Hazrat Sheikul Aalam Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani (RA), popularly known as Nund Reshi, is the most revered saint of Kashmir. He is known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir also. He travelled across the length and breadth of Kashmir. His Kalam-e-Mutabarka (sacred poetry) is unique in style, thought and narrative. It is mainly based on the Quran and Hadith and talks of universal brotherhood, love and compassion.
His shrine in Chrar-i-Sharief is perched on a dry bare hill on which has grown a well-developed town. People flock to his shrine irrespective of religion, sect or creed. In Kashmir, the first crop of hair of a child is generally cut off here. Nund Reshi’s verses are recited in mosques, at religious congregations, and many other occasions. His poetic collections, generally known as Noornamas, are to be found in almost every house in Kashmir.
The cultural, social, economic and moral life of Kashmir is well depicted in his Kalam. Dawat-u-Tabligh and Quran-u-Hadith are at the core of it. We are indebted to him for creating awareness through his poetry about forests, flora and fauna, ecological balance, and environment protection.
His poetry is extensively discussed in literary and scholarly circles in Kashmir and much research has been done on it. The Cultural Academy here has also a yeoman’s job in this direction. There is a Sheikhul Alam chair in Kashmir University also. His poetry (kalam) has greatly enriched the Kashmiri language.
Nund Reshi is the pride of Kashmir. His Kalam has made us aware of our language, purpose of life, our heritage and cultural and moral values. The verses contain such phraseology that the meaning is clear to us. Sheikhul Aalam was a great Mufassir-ul-Quran (interpreter of Quran), Muhaddis (Hadith knowing), a great biologist and environmentalist in an era when the world did not know much about ecology, environment and global warming.
Some terms and phrases often used in his poetry are reproduced here. Since many of the things, birds and animals flora and fauna mentioned in his poetry are not around us, the verses seem difficult to understand. Let us have some botanical garden or zoological park named after Sheikhul Aalam.
These terms are not exhaustive but only a few of them:
1. Tamin baan: When food was cooked (and is still cooked at some places) by placing earthen pots on burning firewood, the pots would get blackened.
2. Daan: A specially designed oven for cooking.
3. Gongul: It was a kind of inaugural function of the sowing season when on the first day of sowing, dry fruits and tehri was distributed.
4. Haar and Puh: Kashmiris had their own calender and these were two of the months.
5. Poonam Chandre: Full moon.
6. Yender: Spinning wheel which was very common in Kashmiri households.
7. Grek viz noon: A common Kashmiri phrase meaning ‘not doing work in its proper time’.
8. Putran sag te moolan droot: A common Kashmiri phrase relating to gardening or tree plantation.
9. Daff ta Rabab: These were musical instruments.
10. Wand fall: Specially prepared fodder for animal for winter.
11. Lasha: A special wood used for making torches.
12. Palna: A kind of saddle for the purpose of load only.
13. Pull Haru: A shoe made from straw.
14. Dabb: A mini balcony.
15. Toh: Husk
16. Gratta: A flour mill that was worked with water.
17. Haakh te Hand: A common Kashmiri vegetable.
We must be proud that such a great person lived in Kashmir and we must take inspiration from his Kalam and teachings.
—The writer is a retired telecom engineer. [email protected]