Category Archives: Hamare Aslaf aur Mashaikh-i-Kashmir

Book Review of Sufi Saints of Kashmir and Tazkira Salikin-i-Kashmir


Book review of Sufi Saints of Kashmir (English) and Tazkira Salikin-i-Kashmir (Urdu) Usman Publishers Gawkadal Srinagar (Author: Sayid Ashraf Shah)

English Version:

Book: Sufi Saints of Kashmir

Author: Sayid Ashraf Shah

Publisher: Partridge India (Panguin)

Order from:

ISBN: Soft cover: 978-1-4828-4062-9

eBook: 978-1-4828-4061-2

Year of Publication: 2014

Pages: 780

Urdu Version:

Book: Tazkira Salikin-i-Kashmir

Publisher: Shaikh Usman & Sons Book sellers Gawkadal Srinagar

ISBN: 978-81-8339-247-1

Year of Publication: 2015

Pages 698

In these books the gist from the age-old rare manuscripts makes startling revelations and provides insight into many aspects of our rich cultural heritage that has shaped our thoughts and beliefs over the centuries.
Part I makes a startling assertion about the earliest introduction of Islam in Kashmir in the very time of the Prophet Mohammad (PBH), when two of his companions (Sahabis) visited Kashmir and King Rana Dutta adopted simplicity and fixed one tenth of his revenue (ushur) for the poor. Another handwritten manuscript reveals abour burial date of Sayid Baqir at Thune village in Wusan Kangan in 655 AH (A century earlier than the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah, the former had arrived here along with 1200 Sayids. It carries an introduction by late Mubarak Shah Fitrat – a versatile scholar. The subjects like introduction of Islam in Kashmir and the details of the fourteen  orders (silsilas) that sprang from the Prophet (PBUH) and the orders that became popular in Kashmir like Suhrawardya, Qadirya, Kubravya, Chishtya and Naqshbandya, are covered in the book. A brief life sketch with lineage of Sayid Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA) Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA), Baihaqi Sayids, and the details of descendents of Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Rishi orders have been  included.

Part II covers various topics with introduction from the compiler. The book is based on the Urdu translation of the Persian poetry – MAJMOOA MASMOOA – the related stories written by Pirzada Ghulam Rasool Shaiva Zunimari ( migrated later to Gamroo Bandipora), father of the renowned historian of Kashmir Pir Hasan Shah Fazili Khoihami. The Urdu  translation was accomplished by late Kh. Nazir Ahmad Kashtwari (Retd. Under Secretary General Department J&K Govt.). The subjects cover praises of Allah, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the four Khalifas (RA), Hazrat Sulta-ul Arifeen Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom Kashmiri (RA), conversion of Ganesh Koul the Qanoongo to Islam at the hands of Sheikh Hamza (RA), and the miracles of the disciples and their descendents. It has also an advice by the author to his sons. The Persian poetry of the manuscript has been ranked at par to the Masnavi of Maulana Rumi (RA).

Part III contains topics with introduction by Dr. A.R.War. It covers brief biographies of the Sufi Saints referred in the second volume. It also contains the spiritual lineages (Shajras) of Suhrawardya, Qadirya, Shazilya, Madinya, Chishtya, Naqshbandya orders – copied from the original handwritten manuscripts of Sheikh Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlavi (RA), Sheikh Murad Naqshbandi (RA) – the preceptor of the historian Kh. Azam Dedamari; Sheikh Baba Daud Khaki, etc. The lineage of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi from Hazrat Umar(RA) to his descendants who migrated and settled in Kashmir  with a life sketch of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi Mujaddid Alf Sani (RA) is alo covered in the book. The family trees of Qadiris, Ahmadi Farouqis, Fazilis etc, is also recorded in the book. The compiling of the material for the book has called for a sustained effort on part of the compiler for decades together, and is an effort to bring to limelight the prevalent Sufi culture in Kashmir, which has shaped the humble, tolerant, hospitable and peace-loving nature of its inhabitants over the past few centuries.





Ala Inna Awliya Allahu la khawfun alaihim wala yahzanoon – (Holy Quran)

Indeed Allah’s friends have no fear nor are they grieved.


The celebrated ancestor and founder of the Sadat-i-Gilani of Khanyar Sharief was Hazrat Sakhi Shah Mohammad Fazil Qadiri (RA), who migrated from Peshawar to Kashmir in 1092 AH along with his brother Hazrat Shah Abul Hasan (RA). The later returned to Peshawar on the spiritual direction of Hazrat Gaus-ul Azam (RA). Thus Shah Fazil stayed here to promote Silsila Qadiria and to shower spiritual blessings on his disciples. Initially Shah Sahib rested at Idgah Srinagar along with about a hundred family members and servants. An influential citizen of the time Abdul Qadir Khan Chewoo became a devout disciple of Shah Sahib and offered some of his houses and land at Khanyar Sharief to his revered Pir Sahib. In fact Khanyar name had got derived from the name of Khan Abdul Qadir Khan who lived there. The mohalla Khanyar became the centre for attraction to the general public and many scholars and sufi saints stayed there to receive the spiritual guidance from their master Shah Fazil Sahib. Miracles performed by Shah Sahib can form a volume. His Shajra Nasb (family tree) meets Hazrat Gausul Azam (RA) , who is reported to have guided and visited him spiritually on many occasions calling him (Ya Waladi)- O’my son. Hazrat Shah would often remain busy in prayers and possessed a donating hand. He would distribute whatever he received from any source. That is why he was called ‘SAKHI PADSHAH’-the giver king. He passed away on 9th Jameed-ul-Awal 1117 AH and was buried in the mausoleum at Khanyar Sharief Srinagar. He was followed by Sayid Mahmood (RA) as his successor.


