Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) – Sopore, Kashmir.

Watlab, a place known for it’s untamed beauty & a mesmerizing view of the Wular lake is also home to the shrine of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA). Born in the village of Arith Pargana, Machhama of district Budgam in the year 790 Hijri, Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) was a Sufi saint who was known to provide religious path to the locals as well as perform miracles. As his fame grew, people from all sects & religions came to Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) for his blessings & spiritual guidance. 

Being a person who is highly influenced by Sufism, I was intrigued to know more about the life of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA), So I interacted with the locals around the Shrine as well as the Imam of the Mosque of the Shrine. Known for his quality of being a hard worker, It is believed that in his early years, Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) used to dig 136 acres of land all by himself using just a spade. It is at this time when Shiekh-Ul-Alam (RA), the patron saint of Kashmiris met the mother of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) & asked her, how much rice does Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) have in one sitting? To which her mother replied, “A one full basket (Pienj). Upon hearing this, Shiekh-ul-alam (RA) instructed her to say “Bismillah” & remove one twig (Kien) from the basket everyday.

Way towards the Shrine of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA).

After a duration of what is believed to be around 10 years, the mother of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) passed away. Then, the sister of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) came across the Sufi saint Shiekh-Ul-Alam (RA) & he asked her “Does your brother still dig out 136 acres of land like he used to?”, to which she replied “Yes, he does”. And he instructed her to keep removing one twig from the basket till the time came when there was room for just one morsel of rice in the basket. All of this was to test the patience & the thirst for spiritual knowledge of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA). After successfully passing the test, Shiekh-ul-alam (RA) sent Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) to Ashmuqam, Islamabad where Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) received spiritual & religious knowledge from Hazrat Zainudin Reshi. 

Words inscribed on the wall of the Shrine, written by Qazi Abdul Rashid.

After attaining the spiritual wisdom, Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) spent 14 years in Watlab. Another great sufi saint of the time, Baba Payam-ud-din Reshi or commonly known as Baba reshi was a disciple of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) for 12 years. It is said that Baba reshi used to fetch water from the village and used to climb the mountain once or twice everyday where the Shrine of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) is located. Impressed by the devotion & dedication of Baba reshi, Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) gave his shoes & took a bow and an arrow and pointed it straight towards Tangmarg, Gulmarg where the Shrine of Baba reshi is currently situated & made a declaration to Baba reshi, saying that you are now more spiritually enlightened than me & the people visiting your shrine will be twice as mine & eventually that is how it turned out to be. Thousands of people visit the Shrine of Baba Reshi first & then make the way towards the beautiful tourist spot, Gulmarg.

Shrine of Baba Reshi – Gulmarg, Srinagar.

Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) left for heavenly abode in 870 Hijri & he had attained such spiritual powers that eventually Baba dug out his own grave & stepped into it. I was amazed & awe-struck upon hearing the stories, & the legend of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) & I firmly believe that because of years of dedicated worship of such Sufi saints, Kashmir has overseen so many calamities, conflict & turmoil & yet it is still surviving. So, for the people visiting Kashmir who feel at peace at such divine places, I would suggest visiting the Shrine of this great Sufi saint who did not discriminate people on bases of their religion & as for the locals who visit the Sufi shrines of the city very often, I would highly recommend a visit to the Ziyarat of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) & pay homage to a great Sufi saint of the past. 

Ziyarat Shareef of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA) – Watlab, Sopore.
View of the Wular Lake on the way towards the Shrine of Baba Shakur-Ud-Din Wali (RA).

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