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The Mirwaiz (from mir, chief and waiz, preacher) is the title given to the spiritual leaders of the 5.3 million Muslims of the Kashmir Valley. There are two main Mirwaiz lineages in the Valley. The better known lineage is based in Srinagar, with its seat at the historic Jama Masjid, Srinagar. The other lineage heads the Muslims of South Kashmir. Each lineage is traditionally the preserve of a single family that traces its roots to an ancestor who travelled to the Valley from Hamadanin Iran with Sheikh Amir Kabir in the sixteenth century. Only one or two members of the family can attain this title at a time after achieving a thorough and complete knowledge in the Qur'an and Sunnah from a University or an Islamic institute. In early days they were trained by special teachers or parents until the proper Islamic Institutes and Universities came into being.

Moulvi Siddique-Ullah (1075-1155 H) known as Siddiq Baba and his son Akhund Moulvi Abdussalam (1129-1209 H) are buried in the outskirts of Srinagar where they lived and preached Islam. Akhund Moulvi Abdussalam had five sons: one of them, Hafiz Ghulam Rasool Shah - known as Lasa Baba - was the first one to obtain the title of Mir waizi Kashmir. (Head Preacher of Kashmir). Wali Ullah, Rahim Shah, Abdullah Shah, and Bandah Shah, the other four are known as Mirwaiz Hamadan.

Haji Muhammad Yahya (1251-1308 H) took over the office and continued his father’s work. He was the first one to translate AMA YATA SAALOON, the 30th chapter...
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