Sign in or
Moses In Kashmir
The term Kashmir historically described the valley just to the south of the western most end of the Himalayan range. Politically, however, the term 'Kashmir' describes a much larger area, which includes the regions of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. The northwest portions (Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir) the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin). The main "Vale of Kashmir" is relatively low and very fertile, surrounded by magnificent mountains and fed by many mountain streams flowing from adjoining valleys. It is renowned as one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world. Kashmir consists of a wide and beautiful valley, surrounded by tall mountains and is one of the most beautiful places in the world. There have been many controversies regarding its history. Till now many references about the origin of Kashmiri people have been given but controversies are still present. One such theory is about kashmiries being the Lost Tribe of one of the twelve tribes of Bani-Israel .The history of the Kashmir is shrouded in mystery, as is the history of other people in Kashmir. Many researchers are of the opinion that many inhabitants of Kashmir are descendants of the Lost Tribes who were exiled in 722 BC. They wandered along the Silk Road into the countries of the East, Persia and Afghanistan until they reached the Kashmir valley and settled there. Others say the wanderings began approximately 300 years later. The wanderers settled in Kashmir, kept their traditions until they slowly started idol worship and gradually got converted to Hinduism & ultimately they got converted to Islam when the word of Allah (Islam) reached the valley and thus once again started worshiping the one GOD “ALLAH”. There are 5 to 7 million people here. Generally speaking, they have clearer complexions and are different from the other citizens of India. An Interesting tradition is passed down among the Kashmir people regarding their ancestry from the Lost Tribes of Israel. This tradition is some what supported by extensive literature written by both the people of Kashmir and other scholars. This is supported by various links available from different sources. As some references are as under: The traveling Arab historian El Bironi in the 12th century wrote, "In the past, permission to enter Kashmir was given only to Jews." The priest Monstrat said that in the time of Vasco da Gama in the 15th century, "all the inhabitants of this area who have been living here since ancient times can trace their ancestry, according to their race and customs, to the ancient Israelites. Their features, their general physical appearance, their clothing, their ways of conducting business, all show that they are similar to the ancient Israelites." In Kashmir, various places are called with Israeli names, like Har Nevo, Beit Peor, Pisga, and Heshubon. These are all the names in the land of the Ten Tribes of Israel. The same thing is true in the names of people, male names, female names, and names of village. For example, one of the tribes of Kashmir is called Asheriya, which is Asher, the tribe of Dand is Dan, Gadha is Gad, and Lavi is Levi. The Tribe of Shaul is the Hebrew name of King Saul. Musa is Moses, Suliamanish is Solomon. And you also have the tribe of Israel, the tribe of Abri, which are the tribe of Hebrew, and the tribe of Kahana, which is the word for Jewish priest.
Grave and shrine of Hazrat bi bi sang arifa (Rehmatullah aleh). It lies adjacent to the grave attributed to Prophet Moses (Allah bless him).
In Tarikh-i-Azami the following passage occurs:
"And this Sang Bibi was also a renowned hermitess and excelled men in meditation and prayer. Near to her tomb is a place which is known as the sepulchre of Moses, the Prophet of God (may our salutations be on him), and people who know assert that many benefits are derived from that place" (Khwaja Muhammad Azam, Tarikh-i-Azami, 84).
