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Nund Rishi

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Nund Rishi
Painting of Nund Rishi from a 17th-century manuscript known as Kashmiri Kalaam.
Noor Ud-Din

c. 1377
Diedc. 1438[1]
Charar-i-Sharief, Charari Sharief, Kashmir
Resting placeCharar-e-Sharief shrine
Home townQaimoh, Kulgam
Muslim leader
Influenced by

Nund Rishi (Kashmiri pronunciation: [nundɨ rʲoʃ] c. 1377 – c. 1438; sometimes spelled Nund Reshi),[2] also known as Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, Sheikh-Ul-Alam (spiritual guide of the world)[3] and by the title Alamdar-e-Kashmir ("Flag Bearer of Kashmir"), was a Kashmiri Sufi saint, mystic, poet and Islamic preacher.[a][4][5] Nund Rishi was among the founders of the Rishi order, a Sufi tradition of the region. He influenced many spiritual teachers and saints, including Hamza Makhdoom, Resh Mir Sàeb, and Shamas Faqir.[6][7][8]

Early life[edit]

Painting of Sheikh Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, also known as Nund Rishi

Noor-ud-Din was born in 1377 in Khee Jogipora village in today's Kulgam district of Kashmir to Salar Sanz and Sadra, also called Sadra Moji or Sadra Deddi.[9][b][c] His grandfather Sheikh Salahuddin hailed from Kishtwar. The legend has it that he refused to be breastfed by his mother after birth and it was Lalleshwari who breastfed him.[10] In teenage years Noor-ud-Din was apprenticed to a couple of traders. He was married to Zai Ded who hailed from the village of Dadasara, Tral and had two sons and a daughter with her. She renounced the world after the death of her children and became a hermit.

Noor-ud-Din renounced the worldly life at the age of 30 and retired to live a life of meditation in a cave which is still shown in Qaimoh and is about 10 feet deep. During his last days, he survived by drinking a cup of milk every day, and later, he used to survive by drinking water.

Literary works[edit]

Kalam Sheikh Ul Alam R rahmatullah alaih
Kalam Sheikh Ul Alam

Noor-ud-Din spread his teachings or message through poems, commonly known as shruks.[d][11] His poems have four to six lines each[12] and evolve around religious themes, highlight moral principles and often call for peace.[13] He strived for Hindu–Muslim unity. One of his prominent poems is Ann poshi teli yeli wan poshi, which translates as "Food will thrive only as long as the woods survive".[14][15]

Kashmiri poet Lal Ded was Noor-ud-Din's contemporary and had a great impact on his spiritual growth.[16] Some scholars argue that he was her disciple, and associate his poetry with the Bhakti movement, although others disagree.[17]

Noor-ud-Din witnessed several transmissions of Hinduism and Islam in the valley throughout his life, although he was actively involved in philosophical work and in writing Kashmiri poems.[18] In his verses, he recalled some events, including arrival of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani to Kashmir.[19]

Noor-ud-Din is also credited with translating the Quran into Kashmiri language.[20]

In 2015, the university of Kashmir published an Urdu book titled "Kalam-i-Sheikh-ul-Alam", comprising about 300 shruks of Nund Rishi translated into Urdu by Ghulam Muhammad Shad.[21]


Noor-ud-Din died in 1438 at the approximate age of 63. Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin commissioned a tomb for his body at Charari Sharief. The Charar-e-Sharief shrine is visited by pilgrims to this day, especially on the eve of Noor-ud-Din's urs.[1] His Urs was observed on 23 October 2022, this day has been declared gazetted holiday by the government.

The Afghan governor Atta Muhammad Khan minted coins with Noor-ud-Din's name.[22]

Noor-ud-Din's father Sheikh Salar-Ud-Din and two brothers Kamal-Ud-Din and Jamal-Ud-Din are buried near Dadasara while his wife is buried in Qaimoh.[1]


