Archive for the ‘Shahe Hamdan’ Category

Sayyid Ali Hamdani was one of the prominent thinkers of
Islam. He expressed noble thoughts to guide others in right path. He was a great scholar in Arabic and Persian too. He was the author of more than one hundred books. He also
established Khanqahs and Kutb Khanas in Kashmir. He not only persuaded the people of Kashmir to come into the fold of Islam, purely on the basis of his spiritual force but also framed a programme on the betterment of moral material and religious condition of their lives.
Key Words:Shah-e-Hamdan, Kanqah, Kashmiris, Spiritual
Force, Moral, Religious, Condition

In the history of Islam, the Sufi saints have played a very important role. While the Muslim conquerors ventured to dominate the world with swords in their hands, the Muslim saints understood the woes of the people and gave the teachings of Islam
to them as a panacea for their deliverance. A healthy society depends on the development of the individual character and in
this direction the services of the mystics were the foremost importance. In the chain of the Sufis of Islam, 1 notice a great personality of the Muslim world who chose to work for the religious and cultural transformation of the life of the people in
Kashmir. Sayyid Ali Hamadani was a Sufi saint, devoted preacher of
Islam, great social reformer, scholar and a philosopher. He fully devoted his life to the propagation of Islamic teachings and
remained busy till to his death (6th Zilhijah, 786 A.H./A.D. 1385)) He was a versatile genius and was one of the most remarkable and luminous personality of the 14th century. His teachings were the essence of religious perfection of faith and
basis of good conduct. Uncorrupted by the court life and unspoiled by wealth and power, he influenced the rank of Muslim
society, improved its tone and helped in the evolution of Muslim mass culture specially in Kashmir. He is called the “Apostle of
Kashmir” on account of his contribution and work in the valley. 2)He commanded great influence and respect among the people because of his unique and simple views regarding religion and
culture. During his stay in Kashmir he found that the number of Muslims in the valley was very small while the majority of populations were Hindus. Non-lslamic Practices were alent in
society and Islam had not made any appreciable headway in the valley., In contravention of the Islamic teachings, Sultan
Qutub-ud-Din (King of Kashmir) had two wives who were sisters. The sayyid disapproved of these Non-lslamic Practices in Kashmir
and in accordance with his advice the Sultan divorced one of his wives and adopted the dress common in the Muslim countries,3) It was under the influence of the Sayid that Sultan Sikandar banned all intoxicants Sati and other evil practices. Religion is a light which enlightens the human conscience and helps a human beings to drink nectar at the fountain head of spiritual perfection. Islam made its way into Kashmir not by forcible conquest but by gradual conversion for which the influx of
foreign adventures from the South and Central Asia had prepared the ground. Bulbul shah a great Sufi of the Suharwardia order
came to Kashmir alongwith one thousand followers in the time of Suhadeva.

During the early period of the Shahmri dynasty a
caravan of Sayyids arrived in Kashmir who laid their imprints on every concernable area of human activity; religion, culture,
politics and economics. The pride of place can be given to Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani consequent upon the advice of his mentor, Sheik Sharaf-ud-Din, he undertook extensive travels. Kashmir also came up on his intenary. Kashmir has inherited a rich cultural and literary legacy which reflects a remarkable union of different
cultural and literacy movements.(5) For a long time Kashmir alongwith Nalanda and Taxilla shared fame as an aimportant seat
of learning and culture in the last here gathered scholars and saints from different parts of Asia to meet and exchange ideas on
fundamentals of religions. At the time of the arrival of
Shah-i-Hamadan, Leldew, a pious woman had already started a movement against the ritualistic and dogma ridden religion. The
fundamentals of her religion were rejection of idolatory, unity of God and practice of yoga. She preached harmony between Hindu Vedantism and Sufism.(6) The people of Kashmir which have had a rich intellectual
heritage respectfully responded to the movement started by Sayyid Ali Hamadani. His personal experience and his message
not only appealed the mind but it touched the heart of the masses especially those who alongwith physical appetite suffered from a
spiritual hunger. He came as a tempest to quench their unfulfilled desires. His philosophy was based on the material of human value.
He had the belief in the divinity of human soul, in the universality of love and in the dynamic power of emotion. The spiritual
exquisiteness and the divine dignity which clothed the personality of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani is explicit by his deeds and thoughts.
He was free from all the prejudices and preferences. He reached to such a pinnacle of reatness that different religious sects owned and adore him. His message of love was unlimited. Through his
religious experience he influenced every conceivable human
activity in Kashmir. In order to proliferate his own experience and transform the character of the people, he established the Khankahs in different parts of Kashmir.(2) This was a unique endevour which had a great influence on the religious life of the people. People used to gather in these Khankah’s for satiating
their spiritual as well as physical hunger. The Khankah was an institution where people came without any discrimination. This
free movement of people into the Khankah helped in breaking the class and caste society. The King and the common man were treated by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani with equal reverence.
The book that has had a tremendous influence on the
religiocultural life of Kashmir is Awardi-Fathiya. This piece of superb Islamic literature, is a marvelous legacy which the Amir- -e-Kabir bequeathed to Kashmiri Muslims so that they could cleanse their hearts every now and then by reciting it peacefully,
melodiously and with full belief, by understanding its meanings properly and acting upon its each phrase and thereby safeguard
themselves against sin, ignorance and innovation.8) How extraordinary was Sayyid Ali Hamdani that he made an individual possibility, a collective one by offering a comprehensive and multipurpose secital in Awradi Fathiya to the tradition mongers of Kashmir that time and today.
Chihal Asrar is yet another exclusive and grand work of
Sayyid Mir Ali Hamadani. It is a store house of mystic experiences and is considered as a compendium of his glorious experiences.9) The secret and the spirit that is contained in this grand work is the remedy that was suggested by Sayyid for the number of ills that had corrupted the society of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Sayyid, peace, tranquility and progress can be ushered in a
ciety if the man decides to realize himself. The process of self affirmation ultimately ends the quarrels, turmoils, turbulation, oppressions and deprivations. This was true at that time and this
is true at this time also.
Sayyid Ali Hamadani possessed vast knowledge, wisdom and understanding. His disciples were practical men, who worked hard to earn their living and at the same time were God-fearing
people, who absorbed themselves in prayers after their daily work. There was no caste system and all were equal. Such an economic order of the society greatly influenced the Hinuds and
they felt attracted towards this social order.10) It is evident that Islam became popular in Kashmir as a mystic order. When the
number of brotherhood increased, then the Sayyid deputed his chief disciples alongwith a batch to different parts of the valley. In this way, a net work of the Sufi brotherhood was spread and these centers became the nucleus of missionary works for spreading
Islam. Shah-e-Hamadan stood for tolerance. He abhorred coercion
in matters of religion. If he won over to Islam tens of thousands of converts, it was by peaceful preaching and thoughtful word which
was supported by the pleasing deed. This trait of Shah-e-Hamdan, which he exhibited in propagating Islam, was markedly present in his disciples whom he stationed in Kashmir. His legacy of tolerance was upheld by his eminent son and successor, Mir
Muhammad Hamadani, who, when Sultan Sikandar’s prime minister, Malik Saif-ud-Din turned hard on his former co-religionists was stopped by him from committing any
excesses. (11) He is reported to have referred him to verse 256 of Surah Al-Baqarah which sets forth the principle.
The new face that Kashmir has worn since that time bears a deep impress of Shah-e-Hamdan. Kashmir infact was reborn to a
new life in the world of Islam and the life of Kashmiri people
absorbed fully the new spirit of Islam. That was preached by Sayyid Ali Hamadani. Kashmiri society got rejuvenated and integrated into the new social order of Islam. For Kashmiris this became the life
model and harbinger of a new era, a transformation from an earlier
corrupt society to a new tradition of Islamic Life. The new social order has sustained, got strengthened and further re-invigorated
by several historical trials that the common people of Kashmir have suffered but borne with patience in the sincere hope that their
deliverance lies in the true teachings of Sayyid Ali Hamadani who preferred the masses for a real free and disciplined life on the
touch-stone of Islam. He made use of the religious tonic for the creation of a new social order. He broke the outer shell of rigidity
and dogma instead of creating a fear, created love of the ultimate reality. He made this love manifest for clearing the social system.
He not only succeeded in the mission but succeeded gloriously in uplifting the religious onditions of the Kashmiris.

G.M.D. Sufi, Dr. Kashir, Vol. I, University of the Punjab, Lahore,
1948, P321
M. Riaz, Dr, -o-Ahwal Amir Kabir Sayyid Ali Hamadani,
Islamabad, 1986, P20.
Aurel Stein, Dr., English Translation of Kalhanas Rajatarangi, Vol.J,
Westminster, 1900, P90.
Nazir Ahmad Shawl, Shah-e-Hamdan, Institute of Kashmir
Studies, Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, 1988, P170.
Muhammad lqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in
Islam, Lahore, 1962, P73.
Muhibul Hassan, Kashmir Under the Sultans, Lahore, 1982, P.50.
Sayyidah Ashraf Zafar, Sayyid Mir Ali Hamdani, Delhi, 1986, P.44.
Prem Nath Bazaz, History of struggle for freedom in Kashmir,
Delhi, 1954, P49.
10. M Riaz, Dr. Asrar-o- Amir Kabir Sayyid Ali Hamadani,
Islamabad, 1986, P.48.
11. G.M.D. Sufi, Dr. Kashir, Vol. I, University of the Punjab, Lahore,
1948, P.330

Research by :- Dr.Kh.Zahid.Aziz

Assistant professor, department of kashmiryat

University of the punjab, lahore



From times immemorial Kashmir has been abode of great mystic legacy. Islam in Kashmir flourished through the same message represented by a galaxy of Mystics coming from distinct backgrounds especially from Central Asia. These Mystics changed the landscape of Kashmir and built a new religio-spritual culture, which was a unique combination of Islamic spiritual ethos (Ihsan) and regional mystical ethos of Rishis of Kashmir. Mir Muhammad Hamadani, an eminent heir to his father’s spiritual legacy, took forward the mission of his father (Saiyid Ali Hamadani known in Kashmir as founder of Islam in Kashmir) and added new heights to this Islamic Mystical Culture of Kashmir by establishing new socio- educational and spiritual institutions in Kashmir. He connected the global mystical culture of Islam or Tasawwuf with local mystic culture of Kashmir(Rishism) which resulted in permanence and dominance of unique Islamic mystical culture in Kashmir. The present paper highlights the role of Mir Muhammad Hamadani in the development of religio-spritual and educational institutions in Kashmir, with special reference to the construction of Sufi Khanqahs throughout Kashmir, and his successful influencing interaction with the wandering ascetics of Kashmir called Rishis which brought them not only close to Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf) but also utilized their dedicated services for Islamisation of Kashmir.

