Dr Andleef Mushtaq Hamdani
Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (R.A), the great great reformer and Sufi scholar was born on Monday 12 Rajab 714 A.H (1314 AD) at Hamdan in Persia. His father’s name was Syed Shihab-Ud-din and mother’s name Saiyidnah Fatima. During his early childhood, he memorized the whole Quran. Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) educated himself about Tassawuf under the supervision of his maternal uncle Syed Ata-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, Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (R.A) under took many travels over a period of 21 years. He travelled around the world three times .
In Kashmir, there are four major hospices dedicated to Shah Hamdan , the Khanqa-e-Mualla Srinagar Tral, Duro, Ladakh.
The buildings are a beautiful model of wooden architecture of Kashmir. Shah Hamdan(R.A)met 1400 saints in the process. He was the only preacher of Islam in Kashmir and Baltistan who brought a change in life styles of Kashmiri masses and imparted to them Islamic values. He preached Islam and affected the conversion of thousands of peoples.
Shah Hamdan (R.A) reached Kashmir in 1372.He went to Ladakh in 1381. After a short time, he left for Mecca. And then again after a while, he stayed for two and half year and left for Turkistan. He paid the third visit in 785/1383 stayed in Kashmir for a short period. Because of his ill health, he stayed in Pakhli for 10 days and left his body at the age of 73. His body was carried to Khatlan which is now in Tajkistan.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts came to Kashmir through Shah Hamdan (R.A). He adopted cap making as the source of his earning. Shawl-Weaving is known as Kar-i-Ameen in Kashmir. However, history bears witness to the fact that Zainul-Abidin and Mirza Haider were two important rulers of Kashmir who promoted arts and crafts early attributed to Mir Syed Ali Hamdani(R.A). He pioneered a cultural, social and religious revolution in Kashmir. The livelihood through handicraft, musings on and focus on Tassawuf, and preaching of Islam and cultural customs based on Islamic theory were the hallmarks of his life. Shah Hamdan’s(R.A) is contributions as a writer, scholar, philosopher and poet are huge and immense. The Urs of Shah Hamdan(R.A), celebrated on the 6th of Zil Haj all over Central Asia and the Kashmir valley, is a special way and means of paying tribute to the founder of Islam in Kashmir.