Special Reports

National Seminar on Sheikh Nooruddin Wali

Aligarh: AMU’s Department of Modern Indian Languages organised a two-day national seminar on “Sheikh Nooruddin Wali: Thought and Art” on 28-29 October.

Inaugurating the seminar, the AMU Vice Chancellor, Zameeruddin Shah said that Sheikh Nooruddin Wali typically represents the composite culture of Kashmir. He said that Sheikh Sahab emphasized on values such as piety, godliness, self-control, tolerance, human brotherhood and compassion. Shah further said that Sheikh Sahab’s poetry in Kashmiri and Persian is deeply Kashmir-oriented and seeks to promote humanist values through a universal vision. Shah said that Sheikh Sahab made poetry as a medium to propagate his vision and mission. The Vice Chancellor added that Sheikh Sahab was not only a preacher of Islam but also a poet, philosopher, environmentalist, linguist, scientist and traveller who used simple and colloquial language to convey his ideas. Shah added that throughout his life, Sheikh Sahab preached Islam to all corners of Kashmir. His poetry is a clear message to mankind irrespective of colour and creed. His epitomes implied to social, moral, cultural, political, mental and practical spheres of life.

Delivering the keynote address, Professor M Afzal Wani of the School of Law and Legal Studies, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, said that Sheikh Sahab is the most popular saint in Kashmir’s history. He is also known as the flag-bearer of the Kashmiri composite culture. Professor Wani stated that Sheikh Sahab had a divine reach and great understanding of the world. Professor Wani added that Shiekh Sahab’s persona had many aspects, which includes being a mystique, intellectual, social reformer and humanist who was respected throughout the Kashmir valley.

Professor Wani further pointed out that Sheikh Nooruddin rejected casteism, intolerance and vanity. Prof Wani added that Sheikh Sahab was clear in thought and vision and pleaded for the establishment of values across the world, which earned him the title of “Sheikhul ‘Alam” (leader of the world). However, after Sheikh Sahab’s demise, his teachings remained limited to Kashmir, which left the world unaware of his humanistic works.

Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar, Director of the Seminar, while introducing the theme, said that Sheikh Nooruddin Wali was born in Quamoh (formerly known as Qatimusha) which is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from Srinagar. He said that since time immemorial, Kashmir has been a land of spiritual catholicity, tolerance and humanism. Kashmiri culture is a mix of South and West Asian, Iranian and Central Asian strands and patterns of living and behaviour. He added that Iranian and Central Asian Sufis migrated to the Kashmir Valley to propagate Islamic beliefs and values.

Prof Masoodul Hasan, former Dean, Faculty of Arts in his presidential remarks said that Sheikh Sahab was the pillar of Kashmiriyat. He urged the intellectuals and scholars to further work on Sheikh Sahab’s teachings in the present context. Delegates from different parts of India participated in the seminar.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2014 on page no. 13

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