Remembering Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA)
Rayees Ahmad Kumar
Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) popular known by the name Makhdoom Sahib in Kashmir, was born in 900 AH at Tujjar Shareef a village in Zanagir area of Sopore Kashmir.
His father’s name was Baba Usman Raina a rich and respectable person of the time and his mother’s name was Bibi Maryam. Baba Usman sacrificed thirty sheep at the birth of his beloved son and the meat was distributed among the poor, destitute and needy people.
Hazrat Sheikh Hamza (RA) was a born saint. Once his mother felt ill and she couldn’t feed him her milk. Thus a woman in neighbourhood was asked to feed him. Hazrat Sheikh Hamza (RA) didn’t take her milk. When enquired, it was revealed that the lady had left her own daughter at home and she hadn’t sought the permission of her husband.
Sheikh Hamza spent his childhood at Tujjar Shareef and he was not attracted to sports and games like other children of his age. Once he mixed with other children of the vicinity who were pelting stones on a mosque. Sheikh Hamza saw a dream in the same night and was asked to refrain from these childish acts.
He immediately repented over it and never indulged in the same in future. Sheikh Hamza received his elementary education from a local maktab. His teachers taught him Quran, its recitation and grammar. He read all the Persian books like Karima, Namihaq, Gulistan and Bostan etc.
Malik Zeeta Raina the grandfather of Sheikh Hamza took him to Srinagar where he was admitted in Darushifa the convent school of Hazrat Sheikh Baba Ismail Kubravi. Hazrat Sheikh imparted both religious and spiritual training to students. Sheikh Hamza developed taste for literature and Islamic studies and wrote Arabic Hazrat Sheikh Persian.
He memorized the holy Quran and was later on admitted in the monastery of Shams Chak. He learnt the Quran, the Hadith, Jurisprudence, Logic, philosophy and literature. He had a sharp memory and good comprehension.
Sheikh Hamza (RA) kept fast invariably and burnt mid night oil in remembrance of God. He got secret information from the saints and many a times had a vision of Hazrat Khazir. For his meeting and interaction Sheikh Hamza (RA) mostly went to riversides, streams and springs.
Once he attended a feast along with other school mates. After meals he was given some money also by the host. But during the night through a dream he was warned not to attend the feasts in future. The rulers of the times were of Shia sect and sheikh Hamza had a meeting with a scholar namely Mulla Shamshi Chack who persuaded him to give up his Sunni sect and follow the Shia sect.
He was impressed by the Shia leader but was in a fix. He therefore went to a mosque at Kohi maran called as Zakir Masjid. He kept unbreakable fast and remained busy in remembrance of God for three consecutive days. Through the dream in the night he got reply. A big gathering of people in the compound of mosque was lead by Prophet of Islam (pbuh) along with all other four caliphs.
It was here that Sheikh Hamza (RA) saw the prophet with four companions who told him that all four companions were correct and was directed to follow the path of Ahli Sunnat Wal Jammat. He made up his mind to follow the sect of Ahli Sunna Wal Jammat. He spent days and nights in worship and took regularly bath in cold water during winter in order to offer the tahajud prayers.
Sheikh Hamza (RA) was a great nature lover. Born among the mountains of Tujjar Shareef, he spent lot of time in the hillock of Kohi Maran where he enjoyed sweet breeze and natural habitat of trees, grass, flowers etc.
Due to continuous day and night worshipping, Sheikh Hamza (RA) often developed constant headache. He was advised by Syed Ahmad Kirmani (RA) to have a stroll in the natural environment where he could relieve the headache. Syed Jamaludin Bukhari (RA) of Delhi who belonged to Suharvardi Lineage of saints visited Madina Munnawara and there he had a dream. He saw Prophet (pbuh) talking to a young man.
Upon enquiring from Prophet it was told him that the young man belonged to Kashmir and he is the son of Baba Usman and spiritually the offspring of Prophet (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) directed Syed Jamaludin to go to Kashmir for the spiritual guidance of Sheikh Hamza (RA).
He arrived in Kashmir in 932 AH and Sheikh Hamza (RA) met him in the monastery of Malik Ahmad Yatoo. Syed Jamaludin Bukhari trained and instructed him for six months and after that he went back to Delhi.
Sheikh Hamza’s (RA) residence Makhdoom Mandaw was the centre of enlightenment and spiritual training because of which people from far and wide were attracted to it. He went to far off places like Kamraj, Maraj where he constructed mosques and spread the teachings of Islam.
He went to each corner of the valley to preach truth and brotherhood. Under his patronage some famous mosques at Nadihal, Tujjar Shareef and Wuhangam of Beeru were built. Sheikh Hamza (RA) displayed many miracles and supernatural happenings by his spiritual powers.
Hazrat Baba Dawood Khaki has penned Virdul Murideen in praise of his mentor and guide in which he has mentioned many miracles of his guide. Hazrat Moulana Feroze, Sheikh Hamza’s disciple once lost his way in a desert. Then Sheikh Hamza (RA) while staying at Srinagar came to his rescue.
Baba Ali Raina Sheikh Hamza’s brother once was in Arabia for seeking knowledge. There was a hot rumour about his death in valley. Hearing this Sheikh Hamza told people that his brother is alright. Later it was proved right when Baba Ali returned back home safely. Haji Moosa a disciple of Sheikh Hamza (RA) went to pilgrimage along with twenty other fellows on foot. Their expenses lasted in just ten days in the middle of the journey. Haji Moosa turned up to his mentor who helped him by appearing before him and handed him over a bag of gold coins.
Many ailing persons recovered by his simple look. Some suffering from fatal and acute diseases were cured by his benediction. A lot of others suffering from paralysis, leprosy and hepatitis were cured by his prayers and blessings.
Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) passed away at Makhdoom Mandaw on 24th of Saffar 984 AH at the age of 84. He was bedridden for a week only. Khwaja Muhammad Tahir gave gussul to his body and also led the funeral prayers. His funeral was taken to Kohi Maran from Eidgah in which Ali Shah Chack the ruler of the time too participated. Hazrat Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom (RA) didn’t marry and thus had no family. He lived a monastic life to lead people from darkness to light.
(The author hails from Qazigund Kashmir)