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Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani

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Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani

Islamic scholar
Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani
Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani
Title Shah Hamadan
Born 1314
Died 1384 (aged 70)
Ethnicity Persian
Region Asia
Jurisprudence Islam
Main interest(s) Tasawwuf

Mir Syed Ali bin Shahab-ud-Din Hamadani (Persian: میر سید علی شهاب‌الدین همدانی‎, 1314-1384) was a Persian Sūfī of the Kubrāwī order, a poet and a prominent Muslim scholar.[1][2] He was born on Monday, 12th Rajab 1314 (714 AH) in Hamadan[3] and died in 786 AH/1384 in Kunar and was buried in Khatlan.[4] He was very influential in spreading Islam in Kashmir and has had a major hand in shaping the culture of the Kashmir valley.[3] He was also known as "Shāh Hamadhān" ("King of Hamadhān", Iran) and as Amīr-i Kabīr ("the Great Commander"). He wrote several short works on spirituality and Sufism. He was immortalised by poets like Allama Iqbal.

His name was Ali, and titles were Amir-e-Kabir, Ali Sa'ani, Shah-e-Hamadan and Mir. Besides them, the Chroniclers had mentioned several other titles: 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 etc.

Founder of Pashmina textile

pashmina, Pashmina

The founder of Pashmina shawl textile trade is the great Persian personality Mir Ali Hamadani.[5] Said trade gave strong economic contribution to several countries, such as China, Mongolia, America, India and Kashmir. Mir Ali Hamadani came to the Kashmir with 700 followers.[6] According to the United Nations' (UN) specialized agency UNESCO (report 2014), Hamadani was one of the principal historical figures who shaped the culture of Kashmir; both architecturally and also through the flourishing of arts and crafts hence the economy of that country. The skills and know-how he brought gave rise to an entire industry.[7]

pashmina goats, Ladakh

Disciples of Imam i Hamadani

Makhdoum Abdul Rashid Haqqani, the cousin of Makhdoum Baha ul Haq (Baha ud Din Zakrya Multani), was a disciple of Mir Sayyed Ali Hamadani. The mausoleum of Haqqani is in the town of 'Makhdoum Rashid' situated near Multan. Makhdoum Javed Hashmi is the guardian of the shrine of Makhdoum Abdul Rashid Haqqani. A few years ago Javed Hashmi claimed he was the actual heir to the shrines of Bahauddin Zakariya and Shah Rukn-e-Alam as well. He says that his ancestor Abdul Rashid Haqqani and Bahauddin Zakariya were in fact cousins. Makhdoum Shah Mehmood Qureshi, is the custodian of the revered shrines of Hazrat Bahauddin Zakariya and Shah Rukn-e-Alam.

Early life

He was born to a noble family in Hamadan and through his father, Syed Shahab Uddin, traced his ancestry to Imam Zain-ul-Abedein and ultimately to Hazrat Ali. His mother Syeda Fatimah, thru seventeen links, reached to the Prophet.

His date of birth is disputed: for some it is the 12th of Rajab-Ul-Marjab 714 Hijri (12 October 1314), while for others it is the 12th of Rajab 713 (12 October 1313). The former date appears more probable.


Sayyid Hamadani came from an educated family, was intelligent, quick of mind and read the Quran under the care of his maternal uncle, Hazrat Ala-Uddin. From the same he took his lessons on various subjects, both practical and spiritual for a period of thirteen years.

Spiritual Training

Hazrat Ala-Uddin then entrusted him to Sheikh Abul Bracket for spiritual training, after the latter's demise he proceeded to Sheikh Mahmud Mizdiqani, a renowned saint of the time. The saint put him to severe tests and thus removed pride and haughtiness from him and inculcated in him the virtue of humility.


He belonged to the Kubraviya Order and received the role of spiritual heir from Sheikh Abul Miamin Najam Uddin Muhammad-bin-Mohammad Azani.


Syed Ali Hamadani was a prolific traveller in his times and travelled far and wide throughout the Muslim World. His teacher Mahmud Mizdiqani had said to him, "Travel about the world, meet the saints, draw benefits from them as much as you can." Consequently, he undertook the Haj thrice and traveled for twenty or twenty one years. During these journeys he saw the Islamic and other countries and met the holy men there. Mir Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani the famous saint of Kichaucha Sharif was a contemporary of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani[8]

To avoid persecution in his homeland at the hands of Timur, he moved to Kashmir with seven hundred followers, during the reign of King Shahab-Uddin. He had already sent two of his followers: Syed Taj Uddin Samnani and Mir Syed Hasan Samnani to take stock of the situation. 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. The King and heir apparent, Qutub Uddin, received him warmly. At that time the Kashmir ruler was on war with Firoz Tughlaq and because of his efforts the parties came to terms.

