THE BIRTH OF SHAIKH-UL-ALAM (RA)
At the august time on Thursday 6th Jamidul Awal 779 AH, Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam was born in a shining (noorani) figure at Qaimoh.
In Rishi-Nama by Baba Khalil, the year of birth is recorded as 779 AH.
Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Miskin writes in his book that the blessed birth of Hazrat Shaikh took place in Qaimoh in 779 AH. The author of Khwariq-us-Salikin (Tarikh-i-Hadi), Ahmad bin Saboor has stated the date of birth as 779 AH to be authentic. In “Fathat-i-Kubravia” and “Hayat-i-Shaikh-ul-Alam”, Shaikh Abdul Wahab Noori has also recorded the date of birth of Hazrat Shaikh (RA) as 779 AH. Similarly, one more historian has recorded his chronogram as 779 AH from the Abjad calculations. The “Noor-nama” written by Abul Fuqra Hazrat Baba Naseeb-ud-Din Ghazi (RA) which has the status of being the first narration of the Rishis of Kashmir has a key status in Rishi’s history. He records the august birth of Hazrat Shaikh as in the year 779 AH. Thus it is established by the historical sources that Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Wali (RA) entered the world of existence from the unknown world in 779 AH / 1377 AD.
THE NON-SUCKLING OF MILK BY SHAIKH-UL-ALAM (RA)
Hazrat Bibi Lalla Arifa (RA) stayed at Qaimoh to look after Hazrat Sundar (RA) as directed by her unique preceptor, till Hazrat Shaikh was born in this world. As soon as Hazrat Shaikh took birth from his mother’s womb, Bibi Lalla Arifa rushed to Kulgam with this good news and after attending in presence of her perfect guide, after offering Salams, announced the happy news of birth of this priceless pearl; on which Hazrat Sayid (RA) offered thanks to Allah.
On being born from mother’s womb, Hazrat Shaikh manifested his perfection in his abstinence and piety by way of not suckling milk from his mother to show that he has not come to this world for eating and drinking.
Shaikh Salar got worried and rushed to his Pir Dastagir Shah Simnani (RA), submitting, “I congratulate you, as a shining son has taken birth at our home, but he has not suckled his milk for three days.”
On hearing this, Hazrat Sayid directed Bibi Lalla Arifa to go and suckle the light-of-our-eyes. The honoured Arifa accompanied Shaikh Salar (RA) to his home and took this born-wali in her lap and put her secretly blessed full breast in the mouth of Hazrat Shaikh and said,
“Drink, when you were not ashamed of taking birth, why are you ashamed of suckling?”
Hazrat Baba Ali Raina records this event in his book in these words: Hazrat Lalla Arifa took Hazrat Shaikh in her lap and suckled him with her two august fingers. Abdul Wahab Shaiq has described this secret and full of light (noor) event as: Hazrat Shaikh did not suckle milk from his mother’s breasts, meaning that from his infancy, Hazrat Shaikh depicted his saintly behaviour. That is why Lalla Arifa took him in her lap and put her two fingers in the mouth of Hazrat Shaikh. Milk oozed out from the two fingers of Arifa like breasts, which reached to the throat of Hazrat Shaikh. Then Lalla Arifa said, “O son, drink the milk, when there was no excuse to take birth, what is the hindrance in drinking milk. When Hazrat Shaikh sucked milk from Lalla’s august finger on her insistence, she said: “Will you drink the whole sea of knowledge of Allah (Marifat-i-Ilahi), leave some thing for me too.”
That means Hazrat Lalla Arifa predicted miraculously his future being possessed with self-control, and his future status of becoming the king of spirituality (Vilayat).
When the neighbour ladies of Bibi Sudra saw the beauty and shining face of this child, they asked Hazrat Lalla Arifa about the welfare of the child. Hazrat Lalla Maji took Hazrat Shaikh (RA) in her lap and sang these pacifying lyrics: He is our son, the priceless pearl of the knowledge of Allah (Marifat-i-Ilahi).
After this, till Hazrat Shaikh started to walk, Hazrat Arifa would look after him and would frequently bring Hazrat Shaikh in the court of Qalandar Sinani (RA) for gaining perfectly the real spiritual knowledge- (Irfan-i-Haq). In fact it was only after achieving the real knowledge (Haqiqat-i-Irfan) in the lap of Arifa (RA) and the light of Allah (Anwar-i-Yazdan) from the river of Unity of Mir Sayid Muhammad Hussain Simnani (RA), Hazrat Shaikh was blessed with the title of Shams-i-ul-Arifeen (Sun of the Saints), Shaikh-ul-Alam (the Shaikh of the world) and Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (the shining light of the religion) from the court of Sayid-ul Mursaleen (Chief of the Prophets) Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) with the sanction of the Great Allah.