Key words: Islam, Spirituality, Khanqah, Sufis, Rishis, Kashmir, Central Asia



From ancient times Kashmir has been unique not only in terms of its geography but also in its religio-spiritual ethos. Before spread of Islam, Kashmir was dominated by followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. As for advent of Islam in Kashmir is concerned, it is an established fact among medieval and modern historians of Kashmir that Islam was introduced long before foundation of Muslim Sultanate.1 Islam in Kashmir first got a momentum with the advent of Sufis with a missionary zeal from Central Asia, among such early Sufis including Shaikh Sharf-ud-Din Suhrwardi (famous in Kashmir as BulBul Shah, 1327 C.E)
Who was successful in influencing the Buddhist Sultan of Kashmir Rinchana (1320-1323 C.E), who accepted Islam and was renamed as Sultan Sadr-ud-Din and he was also successful in founding some early mosques and hospices around the capital city of Kashmir. Sheikh Sharf-ud-Din was followed by other Sufis from Central Asia, like Saiyid Jalal-ud-Din Bukhari, Syed Taj-ud-Din, Syed Hussain Simnani,2 all of whom played constructive role in the propagation of Islam in different parts of Kashmir. The year 1384 C.E marks a turning point in the history of Islam in Kashmir as it witnessed the arrival of a well-organized Islamic mission under the leadership of a great Sufi master, erudite scholar, versatile writer Saiyid Ali Hamadani (famous in Kashmir with the titles of Shah-i-Hamadan, Ali Sani)3 who was accompanied by about seven hundred followers, a majority of whom were themselves scholars in different branches of knowledge, art and craft4. Although there are scholarly differences among historians about the number of times Syed Ali Hamadani came to Kashmir but at the same time all the scholars and historians (except some Sanskrit Chronicles who due to their biased approach had not mentioned visits of great Sayyid in Kashmir) are unanimous about his undisputed revolutionary role in Islamization of Kashmir5. Sayyid Ali Hamadani’s unfinished mission was taken forward by his disciples under the capable leadership of his son Mir Syed Muhammad Hamadani, who was himself a distinguished scholar, prolific writer and an experienced Kubrawi Sufi saint. Early Life of Mir Muhammad Hamadani
Mir Muhammad Hamadani was born in 774 A.H; He was only twelve years old at the time of his father’s demise in 786 A.H. Although his eminent father Syed Ali Hamadani was too busy in his scholarly and missionary activities but still he had assigned the duty of his tutorship to his most learned and capable prime disciples, who took special interest in the educational and spiritual training of Mir Muhammad Hamadani during the life time of Syed Ali Hamadani and also after his demise. Syed Ali Hamadani had left two documents for his son which included Wasiyat-nama and Khilafat- nama. Mir Muhammad Hamadani was offered the Wasiyat-nama just after his father’s death but Khilafat-nama was given to him only after a rigorous spiritual training for about four years under the supervision of Khawaja Ishaq Khatlani and Mullah Noor-ud-Din Jaffar Badakshahi- both of them being the close disciples and companions of his father Mir Syed Ali Hamadani. In the document Syed Ali Hamadani had advised his son that he should first complete his education and then go for world travel (sayahat) in order to improve his character and enlighten his heart and soul. As per his father’s guidance Mir Muhammad Hamadani mastered both esoteric and exoteric sciences of knowledge in his youth before starting formally his missionary activities6. Arrival of Mir Muhammad Hamadani in Kashmir: Mir Muhammad Hamadani arrived in Kashmir at a young age of twenty two, He was accompanied by about three hundred disciples. Kashmir at that time was ruled by Sultan Sikander (1389-1413). On his arrival in Kashmir, he was warmly received by the Sultan Sikander and his administration in Kashmir. Both the Sultan and his nobles were greatly impressed by the mystical and intellectual qualities of Syed Muhammad Hamadani7. Just after his arrival in Kashmir Mir Muhammad Hamadani started his father’s mission with the same methodology of his father that “the common people imitate the behavior and culture of their rulers”8 so he gave first preference to winning over sultan, his nobles and masses of the capital city, then with the passage of time, he visited all the corners of Kashmir and interacted with every section of society. The influence of Syed Muhammad Hamadani on the Sultan Sikander and his nobles can easily be understood from the famous medieval chronicle Jonaraja’s Rajatarangini in these words: …As is moon among the stars, so was Muhammad [Mir Muhammad Hamadani] of mirs country among the Yavanas [Muslim]. Although a boy, he was their leader because of his learning. The king [Sultan Sikander] waited on him daily humble as a servant and like a student he daily took lessons from him [Mir Muhammad Hamadani]9
The Sultan’s attachment with the Syed became multifaceted with the passage of time. The Sultan not only took lessons about Shariah from Mir Muhammad Hamadani but he also wedded him (Mir Muhammad Hamadani) with the royal court by offering him the hand of Sayiddah Taj Bibi, the daughter of the Sultan’s Noble Sayyid Hassan Baihaqi. Taj Bibi died after five years of Marriage. Thereafter Sayyid knotted with the daughter of Suhabhata who was commander in chief of Sultan Sikander, who had accepted Islam at the hands of Mir Muhammad Hamadani and was renamed as Saif-ud-Din10, but she also died within short span of a year. Inspite of these relations of Mir Muhammad Hamadani with the royal court, his chief concern was only to fulfill the unaccomplished mission of his father i.e Islamization of Kashmir. For this cause, Mir Muhammad utilized the influences of both Sultan Sikander and his administration. Regarding Mir Muhammad Hamadani’s activities during Sultan Sikander’s reign, one of the modern historians of Kashmir writes: …the most important development of the reign of the Sultan [Sikander] was the conversions to Islam of a great number of people including many Brahmans and the Prime Minister and commander in chief of the Sultan. On account of the conversion of a large population including the ruling class, it became possible to Islamize the state craft, which was one of the main concerns of Mir Muhammad Hamadani11. Most of the historians have in their own right tried to explain the role played by the Sultan Sikander and his prime minister Saif-ud-Din under the influence of Mir Muhammad vis-à-vis their supposed role in the forceful conversions and destruction of Hindu temples throughout the length and breadth of Kashmir. Although some historians have succumbed to the biased view of some of the near contemporary Sanskrit chroniclers as regards the destruction of Hindu temples, yet some modern objective analyzers of Kashmir history, like P Muhib-ul-Hassan after scrutinizing the historical texts and evidences of Mirza Haider Dughlat, Abul Fazl and Mughal emperor Jahangir who have respectively talked of at least 150 standing big temples, which existed even during their times and were perfectly preserved in Kashmir. In this context Muhib-ul-Hassan has aptly remarked: …the Iconoclastic activities of Sikander have been greatly exaggerated in many instances it was not Sikander who pulled down the temples but what really happened was that when the inhabitants of a certain locality embraced Islam, the temple was converted into a mosque or it went into ruins due to sheer neglect12
As a matter of fact one should minutely study both the Sanskrit chronicles and Persian hagiographers for proper understanding of Sultan Sikander’s policy and influence of Mir Muhammad Hamadani on his administration and policies. His reign must not be visualized within the context of his highly exaggerated iconoclastic fervour but it must also be viewed in relation to his elaborate arrangements made for not only establishment of institutions of
learning but also for introducing new laws as regards the eradication of social evils like ban on alcohol, ban on gambling and burning of widows among Hindu community, a practice called Sati from Kashmir society.13 Works of Mir Muhammad Hamadani: Like great Sufi masters of Kubrawi and Suhrwardi order, Mir Muhammad Hamadani was not only equipped with the bookish knowledge in different subjects, he had practical knowledge of the rationale of human behavior, human experience and social processes as he had travelled widely and interacted with different peoples pertaining to different areas and of diverse backgrounds. Just like his father, Mir Muhammad Hamadani was not only a mystic and a preacher, but also prolific writer both in Persian and Arabic. About the impact of Mir Muhammad Hamadani’s discourses and works in Kashmir, the famous medieval chronicle Baharistan-i-Shahihasaptly remarked: Through sermonizing and exhortations, he [Mir Muhammad] succeeded in enlightening the hearts of the people with the world-embellishing faith of the choicest among men-the faith of Islam. Despite the in experience of a youth, he was gifted with remarkable piety and knowledge of sciences esoteric as well as exoteric14
Although he was very young when he took over the responsibilities of continuing his father’s mission, yet he was such an expert and mature scholar like his father that the two books he wrote in Kashmir, one on logic and the other on sufism were mistaken for the compositions of his father Sayyid Ali Hamadani by his murids (disciples) of the latter, so identical were these works in depth and scholarship with the writings of his father.15 It is reported that Mir Muhammad Hamadani had written about 45 books and Rasail on different religious sciences16 and most of them are extinct now because unfortunately they have not been preserved in Kashmir. The author of Waqiat-e-Kashmir, Muhammad Azam Didamari gives some valuable information about two works of Sayyid Muhammad Hamadani- he mentions that Mir Muhammad Hamadani wrote a book on Tasawuf for the Sultan Sikander and another one on logic. The latter one (Sharh-i-shamah), written on logic is actually on account of his serious intellectual discussions with Syed Muhammad Hisari17 , the former one, Jami- al- ulum wa Qami al Zunan has of late been identified in Tashkent by Shams-ud- Din Ahmad and more so identified and consulted by Farooq Bukhari in Nadwat-al-ulama in Lucknow.18 About the latter one, Sharah –i-shamih, it is also mentioned that it is actually the commentary of the Sayyid on Al-Shimah, the famous treatise on logic by Katibi Qazwani19. Mir Muhammad also wrote a treatise on Tasawuf for Sultan Sikander and named it Ar-Risalat-al-Sikandariya although the treatise is now extinct but it was available and consulted up to the Mughal rule in Kashmir, in the works of famous Sufis and hagiographers of later medieval times we find several references of his books as they have consulted his books and they were highly impressed by the scholarship of Mir Muhammad Hamadani20. Institutionalization of his Mission in Kashmir
