Kashmir has attracted the attention of the world over the ages primarily for the scenic beauty that nature has been generous to bestow upon it. The music of its springs and rivers, the serenity of its lakes and mountains, the rich variety of colour and taste that its flowers and fruits offer has made it the sinecure of the men of taste. No less interesting and absorbing has been its culture known as Kashmiriat that represents its unique capacity to harmonise diversity of human thought and experience. This is the gift of not only the natural propensity of its people to peaceful existence.
This culture has been moulded by the Sufi tradition of Muslim mystics. Advent of Islam in Kashmir owes itself to Saiyid Abdul Rehman Sharifuddin Suhrawardi. The most influential of the Sufis was Saiyid Ali Shah Hamadani. His follower Sheikh Nooruddin Rishi is the most revered saint in Kashmir and is known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir (the standard-bearer of Kashmir). This book gives an account of the various Sufi orders that have found followers in Kashmir as well as elsewhere. Obviously more attention has been given to Sheikh Nooruddin, popularly known as Nund Rishi and his revival of the ancient rishi tradition that had virtually lapsed with the rise of rigid caste based Hinduism. The main focus of course is on Saiyid Ali Shah Hamadani who carried the Sufi tradition to the masses because of which he has come to be known as Amir-e-Kabir, Shah-e-Hamadan and Ali Sani. The reader will find here a detailed account of his life and thought.
The book will be found interesting not only for scholars of religious traditions but all those who seek to understand the people of Kashmir. The Kashmiris may find it a mirror of their intellectual and spiritual life.