Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, the representative of the Muslim Community in North America, visited ECO Cultural Institute and met with the staff on Wednesday May 28, 2014.
Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, Said Muhammad Said, who comes from Kashmir and is a descendant of Mir Syed Ali Hamedani, delivered a short speech on the history of entry of this mystic to Kashmir and Central Asia, his opinions, religious and social conduct. The excerpt of his speech is as follows:
Ninety seven percent of Kashmir population is Muslim. Islam came to India and Pakistan very early. But it did not happen in Kashmir till few centuries later, because it was difficult to reach; Kashmir is in a valley surrounded by mountains. For 600 years, these lands excluding Kashmir were part of Islamic empire."
Seyed Ali Hamedani was an Islamic scholar living in Iran in the 8th century of Hijra. It is said that one day he dreamed Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) telling him to go to Himalaya to spread Islam.
So he went there in accompany with some 600 Islamic scholars. No army or weapons, nothing to fight for but only preaching and teaching Islam. So when he arrived there, his reputation reached the Mughal king of the region who was a Buddhist, although he respected Islam. But when Seyed Ali Hamedani went there, the king decided to accept Islam as his religion.
People in the region were Hindu and Buddhist. Hamedani's message and approach was so convincing and inspiring that many came to him. Having changed the destiny of the nation, he created a new culture and economy there. He and his companions introduced many crafts to them.
Kashmir had harsh winters with heavy snow. Hamedani built mosques which had baths inside. There, people could collectively afford warm water and warm place to stay. So people spent much time in mosques during winters. In this way, he made Islam so enjoyable. The initiative, brought him a good opportunity to teach his followers.
As Hindus, people used to go to temples early in the morning. There, they would stand in front of their stone idols and shouted their prayers loudly. Hamedani introduced a new tradition to them, saying AWRAD-E-FATHIA, a collection of 99 names of Allah Almighty. Today, if you go to Srinagar, you will hear people shouting in mosques: Ya Allah, Ya Rahma'n, Ya Rahim...
Seyed Ali Hamedani was loved and respected by everybody. Once he was invited by forty families of his followers and he agreed to all of them. Hamedani went to all forty houses and wrote a poem in each of them. The followers collected all the poems and published it in a book, entitled: "Chihil Asrar" (forty mysteries).
At the end, Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed added that Hamedani's teachings and conduct is still helpful for Muslims in conquering differences and violence to make a peaceful world.
Explaining on the goals of the society, he said: "There are about 7 million Muslims in America. They are from every country, Africa, Asia, Europe. The challenge we have been facing is to bring all the diversities of Muslim together and create a new American Islamic identity. "
He further noted that has always followed the example of Hamedani to realize the objective of the society of American Muslims and find proper solutions for their problems.