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Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani

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Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani
میر سید علی همدانی
Hamadani as depicted on a Tajikistani banknote
Bornc. 1312 CE (712 AH)
Hamadan, Ilkhanate
(present-day Iran)
Died1385 (aged 72–73) (786 AH)
Resting placeKhatlon, Timurid Empire
(present-day Tajikistan)
ChildrenMir Muhammad Hamadani
ParentSyed Shahab Ud Din (father)

Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Persian: میر سید علی همدانی; c. 1312–1385 CE) was a Sufi Muslim saint of the Kubrawiya order, who played an important role in spread of Islam in Kashmir. He was born in Hamadan, Iran and preached Islam in Central Asia and Kashmir. He died in Swat[1] on his way from Srinagar to Mecca and was buried in Khatlan, Tajikistan in 1385 CE, aged 71–72. Hamadani was also addressed honorifically throughout his life as the Shāh-e-Hamadān ("King of Hamadan"), Amīr-i Kabīr ("the Great Commander"), and Ali Sani ("second Ali").[2]

Early life[edit]

The title "Sayyid" indicates that he was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, possibly from both sides of his family.[3][4]

Hamadani spent his early years under the tutelage of Ala ud-Daula Simnani, a famous Kubrawiya saint from Semnan, Iran. Despite his teacher's opposition to Ibn Arabi's explication of the wahdat al-wujud ("unity of existence"), Hamadani wrote Risala-i-Wujudiyya, a tract in defense of that doctrine, as well as two commentaries on Fusus al-Hikam, Ibn Arabi's work on Al-Insān al-Kāmil. Hamadani is credited with introducing the philosophy of Ibn-Arabi to South Asia.[5]


Sayyid Ali Hamadani traveled widely and preached Islam in different parts of the world[6][page needed] such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Syria, Kashmir and Turkestan.[7][page needed] [clarification needed]

Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Kulab, Tajikistan

The third visit of Sayyid 'Ali was caused by the third invasion of Persia by Timur in 1383 when he conquered 'Iraq, and decided to exterminate the 'Alavi Sayyids of Hamadan who, until his time, had played an important part in local affairs. Sayyid 'Ali, therefore, left Hamadan with 700 Sayyids, and set out towards Kashmir where he expected to be safe from the wrath of Timur. He had already sent two of his followers: Syed Taj ud-din Semnani and Mir Syed Hasan Semnani, to take stock of the situation. Shibu'd-din became a follower of Mir Syed Hasan Semnani and so Hamadani was welcomed in Kashmir by the king and his heir apparent Qutub ud-Din. At that time, the Kashmiri ruler, Qutub ud-Din Shah was at war with Firuz Shah Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi, but Hamdani brokered a peace. Hamdani stayed in Kashmir for six months. After Sharaf-ud-Din Abdul Rehman Bulbul Shah, he was the second important Muslim to visit Kashmir. Hamadani went to Mecca, and then returned to Kashmir in 1379/80 CE, during the reign of Qutub ud-Din, and spent a year spreading Islam in Kashmir, before returning to Turkestan via Ladakh in 1381/82 CE. He returned to Kashmir for the third time in 1383/84 CE with the intention of staying for a longer period but had to return earlier owing to illness. Hamadani died on his way back to Central Asia at a site close to the present day town of Mansehra in North-West Pakistan.[8] His body was carried by his disciples to Kulab, Tajikistan, where his shrine is located.[5]


Hamadani started organised efforts to convert Kashmir to Islam. Hamadani is regarded as having brought various crafts and industries from Iran into Kashmir notably carpet weaving; it is said that he brought 700 Syed's with him to the country.[9][5][10] The growth of the textile industry in Kashmir increased its demand for fine wool, which in turn meant that Kashmiri Muslim groups settled in Ladakh,[clarification needed][11][12] bringing with them crafts such as minting[clarification needed] and writing.[13]

Hamadani wrote a book on politics, governance and social behaviour, called the Zakhirat ul-Muluk[14][15]


One manuscript (Raza Library, Rampur, 764; copied 929/1523) contains eleven works ascribed to Hamadani (whose silsila runs to Naw'i Khabushani; the manuscript contains two documents associated with him).[16]

