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Islam in Hunza

 
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It is said that upto 1540s the people of Hunza were worshiping idols and Islam came to there when Mir Ayasho II married a Baltit Princess. However, it can be true for central and ower Hunza only. The people of upper Hunza were immigrants from Wakhan and the whole region was under the Ismaili influence since 11th century. Ismailies have their own state upto 15 th century in Badakhshan. On the other hand it is also fact that Wakhies living in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China, Gojal and Ishkoman Pakistan are all Ismailies. So it means that the wakhies of Gojal were already followeres of this faith from earlier time. There is no evidence that the people worshiped idols or were followeres of Ithnashiri faith. The mosques in Gojal were built when the area came under full influence of Mir of Hunza. Another proof in this regard in this that the Mir Saleem Khan who was the first to accept Ismaili faith was more near to Wakhies and He himself accepted this faith anywhere in Chipursun or Badakhshan. He was the first Ismaili from out side wakhi population from Hunza. It is said that when Mir Saleem accepted Ismaili faith on hands of a Ismaili saint Syed Shah Ardhabil he said that as my all state are non Musliks so who will perform my funeral according my new faith.

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The saint replied that dont worry at that time a saint will be there with you. And it is narrated that the day when he died he was inquiring that did any body came from the east side of Gulmit. At last he was said that a person on a horse is coming has reached to Goze, Gulmit. He was a Ismaili saint Syed Shah Hussain son of Syed Shah Ardabil. At that moment when the saint came to his pillow Mir Saleem paid thanks to God and lost his breaths. The saint performed his funeral according to the Ismaili tradition of Badakhshan and on 3rd day performed the Chiragh Roshan. This was the first time to perfom Chiragh Roshan. This was 1823 and Mir was burried in Gulmit.

Latter during the reign of Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan the Mir himself and other people accepted Ismaili faith and paid Bayath on the hands of different Ismaili saints. As the Wakhi people after migrating to this area were out of contact with their Pirs so they also paid Bayath on hands of Ismaili saints Khawaja Shah Talib, Khawaja Shohdha and Mirza Ismail.

 
   

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copyrights Zulfiqar Ali Khan All rights reserved-2006