After living in exile in Iraq's holy city of Najaf for more than a decade, Ayatollah Rohullah Khomeini was expelled from Iraq by Saddam Hussain in October 1978 at the request of Iran's tyrant ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi, as mentioned in 'Saddam Hussain, A Political Biography'. During this time, Kashmir's noted religious cleric Ayatollah Aga Syed Yusuf dispatched a letter to Ayatollah Khomeini, asking him to visit Kashmir. Khomeini's reply came as a pleasant surprise and got historians busy tracing his links to Kashmir. "I would have loved to visit Kashmir, which apparently is my ancestral place," read the letter.
When the letter reached him, Aga asked Ayatollah Khomeini for more details about his ancestors. He replied that he does not know much except the fact that his grandfather had migrated from Kashmir to Iran about 130 years ago. Aga Syed Mohammad Fazlullah, Aga's eldest son, was enrolled at a religious seminary in Najaf at that time. He was entrusted with the task of handing over Aga's letter to Ayatollah Khomeini.
"While in Najaf, I frequently visited Imam Khomeini. When I came to know about his Kashmiri ancestors through his letters to my father, I asked Imam about it," Aga Fazlullah recounts. "He told me that they have a copy of handwritten Quran at their house in Qom (Iran) which belongs to their grandfather. When I visited Qom few months later for pilgrimage, I also visited Imam's house where I was greeted by his youngest son, Syed Ahmed, who already knew me because Imam had introduced me to him during one of his visits to Najaf."
During one of his visits to Imam's house in Qom, Aga met Ayatollah Khomeini's elder brother, Syed Morteza Pasandideh, who showed him a copy of the Holy Quran. When he opened it, a broad smile flashed on his face. "On the cover page of the Quran was written: This (holy book) belongs to Ahmed al-Moosvi al-Kashmiri," he recollects.
Meanwhile, Ayatollah Yusuf contacted some historians and genealogists in Kashmir to find out the details about Syed Ahmed who had migrated from Kashmir.
According to historians, one of Khomeini's ancestors, Syed Shahab-ud-Din Hyder, had visited Kashmir in 766 Hijri. He was accompanied by two of his brothers – Syed Ziauddin, whose real name was Syed Mohammad and lies buried at Habak, Gun Khwaja Qasim, and Syed Qutubuddin, popularly known as Haji Peer Mitha, buried in Jammu.
Syed Shahabuddin was the nephew of Mir Syed Ali Hamadani and also his son-in-law. The detailed account of Syed Shahabuddin's association with Syed Ali Hamadani has been given in "Nuzhatul Khawatir", and also in "Muqaddima Awrad-e Fathiyya". When Syed Ali Hamadani left Kashmir, Shahabuddin stayed back and continued propagation of Islam. He used to stay at Khanqah-e Namchibal, which also became his final resting place.
Significantly, one more Syed Ahmed Moosvi had departed from Kashmir around the same period. Though, according to a document written by Syed Ahmed's nephew, late Aga Syed Mohammad, the former had no son. Another scion of the same family, Aga Syed Mustafa has confirmed that Syed Ahmed had only one daughter and that he is buried at Golaganj Lucknow.