In the valley of mystics and pulpit polemics, one name reigns supreme, captivating hearts and silencing dogmatic debates: ‘Atti Chhu Wahaab Khar ti Laajawaab’.
Even the legendary Wahab Khar is left speechless, as the adage attests, adding a whimsical twist to Kashmiri conversations.
Enchanted by the enigma behind these words, multitudes of followers transcending all communities and religions visit his resting place in Pampore.
The venerable poet traverses realms of mysticism, embraces diverse influences, and etches his name in the annals of literary greatness.
Born as Abdul Wahab in 1842, this 19th-century Sufi saint and poet emerged from the humble blacksmith family of Khrew’s Shaar Shaali area.
Wahab Khar, the mystic who soared to unimaginable heights, inherited his poetic passion from his Sufi father, Haet Khar.
However, it was under the guidance of the remarkable mystic Ahmed Sahab Machama that Wahab truly blossomed, immersing himself in a world of ecstasy.
Throughout his remarkable journey, Wahab Khar passionately chronicled his mystic experiences. His verses, often regarded as profound interpretations of various Quranic passages, resonated with those who sought spiritual enlightenment:
Those who crossed this worldly ocean,
Never did they return.
So does Abdul Wahab believe,
Which place is yours over here, ignorant?
Wahab’s poetic vision delved into the idea of the creator, emphasizing mankind’s powerlessness before the Almighty, the creator who breathed life into existence from non-existent materials.
Exploring the facets of earthly existence, human evolution, and the purpose thereof, as well as the stature of the God above all, Wahab’s unique perspective immortalized his songs and solidified his position as a towering mystic in the valley.
His notable poem, “Tchandan Kul” (Sandalwood Tree), intricately weaves the Quranic message, narrating the creation of Adam and Eve with captivating eloquence.
Wahab also evokes the rivers, springs, lakes, and mountains of Kashmir in his verses, with “Maachh Tullar” and “Mehraj Naama” standing as timeless poetic gems.
Following in the footsteps of many saints from the Reshi cult of Kashmir, Wahab preferred a simple vegetarian diet, while occasionally indulging in the pleasure of smoking a hubble bubble, which his mentor often shared with him.
“Wolnas baalan te aaran dulye
Duniya zanti nendri zolye
Ami tez letri karinam gan
Yaaro wan, bala yaaro wan."
Oh, how he rolled me, a majestic Deodar, down the hills and brooks,
Life, a fleeting moment of slumber, a mere blink of the eye,
Swiftly, the axe sliced me into fragments,
Tell me, my love, oh beloved, just say!
As the ‘Ironman of Kashmiri Poetry’, Wahab reshaped the toughest and most arduous aspects with his writings, leaving an indelible mark on the literary landscape.
He garnered countless followers with his secular ideals of universal brotherhood, and to this day, his songs resonate through the voices of popular singers of the valley.
The poet participated in various literary and musical gatherings, forging deep bonds with fellow bards and ballad-makers. Ultimately, in 1912, he breathed his last, leaving behind a profound legacy:
“Haa Sher sawaaro Koar gatschak Aakhir tche Marunn Chuyee”
(Riding a lion, where shall you go? You too shall face death ultimately)