Bulbul Shah by Yoginder Sikand

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Bulbul Shah by Yoginder Sikand


Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found athttp://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=cjmm20Download by: [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] Date: 02 October 2015, At: 16:33Journal of Muslim Minority AffairsISSN: 1360-2004 (Print) 1469-9591 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cjmm20Hazrat Bulbul Shah: The First Known MuslimMissionary in KashmirYoginder SikandTo cite this article: Yoginder Sikand (2000) Hazrat Bulbul Shah: The First Known MuslimMissionary in Kashmir, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 20:2, 361-367To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713680363Published online: 04 Aug 2010.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 57View related articles Citing articles: 1 View citing articles Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2000Hazrat Bulbul Shah: The First Known MuslimMissionary in KashmirYOGINDER SIKANDIntroductionThe events of the last decade and more have occasioned a veritable ood of writings onKashmir. Some of these are genuine scholarly works, but most of them may beconsidered little more than pure propaganda. A particularly tragic victim of this sort ofhistoriography has been the early history of Islam in Kashmir. Efforts have been madeto attempt to prove that the mass conversion to Islam in this region was the result ofpolitical patronage extended by Muslim kings or even their alleged mass persecution ofthe Hindu and Buddhist populace. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.As Bukhari rightly points out, It is an irrefutable fact of history that the people ofKashmir accepted Islam perfectly voluntarily with their hearts and souls [dil-o-jan se],without any force or pressure.1This article deals with the rst known Islamic missionary to Kashmir, a Su fromTurkistan popularly remembered as Hazrat Bulbul Shah. Little has been written abouthim, although scattered references to him and his work are found in most of themedieval chronicles about Kashmiri history. Hazrat Bulbul Shah is, however, of centralimportance in any study of Islam in Kashmir, for not only did he play a pioneering rolein the spread of Islam here, but he is also thought to have made bold efforts to bringabout a transformation in the caste-ridden Brahmin-dominated society of the Kashmirof his times, no doubt seeing this as part of his own religious mission. The success ofHazrat Bulbul Shahs missionary endeavours therefore needs to be understood in thecontext of the Brahminical social order of early medieval times, and to that we nowturn.Brahminical Rule in KashmirKashmir, on the eve of the advent of Islam in the region, was a society rigidlyhierarchically ordered, with the Brahmins exercising an untrammelled hegemony overthe hapless majority who were consigned to the unenviable status of low castes. Theextreme oppression under which the low castes laboured is re ected in one of theearliest Kashmiri Sanskrit texts that we have at our disposal, the Nilamata Purana, inwhich Nilanaga, the Hindu king of Kashmir, provides the social rules for the people ofKashmir to follow. Among the many detailed commandments are laws that strictlyenjoin the enforcement of the caste system and the worship of the Brahmins.2 TheBrahminical period of Kashmiri history, writes one scholar, was characterized bybloody sacri ces of low caste people by the high caste Brahmins to please their godsand goddesses. The Brahmins comfortably lived off the labour of the low castes,building magni cent temples where they stored their ill-gotten wealth.3 Wilson, in hisISSN 1360-2004 print/ISSN 1469-9591 online/00/020361-07 2000 Institute of MuslimMinority AffairsDownloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 362 Yoginder Sikandtreatise on the history of Hindu rule in Kashmir, writes that Brahmin offenders weretreated with leniency, while offenders against them were treated with ten-fold severity.4Protest against Brahminical hegemony took many forms in pre-Islamic Kashmir. Themost forceful expression of this protest was the rapid spread of Buddhism in the region,starting from the third century BCE. Buddhism remained the dominant religion of thenon-Brahmins of Kashmir until around the eighth century CE. The Chinese Buddhisttraveller and scholar, Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kashmir