Mission of Kadiwal Sayeds

Mission of Kadiwal Sayeds

The Sayeds in the line of Sayed Imam Shah (1430-1520) were known as Pirana Sayeds and the Sayeds of the mainstream of the community in the descent of Sayed Rehmatullah Shah were called Kadiwal Sayeds. There are different versions for the appellation of the word Kadiwal. It is related that Sayed Rehmatullah Shah, the son of Pir Hasan Kabir and his family members shortly lived in the village, named Kadhi, between Uchh and Multan, and then he had gone to live in a village, Kadi in the northern Gujrat on the route to Junagadh. Thus, his descendants became known as Kadhiwala, or Kadiwala. Another tradition suggests that the male members of the family of Sayed Rehmatullah Shah used to wear an iron band (kadi) round their arms, and therefore, they earned the title of Kadiwal (the people of iron band). It is also said that his descendants used to recited a couplet (kadi) of the ginan before the new converts, who called them as Kadi'wala (reciters of couplet). One oral tradition however indicates without a mark of veracity that Sayed Rehmatullah Shah, or his descendants had lived in the village called, Kaliyanwala, about 5 miles from Hafizabad in Punjab. This village was also pronounced as Kadiwala instead of Kaliyanwala, and thus, they were called Kadiwala Sayeds. It is also interesting to note that there is one village, about 15 miles from Gujranwala on the way to Dakhanmandi in Punjab, whose inhabitants were the followers of Pir Shams. It has been frequently described that Sayed Rehmatullah Shah had gone to live in a village, named Kadi in Kutchh, and became known as Kadiwal Sayeds. Culling up the accessible oral traditions, it seems however nearer to the possibility that Sayed Rehmatullah Shah and his descendants lived in a village, called Kadi in Gujrat. The Bohra community in Gujrat is known under the four regional terms, i.e., Patani Vohras, Charotar Vohras, Surati Vohras and Kadiwal Vohras. Likewise, the Ismaili Sayeds also became known most probably as Kadiwal Sayeds due to residing in Kadi, Gujrat.

The Kadiwal Sayeds carried on the mission in India for about 250 years. Some of them had retained their contact with the Imams in Iran, but some discontinued, and conducted the mission independently. Sayed Rehmatullah Shah mostly preached in Gujrat and Kutchh. Sayed Nurbaksh (1446-1504), the grandson of Pir Hasan Kabiruddin, also known as Sayed Mitha Shah in Punjab, is said to have preached in Jammu and Kashmir. He was assisted by his son Mir Shamsuddin II. Sayed Nurbaksh also visited Badakhshan, Kohistan, Tibet, Gilgit, Yarkand and Iskardu. His son was also active in Kashmir, and his followers became known as Shamsi, who migrated towards Punjab during 14th century. They preached Ismailism in the Sufic mantle and their Sufic tariqah became known as Nurbakhshia, also existed in Kohistan.

It appears fragmentarily that Mustansir billah had taken serious notice of the impairing economy of the Ismailis of Iran, Syria, India, Badakhshan and other parts of Central Asia. He emphasised his followers to assist one another, and thus he said: "The real believer is one who assists and helps his brother in religion, who shares with him his food, his sorrow and joy, never admitting into his heart any malice or enmity, being one with him in word and deed. If one satisfies his hunger, the other's hunger must also be satisfied. If one remains hungry, the other should remain hungry too. If one eats something, the other should also partake of everything that his friend has eaten." (vide "Pandiyat-i Jawanmardi," p. 56)

Badiuddin Khwaja Kassim was an eminent hujjat in Anjudan, who served as the chief of the Ismaili mission from the period of Mustansir billah to Gharib Mirza.

Mustansir billah was a good horseman and hunter and stayed in Anjudan as his summer villa, where a small number of his followers inhabited. He died in Kahek in 880/1475, but was buried in Anjudan, most probably in pursuant of his will. Later on, a mausoleum was erected in Anjudan. The mausoleum of Imam Mustansir billah II is the oldest surviving Nizari Ismaili monument in Anjudan; which is an imposing octagonal building with a dome, appearing conical from outside. In the middle of the chamber, there is a wooden-coffer, exquisitely carved. On its top is written:- "The pure, sacred and luminous grave of Shah Mustansir billah. By the order and care of Abdus Salam." A broad panel at the top edge on all sides is beautifully carved with the text of Sura Yasin of Holy Koran. At the bottom, there is written:- "Wrote this the humble slave Abdul Jalil in 885/1480". This tends to the conclusion that the wooden box was erected by the order of Abdus Salam, the son and successor of Mustansir billah, most probably five years after latter's death.

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