The "lost tribes of Israel" are the Muslims of Afghanistan and Kashmir -- The purpose of this article is to show how some of the prophecies with regards to the ‘lost tribes of Israel’ from the Old Testament as well as the New Testament were fulfilled through the Prophet Muhammad. That the ‘lost tribes of Israel’ are Muslim today has important implications, and serves well to support Islam’s case. The Old Testament prophesied that the Promised Prophet, or ‘that one’ in the New Testament, would unite the lesser and fragmented tribes of Israel. Our Christian friends, I’m sure, overlook this point and are quite content not knowing what happened to these tribes, because to discover that these men are today Muslims, would imply that Muhammad was that prophet, and not Jesus. Everything below can be read in various parts of the book ‘Muhammad in World Scriptures – Vol. 1: The Bible’ by Maulana Abdul Haq Vidyarthi. History of the ten lost tribes of Israel: There had been only two kings who are called kings of Israel: David and Solomon. After Solomon, in the time of his son Rehoboam, the Israelites broke into two pieces. Only the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained under the suzerainty of Rehoboam, whereas the remaining ten tribes rose up in revolt and went over to Jeroboam, who was, during the lifetime of Solomon, his building-engineer. The ten tribes of Israel were cut off and forever separated from the Israelites and were immersed into idolaters and they again began to worship the Golden Calf. They raised their own kingdom in Samaria. In contrast to Judah and Benjamin, they constituted a much bigger fraternity among the Children of Israel. Their rule lasted for 200 years; and then the King of Syria (ancient Assyria) defeated them in 722 BC, scattering and dispersing them. Where this huge horde went is a puzzle that has baffled and bewildered the writers of history. Some surmise, that by means of a tunnel in the earth they reached China; others presume they reached Mongolia and settle there; yet another hypothesis is that they went to some place in Europe. From the Encyclopedia Americana, under the heading 'Lost Ten Tribes': "It was formerly one of the puzzles of history to know what became of the ten tribes. There were several theories, because of the fact that some Jewish monuments were found in China, some writers tracked them to that land. Others found their descendants in India... The general consensus of scientific opinion, however, is that the tribes became absorbed, as subsequent vanished traces have, in neighboring nations, and thus were not lost in the real significance of the term. So, according to Dr. Bernier, the people of Kashmir and Afghanistan are the same ten lost tribes of the house of Israel. Dr. Francois Bernier, who had been for a long time in the court of the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb of India, writes in his book Travels in the Moghul Empire: “There are however many marks of Judaism to be found in this country. On entering the Kingdom after crossing the Peer-Panchal Mountains, the inhabitants in the frontier villages struck me as resembling Jews. Their countenances and manners, and that indescribable peculiarity which enables a traveler to distinguish the inhabitants of different nations, all seemed to belong to that ancient people. You are not to ascribe what I say to mere fancy, the Jewish appearance of these villagers having been remarked by our Father, the Jesuit, and some other Europeans long before I visited Kashmir.” (F.Bernier, Travels in the Mogul Empire, trans. Irving Brock, London, 1981, p. 432). George Forster, in his famous Letters on a Journey from Bengal to England, described his visit to Kashmir: “On first seeing the Kashmirians, in their own country, I imagined from their garb, the cast of their countenance which was long and of a grave aspect, and the forms of their beards, that I had come among a nation of Jews.” Sir Younghusband, who for many years was the Representative of the British Crown to the Court of the Maharaja of Kashmir, wrote: “Here may be seen fine old patriarchal types, just as we picture to ourselves the Israelitish heroes of old. Some, indeed, say… that these Kashmiris are the lost tribes of Israel and certainly, as I have already said, there are real Biblical types to be seen everywhere in Kashmir and especially among the upland villages.
....................The tomb attributed to Prophet Moses has two trees on either side. They were planted about 400 years ago by Hazrat Makhdoom Shaikh Hamza of Kashmir who prayed there for forty days near the tomb of Prophet Moses. He said, it is recorded, that he could smell the aroma of prophethood from the tomb. ( My personal experience was somewhat similar,,, although i had treked some 10 km upto this grave but i felt as if Allah was showering his blessing onto this place. i felt relaxed and spritually elevated when i saw this place. I offered prayers and Surah Fatiha for the blessed one in this grave ,,,,