In Kashmir, Shah-e-Hamadan started to preach Islam in an organized manner. He and his followers helped set up a large number of mosques in every nook and corner of the valley, the most famous of them being the Khanqah-e-Muala on the banks of Jhelum River.Another Famous Khankah is located at tral District pulwama known as Khanqah-e-faizpanah.The place Tral was purchased by amir-e-kabir and spread Islam. Shah Hamdan did not stay in the valley permanently but visited the valley on various occasions. The first time was during the reign of Sultan Shahab Uddin in 774 A.H he came, stayed for six months and left. The second time he visited was in 781 A.H. when Qutub Uddin was the ruler. This time he stayed for a year and tried to extend the Movement to every nook and corner of Kashmir, returning to Turkistan via Ladakh in 783 A.H. Third, he visited in 785, with the intention to stay for a longer period but had to return earlier owing to illness.

Illness and wafat

On return from his third visit to Kashmir he reached Kunar via Pikhanli and was received as a royal guest. He fell ill there and died after five days on 6, Zil Haj 786 Hijri.

Compiler, Hasan, in the Tar-eekh-e-Hasan mentions the date of expiry in the Persian couplet, which means:

The great Syed Sirdar (Ali Hamadan) went to the paradise to take rest.

Hasan mentions the year of the death in this couplet.

He was buried at Kulob in Khatlan where people to this day gather in large numbers to pay their homage to him.

Shah Hamadan's efforts reached far and wide and converted a large number of people. The number of his followers was large. A few to mention were: 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 etc.

Influence on Kashmiri culture

Shah-e-Hamadan has been on the principal historical figures who have shaped the culture of Kashmir. His influence on arts and culture and the economy of the valley cannot be overstated. Among the seven hundred followers who accompanied him to Kashmir, were men of arts and crafts who flourished in the valley. They popularized Shawl-making, carpet-manufacturing, cloth-weaving, pottery and calligraphy. Allama Iqbal admits that because of Shah Hamadan the wonderful arts and crafts turned Kashmir into a mini Iran and brought about a revolution in the thinking process of the people. The skills and know-how he brought to Kashmir gave rise to an industry which is world famous even now as the home of Cashmere shawls. The many vocations he introduced in the valley have provided a livelihood to the artisans of Kasmir for centuries.

jamia masjid srinagar

Shah Hamadan was a Multi-dimensional personality. He was a social reformer besides being a preacher. He brought substantial reforms in the lives of ordinary Kashmiris, getting rid of practices like black magic and Sati. He made Islamic teachings known to the people in Kashmir, convert their beliefs, made efforts for the building of their character and laid down a fool-proof system for the propagation of the Islam. He introduced the Central Asian architecture in the valley and when fused with the Kashmiri architecture, gave rise to a new style. The most famous example of this is the Khanqah-e-Mualla, the monastery dedicated to him in Kashmir. This building, which contains the room where he stayed on his first visit to the valley, is a beautiful model of wooden architecture of Kashmir, with engravings on walls. Friday prayers are said there where hundreds gather to pray. The sacred relics include the Prophet's flag, the pillar of the Prophet's tent, and Shah Hamadan's walking stick.


He is a highly revered figure in Kashmir, parts of Pakistan as well as in Tajikistan, where he is buried. He is credited with having performed many miracles in his time.

A 627 year old chinar tree at Chatargam, Chadoora, Badgam district, Kashmir, said to be the oldest tree of this type in the world, was allegedly planted in 1374 AD by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani.[9]


Shah Hamadan, besides being a mystic saint and an effective preacher, was a man of letters and wrote about a hundred pamphlets in Arabic and Persian: Zakhirat-ul-Maluk, a famous book, has been translated in many languages. Some other famous works are:


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Ninth Session, Part 2
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Soqte:School Of Orthoepy Quran And Theology::Kashmir
  4. ^ Hadith alThaqalayn || Imam Reza (A.S.) Network
  5. ^ all historians of Kashmir
  7. ^ report UNESCO edit by jeelani allaie
  8. ^ Hayate Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani by Syed Waheed Ashraf
  9. ^ Rajesh Bhat (2007-12-24). "627-year-old living legend found in Kashmir". 
  10. ^ Iran Sageer by Dr Izkayi printed in tehran edit by keysar Allaie
  • The Nurbakhshis of Baltistan: Crisis and Revival of a Five Centuries Old Community, Andreas Rieck Die Welt des Islams, New Ser., Vol. 35, Issue 2 (Nov., 1995), pp. 159–188

The Nurbakhshis of Baltistan: Crisis and Revival of a Five Centuries Old Community


  • John Renard 2005: Historical Dictionary of Sufism (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements, 58), ISBN 0810853426

External links

  • Long biography
  • Tajik banknotes - includes picture of 10 Somoni note with Hamadani's face.
  • The Shrine & Mausoleum of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani
  • Islam in Kashmir Book Review
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