in the mid-seventh century,observed some 100 or more Buddhist temples in Srinagar alone.5 From the sixthcentury onwards, however, the in uence of Buddhism in Kashmir gradually began todecline at the hands of Brahminical revivalism, which saw egalitarian Buddhism as amajor challenge to its supremacy. By the end of the eighth century, Brahminism hadclearly emerged as the triumphant victor.The Brahminical campaign of exterminating Buddhism from Kashmir is one of thedarkest chapters in Kashmirs history. The ferocity and hatred that red many Brah-minical revivalists is clearly brought out in the works of several early medieval KashmiriBrahmin writers. Jayaratha, in his Haracharitachintamani , attributes the destruction ofthe Brahminical ritual sacri ces to the Buddha, and calls the Adi Buddha (The FirstBuddha) a demon. He writes that the Sravakatmanah Buddha is bent on destroyingthe world, by which, of course, he meant the Brahminical system of domination. In thesame vein, Kalhan declares in his Rajataringini that the Buddhists are the enemies ofthe agamas, and showers invectives on them for putting an end to the rites andsacri ces prescribed by the Nilamata Purana, which consisted largely in propitiating theBrahmins as gods and upholding the caste order.6Violence on a large scale accompanied this tirade against the Buddhists. The Hinduking Mihirakula, whose name, says Baig, is synonymous with the restoration ofShaivism in Kashmir, mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of Buddhist monks, destroyingtheir temples and ordering the massacre of thousands of families.7 Numerous Bud-dhist temples were captured and converted into Hindu shrines, the most prominentbeing the temple of Pas Pahar atop the Takht-i-Sulaiman in Srinagar, which wasrenamed after Shankaracharya, the leader of the Brahminical revivalist crusade, andwas dedicated to Jyeshteswara or Shiva.8 Likewise, the Hindu king Nara is said to haveburnt down thousands of [Buddhist] viharas.9With the rapid decline of Buddhism, protests against Brahminical hegemony nowbegan, from the ninth century onwards, expressing themselves within certain strands ofKashmiri Shaivism, bitterly critiquing the empty ritualism and idolatry associated withthe Hindu priesthood. This, however, failed to make a major dent in the power of theBrahminical establishment, because, as Nazki argues, the reformist effort was stif yopposed by the Brahmin priests, who, accordingly, plotted to trap it in the maze ofphilosophy, and branded it, as indeed Kalhan also does in his Rajataringini, as openheresy.10 According to Hangloo, over time even these reformist efforts within KashmiriShaivism were tamed, and it now became the established position that salvation waspossible only through the learning of the Brahminical scriptures. This, he says, in-evitably put the masses beyond its reach and limited its appeal to the select who had theleisure for intellectual pursuits. He writes that with their concern for philosophicalspeculation, the Shaivite leaders did nothing to relieve the masses from their age-oldsuffering, while the latter were increasingly burdened with cumbersome rituals andceremonies.11 Thus, by the time Islam found its way to Kashmir, Kashmiri society wasripe for a new philosophy of life, one that would appeal to the downtrodden lowercastes and the Buddhists, both victims of Brahminical revivalism and orthodoxy.Downloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 Hazrat Bulbul Shah 363Consequently, when the rst Muslim missionaries arrived in Kashmir, the Kashmirisconverted to Islam in a ood.12The First Muslims in KashmirIt is interesting to note that the spread of Islam in Kashmir long predates theestablishment of the rst Muslim dynasty in the region in the early fourteenth century.A story is told, whose veracity may be doubtful, of the Prophet Muhammad havinghimself dispatched two emissaries to the court of Venadutt, the Hindu king of Kashmir,who is said to have been so impressed by their exposition of their faith that he beganleading a simple life and even distributed one-tenth of his agricultural produce [i.e.revenues] amongst the poor and needy as ushr.13 It is also said that after Muhammadbin Qasim and his army defeated Dahir, the Hindu king of Sind, in 711 CE, Dahirsson Jaisiya ed to Kashmir, taking along with him a Syrian Muslim general of his army,one Hamim bin Sama. Hamim, apparently, was warmly welcomed