Here the Israelitish Shepherd tending his flocks and herds may any day be seen.” (Sir Francis Younghusband, Kashmir, London, 1909, p. 112) These lost tribes, while living as neighbors to Hindu idolaters, adopted their customs and habits. These Jews believed in the Unity of God, and this Unity in the terminology of scholars of religion is called Henotheism, i.e. the belief that "our God is one, but other nations have their own Gods; our God is exclusively our own, having nothing to do with other peoples." In this basis they hold that as long as they live in the land of their Lord, Jehovah, they should render obedience to Him, but when they immigrate to another place and take up their residence among other people, they should worship and adore the God of that land. So we find that in the beginning, when they founded their own kingdom in Samaria, having been separated from Solomon's son. The population of Kashmir, thus, consists of two nations, the 'Kashmiri Kashyapi', who trace their ancestry to the Hindu Rishi, Kashyap, and the 'Ban Mash' who have migrated into Kashmir from outside; and although the Hindus did not absorb them, they had to adopt, according to their own belief, the worship of Hindu gods and their habits and customs. My final point regarding the fact that the people of Kashmir are Israelites is that the names of cities of Afghanistan and Kashmir have the same names as places mentioned in the Bible; i.e. they are Hebrew names. We have 'Gilgit' for the Biblical 'Golgotha', and 'Poonch' for 'Phenice.' The meaning of 'Kabul (the capital of Afghanistan)' in the Hebrew language (Cabul) is a 'dirty city', or alternatively ‘displeasing city. There is also Chah-i-Babel (the well of Babylon) near Islamabad; and Takht-i-Sulaiman (the Throne of Solomon) in the vicinity of the temple of Shankaracharya. ‘Kashmir’ is a Hebrew Word: Furthermore, Kashmiri or Kashahmiri is a Hebrew word and an attributive name of the Israelites. The root is Kas(h)ah, similar to the Arabic kashiya. In Hebrew it means fleshy and plump, and the Bible itself has conferred this name on the Israelites, and in the idiomatic tradition of the Bible, ‘becoming fat’ means to ‘become an idolater’ – see Deuteronomy, 31:20,Nehemiah 9:25-26, 1 Samuel 2:29-30 for reference. In the same place in the Bible, the Israelites have also been called Yeshurun or Jeshurun, and both these names indicate two contradictory qualities of the Israelites. Yeshurun has been derived from the yashar or yashar, which means the follower of truth or worshipper of the One True God. The following texts of the Bible may read in this connection: “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked; you waxed fat, you grew thick, you became sleek; then he forsook God who made him, and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.” (Deuteronomy 32:15) Yeshurun or Jeshurun, in this text, is the name of the Israelites and signifies here a person who worships the One True God (Gesenius and Brown, A Hebrew and English Lexicon.) But this Jeshur or Yashar had been called Ka(s)ha or Kashyapa when he began to worship, instead of Lord God Jehovah, other gods and idols of the Hindus, and coming into foreign countries thought no more of and forgot Jehovah. Just to support my point, one of the most popular mountain passes in Afghanistan is called Khyber Pass. Khyber is a Hebrew word meaning a Fort. A Few Prophecies from the Bible Concerning the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel: 1. Jacob on His Death Bed Confers Blessings on Joseph: “Of these 10 lost tribes, the most honored and renowned was the tribe of Joseph from among the Children of Ephraim; only two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, had been left in Palestine. Joseph’s was the tribe of which it was written: “Rachel is weeping for her children.” (Jeremiah 31:15. Cf. Matthew 2:18). Her lamentation was warranted because all the hopes of the Jews were linked with this tribe. Jacob, when he laid on his death-bed, conferred most of his blessings on Joseph's tribe and uttered a prophecy about their prosperity and success (Genesis 49:22-24), and Moses too, in the last moments of his life invoked for this tribe blessings, both spiritual and temporal: About Joseph he said: “May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. In majesty he is like a first born bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim; such are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17) How could it be that such a precious gem, as Joseph was, should have been abandoned and left in darkness, and the word of God should have failed in this case? It is a matter of fact that these ten tribes, including the Children of Joseph, the Sons of Ephraim, came to and settled in Afghanistan and Kashmir. When Jacob, on his death-bed also conferred blessings on Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, he gave Ephraim the younger son more blessings. Joseph did not like it and held up his father’s hand saying” “Not so, my father; for this one is the first born; put your right hand upon his head.” (Genesis 48:18). But the father refused, and set Ephraim before Manasseh. As a result, Ephraim’s dynasty became so much dignified and renowned that is name became synonymous with the ruler ship of Israel. The fundamental question arises, how is it possible that this promised son and his tribe could become non-existent and extinct? If these tribes had been Christians, it could be said