqi痴 success in gaining considerable following in Kashmir under the patronage of Musa Raina started to enrage the local religious scholars soon after his arrival. Their animosity, aggravated by the fact of Iraqi being made the caretaker of Khanqah of Sayyid Ali Hamadani,[98]caused them to complain about him to Sayyid Muhammad Baihaqi. Matters between Iraqi and Baihaqi exacerbated over two issues: first, Iraqi declined to fulfill Baihaqi痴 wish to marry his eldest daughter Bibi Agha,[99] and second, he mistreated one of Baihaqi痴 officials, Mantji, for not following proper etiquettes when in presence of the Sufis.[100]


Working successfully in Skardu for two months, converting people to Nurbakhshism, Iraqi received the news of Sayyid Muhammad Baihaqi痴 demise in 1505, which disappointed him.[101] Entering Kashmir on the invitation of Musa Raina (a powerful noble), Iraqi痴 great opportunity came when Raina became prime minister of Fatah Shah, after the fall of Shams Chak.[102] A further source of strength to Iraqi was the conversion of Taji Chak and other Chak nobles, and the prime minister of Muhammad Shah, Musa Raina.[103]


By the time Iraqi died (probably just before the first invasion of Kashmir by Mirza Haider Dughlat in 1533) Shi段sm had gained a strong footing in the valley.[104] He was buried in Khanqah-I Nurbakhshiya in Zadibal wherefrom the remains were transferred to Chadurah (a village in district Badgam), by his devotees fearing its desecration by Dughlat,[105] a Central Asian invader (and the cousin of Babur), who conquered the valley and ruled it for about ten years (1541-51).[106]


His son, Mir Daniyal, who worked as his deputy and the head of his disciples at the Khanqah-I Zadibal, carried forward his mission in Kashmir.[107] Having migrated to Skardu due to Dughlat痴 intolerance,[108] Mir Daniyal was called back by him in 1549, thrown into prison and finally executed on March, 14, 1550 on the basis of a fabricated charge that, 蘇e had reviled the first there Caliphs.端109] Thus began the persecution of Shi段s in Kashmir, which disturbed the otherwise cordial atmosphere in the valley. Firishta drawing heavily from Tarikh-I Rashidi of Mirza Haider records the persecution of people other than Hanafites with the same biasness, as does Mirza Haider Dughlat.[110] Firishta says:


的n the reign of Fatah Shah, King of Kashmir, one Shams置-Din arrived from Iraq, and began to disseminate doctrines different from those of any other known sect. His followers assumed the title of Nurbakhsh (Illuminati), but the holy men of the Muhammadan faith succeeded in putting down these sectarians[111]: so that at the present period, the author of this history, Muhammad Qasim Firishta, having been at some pains to ascertain what religion the inhabitants of Kashmir now profess, has reason to think that the common people are Muhammadans of the Hanafi persuasion, though the soldiery are commonly Shi段tes,[112] as well as some few of the learned men. The King of Little Tibet,[113] contiguous to Kashmir, is so prejudiced in favour of Shias that he allows no man of any other faith to enter his towns. The tribe of Chaks, in Kashmir, contends, that Mir Shams置-Din was a Shia, and that he converted many thousands of people, after which he was crowned in the name of the Twelve Imams: and that the Ahwat, the book containing the tenets of Nurbakhshiya religion, is not the composition of that venerable personage, but the production of some ignorant infidel. God only knows on whom we are to depend.納114]


True to Ferishta痴 contention that the King of Baltistan was inclined towards Shi段tes, Iraqi received warm welcome on this arrival in Skardu. 釘ukha of the ruling line of Maqpun dynasty was the ruler in Skardu when Iraqi arrived in those lands. He came out at the head of a large crowd to receive Iraqi.納115] Muhammad Ali Kashmiri, the biographer of Mir Iraqi with reference to Fiqh Ahwat, which Firishta claims is not the composition of Nurbakhsh, writes:


鄭fter visiting the shrine of Imam Reza (8th Imam of Shi段tes) he left Mashhad. He arrived in Qandahar and had planned to return to Kashmir via Kabul. But he carried with him a copy of Shi段 theological work Ahwat authored by Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh. It was a gift for Mirza Baig (Ulugh Baig), and he wanted to hand it over to him in person. At this time came the news of the demise of this righteous ruler.納116]


Rafiqi mentions in Sufism in Kashmir that, 溺ir was the author of a treatise on Shiism, entitled Fiqh-I Ahwat and cites Mirza Haider痴 Tarikh-i Rashidi納117], the same source Ferishta utilized in his chronicle. Syed Muhammad Nurbakhsh himself wrote Fiqh Ahwat. Mawlawi Muhammad Shafi, a competent scholar, suggests that Siraju値-Islam (a work of Immamiya Fiqh) and Fiqh Ahwat are identical.[118] According to Ladakh traditions the Siraju値-Islam is identical with Fiqh Ahwat.[119]


