HAROON RASHID BHAT
Kashmir produced great thinkers, scholars, and spiritual practitioners whose contributions are precious and praiseworthy BabaDawoodMishkaati RA was one of those eminent Islamic scholars who enriched Islamic culture and civilization with his tremendous scholarly work in prose both in Persian as well as Arabic. This grand Islamic scholar got the special appellate “Mishkaati” as he had enjoyed the vast experience of teaching. He attained an extraordinary command in teaching the famous book MishkaatiShrief- the collection of Hadees books. He learned it by heart. That extraordinary trait gained a special status among his contemporaries. A few people often got confused about the identity Baba Dawood Khaki RA and BabwoodDawoodMishkaati. They considered them as a single entity because of their similarity in name.
As per the reliable historical documents like Tawareeq Hassan, WakatiKashmir, Awliya Kashmir, etc. There is a brief mention of his life in those historical accounts. As he was a learned scholar, he authored many books. Among those books, “AsrarulAbrar”- gained a lot of name and fame. This particular book consists of the biographical sketch of 139 Sufi saints who either belonged to the valley or visited here from time to time for the propagation of Islam. According to that very book, he revealed his family connection with the Ghuri dynasty. The following verses written by him support this fact.
Choo Tasaneef Aw Ki MutabarAndMourifat Ra DalilWaRahbar And.
As far as the historical documents are concerned, this book attains prominence and authority. The research scholars take references from this book while doing their research work. Its prime source is available in the Persian language but HazratMoulana Mohammad Tahir Bukhari Watrihali took a keen interest and translated it into Urdu with a sacred intention to enhance its reading circle. In addition to this, he wrote another book titled “Asru- Al-Ashajar. This particular book was written on the pattern of the book already written by the famous Sufi saint Hazrat Sheikh Attar RA under the title “Altaayer”. Another historical document Aaliyah Kashmir mentioned his father’s name as Masood Ghuri who served as the Army Chief Commander. According to Hassan Shah Khuhami, KhajaHyderCharkhi RA was his first teacher who enlightened him in different Islamic genres like Arabic, Fiqh, HadeesTafsir, and Hiqmat. After attaining all this knowledge, he acquired the company of Baba Naseem-Ud-Din Gazi RA to know more about the spiritual path. He opened new gates of knowledge for him and taught him the most important doctrine of Sufism- to be the Perfect Man (Insan Kamal). He acquainted him with the Suharwardiya lineage of Sufism which works on the ten fundamental principles of the Kubravi Tariqa. First Principle: Repentance (al-Tauba); Second Principle: Renunciation (al-zuhd) ;Third Principle: Reliance (al-tawakkul); Fourth Principle: Contentment (al-qanā’a) ;Fifth Principle: Seclusion (al-’uzla);Sixth Principle: Remembrance (mulazamaat-al-dhikr) ;Seventh Principle: Concentration upon Allah (tawajjuh-ila-allah)Eighth Principle: Patience (al-sabr);Ninth Principle: Watchfulness (al-muraqaba);Tenth Principle: Satisfaction (al-rida). Baba DawoodMishkaati RA patiently conquer all those steps, giving due attention to them, and putting them into his practical life as directed by his Murshid.
This spiritual training course gave him spiritual advancements, an expansion of consciousness actualization of truth, a real understanding of self and the Universe. Later, the Murshid got satisfied with his hard work and consistency, he offered him a special cloak and deemed him Khalifat. He also enjoyed the company of Mir Syed Jamal RA.
Scholars like- Peer Zada Mohammad Touib Hussain Naqshbandi, and Dr. M. Yusuf Bukhara noted down in their writings that Baba DawoodMishkaati RA had a perfect friendship with Baba SeehReshi RA. He made occasional visits to meet Baba Sahab at Dara exchanging spiritual thoughts for hours. There is an interesting episode connected with their life that has been mentioned by historians like this: One day Baba SeehReshi RA was busy with agronomic activity- Hoeing. In the meantime, Baba Mishkaati arrived there and watched his actions keenly. Baba SeehReshi addressed his friend and said, “O! My friend, let us do hoeing together” He refused and said, “I am Reshi and can’t kill the living creature as you are doing right now, it is against the Reshi faith.” That particular episode left a deep impression on his psyche. He fainted on the ground. His whole body sweated with fear of Almighty Allah. When his body was revitalized, he left all material assets and adopted complete isolation from worldly affairs, starting day and night meditation (Zikri -Azkar) at the foothills of Dara Harwan. This particular episode changed his life completely.
HazraKhajaKhawand Mahmood Naqshbandi RA and Akhoon Mullah Shah Badakhshi RA were his contemporaries. Noted historian, Hassan Shah Khuhamai mentioned his date of death as 27 Rubil-Awal 1097 Hijri. At the time of his physical death, his age was 97. His last resting place is at Ganderpora, Srinagar adjacent to Eidghah. Unfortunately, his life history has not been mentioned in an elongated way as deserved. There is a need to do more research regarding his life and contribution so that a comprehensive written record can be enclosed in the history of Kashmir.
Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher and columnist , can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.