that their shepherd was Jesus; but since they came into the fold of Islam their shepherd and King, the Promised David, was the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), not Jesus (P.B.U.H). Furthermore, God sent His prophet, Jesus, to seek and find them, and bring them back to the religion of their fathers. There are also 50-75 names of places in Kashmir, which are in fact the Hebrew names that ancient Israelites were very familiar with. There is a place called Samaryah, which is Samaria. Mamre is Mamre, Pishgah is Pisgah, Nabudaal is Mt. Nevo, Bushan is Bashan, Gilgit is Gilgal, Heshba is Heshbon, Amunah is Amon, Gochan is Goshen, Median-pura is Midian, and Guzana is Gozan which is a place name in Assyria and the very place where the Ten Tribes of Israel were deported. There is yet another tradition in connection with King Solomon according to which even King Solomon reached the Kashmir Valley and through his wisdom aided the people of Kashmir by successfully regulating the Jehlum River. This tradition is also connected to a place called Solomon's throne, which is situated above the capital of Kashmir, Srinagar. "Get thee up into this Mountain Abarim, unto Mount Nebo... and die in the mount whether thou goest up ... yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give to the Children of Israel" (Deut., 32: 49-52) ."And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people" (Nu. 27: 13) "So Moses the servant of the Lord died there ... buried him in a valley in the land ...” (Deut., 34: 5-6). These verses record that in obedience to the Divine Command Moses ascended to the top of Mount Nebo and from there he viewed the Land of Promise and thereafter he died at that spot and God buried him. But according to the Christian belief, God not only buried him but buried his sepulchre also. The Jewish legend surrounds the death of Moses with mystery. It is asserted in the Jewish history called the Assumption of Moses that Michael came into conflict with Satan as to the disposal of the body of Moses. This legend is also referred to in the Epistles of Jude (Jude: 5-9). According to eastern Jewish legends when the Israelites murmured and talked of returning to Egypt, Yahweh in his wrath threatened to destroy them, and to make Moses and his clan (Mosa Kheo into a nation mightier and greater than they (Nu. 14: 12). Yahweh decided that only Moses should with his posterity possess the Promised Land. Moses should have and did thenceforth disappear and went to that land, but the printed tradition alleged that a cloud surrounded him and he disappeared and God had taken him alive into heaven on account of his piety (Jewish Ency., Art. Moses, 9: 53). In a passage from Homily 26 in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Ch. 3), St. John Chrysostom wrote: "But tell me, do not the bones of Moses himself lie in a far off land in the East.” But, ignoring Jewish traditions and Christian beliefs, it is obvious that, if Kashmir was the Land of Promise, Moses must have visited the place and his tomb must be somewhere in Kashmir. There can be no possibility of any doubt if it is established that Moses did die in Kashmir. The traditions of Kashmir, written and oral assert that Moses did visit Kashmir and died there. A few of the historians of Kashmir as, Abdul Qadir bin Qaziul-Quzat Wazil Ali Khan, in his Hashmat-i-Kashmir, writes: "Moses came to Kashmir and people believed in him. Subsequently they continued to believe in him, others did not. He died and was buried here. The people of Kashmir call his tomb the Shrine of the Prophet of the Book" (Hashmat-i-Kashmir, ETR.A. Society of Bengal. MS. 192). In Tarikh-i-Azami the following passage occurs: "And this Sang Bibi was also a renowned hermitess and excelled men in meditation and prayer. Near to her tomb is a place which is known as the sepulchre of Moses, the Prophet of God (P.B.U.H), and people who know assert that many benefits are derived from that place" (Khwaja Muhammad Azam, Tarikh-i-Azami, 84). In Guldasta-i-Kashmir it is recorded: "Muslims call this land a replica of heaven on earth and also named it the Garden of Solomon. There are many shrines in the land. They say that Hazrat Sulaiman came here and that Hazrat Musa passed through and died in the land" (Pundit Har Gopal, Guldasta-i-Kahmir, 17). Similar references are to be found in Wajeez-ut-Tawarikh (Wajeez-ut-Tawarikh, Vol. 1: 28) and Tarikh-i-Hasan (Tarikh-i-Hasan, Vol. 3: 74). Among European travelers and writers, Francis Bernier was the first to note this fact. In his fourth ground for the belief that Kashmiris were descendants of Israel, he said: "The fourth ground is the belief that Moses died in this city of Kashmir and that this took place within a league of it" (Bernier, Travels in India, 174). George Moore, in his The Lost Tribes, says: "Moses himself came amongst them to teach them the worship of one God" (George Moore, The Lost Tribes, 137). Lt. -Col. HD Torrens writes: "There is a belief too; that Moses died in the Capital of Kashmir and that he is buried near it" (Torrens, Lt.