by the Hindu kingof Kashmir and given an estate, where he built several mosques and laid the foundationof a ourishing Muslim community.14We also hear of an anonymous early ninth century Kashmiri Hindu king who wrotea letter to Amir Abdullah bin Umar bin Abdul Aziz of Mansura, requesting him todispatch a scholar to his court who could explain the tenets of the Islamic shariat inal-Hindia language.15 The ninth century Arab traveller Buzurg bin Shahryar mentionsin his travelogue, Ajaib-al Hind (The Wonders of India), that the Hindu king of Mehrokein Kashmir had commissioned the preparation of a Kashmiri translation of the HolyQuran.16 Firm evidence of the Muslim presence predating considerably the establish-ment of Muslim rule in Kashmir is available from the twelfth century onwards. Kalhan,the noted twelfth century Kashmiri Pandit scholar, writes in his Rajataringini, that theKashmiri Hindu king Harshadeva (10891101 CE) employed many mlecchas (a deroga-tory term he uses for Muslims) in his court and army.17As regards the rst Kashmiri converts to Islam, the early Hindu writers give us noindications, being more concerned with happenings at the royal courts. However,it has been opined that some of these texts might actually mention certain MuslimSu missionaries active in the region well before the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shahin Kashmir, but that their names have been distorted all out of recognition.18As a result, the rst Su in Kashmir about whom we have rm historical evidence isHazrat Bulbul Shah, but even in his case his story is shrouded in layers of myth andlegend.Hazrat Bulbul ShahHazrat Bulbul Shahs real name was Sayyed Sharfuddin Abdur Rahman, but, says onewriter, such a lover of the tradition of the Prophet [ashiq-i-sunnat-i-rasul] was he thathe was given the title of Bilal, after a favourite companion of the Prophet Muhammad,which was later corrupted as Bulbul.19 As regards his place of birth, the records givecon icting views, some mentioning Turkistan, while others suggesting Iran and Bagh-dad. His family claimed direct descent from the Prophet Muhammad and was wellknown for its piety. Hazrat Bulbul Shah is believed to have spent many years inBaghdad, where he became a disciple of the noted Su of the Suhrawardi order, HazratShah Nimatullah Wali Farsi, who, in turn, according to one source, was a disciple ofHazrat Ziauddin-ul Najib Abdul Qahiri.20Downloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 364 Yoginder SikandRa qui, in his treatise on Su sm in Kashmir, tells us, on the other hand, that HazratShah Nimatullah Wali Farsi was a disciple of Hazrat Shaikh Shihabuddin Abu HafsUmar bin Abdullah (d. 1234), nephew and successor of Shaikh Ziauddin AbdulSuhrawardi.21 He is said to have been equally pro cient in the religious [dini] andworldly [duniyavi] sciences, and in the exterior [zahiri] as well as the esoteric [batini]disciplines.22 As a wandering dervish, Hazrat Bulbul Shah travelled extensively in westand central Asia before nally arriving in Kashmir in 1295 CE, in the reign of the lastHindu king of Kashmir, Raja Suha Dev. It is believed that he stayed in Kashmir for ashort while on his rst trip and returned to central Asia, but later came back in 1324CE in the reign of Kashmirs rst Muslim king, Rinchen Shah, in whose conversion toIslam he played the central role. This time, it is said, he was accompanied by some onethousand disciples, including leading Islamic scholars.23 According to another source,however, he came alone.24Hazrat Bulbul Shahs Missionary EndeavoursThe role of Hazrat Bulbul Shah in planting the seeds of Islam in Kashmir is inextricablylinked with the political developments of his times, and here a slight digression is inorder. Kashmir in the twelfth century was racked with political intrigue in the courts ofthe Hindu Rajas and considerable mass unrest. Jonaraja, the noted fteenth centuryHindu Pandit historian, writes about Raja Suha Dev, the last Hindu ruler of Kashmir,that he was a rakshasa [demon] of a king, who devoured Kashmir for nineteen years,three months and twenty ve days.25 Already tottering under the weight of its owncontradictions, the death-knell for Hindu rule was sounded with the invasion of theTartar hordes led by the Mongol warlord Zulchu, grandson of the dreaded Hulagu in1319. He laid Kashmir waste in a campaign of mass slaughter that lasted some eightlong months, in which thousands of Kashmiris lost their