Mirza Haider ruled Kashmir from 1540-50. In the initial part of his reign, his attitude towards the followers of Iraqi was quite conciliatory so much so that he visited the hospice of Iraqi at Zadibal along with Regi Chak and offered prayers there.[120] However, the author of Baharistan writes that, 溺irza Haider purpose of visiting the hospice of Iraqi was just to please Malik Regi Chak.[121] In fact, in his heart he bore malice and enmity against that order (Nurbakhshiya), of which he gave a proof when the opportunity came.納122] Political expediency like rebellion of Regi Chak in 1543[123] and death of Kaji Chak in 1544[124] changed his conciliatory attitude towards Shi段s. The Shi誕s were ruthlessly persecuted and the hospice of Iraqi was destroyed.[125] Shi段 preachers, Shaikh Shungli and Mulla Haji Khatib were beheaded.[126] Shaikh Daniyal, the son of Iraqi was also executed. Baharistan says:


的n A.H. 956 (A.D. 1549), he (Mirza Haidar) left for Tibet where he arrested Shaikh Daniyal and brought him back as his captive; for nearly a year, he was enchained in prison and subjected to physical torture. A sum of one thousand five hundred gold coins (ashrafis) was also exacted from him. In order to put an end to the reproaches and accusations of Abdu'r-Rashid Khan, he (Mirza Haidar) decided to put an end to his (Daniyal's) life. He summoned Shaykh Fathu'llah to his presence and told him to fabricate false witnesses and the proofs against Shaykh Daniyal. That ungodly (Khuda na tars) fellow made strenuous efforts and bribed for this purpose some corrupt and wicked people; whose decrees in matters of religion were hardly tenable and whose moral dispensations were hardly popular. Some of the persons were induced to depose that he announced rafz (abandoning of faith), and showed disrespect to men of faith. Some other vouched for the honesty and irreproachable conduct of the witnesses. Thus under the decrees of the Qazis of the time, namely Qazi Habib, Qazi Ibrahim and Qazi Abdu'l-Ghaffur, he was martyred on 24th of Safar, A.H. 957 (A.D. 1550). Some of his associates found the date of this event in the phrase dasht-i Karbala. In the darkness of the night, a devotee of the innocent martyr hid his severed head at some unknown place and, on the next day, another devotee removed his body in a boat and buried it at some other place. After the murder of Mirza Haidar, the severed head and body of Shaykh Daniyal were put together and reburied in the shrine of Amir Shamsu'd-Din Muhammad 'Iraqi. It is strange that Mirza Haidar should have considered it in the interest of the state to put him to death. During the days when his death sentence was under consideration, Mulla 'Abdullah made an attempt to dissuade Mirza Haidar from committing such an act, but Haidar told him that the beheading of the Shaykh was justified in the interests of the state and its integrity and for the security of his government. He further told him that only putting him to death could silence accusations and defamation levelled by Rashid Khan against him.納127]


Haider Malik Chadurah in his Tarikh-i Kashmir gives a heart-rending account of the atrocities Mirza Haidar committed against the Shi段s:


展hen Mirza got the support of a large number of people of Kashgar, he became a religious fanatic. His first target was Malik Regi Chak who was a fine chief, but the latter escaped to Hindustan. Shaikh Daniyal, son of Iraqi who had gone to Tibet out of fear of Mirza Haider, was called back on oath and promise, but then he was killed and burnt. Then Shingli Rishi[128] who was one of the disciples of the Shaikh and Sufi Daud were the victims. Their limbs were broken up and then burnt. He then expelled Qadi Mir Ali and demolished his house. He then charged Mulla Haji Khatib who a Sunni for having adopted Shi誕 beliefs and killed him. Then, he sent for Baba Ali with the intention of killing him. Since the age of Baba was more than a hundred years, the people who were holding his hands came in the way. The Baba was about to fall on the ground when Malik Muhammad Naji decided to act and, getting up from the seat next to the Mirza, he came forward and took the hand of Baba. When Mirza Haider realized that disrespect and humiliation of the Baba, will spoil the atmosphere of the company and there will be disturbance in the country, he allowed him to go. The subjects and the common people had suffered much from the atrocities committed by the Kashgari men.納129]


Mirza Haider himself says, 典he people of Kashmir were all Hanafi, but in the reign of Fatah Shah, a man of the name of Shams came from Talish in Iraq who gave himself out as a Nurbakhshiya. He introduced a corrupt form of religion, giving it the name of Nurbakhshiya. He wrote a book for these cowardly people called Fiqh Ahwat which does not conform to the teachings of any sect, whether Sunni or Shia.納130]


With the persecution of Shi段sm, especially after Mirza Haider flared up sectarian passions, the Muslim religious groups got divided into two camps; each desperately trying to win converts to reinforce its numerical strength. Besides having a host of learned scholars to imprint the faith among its followers, Shi段sm also got political patronage with the rise of Chaks to power in 1561. The Shi段 theologians also began to develop in Kashmir during Chak rule.


Thus, in continuation with the first section, this section emphasized two important aspects of the history of Shi段sm in Kashmir. One, the relation between Nurbakhshism and Shi段sm, how this relation in the long run helped Shi段sm to gain considerable following in Kashmir through the efforts of Mir Iraqi, the various debates concerning the conversion methodologies of Iraqi, the authorship of Fiqh-i-Ahwat, his relation with the contemporary state; how with the assistance of state officials he furthered his mission of winning people to Shi段sm and his missionary activities in Baltistan. Second, it underlined the socio-political atmosphere wherein Mirza Haider Dughlat pursued an implacable policy of persecution of Shi段tes and Shafi 訴s.