-Col., H.D., Travels in Ladakh, Tartary and Kashmir, 268). Mrs. Harvey, citing Badi-ud-Din as her authority, states:"According to one eminent authority Kashmir was inundated on account of the relapse of the inhabitants to idolatry, after having been taught the worship of One God by Moses, who died there and whose tomb is by some said to be still pointed out" (Mrs.Harvey, The Adventures of a Lady in Tartary, Tibet, China and Kashmir, Vol. 2: 154). A place called (Aham Sharif) is located about eight miles from Behatpoor (Bandipur) from where a village called Hudabal is present at some distance where tomb of Moses is thought to be present. The tomb itself is in a quadrangular enclosure and in it there are three other covered tombs. One of them is of Sang Bibi, the hermitess, and the other two are of her disciples. All these three tombs, like Muslim graves, are in the north-south direction. The fourth tomb is believed to be of Moses, which, like Jewish graves, is in the east-west direction. The tomb of Moses has two trees on either side. They were planted about 400 years ago by Hazrat Makhdoom Shaikh Hamza of Kashmir who prayed there for forty days near the tomb of Prophet Moses. He said that he could smell the aroma of prophethood from the tomb. The tomb of Moses is on Nebu baal (Mount Nebu). From this place Behatpoor (Bandipur), Sin Betour (second Mount Sinai) is visible. Hashba, Pisgah and Maqam-i-Musa, the Place of Moses, are within a short distance from it. There is considerable material in support of the tradition that Moses came to Kashmir and died there. Musa is a very popular name among the inhabitants of Kashmir and many places are also named after him. Thus there is Gund-i-Khalil or Gund-i-Musa in Awantipur. Sir Aurel Stein mentions Kohna-i-Musa near Shadipur (Stein, Sir Aurel, Rajatarangini, Vol. 1: 70) and Rampur (Stein, Sir Aurel, The Ancient Geography of Kashmir, 166). There are four Maqam-i-Musa, the place of (rest) of Moses in Kashmir. One is near Auth Wattu in Handwara Tehsil. This place is also known as Ayat Maula, the Sign of God. Moses came to the valley from this direction and prayed at this spot for forty days. The second is at the junction of the two rivers Jhelum and Sindh near Shadipur. It is sometimes known as Kohna-i-Musa and Stein mentions it by this name. The third is at Pisgah and the fourth is near Bandipur. There is Sang-i-Musa - the stone of Moses - at Bijbehara. It is locally known as Ka Ka Pal - the stone of Ka Ka. The Ladakhis call Moses Ka Ka. This stone of Moses is also mentioned in Rajatarangini. It weighs about 110 pounds. If we turn to the Holy Quran we can find material for maintaining that Moses did come to Kashmir. To begin with, Israelites are assured that they will live in the Land of Promise after they had been persecuted (The Holy Quran 7: 137). Consequently, the Israelites had to enter the Land of Promise after their captivity and subsequent release. The meeting of Moses with Khwaja Khizr is an incident, which lends support to the fact that Moses did come to Kashmir. We are told that Moses with his servant reached the junction of the two rivers (Ibid. 18: 60). The phrase, Majma-ul-Bahrain, does not indicate merely a junction of two rivers, but it really signifies the fact that the two rivers must lose their identity as if they had fallen into the sea. The junction of the rivers Jhelum and Sindh (it must not be confused with the Indus) is at Shadipur and after a few miles they fall into Wullar Lake. At this junction, and in midstream, is a rock on which a platform has been made. It is known as Makam-i-Musa, the resting-place of Moses, and sometimes it is called Kohna-i-Musa, the corner stone of Moses. Thus Moses with his companion came upon this junction and "they took refuge on the rock'' (Ibid. 18: 63). And it is from this place that they retraced their steps (Ibid. 18: 64). On his return journey Moses meets a person, not named in the Book, upon whom God had bestowed mercy and taught him of His knowledge (Ibid. 18: 65). Commentators agree that this person was Khwaja Khizr. Moses asked permission to follow him: "So they went (their way) until when they embarked in the boat, he made a hole in it. (Moses) said: Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing" (Ibid. 18: 71). The Holy Quran then mentions the reason for this extraordinary conduct of Khwaja Khizr: "As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river and I wished that I should damage it, and there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force" (Ibid. 18: 79). Nalsain (Wilson, H.H., Hiscout, Ancient History of Kashmir, 81), King of Kashmir, according to the calculations of Wilson, was a contemporary of Moses. He was a wicked and cruel king. During his reign Kashmir was invaded and there was also a rebellion in the land. Nalsain took forcible possession of all the good boats so that he might cut off the means of communication of his enemies. This is a fact of history and Khwaja Khizr was made aware of the evil intention of Nalsain. Khwaja Khizr, like Moses, is a very popular name among Kashmiris and Khwaja, meaning Master, is prefixed to the names of respectable Kashmiris. Josephus records that Moses took leave of his people and went to Mount Nebu, "when a cloud suddenly stood over him and he disappeared'' (Josephus, Antiquities, 4: 8, 48). Later on a belief was set up that Moses did not die