Just after his arrival in Kashmir Mir Muhammad Hamadani adopted the methodology of his father and the Islamization of Kashmir became his prime focus during his stay in Kashmir. For this mission he not only created a network of Islamic Institutions like madrasas, legal schools, fatwa organizations, mosques and Khankahs21 but also utilized the human resources available to him (both his companions who were themselves well versed in different sciences and arts and the native mystics of Kashmir namely Rishis22) very perfectly which resulted in a massive change and the profound development of Islamic Culture in Kashmir. The famous institutions he founded in Kashmir not only represented the spiritual ethos during Sayyid’s lineage during his time but they also played a constructive role throughout the Kashmir history in the spiritual and social upliftment of Kashmiri Muslims down the line. Mir Muhammad Hamadani personally supervised the construction of the first and the famous Khanqah of Kashmir called Khanqah-i-Muallah. The construction of Khanqah was started in 1396 C.E (798 A.H) at the place where the Shah-i-Hamadan used to pray and preach during his stay in Kashmir. Right from its foundation the great Khanqah had represented the spiritual and cultural ethos of Kashmir’s blend with Islam, the Khanqah was not built for being only a mere place of regular worship, the concept of building the Khanqah was far more ambitious. It was designed to serve as an institution with many functions, a sanctuary for pious and devoted individuals, a resting place for travelers, a charitable organization for the needy and hungry, and a cultural center for Islamic learning. A management structure headed by an appointed administrator was put in place to oversee the implementation of the constitution of Khanqah based on Islamic principles of compassion, generosity and love for the creation of God.Pious and well trained staff with specific individual operational responsibilities was appointed for day-to-day running of the institution of Khanqah23. Besides Khanqah-i-Muallah, Mir Muhammad Hamadanibuilt network of other Khanqahs throughout Kashmir with the same missionary zeal and to educate about spiritual purification, to uplift masses socially, educationally and morally. The other Khanqahs which were built under the guidance of Mir Muhammad Hamadani include Khanqah-i-Wala in the Wachi, Khanqah-i-Kubrawiya at Mattan, Khanqah at Sopore, Khanqah Faiz–i-Panah in Tral, Khanqah-i-Ameeriya at Monghaama, Pulwama, Khanqah-i-Amir at Shey near Leh and Khanqah-i-Aala in Dooru Shahabad.24 These Khanqahs were not only centers of spirituality but also played meticulous role in social and educational reform of Kashmiri society, not only during the stay of Mir Muhammad Hamadani in Kashmir but throughout history of Muslims in Kashmir.
Another monumental institution which was built on the advice and guidance of Mir Muhammad is Jamia Masjid at Nowhatta, Srinagar. The historical Grand Mosque of Kashmir was built on his instruction- the mosque ever since its foundation worked as the symbol of Islamic culture in Kashmir and became a platform for expression of Muslim aspirations vis-à-vis the political, social and economic challenges and developments throughout the history of Kashmir. This Jamia of Kashmir built under his advice by Sultan Sikander in 1394 C.E is still in the contemporary times called Bae’d Masheed Grand Mosque of Kashmir).The Jamia is unique not only in terms of its big size but also in terms of its unique architecture, the grand mosque with its unique architecture has majestic 378 wooden Deodar pillars, supporting wooden ceiling with 346 pillars of 21 feet high and 5 feet girth and 32 pillars of 48 feet high and 6 girth, The Jamia is spread over 27 canals of land, it possesses the capacity to accommodate 33333 devotees for prayer (salah) inside and in the month of Ramadan an estimated 1 lakh people pray Jumah Salah in the Jamia25. The pulpit of Jamia has always been famous for its preachers called Mirwaizan-i-Kashmir,as they have always played a role in socio-educational awakening of Kashmiri Muslims down the line. Near the Jamia Masjid, First hospital of Kashmir (Shifa-Khana) was built on the advice of Mir Muhammad Hamadani. Besides this hospital there was also a college built next to Jamia called, College of Jamia, The college comprised of an experienced and learned faculty from different parts of the Muslim world especially Central Asia in different fields of knowledge like philosophy, mathematics, logic, metaphysics and other classical religious sciences.26 But unfortunately, with the passage of time Muslims of Kashmir could not realize the meaning of building these socio-religious institutions adjacent to the mosques and ultimately these mosques including Jamia Masjid Srinagar became a mere place for conventional scheme of worship. Besides the grand mosque of Kashmir, Mir Muhammad built a network of other mosques all over the Kashmir; these Mosques were also accompanied by socio-educational institutions. Mir Muhammad also established Kashmir’s famous and mighty Eidgah in Srinager for Eid prayers and also arranged land for graveyard called Mall-Khah in Srinagar, Kashmir. Last but not the least important contribution of Mir Muhammad Hamadani to Kashmir was his interaction with the native mystics of Kashmir called Rishis. Mir Muhammad was greatly impressed by their piety, simplicity, knowledge and spirituality especially of their Patron Sheikh Noor-ud- Din (known in Kashmir with beloved epithets of Nund Rishi, Alamdar-I-Kashmir and Shaikh-ul-Alam). Mir Muhammad Hamadani interacted with Sheikh Noor-ud-Din and his prime disciples including some female disciples at Zalsu (presently in district Budgam of Kashmir six miles away from Tomb of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din in Charar-i-sharif) in 814 A.H. He was so much impressed by their self-purification, sincerity and love towards Islam and human creation that, he gave Sheikh Noor-ud-Din,Khat-i-Irshad27, for his piety and God gifted qualities of understanding the pulse of Kashmiri society.In the content of this Khat-i-Irshad, Mir Muhammad addressed Sheikh Noor-ud-Din in these words: …my brother Nuruddin Rishi Kashmiri who is pious, gnostic, man gifted with kashf, mujahidah and mushahida and is also a zahid and ‘abid. May Allah guide him like salihin and arifin and shower on him His grace like those who are perfect in piety and nearest to Allah. He not only insisted on his entry into the circle of Allah’s lovers and perfectly pious souls but implored for it with every fibre of his being. Hence I granted him Permission to make seekers (after the Truth) resentful and take allegiance from them and may guide and train those seeking guidance in the path28.
A copy of the same Khat-i-Irshad has been preserved in the Khanqah-i-Muallah.29 He recognized Rishi order of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din as part and parcel of Kubrawi Sufi order in Kashmir and entrusted them the mission of Islamization. It was just after this interaction that Mir Muhammad decided to leave Kashmir after working in Kashmir for more than one decade30. Having bestowed Kashmiri society an Islamic mould in every aspect of life, Mir Muhammad Hamadani left Kashmir and entrusted his mission to the native mystic of Kashmir Shaikh Noor-ud-Din31who worked hard, after him to the best of his expectations and organized one more movement of Islamic awakening in Kashmir called Rishi Movement which continued the mission started by ShaikhSharf-ud-DinBulBul Shah, Shah-i-Hamadan Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and Mir Muhammad Hamadani for centuries, Regarding influence of Rishis in Kashmir, due their tolerant and sincere attitude, Medieval historians like Abul Fazl has aptly remarked in his Ain-i-Akbari, …The most respectable class in this country [Kashmir] is that of Rishis who notwithstanding their need of freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are true worshipers of God. They do not loosen the tongue of calumny against those not of their faith, nor beg nor importune32. Although the presence of Rishis in Kashmir goes back to ancient times, but it was just after the historical interaction between Mir Muhammad Hamadani and Sheikh Noor-ud-Din, that we see Rishis not only coming closer towards Islam but also playing the role of torch bearers for the cause of humanity and Islam. After his departure from Kashmir, Mir Muhammad left for Makkah, then went back to his native country and passed away in 852 A.H and is buried in his ancestral graveyard next to his father Syed Ali Hamadani in Kolab (Tajikistan). Conclusion
Kashmiri populace had a predilection towards mystic teachings prior to the advent of Islam in Kashmir. The propagation of Islam in Kashmir took the same route, although foundation of Muslim Sultanate in Kashmir in 1340 C.E also softened the way for Islam in Kashmir but it is an established fact that the spread of Islam in Kashmir was a gradual process, and this process of Islamization was taken forward by consecutive sufi missionaries. Among the early leading Sufi missionaries from outside Kashmir especially Central Asia, include Sheikh Sharaf-ud-Din Suhrawardi, Syed Jalal-ud-Din Bukhari,Syed Hussian Simnani and the most influencial mystic scholar Syed Ali Hamadani, who due to his fundamental role in Islamisation of Kashmir is known as founder of Islam in Kashmir (Bani-i-Musalmani fil Kashmir). The legacy of Syed Ali Hamadani in Kashmir was taken forward by his worthy son Mir Muhammad Hamadani. The role of Mir Muhammad Hamadani is unique, as he founded great number of socio-religious and educational institutions in Kashmir which are still present in large numbers throughout Kashmir and are contributing to the development of socio-religious and educational awakening among Muslims of Kashmir. The most unique contribution of Mir Muhammad Hamadani among Central Asian missionaries is his role in reformation of local mystic order of Kashmir called Rishism. He recognized the local Rishis and their patron saint Sheikh Noor-ud-Din as part and parcel of mainstream Islamic Mysticism (Tasawuf). He instilled in them (Rishis) missionary zeal which fulfilled the language barrier gaps which were faced by Central Asian mystics in Kashmir. After his departure from Kashmir, it was these Rishis of Kashmir who took forward the mission of Islamisation to the grassroot level of Kashmir; they approached all the sections of society from royal courts to the local village peasants of Kashmir. Notes and References
