History of Nurbakshiyyah Baltistan; Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh biography

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Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh (Born in A.H 795/A.D. 1392) As a young man, his father once paid a visit to the shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad, got married and settled down at Qain. Nurbakhsh was a bright student and learnt Quran by heart at the early age of seven. As a student he visited the study centre (mahzar) of Mir Sayyid Sharief Jurjani, and also attended the lessons of Ibn Fahd Hilli (d. A.H. 741/A.D.1340). They were the two renowned scholars of Iraq at that time. The studious Sayyid Muhammad pursued various branches of learning of his day: rational and traditional sciences including mathematics in which “he claimed to have superseded Plato, and Avicenna (Ibn Sina) in the rest of sciences”

Following the custom of the day, he showed inclination towards Sufism and turned to Khwajeh Ishaq Khatalni, the khalifa (spiritual successor) of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani. The author of Majalisul-Momineen tells us that his spiritual master Shaykh Ishaq was impressed by his student’s brilliance, and, as a result of a dream, conferred on him the title Nurbaksh (light- giving) and even went to the extent of making allegiance (bai’at) to him. In this way Khwajeh Ishaq was admitted to the circle of the disciples of Sayyid Nurbakhsh along with the group of his followers perhaps because Nurbakhsh claimed to be the seventeenth in the line of Imama Musa al-Kazim. “After the death of Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh, Lahiji took up his abode in Shiraz where he began guiding Nurbakhshi followers in the province of Fars. He built a hospice in Shiraz named Khanqah-i Nooriyeh to which lands were endowed by the rulers of the time. Lahiji died in A.H. 912/A.D. 1506 in Shiraz and was buried in the same hospice. When Shah Ismail Safavi conquered the region of Fars and Shiraz, he expressed his desire of visiting Shamsud-Din Lahiji. On meeting him, he asked him why he (Lahiji) had adopted black colour for his clothes. Lahiji replied that he was in perpetual mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali.

Shamsuíd-Din Araki’s learning journey of Sufism, who propagated to Nurbakshiyyah in Baltistan. Give momentum to the efforts of Amir Kabir in 14th century.

Read detail reception of Araki in Baltistan in ‘History of Baltistan’

Araki visited after Amir Kabir, and Araki’s propagated believers of Nurbakshiyyah are still exist in northern region.

This sufi sect is now divided into sub-branches Hamdani, Imamia and Sufia. Their religious supreme leaders are different and clashes among these sects are also recorded in past.

Till the mid the 20 century, this sect was known to be a single unit called Sufia Imamia Noorbakshia. Later on, arises some ideological conflicts among them and split into three branches.

Hamdani Noorbakhsia is in Keris and Kunis Valley, they are so limited in numbers compares to other two.

Imamia and sufia noorbakshia are equally divided throughout Baltistan, despite of their same belief and supreme leader (Peer). Even their religious conflicts based on believes are getting more worsening day by day. In more than 30 years back history and their own religious books; name of sect was mentioned as Sofia Imamia Nurbakshiyyah.

This column of based on:

(Being the English translation of Tohfatuíl-Ahbab)

If anyone need soft copy of this book, write down your email in comment below.

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4 thoughts on “History of Nurbakshiyyah Baltistan; Sayyid Muhammad Nurbakhsh biography

  1. Need to add the tableeghi work of Amir Kabir to make this article more worthful. Good collection of information

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