but had in fact been taken up to heaven like Elijah (Jewish Ency., Art. Moses). But here again, as in the case of Jesus, the Holy Prophet MUHAMMAD (P.B.U.H) disclosed the real truth. He said: "When Moses' death approached he prayed to God to be permitted to see the Promised Land." This prayer was granted. Hazrat Abu Hurairah goes on to report that the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) added: "He (Moses) died there. If I were there I could have pointed out to you his tomb on the path of a rugged hill'' (Bukhari, Vol. 2, 16). Personally when I asked about the history of tomb to one of the old man who is the local resident (Sonna-walla-telii) of a near by village. He confirmed that they have heard from their ancestors about some linkage of tomb with HAZRAT MUSA (P.B.U.H). On further questioning he told me the following story which there ancestors used to tell them…that once upon a time an outsider had come to bandipora. He was having some kind of severe ailment. This outsider used to pray a lot and one day he saw Khwaja Khizr in his dreams. Khwaza Khizr told him to build fencing around the tomb at Hudabal. As the outsider started fencing around this tomb his ailment was cured. Even today the local people go this tomb and pray to Allah. They believe the tomb to be of HAZRAT MUSA (P.B.U.H). Rather though than this being an Israelite influence in Kashmir at the time of Moses, it was more likely a Jewish influence about a millennium later, consequent upon the Babylonian Captivity, with a subsequent Jewish influx into Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir. Perhaps this immigrant people, like the Afghanis who Kersten says (p. 56) "trace their lineage back to King Saul of Israel and call themselves "Ben-I-Israel"," were in fact scattered members of Saul's tribe of Benjamin taken captive from Judah. The Book of Esther (11:2) indeed records Benjaminites living in Persia's capital of Susa; Queen Esther herself being one of them. Apropos to this situation. Kersten tells on p. 58: The inhabitants of Kashmir are different from the other peoples of India in every respect. Their way of life, their behavior, their morals, their character, their clothing, their language, customs and habits are all of a type that might be described as typically Israelite. Like present-day Israelis, the Kashmiris do not use fat for frying and baking: they use only oil. Most Kashmiris like boiled fish, called fari, eaten in remembrance of the time before their Exodus from Egypt ' (Numbers 11:5). Butchers' knives in Kashmir are made in the half-moon shape typical of the Israelites, and even the rudders of the boat people (Hanjis) are of the similarly typical heart shape. The men wear distinctive caps on their heads. The clothing of the old women of Kashmir (pandtanis) is very similar to that of Jewish women, and like them they also wear headscarves and laces. Like young Jewish girls, the girls of Kashmir dance in two facing columns with linked arms, moving together forwards and backwards to the rhythm. It is called rof. Many of the older graves in Kashmir (i.e., pre Islamic) are aligned in the east-west orientation, whereas Islamic graves normally point north south. A great number of such graves are to be found in Haran, Rajpura, Syed Bladur Sahib, Kukar Nagh and Awantipura. In the cemetery at Bijbihara, the place where the bath and stone of Moses are located. Moses' burial is thought by the locals to have occurred in Kashmir in that defined region that we discussed earlier in connection with Mount Nebo. And Solomon's Temple is also said to have been built here In Kashmir. P. 49: "Kashmir is still known among the local Muslim population as Bagh-i-Suleiman, the 'Garden of Solomon'." "And Moses said unto them, I am 120 years old this day; I can no more come in and go out, so the Lord has said I shall not go over this Jordon." Moses died in Moab, and was buried in the valley opposite Beth Peor." Deu.31; 2. The words Beth (river) Peor (gap or opening) become Bandipore in Kashmir, and Moses' grave is believed to be in Bandipore, on a hillside between two mountains and through the gap the Jhelum River passes. One can sit on the edge of the grave and gaze down at the river far below. Here is a large opening (oriented east to west) surrounded by rocks. One rock slab is planted deeply on end, with just a small end visible above the dirt (typical of Hebrew graves in the Himalayas). On one edge of the grave are wind horses, also called prayer flags, which indicate that local people still make their way up here, say prayers, and tear a piece of their clothing to leave as an offering. Even after having references in support of kashmiries being the lost tribe of Bani-Israel. Yet we can’t come to any conclusion, as there are a lot of missing links in between. But surely it is one aspect of a long & unstudied history of magnificent vale of Kashmir. Before concluding I will like to say that Allah best knows all that is present & all that has passed. Still we have to search for the reality in real sense. I hope that in future some research will be done in this direction also so that misconceptions are rectified.
Zahid Samoon (Abraham)
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