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Shi段sm in Kashmir, 1477-1885

Author Affiliations

  • 1Centre for Historical Studies (CHS), School of Social Sciences (SSS) Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi-67, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 4, Issue (4), Pages 74-80, April,14 (2015)


The present study aims to trace the genesis of shia faith in Kashmir; formation of shia philosophy and propagation of shia doctrine among the people of Kashmir; growing contradictions and clashes between shia-sunni followers; and implications of the political and religious policies of various rulers of later medieval period on Kashmiri society. Shia段sm didn稚 enter in the region of Kashmir as a distinct sect but an extension of the Islamic ideology propagated by Sayyid Sharaf-ud-din Bulbul Shah which got further impetus by missionary zeal of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani who converted Kashmir in a Muslim majority state by the end of 13th century. The shi段te doctrine was established in Kashmir by Shams-ud-din Iraqi who earlier propagated it as mere extension of Sunni orientation of Islam brought in the valley by the Sayyids but later on, took it on the path of twelver Islam and motivated certain major state dignitaries to adopt the upcoming shia ideology. The conversion of ruling family of Chaks resulted in the emergence of shi段sm as the state religion which continued to exist till the subjugation of Kashmir by the Mughal armies. Later on, the continuous targeting of shia community during the Afghan rule, widened the gulf between these two sects which had started opposing each other right from the Chak times. Sometimes triggered by political interests of the governing authorities, the frequent shia-sunni clashes certainly had their long term impact on the internal politics of the region. Though, confrontation between the people of these two sects occurred very frequently but some of the disastrous events of shia-sunni riots which will be discussed in the paper, occurred in the years 1719-20, 1741, 1762, 1801, 1803 and 1872.


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