1 The first Muslim ruler of Kashmir was Sultan Sadr-ud-Din (before conversion to Islam Rinchana) who ruled for less than 4 years (1329-1323 C.E) and the Muslim Sultan was founded in 1340 by Sultan Shah Mir called Shah Mir dynasty which ruled for more than one century, but historians have mentioned presence of Muslims in Kashmir in 11th Century but after foundation of Muslim Sultanate there was a great flow of Central Asian Sufi missionaries who were warmly welcomed and respected by the Sultanates of Kashmir, for further study about advent of Islam in Kashmir see, Farooq Bukhari, Kashmir Mein Islam: Manzar Passi-i- Manzar,Ashraf Book Depot, Srinager, 2013, PP 1-30, Prof. Ashraf Wani, islam in Kashmir, Oriental Publishing House, Srinager, 2004, Sayyid Ali, Tarikh-e-Kashmir, English translation with historical analysisHistory of Kashmirby A.Q. Rafique, Gulshan Books, Srinager 2011 2 Syed Jalal-ud-Din visited Kashmir in 1347 C.E, Syed Taj-ud-Din Visited Kashmir in 1341 C.E and Syed Hussian Simnani came to Kashmir in 1371 C.E, For further study about advent of Islam in Kashmir before Muslim Sultanate, see Farooq Bukhari, ibid, Ashraf Wani, ibid, G.M.D. Sufi, Kashir: Being a history of Kashmir, Ali Mohd and sons, Srinager, 2008, Wali Muhammad, Tarikh-i-Awliya Jammu Kashmir, J&K Urdu Forum, Jammu,2013
3 For further study about his life and contribution see, Khilasat-ul-Manaqib by Noor-ud-Din Jaffar Badakshi, urdu translation with notes by Prof. Shams-ud-Din, Sheikh Usman and Sons Srinager, 2003, Syeda Ashraf Zaffar, Syed Mir Ali Hamadani, Sheikh Usman and Sons Srinager, 2007, Shams-Ud-Din Ahmad, Shah-i-Hamadan: Hayat Aur Karnamay, Haji Sheikh Ghulam Muhammad And Sons ,1995, Shah-i-Hamedan Mir Saiyed Ali Hamadani: His Life and Works, a
collection of Papers of a Seminar held in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi in 2001, Kanishka Publishers, Distributors, New Delhi,2003 Hayat Aamir Husaini, Religious Thought Of Mir Sayyid ‘Ali Hamadani, Jay Kay Books, Srinager, 2012 4 For further study about his Role see, Prof. Ishaq khan, Sufis of Kashmir, Gulshan Books, Srinager 2010, Ashraf Wani, ibid, Dr Altaf Hussain Yatoo, Islamization of Kashmir, Gulshan Books, Srinager, 2012, Pir Hassan Quhami, Asrar ul Abrar Urdu Translation, Tazkira-e –Awliya-e-Kashmir by Peerzada Abdul khaliq Tahiri, Shiekh Usman And Sons, Srinager,2012, Khawaja Azam Didamari, Waqiat -e-Kashmir, Urdu Translation, Dr Suriya Gull, Mir Sayyid ‘Ali Hamadani and Kubrawiyya Sufi Order in Kashmir, Wattan Publications, Srinager, 2003 5 Kashmir Historians of medieval times like that of Khawaja Azam Didamari, Syed Ali and modern Historians like Prof. Ishaq Khan are of the view that Sayid Ali Hamadani came to Kashmir only ones while Historians like Hassan Quhami, Muhideen Miskeen and Muhibul Hassan are of the view that he came thrice to Kashmir, Although it has been debatable issue among Historians, how many times he actually came to Kashmir but all of the Historical Scholarship are unanimous that he stayed in Kashmir for less than 3 years but still in this short span of time he played fundamental role in spread of Islam in Kashmir and for that reason he has been given the title of Bani-I-Musalmani fil Kashmir (founder of Islam in Kashmir), as for as the famous Sanskrit Chroniclers of Medieval times like Kalhana, Jonaraja, Srivara are concerned, unfortunately due to their religious bias, they have not mentioned anything about the visits and works of Syed Ali Hamadani in Kashmir. For further study see Khawaja Muhammad Azam Didamari,Waqiat-e-Kashmir,Urdu translation by Prof. Shamas-ud-Din Ahmad, Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Reseach Center, Srinager, 2001, Abdul Wahab Nurri,Futuhat-e-Kubravi, Pir Hassan,Tarikh-e-Hassan,Ishaq khan ibid, Ashraf Wani ibid,A.Q Rafiqui ibid, G.M.D. Sufi, Islamic Culture in Kashmir, Capital Publishing House, New Delhi,1996 6 Dr. Syed Farooq Bukhari, Hayat-e-Mir Muhammad Hamadani, Ashraf Book Depot Srinager, 1997, pp 4-6
7 Anonmous, Baharistan-i-Shahi, English translation by K.N. Pandit,, pp 52 8 Sayyid Ali Hamadani, Dhakhirat-al-Muluk urdu Translation by Prof. Shams-ud-Din Ahmad, Vol. 1, p 196, Ashraf Wani, Ibid, pp 60 9 Jonaraja, Rajtarangini via Altaf Yatoo, Islamization of Kashmir, pp 89
10 For further study see, Ashraf wani, Islam in Kashmir. Ishaq Khan, Kashmirs Transition To Islam: Role of Muslim Rishis, Gulshan Books Srinager,2005 11 Ashraf Wani, ibid 204,205 12 Muhibul Hassan, Kashmir under Sultans, Gulshan Publishers Srinager 2002, pp. 66 13 Although It is an critical and somehow controversial issue as both Sanskrit Chroniclers and Persian Hagiographers have adopted extremes about the Iconoclastic activities of Sultan Sikander and His Commander in Chief Saif-ud-Din but some modern Historians have Critically Examinedall the Sources and historical evidences of presence of Hindu Temples during various periods of Kashmir History after Sultan Sikander’s rule, For further study see Asrhaf Wani, ibid 114-123, Ishaq Khan, Kashmirs Transition to Islam, ibid 80-82, A.Q. Rafique, ibid 110, Muhibul Hassan, ibid 66 14 Anonmous, Baharistan-i-Shahi, English Translation by K.N. Pandit,, pp 52 15 Ashraf wani.Islam in Kashmir, pp 167 via Sayyid Ali, Tarikh-I-Kashmir 16 Farooq Bukhari. Hayat-e-Mir Muhammad Hamadani, Ashraf Book Depot, Srinager, 1997, Bashar Bashir,Mir Muhammad Hamadani in Awliya e Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Academy, 1997 17 Abdul Qayoom Rafiqi, Sufism in Kashmir, Gulshan Books, Srinager,2011 18 Farooq Bukhari, ibid 17 19 Altaf Yatoo,Islamization of Kashmir, ibid 89 20 Dr Farooq Bukhari, Ulema-i-Kashmir Ka Shandar Mazi, Ashraf Book Depot, Srinager, pp 72-73, Famous Sufi Scholars of Medieval Kashmir like, Baba Dawood Mishkati, Haider Malik Chadoora, Baba Dawood Khaki has quoted his Books, via Farooq Bukhari, Hayat-i-Mir Muhamad Hamadani, pp 19-20 21 Khanqah is a Persian word meaning a holy place of worship for Muslims with a prayer hall for prayer (Salaat) and with residential quarters for guests, pilgrims and tourists. It is a building designed specifically for Sufi gatherings for spiritual retreat and character reformation, and often served as hospices for travelers and Islamic students. The word Rishi is of Sanskrit origin, meaning a singer of hymns, an inspired poet or sage, The Rishi tradition in Kashmir has a long history, dating as far back to pre-Vedic times but it was after great efforts of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din who was influenced by Central Asian Mystics Sayid Ali Hamadani and his son Mir Muhammad Hamadani, Sheikh Noor-ud-DinIslamized Rishi Tradition of Kashmir, For further study about History of Rishi tradition and its Islamization see Rysh Wa’ar: The Valley of Saints by Manzoor Fazili, Gulshan Books Srinager,2015,pp 7-46, Ishaq khan, ibid pp 37-60, Mystic Traditions of Kashmir by Iqbal Ahmad, Gulshan Books Srinager, 2011, Shiraza,, Sheikh-ul-Alam number, 1978, J&K Cultural academy Srinager, vol.17, no.3 23 Farooq Bukhari, ibid 12-13, He has quoted the Waqaf-Nama Of the Khanqah in which special guidance are given regarding maintenance and administration of Khanqah, it speaks about how the special care of not only devotes and disciples was taken into special consideration but also special arrangements forpoor’s, needy and travelers were made without any kind of discrimination. 24 Farooq Bukhari, ibid pp 19, via Asrar ul Abrar of Baba Dawood Mishkati 25 Author has personally visited the Jamia and collected the requisite information as regards its structural layout and has corrobated the information thus gathered with the historical sources (Kutub-i-Tarikh).A marble stone placed in one of walls of Jamia upon which valuable information about history of Jamia has been inscribed. Famous modern historian of Kashmir,G.M.D. Sufi, has also mentioned history and architectural uniqueness of Jamia in his book Kashir: being history of Kashmir, vol. 2nd , pp 512-514 26 Farooq Bukhari ibid. pp 9,10 27 Khat-i-irshad is a kind of Authority letter given by a Sufi Master (Murshid) to his most prime and abledisciple(Mureed). By virtue of this authority letter he(the Murreed) acquires the requisite authority toguide and initiate other disciples in that very Sufi order of his Master (Murshid).It is also known as Khilafat-nama(document of spiritual Vice-regency) in the Sufi terminology. For further study about Sufism and Sufi terminology, see Kashf al-Mahjub, of Ali Hujwari, English translation, R.A. Nicholson, Adam Publishers, New Delhi, 2011, The Encyclopedia of Islamic Spirituality edited by S.H. Nasr, Suhail Academy Lahore, 2005 28 Originally in Arabic the Translation has been quoted from, Prof. Ishaq Khan’s, Kashmir’s Transition to Islam: role of Muslim rishis, pp 257
29 A copy of Khat-i-irshad is preserved in Khanqah-e-Muala Srinager and Prof. Ishaq Khan has quoted and translated it into English in his book Kashmir’s transition to Islam: Role of Muslim
Rishispp 252-257 and has also highlighted its historical importance in the Muslim history of Kashmir 30 Scholars and historians of Kashmir have differences about the number of years Mir Muhammad Hamadani stayed in Kashmir but they are unanimous that he stayed in Kashmir for at least 12 years and during his stay in Kashmir he visited all the corners of Kashmir and interacted with all the sections of society, his interaction with the local mystics has been one of the outstanding events in history of Muslims in Kashmir 31 For further study about socio-religious contribution of Rishi Movement in Kashmir, see Noor Nama of Baba Nasib translated into Urdu by Prof Margoob Banhali, Markaz-i-Noor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Ishaq khan’s, Kashmirs Transition to Islam, Alamdar-i-Kashmir: Standard Bearer patron-Saint of Kashmir by M. Amin Pandit, Gulshan Books Srinager 2011, Alamdar edited by Ghulam Nabi Gowhar, Gulshan Publishers Srinager, 1997, Burj-i-Noor: Hayat aur Halat-i-Sheikh-ul-alam, Cultural Academy Srinager, 1991 32 Abul Fazal, Ain-i-Akhbari, via Shafi Ahmad Qadari, Kashmiri Sufism, Gulshan Books Srinager, 2002, pp 75

