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Early life

Noor-ud-Din was born in modern-day village Qaimoh in Kulgam district in 1377 AD to Salar Sanz and Sadra, also called Sadra Moji or Sadra Deddi.[8][b][c] His grandfather Sheikh Salah-Ud-Din hailed from Kishtwa

Noor-ud-Din was born in modern-day village Qaimoh in Kulgam district in 1377 AD to Salar Sanz and Sadra, also called Sadra Moji or Sadra Deddi.[8][b][c] His grandfather Sheikh Salah-Ud-Din hailed from Kishtwar. The legend has it that he refused to be breast-fed by his mother after birth and it was Lalleshwari who breastfed him.[9] In teenage years Noor-ud-Din was apprenticed to a couple of traders. He was probably married to Zai Ded who hailed from the village of Dadasara, Tral and had two sons and a daughter with her. She renounced the world after the death of her children and became a hermit.

Noor-ud-Din renounced the worldly life at the age of 30 and retired to live a life of meditation in a cave which is still shown in Qaimoh and is about 10 feet deep. During his last days, he survived by drinking a cup of milk every day, and later, he used to survive by drinking water.

Literary works

Noor-ud-Din spread his teachings or message through poems, commonly known as shruks.[d][10] His poems have four to six lines each[11] and evolve around religious themes, highlight moral principles and often call for peace.[12] He strived for Hindu–Muslim unity. One of his prominent poem is Ann poshi teli yeli wan poshi, which translates as "Food will thrive only till the woods survive".[13]Noor-ud-Din renounced the worldly life at the age of 30 and retired to live a life of meditation in a cave which is still shown in Qaimoh and is about 10 feet deep. During his last days, he survived by drinking a cup of milk every day, and later, he used to survive by drinking water.

Noor-ud-Din spread his teachings or message through poems, commonly known as shruks.[d][10] His poems have four to six lines each[11] and evolve around religious themes, highlight moral principles and often call for peace.[12] He strived for Hindu–Muslim unity. One of his prominent poem is Ann poshi teli yeli wan poshi, which translates as "Food will thrive only till the woods survive".[13][14]

A Kashmiri poetess Lal Ded was his contemporary and had a great impact on his spiritual growth.[15] Some scholars argue that he was her discip

A Kashmiri poetess Lal Ded was his contemporary and had a great impact on his spiritual growth.[15] Some scholars argue that he was her disciple, and associate his poetry with the Bhakti movement, although others disagree.[16]

Noor-ud-Din witnessed several transmissions of Hinduism and Islam in the valley throughout his life, although he was actively involved in philosophical work and in writing Kashmiri poems.[17] In his verses, he recalled some events, including arrival of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani to Kashmir.[18]

Noor-ud-Din is also credited with translating the Quran into Kashmiri language.[19]

In 2015, the university of Kashmir published an Urdu book titled "Kalam-i-Sheikh-ul-Alam", comprising about 300 shruks of Nund Rishi translated into Urdu by Ghulam Muhammad Shad.[20]

Noor-ud-Din died in 1438 at the approximate age of 63. Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin commissioned a tomb for his body at Charari Sharief. The Charar-e-Sharief shrine is visited by pilgrims to this day, especially on the eve of Noor-ud-Din's urs.[1]

The Afghan governor Atta Muhammad Khan minted coins with Noor-ud-Din's name.[21]

Noor-ud-Din's father Sheikh Salar-Ud-Din and two brothers

The Afghan governor Atta Muhammad Khan minted coins with Noor-ud-Din's name.[21]

Noor-ud-Din's father Sheikh Salar-Ud-Din and two brothers Kamal-Ud-Din and Jamal-Ud-Din are buried near Dadasara while his wife is buried in Qaimoh.[1]

Noor-ud-Din's sayings and verses are preserved in Kashmir region, including in a museum built at Kashmir university. The shruks also describe the life of the saint. They were translated into the Persian language by Baba Nasib-ud-din Ghazi two centuries after his death.[8][15] In 1998, University of Kashmir established an institute called Markaz-e-Noor Centre for Sheikh-ul-Alam Studies to conduct scientific research on Noor-ud-Din's life.[4][22] In 2015, the university established a research center called Sheikh-ul-Alam Chair in order to honor his reachings. The centre is aimed at exploring the social and cultural background of the Kashmiri Rishis.[23] In 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages covered his life in a book titled "Hayat-e-Sheikh-ul-Alam" (life of Nund Rishi).[24] In 2005, the Government of India renamed the Srinagar airport to Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport and granted it international status.[25]

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