  • Risalah Nooriyah is a tract on contemplation
  • Risalah Maktubaat is a collection of Hamadani's letters
  • Dur Mu’rifati Surat wa Sirat-i-Insaan, discusses the bodily and moral features of man
  • Dur Haqaa’iki Tawbah, deals with the nature of penitence
  • Hallil Nususi allal Fusus, is a commentary on Ibn Arabi’s Fusus-ul-Hikam
  • Sharhi Qasidah Khamriyah Fariziyah, is a commentary on the wine qasidah of Umar ibn ul-Fariz who died in 786 A.H. =1385 A.C.
  • Risalatul Istalahaat, is a treatise on Sufic terms and expressions
  • ilmul Qiyafah or Risalah-i qiyafah is an essay on physiognomy. A copy of this exists in the United States National Library of Medicine.
  • Dah Qa’idah gives ten rules of contemplative life
  • Kitabul Mawdah Fil Qurba gathers traditions on affection among relatives
  • Kitabus Sab’ina Fi Fadha’il Amiril Mu’minin, gives the seventy virtues of Ali.
  • Arba’ina Amiriyah is forty traditions on man’s future life
  • Rawdhtul Firdaws is an extract of a larger work entitled Manazilus Saaliqin, which is on Sufi-ism
  • Awraad-ul-Fatehah gives a conception of the unity of God and His attributes
  • Chehl Asraar (Forty Secrets), is a collection of forty poems in praise of Allah and Muhammad
  • Zakhirat-ul-Muluk a treatise on political ethics and the rules of good government

Syed Abdur-Rehman Hamdani in his book Salar-e-Ajjam lists 68 books and 23 pamphlets by Sayyid Ali Hamadani.[17]


  1. ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (1980). Islam in the Indian Subcontinent. BRILL. p. 45. ISBN 90-04-06117-7. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  2. ^ Sir Walter Roper Lawrence (2005). The Valley of Kashmir. Asian Educational Services. p. 292. ISBN 978-81-206-1630-1.
  3. ^ "HAMADĀNI, SAYYED ʿALI – Encyclopædia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  4. ^ In the Ottoman Empire, tax breaks for "the People of the House" encouraged many people to buy certificates of descent or forge genealogies; the phenomenon of teseyyüdfalsely claiming noble ancestry – spread across ethnic, class, and religious boundaries. In the 17th century, an Ottoman bureaucrat estimated that there were 300,000 impostors. In 18th-century Anatolia, nearly all upper-class urban people claimed descent from Muhammad.
  5. ^ a b c Rafiabadi, Hamid Naseem (2003). World Religions and Islam: A Critical Study, Part 2. Sarup & Sons. pp. 97–105. ISBN 9788176254144.
  6. ^ Stellrecht, Irmtraud (1997). The Past in the Present: Horizons of Remembering in the Pakistan. Rüdiger Koppe. ISBN 978-38-96451-52-1.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ S. Manzoor Ali, "Kashmir and early Sufism" Rawalpindi: Sandler Press, 1979.
  9. ^ Rafiabadi, Hamid Naseem (2005). Saints and Saviours of Islam. Sarup & Sons. p. 255. ISBN 978-81-7625-555-4.
  10. ^ Rafiabadi, Hamid Naseem (2003). World Religions and Islam: A Critical Study. Sarup & Sons. pp. 1–102. ISBN 978-81-7625-414-4.
  11. ^ Shah-e-Hamadan: Commemorative Volume. Institute of Kashmir Studies. 1988. p. 180.
  12. ^ Bora, Nirmala (2004). Ladakh: Society and Economy. Anamika Publishers & Distributors. p. 73. ISBN 978-81-7975-012-4.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Kaw, M. K. (2004). Kashmir and Its People: Studies in the Evolution of Kashmiri Society. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. ISBN 9788176485371. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  15. ^ Farooq, M. Umar (2009). "5". Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadan's Dhakiratul Muluk An Annotation and Translation. Srinagar: Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies. pp. 240–242.
  16. ^ Deweese, Devin (2005). "Two Narratives on Najm al-Din Kubra and Radi al-Din Lala from a Thirteenth-Century Source: Notes on a Manuscript in the Raza Library, Rampur". In Lawson, Todd (ed.). Reason and Inspiration in Islam: Essays in Honour of Hermann Landolt. I.B. Tauris. pp. 298–339. ISBN 9780857716224.
  17. ^ "Shah Hamdan History-SHAH-E-HAMDAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR EDUCATION". shaffe.org.


  • John Renard 2005: Historical Dictionary of Sufism (Historical Dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies and Movements, 58), ISBN 0810853426