This section discusses the relationship between state and religion. The Chaks of Kashmir patronized, popularized and structured Shi段sm on the lines of Safavid Iran. The Chaks immigrated to Kashmir from Dardistan, during the reign of Suhadeva (r. 1301-20), under their leader Lankar Chak and settled at the village Trehgam.[131] Another Chak tribe under Hilmat Chak entered Kashmir from Gilgit and settled in Kupwara. Sultan Shams置-din Shah Mir, the founder of the Shah Mir Dynasty, raised them to prominence. But it was not until the time of Muhammad Shah that they began to play an important role in the affairs of the Kashmir. Shams Chak, Son of Hilmat Chak had served in turn Sayyid Muhammad, Malik Nauroz, and Saifdar. He married the daughter of Pandu Chak痴 son Hussain Chak. Both Pandu and Hussain Chak were scions of Lankar Chak of Trehgam.[132] This matrimonial alliance strengthened the position of Chaks in the uncertain political atmosphere of Kashmir. The descendants of Pandu Chak, Hussain Chak and Kaji Chak[133] embraced Shi段sm by following Shams置-Din Iraqi. [134] After the death of Shams Chak out of prevailing political intrigues, Chaks under Kaji Chak approached Mir Iraqi for moral and material help. Since Iraqi at this point of time had enough following, coming closer to him and accepting him their spiritual master, might have strengthened their social base in the struggle for power. Iraqi says Baharistan, 田alled Kaji Chak to his presence and told him that the Omnipotent would give unto his command the government of that (Tibet)[135] country; and that he should adopt the path of justice and keep in mind the welfare of his people. He was also told to give his full attention to the propagation of Islam.納136] Kaji Chak replied in affirmative and told Iraqi, 的 take an oath upon my honour that I shall strictly abide by your dictates. Should God Almighty choose me to wield authority, I shall neither deviate from your directives nor disregard your wishes.納137] Later when Kaji Chak held the administrative authority of Kashmir during Muhammad Shah痴 fourth term as Sultan in 1517 AD, he extended full support to Iraqi. During the whole period for which he held the reigns of the government, Iraqi always guided him. It was during this r馮ime that Iraqi ordered Malik Kaji Chak to reconstruct the khanqah of Amir Sayyid Ali Hamadani.[138] It was with the political support of Kaji Chak, now vizir of Muhammad Shah, that Iraqi took upon the re-conversion of apostates. 典his community of idolaters, writes Baharistan, 塗as, after embracing Islamic faith, now gone back to defiance and apostasy.納139] It was during this period, that another Chak warrior and noble; Malik Daulat Chak became prominent as a result of his brave resistance on the side of Kaji Chak against the Mughals.[140] After Mirza Haidar was killed in 1550 AD, the nobles led by Idi Raina (also a Shi段) installed Nazuk Shah on the throne of Kashmir.[141] Daulat Chak with the support of other Chak nobles defeated Idi Raina, himself becoming the governor (wazir) and administrative head of Kashmir in 1551. He immediately commissioned the construction of a shrine for Shaikh Daniyal in the premises of Mir Iraqi痴 Khanqah after relocating his remains from Chadurah, and got reconstructed the hospice of Mir Iraqi, which Mirza Haider had destroyed.[142] He endowed (madad i ma疎sh) few villages for the maintenance of the family and descendants of Mir Iraqi and also provided stipends and scholarships to the attendants and devout inmates of the Shrine.[143] Thus the hospice once again resumed its past prosperity and was frequented by the 叢eople of Forty (arba段n).[144]


The intolerance, which Mirza Haider had displayed towards the followers of Iraqi and Sayyid Ali Hamadani who were Shafi段, was totally abandoned by Daulat Chak, creating a congenial atmosphere for the growth and development of people of all shades. Baharistan says:


鄭nother laudable achievement of Daulat Chak was to revive the Hamadani order and to give it a firm footing. He extended support and help to Baba Hasan to build a Khanqah and a house for the devotees who would retire therein during lent. He made untiring efforts to patronize and propagate Hamadaniya order. He brought together the surviving dervishes and Sufis of this order living in different parts of the land, and made them recite prayers for forty days ('arba'in). He revived the customs and practices of the Hamadaniya order and the Nur Bakhshiyyeh sect. He issued a writ throughout this land that all citizens and aliens were free to profess any faith they wished and that no one could either dictate or obstruct others in this matter.[145]


While the above description brings about the liberal aspect of Daulat Chak, it also underline his political motive of being accepted as a patron, benevolent, openhanded administrator by people other than the Shi段tes. To garner the support of the Shi段s as also to strengthen Shi段sm, he took certain measures, which brought him in conflict with the Sunni scholars of the time. The author of the Baharistan spoke highly of his enthusiasm in patronizing and popularizing Shi段sm:


徹wing to the threats and intimidations from Mirza Haidar and the fears he aroused, none of the inhabitants of this land had the courage even to mention the names of the Innocent Imams. The mullahs of this land had misled and misguided them to such an extent that people never took the names of the Twelve Imams. The mullas had told them that it was a sin and sacrilege to do so. The citizens and the aliens in this land were ignorant of the names and the story of the innocent Imams, and the members of the lofty house of the Prophet to such an appalling extent that once when Husain Shah enquired of Qadi Habib in an assembly the names of Imams, he could name the Commander of the Faithful (Ali), Imam Hasan, Imam Husain and then he knew of no other name except that of Imam Ja'far-i Sadiq (the sixth Imam) . He knew nothing of their lives and history, and of their exalted status. The entire assembly was taken aback by his ignorance and indifference. During the period of his government, Malik Daulat Chak issued an order that the homily (khutba) in the name of the Twelve Imams be read in the Jami' mosque. In this way this practice, observed during the lifetime of Amir Shamsu'd-Din 'Iraqi, was revived and followed in the Jami' mosque prayers and elsewhere. People began to ask for the history of the Innocent Imams.納146]


Thus from the very beginning of their association with Iraqi, the Chaks in their political and personal capacity patronized Shi段sm.


