by Our Literary Section
From the beginning, Ismailism has depended on an organized programme of teaching for its strength. Not through armies, but through selected and well trained da'is it spread.
Pir Satgur Noor was the initial one to arrive in India and spread lsmaili belief. His name was Sayyid Noordin Noor Muhammad. However, he is known by the names of Satgur Noor, Sayyid Noordin, Pir Noor Satgur, Sayyid Saadat, etc. His natalitial account being unavailable, is omitted here, but it seems that he came to India in the period of Hazrat lmam Mustansirbillah, when Sidhraj Jaysingh was ruling over Gujrat province in India. He descended from the progeny of Hazrat lmam Ja'far as-Sadiq. There are differences of opinion about his initial arrival, but it is proved through historical facts that when he initially arrived at Gujrat there was a reign of Sidhraj Jaysingh.
'Khand Gujrat jano aan, mahe (n) Patan nagri utam jaan;
Tiya (n) raj Karey Jai sangh ho rai, tiya (n) pun pavetra dharamaj thay'.
'Do reckon it sure to be section Gujrat, City Patan best within;
King Jaysingh reigns where at, Deeds pious faithfully performed wherein'.
It is stated in 'Tawarikh-e-Pir' that Sayyid Noor Muhammad (Satgur Noor) famous Sayyid Saadat, resting at Navsari, arrived in the period of king Sidhraj Jaysingh at the renowned city, Patan, of Saurashtra and brought home to him the lofty understanding of holy faith. He possessed a very noble character and high spiritual power.
It is presumed that Pir Sadruddin was the first Pir to come to Indo-Pakistan to preach Ismailism. However, Pir Sadruddin was not the initial Pir to arrive in India. But hundreds of years before him Pir Noor Satgur came to India. At that time Rajput king Sidhraj Jaysingh was ruling over Gujrat and the period seems to be from 1093 to 1143 C.E. The Pir had given to his converts his name to be Sayyid Saadat and by showing the path of Satpanth had guided them to the real path.
He started the propagation very skilfully. At first he studied Hinduism - Sanatan Belief - and by critically scrutinising Ved, Geeta and Puran, extracting elements, he was able to preach to the Hindu population of the country through the elements extracted from their own sacred volumes.
It has been given to understand in the 'Tawarikhe-Pir' that when the king went to the temple for Darshan (Manifestation), the Pir was also with him. Upon seeing the Pir, all idols of the temple began to dance. Witnessing this, king Sidhraj accepted Ismaili faith in secret.
His Ginan (hymn) Satgur Noor na Putla' shows that when the Pir came to India to attract people towards Ismaili faith, i.e., Islamic concept, he had to perform some miracles, which are well-known.
It is said that during his tour of Gujrat when he arrived at Patan, a priest of a Hindu temple was absorbed in idol worship. The Pir entered into the temple, but the priest did not like a non-believer to enter the temple. Upon being asked the reason for the entry, with great affection the Pir replied that he had entered the temple .in order to derive good understanding from the idols the priest was worshipping devotedly day and night. That, idols should give guidance. That, in the past to enlighten souls divine incarnations had been helping salvation of human beings through their good counsel and guidance to the right path, and that idols should follow suit, so that one could reap the fruit of his concentration in worship. That, for that purpose the idols should be made to talk. So he ordered the idols to talk. Apropos the Pir's order certain idols began singing, dancing and playing music just as:
"Vaja vage pathar tana, taai mardang ati ghana; Ven vansani vaage bahu butand, tiya (n) deval ma (n) he bahu aanand ....
(Putla part 23-24)
"Stone music play, many drums, rhythm combined, pipe and flute sound high, happiness could temple find.
Seeing this miracle the priest ran to apprise the king and narrated before the ruler all that had happened. The king was surprised as to how such unimaginable events could take place. However, since the priest affirmed it to be true, the king arrived at the temple to confirm it with whom also were the courtiers and especially the great predominant priest Kanipa.
The Pir rested his hand on the king's head and said, "I have honour for your religious attachment." That, to witness such a devotedness he had come to that city and it was his specific desire that he should show the king the path of real belief. King Sidhraj prostrated before the Pir, but the monk Kanipa got angry at this and challenged the Pir to deliberations. The Pir accepted the challenge with a smile and advised an idol to fetch water from the adjoining lake. Upon getting the advice the idol carried a pitcher and fetched water in the pitcher, emptying the whole take. This caused aquatic creatures to die for want of water in the lake and it created a great row in the public believing in safety of animals, making the monk Kanipa overawed.
