Posted on 30th Nov 2017
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.