Engineer Nazir Ahmad Mir Pampori was an engineer by profession besides being an Islamic scholar, eloquent religious orator, devotional writer and a kind human being. He had served Shah-i-Hamadan Trust Pampore—age old religious seminary, for a long period of time. He is known throughout the valley by his speeches and writings on Islam and the Muslim world. He is the author of more than two dozen books which includes the topics of Islamic theology, Sufism and Sufi saints of Kashmir, Morality and history of Kashmir. He had also contributed in terms of poetry and penned down many poetic works. Among all his works, the under study book is the most comprehensive one (approx. 667 Pages) on the subject of Kashmir history. The work as the name depicts is one of the comprehensive works on the history of Pampore province. The work is based on 17 chapters including the introductory chapter which outlines the framework of the book.
In the first Chapter entitled ‘Alaqah Pampore: Tarikh-e-Kashmir kay Ainey Main, the author (like many historians) have discussed the history of Kashmir from a lake called “Satti Sar” and discusses about the formation of different regions/tribes/parganas, original inhabitants, the kings (including their nature) and their kingdoms viz. Gonanda, Utpala, Karkota, Sultans, Chaks, Mughals, Afghans, Dogras, eras like Bikrami, Kaljoog & Christian etc, expansion of different religions, advancement of Muslims propagators, establishment of temples, mosques and monasteries and glimpses on wars. He has also demonstrated the existing and contemporary research analysis’s of the historical anecdotes of Shankaracharya temple or Takht-e-Sulimani. In the whole history of Kashmir, the author exclusively emphasizes to Pampore province and its establishment. Chapter 2nd entitles Kashmir Main Din-i-Islam key Awwaleen Dai’ is very brief which describes the life and role of Syed Sharaf-ud-Din Turkistani popularly known as Bulbul Shah in the spread of Islam in Kashmir and mentioned some miracles (Karamat) associated to him. In Chapter 3rd, Tuhfey Kubraviyah, Engineer Nazir describes the life and contribution of Mir Sayed ‘Ali Hamadani and his disciples exclusively of those who were deputed for the propagation of Islam and training of Muslims in Pampore region, including the establishment of Khanqah. Moreover, it depicts passing references about the unknown or little known Sufi saints and shrines of Pampore.
Chapter 4th, Tuhfey Sultaniyah Suharwardiyah Kashmir, this chapter deals with the emergence of Suharwardi silsila and its proponents in Kashmir especially Shaikh Hamza Makdoom. It discusses about his visits to Pampore, and the role played by his disciples in the promotion of the Silsila.
Chapter 5th, Tuhfey Masoodiyah Sultaniyah Pampore, is all about the life of Khwaja Masood Pampori; his discipleship with Baba Dawood Khaki and Baba Hyder Rishi, and the situation of Kashmir during his times. It also demonstrates the geneology of the Khwaja Massod from his father Khwaja Sadr-ud-Din upto the peer Ali Muhammad.
In Chapter 6th entitled Khulfa-i-Khwaja Masood Pampori, the author discusses the life and spiritual state of the ten famous Sufi saints & disciples of Khwaja Masood of Pampore viz. Shaikh Shareef-ud-Din Wali (Shoogh Baba), Shaikh Banger Rishi, Baba Ali Pampori, Khawaja Habibullah Attar, Baba Muhammad Yousuf, Geebi Shah Sahb, Baba Abdullah Pampori, Shaikh Najm-ud-Din Rishi, Allah Daad Rishi and Shaikh Ahlah Rishi. The chapter also includes the description of three prominent Khanqahs of Silsila Masoodiyah viz. Khanqah Masoodiyah, Khanqah Shoogh Baba and Khanqah Saadah Baba besides the description of the remaining things of the Sufi saints (tabaruqaat).
7th Chapter entitled as Silsila-i-Mahmoodiyah Suharwardiyah, Here, the author describes the history of this silsila in Pampore which was initiated by Mir Mahmood Pampori Suharwardi and accelerated by his disciples; Shaikh Ashraf Fateh Kadli & Syed Saif-ud-Din Sahb and their Khulafas. It also describes briefly the miracles that are associated to these Sufis.
Tuhfey Qadriyah Pampore, the 8th comprehensive chapter begins with the brief history of Qadriyah Silsila of Khanyar, Srinager which begins with Syed Abdul Hassan Qadri & his brother Syed Muhammad Fazil Qadri (popularly known as Sakhi Shah Sahb—migrated from Pakistan and resided in Srinager). From there, the Khanqah became a centre of Qadri Silsila in Kashmir. Later on, the foundation of this Khanqah was laid by Syed Ghulam Shah Azad who guided Baba Muhammad Qaim, Syed Jalal-ud-Din,Waiz Sidiqullah and Nur-ud-Din Pampori (popularly known as Nund Wali). It also discusses about Nund Wali and his disciples; Buzarig Shah Qadri, Mir Azhar Kantpori, Mir Abdul Gani Andrabi. Seemingly, the author has added one more personality of this order, at the end, known as Haji Abdul Rahim Pampori.
Chapter 9th entitled as Mir Wai’zan-i-Hamdaniyah Pampore, Here, the author, probably for the first time in history, mentions the prominent orators of Islam exclusively of Pampore. The author begins from Molvi Sidiqullah, Waiz Abdul Salam & Hafiz Abdul Rasool (Lasseh Boi) and Maulana Muhammad Yaseen Hamadani. The author has described thoroughly the life and services of Hamadani in preaching of Islam along with the times he lives in.