The Pir then asked the monk Kanipa to advise the idol to run to the lake and empty the pitcher in it. The monk upon being helpless to respond, the Pir himself asked the idol to do so and the empty lake was again over-flowing with water. Having met with the defeat the monk made effort to play a new trick and he sent his wand high up with his latent power and asked the Pir to bring it down on earth with his vigour. The Pir took out a sandal from his foot and upon ordering it to bring down the wand to earth, the sandal went with lightning force and beat it down to earth, thereby defeating the latent power of the monk. The spectators remained spellbound at the scene. The Pir performed many such miracles.
Upon witnessing the miracles of Pir Noordin the king and the queen embraced the real faith at the Pir's hands and the witnessing civilians, monks and priests caste away their holy thread (Janoi) and came into the fold of real faith. It was the very beginning that the Pir converted people in India into Ismaili concept and they began to be known as 'Gupti momins' secret faithfuls.
From there for seeking holy manifestation of Hazrat Imam, the Pir travelled on foot to Egypt via Iraq, and showed the path of real faith to people of many places coming across. After securing holy blessings of Hazrat Imam Mustansirbillah the Pir returned to India and continued the propaganda.
At "Dharanagari" in the district of Navsari, king Surchand was reigning. He had a charming daughter named Palande, who had taken a vow for finding a desired husband.
Here also the Pir Performed a miracle. When he was in a jungle, he began to recite religious Ginans. All the beasts and birds gathered together there and were attentively listening to the divine quotations.
On the other side Mono, hunter, went hunting in the jungle but could not find his prey. Ultimately he arrived at the very side of the jungle. When the Pir saw him he cut off a seer of flesh from the deer's thigh, and gave it to the hunter. With the touch of the Pir's hands the affected thigh of the deer became as it was. The hunter was astonished and narrated the story to the princess, Palande. As a result, the princess thought Pir Noordin to be the desired husband and married him instantaneously. The king gave a rich dowry and the Pir showed them the path of real faith.
"Bharat Khand ne jampudip ma navasri gaam, Dariyane tire uttam tham;
Te nagar navsari uttam aay, tiya raj kari surchand rai;
Te surchand rai pun pavetra dharam, Satgur naame chhute karam;
Te ghar kanya avtari ho arai, harkh parivar pota tane aay;
Te kanya sundri rup apaar, aad sati savantri nar;
Tiya (n) jan machi chhe anataj ghani, tiya (n) Noor Satgur thaya chhe Palande dhani;
(Putla: 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 190).
Sub-continent India and Jampudip, Navsari territory within it;
Best abode at a shore of the sea; that city Navsari certainly best, There, Surchand Rai in a reign;
That Surchand Rai, pious holy, religious, Found salvation through Satgur;
Born to that clan a daughter, bringing happiness to self family;
That daughter a beautiful model, by origin righteous Savantri.
Their nuptial procession vastly formed. There Noor Satgur posed Palande consort;
It is accounted in the 'Tawarikh-e-Navsari': "Pir Sayyid Saadat is the Chief Pir among all the Pairs of lndo-Pak subcontinent...... His tomb at Navsari is as old as of 800 years. Here not only Muslims but even Hindus pay homage and hold it in reverence and say that this Pir was an Arab saint". ,
Upon finding magnanimity of the Pir, two disciple's Chot and Chanch became greedy and thought of a deceitful plot. The Pir used to set apart from the body his soul in prayer for a considerable time. Therefore, both the disciples played a trick and induced Palande to find out how to be certain about Pir's existence if body did not recover from his breath withholding for a long duration. The Pir explained to lady Palande that while he was in that state if a fly happened to sit on his body then to take it for granted that he would not be existing. The lady told this to Chanch and he seized the opportunity of dropping sugar syrup on the Pir's body. By this flies began to sit on the body of the Pir and Chanch hurriedly brought the lady there for witness and announced death of the Pir. In this way the body of the Pir was buried, through conceit of Chanch, in 487 A.H./1095 C.E. at Navsari, Few Ginans are attributed to the saint which are commonly known as short Putla and Satgur Noor na Putla.
1. 1. Tawarikh-e-Pir. Pirzada.
2. Pteaching of Islam. J. Arnold.
3. Shi'a of india. N.J. Hollister.
4. Satgur Noor na Putla. (Putla)
5. Noorm-Mubin- Chunara.
6. Collection of Hasan Kabirdin.
7. Guide to ismaili Literature. Dr. W. lvenow.
8. Tawarikh-e-Gujrat (Urdu).
9. Aab-e-Kausar. (Urdu)
10. History of the Ismailis. A.S. Picklay.
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