Khawaja Hassan (RA), better known as Khawaja Hassan Qari, and reverently as “Khawaja seab” was a sufi scholar and a saint of the Suhrawardiyya order. He is widely acclaimed for his accurate recitation of the Qur’an.
Owing to his command over the seven melodious recitations of Holy Qur’an, he is known as – Qari. Qari is a person who recites the Quran with proper rules of recitation, tajwid.
His resting place in the evergreen woods of a village called Hardushiva is thronged by the devotees round the year. This village is at a distance of 10 KM from the apple town Sopore.
Thanks to Dr. Rafeeq Masoodi, former ADG Doordarshan for prompting me to visit the shrine of this iconic mystic; also providing me with some very vital & valuable inputs to help me to gather the written sources.
From the available written sources this author came to know that Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Qari learnt the tasawuf from the towering mystic, Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi (RA). He was born in a noble and lettered family of Baldimar at Mahraj Gunj in Srinagar.
Nothing is known about his birth year. As per written sources his mother, was a devoted disciple of Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makhdoomi (RA) played a vital role in his spiritual as well religious education. She urged him to fallow Hazrat sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi. Khawaja Hassan Qari taught the recitation of the Quran and other uloom to large number of people.
The author of “Hidayet ul Mukhlaseen” writes that he belonged to a noble family of Mohalla Baldimar at Mahraj Gunj in Srinagar and was running his cloth business.This probably is the reason that he is famous as “Khawaja”.
His brother Ishaq Qari mentions in “Chillat al Arifin” that one day Khawaja Hassan Qari felt unconscious. His parents lost all hopes of his recovery. His father went to the masjid to plea the imam to pray for the speedy recovery of his son. He saw a man offering prayers there. Some one told him to relate his matter to that man.
With his miraculous prayers, Hasan Qari recovered from the unconsciousness and began to feel sound. Later on his parents came to know that the man was a towering sufi saint of Kashmir namely Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi (RA), whom they invited to their home and offered their allegiance to him. This way Khawaja Hassan Qari became a disciple of Hazrat Shiekh Hamzah Makdhoomi. Thus began his mystical journey.
The author of “Tazkir ul Aslaf” writes that his mother who was a devoted disciple of Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi played a vital role in his spiritual education and urged him to fallow Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi.
From the written sources this author came to know that the personality of Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Qari is beyond explaination. Under the tutelage of his spiritual mentor, Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Qari shunned all worldly comforts and luxuries and spent days and nights in “Zikir e illahi” and prayers. As per written sources he would meditate for months with out eating any thing.
Baba Dawud Khaki refers to him in his “Wird al-Muridin” while saying that under the instructions of Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi, Khwajah Hasan tasted the flavour of the remembrance of Allah that illuminated his heart and soul.
The love of Almighty Allah, the Gracious and the Merciful, had penetrated the inner depths of his heart and soul. On the instructions of his mentor, he settled at a village called Hardushiva, Zaingair Sopore. There he guided a large number of people in the Sufi path. He did not accept gifts or money from the people who used to visit him to get his blessings. Whatever reached to him was distributed among poor and destitute.
Hazrat Khaja Hassan Qari (RA) was a good scholar too. His “Rahat ul Talibeen”is one of the master pieces.This book besides dealing with the life of his mentor, Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi (RA), explores a number of mystical facts and principles of Tasawwuf. What is more “Rahat al-Talibeen” is a fine exploration of the different ways and practices followed by the seekers in the Sufi path.
The author of “tazkir ul Afireen” writes that his spiritual minter assigned him a duty to carry water for his kitchen. This kitchen was serving the food for two hundred sufi saints. Among them Hazrat Mir Baba Hadar Tulmuli (RA) deserves a special mention. From whom Hazrat Khawaja Hassan Qari (RA) benefited much. It is said that he liked the book “Saluk ul Murqabat” of Hazrat Baba Haider Tulmuli very much, and used to kiss the every page of that book daily.
On the instructions of his mentor Hazrat Sheikh Hamzah Makdhoomi he spent his last days at Hadushiva, Zaingair Sopore.
Khawaj Hassan Qari has written Sufi poetry also. The author of “Tazkir ul Murshadeen’ writes that Khawaja Hassan Qari has written history of Kashmir. Being a student of history I first time came to know that a sufi saint has written history of Kashmir. Historian Hassan writes that this history is not available here. Its pen script is preserved in Oxford University of UK.
A number of miracles so to say are attributed to this mystic which are beyond the words.
The author of Tazkir ul Aafreen writes that one night I went to his home. There I saw few strange men who left at midnight. I asked Khawaja Hassan Qari about them. He said that one among them was Hazrat Owais Karni. This author mentions one more karamaat, (a miracle) that his disciple was walking with him.
Meanwhile a snake bites his servant. The servant cried with pain. On seeing this Hazrat Khawaji Hassan Qari ordered the snake to present itself before him. The snake came and was asked to took away the poison from the leg of the victim. The snake obeyed him and in this way his servant recovered.
Historian Hassan writes that Khawaja Hassan Qari was a great saint of his times. As per authentic sources Khawaja Hassan Qari left for heavenly abode in 999 Hijri and was buried at Hardushiva Zaingair in Sopore. The shrine hoists annual urs of this saint on 27th of Safar.
To conclude with the beautiful lines of Professor Mohammad Ishaq Khan, former HoD History, University of Kashmir:
“While Hasan Qari regards strict adherence to Shari’ah as a necessary condition for gaining the ma‘rifah of Allah, he argues the salik (spiritual seeker) to create self-confidence by way of purifying his soul and heart … In his estimation, equal treatment to the ‘high’ and ‘low’ is humility and doing good to the friend and enemy alike is sincerity.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.