Research by Muhammad Shafi Bhat-Doctoral Fellow, Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir, Srinagar Email ID:


Amir-e- Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) the saint and his saintly works are integral to ‘K’ narrative of more or less 750 years –mid 14th century onwards. Study of Kashmir from any perspective—historical, socio-cultural, economic would be incomplete without reference to the much revered Amir-e-Kabir. His work and deft approach impacted all aspects of human activity in Kashmir. Irrespective of his ethnicity, his footprints could be seen from Hamadan, across Central Asia—where he lies buried in Khatlan to Kashmir. In Kashmir, his name is associated with a change, which was nothing short of a renaissance.

Amir Kabir’s name reverberated on social networking site a week or two back, as academicians, politicians’ journalists and netizens engaged in a passionate discussion on anthem of Kashmir University. It was pointed out that Amir-e-Kabir did not figure in the anthem, on the basis of his ethnicity being different. It needs to be asked—could a wandering saint of Amir Kabir’s stature stay encaged in narrow confines of ethnicity.  Strange, it might seem in Hamadan, he is hardly a household name as he is in Kashmir, though there are references to him in the literary hub. I should know it, as for over a decade, I worked in hospitals in cities close to Hamadan. Hamadan formed a place; I frequently visited, as some of my friends were posted there in various hospitals.

Amir-e-Kabeer’s period of stay in Kashmir weighed with the impact he had should add lustre to his immense input. The stay is related to be in three phases, comparatively shorter than the stay of his son—Mir Mohammad. On the sheer impact, what better we could have than the light Allama Iqbal throws on it. The way he illuminates it is dazzling:

Jumla ra aa’n shah’e darya asteen

Daad ilm va sanat va tahzib va deen

The couplet makes out that Shah-e-Hamadan with his inclusive approach and oceanic vision provided (to Kashmiris) knowledge, industry, culture and religion…could there be a greater proof that Shah-e-Hamadan identified with the needs of Kashmiris in multiple spheres and contributed liberally. He mingled with Kashmir to the extent of becoming an everlasting part of the vale, as Allama Iqbal makes out in the couplet preceding the one noted above:

Syed-e-aa’n Kishwar menu nazir

Mir va darwesh va salatin ra misheer

Syed of the country a la paradise

Guide of nobles, the saints, the sultans

Allama Iqbal glues him to the paradise of Kashmir.  It worked to Mirs’ (nobles) darweshs’ (saints) and sultans consulting Shah-e-Hamadan for guidance. It is related that Sultan Shuhab-ud-Din Shahmiri (1354-1373 A.D) sought his audience.

Allama Iqbal in his masterly Kashmir related Persian poem captioned ‘Ziyarat e Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani va Mulla Tahir Ghani Kashmiri’ imagines a Kashmir conference by the side of Hauz-e-Kauser, a well in the paradise. The poem forms a part of ‘Javid Nama’ a poetic treatise on flight of imagination, as Iqbal with his mentor Maulana Rumi sets on heavenly trail. Iqbal is seen feverish in anticipation of meeting his friends; a galaxy gathers—Rumi, Iqbal, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani and Ghani Kashmiri to dwell in ‘K’ related issues.  Rumi calms Allama by advising him to get over his anxieties.

Guft Rumi unche mee ayad nigar

Dil ma’dah ba unche be’guzasht pisar

Rumi says whatever you may get to see

Whatever passed, lose not your heart, son

Rumi further asks Iqbal to listen to Tahir Ghani’s tunes:

Shair’e rangeen nawa Tahir Ghani

Fukur’ou batin ghani zahir ghani

Tahir Ghani is introduced as a colourful poet, who lived a life of penury, yet his penury has a ring of richness, outwardly and inwardly too he is rich. The richness in the poetic tone shows Tahir Ghani’s state of contentment. Ghani is thus at peace with himself.  Rumi wants Iqbal to imbibe the state of peace, so that his state of restlessness over what is happening to Kashmir is set to rest. The prevailing scenario may not upset him, seems to be the advisory note of Iqbal’s mentor—Peer-e-Rumi.   Ghani’s tunes are registered, so is the presence of high bred Syed (read Amir-e-Kabir). He is introduced as a Syed of Syeds (Syed-ul-Sadat) and a leader of Iran (Salar-e-Ajam), who shapes destiny of nations (Mamar’e’Taqdeer’e’Umam: read Kashmir):

Syed-ul-Sadat’ Salar-e-Ajam

Daast ou mammar’e’taqdeer’e’umam

Allama’s statement is elaborate on Syed of Syed’s shaping the destiny of Kashmir and becoming an integral part of ‘K’ narrative. And, the poet traces his impeccable pedigree:

Ta Ghazali dars’e Allah’ho girift

Zikr va fikr az doodh’maan’e ou girift

Ghazali, relates Iqbal, until he grasped the essence of faith in one and only God had to rely on ancestors of Amir-e-Kabir to impart the all-important lesson. Imam Ghazali (1058-1112 A.D) who lived three centuries before Shah-e-Hamadan was the student of his ancestors. Ghazali’s stress on faith taking precedence over logic and reason is an important chapter in Islamic literary stream. It might be added though Ghazali in his dissent on Greek thought of primacy of logic and reason stressed on faith having its own logic.

The impeccable pedigree in Islamic realm, the immense impact on ‘K’ narrative makes it preposterous to even imagine that Ami-e-Kabir does not belong to Kashmir a la Tahir Ghani Kashmiri, irrespective of their Persian ethnicity. ‘K’ narrative owns him as much as it owns Kashmir being the citadel of Buddhism of yore hosting international conventions on Buddhist thought.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]

Dr. Javaid Iqbal

(Author is doctor in medicine, a social activist, and a senior columnist)




The true lover finds the light only if, like the candle, he is his own fuel, consuming himself.
Mesmerized by the sonorous voice of the devotees reciting the verses of Awraad- ul-Fatehah,
Subhanaka Ma Abadnaka Haqa Ebadika
Subhanaka Ma Arafnaka Haqa Marifatiqa
Subhanaka Ma Zaraknaka Haqa Zikrika
Subhanaka Ma Shakarnaka Haqa Shurika……..
A gifted work of Amir-e-Kabir, Mir Ali Sa’ani (r.a) who is popularly known as Qutub-e-Zaman, Sheikh-e-Salikan-e-Jehan, Qutub-Ul-Aktab, Moih-Ul-Ambiya-o-Ul-Mursaleen, Afzal-Ul-Muhaq-e-qeen-o-Akmal-Ul-Mudaq-e-qeen, Al-Sheiyookh-Ul-Kamil, Akmal-Ul-Muhaqqiq-Ul-Hamadani but in Kashmir the great saint is prominently known as Shah-i-Hamdan. Regarding Amir-e- Kabir’s birth day, there are so many versions. It is 12, Rajab-Ul-Marjab 714 Hijri (12th October 1314) for some and to others is 12, Rajab 713 (12th October 1313).The former date appears more credible. He belonged to theKibroyabranch( the founder of this Order is Sheikh Najamud din Kubravi) of the Suharawardy Order and received the role of the spiritual heir from Sheikh Abul Miamin Najam- Ud- din Muhammad-bin-Mohammad Azani. Syed Ali Hamdani (r.a) was engaged in the spiritual training of his followers, he used to preach, counsel and train them according to Sharia for almost twenty years in his native land Khatlon.It is situated in the southwest of the country, between the Hisor (Gissar) Rangein the north and the Panj Riverin the south and borders on Afghanistanin the southeast and on Uzbekistanin the west. During Soviet times Khatlon was divided into Kurgan-Tyube (Qurghonteppa) Oblast(Western Khatlon) – with the Kofarnihonand Vakhshriver valleys – and Kulob Oblast(Eastern Khatlon) – with the Kyzylsu and Yakhsuriver valleys.Shah Hamadan was a Multi-dimensional personality. He was a social reformer and a religious scholar besides a warrior. He quarreled with Amir-e-Temur and with seven hundred Syeds reached to Kashmir, during the reign of King Shahab-Uddin.His two followers namely Syed Taj Uddin Samnani and Mir Syed Hasan Samnani were deputed to stock of the situation in Kashmir. The ruler of Kashmir became the follower of Mir Syed Hasan Samnani and because of the Kings concurrence he entered Kashmir with a large following. He visited first during the reign of Sultan Shahab Uddin in 774 Hijri, in 781 Hijri, he visitedsecond time during the period in office of Qutub Uddin. His thirdvisit was in 785 Hijri.
His room where he stayed for the first time is named as Khanqah-e-Mualla rose by Sultan Sikandar from 1394 to 1417 AD. The building is a beautiful model of wooden architecture of Kashmir, with engravings on walls. The Khanqah is blessed with the sacred relics include the Prophet’s(SAW) flag, the pillar of the Prophet’s(SAW)tent, and Shah Hamadan’s walking stick. During his life the place acquired the distinction of being the center of the spiritual light. The shrine stands on the bank of the river Jehlem . It was originally built in 1395 A.D to memorialize the visit of Mir Sayyid Ali Hammadani, it was destroyed by fire in 1479 and 1731 A.D. It was rebuilt by Abdul Barkat Khan in 1732 A.D. and since then stands as a landmark in the city. The walls are entirely covered with wooden panels of geometrical design and ceiling is supported in the centre by four wooden columns ornamented with wooden pieces in fish-bone pattern .The shrine is a mix of Nepali (exterior architecture – roof) and local Kashmiri art (green paper mache) on the shrine’s wall.
It is said that Shah Hamadan bequeathed his son Mir Muhammad Hamdani (r.a) that he would continue the mission and not leaves Kashmir. He also gave two letters to Maulana Sirahi with the instructions to hand them over to Khawaja Ishaq Khatlani and Noor Uddin Jafar Badakhshi after his death. These two holy men went to see Mir Muhammad Hamdani to console him on his father’s death that demanded the two documents from them. Khawaja Khatlani handed him over the will but kept the document of the heir apparent with the remark that he would do so only when he proved himself capable of it. This transformed him internally, spent three years with the Khawaja Sahib, and later learnt intrinsic conduct from Noor Uddin Jafar Badakhshi. Having been qualified for the post, he succeeded to the seat of his father.
Shah Hamadan’s greatest contribution according to Daira-e-Maarif-e-Islam was the character building of the people to liberate them from the fear of the new system and their love for the older one. He imbibed true awakening and taught the Shairah. Orders of the Shairah were made popular and people were inspired to learn more about Islam. For purpose of building the character of the Muslims he practiced truthfulness and fearlessness.Syed Ali Hamdani (r.a) among his followers like :Noor Uddin Jafar Rustaq Bazari Badakhshi, Khawaja Ishaq Khatlani, Sheikh Qiwam Uddin Badakhshi, Mir Syed Husain Samnani, Mir Rukn Uddin, Syed Fakhar Uddin, Qutub-e-Amjad Syed Muhammad Qureshi, Syed Ahmad Qureshi, Syed Muhammad Aziz Ullah, Syed Muhammad murid, and Pir Muhammad Qadri was regarded and treated with enormous admiration.
Among scholarsMir Syed (r.a) is not only popular in terms of his mysticism but his scholastic works like: Risalah Nooriyah, Risalah Maktubaat, contains Amir-i-Kabir’s letter, Dur Mu’rifati Surat wa Sirat-i-Insaan, discusses the bodily and moral features of man, Dur Haqaa’iki Tawbah, deals with the real nature of penitence, Hallil Nususi allal Fusus, is a commentary on Ibn-ul-‘Arabi’s Fusus-ul-Hikam, Sharhi Qasidah Khamriyah Faridhiyah, is a commentary on the wine-qasidah of ‘Umar ibn ul-Fariz who died in 786 A.H, Risalatul Istalahaat, is a treatise on Sufic terms and expressions, ‘ilmul Qiyafahor Risalah-i qiyafah is an essay on physiognomy. Dah Qa’idahgives ten rules of contemplative life, Kitabul Mawdah Fil Qurba, puts together traditions on affection among relatives, Kitabus Sab’ina Fi Fadha’il Amiril Mu’minin, gives the seventy virtues of Hazrat ‘Ali. Arba’ina Amiriyah, is forty traditions on man’s future life, Rawdhtul Firdaws, is an extract of a larger work entitled, Firdawsul Akhyaar, by Shuja-ud-Din Shiruyah, Manazilu Insaaliqin, is on Sufi-ism, Awraad-ul-Fatehah, gives a conception of the unity of God and His attributes, Chehl Asraar (Forty Secrets), is a collection of forty poems in praise of Allah and The Prophet (SAW),Zakhirat-ul-Muluk, a treatise on political ethics and the rules of good government.
On return from his third visit to Kashmir he reached Kinar via Pikhanli , he fell ill there and died after five days on 6, Zil Haj 786 Hijri.

