The Development of Islāmic Culture and Civilization in Kashmīr and the Contribution of Muslim Ṣūfīs during the Medieval Times
Keywords:Kashmir, Buddhism, Hinduism, Ṣūfīs, Islamic
Kashmīr has a long unique structure and identity due to its geographical beauty, natural resources, and traditional spiritual ethos since antiquity. In ancient times, although most Kashmīris were followers of Buddhism and Hinduism, in addition to these traditional religions, there was also an influential group ascetic mystics called Rishis in Kashmīr. They devoted their entire lives to abstinence (Nafs Kashi) and various spiritual struggles in order to control their desires of carnal self (Mujāhida’s). From the beginning of medieval times which is known as the golden age of Islāmic civilization and culture, the message of Islām spread rapidly throughout the world. In this regard, the group of Ṣūfīs played vital role in the whole Islāmic world. In Kashmīr, as in the rest of the subcontinent, Ṣūfīs made significant contributions to the propagation of Islām. The present article will examine the historical events of the medieval times, which are considered a milestone in the spread of Islām and the promotion of Islāmic civilization in Kashmīr. Moreover, the works of those Ṣūfī masters will be reviewed who have sacrificed a lot and done commendable works on the history of Kashmīr.