Zeeshan Rasool Khan

Remembering Peer Rafiq ul Aalam Siddiqui!

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Aishmuqam – A town in Anantnag district is a well-known place in Kashmir. Its fame is attributed to a great saint and one of the successors of Shaykhul Aalam Shaykh Noor u Din Noorani Sahb (R.a) namely Hazrat Sakhi Zain-uddin Wali sahb (R.a) who performed divine meditation here in a cave.

In this scenic and spiritually fertile area is settled a devout ‘Siddiqui dynasty’ – the descendant of Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddiq (R.a) that gave birth to spiritual-greats from time to time, who contributed considerably in promotion and propagation of true Sufism. One among them is Peer Rafiq-ul-Aalam Siddiqui who made a place in the millions of hearts owing to his extraordinary character.

Rafiq Sahb’s father, Hazrat Peer Ghulam Hassan Sahib, was not an ordinary person also, a known mystic having his own identity and overwhelming influence over the masses. Thus, we can say that Rafeeq Sahb’s spiritual immensity has something to do with inheritance in this case.

Peer Rafiq Sahb was educated at home by his father. Besides receiving spiritual guidance, he learned Quran and Hadith from him and later joined Government School Aishmuqam for contemporary education. He was good at studies and had a taste for researching and reading books right from the beginning. Considered a genius, his tutors were optimistic about his future. Rafeeq Saheb completed graduation in science and aspired to become an IAS officer. But nature had something different in store for him. He had been selected for mentoring and guiding masses.

Once, his father gave him money to buy some housing-commodities from the market, but Rafeeq sahb did not return home. His disappearance worried his entire dynasty. Family and friends searched everywhere for him but failed. Later the family received a letter from Rafeeq sahb reading that ‘I am at Uttar Pradesh and do not want to return home, however, the money that I got from father is a hindrance to my inner peace. Eventually, he was spotted, but in one of the mosques of Uttar Pradesh engaged in the remembrance of Allah. It is noteworthy that Peer Hassan Sahb was aware of the future of his lad – Peer Rafiq Sahb. He used to call him by name’ Dervish’ (ascetic) even during his school days. After the incidence of missing, it was quite clear that nominal’ Dervish’ is a dervish in reality but most of the signs were still under wraps.

Based on merit, Rafiq Sahb was appointed as Government Teacher. He accepted this job with pleasure. Those who had the privilege of being his students admire his teaching skills even today. But his career as a teacher was short-lived. All of a sudden, he severed family ties, quit the job, abandoned all possessions, and adopted seclusion for worship. Finally, the ‘dervish’ reached the pinnacle of ‘Dervishi’.

His personality underwent a dramatic transformation. He exercised restraint in eating, talking, sleeping, and meeting people. Nights and days were alike for him – he began to travel barefooted throughout nights and days. He would seldom put his feet up and would rarely visit his home. Not to speak of changing social and political atmosphere, even changing weather had no impact on him – sometimes he could be seen in winter clothing in the scorching heat of summer and summer clothing in chilling winter with no desire for food.

Usually, he would be characterized by having his ‘head bowed and eyes closed’ – unarguably involved in dhikr. These attributes precisely indicated that he had become extinct in the will of God, which in Sufi terminology is known as Fana Fil Lah.

Peer Rafiq Sahb gained enormous popularity and attracted seekers of God and general masses from every nook and corner of the valley. He never disappointed anyone. He would listen to the grievances of everyone; resolve their matters by making supplications for them. According to his followers, he was ‘King-Maker’ and could change the fate of a person only by his glance – the excellence that Allama Iqbal ascribes to ‘true believer’ by stating; ‘Nigah’e mard’e moomin say badal jaati hain taqdeerain , (By the glance of the man who is true believer, even destiny is changed).

He changed the lives of hundreds by directing them to the path of Allah and His beloved Prophet (SAW). Not only that, he would enthusiastically support the downtrodden despite he would be mostly engaged in divine contemplation. He possessed nothing to donate but assisting the destitute through his family members and die-hard cum well-off followers was part of his character.

It is pertinent to mention that before embarking on a spiritual track for full-time, Peer Rafiq Sahb married to a pious woman ‘Badr-u-Muneer’ on instructions of his blessed father. Allah bestowed the couple with five children and his wife drew her last breath much before Peer Sahb.

Peer Rafiq Sahb met his maker on 7th July 2012 few years before the departure of his venerable father (2014). His cause of death remained almost a mystery. His corpse was found at Mattan Anantnag. As this bad news broke, thousands of believers arrived at the spot in a trice. The sacred body of ‘Dervish’ was carried from Mattan to his native land Aishmuqam in the form of the massive procession that witnessed the participation of people irrespective of religion, caste, creed, gender, and age. His funeral prayer was held at Gulshan Park Aishmuqam and was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard next to the shrine of Sakhi Zain-ud-din wali (R.a).

Only a year after his death, miscreants published and circulated a pamphlet intended to blemish his repute. However, Late Molana Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, the celebrated scholar and Sufi poet confronted and openly slammed the writer. Molana voluntarily delivered a historic speech at dargah Seer Hamdan and stated.’ ‘My health condition does not permit me to speak but my conscience cannot sleep on this issue’ I am here to reject the claims and blames of the populist writer. I advice him to shift his thought towards something advantageous otherwise soon his pen will die a natural death.

My people, I may not be anymore with you but remember, the reverence of holy men is indispensable part of our faith. Learn to honor them and transmit same teaching to your wards as Allah says mann ada li waliyan faqad azantahu bilharab  (whoever has animosity with a friend (wali) of mine, I declare war upon him) (Hadith Qudsi; Al-Bukhari),’’ Molana added. This gives a glimpse of what scholars think of Peer Sahb.

Even after the 9 years of his departure, he has not disappeared from the hearts and minds of people, which is confirmed by the fact that hundreds of people visit his grave to pay him homage every day. Inside the park where his last rites were performed, a mosque has been constructed in his memory by his lovers that highlight the significance of this Qalander.

Khuda Rehmat Kunad een Aashiqane paak teenat raa.               

(May Allah’s blessings shower on his lovers with a noble soul)

The writer can be mailed at [email protected]

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