Mission of Sayed Imam Shah in India

Sayed Imam Shah was a prominent dai in India. His name was Imamuddin, surnamed Abdur Rahim. He was born in Uchh Sharif in 834/1430, and was the younger son of Pir Hasan Kabiruddin. The tradition has it that when Pir Hasan Kabiruddin died, his all sons were present at Uchh Sharif with exception of Sayed Imam Shah. The tradition attests that he reached late during the interment of his father's body. Many traditions are recounted for his dissatisfaction, but all are legendary in character.

Sayed Imam Shah resided at Uchh Sharif with his sister called Bai Budhai, where he received a letter of Imam Muhammad bin Islam Shah through a certain Khoja Devasi Chandan. Hence, he started his journey for Kahek in 854/1450. Muhammad bin Islam Shah is said to have consigned him the mission for Gujrat. He returned and converted a bulk of Hindus in Gujrat. He got married to the daughter of Shah Muhammad Bakhri, who gave birth of Sayed Nur Muhammad Shah (d. 940/1534). Sayed Imam Shah died in 926/1520 and was buried in Pirana, situated ten miles south-east of Ahmadabad. It is said that he abjured Ismailism because of not succeeding his father, but it is not in conformity with the genuine traditions. Weighing up the extant evidences, it appears that he was ingrained in Ismailism and demonstrated unswerving loyalty to the Imams till his death, and never took any other route to goal his so called ambition. According to "The Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam"(Leiden, 1961, p. 167), "As far as it is possible to ascertain, he cannot be regarded as the founder of a new sect, as he remained loyal to the Imam of his time." He wrote many ginans which are recited by the Ismailis. He had four sons, viz. Sayed Alam Shah, Sayed Ali Shah, Sayed Bakir Shah and Sayed Nur Muhammad Shah, and a daughter called Shams Khatoon.

Returning to the thread of our main narrative, it appears that there are certain indications of the meeting between Muhammad bin Islam Shah and Shah Nimatullah (d. 834/1431), the chief of the Nimatullahis in Kirman. We have however no traces to confirm or contradict the above meeting.

Imam Muhammad bin Islam Shah died in Kahek in 868/1463, and was succeeded by his elder son, Mustansir billah II.

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