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    OpinionsHazrat Shah-I-Hamdan (RA)

    Hazrat Shah-I-Hamdan (RA)


    By Kalyani Shankar

    Hazrat Amir Kabir Mir Syed Ali Hamdani ra often referred to as the founder of Islam in came to valley with a large group of comrade of Sayeds who were all Amirs and since he was their leader, so he is known as Amir-i- Kabir. Hazrat Shah-I-Hamdan was born on 21st of October 1314 AD in a noble family. His parents Syed Shahabuddin and Syeda Fatima were the direct descendants of the holy Prophet (SAW). His father was an administrator of Hamdan and his maternal uncle Syed Alluddin Simnani took the responsibility of his upbringing. Under his guidance Shah-I-Hamdan learnt and memorised the holy Quran. An eminent scholar and Sufi of the time, Sheikh Sharfudin Mazdaqani initiated him into the Kubrawi order. He became his Murshid preceptor and was involved with his religious, educational and spiritual upbringing. A brutal Tatar Zulchi invaded Kashmir in early 14th century AD, he and his companions created havoc for eight months bringing death, destruction and misery to the people. It is said that only eleven families survived in the town.

    After his going back in 1320 AD, a Buddhist from Rinchan Shah became the king of Kashmir. During his reign Syed Sharfudin Abdul Rehman Suharwardi ra also known as Bulbul Shah from Turkistan came to Kashmir. It was through him that Rinchan Shah accepted Islam and was renamed as Sadruddin. Before arriving in Kashmir, Shah-I-Hamdan sent his two followers/ cousins Syed Tajuddin Simnani and Mir Syed Hussain Simnani to the valley to take stock of the situation. Shah-I-Hamdan made three visits to the valley.

    His first visit to the valley was in 1372, when the ruling king Sultan Shahabuddin had gone on an expedition to Attock. The companions of Shah-I-Hamdan who were less than hundred in number alongside their head were received by Sultan Qutubuddin who later became his disciple. He stayed for six months following which he left for Makkah. During his second visit in 1380, he was accompanied by 700 Syeds who were warmly welcomed by sultan Qutubuddin. This large group settled on the banks of river Jhelum near the present day Khanqah Moila of Srinagar. That time the place was called Allaudin Pora. Shah-I-Hamdan and his disciples would offer prayers there, later the foundation of the Khanqah was laid there.

    On this visit Shah-I-Hamdan stayed for thirty months in the valley, travelled across the length and breadth of the valley to propagate the true teachings of Islam along with his companions. His third visit to Kashmir is recorded in 1384 AD, during which he felt ill after spending less than a year and then left. Shah-I-Hamdan and his party left Kashmir for Turkistan via Ladakh. They stayed at Shey village of , constructed a mosque there to worship thus making it the first Muslim site of worship in Ladakh. Traveling through the town of Pakhli, the party arrived at Kunnar, it's king Khazar Shah pleaded with him to stay for a few days there as a royal guest, however due to illness his soul left for heavenly abode on 19th January 1385 AD. Due to harsh winter his body was buried at Swat but in accordance with his wish, he was later laid to rest at Koulab on 4th of July 1385. His entire family is buried there.

    Wherever Shah-I-Hamdan went he left his imprints in the form of mosques and Khanqahs. Such Khanqahs were built in different parts of the valley during his visit. These constructions were undertaken under the direction of his son Mir Mohammad Hamdani ra. These include Khanqah Faizpanah Tral, Khanqahi Amirya Pampore, Khanqahi Walla Wachi, Khanqahi Amirya Monghama and Khanqah of Shey Ladakh near Leh. However the largest and most important one is the Khanqah-i-Moula of Srinagar. Khanqahi Moula is the most revered not only the place of worship but it also represents more than six hundred years of our heritage. The architecture of the Khanqah is distinctively Central Asian with wood, sculpted stones and small bricks used as the building material. The foundation and the stone plinth of the Khanqah was laid by Shah-I-Hamdan himself while the task of building was undertaken by his beloved son Mir Mohammed Hamdani when he visited the valley in 8th century AH during the reign of Sultan Sikandar.

    Its construction began in 1396 AD and was completed in 1399. Sultan Sikandar and Seh Butt were instrumental in expediting the completion of the grand project. Mir Mohammed Hamdani came to Kashmir to continue the mission initiated by his pious father, the cooperation of the reigning king helped him to extend a network of Khanqahs and mosques in each corner of the valley.






    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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