In 1561 Ghazi Chak deposed Habib Shah, the last Shah Mir ruler, enthroned himself and assumed the title of Nasiru壇-Din Muhammad Ghazi Shah. He championed the cause of Shi段sm.[147] Saiyid Ali lamenting the ascendancy of Ghazi Chak to power and their patronage of Shi段sm observes:


Ghazi Chak, son of Haji Chak, deposed Habib Shah and ascended the throne himself. Thus after two hundred and twenty years, the kingdom was lost by the progeny of Sultan Shamsu壇-Din (Shahmir) and it passed into the hands of the descendants of Langer Chak and Shi段sm once again got currency in Kashmir.納148]


He exiled Shaikh Hamza Makhdum[149] from capital city owing to his hostility to Shiism.[150] Shaikh Hamza claimed that the Prophet, accompanied by his four distinguished companions, had once appeared to him in a dream and told him that the Shi段s were wrong and that he should not associate with them. He urged his disciples to cultivate antipathy and avoid the company of the Shi段s.[151]


Ghazi Chak痴 brother Husain Shah assumed the throne in 1563. His fame rested on his subject friendly behavior and evenhandedness. His devotion for Ahl-i Bayt was manifested through his unconditional patronage for growth and dissemination of Shi段sm.[152] It was during his reign in 1568 that the first Shia-Sunni riot erupted.[153] The Chak dynasty ruled for twenty-five years (1561-86), during which seven rulers of the Chak dynasty ruled Kashmir. The Chak rulers pursued religious policy quite similar to that of the early Safavid rulers of Iran. The khutba was read in the name of the twelve imams. Attempts were made to add 鄭li is Allah痴 friend to the call for prayer (azan) by Daulat Chak and Yaqub Chak. Pir Hasan痴 assertion that Qazi Musa suffered death because of his vehement opposition to Yaqub Chak痴 diktat to add 羨li is Allah痴 friend to the call for prayer represents only one side of the truth.[154] In an atmosphere of political rivalries and internecine conflicts, Qazi Musa sympathized the cause of Shams Chak,[155] the archrival of Yusuf Chak. A築ami writes in Waqi誕t-i Kashmir, 哲one can question the fact that Ali is Allah痴 Wali. He is the king of walis. The Sunnis oppose it mainly because of the fact that the Shi段s have made it the basis for the propagation of Shiism. According to A築ami, Sultan Yaqub began to openly preach Shiism. Mulla Ayni was appointed by him as his chief missionary and commissioned to recite Tabarra (reviling the three Caliphs). Mohibbul Hasan considers Yaqub Shah痴 intolerance and harshness responsible for the treachery of Kashmiri chiefs and that of Shaikh Yaqub Sarfi[156] who invited Akbar to invade Kashmir in 1586 in following terms:


There shall be complete freedom of worship and no interference in religious affairs. There shall be no interference with the purchase and sale of commodities, and the rates of cereals. Kashmiris shall not be made slaves. Kashmiris shall not be oppressed, nor will they be required to do forced labour (begar). Those Kashmiri nobles who are a source of mischief shall not be associated with administration or the country.[157]


However, Rafiqi argues that among modern scholars, Sufi and Hasan accept the version of A築am and Pir Hasan as correct although no earlier source, either Mughal or Kashmiri mentions it. The Mughal conquest of Kashmir was not initiated by Shaikh Yaqub, but formed a part of Akbar痴 ambitious scheme of conquest [there was a political crisis forcing Yusuf Chak to go to the Mughals]. He himself evaluated the conditions and was not misled by the representations of Shaikh Yaqub, who underestimated the situation, nor was he discouraged by the argument of his nobles who advocated that the conquest of Kashmir was a difficult affair. The story of his entering into agreement with the Kashmiri nobles seems to be a later concoction. It is unlikely that Akbar would accept terms, for he knew his own strength sufficiently well.[158] The agreement seems to have been forged to meet the exigencies of conquest so that the conqueror is portrayed as a benefactor who was approached by Kashmiri Sufis as a great relief, keeping in view the earlier Mughal unsuccessful attempts to conquer Kashmir and the circumstances in which Akbar in a disguised way of making peace, imprisoned, although treacherously, Yusuf Shah Chak.[159] However, this debate falls beyond the premise of this study.


The period of Chak rule in Kashmir witnessed many interesting changes in the religious practices of Shi段tes of Kashmir. The elaborate Muharram rituals, commemorating the martyrdom of Hussain at Karbala, the tradition of commemorating the birth and death anniversary of each and every Imam and the family of the Prophet, the use of a clay tablet to perform prayers (sajdagah), the recitation of elegy (Marsiya), the celebration of nauroz, eid-i ghadir, the patronage of Shi段 theological class, etc. took roots during the brief reign of Chaks Sultans of Kashmir.


