The Hakim colony spread over 1200 kanals of small city Bagwanpora, Lalbazar, is a home to a population of Kashmiri Hakeems who have served Kashmiri health sector for more than 400 years.
Locally known as Unani Sageer, was once the place of renowned Kashmiri Hakeems, who are remembered for their contribution to the health sector till this date.
After struggling with flu for more than a week, have you ever found your grandmother saying, “Yem agraizi nuskhe cha asaan, sanis zamanas manz aos asaan Hakeem soban badlee shafa”? Present generation definitely missed that “shafa” experience from our ancient Hakims.
Well, looking to the Hakeems and Kashmir relationship one can find it complementary to each other with the existence since the times of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
Now let us have a walk to the Kashmiri’s ancient Hakeem colony. As you will walk through the narrow streets of Unani Sageer, you will find around 60 odd surviving households of Hakeems.
On walking three to four steps old mud house of Hakeem Ghulam Mehdi will catch your attention. Mehdi 89-year-old, a frail man who is visually impaired, told me that he has been practicing hikmat for more than 50 years now. In his life span, he has served many places across the Kashmir. Most of the things seem to have faded with time but Mehdi says they are descendants of the hakeems from Iran.
Their story in India dates back to the Mughal reign. It is believed that one of their ancestors Hakeem Ali Humayun, a Shia Muslim, was practicing hikmat in Yazd, Iran. According to Mehdi, Humayun was part of the royal team of Iranian hakeems.
Continuing his story Mehdi says, back to an ancient era once Mughal King Akbar fell ill. For providing the best treatment to the King, reputed and renowned hakeems were put at his service and Humayun was one of them. This famous story is part of every kid’s bedtime stories in Unani Sageer’s of Kashmir.
It is said that the Mughal King Akbar was so impressed with Humayun’s knowledge and behavior that he invited him to be in his [Akbar’s] royal team of hakeems.
But I always wanted to know how actually Hakeems reached to Kashmir. This question is popping in my mind again and again. Before I just could pose my question to Mehdi, there is a knock at the old wooden door. The light coming from the fluorescent bulb is very dim and it is making me difficult to frame the perfect picture of the person.
Meanwhile, a person enters to the room by saying “Hakeem Soab Cha Yaeth”? The tall hazel, eye colored man introduced himself as Ghulam Mohidduin . Week before he is diagnosed with jaundice. “I have full faith in Hakeem Sahabs treatment. There is magic in his hands and I believe it is his years of experience which heals everyone.”
Mehdi is delicately checking his eyes and pulse rate. With a light smile on his wrinkled face, he responded to Mohidduin “Ghulam Saoba ye chuneh keheneh , aseh kaishran chu jigreh , ath chunh bambrun.” (Ghulam there is nothing to worry about, we Kashmiris have courage, don’t worry)
After prescribing him some traditional medicines, I hurriedly asked him a question which was striking in my mind.
How Hakeems Reached Kashmir?
Coming back to the topic Medi says that Hakeem Humayun rose through ranks and became close to Akbar. It was Akbar who gifted Hakeem Humayun 1200 kanal of land on the banks of Nigeen Lake and today we are here. Till Sadiq Sahib’s times, the purchase of land in this area, near Nigeen Lake was banned. But as the population swelled many people came here and got settled. This gave rise to Unani Sahgeer.
Kashmiri Hakeems also claim that it was Humayun who conducted the post-mortem on Emperor Jahangir’s body and stuffed it with the required medication in order to preserve it for burial in Lahore. Emperor Jahangir died near Sarai Saadabad in Kashmir on his way to Lahore in 1627.
Cancer detected 200 years back:
It is said that 200 years back renowned ancient Hakeem Yusuf Ahmad, invented cancer disease. He wrote his book about an incurable disease and gave it name Sartaan, which in today’s times is called cancer, in his book.
Yusuf has mentioned that the disease spreads silently and is usually detected when its cells enter the secondary stage (and become difficult to kill).
Book also claims that in the coming times when the medical science will be advanced, this disease would still have the potential to kill people. Even if, at some stage, it would seem that the disease is cured, the powerful cells of Sartaan (Cancer) can develop again after decades and kill the patient.
I am really amazed to learn about these unique stories of the traditional medication. After taking a break for a few minutes Mehdi’s son guided me towards their traditional clinic. It is a small room full of medicinal herbs and traditional equipment. It is the place where they prepare rich quality traditional medicines. This chemical free place can really heal the soul.
Coming back, Mehdi has a story to share about Hassan. Years ago Hassan met with a dangerous accident and he was submitted to the hospital. After proper medication of two months, doctors told him he had to live the rest of his life as a paralyzed person. But Mehdi treated him and made him run on his feet again.
“We all are aware of magical benefits of hot water. This is what I used in my treatment. Remember every disease have treatment, we just need to broaden our senses and look for it.” Says Mehdi “But Unani medicine is in danger and our future generation is not ready to practice it, they are unaware about its benefits.”