He was the son of Sayid Mahmood (RA) son of Sayid Abdul Qadir known as Sayid Padshah. He became the successor of Sayid Mahmood and was born in 1146 AH and remained under the guidance of his grandfather from mothers side Shah Mohammad Gaus Lahori (RA) and selected his pen name as ‘Azad’. He was a great Sufi, scholar and renowned poet of his time. The present mausoleum and khanqah was got constructed by him and he has written its date as:

Saal-i-tarikh ein bina Azad—– Guft shud khanqah-i-Gilani (1172 H)

He passed away on 18th Jamid-ul-Awal 1202 H and was buried near his ancestors.


He was the renowned son of Hazrat Azad and attained a stage of spiritual excellence under the guidance of Noor-ud-Din Pampori. He was unparalleled in offering free donations and maintained grandeur, which surprised people of the time. Many jagirs were assigned to him by the rulers of the time and a ‘langar khana’-free kitchen was established by him where the poor, needy and orphans would get meals at both the times of the day. The scholars and mashaikhs would be given scholarships. Despite all this pomp and show, he would himself engage in prayers day and night. The ruler of the time Sardar Abdullah Khan was his favourite disciple, who revered his Pir with great reverence. It was in his time that in 1221 AH an Afghan citizen brought ‘Moi Mubarak’ of Hazrat Gaus-ul Azam with him, which was purchased by Sardar Abdullah Khan for Rs. 11000/- after due verification and was gifted by him to his revered Pir Sahib. Sayid Buzarag Shah got constructed a grand khanqah in honor of the relic, where it was put to public display on Urs days. Hazrat Buzarag Shah (RA) passed away on 4th Rajab 1233 AH and was buried near his ancestors.


He was the favourite son of Hazrat Buzarag Shah Qadiri, equipped with unique combination of knowledge within and without. He was married to the daughter of Raja Teg Singh of Kishtwar. He breathed his last in his prime youth on Friday and was buried in the graveyard of his ancestors. He was instrumental in freeing Khanqahi Mualla from Sikh occupation. His chronogram is recorded in a hand written manuscript of our ancestors with due calculations:

Shab buwad Shab-i-Barat wa tarikhash dil ba Ah guft— Azad shud Aan Buzarag Sayid ze wajood dar roz-i-hasan  (1241 H)


Hazrat Hasan Qadiri had no issue. The next successor was Hazrat Mir Yasin Qadiri who was from the progeny of Shah Abul Hasan brother of Shah Mohammad Fazil and was the grandson of Hazrat Buzarg Shah. He remained under the guidance of his maternal uncle Sayid Hasan Qadiri. He was unique in his abstinence and free donations. He succeeded his maternal uncle on his death and expanded the ancestral constructions, besides beautifying the Ziarat. He became very popular and Dogra rulers Maharaja Ranbir Singh and Maharaja Partap Singh honoured him extensively. The jagirs fixed for Langar Khana was also increased.

Since the khanqah needed further expansion, the work was carried out by Khwaja Sanaullah Shawl in 1294 AH after spending about Rs. 45,000/- only, besides making it more attractive to look.

Mir Yasin Qadiri passed away in 1305 H.


He was extremely God-fearing and pious and passed away when his father Mir Yasin Qadiri was still living. This shock turned Mir Yasin Qadiri in to gloom, but he would not make others feel about it.


He was the son of Mir Ahmad Sahib. He was brought up by his grandfather Mir Yasin Sahib with great care and equipped him with outer and inner blessings. He was good natured and donorlike his ancestors. He had sufficient hold on Arabic and Persian knowledge. He maintained the langar khana as before and would distribute ‘Pulav’ among Pirs on Urs days. He would pay in kind the wages to the up keepers of the ziarat and others concerned. He was against the collection of ‘nazr wa niyaz’ or donations from the people. He transferred all his property and jagirs to his progeny to make it safe from the hands of the rulers, so that the langar khana continues to run.


Mir Hasan Shah had three sons: Mir Maqbool Gilani, Mir Ghulam Husain Gilani and Mir Mohi-ud-Din Gilani. All the three brothers passed away. Out of all these three brothers, only Mir Mohi-ud-Din had chidren. His son Sayid Masood-ul-Hasan Gilani is the Sajjada Nisheen and organizer of Ziarat Khanyar Sharief. Mir Maqbool Gilani passed away as a migrant at Rawalpindi.The other brothers are buried in their ancestoral graveyard at Khanyar.

An unfortunate fire accident burnt the Khanqah of Pir Dastgeer Sahib recently, which sent shock waves among all those who revere this place due to the centuries of attachment and its sacred history. Though efforts are on to make a replica of the Khanqah that existed before the fire accident, yet we shall miss the blood and soul that was put by our ancestors, be it artisans, calligraphers, carpenters, masons, painters etc. most of the time voluntarily. Let us hope that due precautions are taken to prevent recurrence of such accidents in all the structures of our reverence and heritage.

Er. Mohammad ashraf Fazili

Retd. Chief Engineer