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Founder of Salafi Dawah in Kashmir – by Amir Al-Athari

Founder of Salafi Dawah in Kashmir

Hazrat Peerzada Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Shah Betku (قدس الله سره).

In the tyrant Ranbir Singh’s time Peerzada Sayyid Husain Shah Betku raised his voice against Pir-mu- reedi’, tomb worship and denounced the worship of shrines

• Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Shah had visited certain literary centres in India .

His Chain of religious Scholarship:

He took the Knowledge from Sheikh al Kull fil kull ,Miya Sayyid Nazir Husain Dahlewi Dhahiri (رحمة الله) who took from Sheikh i Yemen ,Hazrat Allameh Hussain bin Mohsin Sabaii Ansarii(قد الله سرة) ; who took from Mujadid i Yemen Hazrat Allameh Imam Muhammad bin Ali al-Shawkani(قدس الله سرة) who took From Al Imam Sayyid Abd Al Qadir Bin Ahmad al Kowkabani(قدس الله سرة) who took from Shaykh Al Islam ,Imam Sayyid Muhammad bin Ismail al-Sanani Tabatabai (قدس الله سرة); who took from al-Sheikh Abu Tahir Kurdistani (قدس الله سرة) who took from his Father al-Qadi ‘Ibrahim Kurrani Kurdistani(قدس الله سرة),Sheikh i Haram , Ahmad Kashashi (قدس الله سرة)who took from Sheikh Ahmad bin Abdul Qaddus Sanabii (قدس الله سرة) who took from Al Qadi Muhammad bin Ahmad Ramli Filastini(قدس الله) who took from Sheikh Al Islam Khwaja Zakariya Ansari Khorasani(قدس الله) who took from Al Imam Hafiz ibn Hajr Askalani (قدس الله)who took from Sheikh Ibrahim Tanukhii (قدس الله) who took from Sheikh Ahmad bin Abi Talib al Hajarii(قدس الله) who took from Abul Hassan Muhammad bin Abd Al Rehman Dabardii (قدس الله سرة)who took from Imam Muhammad bin Ahmad Al Ramli(قدس الله سرة) who took from Imam Muhammad bin Abdullah Hamvi Shamii (قدس الله سرة)who took from Sheikh Abdullah bin Yousuf Faraabi(قدس الله سرة) who Took From Al Imam_Abū ‘Abd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Mughīrah ibn Bardizbah al-Ju‘fī al-Bukhārī (عليه رحمة) ; May Allah have mercy upon them all and gather us with them in Jannah.

• It was from him that he learnt theology and jurisprudence . He was a resident of Batakpora near Madeen Sahib in Srinagar. He was named Betku by the Mullahs after the name of his Mohalla Batakpora. Moulvi Sayyid Nazir Husain was given the title of Shaikhu’l Kull for his learning. He was highly venerated as the Muhaddith, jurist and exegesist. He was respected for his high birth and courtly behaviour, but above all he was respected for his knowledge and his devotion to the cause of Tauhld . No sooner had he entered the valley, than he vehemently raised his voice against the customs deep-rooted in the Muslim society, Which he declared were all borrowed from Hinduism

• Not only this, but he also advocated the cause of Tauhid— oneness of God

• He delivered a series of lectures at Zaldagar Mohalla, Which were purely based on Tauhid. and Which even impressed Mir Waiz Ahmad— Ullah Hamdani of Jamia Mosque. He urged the people to follow in detail the practice of Prophet Mohammad. His denunciation of the grave worship and saint worship was not liked by the Mullahs of Srinagar .
He hed to encounter, from the very outset, bitter end determined opposition of Soofi Mullas of Muslim community. The Mullahs of Kashmir even issued fatwes (decrees) against him, condemning him as an infidel, The Muslims were not even allowed to talk to him and if any-body did so, he was considered to be an apostate from Islam.

• This opposition of the local Soofi Mullahs was so strong that Meharaja was compelled to give orders for Sayyid Shah’s expulsion from Srinager

• It must be pointed out here that Mohammad Ishaq Khan on the basis of Tarikh-l-Hasan. I, p, 442 mentions in his work entitled History of Srinagar..Sayyid Husain Shah’s expulsion from the state. But, on the other hand, there are a good number of references to suggest that Sayyid Husain Shah was expelled from Srinagar, who, then proceeded to Shopian and made it a centre of his activity until his death. Although Sayyid Husain Shah, was, able to influence the minds of some prominent citizens of Srinagar namely, Sayyid Sabzar Shah Husseini , khawja Abdul Aziz Chikan, Moulvi Hasan Shah etc .Having been expelled from Srinagar, Sayyid Husain Shah now began to preach his doctrines in Neesnoor^, a village in Shopian. But he was forced to leave Naasnoor, since the Qadiyanis had made it a centre of their activities • He then proceeded to Yaripora where he got a good response from the local people for his tirade against the superstitious practices

• Atta Mohammad Khan , Who was a Rais of the time came under his influence. He also began to propagate salafi ” doctrines and was able to win a considerable number of his followers. It was, as a result of his efforts, that the movement spread in some villages of Shopian Tehsil particularly Kanipore, Yaripora, Gaemzan, Rishinagar, Shorish etc. Lawrence mentions that two hundred families were Salafis “in Shopiyan who were destroyed by Ranbir Singh in his time.

• Though Maharaja Ranbir Singh stamped out the Dawa Salafiyyah and tried everything to crush the Salafis, remarked Lawrence. After the death of Sayyid Husain Shah, the movement gained ground mainly owing to the efforts of Moulvi Anwar Shah Shopiani. He was a pupil of Sayyid Husain Shah Batku. It was under the latter’s guidance that Anwar Shah studied the quran and jurisprudence.Moulvi Anwar Shah was very severe in his criticism of the worshiping of tombs and graves

• He denounced the unislamic practices observed by the people at graves end shrines in vehement terms.Infact, he became the greatest exponent of Tauhld .It is important to note that the Ahl-i-Hadlth did not have strong-hold in Srinagar city that time except in locality of Narwara. where Molvi Sabzar Shah carried on his activities

• In the absence of any organization, they had to face many difficulties. Furthermore, the strong opposition of the Mujawirs of Shrines created a number of problems for them. It was at their instance, that the people resorted to social boycott against the Salafis . Even violence against the Salafis was justified by the Mujawirs . Fatwas were issued that the dead- bodies of the Ahl-i-Hadith should not be buried in the Muslim graveyards , and that no Muslim should enter into matrimonial alliance with them. Not only this, but they were not allowed to enter the mosques.

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