Kashmir’s Shah-e-Hamadan and his religious philosophy-Word for Peace
Binish Qadri, WordForPeace.com
Jammu and Kashmir is highly indebted to Shah-e-Hamadan as far as the development of Islam in the first place, and the development of art and culture in the second place is concerned. He wrote Risala-i-Wujudiyssya, an area for the justification of that principle along with two notes and commentaries on the greatest Sufi propunder of Wahdatul Wajud (unity of existence) Ibn Arabi’s works, “Fusus-al-Hikam” and “Al-Insan-al-Kamil”. The spiritual philosophies in the present-day South Asia emanated from Shah-e-Hamadan’s writings and lessons. …….
The early period of Shah Mir dynasty is characterized by and noted for the arrival of the Sufi Muslim saints, particularly Sayyid Ali Hamadani, who contributed very much to the growth of Islam in Kashmir which is known as Pir-i-Vaer and has a relic of Sufism. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, also known as Amir-i-Kabir (the Great Commander), and widely known as Shah-e-Hamadan (King of Hamadan) is the 14th-century Persian Sufi saint of the Kubrawiya order who through his poetry spoke about the divine construction between man and god (Al-Islam.org). According to him, Islam is the venue for the illumination of the soul and strengthens imaan and we must, therefore, protect it.
His poetry touches different facet of the life of mankind. It teaches us great values and philosophies of life which is why he deserves to be in the category of great Muslim philosopher and a Sufi saint par excellence. He played a great role in spreading Islam in Kashmir. Furthermore, he developed art and culture of the Kashmir valley and is considered as having brought various skills, expertise, crafts, and industries from Iran into Kashmir which tags him one of the great social and economic reformers of Kashmir.
It is said that he brought with him 700 supporters and followers together with some weavers of carpets and shawls, who trained and taught the craft of Pashmina textile and carpet making to the local populace (Rafiabadi, 2003). His active participation and support in textile weaving benefited the state of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly Ladakh. The growth and development of the textile industry in Kashmir raised its demand for fine wool, increasing migration from Kashmir to Ladakh, which in turn meant that Kashmiri Muslim groups settled in Ladakh, carrying with them art and crafts such as minting and writing (Jacqueline, 2008).
He laid thrust on production and distribution of art and crafts for which factors of production, especially skilled man-power play a great role. He took no interest in social welfare and economic growth and development together with growth and development of Islam in Kashmir. At a very young age, he felt a disliking for the material life and a liking for Islamic mysticism.
In order to acquire knowledge of Islamic theology and mysticism, he spent his early years under the guidance of his maternal uncle Sayyid Ala-ud-Daula Simnani, a well-known Kubrawi saint of Simnan, Iran in order to acquire knowledge that is useful for inner enrichment. He had the tendency for making profitable use of that knowledge by practicing Sufism as a way towards all-inclusive Islamic education.
Jammu and Kashmir is highly indebted to Shah-e-Hamadan as far as the development of Islam in the first place is concerned and the development of art and culture in the second place is concerned. He wrote Risala-i-Wujudiyssya, an area for the justification of that principle along with two notes and commentaries on the greatest Sufi propunder of Wahdatul Wajud (unity of existence) Ibn Arabi’s works, “Fusus-al-Hikam” and “Al-Insan-al-Kamil”. The philosophies and thought in the present day South Asia depend upon Shah-e-Hamadan’s writings and lessons.
The vision of Shah-e-Hamadan on the philosophy of Ibn-Arabi made him a celebrity and a guide in South Asia. He is accredited with presenting the philosophy of Ibn-Arabi to South Asia. His social, religious, and economic orders and understanding of Islam is a guiding light and a symbol of hope for the nations falling under crisis and violence. He is undoubtedly one of the great reformers until today who for the hunt of knowledge traveled (Irmtraud, 1997) and preached Islam in different parts of the world including China, Afghanistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Turkestan (Najafi, 2005). It was he who revitalized Islam in Kashmir. His writings and poetry have been greatly appreciated, respected and loved by Muslim scholars across the world and medieval reporters. Amir Ahmad Razi in his work ‘‘Hafat Iqlam’’states that Shah-e-Hamadan went round the world three times, and met one thousand and four hundred saints (Rao, n.d.).
He did not tolerate any misuse and mistreatment to Islam and has protested against all such activities that are a source for the moral ruining of mankind. He was well versed with the fundamentals of Islam and even carried it through his preaching in different parts of the world. He by way of his superior understanding of the maker and making made it possible to tell people about the importance of religion in the upliftment and guide to mankind to the right path. His preaching reflects his religious passion, dedication, and commitment to Allah. There is no work and lesson of him which doesn’t convey social, religious, economic, historical, and cultural messages.
There is a considerate need for revisiting Shah-e-Hamadan’s religious philosophy for he is not only the person who followed Islam by letter and spirit but also openly advocated moral values of Islam and its principles. Philosophy is an inquiry for truth conducted by philosophers with a purpose to know the way and attitude of life. It is witness to the fact that the rise and fall of civilizations is a matter of how they consider their religious philosophy together with social, cultural, political, and economic factors. All those nations had a fall who neglected the role of religion and the religious philosophies of its great leaders. Underdeveloped nations in general and South Asian nations, in particular, must revisit the religious philosophy of Shah-e-Hamadan in order to resolve their social, religious, cultural, political and economic problems. The people of the Muslim world are likely to rise against the covetous, greedy and immoral set-ups which the advanced countries especially Uncle Sam (United States of America) have developed and enforced on the less advanced countries, particularly South Asia if they follow the footsteps of great Muslim leaders. And for that matter, we need to do an extensive literature review of the saints and Sufis, who went to far-off places for preaching Islam and spread their faith through precept and example.
Barzegar, Karim Najafi (2005). Intellectual movements during Timuri and Safavid period: 1500–1700 A.D. Delhi: Indian Bibliographies Bureau. ISBN: 978-81-85004-66-2.
Fewkes, Jacqueline H. (2008). Trade and Contemporary Society along the Silk Road: An Ethno-history of Ladakh. Routledge Contemporary Asia. Routledge. pp. 44–45. ISBN: 9781135973094.
Rafiabadi, Hamid Naseem (2003). ‘’World Religions and Islam: A Crtical Study. Part 2’’ Sarup & Sons. pp. 97–105. ISBN: 9788176254144.
Rao, V.S. (n.d.). A History of Kashmir (Up to 1947). Academic Publications, Darya Ganj, New Delhi. Printed at Taj printers, New Delhi.
Stellrecht, Irmtraud (1997). The Past in the Present: Horizons of Remembering in the Pakistan. Rüdiger Koppe. ISBN: 978-38-96451-52-1.
Author: Binish Qadri
*Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Central University of Kashmir, Academic Counsellor, IGNOU STUDY CENTRE 1209,S.P. College, Srinagar; Editor in EPH – International Journal of Business and Management Science & Asian Journal of Managerial Science; Ezine Articles Expert Author; IJRULA title awards, 2018 winner (Best Researcher, 2018).