Thus the relation between state and religion in medieval Kashmir appears inevitable. The state by patronizing a particular sect, garnered an assured social support, for the people on the basis of same religion and out of past experiences of oppression and persecution would feel secure being ruled by rulers claiming to champion the cause of their religion, rather than by monarchs who, out of political animosity with political higher ups following a particular faith, would unleash their wrath on the masses affiliated with that faith. Although, the state was monarchical, but numerical strength of social base, legitimizing effect of the religious leaders exhorting generosity of their rulers to their respective followers, thereby winning them the mass sympathy and material support, and providing religious freedom to people in an atmosphere of religious contestations made the state and the masses complimentary to each other. It were these factors which brought Chaks closer to Iraqi, offered them to patronize Shi段sm, and encouraged them to materially support the Shi段 Sufis to bring more and more people into the fold of Shi段sm.



Twelver Shi段sm in Kashmir, although formally introduced by Shi段te Sufis, the seeds of Shi段sm were, however, sown by the Kubraviya Sufis like Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani, whose Shafi段 legacy always called upon them to bring about the importance of Ahl-i-bayt in the history of Islam, the Ahl-i-bayt in turn constituting the very nucleus of Isna Ashari faith. The formative phase of Shi段sm in Kashmir involves the role played by Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi, his son and successor Mir Daniyal and other Sufis. Iraqi in the absence of the Sufi of Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani痴 stature, occupied the existing religious space, attracted through his knowledge and persuasion some leading nobles of the time who in turn became 喪eference group culture for the commoners, in the process providing Shi段sm with firm footing in the valley which was further strengthened by the ascendancy of Chaks to power in 1561, who from the very beginning championed the cause of Shi段sm in Kashmir. They attempted to make Shi段sm the state religion. Shi段te rituals and practices gained currency during the brief Chak reign. Chak Sultans patronized, popularized and nurtured Shi段sm both in their personal and political capacities.



1.       By the beginning of the fourteenth century when the process of mass conversion to Islam started in Kashmir, Islam, as a civilizational force had already become dominant, politically and as well as culturally.With all the attributes of a great civilizaiton, Islam had emerged as, what may be called, the 喪eference civilization for others, who came into contact with it, to emulate it either to claim a membership of a high civilizaiton or to replace the Muslim hegemonist power. However, whatever the reason for emulations, Islamic culture had attained such pre-eminence among contemporay cultures that it made all others see their self-image and reach self-appraisals through the mirror of Islam and the values and standards of Muslim society. Islam entered Kashmir not merely with new religious system, but it also brought with itself a new culture, which was by all reckoning superior to the one we encounter in Kashmir before the penetration of Islam. The adoption of this new culutre, imported by the Muslim preachers and other Muslim immigrants, became all the more fashionbale among the authoritative and prestigeful stratum of the society. Hence Islamic culture became reference group culture. To all those people who wanted to affiliate themselves with the upper sections of the social ladder or were desirious of equality of status, Islamic cutlure was the comparative frame of reference a touchstone for self-evaluation and attitude formation a mirror to see their self images. Thus all the prospective acceptors tended to assimilate the sentiments and conform to the values of Islam. Wani M. A., Islam in Kashmir: Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century, Oriental Publishing House, Delhi, pp. 200-08

2.       Wani, p. 208

3.       Sufi, G. M. D., Kashir, 2 Vols., Light and Life Publishers, Delhi, 1974.

4.       Rafiqi, A. Q., Sufism in Kashmir, 14th to the 16th Century, Bharatiya Publishing House, Delhi, 1977, pp. 215-222

5.       Hassan, Mohibbul, Kashmir Under the Sultans, Aakar Books,1959, Reprnt. Gulshan Publishers, Srinagar, 2002, pp. 309-13.

6.       Parmu, R. K., A History of Muslim Rule in Kashmir: 1320-1819, People痴 Publishing House, Delhi, 1969.

7.       Majid, Matoo Abdul, 鮮urbakhshis of Kashmir Islam in India: Studies and Commentaries, Vol. II, edt. C. W. Troll, Vikas Publishing House, Delhi, 1984, pp. 98-113.

8.       Rizvi, S.A.A., Sufism in India, 2 Vols., Munshi Manoharlal, Delhi, 1978-83; The Socio-Intellectual History of Isna Ashari Shi段s in India, Vol. I, Ma池ifat Publishing House, Delhi, 1986, pp. 166-86

9.       Hollister, J.N., The Shia of India, Munshi Manoharlal Publishers, Delhi, 1979, pp. 141-50

10.     Bashir, Shahzad, Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions: The Nurbakhshiya Between Medieval and Modern Islam, University of California press, Columbia, 2003

11.     Wani, M. Ashraf, Islam in Kashmir, pp. 69-72, 126-134

12.     Baqir, Sayyid Muhammad, Akhtar-e Darakshan, Akram Hussain Press, Banaras, 1970.

13.     Khan, Muhammad Ishaq says that the author of Baharistan is Tahir, Transition to Islam: The Role of Muslim Rishis, Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 1994, p. 8

14.     Census of India Reports 1911, XX, pp. 94-95, The earliest reference to Muslims is found during Lalitaditya Muktapida痴 time (AD 725-53); see Alexander Cunningham, The Ancient Geography of India, London, 1871, p. 90.