Majazib-e-Pampore, 10th chapter begins with the definition of Majzub and the status of a Majzub in Islamic spirituality in the light of the writings of the great Sufis and scholars of Islam. Engineer Nazir has devoted many pages in describing the aesthetic life of these Majazeeb. He put Lalla Arifa (Lal Ded) as the first Majzub of Pampore. The chapter describes other Majzubs of the area like Ahad Sahb Dhalvan, Ahad Sahb Gangah and Peer Zia-e-ud-Din (Zee Sahb). The chapter describes many miracles (Karamat) of these Sufis.
11th Chapter, Shu’ra’-i-Pampore: Abdul Ahad Sofi, Abdul Samad Peer, Abdul Samad Hajam, Ghulam Muhammad Ghashir, Ghulam Hassan Inqilaab, Abdul Aziz Bhat (Irfan Pampori), Ghulam Muhammad Mir Tavus are the prominent spiritual & revolutionary poets of Pampore that has been put forwarded by engineer Nazir in this chapter. Their poetic verses have been given as references. After his relentless efforts, Engineer Nazir has provided a detailed account on adjacent villages of Pampore in 12th chapter entitled as ‘Alaqahjaat-e-Pargana Pampore. The work is rich in explaining even the minute details; socio-economic and religio-political aspects of life. The geography and demography of these villages has been mentioned exhaustively. It also recognizes the intellectual and religio-spiritual personalities of the area. The most important thing is that it provides all these details in context of religion and spirituality. Moreover, the chapter provides ample details about different periods of history viz. Mughals, Afghans etc and its impact on the life of the region. It also mentions temples, Shrines and Mausoleums.
13th Chapter entitled as Qasbey Pampore; In this chapter, the author has outlined the interior design of Pampore town and bracketed certain things which once used to be the sources of prosperity for one and all. Concerning with the geography and demography of Pampore town throughout the history, the author has succeeded to a very great extent to describe the accurate scene and populace of the town in different times of history. Moreover, the author has discussed fruits and vegetables produced in a very tangible way. Further, the description about the situations which has been faced by the people of the town in different times is depicted in it clearly.
Chapter 14th, Za’firan Zaar, distinguishes the region from all other regions due to saffron production. The author has provided the historical details of saffron production in Pampore and in the world as well. Moreover, he has analyzed the current situation; problems, issues and concerns of its production and paved the attention of the government towards its betterment. The areas of Pampore which are rich in saffron production have been identified. Somehow the statistical detail of the production according to the villages in 1983 has been missed unintentionally, which the author actually intended to provide.
In Chapter 15th entitled as Zaatayn Aur Qabeeley, the author demarcates the original castes of Kashmir valley and mentioned certain castes viz. Pushach, Yaksh, Aryan Jews, Saka, Yuchi and Hun. The focus is on castes of Pampore both inferior and superior as considered viz. Dar, Lone, Raina, Bandey, Basu, Tantray, Rather, Mir, Shah, Rishi, Shaikh, Ganie, Malik etc including their historical roots.
In 16th Chapter entitled as Faqeer Muhammad Ahsan Shah Sahi, the author provides detailed information about one of the towering personalities of Pampore called as Faqeer Mohd Ahsan Shah (born in Chugund Pulwama). He was teacher by profession, got transfered to “Boys High School” Pampore in 1956 and settled there. Being a pious man, he influenced many great personalities of Kashmir viz. Prof. Mohd Ishaq Khan—a historian who considers him as his spiritual mentor. The author acknowledges that he himself was very much influenced by the magnetic personality and character of Mohd Ahsan Shah. He is the person who actually laid the foundation stone of “Darul Uloom Shah-i-Hamadan”.
17th Chapter entitled as Karwan-i-Hamdania Pampore is the last chapter of the book. In this chapter, the author reminds the days of 1977 when he along with his associates succeeded in establishing a library in the main town of Pampore which progressed and emerged now a religious seminary known as “Darul Uloom Shahi-i-Hamadan” and later on “Shahi-i-Hamadan Memorial Trust” was added to its maintenance.
The understudied work is essentially a comprehensive monograph on the history of Pampore. It is, indeed, the source book for all readers and researchers who intends to work regarding the socio-religious, cultural, political and economic developments of Pampore throughout the history. The work includes the description of Islam in Kashmir in general and Islam in Pampore in particular. It includes chapters on the life and contribution of Sufi Saints, Sufi Silsilas, Shrines, Mausoleums, Mosques, Temples, Poets and Orators. It also describes the tribes, regions, Parganas, villages, Occupations and Saffron production of Pampore. The work has been penned down in a very lucid manner and in simple language which is comprehensible for one and all. The contents of the book describe the richness of the work and the proficiency of the author in the field of history. The author bases his statements on written historical records, folk lore and many a times using his own logic & reasoning. The author has consulted primary and secondary sources of Persian, Urdu and Kashmir works and compiled it in the light of these sources. Besides the articles of “Greater Kashmir” of 2000-2002 and different numbers of “Hamara Adab” of Cultural Academy of Srinagar has been quoted frequently.
Shah-i-Hamadan Memorial Trust, Pampore, 2022
Pages: 668, ISBN: 9788189437299.
(The Author is working as Assistant Professor at Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri, J&K. Views are his own)