The Shah of Hamadan

The Shah of Hamadan

He was the benefactor of Kashmiris

Syed Ali Hamadani (RA) was a great reformer and a visionary who has impacted  almost all the aspects of the lives of Kashmiris .Be it religious or spiritual dimension or social and political, be it the economic activity by introducing the arts and crafts of Iran and Central Asia in Kashmir or the instructions to the Kings and rulers. In all these matters the influence and impact of Syed Ai Hamadani cannot be undermined.


He has influenced the Muslim Rishis and Hindu ascetics equally by his deep spiritual indoctrination he was  espousing. His Son Mir Mohammad Hamadani continued his mission in Kashmir and was instrumental in initiating the local Rishi Saint Shaikh Nooruddin Wali into his Sufi discipleship, thus paving the way for a long and enduring process of Islamisation of not only Kashmir but even the localised mystic orders of Kashmir like Rishism.


He was the only preacher of Islam in Kashmir and Baltistan (Northern Areas, Pakistan) who brought a subtle change in the life styles of Kashmiri masses and provided them with Islamic values and established the Persian culture in the soil of Kashmir. In this way Kashmir was transformed into a new phase of its civilizational march from Buddhist and Hinduised moorings to an Islamic and Iranian one. It was due to these Persian influences on the socio.-cultural life of the people in Kashmir that Iqbal has given reference to Kashmir in his poetry as Iran –i-Sagheer meaning little Iran.


Apart from the culture and mannerism the cultural traits of Kashmiri literary life were also influenced greatly by his arrival to Kashmir. From Persia were received these genres :"new poets genres –ghazl  ,qasidah, marsiya, rubai, mathanavi, na’at and Manqabat Muslims introduced in Kashmir "from Persia as the only genres prevelent in Kashmir prior to the Muslims were vaakh, watsun, and shrukh.


He preached Islam and affected the conversion of thousands of people from Buddhism to Islam by his great efforts. He has constructed many Khânqâhs, mosques and memorial places in these areas, some places are very popular in Asia particularly "Chaqchan Mosque" a most beautiful handicraft mosque.


To start with, Mir Syed Ali Hamadani, the apostle of Kashmir, better known as the “Shâh of Hamadan” and ‘Ameer e Kabeer’ (1314- 1384) is arguably the most celebrated of these Syeds, coming from Iran and Central Asia in Medieval period and who have blessed Kashmir and have accelerated the process of Islamisation of Kashmir which has continued after them and is still continuing unabated. 


Syed Ali Hamadani has presented a comprehensive code of conduct for an individual and a ruler to lead a virtuous life, which could finally lead him to eternal salvation (Sa‘adah). In this scheme he has not lost sight of earning by lawful means and spending one’s possessions in the way of God. He has laid emphasis on earning from Halal (lawful) sources, which is a hallmark of his Sufi thought.