23-Jul-2024  Srinagar booked.net

CoverStoryCulture - Religion

How Syed Sharaf-U-Din Became Hazrat BulBul Shah

Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA), the spiritual and religious Icon reverted Rinchan Shah into Islam, ruler of Kashmir Valley from 1320-23.

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Shrine of Bul Bul Shah In Nawakadal


From transcending spiritual boundaries to guiding Kashmir's Buddhist king into Islam, Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) earned the revered title of BulBul Shah due to a spiritual event in his life involving a Nightingale, locally known as 'BulBul.'

According to historical accounts, one day Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) stood at the edge of a riverbank to perform Wudu, the Islamic ritual of cleansing oneself before prayer. As he performed the ablution, his gaze fell upon a Nightingale, locally called 'BulBul,' who was perched on a nearby tree branch, humming the surroundings with its melodious song.

Rinchan Shah Mausoleum | Photo By Zeeshan Ahad

Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) was observing and listening to the Nightingale, but within no time, the bird flew away.

According to the narration, Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) then soared into the sky in pursuit of the Nightingale, caught the bird, and held it in his hand to listen to its captivating voice.

However, the joy was short-lived as the Nightingale disappeared from his hands.

Later, a friend of Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) asked him about this incident. Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) replied, "The bird was my 'self and soul,' ascending towards the heavens. I was drawn to it, caught it, but it didn't end well.

The Nameplate at the Shrine of Bul Bul Shah | Photo by Zeeshan Ahad

The questioner remained silent, skeptical of the explanation, considering it a complete fabrication. Sensing the doubt, Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) took it upon himself to dispel any misconceptions.

Then, Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) poured his saliva into his mouth, and what ensued was truly miraculous. The man who had been harboring doubts about the truthfulness of the explanation suddenly proclaimed and affirmed the words of Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA).

Later, he spread the story throughout the valleys of Kashmir. As word spread and gained acceptance, Syed Sharaf-U-Din (RA) was eventually bestowed with the esteemed title of Hazrat BulBul Shah (RA).

Hazrat BulBul Shah (RA), died on 1327 AC, 727 Hijri in Srinagar and was buried near his Khanaqah, (place where Islamic Principle are taught) BulBul Lanker, Aali Kadal Srinagar near the Jhelum River Bed.

The narration of this event has been documented in the book “Tazkirah Auliya-E-Kashmir’’ written by Pir Hassan Shah Khwami.