lives. Zulchu ordered allable-bodied Kashmiri men to be killed, for the women and children to be taken asslaves and for entire towns to be razed to the ground.26Shortly before Zulchus invasion, Rinchen Shah (whose Buddhist name was Lha-chen-rgyal-bu-rin-chen), son of the Ladakhi Buddhist king Lha-chen-dngros-grub, had ed to Kashmir after his father had been slain in a battle with the Baltis. The thenHindu ruler of Kashmir, Raja Suha Dev, welcomed Rinchen and gave him an estate inthe region of Lar. At around the same time, another man who was to play a key rolein the establishment of Muslim rule in Kashmir, Shah Mir, arrived in Kashmir fromSwat. During Zulchus invasion Rinchen remained at Lar and played a heroic role indefending the people against the Mongol marauders, because of which he emerged asa popular leader with much mass support.27 Shah Mir, too, joined in leading thestruggle against the Mongols. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Mongol invasion RajaSuha Dev ed to Kishtwar, and were it not for Rinchen Shah and Shah Mir, theKashmiris would have been left completely defenceless.With Raja Suha Dev hiding in Kishtwar, Rawanchandra, his commander-in-chief,took over as king of Kashmir, but his rule did not last long. Encouraged by the popularsupport that he had won in resisting the Mongols, Rinchen deposed Rawanchandra andascended the throne of Kashmir in 1320 CE as the rst Buddhist king in Kashmir afterseveral centuries of Hindu rule. Since Shah Mir had played a key role in bringing himto power, Rinchen appointed him as his chief minister. He also appointed Rawanchan-dra, son of Ramachandra, as governor of Lar and gave him the province of Ladakh asan estate.Downloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 Hazrat Bulbul Shah 365Rinchen Shahs ConversionRinchens conversion from Buddhism to Islam at the hands of Hazrat Bulbul Shah wasthe single most crucial event in his short-lived rule. According to one account, it wasShah Mir who played a major role in this regard. Malihabadi writes that Shah Mir, saidby some to have been a Hindu Rajput, earlier served as prime minister in the court ofRaja Suha Dev. Every evening, after the isha prayers would be over, he would disguisehimself and sit outside the little inn in Srinagar that served as a mosque and meetingplace for the towns small Muslim community, to listen to sermons being delivered byMuslim scholars. Gradually, he developed a great interest in the religion. One day, acertain Su from Kabul, whose name we are not given, but who could well have beenHazrat Bulbul Shah, arrived at the inn and delivered a speech on Islam, which soin uenced Shah Mir that he decided to convert to that religion. Shah Mir told him hishearts desire, and said that he was even willing to give up the post of the prime ministerin the Hindu Rajas court if he had to.Shah Mir embraced Islam at the hands of the Su , who advised him to tell Raja SuhaDev about his conversion. Shah Mir was convinced that the Hindu Raja would dismisshim from his post for having become a Muslim, but when the king was given the newshe insisted that Shah Mirs change of religion had not prejudiced him in the least andthat he and his courtiers would not allow Shah Mir to resign, for they were all awareof his ne administrative capabilities and dedication. When Rinchen ascended thethrone he appointed Shah Mir as his prime minister, and, according to this version ofthe story, it was Shah Mirs in uence and the impression that he, as a pious Muslim,made on Rinchen, that was instrumental in the latters conversion to Islam.28Another version of Rinchens conversion has it that by temperament he was inquisi-tive and alert and was fond of the company of learned men. He would spend hourswith Buddhist and Hindu priests discussing religious matters, but even then, it is said,he failed to nd their views appealing because they did not satisfy his spiritual thirst.Buddhism, the religion into which he had been born, did not answer his quest becauseby then it had become diluted with foreign elements. He was dissatis ed withHinduism, too, because of Brahminical arrogance and caste discrimination. Becauseof this great spiritual vacuum in his life, it is said, he would spend many sleepless nights,weeping profusely and praying to God to guide him to the true path. It was then thathe happened to meet Hazrat Bulbul Shah in the city of Srinagar. Learning about Islamfrom him, and being so