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URS-I-SHAH-I-HAMDAN begins in Kashmir: A brief look at the patron Sufi Saint


Devotees have started pouring in by the thousands as the five-day long Annual Urs-i-Shah-i-Hamdan Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) starts today in the valley of saints and as per precedence will continue with full religious fervor till next Friday.

The Devotees of the great saint will continue to throng downtown, Srinagar, 24×7 as the Urs started today with SHAB KHANI (night long prayers) at the historic shrine at KHANKAHI MOULA.


A Brief History of the great Saint

Amir Kabir Ali Sani Mir Syed Ali Hamdani (RA) popularly known in Kashmir as SHAHI HAMDAN was the son of SHAHAB-UD-DIN ALAWI SYED, a descendent of HAZRAT ALI (AS), the reason for his nickname ALI SAANI ( in the image of Ali (as) ). SHAHAB UD DIN was the governor of Hamdan in Persia (modern day Iran).

Born in 13th century A.D., Mir Syed Ali Hamdani received his education in mysticism via his father who was learned Muslim Sufi scholar.

Later, Mir undertook many arduous travels that covered a period of 21 years during which he met several great mystics and divine saints of the time. Some historians opine that SHAHI HAMDAN (RA) visited the valley of Kashmir, thrice viz. 1372 A.D., 1379 A.D. and 1383 A.D but most of the scholars agree upon the fact that he visited the valley only once during SULTAN QUTUB UD DIN’s rule.

The Sultan along with his ministers and chief officials extended a warm welcome to SHAHI HAMDAN and in a show of utmost respect towards the great mystic even went to receive him personally outside the walls of Srinagar city.

His visit to Kashmir brought an unprecedented change in socio-economic and cultural life of the people of Kashmir and as such he is regarded as the one of the pillars of Sufism in the valley.

Besides being a great Islamic scholar, mystic, preacher and a reformer, MIR SYED ALI HAMDANI (RA) is regarded as an unparalleled poet, prose writer and a brilliant orator whose books have been translated into almost all major languages of the world.

About Gazi Abbas Shahid

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