Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani

Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Persian: میر سید علی همدانی‎; c. 1314–1384 CE) was an Iranian scholar, poet and a Sufi Muslim saint of the Kubrawiya order. He was born in Hamadan, Iran and preached Islam in Central and South Asia as he travelled to practice Sufism. He died in Khatlan, Tajikistan in 1384 CE, aged 69–70. 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").[1]

Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani
میر سید علی همدانی
Bornc. 1314 CE (714 AH)
Diedc. 1384 CE (786 AH)

Early lifeEdit

The title "Sayyid" indicates that he was a descendant of Muhammad, possibly from both sides of his family.[2]

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.[3]


Sayyid Ali Hamadani traveled widely – it is said he traversed the known world from East to West three times. In 774 AH/1372 AD Hamadani lived in Kashmir. After Sharaf-ud-Din Abdul Rehman Bulbul Shah, he was the second important Muslim to visit Kashmir. Hamadani went to Mecca, and returned to Kashmir in 781/1379, stayed for two and a half years, and then went to Turkistan by way of Ladakh. He returned to Kashmir for the third time in 785/1383 and left because of ill health[clarification needed]. Hamadani is regarded as having brought various crafts and industries from Iran into Kashmir; it is said that he brought with him 700 followers.[3][better source needed] 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] bringing with them crafts such as minting[clarification needed] and writing.[4]

Hamadani traveled and preached Islam in different parts of the world[5][page needed] such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, China, Syria, and Turkestan.[6][page needed][clarification needed]

Mausoleum of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani in Tajikistan

Hamadani died on his way back to Central Asia at a site close to present day Mansehra town in North-West Pakistan.[7] His body was carried by his disciples to Khatlan, Tajikistan, where his shrine is located.[3]


He was conflicted with Timur and so moved to Kashmir along with 700 sayyids and followers during the reign of king Shahab-Uddin. He had already sent two of his followers: Syed Taj Uddin Semnani and Mir Syed Hasan Semnani, to take stock of the situation. The ruler of Kashmir became the follower of Mir Syed Hasan Semnani and so Hamadani was welcomed in Kashmir by the king and heir apparent Qutub Uddin. At that time the Kashmir ruler was on war with Firoz Tughlaq and because of his efforts the parties came to terms.

Hamadani started the propagation movement of Islam in Kashmir in an organised manner. He did not stay in the Valley permanently but visited it on various occasions. He came first during the reign of Sultan Shahab Uddin in 774 Hijri and stayed for six months. He then visited Kashmir in 781 Hijri during the role of Qutub Uddin, stayed for a year and tried to extend the movement to every nook and corner of Kashmir, returned to Turkestan via Ladakh in 783 Hijri. He came to Kashmir for the third time in 785 with the intention to stay for a longer period but had to return earlier owing to illness. A legend goes that he met 1,400 saints during his travels and made numerous followers.

M. K. Kaw attributes mass conversions to Islam to sultan Sikandar Shah Miri who is said to have forced large numbers of Hindus to convert to Islam during his reign.[8]

Hamadani cites 20 edicts for non-Muslims in his politics, governance and social code book Zakhirat ul Muluk:[8][9]

1. They will not construct a new temple, church, shrine or a house for idols in that country which is governed by a Muslim ruler.

2. When such places of worship fall to ruin, these should not be re-built.

3. Muslim travellers be disallowed to lodge in churches and temples.

4. They should desist from providing food to a Muslim for three days, should one have to stay in their house.

5. They should not act as spies in a Muslim country and should not provide space to spies in their houses.

6. If their relatives incline to Islam, they should not stop them.

7. They should respect Muslims.

8. If they are sitting at a gathering, they should vacate their place to Muslims entering.

9.They should not dress up like Muslims.

10. They should not adopt for themselves Muslim names.

11. They should not ride horses with saddles and reins.

12. They should not move about with sword and bow and arrow.

13. They should not wear rings with precious stones and those fitted with signets.

14. They should not sell wine nor offer it publicly.

15. They should not give up wearing dresses of pre-Islamic times which they have so that a distinction is maintained between them and Muslims.

16. They should not display traditions and rites of non-Muslims among Muslims.

17. They should not build houses in Muslim neighbourhood.

18. They should not carry their dead near burial places of Muslims.

19. They should not raise their voice mourning their dead.

20. They should not buy Muslim slaves.

Hamadani further dictates that if the non-Muslims violate any of these conditions then they forfeit their rights to life and property and those may be rightfully taken away by Muslims as though they were captured infidels.


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).[10]

  • Risalah Nooriyah, is a tract on contemplation
  • Risalah Maktubaat, contains Amir-i-Kabir’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 real nature of penitence
  • Hallil Nususi allal Fusus, is a commentary on Ibn-ul-‘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, puts together traditions on affection among relatives
  • Kitabus Sab’ina Fi Fadha’il Amiril Mu’minin, gives the seventy virtues of Hazrat ‘Ali.
  • Arba’ina Amiriyah, is forty traditions on man’s future life
  • Rawdhtul Firdaws, is an extract of a larger work entitled
  • Manazilus Saaliqin, 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 The Prophet
  • Zakhirat-ul-Muluk, a treatise on political ethics and the rules of good government

Syed Abdur-Rehman Hamdani in his book “Salar-e-Ajjam” has listed 68 Books and 23 Pamphlets by Shah-e-Hamdan[11]


  1. ^ Sir Walter Roper Lawrence (2005). The Valley of Kashmir. Asian Educational Services. p. 292. ISBN 978-81-206-1630-1.
  2. ^ "HAMADĀNI, SAYYED ʿALI – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  3. ^ a b c Rafiabadi, Hamid Naseem (2003). "World Religions and Islam: A Critical Study, Part 2". Sarup & Sons. pp. 97–105. ISBN 9788176254144.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Stellrecht, Irmtraud (1997). The Past in the Present: Horizons of Remembering in the Pakistan. Rüdiger Koppe. ISBN 978-38-96451-52-1.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ S. Manzoor Ali, "Kashmir and early Sufism" Rawalpindi: Sandler Press, 1979.
  8. ^ a b 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Shah Hamdan History".


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