During the turbulent times of intolerance, hatred and fanaticism, notable women like Lal Ded, Bibi Tajkhatun, Bibi Bahuat and Habba Khatun are some household names that come to our mind. They all spread the message of love, tolerance and harmony.
One notable woman named Lal Ded is a mystic poet of Kashmir who is known by several other names including Lala Arifa, Lalleshwari and Lala Mouj. Her poetry was mystical, transcendental and didactic. She was born in 1335 AD at Pandrethan in a Hindu family. She was married at the age of 12 and suffered cruelty at the hands of her in-laws. After bearing the suffering for many years, she decided to quit worldly life and went in search of reality. Lal Ded was a wandering preacher. The charismatic woman is revered by both Hindus as well as Muslims. She received guidance for about 35 years from Syed Simnan at Kulgam.
Lal Ded was a philosopher who preached through the medium of poetry. She gave expressions to her thoughts through the language of ordinary people. The poetic verses of Lal Ded are known as Lalwakhs. About 30% of the Kashmiri idioms and proverbs derive their origin from Lalwakhs.
The legacy of Lal Ded was carried forward by Sheikh Noor-u-din, Roopa Bhawani and Rishipir in addition to their disciples.