15.     The next reference to Muslims is that of Kalhana; see Rajtarangani, Tr. Stein, Vol. I, Book III, v. 179, p. 138, v. 520, p. 310, Vol. I, Book VII, vv. 529-31, p. 311, Vol. II, Book III, vv. 1227-28, p. 364. See Marco Polo, The Book of Sir Marco Polo edt. & tr. M. Yule, 2 Vols. London, 1913, pp. 176-7. He mentions Muslims acting as butchers for the Hindus in Kashmir. For details see, Hangloo, R. L., The State In Medieval Kashmir, Manohar, Delhi, 2000, pp. 66-67 fn.

16.     Anonymous, Baharistan-i-Shahi, Eng. tr. K.N. Pandit, Firma KLM Private Ltd., Calcutta, p. 34; Saiyid Ali, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, Eng. tr. Abdul Qaiyum Rafiqi, Gulshan Books, Srinagar, 2011, gives the date of his arrival as 1384-85, p. 107

17.     全ultan Mirza Husain Bayqara had decided to have the khutba read in the name of the12 Imams, but his prime minister Mir Ali Sher Nawa段 (d. 1501) and certain other authorities stopped him from doing so. Baburnama, tr. A. S. Beveridge, p. 258. Using several contemporary chronicles Jean Calmard has recently shown that Bayqara discouraged strictly legalistic Sunni Islam, had Shi段te leanings, and also proposed to proclaim Shi段sm as the state religion. J. Calmard edt. Etudes Safavides, Paris, Tehran, 1993, p.13, cited by Alam, Muzaffar, The Languages of Political Islam: India, 1200-1800, Permanent Black, Delhi, p. 51

18.     Kashmiri, Muhammad Ali, Tuhfatul Ahbab, Eng. tr. KN Pandit, Voice of India, Delhi, 2009, pp. 4-6.

19.     Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 132; Tarikh-i-Hassan, Vol. II, Urdu tr. S.H. Qasimi, Ali Muhammad and Sons, Srinagar, n.d. p. 208

20.     Hamadani, Sayyid Ali, Muwaddatu値 Qurba, Urdu tr. by Mawlawi Sayyid Ahmad Rizvi, Muayyadul Uloom Association, Madrasatul Waizeen, Lucknow, 1937.

21.     Hassan, Sultans, p. 5.

22.     Sofi, G.M.D., Kashir, p. 85

23.     Shushtari, Allama Qazi Nurullah, Majalis al-Mumineen, Urdu tr. Muhammad Hussain Jafri, AKJT Karachi, n.d., pp. 909-13

24.     Hasan, Sultans, pp. 57-58

25.     The following verses of Quran categorically refer to Ahl al-bayt: Chapter 3, Verse 61: Chapter 5, Verse 55: Chapter 33, Verse, 33

26.     Azizuddin, S.M. Husain, 全ufi Cults and the Shias, Sufi Cults and the Evolution of Medieval Indian Culture, edt. Anup Taneja, ICHR, 2003, p. 239

27.     Muwaddatu値 Qurba, p. 49: Azizuddin, p. 239

28.     Tohfat値 Ahbab, pp. 170-71, 260

29.     Hamadani, Ali ibn Muhammad, Al Awrad Ul Fathiyyah, A. S. Noordeen Publishers, Delhi, 2009

30.     Rizvi S. A. A., A Socio-Intellectual History of the Isna Ashari Shi段s in India, vol. 1, p. 162; Azizuddin, p. 240

31.     Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 146

32.     Ibid, p. 189

33.     Baharistan, (introduction), p. LXXIX

34.     Baharistan, p. 39

35.     Ibid, pp. 38-39

36.     Ibid, p. 16

37.     Didamari, Khwaja Muhammad A築am, Waqi誕t-i-Kashmir, Urdu tr., Khawaja Hamid Yazdani, J&K Islamic Research Centre, Srinagar, 1998, p. 95

38.     Ibid, p. 64

39.     Lawrence, Walter. R., The Valley of Kashmir (1895), reprnt. Gulshan Publishers, Srinagar, 1992, p. 284

40.     Rafiqi, Sufism, p. 127

41.     Ibid, p. 128. His tomb at Mohalla Madin Sahib, Nowshehr still exists

42.     Gulzar, Ghulam Muhammad Matoo, Tarikh Shi誕n-I Kashmir , IHRC,Srinagar, 2010, p. 138

43.     Fauq, Muhammad ud-Din, Tarikh Aqwam-i Kashmir, Vol. II, Gulshan Publishers,Srinagar, 1991, p. 169

44.     Hasan, Pir Ghulam, Tarikh-i Hassan, Vol. I, Urdu tr., Pirzada Abdul Khaliq Tahiri, Srinagar, n.d., p. 203; Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 2-3, Bashir, Shahzad, p. 29 Ibid. Nuru値lah Shushtari, Majalisul Mu知inin, P. 317, vide Kashmir Under the Sultans, p. 458

45.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 2-3, Bashir, Shahzad, p. 29

46.     Ibid.

47.     Nuru値lah Shushtari, Majalisul Mu知inin, P. 317, vide Kashmir Under the Sultans, p. 458


49.     Sufi, G. M. D., Kashir, p. 109

50.     Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 137; Waqiat-i-Kahmir, p. 161; Tarikh-i-Rashidi; Ferishta, Tarikh-i-Ferishta, Vol. IV, Eng. tr. J. Briggs, Low Price Publication, Delhi, 1990, , p. 262, ascribe its authorship to Iraqi, which appears a blatant mistake. See Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 11

51.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 12.