khanqah-Shah-i-hamadanMausoleum-of-Mir-Sayyid-Ali-Hamadaniاوراد فتحيه AWRADI-FATHIA

Hazrat Amir Kabir Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani (RA) has authored many books and pamphlets in Arabic and Persian, which lay stress on recognition of unity of God, worship of One God, His remembrance and reflection also full of sublime teachings and guidance on mystic experiences.

Awarad-i-Fathia is one of these priceless compositions. Its English translation has been done by Er. Haji Ghulam Hasan Khan of Srinagar. (This is published by J&K Muslim Wakf Board and sold at Rs. 100/- per copy and the income is to be utilized for the construction of Islamic University of Science and Technology. However there have been found many errors in spelling, grammar, typing & printing. It appears that no one has done the proof reading before sending it to press.) This is a concise primer, describing in a grand and sublime style, the attributes of the one and only Deity Allah, His beautiful names, prayers for ourselves and for our brethren, blessings on the Holy Prophet (PBH) all written by Shah-i-Hamadan (RA) in Arabic. It is recited twice daily after Fajr (early dawn) and Isha (before going to bed) prayers at the Khanqahi Mualla Srinagar and after Fajr prayers in most of the mosques of the Kashmir valley. It is committed to memory by tens of thousands of Kashmiris and has been found very effective whenever faced with any problem. It has been found to serve as a real healer of the worried mind, when recited with full understanding of its meaning.

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find contentment.” (Q 13:28)

A brief sketch of Shah-i-Hamadan (RA) and that of Islam has been included by the translator for the benefit of English speaking people.

The recitation should not take more than 30 minutes. Have ablutions, sit facing the Qibla and recite it.

We must all seek the reward of fallah-felicity, salvation, the fulfillment of highest spiritual hopes – a supreme achievement indeed. Let us submit our will to Allah’s will, have faith, hope and trust in Him and in His benevolent government of the world. Let us offer our life, our wealth and goods in His cause and carry out His will, not attaching undue importance to the ephemeral things of this life.

Shah-i-Hamadan (RA) has himself given an account of how he came to give the title “AURAD-I-FATHIA” to this compilation in these words (translated from Persian)

“As I collected and compiled the Awrad obtained from 400 divines, the righteous, the scholars and was considering, what name to give to it, the Holy Prophet (PBH) graced me by his presence, when I reached Madina Munawara and said, “Hold this AL-Fathia”

When I took from the holy hands of the Holy Prophet (PBH), what was gifted to me and glanced over it, I saw it was the same ‘Awrad’ that had been compiled by me and these “Awrad are means to success and felicity.”

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

I seek forgiveness from the great Allah – 03 times

Besides whom none is worthy for being worshipped, The Living, The Eternal. I turn to Him and seek repentance from Him.

O’ Allah! You are the Author of Peace and from You springs Peace and towards you is Peace. Keep me my Lord in Peace and grant me entrance in the Abode of Peace. Glory to Thee my Lord and Exalted are Thou, The Lord of Majesty and Bounty.

O’ Allah! Such Praise is due to you as will cover all Thy Bounties and will cover Your further Bounties. I am full of praise for all Your kindness of which I am aware and of which I am not aware and of all your gifts of which I am aware and of which I am not aware and I am grateful in all conditions.

I seek refuge with you Allah from the accursed Satan. Allah there is no God but Him, the Living the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. His is what the heavens and the Earth contain. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them. They can grasp only that part of His knowledge which He wills. His throne is as vast as the heavens and the Earth and their preservation does not weary Him. And He is the Exalted, the Immense One.

Allah is the Pure (33 times), Praise be to Allah (33 times), Allah is Great (34 times).

There is no God but Allah. He is One. He has no partner. His is the kingdom. And all praises are due to Him. And He has power over all things (10 times)

There is no God excepting Allah the All Powerful Sovereign.

There is no God but Allah the One the Most Supreme.

There is no God but Allah the powerful the Forgiving.

There is no God but Allah the Kind the Sheeler.

There is no God but Allah the Great the High.

There is no God but Allah the Creator of night and day.

There is no God but Allah who is worshipped everywhere.

There is no God but Allah whose mention is made in every language.

There is no God but Allah who is known for all goodness.

There is no God but Allah whom each day sees in every new glory.

There is no God but Allah I say so with full faith in Allah.

There is no God but Allah I say so seeking Protection from Allah.

There is no God but Allah. This is trust with Allah

There is no God but Allah and no one has power and strength excepting Allah.

There is no God but Allah and we worship none but Him.

There is no God but Allah this is the real truth.

There is no God but Allah in faith and in truth.

There is no God but Allah I confess in humility and servitude.

There is no God but Allah the Kind and the Friend.

There is no God but Allah who existed before everything.

There is no God but Allah He will survive everything.

There is no God but Allah the evidently True Sovereign.

There is no God but Allah certainly the True King.

There is no God but Allah the very Great the most High.

There is no God but Allah the Forbearing the Noble.

There is no God but Allah the Sustainer of the Seven Heavens and the Sustainer of the Great Throne.

There is no God but Allah the Noblest of the Noble.

There is no God but Allah the Most Merciful of the Merciful.

There is no God but Allah who loves the repentant.

There is no God but Allah the Merciful of the needy.

There is no God but Allah the Guide of the Misled.

There is no God but Allah the leader of the Bewildered.

There is no God but Allah the Protector of the Frightened.

There is no God but Allah Who listens to those who pray to Him.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Helpers.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Protectors.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Inheritors.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Rulers.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Providers.

There is no God but Allah the Best of the openers (of success).

There is no God but Allah the Best of the Forgiving.

There is no God but Allah the Best of The Merciful.

There is no God but Allah. He is One and His promise is true.

He granted success to (Solo need) Servant (The Prophet Mohammad PBH) and give upper hand to his forces and vanquished his enemies single handed and there is nothing besides Him.

There is no God but Allah. He has the gifts to offer and the greatness belongs to Him and all the Best praises are due to Him.

There is no God but Allah. The count of His creation and the weight of His Throne and the volume of the ink of His letters cannot be gauged.

There is no God but Allah Who is One, Single, from the time when there was nothing to the time when there will be end to all. Nothing is like Him, Nothing is comparable to Him. Nothing can be imagined to be like Him. And He has no partner.

