IN SEARCH FOR REFERENCES ABOUT HAMID MIMAR;
AND THE LINK WITH USTAD AHMAD MIMAR LAHORI.
The official histories of Emperor Shah Jahan record the construction of the Red Fort in Shahjahanabad as being done by two architects, namely Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, and Ustad Hamid Mimar. Whereas a lot is known about Ustad Ahmad, literally only a few references keep the identity of Ustad Hamid alive.
One is a havelli in Delhi, known as Mohalla Hamid khan, having belonged to Ustad Hamid. It is at present known as Krishna galli, as photographed for us by the esteemed Ms Naheed Anwar Malik. Residents there refer to the enquiry of Sulaiman Nadwi, that Hamid was the brother of Ustad Ahmad. A number of jewelers in Lahore and Delhi refer to Hamid as their ancestor and call themselves even in Delhi as Lahore Walas. They have written their own history books on same but carry mostly memories, not documented evidence of their roots. And they even refer to Mansoor Musawwir as their ancestor. Okay indeed.
Then there is an inscription in the tomb of Hoshaing Shah in Mandu. It is fixed on the right jamb of the door and is in white marble. Although eroded with time, it has been recorded by many visitors, including the Archeological Survey of India. But still there and not taken care by the department. The engraving needs to be filled with stone or ink to make it legible. But the name of Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis is on it, as well as the name of Ustad Hamid Mimar. Fixed in 1659 A D, it is exactly ten years after the death of the other architect.
As said before Hamid Mimar has been called the brother of Ahmad Mimar by an old resident of Mohalla Hamid Mimar, but that too was a vague assertion. We have come about a beautiful manuscript dated around 1106 A H, and it has a seal on it, as well as a beautiful written end like an architectural diagram, telling us that Hamid is the son of Abdul Kareem. Now Abdul Kareem is the famous architect of Emperor Jahangeer, associated with the Emperor on many projects, including his mausoleum in Lahore, the Lahore Fort, the monuments in Mandu, even the Taj Mahal, as well as the Red Fort Delhi. Abdul Kareem has been rewarded by the Emperor many times. His period can be calculated between 570 A. D to 1646 A. D, and that is in fact the period of Ustad Ahmad Mimar too, as the architect died in 1649 A.D. Fellow workers yes, but both from Lahore.
The manuscript owes its authenticity the way the end is handled, less of an end, more of an architectural design in writing. It establishes the writer of the manuscript as an architect itself. It also establishes that Hamid was much younger than Ahmad in all cases and more a partner of Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis. Writers of the biography of Imam uddin Riazi also state that Lutufullah was also himself involved in the construction of the Red Fort Delhi too. We continue to seek more evidence.