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‘Hayati Sheikh (RA) abiyati Sheikh kay aayinay mai’

By Nisar Ahmad

Sheikh Ul Alam (RA), the flag bearer of Kashmir is the lone son of the soil who was granted the title of Alamdar. He is sole personality of Kashmir whose Kalaam has been read in this beautiful valley from the last 700 years. His grandeur is so peculiar that Kashmir could not produce a man like Alamdar for the last seven centuries. Keeping in view the magnificence of this great man, whatever is known about his life is in scattered bits. To get acquainted with the personality of the true Alamdar, it was always painful for a reader to find him shrouded in the wrappers of myth and fiction.
In many instances, Alamdar’s biography has been blotted with concocted stories and fabricated tales. Such manipulations not only hurt the soul of a conscious reader, but depict the insolence of pen-holders about this great personality. It was the need of the hour that a life history based on research, purely unbiased, logically strong and vehemently firm, should be available to the 21st century readers to understand and accept the exceptional genius of this spiritual celebrity.
Thank God! We now have such a book that inculcates all such traits.
A 2017 Book under the title of ‘Hayati Sheikh Abiyati Sheikh Kay Aayinay Mai’ authored by Ghulam Nabi Adfar (who happens to be the author of Alchemy of Light, the versified translation of Alamdar’s Kalam, which was highly appreciated by scholars and students) is by far the most authentic literary piece encompassing the life of Alamdar.
The book by Adfar under the above mentioned title is undoubtedly a pearl. Written in lucid Urdu language, it comprises of about 260 pages. The entire life history of Sheikh-ul-Alam has been derived from the verses of Alamdar without ambiguity and fallibility.
The efforts of Adfar in designing the book are praiseworthy. Adfar has managed to complete an uphill task and bring to the fore the life of the great Alamdar by delving deeper than others into the verses of the great man.
The book is of paramount importance as it possesses the historical, logical and rational truths about Alamdar and gives space to many such events that other have hardly touched in their works.
Adfar has beautifully projected different aspects of Hazrat Sheik’s life: his birth, schooling, knowledgeable self, missionary behaviour, philosophical aptitude, leadership attitude, scholarly conduct and far other new dimensions of his life.
It is the first book of its kind that has refuted the legendary aptitude of unscrupulous and unreliable sources. Prior to it, fictions and imaginary descriptions were attributed to this legendary personality. Alamdar’s leadership qualities were usually shrouded with Alif Laila legends, which were propagated without any literary or historical basis.
Such hypothetical stories created doubt among the scholars who study or want to study Alamdar’s life. The capacious capabilities of Sheikh-ul-Aalam were concealed under some conspiracies. A weak imagination of Sheikh was nourished and a fragile picture of a religious cleric was propagated and generated. His whole talent and genius about nation building remained under veils.
Alhamdulillah! after a gap of so many centuries, all such concocted stories and biased assertions have finally been fissured by this book under review. Adfar, with hard toil, has succeeded in bringing forth the authentic biography of Sheikh-ul-Aalam (RA) with sufficient proof. Historical backgrounds represented in the book do confirm the life record of Noorudin Noorani (RA).
The book indeed is a rishi nama of modern age, interpreting the life history of Alamdar with sequence and continuity based on research and standard reasoning. The book is hard bound with a good getup. It is a living testimony of the dedication and involvement of Adfar towards the work of Sheikh Noor-ud-din Noorani (RA). It very well establishes his credentials as a serious researcher and writer. It, thus, needs to be read by all to understand the contribution of Sheikh-ul-Alam (RA), who is a symbol of Islam in Kashmir and its pristine culture of Sufism.

Author is a student of Mass Communication and can be reached at [email protected]