Resh Moul – The Sufi Saint who Built More Rest Houses and Ponds than Mosques

June 28

Baba Hyder Reshi also Known as Resh Moul Sahib (born 17 January 1504 in Dantar area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) district ) is a venerated saint in Kashmir and regarded as last Gaint of Reshi order of Saints.

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His shrine is visited by both Hindus and Muslims alike. Reshi Maloo was born in the family of a blacksmith but he possessed and exhibited miraculous powers from childhood as per historic books.

A prolific scholar and spiritual preacher, Resh Mir Sàeb adhered to the Reshi sect of mystics.

The shrine of Resh Mir Sahib is an example of Etinic Kashmiri Architecture is a place of pilgrimage for Kashmiris of all communities. It is located in Heart of the South Kashmir’s Islamabad township.

He is said to have received direct spiritual instruction from the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him). He earned his own livelihood by razing sheep and tilling the land. Later, he came under the influence of Makhdum Shaikh Hamza Almakhdoomi (RA) and joined the Suhrawardi Sufi order. The story is told that when Makhdum Shaikh Hamza Makhdoomi (RA) went to Anantnag to meet him, Baba Harde Rishi (RA) offered him a cup full of milk, to suggest that his own heart was full with divine wisdom (ma’rifat-e-ilahi). Makhdum Shaikh Hamza (RA) responded by placing a rose petalin the cup, suggesting that although his spiritual training was complete, yet, according to the shari’at, he had to take initiation (bayt) from a spiritual master.

Thereupon, Baba Harde Rishi (RA) gave Makhdum Shaikh Hamza(RA) the oath of allegiance and joined the Suhrawardi Sufi order. Although in this way, Rishism came to an end as an independent mystical order in Kashmir, it was able to exercise a powerful influence on Sufis of other orders, particularly the Suhrawardis. Several leading Sufis are said to have become Baba Harde’s disciples, and many of them adopted Rishi practices thereafter.

In recognition of his high spiritual stature, Baba Haider Tulmuli, a leading disciple of Makhdum Sahib,(RA) referred to Baba Harde Rishi (RA) as the sultan-ul auliya, the ‘king of the friends of God’ (Khan, 1997: 148). Baba Daud Khaki, despite being akhalifa of Makhdum Sahib, sought allegiance in the Rishi order, and became a disciple of Baba Harde Rishi after Makhdum Sahib’s death (Khan, 1997: 155).

As a Rishi, Baba Harde strictly abstained from eating meat and garlic, but he did so only once, after becoming a disciple of Makhdum Shaikh Hamza, in order to abide by the sunnat (practice) of the Prophet Muhammad. The Baba is said to have played a principal role in the spread of Islam in the Anantnag area and also to have constructed numerous mosques, rest-houses and ponds and to have planted several fruit-bearing trees (Rishi, n.d.: 169-82).

He earned his own livelihood by tilling fields, and instructed his disciples that if they did not have the strength to do much they should at least cultivate the area the size of his prayer- carpet every day. He breathed his last on 1 Zul Qada, 982 A.H.

His annual festival or ‘urs wil begin on July 01 this year and for five days, both the Hindus as well as the Muslims of Anantnag abstain from eating meat.

The shrine in addition to the structure itself, comprises sulphur spring and the Jamia Masjid of the district is also here. Besides The main Shrine there are countless other shrines of the saint located at many places of south Kashmir.