Samad Mir: A Great Sufi Poet of Kashmir

    Rakib Ahmad Zia

Srinagar: Kashmir has produced a galaxy of sufi poets, iconic mystics and spiritual teachers, who were very affectionate towards the society and who rendered a meritorious service to the Kashmiri language and literature. Kashmiri sufi poets voiced for brotherhood, peace and prosperity. One of such great sufi poet was Samad Mir.

    Sammad Mir was born at Narwara Srinagar in the year 1894 and he died in the year 1959.
Samad Mir belonged to a Sufi family, originally they were the residents of Nambalhar (Budgam) his father Khaliq Mir was also a Sufi poet who migrated from village Nambalhar to Narwara Srinagar at young age in search of earnings. He started working in a saw mill and eventually got married; he had three sons namely Samad Mir, Rahim Mir and Muhammad Mir. Till the age of maturity of Samad Mir, the whole family rested at Narwara but at the age of twenties Samad Mir decided to return back to Nambalhar whereas the Rahim Mir stayed at Narwara and unfortunately the third brother Muhammad Mir died very young about his twenties.

Padh Padh Ke Gaya Pather, Likh Likh Ke Gaya Chhur
Jiss Padney Sey Sahib Miley Who Padna Hai Aur

Poetry and Sufism

    With no formal education, Samad Mir was illiterate. His poetry was transcribed for him by Ali Shah of Wagar, Budgam. His spiritual mentors were Habib Najar of Wagar Budgam, Khaliq Najar of Batmaloo Srinagar, and Ramzan Dar of Anchidora Anantnag (Kashmir).

    His poetry was compiled in his Kulyaat, called Kulyaat-e-Samad Mir by Moti Lal Saqi. Kulyaat-e-Samad Mir has been published and revised four times by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages. A monograph on Samad Mir has been published in Urdu and Kashmiri by Sahitya Akademi, Government of India. He wrote more than 200 poems.

    In line with Sufi tradition, Mir’s poetry often deals with true abstract qualities such as beauty and truth. It then relates how these qualities relate to the world around him. Beyond that, a common theme is a praise of Prophets, Walis, and Sufi saints of Islam.

    Samad Mir, a wonderful Sufi mystic poet of our beloved soil Kashmir lived in 20th century bequeathed heavenly verses and new approaches of mystic path and divine love. His verses are poetized in great rhythm, meter, deep connotation and knowledge about human behavior, existence of life and divine love.
Samad Mir continued the Sufi mystical tradition in Kashmiri poetry in the 20th century.
Almost every poet of Kashmir has used Arabic and Persian dialect in their poetry, writers of the soil are influenced by Persian and Arabic poets but Samad Mir is the first Sufi mystic poet of Kashmir who utilized Sanskrit and Hindi words in his poetry in marvelous manner, it appears he had deep knowledge, cognition and grip on the both languages. Samad Mir had never went to school and was totally illiterate but his poetry is a clean combination of Islamic Sufism, while going through his poetry even well knowing person of Sanskrit and Hindi language could not spot any kind of error, it is pretty evident that even being an illiterate Samad Mir was a man of towering ability having immense knowledge and wisdom.

Alim Gaw Alim-e-Ludni
Tchalim Shakh Aam Badni
Porum Na Kaseh Nish Toosh
Karis Aarasteh Yaari
Knowledge is, knowledge of Deity
Doubt I left when I saw my Mursheed
I did not bow for the sake of knowledge
But my beloved (Mursheed) blessed me
Samad Mir (1894-1959), known for his outstanding work Akanandun (The Only Son), continued the Sufi-mystic tradition in Kashmiri poetry in the 20th century. Samad Mir has used the folk tale of Akanandun to give expression to his own mystical ideas and present a synthesis between Tassavuf (sufism) and Trika (Shaivism). He has translated spiritual experience into poerty.
When we go through the writings of different poets of Kashmir, we come to know that most of the poets have similar thoughts but variation in presentation. But Samad Mir being the best of bests has written absolutely different concepts. When we read a complete poem it seems to be poetized on Tasawwuf while other side tells the story of this world and living being. In early years of his poetry he was criticized for writing different style of poetry but time expresses the significance, gradually Samad Mir’s poetry attained everyone’s attention and people started to study him and today everyone knows that Samad Mir is a famous, reputed and eminent poet of Kashmir, who did not practiced the previous forms but defined his own versatile thoughts.

Ya Gasseh Guddeh Keh Panas Sanun
Nateh Bale Banun Apziyoor
Nakhoon Setie Aasmaan Khanun
Toteh Ma whatless Toor
Mir Sund Seer Gasseh Gairun Sanun
Yem Devi Abrah Moor
One should understand his own self first
Or to become a liar who perceived naught speaks more
It is as difficult as to make hole in the sky with nails
Still cannot be accomplished
Mir’s secret shall be empathized by general masses
Who restraint his inner self desires
Samad Mir died on 9 January 1959 at his residence in Nambalhar. He is buried at Agar, Nambalhar (Budgam district).


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