Ameer’e Kabeer: The Guiding Light
Ameer’e Kabeer,Hazrat Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani (R.A) was a celebrated Islamic scholar, a preacher, a poet, a writer, an ascetic, and a spiritual leader of the Kubrawiya Sufi Order. He was born in Hamadan (Iran) on 12 Rajab 714 A.H. and died on 6th Zilhajj in 786 A.H. and was entombed in Khatlan (Tajikistan).
Ameer’e Kabeer’s father Sayyid Shahabuddin Hamdani (R.a) and his mother Sayyida Fatima (R.A) were descendants of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) through his grandsons Imam Hussein (A.s) and Imam Hassan (A.s) respectively. They were pious souls known for their piety, God-consciousness, and self-discipline.
Ameer’e Kabeerbegan studies at home tutored by his maternal uncle Sayyid Ala-ud-din. His spiritual instructor was Shaykh Sharfuddin Muzdaqani. Later, Shaykh Muzdaqani entrusted him to Shaykh Taqi-ud-din Ali Dosti for further training. After completing the task of discipleship successfully, his chief mentor Shaykh Muzdaqani ordained him to travel through the land and look for friends of Allah to benefit from them.
He, therefore, set out on a journey and travelled far and wide. He went to China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and many other countries, where he met scholars, saints, seers, and savants and also contributed to the spread of Islam.
He visited Kashmir thrice and played a vital role in the Islamization of Kashmir. Besides bringing the people of Kashmir to the fold of Islam, acquainting them with monotheism and devotion to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), he guided rulers about governance, public regarding their rights, and uplifted the socio-economic status of the common masses by introducing art and craft. So immense is his socio-economic and religious contribution that Allama Iqbal honorifically called him ‘Maemar’eTaqdeer’eUmmam’ – destiny shaper of nations.
He also set a precedent for religious personages, preachers, and clerics through his undefiled character. Valley’s erudite and renowned scholar Allama Syed Muhammad Qasim Shah Bukhari in his book ‘Al-Tanveer bi Zikr’eAmeer’e Kabeer'(R.a) mentions an imitable incident from his exemplary life and writes; ‘Once Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) appeared in the dream of Sayyid Ali Hamdani and advised him that; ‘My son, don’t attend public invitations to fill your belly, instead work hard, adopt any occupation to earn a livelihood. This has been the way of Prophets.
The Prophet (pbuh) suggested to him the job of ‘KullahDouzi’- making caps. The next day Sayyid Ali tried his hands at making skull caps. Since it was his first attempt, he found his hand-made skull cap imperfect. He felt a bit embarrassed and buried it so that no one is aware of his ineptness. After some time, to Sayyid Ali’s surprise, a respectable person met him and sought permission for wearing the same skull cap.
Astonished! he asked him how he came to know about this cap. He replied that I had been suffering from an incurable headache for years. And just a few days ago, spiritually, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told me about your concealed cap. Also, He instructed me to wear it to get rid of my ailment, but not before your consent. Ameer’e Kabeer permitted him to keep the cap. The person in turn gifted him the amount of a few hundred. Afterward, Sayyid Ali embraced cap-making as his profession. He enjoined his disciples to be economically independent by pursuing any job without making religion their means of living. Almost all his followers had taken one or other skill as their source of income and would never rely on the masses.
Conclusion: Everywhere in the world, religion has taken the form of a job sector. With certain exceptions, most scholars, clerics, and preachers work for money. Some are into religious activities only to make ends meet. Even people choose to preach for having a reputation and a luxurious life. Having a few tricks in hand, semi-literates have assumed the role of Qazis (Judges of Sharia Court), Muftis (Muslim legal experts who are empowered to issue fatwa), and Allamas (Polymath) to get monetary and other advantages. In pursuits of making fortunes self-styled Sufis and faith-healers are on the prowl and live by deceiving and scamming gullible people in the name of ‘Peer-Mureedi’.
Consequently, there is chaos all around. Neither such religious personages are able to make any impact nor do people show any interest in the religion. Social evils have taken root and moral decadence is on the increase. To solve all such problems, religious leaders in particular need to follow Quran and Sunnah earnestly. And they should abide by and promote the teachings of the selfless companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and other ascetic Sufi saints of Islam. Once the socio-religious undertaking will be for Allah’s sake and not for worldly profit, it will prosper and will definitely influence the people and then society.
The writer is a student, tutor and columnist. He tweets @Zeeshan_rk and can be mailed @[email protected]