Kashmir is the famous allover globe as being land of great Saints, Sufis. It is bestowed with religious wealth in the form of abundant shrines and places of worship enjoying reverence and allegiance of people professing different faiths.The valley of Kashmir with the inception of Islam did undergo tremendous positive changes at all levels and strata of society. Islam in Kashmir wasn’t result of some brutal and bloody conquest but by the efforts and toil of Sufi Saints. The imprints which Islam left on Kashmiris have been rightly observed by the noted historian Prem Nath Bazaz “Politics had dehumanized the Kashmiris; Islam made them men again. Just as the Muslim rule was established in Kashmir without much bloodshed, so was Islam spread throughout the length and breadth of the valley by peaceful preaching and lucid persuasions of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani(RA) and hundreds of the Sayyid Missionaries who came from Hamadan and other parts of Persia.As a matter of fact, the sacred shrines in Kashmir belong to both Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims and are visited by lakhs of devotees. Some of the shrines are the world renowned such as shrine of Dargah Sharif Hazratbal, Baba-Zain-ud-Din Wali R.A. (Aishmuqam), Baba Hyder Reshi R.A. (Anantnag), the last of the saints of the Rishi order in Kashmir about whose resting place the Alamdar-i-Kashmir (Flag Bearer of Kashmir), Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Rishi R.A. (Charar- e -Sharief) , Baba Dawood Ghoni R.A. (Vailoo), Hazrat Noor Shah Bagdadi R.A. (Kund), Hazrat Sheikh Syed Samnani R.A. (Kulgam), Baba Naseeb-ud-Din Ghazi R.A. (Bijbehara) Hazrat Syed Yaqoob Sarfi R.A.,Hazrat Baba Gulindin Sahib (R.A.),Hazrat Baba Reshi Sahib R.A. Gulmarg, Hazrat Baba Shikur – u –din Sahib R.A. Watlab Sopore, Shrine of Hazrat Peer-e-Dastgeer Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Geelani R.A.at Khanyar Srinagar etc.Besides, these Muslim shrines, in J&K there are other sacred religious places like Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara in Srinagar and Shri Vaishno Devi In Katra managed by Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (GPC) and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi .Muslim WAQf Board is managing these all shrines which has the unique distinction of being second largest asset rich body in Jammu and Kashmir after the government as it is the custodian of these 47 holy shrines in the Kashmir Valley. WAKF Board gets tremendous income from the Nazar o Niyaz (Donations) made by the devotees visiting these sacred shrines with unflinching faith.What is tragic to note is the fact that despite generating tremendous resources, the corruption and malpractices have marred the functioning of WAQF since decades admitted even by top management.WAQF in Kashmir should have been known for philanthropic activity ,building strong institutes of health and education but it is most of times in news for all the wrong reasons .Recently, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Member, Central Waqf Council and Chairperson, Waqf Development Committee, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Dr. Darakhshan Andrabi stated that Waqf Board is corrupt to the core and no place Is left untouched by the corrupt hands of the board in Kashmir.
While speaking at Balhama, She said, “Since I’ve been a part of the board, I’ve seen a lot of corruption take places. I will make sure that all of those people, who have done corruption, will not get away with it.”
Chairperson of Central Waqf Development Committee said, “The corruption is everywhere, Mosques, graveyards, shrines, etc. no place has been left. I am a part of the board, I request the government of India to create a separate Waqf board for the Shia community.”
Masses are hopeful that WAQF Functioning would improve.