52.     Baharistan, p. 126

53.     Ibid, p. 135

54.     Hassan, Sultans, p. 285

55.     Jonaraja, Srivara and Suka, Rajatarangini(s), Vol. I, Urdu Tr. (of Eng. tr. by J.C. Dutt), Notes, Explanation and Appendices, Shamsuddin Ahmad, Gulshan Books, Srinagar, 2007, p. 405

56.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 2

57.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, edt. Ghulam Rasool Jan, Srinagar, 2006, Vol. I, p. 440

58.     溺erashesha (Mir Shams置-Din Iraqi), the pupil of Shahkasima, was born in the country of Iraka; he knew all sciences, and became Somachandra痴 (Musa Raina) guru, Rajatarangini (Dutt), p. 339

59.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, pp. 23-24

60.     Ibid., pp. 73-74

61.     Hassan, Sultans, p. 459

62.     Waqi誕t-i- Kashmir, p.159

63.     Kashir, I, p. 110

64.     The Safavid Empire of Persia, established by Shah Ismail in 1501 declared Isna Ashari Shi段sm as the official state religion. Munshi, Iskander Beg, Tarikh-i alam-arai-i Abbasi, Eng. tr. Roger M. Savory titled History of Shah Abbas the Great, Westvlew Press, Colorado, 1978.

65.     Hamadani, Hakim Safder, Tarikh-i-Shi誕n-i Kashmir, Srinagar, 1970, p. 22

66.     In Twelver Shi段sm, a person who proclaims himself the messiah is a grave transgressor against the right of the hidden Imam. Bashir, Shahzad, Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions (introduction)

67.     Hassan, Sultans, p. 287

68.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, pp. 147-48

69.     Hasan write that Sultan Husain Mirza suspected Iraqi痴 intentions, and therefore expelled him from his country. On the basis of his previous contacts, he again came to Kashmir after a period of 12 years. Tarikh-i-Hasan, II , P. 220

70.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 178

71.     Sultans, p. 459

72.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, Op. Cit. p. 182

73.     Ibid. p. 210

74.     Baharistan, p. 87

75.     Ibid, p. 93, Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 233

76.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 223; Wani, p. 181.

77.     Tarikh-i-kashmir, p. 136

78.     Lawrence, The Valley Of Kashmir, p. 284.

79.     Wani, p. 71.

80.     Baqir, Haji Sayyid Ma誕rkadar, Subb-i Talla, Srinagar, 2007, p. 103

81.     Baharistan, p. 94

82.     Wani, p. 130. This refers particulary to Tarikh-i-Rashidi, Tarikh-i-Kahmir, Tarikh-i-Hassan and Waqiat-i-Kashmir.

83.     Baharistan, p. 102

84.     Baharistan, p. 93

85.     Wani, p. 126

86.     Ibid, P. 127; Rajatarangini(s), I, p. 444

87.     Subb-i-Talla, Op. Cit. pp. 56-61,

88.     Wani, p. 206

89.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, pp. 209-77

90.     Ibid. p. 95, Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 136, Waqiat-i-Kashmir, p. 159

91.     Ibid. pp. 184-186

92.     Ibid. p. 185

93.     Tarikh-i-Shi誕n Kashmir, p. 19

94.     Wani, p. 255

95.     Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 136

96.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, pp. 197-99; A築am, p. 161; Rafiqi, p. 260

97.     Baharistan, p. 87; Chadurah, Malik Haider, Tarikh-i Kashmir, Eng. tr. Razia Bano, Bhavna prakashan, Delhi, 1991, p. 61

98.     Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 193

99.     Ibid, p. 194

100.  Ibid. pp. 195-97

101.  Ibid, p. 203; Sultans, p. 286, fn. 8

102.  Baharistan, pp. 92-3

103.  Sultans, p. 287; Rafiqi, p. 261

104.  Tuhfatul Ahbab and Baharistan does not mention the date of his demise.

105.  Tarikh-i Hasan, II, p. 254, Saiyid Ali mentions in Takikh-i-Kashmir that Mirza burnt down the Khanqah of Iraqi and exhumed his bones from the grave and burnt them and ordered that one thousand pieces of hatab (firewood) be burnt on it daily. Everything was burnt down and no trace of any construction was left there. Pp. 138-9

106.  Baharistan, pp. 135-6

107.  Subb-i-Talla, p. 254-56

108.  Baharistan, p. 138

109.  Ibid. p. 140

110.  Sultans, p. 13

111.  The reference is clearly towards Mirza Haider痴 persecution of people affiliated to Shi段sm, Shafi段te or any other school, but Hanafite.

112.  Ferishta痴 asseveration that soldierly are commonly Shi段s follows the practice of Chaks in favoring people for recruitment in army based on their coincidence of faith.

113.  Persian chroniclers have always spoken of two Tibet痴, Kalan (large) and Khord (small). Baltistan formed part of Tibet-i Khord, while Ladakh was part of Tibet-i Kalan.