There is no God but Allah He is One. He has no partner. The Kingdom is His. All praises are due to Him. He brings to life and He causes death. And He is ever Alive. He is never to die. All good is in His Hands and He has power over all things. And to Him is everybody’s return. He is the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden and He is aware of everything. Nothing is like unto Him and He listens and sees everything. Allah is enough for us and our best Patron Best Master and Best Helper (3 times). Our Lord! We ask for Your forgiveness and towards You is our return. You grant us and none can bestow O’ Allah! None can prevent what You prevent and no one change what You decree and no rich person’s riches can be of avail before You. Glory to my Lord, the High, the Great Bestowal. Glory to my Lord, the High The Great Bestowal. O’ The Bestowal. Glory to Thee! I did not worship Thee as it was my duty to worship You. Glory to Thee! We did not seek to know You as it was our duty to know You. Glory to Thee! We have not been remembering You as we ought to have remembered . Glory to Thee! We have not expressed gratitude to You as we ought to do. Glory to Allah! The Ever Eternal Glory to Allah! The single, the independent, Glory to Allah! Who holds the heavens without any support. Glory to Allah Who has no wife and no children. Glory to Allah Who neither gave birth nor was born and Who has none equal to Him. Glory to the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One. Glory to The King of This World and that of the Angels. Glory to Him the Lord of Honor and greatness and power, dignity and might and Beauty, Perfectness,. Praises and Light, the giver of the spiritual and worldly bounties and gifts. The Lord of Majesty and strength. Glory to Him the Living King who never sleeps nor will die. Entirely Pure and Holy. Our Lord and Lord of Angels and the Holy Spirit. Glory to Allah and praises to Allah and there is no God but Allah and Allah is Great and none has power and strength excepting the Great and High Allah. O’ Allah! You are the True King without whom there is none fit to be worshipped excepting You. O’ Allah, O’ ,The Compassionate O’ The Merciful O’ The Sovereign, O’ The Holy One, O’ The Source of peace’ O’ The Bestowal of Security, O’ The Protector, O’ The Mighty, O’ The Subdue, O’ The Exalted, O’ The Creator, O’ The Maker, O’ The Fashioner, O’ The Great Forgiver, O’ The Most Supreme, O’ The Bestowal, O’ The Sustainer, O’ The Opener (of the doors of success), O’ The All-knowing, O’ The Controller, O’ The Enlarger, O’ The Depressor, O’ The Exalter, O’ The Bestowal of Honor, O’ The Abase, O’ The All-Hearing, O’ The All-seeing, O’ The Wise Judge, O’ The Justice, O’ The Incomprehensible, O’ The All Aware, O’ The Forbearing, O’ The Great, O’ The Most Forbearing, O’ The Great, O’ The Most Forgiving, O’ The Most Appreciating. O’ The High, O’ The Incomparably Great, O’ The Guardian, O’ The Preserver, O’ The Reckoner, O’ The Lord of Majesty, O’ The Noble, O’ The Watchful, O’ The Answerer of Prayers, O’ The Bountiful, O The Wise, O The Loving, O’ The Lord of Honor, O’ The Raiser (of the dead), O’ The Witness, O’ The True, O’ The Keeper, O’ The Powerful, O’ The Strong, O’ The Friend, O’ The Praiseworthy, O’ The Recorder, O’ The Author (of life), O’ The Repeater (of life), O’ The Life-giver, O’ The Destroyer, O’ The Living, O’ The Self-Subsisting and All-sustaining, O’ The Discoverer, O’ The Glorious, O’ The One, O’ The Unique, O’ The Independent, O’ The Powerful, O’ The Omnipotent, O’ The Provider, O’ The Postpone, O’ The First, O’ The Last, O’ The Manifest, O’ The Hidden, O’ The Ruler, O’ The Most High, O’ The beneficent, O’ The Acceptor of Repentance, O’ The Bestowal of favors, O’ The Awarder of Punishment, O’ The Effacer of sins, O’ The Compassionate, O’ The Lord of Sovereignty, O’ The Lord of Majesty & Bounty, O’ The Sustainer, O The Equitable, O The Gatherer, O The Self-sufficient, O The Enricher, O The Giver, O The Withholder, O The Inflictor of Punishment, O’ The Benefactor, O’ The Light, O’ The Guide, O’ The Originator, O’ The Survivor, O’ The Inheritor, O’ The Director of the right way. O’ The Patient, O’ The Truthful, O’ The Sheeler, O’ God! Whose self is free from being likened to anything and Whose attributes are free from being likened to anything and O’ You, so many signs give proof of you being the sustainer. You are one not because of any deficiency and you exist not because of any (external) reasons. O’ Thou are for kindness and then are renowned for unending kindness and you are praised without any beginning The First The Everlasting without a beginning and the Last and Kind without any end and Who forgives the sins of the sinners due to Kindness and Benevolence. O Nothing is like unto You and You are All-Hearing and All-Seeing. Allah is enough for us and the Best Keeper and the Best Master and the Best Helper. O The Everlasting without destruction and O The Stationery without any deterioration and O The Planner without any Vizier Resolve every difficulty of ours and our parents. I am unable to count all your praises as you have mentioned them. Whoever comes near you is honored, and your praises are high and your names are Holy and your dignity is Great and none excepting You is worthy of being worshipped. Allah does what He wishes with His Might and orders what He Ordains with His Honor. Know that All things go to Allah. Everything will die excepting His Self. His is the order , to Him is our return. Allah will be enough to them all. And He is All-seeing and All-knowing. Allah is enough and sufficient for us. Allah listens to whosoever prays to Him. Excepting Allah there is none to be approached , whosoever holds on to Allah attains Salvation. Glory to Lord who is ever Merciful and Kind. There is no God but Allah The Forbearing, The Kind. Glory to Allah and Blessed Allah The Lord of the seven Heavens and The Lord of The Great Throne and praise are due to Allah The Sustainer of the worlds. There is no God but Allah. He is One. He has no partner. He is One in person and One in attributes. The Independent. The Unique. The Single. The Living. The Eternal. The Permanent till Eternity. He never held a family and never had a son and He never had a partner in His kingdom and He never stood in need of a helper for warding off any distress and He is very Great and High. Allah is Great. Allah is enough to us in our religion Allah is enough to us in our world. Allah is enough to us in anything that may make us sad. Allah is enough to us against anyone who may trouble us. Allah is enough for us against envier. Allah is enough for us against ill-wishers. Allah is enough for us on our death. Allah is enough for us in our grave. Allah is enough for us when we are questioned. Allah is enough for us when we have to cross the bridge. Allah is enough for us when we have to render the account. Allah is enough for us when our deeds shall be weighed. Allah is enough for us at the time of entry into heaven and hell.Allah is enough for us when we come to see Him. Allah is enough to me. He besides whom none else is to be worshipped. I depend upon Him and to Him I shall return. There is no God but Allah; glory to Allah. How great is Allah. There is no God but Allah. Glory to Allah. How forbearing is Allah. There is no God save Allah. Glory to Allah; how kind is Allah. There is no God but Allah. The One who has no partner. Mohammad is Allah’s messenger in truth. O Allah bless Mohammad when people remembering him remember You and bless Mohammad when people who have forgotten him keep away remembering him. We are well pleased with the Great God for sustaining us and with Islam as our religion and with Mohammad (blessings of Allah on him and salutations) as His prophet and messenger. And with Al-Quran as our Guide and with Kaaba as our Qibla and with Prayers as an obligation and with Believers as one Brotherhood and with Siddiq. Farooq, Uthman and Murtaza as our Imams. On all of them Allah the Great be well pleased. Welcome the new morning and the Blessed day and the two angels who keep record of our deeds, who are witness in justice and equity. We send You our greetings in the beginning of this day, do please record on the first page of our record in the name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful and you remain witness to the face that we witness that there is none worthy to be worshipped excepting Allah The One. He has no partner and we bear witness that Mohammad is His (special) servant and Messenger whom He sent for guidance and with true religion which would overcome all the creeds even though the idolaters may dislike it. On this witness we live and on this we shall die, on this we shall arise on the resurrection , if the Great Allah so wills. We seek refuge with the assistance of all these perfect letters of Allah from the evil of all His creation. I begin with the name of Allah-all His best names I begin with the name of Allah-The Sustainer of the Earth and the Heaven. I begin with the name of Allah with whose name nothing in the earth and none in the heaven can cause any harm and He is All Listening and All-Knowing. All praises are due to Allah Who brought us into life from death and to Him we shall be raised and brought back. We met the morning and Allah’s entire domain met the dawn. Honor, Dignity, Greatness, Power, Government and clear proof are all for Allah and all spiritual and worldly bounties are of Allah and the night and the day are of Allah and everything that rests in them are of Allah-the One the Most Supreme. We met the dawn on the natural religion Islam and on sincerely believing in His being One and on the religion taught by our Holy prophet Muhammad. May Allah bless and keep him and on the field of Abraham the upright Muslim who was not one of those who treated any as partner of God. Blessings of The Great Allah and His angels and His apostles and His prophets and of the angels who bear His throne and of all his creation on our leader Muhammad and his family and on His companions, on him and on all others peace and mercy from Allah and His bounties, blessings and greetings on you-the Messenger of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you the beloved of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you –the friend of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you the apostle of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you- the chosen one of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you –the best of the creation of Allah. Blessings and greetings on you-whom Allah has specially selected. Blessings and greetings on you—whom Allah has sent as messenger. Blessings and greetings on you-whom Allah has specially graced. Blessings and greetings on you-whom Allah has honored. Blessings and greetings on you- -whom Allah has made so great. Blessings and greetings on you-whom Allah granted such greatness. Blessings and greetings on you-who is the greatet of all prophets. Blessings and greetings on you-the leader of the righteous. Blessings and greetings on you-the seal of the prophets. Blessings and greetings on you- the intercessor of those who have sinned (recite 3 times). Blessings and greetings on you- the messenger of the Lord of the worlds. Blessings and mercy of the Great Allah and (prayers of the same) from His angels, His apostles, His messengers, the bearers of His throne and His entire creation on our leader Muhammad and his family and his companions. On him and on his family and on his companions greetings of peace and Allah’s mercy and bounties. O’ Allah bless our leader Muhammad in the first creation and bless our leader amongst the last creation and bless our leader Muhammad amongst the selected group till doomsday and bless our leader Muhammad evey minute and every time and bless all your apostles and messengers and all angels, who have attained nearness to you and all your good worshippers and all those who obey your commands and have mercy on us along with them and have mercy on us along with them, O’ the Most Merciful among all, who show mercy.


Prayers for release of the hold on the necks.

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

O’ Allah! O the Master of our necks and O’ the Opener of the gates (of mercies) and O’ the Provider of causes, provide to us means for provisions for seeking which we have no strength. O’ Allah keep us busy in carrying out our commands; keep us secure in Your justice; make us unconcerned with Your creation; make us attached to You in love; keep us away from those who are not Yours; keep us happy with what you decree for us, make us patient to bear all Your vicissitudes; Make us content with what You give us; Make us grateful for all your gifts; Allow us to enjoy Your remembrance; Make us happy with Your Book, Praying to You during nights and during the days; unattached and unlinking the world and loving the hereafter, anxious to meet You, attentive to Your Lordship, ready to die (anytime). Our Lord! Grant us what You have promised (to us) through your messenger and do not disgrace us on the day of judgment and do not go back on your promises. O’ Allah! Help us to be near You. And help us to follow the straight path. O’ Allah! Help us to attain our objectives and accept our repentance. Certainly You are kind and You accept repentance. O’ Allah! We begin the dawn with Your name and we meet the nightfall with Your name and we are kept alive by You and You will cause us to die and towards You is our return. O’ Allah! Grant us the pleasure of looking at Your Holy Face and the desire of meeting You. O’ Allah enable us to judge the truth in its reality and to follow it; enable us to judge the untruth in its true colors and to keep away from it. O’ Allah! Show us the reality of the things as they really are and let our need be as Muslims and attach us to Your noble servants, keep away from us the evil of tyrants and make us partners in the prayers of the faithful and wake us up from the slumber of the forgetful and enable us to benefit from the intercession of the leader of the messengers and grant us entry to paradise in peace and security and raise us with the righteous and spare us from hell fire, O’ the Protector. O ’Allah! Forgive the followers of Mohammad (S.A.W.S), have o’ Allah mercy on the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him ), O’ Allah! Assist the follower of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him ), O’ Allah! Grant victory to the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him), O’ Allah reform the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him), O’ Allah! Extend bounty to the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him), O’ Allah! Honor the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him), O’ Allah! bestow greatness on the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him ), O’ Allah! Forgive the sins of the followers of Mohammad (blessing of Allah and peace be on him ), O’ Allah! Thou loveth those who repent , turn to us accepting our repentance and O’ Thou, Who granteth security to those who bare stricken with fear, grant us security and Thou Who guideth the misled show us the straight path and Thou Who bringeth the lost , guide us in the right direction and Thou Who answers the prayers of the suppliant, answer our prayers and Thou the hope of the hopeless , do not set aside our hopes and O’ Who shows mercy to the sinners, show us mercy and O’ Who forgives the sinners, forgive us our sins and change us from sinners to right doers and let our end be with the good people. O’ Allah forgive our sins. O’ Allah! Shield our defects. O’ Allah! Open our breasts. O’ Allah! protect our hearts. O’ Allah! Enlighten our hearts. O’ Allah! Enlighten our graves. O’ Allah! Ease our affairs. O’ Allah! Enable us to attain our objectives. O’ Allah! Remove all our faults. O’ Allah! Save us from what we fear. O’ Thou, Who showers kindnesses in secret. O’ Allah! Forgive us and also our parents and our elders and our teachers and our companions and our friends and our relatives and our tribe and to whom we have an obligation and to entire followers of Mohammad- on him be mercies and peace (from God) and save us our Lord from the evil of what you have ordained and save us from the punishment in the grave O’ our Lord, and from the punishment of hell-fire and the torment of the doomsday and raise us among the righteous and the good people. O’ Allah! In honor of this “Awrad-i-fathiyah” (which we have recited) open for us the gates of Your bounties and your kindness and enable us to be obedient to You and to worship You and protect us from trials and calamities and enhance for us Your bounties, our life spans and virtues. O’ Allah keep mus safe. O’ the Blesse from all vicissitudes and diseases and mercies and blessings of Allah on the best of creation Mohammad and his followers and companions-one and all Amin! O’ the Lord of the worlds.

