Kashmir Remembers Shah-e-Hamdan

SRINAGAR: Kashmir observed the 653rd Urs of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA), who is popularly known as Shah-e-Hamdani or Amir-e-Kabir here. The main gathering was at Khanqah Moula in Srinagar city and thousands of people attended a series of functions.

Devotees during Urs of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) in Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Syed Ali bin Shahab-ud-Din Hamadani Abidi (1314-1384) was a Persian preacher and a prominent Muslim scholar. He is often credited for Kashmir’s conversion to Islam. Besides, he is also credited for introducing various skills handicraft to the people.

Every year, devotees in Kashmir observe his Urs and throng to Khanqah Moala in thousands. On Saturday as usual thousands of devotees throng the shrine where they recited verses of Holy Quran, which was followed by Duaiya Majlis. The Urs is routinely observed on sixth of Zil Hijjah every year.

A lady devotee raising her hands in prayers on the Urs of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA). KL image by Bilal Bahadur

Islamic scholars routinely shed light on the life and achievements of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA). They reiterate the teachings of the saint. Usually, the Muslim Waqaf Board is the main manager of the anniversary.

Khanqah has been Kashmir’s first school. It was on this pattern that various other Khanqah’s were set up by the Shahmiri kings in medieval Kashmir. The Urs is also being celebrated in almost all those Khanqah’s. These include the Khankah Faizpanah Tral, Jinab Sahab Soura, Aasar Sharif Kalashpora, Kabamarg and Khiram Sirhama in Islamabad, Dooru Seer Hamdan, Aham Sharif Bandipora, Budgam, Kupwara, and Bandipora.

Political leaders on these occasions visit these shrines and meet the people, talk to them and in certain cases listen to them. The tradition was started by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1931, which he resumed later after 1953. On Saturday, JKLF leader Yasin Malik was in the Khanqah where made a long speech. Paying homage to Shah-e-Hamadan, Malik said it was he who taught Kashmir a faith and the dignity.

Devotees praying on Urs of Hazrat Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) in Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Shah-e-Hamadan had three trips to Kashmir and refused to settle in Kashmir. Unlike him, his son Mir Mohammad Hamdani settled in Srinagar married in the king’s clan and raised a family. The father and son accompanied a number of Muslim migrants from Central Asia including many men of knowledge and faith. They all settled in Kashmir.

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