It is written in the Rishinama in Persian language (translation) that: “O dear, see the greatness of the mercy of Allah-ta-ala, He removed Salat Sanz from the group of infidels, and blessed him with the association of a greatly honoured person like Qalandar-i-Sadat, who freed the neck of Salant Sanz from the thread of infidelity and enriched him with the light of faith and crowned him with the knowledge of Allah and blessed him with the name of Salar-i-Din and from his light got manifest the chief of Rishis of Kashmir Noor-ud-Din (the light of religion). In other words, the father being the light (noor) and the son also being the light, the expression of ‘the light over the light’ (noorun-ala-noor) was proved to be true.
Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam Noor-ud-Noorani (RA) has stated about the conversion of his father to the faith of Islam. Similarly he has stated about his belonging to Sanz family through his family tree and the praise of the greatness and sainthood of Hazrat Sayid Simnani (RA).
Hazrat Shaikh would often attend in the court of his perfect Pir and continued to obtain the light of spiritual knowledge directly from him with education in Shariat and the secrets of Tariqat till soaring into Haqiqat. On hearing the sayings of Hazrat Sayid (RA), tears would flow in the eyes of Hazrat Shaikh causing swelling therein. He would hear the satisfying solutions of all the difficult intricacies from the mouth of Hazrat Sayid-the truthful (RA) and sometimes Hazrat Sayid (RA) would ask (for testing) from Hazrat Shaikh (RA) the intricacies of coming from the state of “Qaal” to “Haal”. Hazrat Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA), shivering with humility, would with extreme politeness submit his answer.
THE PREACHINGS OF SHAIKH-UL-ALAM
There are innumerable sayings and miracles of Bibi Lalla Arifa and Hazrat Shaikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (RA) which are known to people in every part of the Valley. Shaikh-ul-Alam’s sacred sayings have the status of explanation of the Holy Quran. In his poetry, he has described in detail in sweet couplets the secrets and the light of Shariat, Tariqat, Haqiqat, Marifat, Fana fish-Shaikh, Fana fir-Rasool, Fana fil-llah, Fana fiz-Zat and Baqa bil-Allah.
He has made all people aware of real ways to free oneself from the snare of selfhood and Satan by understanding the Quran and the acts of Shariat, along with drawing attention to the infidelity, shirk, and superstitions.
His poetic composition guides people mostly in social, cultural matters of daily life, purity of earning, caring of relations, treating people with kindness, helping the deprived and helpless people, and other worldly matters.
Fear of Allah and achieving His favour is the foundation of his preaching.
Hazrat Sayid (RA) had directed Hazrat Shaikh (RA) to purify his soul by meditation for thirteen years in a cave at Qaimoh. During this period, he would attend in presence of his preceptor after walking on foot from Qaimoh to Kulgam. Hazrat Sayid Hussain Simnani (RA) would hear the poetry of Hazrat Shaikh Nur-ud-Din Noorani that would send him into a state of ecstasy with tears in his eyes and often it would so happen that when Hazrat Sayid would be busy in meditation (muraqaba), Hazrat Shaikh on attending would also bow his head in meditation (muraqaba) and would meet his preceptor spiritually at an unknown station and would return back, as recorded in history:
Hazrat Shaikh Nur-ud-Din would come to Kulgam to attend in presence of his honoured preceptor, for enquiry about the path of salook and to obtain other benefits, and whenever there would not take place any vivid meeting due to Hazrat Sayid’s resting, he would get answers to his problems spiritually and would return back to his place.
Hazrat Allama Baba Dawood Khaki (RA) writes in Rishi-nama: Hazrat Shaikh (RA) remained in the service of his honoured preceptor for a long period. That is why he has mentioned about his Pir clearly without any doubt in his couplets.
The disciple of Maboob-ul-Alam Shaikh Hamza Makhdumi Kashmiri (RA) has mentioned in Vird-ul-Muridin about his attending at the shrine of Hazrat Sayid Simnani (RA) and obtaining of spiritual benefits in following words: I am reminded of the sayings of Pir Simanai (RA), I have heard that the Shaikh got enlightened on as many paths as were there.
Muhammad Azam Dedamari (RA) points out in “Tarikh-i-Kashmir” towards the fact that Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam adopted the association of Hazrat Sayid for a pretty long timeA. fter covering all the stages of spirituality (Vilayat), Hazrat Sayid allowed Hazrat Shaikh to travel to every nook and corner of Kashmir for guiding people on the right path according to Quranic direction.
Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam Shaikh Nur-ud-Din Noorani (RA) had a great faith and extreme love for his perfect Pir. On the august direction of his honoured preceptor Qalandar-i- Sadat, Hazrat Alamdar-i-Kashmir travelled to every high and low land and the corners of all Parganas of Kashmir for preaching of Islam and left his memories in the form of advices, miracles and memories at almost every place. He remained busy throughout his life in guiding people on Allah’s path, spreading blessings, removing physical and spiritual tortures besides teaching people the neat and clean lessons of humanity.
Whatever un-Islamic bit in the way of remembrance of Almighty Allah and piety was prevalent in earlier Rishis, Hazrat Shaikh brought these paths (salook) of Rishiat cent percent on Islamic lines by his Islamic sayings. He prepared such an honoured group of Rishis by his fruitful training and beneficial association which was free from cynicism, being true friends of humans and the live-hearted Allah-knowing. Besides drawing attention of common people towards Islam, Hazrat Shaikh owned the responsibility of reforming Rishiat. Putting a stop to the anti-Shariah procedures in Rishiat, he imposed the checks of the Prophet’s (SAW) Shariat. It was because of his tireless efforts that the first and foremost condition of Rishiat became the adoption of Islam.
Hazrat Baba Dawood Mishkwati (RA) writes that there was a bit of Buddhist trend in Rishiat, which was removed by Hazrat Shaikh (RA).
Professor Prithvi Nath Pushp has written in one of his articles that, “After when “Shaikh Nur-ud-Din” was called “Nund Rishi”, The Rishi order of which, he became the Chief, it became a prerequisite to adopt Islam, so the persons outside the circle of Islam could not be included in this Rishi order.”
Hazrat Baba Naseeb-ud-Din Ghazi writes: Similarly, right from Hazrat Shaikh till date, whichever scholar of the ummat and Awlya-Allah has come to Kashmir or was born here, all and one uphold the greatness and preference of Hazrat Shaikh (RA).
Hazrat Khwaja Habibullah Nowshehri (RA) upholds the grandeur of Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam (RA) in these words: What can be said about his grandeur and greatness, when Hazrat Akhund Jamal, the son-in-law of Hazrat Baba Fathullah II (RA) (who was a scholar of esoteric knowledge), did not hold a good opinion about Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam. One night he had a vision of Prophet (SAW) in a dream. He saw a shining saint sitting by his side. Akhund Sahib was inquisitive to know who can be such a great person. Meanwhile the Prophet (SAW) said, “Mulla Jamal! He is Shaikh Nur-ud-Din. The task that was performed by him cannot be done by anyone else.”
When he was nearing his end, his destined khalifa Baba Nasr-ud-Din asked him, “O Hazrat do you have any wish?” He replied, “The Truth (the Haq)”. He was asked, “Who is in front of you?” He replied, “The Truth (the Haq)”. He was asked, “With whom you are talking?” He replied, “With the Truth (Haq)”. He was asked, “Will you drink any juice?” He replied that all his life he did not drink any juice for the sake of the ‘Truth’. Then he had a sip of water and saying ‘Haq’, he met the Truth (Haq).
THE CHRONOGRAM OF THE DEATH OF SHAIKH-UL-ALAM (RA)
Hazrat Baba Nasr has described the chronogram of his death as 842 AH.
Hazrat Baba Dawood Mishkwati after discussing on his year of death in his book “Asrar-ul-Abrar” writes: After thorough research, it is established that Hazrat Shaikh passed away in 842 Hijri. In “Fathat-i-Kubravia” Abdul Wahab Nuri records that Hazrat Baba Nasib-ud-Din writes that: “I saw written on the entrance gate of the mausoleum of Hazrat Shaikh the date of death as 842 Hijri.”
In “Waqat-i-Kashmir” Khwaja Azam Dedamari records his date of death after discussion, “It is well known that the date of death of Hazrat Shaikh is 842 Hijri.” The authors of “Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh” and “Majmooa-tu-Tawarikh” write that the year of his death as 842 Hijri is the correct one. Baba Khalil (RA) has recorded in “Rishi-nama” the date of death of Hazrat Shaikh as 842 Hijri. Ghulam Rasool Pompur writes in “Burj-i-Nur” that on the pillar of an ancient shrine, the year of his death was engraved prominently as 842 Hijri.
Thus the year of his death is confirmed as 842 AH / 1439 AD. The age of Hazrat Shaikh-ul-Alam Nur-ud-Din Noorani (RA) was 63 years without any doubt.
— (Extract from the book, ‘Introduction of Islam in Kashmir through Qalandar-I-Sadat Hazrat Mir Sayid Mohammad Hussain Simnani (RA)’, translated by Mohammad Ashraf Fazili)