Remembering Mirwaiz Molvi Yousuf Shah on 50th anniversary
Srinagar | Only Kashmir | 13 June 2017
For his unparalleled contribution towards Islam, politics, society the people of Kashmir across Line of Control (LoC) today remembers 12th Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Molvi Muhammad Yousuf Shah who left for heavenly abode on 12th December 1968, however, in accordance with Islamic lunar calendar his passing away anniversary is commemorated on 17th month of Ramadan every year. Unique in his political and religious milieu Yousuf Shah led the fight against the then autocratic rule and translated holy Quran into the Kashmiri language, he preferred to live in exile but did not budge an inch from his political stand.
Born on 13 March 1892 in a highly dignified ‘Mirwaiz family, the son of Mirwaiz Ghulam Rasool Shah who served the cause of Muslims in Kashmir to liberate them from the pit of ignorance and backwardness, Mirwaiz Shah had a strong affinity and unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Mirwaiz Shah along with his close aide Moulana Meerak Shah, took admission in Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband and had the golden opportunity to dwell in close proximity with the great Kashmiri scholar Moulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, the most revered teacher in the seminary at that time. His patronage was of paramount importance and also a prestige for Mirwaiz as a result of which Mirwaiz emerged as a young, dynamic fellow of the seminary. After completing Darse-Nizami course, Mirwaiz left for Lahore wherein he obtained Moulvi Fazil degree from the University of Punjab.
During the course of time Mirwaiz Moulana Ahmadullah passed away on April 3, 1931, and his brother Moulvi Attiqullah was not physically fit to take the reins as the Mirwaiz and therefore, Moulvi Muhammad Yousuf Shah was formally declared as Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir.
Mirwaiz indeed played a key role in galvanizing the rights movement of the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had been facing oppression at the hands of Dogra forces for last several decades. Mirwaiz, at the outset of the rights movement, led the Kashmiri Muslims in a judicious manner. He was the leading person in the list of seven member delegates who were nominated as envoys by the Kashmiri Muslims during a huge public gathering at Khanqah-e-Molla to hold negotiations with Dogra rule regarding the rights of Kashmiri people. Besides Mirwaiz, the other prominent members of the delegation were Mirwaiz Hamdani, Shahab-u-Din, Ghulam Ahmed Ashai and Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
1931 marked the year when long suppressed soul of Kashmir found utterance, particularly after the 13 July incident. The Secular politics led by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah thus adopted a parallel stage in Hazratbal Srinagar, in an effort to retain majority support. The unfortunate divide resulted in parallel political streams–National and Muslim Conference. The divide persisted as subcontinent was partitioned in 1947.
Sheikh Abdullah headed the administration in Indian-administered Kashmir, Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah became a part of administrative set-up in Pakistan-administered Kashmir–first as education minister, later he served two terms as President in 1952 and 1956. The divide left a wounded Kashmir that continues to bleed with every passing day.
On September 06, 1947, Mirwaiz left for Lahore to meet Muhammad Ali Jinnah to apprise him of the worsening political situation prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir. After having a detailed discussion with Jinnah, Mirwaiz was about to return home when tyrant Maharaja banned his re-entry in the state. This forced exile, led the Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir to live rest of his life in Pakistan, unlike millions of expatriate Kashmiris and earned him the title Muhajir-e-Millat.
In 1964 a high-level delegation led by Mirwaiz visited some 22 European and Islamic countries, wherein he briefed the EU member countries and the heads of Muslim states about the genesis of Kashmir conflict and the historical struggle of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. In 1965, when Revolutionary Council was established in Indian-administered Kashmir against India’s ‘occupation’, the Council nominated him as the spokesperson in Pakistan.
Besides fighting for the Kashmiris’ political rights he was fully engaged in spreading the message of Islam. Mirwaiz Moulana Yousuf Shah Saheb’s first Kashmiri (Tafseer) translation and commentary of Holy Quran ” Bayan-ul-Furqan” was first published by Anjuman-i- Nusrat- ul-Islam and later by Ministry of Awqaf, Govt of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Translation & Commentary (Tafseer) of Juzz UMM “Noor -ul-Uyoon”by well known religious & political personality of Mirwaiz family Molvi Noor-ud Din Saheb are available on Web site “http://www.noorul-uyoon.com/”.
The son soil Mirwaiz Molvi Yousuf Shah passed away on 12th December 1968 in Rawalpindi. He was buried at Upper Adda graveyard, opposite to the University Campus in Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Pakistan Administrated Kashmir. (END)