impressed by its teachings, which were simple, free fromuseless ceremonies, caste and priesthood, he accepted Islam at his hands and receivedthe name of Malik Sadruddin. This event occurred in 1323 CE.29Rinchen Shahs rst meeting with Hazrat Bulbul Shah is mentioned in almost all theearly Muslim chronicles of Kashmir. Witnessing the constant strife between his Hinduand Buddhist subjects, it is said, Rinchen was greatly disturbed, and this set him onthe path of seeking to discover the spiritual truth. One night, while in deep thought,he came to the decision that he should accept the religion of the rst person that hehappened to see the next morning. He spent the entire night praying to God forguidance. When he got up in the morning and looked out of the window of his palace,the rst person he saw was Hazrat Bulbul Shah, who was offering the early morning fajrprayers on the banks of the river Jhelum. Seeing him, Rinchen rushed out of his palaceto pay his respects to him.From Hazrat Bulbul Shah Rinchen learnt about Islam and then became a Muslim.As the anonymous author of the Baharistan-i-Shahi, a medieval Persian text on theDownloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 366 Yoginder Sikandhistory of Kashmir, puts it, Rinchen, now subjected himself to the teachings of thereligion of Mustafa [the Prophet], and the right principles of the truthful path ofMurtaza [Imam Ali], and embraced the Islamic religion with sincerity and conviction.He gave up once and for all the false and corrupt religions.30Following the conversion of Rinchen and his family, several other leading Kashmirisalso followed suit, most notably Rawanchandra, son of the Hindu king Ramachandrawho had been deposed by Rinchen. Many low castes and Buddhists, too, now beganto embrace the new faith, seeing in it a source of liberation from the shackles of theBrahminical system. It is said that, in all, Hazrat Bulbul Shah succeeded in making some10,000 converts to Islam through means of peaceful missionary effort, although this gure seems considerably exaggerated.31ConclusionBeing a devout Muslim Su , Hazrat Bulbul Shah led a life of complete self-abnegationand cast an enormous in uence on the people amongst whom he worked and lived.32He preached against the popular superstitions that were widely prevalent amongst theKashmiris of his day. Belief in the power of ghosts and evil spirits was particularly strongand widespread among the people. Hazrat Bulbul Shah, it is said, organized a specialreligious service at which he recited the Surat al-Jinn, a chapter of the Holy Quran, afterwhich he no longer heard complaints from the people about jinns troubling them.33 Hisclose involvement with ordinary folk in their times of need is evident from the story thatonce, at the height of a particularly severe winter when all the lakes had turned to ice,the people of Srinagar, having no access to water, came to him for help. Hazrat BulbulShah, so the story goes, looked up towards the sky and called out, Where is the sun tomelt all the ice? All at once, it is said, the sun appeared from behind a thick blanketof clouds and the ice on the lakes began to melt.34 Although this may well be a laterhagiographic legend, the story clearly suggests the understanding that ordinary Kash-miris have of the Su being deeply concerned about the plight of the poor.Hazrat Bulbul Shah took up residence on the banks of the Jhelum where RinchenShah set up a khanqah or Su centre at Ali Kadal in the heart of Srinagar. Close to thekhanqah, Rinchen Shah constructed two mosques, including a Jamiah mosque for theFriday congregational prayers. Attached to the khanqah was a large langar khana orcommunity kitchen, now known as Bulbul Langar where the poor were fed free of costtwice a day. The credit for introducing the institution of the langar in Kashmir, whichis still to be found in several Su centres all over the region, thus goes to Hazrat BulbulShah. At the khanqah he would deliver regular sermons and provide spiritual instructionto his followers who, in turn, carried the message of Islam to various other parts ofKashmir.35Hazrat Bulbul Shah carried on with his mission of spreading Islam from his khanqahuntil he breathed his last in 1327 CE. Although the mass conversion of the Kashmiristo Islam had to wait for at least a century later, his role was crucial in planting the seedsof Islam in the region.NOTES1. Sayyed Muhammad Faruq Bukhari, Kashmir main Islam: Manzar