Charar-e-Sharief shrine

Noor-ud-Din's sayings and verses are preserved in Kashmir region, including in a museum built at Kashmir university. The shruks also describe the life of the saint. They were translated into the Persian language by Baba Nasib-ud-din Ghazi two centuries after his death.[9][16] In 1998, University of Kashmir established an institute called Markaz-e-Noor Centre for Sheikh-ul-Alam Studies to conduct scientific research on Noor-ud-Din's life.[5][23] In 2015, the university established a research center called Sheikh-ul-Alam Chair in order to honor his teachings. The centre is aimed at exploring the social and cultural background of the Kashmiri Rishis.[24] In 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages covered his life in a book titled "Hayat-e-Sheikh-ul-Alam" (life of Nund Rishi).[25] In 2005, the Government of India renamed the Srinagar airport to Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport and granted it international status.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ also spelled as Nund Reshi. He is known as Sheikh Noor ud-Din Wali or Sheikh Noor ud-Din Noorani (Urdu: شیخ نُورالدین نُورانی). And Sheikh ul-Alam (Urdu: شیخُ العالم) among the Muslims and as Nund Laal among the Hindus.
  2. ^ old name of Qaimoh was Katimusha
  3. ^ In Kashmir, "Moji" refers to mother and "Deddi" denotes an elderly women, especially a paternal or maternal grandmother. It is widely used by the Kashmiri people to represent an elderly woman.
  4. ^ Nund Rishi's poetry is known as "Shruks" or "Koshur Kuran". Koshur Kuran means a translated version of the original text of Qur'an.


  1. ^ a b c Mir, Y.A.; Nasti, S.M. (2019). Glory II: A Reference Book of English Literature for Class XII. RED'SHINE Publication. Pvt. Ltd. p. 32. ISBN 978-93-89039-19-1. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir - Charar e Sarif". www.jktourism.org.
  3. ^ Hussain, Masood (20 June 2018). "Sheikh-ul-Aalam: A Rediscovery". Kashmir Life. Retrieved 21 October 2022.
  4. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (11 April 2003). Languages of Belonging: Islam, Regional Identity, and the Making of Kashmir. Permanent Black. ISBN 9788178240602 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b "Books on life of Sufi saint Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Wali released". Tribuneindia News Service. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Gems of Kashmiri Literature and Kashmiriyat - Nund Reshi". www.koausa.org.
  7. ^ "Urs of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Wali (RA) observed". Greater Kashmir. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Rishi of the Valley". The Hindu. 5 August 2012.
  9. ^ a b Soqte:School Of Orthoepy Quran And Theology::Kashmir Archived 2007-04-19 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Lovell-Hoare, Max; Lovell-Hoare, Sophie (1 July 2014). Kashmir: Jammu. Kashmir Valley. Ladakh. Zanskar. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 9781841623962 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "HMT organizes seminar on Sheikh-ul-Alam". Kashmir Observer. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  12. ^ "J-K to restore sufi saint Noorani's cave to boost tourism". sg.news.yahoo.com.
  13. ^ Rather, Mohd Nageen. "Re-Visiting Literature: Critical Essays". Educreation Publishing – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Lal Singh invokes Muslim saint Shiekh Noor-u-Din to kick-start plantation drive". Rising Kashmir.
  15. ^ "Gems of Kashmiri Literature and Kashmiriyat by P.N. Razdan (Mahanori)". www.ikashmir.net.
  16. ^ a b Jaishree Odin, Lalla to Nuruddin: Rishi-Sufi Poetry of Kashmir. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass (2013)
  17. ^ "Decolonising Sheikh-ul-Alam". greaterkashmir.com. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Sheikh-ul-Aalam: A Rediscovery". 20 June 2018.
  20. ^ Geelani, Syed Bismillah (11 April 2006). Manufacturing Terrorism: Kashmiri Encounters with Media and the Law. Bibliophile South Asia. ISBN 9788185002705 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "Urdu translation of Kalam-i-Sheikh-ul-Alam (RA) released at CUK". Greater Kashmir. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Shruks of Shaikhul Alam (RA)". Greater Kashmir. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  23. ^ "Centre for Shaikh-ul Aalam Studies, University of Kashmir". Centre for Shaikh-ul Aalam Studies, University of Kashmir. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  24. ^ "KU starts search for chairman Sheikh-ul-Alam Chair". Greater Kashmir. 13 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Scholars recall Sheikh-ul-Alam's contribution". Rising Kashmir.
  26. ^ "International flights from Srinagar Airport: Were Governments really interested?". Greater Kashmir. 3 March 2017.