Sunday, 1 April 2012

Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Surkh-Posh Bukhari (Part-IV)

His role in the Muslim Rishi tradition in Kashmir: 
His disciple Lal Ded (or Lalleshwari (Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani's First Teacher) exercised a seminal influence on Hazrat Nurani's own spiritual development. Lal Ded's life is shrouded in mystery and legend, the first references to her being made in Farsi Muslim chronicles many years after her death. It is believed that she was born in the village of Sampora, near Srinagar, in 13th century C.E. in a Kashmiri Pundit family. As was the then prevalent custom, she was married off at a very young age to a Brahmin temple priest from the village of Padmanpora, the present-day Pampore. Her mother-in-law is said to have cruelly mistreated her, and her husband, jealous of her spiritual attainments and her growing popularity among the people, forced her out of his house. She then took to the jungles, roaming about completely naked, performing stern austerities and meditational practices. She met Hazrat Jalaluddin Bukhari Makhdum Jahaniyan Jahangasht (d. 1308 C.E.) and embraced Islam at his hands, after which she 'ascended the stages of suluk (the Sufi path)', and thereafter travelled widely with him all over Kashmir.

She is called Lalla 'Arifa ('Lalla, the Gnostic'), Lalla Madjzuba ('Lalla, the Ecstatic') and Rabi'a-e-Sani. According to local lore, Lal Ded died in 1400 C.E. just outside the Jami'a mosque at the town of Bijbehara. Her body was not to be found, and in its place her followers discovered a pile of flowers. Her Hindu disciples consigned them to the flames, while her Muslim followers buried them, each in accordance with their own religious customs. She in turn influenced Hazrat Nuruddin Nurani who is considered by the Kashmiris, both Hindus as well as Muslims, as the patron saint of Kashmir. For this reason, he is lovingly referred to as the Alamdar-e-Kashmir ('flag bearer of Kashmir'), as well the Shaikh-ul 'alam ('the teacher of the whole world'). Although he was himself a Muslim and the order that he founded played a major role in the spread of Islam in Kashmir, he is regarded with deep veneration by the Hindus of Kashmir as well, for his message was one of universal love and harmony. Till this day, scores of people from all walks of life and from different religious communities flock to his shrine at Charar i Sharief. (The Muslim Rishis of Kashmir: Crusaders for Love and Justice, by Yoginder Sikand).

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