Aur Pasmanzar (Islam inKashmir: Historical Context), Srinagar: Maktaba Ilm-o-Adab, 1998, p. 4.2. Ved Kumari, The Nilamata Purana, Vol. II, Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art,Culture and Languages, 1994.Downloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015 Hazrat Bulbul Shah 3673. R. L. Hangloo, Accepting Islam and Abandoning Hinduism: A Study of Proselytisation Processin Medieval Kashmir, Islamic Culture, Vol. lxxi, 1997, p. 92.4. Ibid., p. 93.5. Bashir Akhtar, Ibadat Gahen (Places of Worship), in Hamara Adab (Our Culture), Srinagar:Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, 19811982, p. 181.6. Yoginder Sikand, The Role of Kashmiri Su s in the Promotion of Social Reform and CommunalHarmony [14th16th Century], Mumbai: Center for Study of Society and Secularism, 2000, p. 9.7. Abdur Rashid Baig, Role of Shah-i-Hamadan in the Islamization of Kashmir, MPhil dissertation,Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, Kashmir University, Srinagar, 1995, p. 77.8. Muhammad Amin Pandit, From Burzahom to Solomons Throne, in Heritage of Kashmir, ed. F.M. Hassnain, Srinagar: Gulshan, 1980, p. 46.9. G. M. D. Su , Kashir: Being a History of Kashmir from the Earliest Times to Our Own, Vol. I, NewDelhi: Capital Publishing House, 1996, p. 43.10. Rashid Nazki, Mazahib-o-Aqaid (Religions and Beliefs), in Hamara Adab (Our Culture),19811982, p. 167.11. R. L. Hangloo, Accepting Islam, op. cit., p. 95.12. Rashid Nazki, Mazahib-o-Aqaid, op. cit., p. 172.13. Mohiuddin, Islam in Kashmir, in Heritage of Kashmir, ed. F. M. Hassnain, Srinagar: Gulshan, n.d., p. 44.14. S. M. F. Bukhari, Kashmir main Islam, op. cit., p. 18.15. Directorate of Information, Kashmir Today, Srinagar: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, 1998,pp. 11314.16. Khwaja Muhammad Azam Didamari, Waqiat-i-Kashmir (The History of Kashmir) [translated byKhwaja Hamid Yazdani], Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Research Center, 1998, p. 117.17. S. M. F. Bukhari, Kashmir main Islam, op. cit., p. 6.18. Ibid., p. 9.19. Abdur Rabb Kardar, The Way to Su sm: Life and Teachings of Su s, New Delhi: Anjuman-i-Min-haj-i-Rasul, 1979, p. 48.20. Ibid., p. 49.21. Abdul Qaiyum Ra qui, Su sm in Kashmir From the Fourteenth Century to the Sixteenth Century, NewDelhi: Bharatiya Publishing House, n. d., p. 16.22. Hasan, Tazkirat-ul Auliya-i-Kashmir (The History of the Su s of Kashmir), Srinagar: GhulamMuhammad & Nur Muhammad, 1989, p. 4.23. Abdur Rabb Kardar, The Way to Su sm, op. cit., p. 48.24. Darakshan Abdullah, Religious Views of Sultan Sikander [13891413], PhD thesis, Departmentof History, Kashmir University, Srinagar, 1988, p. 26.25. G. M. D. Su , Kashir: Being a History of Kashmir, op. cit., p. 117.26. K. M. A. Didamari, Waqiat-i-Kashmir op. cit., p. 61.27. Mohibbul Hasan, Kashmir Under the Sultans, Srinagar: Ali Mohammad, 1974, p. 38.28. Zayb Malihabadi, Kashmir Ki Kali: Kashmir Mai Musalmano Ka Pahla Qadam (The Flower ofKashmir: The Advent of Muslims in Kashmir), Rampur: Pakeeza Kitab Ghar, 1990, pp. 420.29. Mohibbul Hasan, Kashmir Under the Sultans, op. cit., p. 39.30. Baharistan-i-Shahi (The Royal Garden), Calcutta: Firma KLM, p. 22.31. Abdul Ahad Ra q, Sayyed Bulbul Shah, in Hamara Adab, ed. Muhammad Yusuf Teng,Mushahir Number, Vol. II, Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture andLanguages, 1979, p. 27.32. P. M. K. Bamzai, Cultural and Political History of Kashmir, Vol. II, New Delhi: M.D. Publications,1994, p. 315.33. Abdul Ahad Ra q, Sayyed Bulbul Shah, op. cit., p. 31.34. Abdur Rabb Kardar, The Way to Su sm, op. cit., p. 49.35. The most prominent among Hazrat Bulbul Shahs principal disciples, who included Islamicscholars (ulama) as well as mystics of great accomplishment, was Mullah Ahmad, whom he madehis chief deputy to carry on Islamic missionary work in Kashmir. Later, the Mullah was appointedby Shah Mir, who ascended the throne of Kashmir after Rinchen Shah as Sultan Shamsuddin (r.13411345), as the rst Shaikh-ul Islam or chief alim of Islam in Kashmir. To the Mullah goesthe credit of writing the rst Islamic texts in Kashmir about which we have rm historical evidence.Among his many works, two stand out as most prominent: the Fatawa-i-Shihabiya, a compendiumon Islamic jurisprudence ( qh) and the other, the al-Shahab al-Shaqab, a treatise on Su sm.Downloaded by [University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities] at 16:33 02 October 2015