Haji Huud was born into Islamic royalty – his father was the sultan of Samarkand – near Damascus, and by all accounts was quite bright … becoming a Hafiz Qur’an (one who had memorized the entire holy book) at the age of 14. At that same age he became the sultan when his father died in 1039 AD. Although an able administrator and popular with his subjects, Haji kept having visions, in which an angel informed him he was to leave his earthly kingdom and spend the rest of his life on the path of Islamic devotion. Thus, at the age of 28, Haji Huud departed for Mecca.
For 36 years Haji went on the Hajj annually, effectively living in Mecca; he also spent considerable time in Medina (another holy city). At some point during all this pilgrimaging and praying, he received a divine inspiration to spread Islam to India. Proceeding to Chist (Persia), where he received spiritual instruction from the Sufi mystic Hazrat Khwaja Abu Yusuf Nasiruddin Chisti, he returned briefly to Samarkand to gather a retinue (including his son Ismail Kadri) before setting out for Patan in Hindu-infested India.
There Haji Huud soon ran afoul of the temple priests, supposedly killing their tiger. When the priests informed the Gujarat prince Karandev, in a rage he ordered his army to arrest the interlopers. But as the soldiers approached – so the tale goes – they sank into the ground. Pleading with Haji for salvation, he ordered the earth to release them … whereupon the entire army converted to Islam on the spot. Karandev soon followed suit after a few more miracles, and built the first mosque in Patan.
Haji Huud lived on in Patan – never returning home – for 51 years, and thousands on northern India and Pakistan accepted Islam because of him. Due to his faith, Huud lived to the age of 116, finally dying peacefully in 1141 AD.