114.  Tarikh-i Ferishta, pp. 261-62

115.  Tuhfatul Ahbab, p. 198

116.  Ibid, p. 181

117.  Rafiqi, A. Q., Sufism in Kashmir, p. 216

118.  Shafi, Mawlawi Muhammad, Firqa-i Nur Bakhshi, Oriental College Magazine, Lahore, 1924, p. 64 cited by Rizvi, S. A. A., Socio-Intellectual History, vol. I, p. 165

119.  Rizvi, Socio-Intellectual History, vol. I, p. 165

120.  Baharistan, pp. 136-38

121.  Haider Malik writes that, 溺alik Abdal Chak and Regi Chak brought Mirza Haider Kashgari to Kashmir who was in the service of Humayun in India but was deprived of the good fortune of the service and the company of the emperor. Tarikh-i Kashmir, p. 67

122.  Baharistan, P. 138

123.  Ibid, p. 138

124.  Ibid, p. 139

125.  Tarikh-I Hassan, I, p. 480, vol. II, p. 221

126.  Ibid. Vol. II, p. 222

127.  Baharistan, pp. 140-41; Hassan痴 version is that Daniyal propagated his faith in Askardu. Mirza Haider brought him to this place after reproaching him severely and put him in prison for one year. Later, on the strength of a few witnesses, Daniyal was charged with cursing the companions of the Prophet (Sabh-i suhabah-i Kabir bar u thabit kard). Qadi Ibrahim and Qadi Abdul Ghaffur issued a decree against him and he was put to the sword. Tarikh-Hassan, II, p. 255

128.  Tarikh-i-Kashmir says that Mirza put to death Shaikh Shungli Rishi who was held in high esteem by the Shi段s, p. 139.

129.  Haider Malik, p. 68

130.  Ibid, pp. 434-36

131.  Baharistan, p. 16

132.  Ibid, pp. 69-70

133.  He was the cousin of Shams Chak, Haider Malik, p. 60

134.  Tarikh-i Hassan, p. 217-18, Tarikh-i-Kashmir says that it was Baba Ali Najar who introduced them to Iraqi. P. 135

135.  Kaji Chaks and others under the command of Musa Riana痴 son Malik Ali were planning expedition to Tibet.

136.  Baharistan, p. 107

137.  Ibid, p. 108

138.  Baharistan, p. 116; Tarikh-i-Kashmir says that Iraqi痴 intention was to demolish the Khanqah and not to allow its reconstruction, so that people would throng his Khanqah, p. 136. Infact, the author of Tarikh-i-Kashmir finds fault with every action of Iraqi to the extent of blaming him for having created enminty among the nobles of Sultan Hasan Shah and discord among the people.

139.  Ibid, p. 117

140.  典he ruthless persecutions of Mirza Haider enraged the Shi段s and they rose in revolt against him. Things came to such a pass that the people (Mughals) were hoarded out from every pargana. Malik Idi Raina entered Kashmir through Hirpora and joined hands with Ghazi Khan. He also sent a messenger to Daulat Chak who was in Naushahra to join him, which he did along with other Kashmiris. They buried all their differences and jointly advanced towards the city. Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 139

141.  Ibid, p.145

142.  Ibid, pp. 147-48

143.  Ibid, p. 148

144.  Fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, observed by Shi段tes.

145.  Baharistan, p. 149

146.  Ibid, p. 150

147.  A築ami, p. 183; Hassan, II, p. 255

148.  Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 141

149.  Tarikh-i-Hassan, II, p. 255; Shaikh Hamza Makhdum, popularly known in Kashmir as 溺ahbubu値-Alam (Beloved of the world), was born in 1494 AD at Tijr, in Baramulla. He obtained his early education from Shaikh Fathu値lah. Both Shaikh Hamza and his preceptor were inveterate enemies of the Shi段s. Later he came into contact with Saiyid Ahmad Kirmani, another opponent of Shi段s. His hostilities against the Shi段s brought him in the notice of Sultan Ghazi Chak, who ordered him to leave the city, whereupon he went to the village Beeru and returned only after the death of Ghazi痴 rule. Sufism in Kashmir, p. 23

150.  Rizvi, A. A., A History of Sufism in India, vol. I, p. 299

151.  Sufism in Kashmir, pp. 218-19

152.  Hassan, II, p. 258

153.  For different versions of the riot, see Tarikh-i-Kashmir, p. 142; Hassan, II, pp. 258-59; Waqi誕t-i-Kashmir, pp. 187-88

154.  Hassan, II, pp. 284-85

155.  Hassan, II, p. 285

156.  Sultans, pp. 183-84

157.  Tarikh-i-Hassan, II, pp. 285-86; A築ami, p. 201; Kashir, p. 234; Sufi, G.M.D., Islamic Culture in Kashmir (1930), Reprt. Gulshan Publishers, Srinagar, 2007, pp. 139-40

158.  Rafiqi, p. 281

159.  According to the peace truce of Yusuf Shah Chak with Raja Bhagwan Das, the former had to retain the throne of Kashmir, but he was imprisoned instead, leading Bhagwan Das to attempt for suicide to vindicate his honour as a Rajput, Sultans, pp. 177-8; For Mughal attempts to colonize Kashmir, Kapur, M.L., A History Of Medieval Kashmir (1320-1586 AD.), A. R. B. Publications,Delhi, 1971, pp. 287-300


Received on 10.04.2014

Modified on 09.05.2014

Accepted on 03.06.2014

ゥ A&V Publication all right reserved

Research J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 5(2): April-June, 2014, 207-220