1384 AD is considered a historical year for Kashmir because in this year the great Saint and Sufi ,religious scholar, creative and multitalented writer and missionary and voyager for the cause of Islam, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani ( RA) popularly known as Amir-i-Kabir and Shah-i-Hamdan, sanctified the terra firma of Kashmir by his presence to spread the religion of Islam everywhere in Kashmir and enthuse the populace with the true spirit of the complete way of life. The advent of the great saint harbingered the dawn of a new era in the sense that the socio- political situation of Kashmir took an earth-shattering turn and a forceful process of socio- cultural transformation began to emerge as a result of his onslaught on all kinds of social, political and cultural ills.
Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) was born on Monday, 12th of Rajjab, 714 A.H. (1314 A.D.) at Hamdan in Persia. His father’s name was Syed Shihab- ud- Din, an Allavi Syed and an important official in Hamdan. His mother’s name was Saiyadnah Fatimah whose lineage can be traced back to our beloved Prophet (SAW). He received his early education from his maternal uncle Saiyid Ala – ud – Din, a great saint of his era. He memorized the whole Quran (Hafiz-i-Quran) in his early boyhood and studied Islamic theology and learnt and educated himself with the learning of Tasawuff under the supervision of his maternal uncle Syed Ala-ud-Din. Later, he became the spiritual disciple of Sheikh Sharaf –ud- Din who advised him to complete his education by extensive travels to foreign lands. As a result of this, Mir Syed Ali (RA) undertook many travels which covered a period of twenty one years and remained and enjoyed the company of many mystics and divine personages of the age. He traveled around the world three times and interacted with one thousand and four hundred saints. He authored more than one hundred and seventy books. The three books, Zakirat-ul-Maluk, Risala-i-Maktubat and Ghayatul-Makan, are the most prominent and contain an account of his experiences and ideas. The first book emphasizes upon the principles which ought to be the guidelines of a Muslim ruler. The second is a collection of his letters to the different rulers offering guidance on political issues and the third stresses that the people absorbed in materialistic and worldly pursuits can not carry the difficult task of being a Sufi.
The great Saint espoused the policy of attracting and stirring the ruler and his nobles to recognize Islam as their way of life because he was of the firm conviction that the common masses followed the demeanor and mores of their rulers. And, he also preferred to convert the people to Islam in the City or Shahr because the cities played a great makeup for the social amend. Mir Syed Ali Hamdani converted an enormous number of people in the vale. It is has been instituted that he did not only fetch the Sultan and his nobles like Magrays, Ganaies, and Chandans into frontiers of Islam but he also thrived in inspiring the great Guru of Kali Mandir, Srinagar and his thousands of followers to embrace Islam. His moral and spiritual maneuver played a great role in changing the demographic character of Kashmir and he was successful in pushing the Brahmincal influence to its last leg and made a large number of Hindus belonging to different castes to accept Islam. His influence on the Kashmiri society was due to his accessibility to all and the unique qualities which attracted the attention of everybody including the Hindus. He was a symbol of equality, justice and unity and his Khanqah was open for everybody from the king to the poorest in the society. His introducing the tradition of Zikir of Aurad-i-Fathiya had the aim to blend the dissimilar sections and groups of the society. The great saint is the architecture of our society who freed us from the idol worship.

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Dr Javid Iqbal

On October, the 9th 2013, Anjumn-e-Himayat-e-Islam (a premier religious organization) organized a seminar in Ibn Khaldun auditorium of Kashmir University to commemorate Hazrat Shah-e-Hamadan on his URS (an annual remembrance). The theme was Shah-e-Hamadan—Nizam-e-Tahzib-ul-Iklaq (Shah-e-Hamadan—civilization based on morals). A galaxy of prominent persons—jurists, academicians, columnists, writers, religious scholars participated. The excerpts of the paper I presented on the auspicious occasions follow.
How does Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) relate to issues that concern humanity, probably nothing explains it in as fine a manner and with as deft a touch as exhibited by the art of Allama Iqbal (RA). The art in Persian poetic form, the finest medium of human expression encompasses the entire spectrum of Amir-e-Kabir’s thought. Allama Iqbal’s ‘Javid Nama’ is marked by the magnificence of its literary form, its comprehensiveness, its interaction with a galaxy of literates, soldiers of fame and spiritualists of yore. The poetic treatise has a comprehensive Kashmir related poem captioned ‘Ziyarat-e-Amir Kabir Mir Syed Hamdani and Mulla Tahir Ghani Kashmiri’ the two Persians who enriched the tale of Kashmir, Ghani with his poetry added colour. He made Kashmir his home. Originally a Khorasani (from Khorasan province in Iran—bordering Afghanistan) in Persian literature, he got immortalized as Ghani Kashmiri.
Allama Iqbal praises Shah-e-Hamdan as Salar-e-Ajam (leader of Persians) the one who shaped Kashmir’s destiny and blessed the heavenly vale with knowledge (Alim) industry (Sanat) civilizational morality (Tahzib) and religion (Deen) and remained a consultant of sages and kings. He is related to have guided Sultan Shuhab-ud-Din (1354-1373 A.D) in statecraft. Shawl industry, carpet weaving, wood-crafts were started, as Amir-e-Kabir (RA) with 700 Iranian nobles blessed the vale. In the realm of knowledge, Allama Iqbal relates the scholarly background of Shah-e-Hamadan. His ancestors, reveals Iqbal, were teachers of famed Imam Ghazali (1058-1112 A.D). Imam Gazali’s classic view that faith being inherently logical does not need substantiation applied brakes on neo-Platonic and Aristotelian concepts that knowledge flows from reason. Imam Ghazali (Gazelez for occident) called the Greek philosophy as ‘Incoherence of Philosophers’.
Amir-e-Kabir a few centuries later took cue from the take of Imam Ghazali that faith is the predominant factor; however for the ones with faith, the nature reveals itself with abundance of reason. Nothing remains a secret as the elements that form nature fall in place one by one. Shah-e-Hamadan in a consoling advisories soothes Iqbal’s fears in session after session of fervent questioning…May I tell you a secret, while physical self withers, spiritual self sparkles like a pearl, hence it may remain distinct as the pure ought to remain distinct from impure. The power of the spirit is unparalleled, nothing may be compared to it, and it may look caged, which in fact it isn’t. Give it free play instead of suppressing it, doing that would widen the horizons. Material needs may be kept subservient to spiritual needs. Beauty lies in discovering the inner self, like the star of the night it sparkles, ugliness engulfs the one who fails to do it. Not realizing the self amounts to non-existence and caging of spirit, realizing it means getting hold of the self and freeing the spirit. Going beyond self preserves the spirit, self-interest kills it.
Iqbal (Zinda-e-Roud—the assumed name in Javid Nama that implies a live stream) gets into another interactive session with Amir-e-Kabir. In a query of general nature, he asks why good and bad is fashioned the way it exists in universe and the task of human beings rendered difficult in choosing between the two. The creator asks for good deeds, while making the ‘Satan’ as powerful as he is. Iqbal seeks an answer; assured that the one who has untied so many knots would provide it. Amir-e-Kabir says that anyone versed with living meaningfully knows how to make a distinction between what is beneficial and what is harmful. Becoming a partner in satanic endeavours is a disgrace, fighting it adds to grace. Satanic tendencies have to be overcome, as you are sword and the Satan the element of sharpening the sword (Sung-e-Fasan in Persian—the stone on which the sword is sharpened). We are indeed living in a society with many satanic manifestations—corruption, nepotism and an array of social customs eating into vitals of economy and disturbing social order.
The question remains that could we ever build a civilization based on morals without a sound political order? Governance in east or west, says Amir-e-Kabir could either be by the willing participation of the governed or by suppressive order. Obeisance could only be to paid to Allah (swt) and the messenger…Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and also the one amongst you duly elected [Minkum in Quranic text alluding to chapter 59, verse (Ayah) 4]. An order of governance outside the prescribed format may not be acceptable. Setting up the desired order may entail deft handling of war and peace, of order and disorder. Good governance is not a purchasable commodity, purchasing it may be akin to purchasing highly fragile chinaware. Ideal governance springs from experience of exercising it and is akin to Cyrus’s goblet of wine [Cyrus (Jamsheed) was the ancient king of Iran; Jam-i-Jam (Jamsheed’s goblet of wine] symbolizes the accumulated experience in governance in oriental (mainly Persian) lore.
By quoting the governing skills of Cyrus the great, while presenting the Islamic viewpoint on governance, it is apparent that governance which is consistent with the spirit of Islamic governance finds favour with the thinking of great Islamic scholars. There is a common vein running in the take of Imam Ghazali, Maulana Rumi, Amir-e-Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani and Allama Iqbal. Governance…proper, with precision to provide services to the governed has had a common refrain from concept of ideal state devised by Plato—a state where a philosopher statesman may rule. Islam perfected the ideal state—the republic of Medina reflected it. Wherever Islamic sages like Amir Kabir Mir Syed Ali preached, they attempted to set-up a state on those very lines.
Amir-e-Kabir means a lot to Kashmir, generations have paid their tribute, and generations to follow would remember him. The best tribute however would remain to work for the state, the sages dreamt of, and the state actualized by the likes of Amir-e-Kabir. He had multiple attributes; stabilizing polity of Kashmir would remain the prime one.
Yaar Zinda Sohbat Baqi (Reunion is subordinate to survival)