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Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah – ‘Mir Syed Ali Hamadani’

May God be his friend – Mir Syed Ali Hamadani

          Qibla e dil aaftab e rooy e oust
          Kaaba e jaan khaak e raah e koye oust
          [Direction of my heart’s prayer is the sun of his face.
          Kaaba of my soul, is the dust of his alley.]
               (Chehl Asrar, Ghazal 3. Mir Syed Ali Hamadani.)

Sayid Ali Hamadani, who became known as The Second Ali - Ali Saani, Amir e Kabir and Shah e Hamadan was born at Hamadan (Iran) on 12th Rajab 714 A H (22nd of October, 1314 A.D ). His father Sayid Shihab ud Din was believed to be a hakeem, a very important official of the time. His genealogy as traced by Jaffer Badakhshi reaches back to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Hazrat Ali (RD). He received his education through his maternal-uncle Sayid Ala-ud-Din, who himself was a great saint of his times. Hamadani comments upon his early education and Sayid Ala-ud-Din:

                 “I memorized the Quran through his good efforts”

Hamadani was introduced to Shaikh Mazdaqani by his maternal uncle, who taught him the principles of Sufism. He was later send to Hazrat Taqiu’d Din Ali Dusti (739 A.H) who was a disciple of Kubrawi saint Alau’d Daula Simnani. Some say that Hamadani also received some education from Alau’d Daula Samnani. Hamadani remained with Shaikh Mazdaqani at his Khanaqah for six years where he was put to different chores to crush all the traces of ego within. During that course Hamadani also underwent the Sufi practice of Chilla e Zindan.

Like most of his predecessors Sayid Ali Hamadani travelled extensively. In most of the Sufi Sillsilas travelling makes an important part of the training for a higher understanding of the world, within and without. However, of all the travels his visit to Kashmir is considered one of the most important of his journeys which later changed the history of Kashmir. Some scholars believe he came to Kashmir only once but many believe that he came to Kashmir thrice during the reign of Sultan QutubDin. The flag-bearer of Islam in Kashmir, Hamadani, as we all have learnt since long was a not only a scholar, Islamic Jurist and a Sufi but also a cleaver economist who brought many arts and crafts from central Asia to Kashmir so that people start to earn and sustain a livelihood.

It is worth mentioning that Sayid Ali Hamadani belonged to Shafai School of thought and was a Sufi of Kubrawi Silsila. However, before his arrival in Kashmir his predecessor Sayid Sharif Ud Din BulBul Shah who belonged to Hanafi school of thought and was a Sufi of Suharwardi Silsila had already begun the teachings of Islam in the valley. Hamadani did not contradict any thought of the predecessor and continued his teachings with non-sectarian approach, which is impossible to find in present times. Apparently, we are too enlightened.

Hamadani like many of his predecessors was a prolific writer. According to his biographers he authored 170 works. Some of his noted works are:

Zakhiratu’l Muluk, Ma’rifatu’l-Zuhd, Halu’l-Fasus, Majmma’ul –Ahadith, Minhajul Arifin, Risala I DahQaida, Sharh-i-Asma-Husna, Risala-i-Talqiniya, Risala-i-Faqriya, Risala I Manaqib, Sairul Taliban and Asrarul Nuqta.

Today we are living in a world where we are so full of grudges and animosities that we dismantle our own peace, along with that of others. The wisdom of forgiving and tolerance left us long back, we are just not ready to forgive each other and as a result we cast tyranny upon our own souls (quntu minna zaalemeen). I chose and translated a poem of Mir Sayid Ali Hamadani (Ra) that I believe is like a collection of roses taken right from the best gardens of heaven. The poem teaches us to forgive, forget and pray well for everyone including our enemies. I wish for my readers to pay heed and understand the poem of Hamadani in its essence:

He who befriends me,
May God befriend him!

He who causes me distress,
May his joy increase!

He who places thorns in my path,
To satisfy his animosity.

May every flower in the garden of his life
Bloom without a single thorn!

In both the worlds I never had a grudge
Or malice towards anyone.

He who grows malice towards me
May god bestow him with everlasting peace!

May God bestow peace upon our souls that are constantly in search of the home where we came from!


Feature–Sufism & Sufi Literature

    Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah

    Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah – ‘Mir Syed Ali Hamadani’
    Omer Tarin – ‘Sufi Poetry of Hazrat Syed Meher Ali Shah’
    Romy Tuli – ‘Baba Bulleh Shah and Walt Whitman’
    Sat Paul Goyal – ‘Jelaluddin Rumi’
    SL Peeran – ‘Sufism – Islamic Spirituality’
    SL Peeran – ‘Who are the Sufis? Who are the Faqeers?’
    Sudeshna Kar Barua – ‘Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Rumi’
    Syed Habib – ‘Spirituality – The Crown of Kashmir’
    Syed I Husain – ‘Nothing is Sacred Anymore’
    Usha Akella – ‘Harmony is the Flour, Love is the yeast’

    Aiman Peer
    Anum Ammad
    Divya Garg
    Fareeha Manzoor
    Kainat Azhar
    Myra Edwin
    Omer Tarin
    Rajorshi Das
    Umar N
    Usha Akella

    Mukunda Rama Rao – By U Atreya Sarma

Book Review
    Mohsin Bin Mushtaq Shah – ‘Song of the Dervish

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