Monday, August 01, 2011
This Sufi Saint of the North Kashmir has left some indelible impressions on the hearts and minds of his disciples
The Sufis are named Sufis because of the purity of their hearts and cleanliness of their acts. The Sufis are those whose actions and acts are for Allah and who have also surrendered and submitted completely before His will. The Sufis are called Sufis because they are in the first rank (Saff) before Allah due to the sincerity of their actions, objectives and beliefs.
Their qualities resemble those of the people of the group ( Suffah) who lived in the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). They are the revered people who leave this physical world and prefer the next world. They do not involve themselves in worldly matters and wear simple garments. They prefer poverty than richness; eat simple diet, dislike luxuries and comforts. They live a very simple life and it is this simplicity which becomes the promise of their character. The Prophet (SAW) would ask his associates to feed them and sometimes fed them himself.
Ahad Bab, the great Sufi Saint of the north Kashmir, was born on 30th of June, 1930, at Mohalla Ashapeer in the Apple Town of Sopore in District Baramulla. Though he had rejected the comforts, luxuries and activities of this world long before in 1950, yet he himself finally left for the heavenly abode physically at the age of 80 years on 26th of July, 2010 after a brief illness.
Ahad Bab’s Grandfather Peer Hidayatullah and his father Peer Mohammad Ahsan were pious and dedicated worshippers of Allah and were held in high esteem in the society.
Ahad Bab was married to a gentle and devout lady called Hajah Begum who died in 1979. Since Ahad Bab had renounced this world including his home and family, his mother-in-law Saja Begum took utmost care of the two children of the Peer and Saint. His son, Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Peer is a Block Veterinary officer in Sopore and his daughter Shariefa Bano died at a young age immediately after her marriage in 1995.
Ahad Bab in his early childhood was admitted in a local school (Zabardasti School) but he continued his formal education only up to 3rd primary. At the age of 20 years in 1950 he was appointed in Police Department but he relinquished the job after sometime, perhaps knowing that he had superior spiritual missions ahead of him and he was destined to console and mollify disheartened and penurious people of the valley with his spiritual touches and experiences.
Immediately, after bidding adieu to the world in the form of police service, Ahad Bab would sit in the mosques of the town during nights, recite Holy Quran, read the Tafsir and worship to Allah. At this stage, the people would believe that he had lost mental consciousness but they were ignorant about the fact (which only Ahad Bab knew) that he was very dear to Allah and He had accepted his prayers and sincerity of soul and hence He had elevated him spiritually in a shorter period of time.
As Ahad Bab had to receive spiritual experiences and turn into a Sufi, he developed odium and detest for this physical world and discarded its luxuries, charisma and materialistic values. At the age of twenty seven years in 1957, he had submitted himself completely to Allah and made an effort to move towards Allah with Ikhlas or sincerity and devotion. In fact, he had made sincere atonement to Allah and had resolved to return or make conversion from the world to Him.
He had killed the evil within himself and loved and feared Him. This strong faith made him to Pray in isolation to Allah during nights. Many noted Scholars of Kashmir and devoted worshippers of Allah admit that Ahad Bab would worship during nights and people never knew about it. One of these scholars did reveal that during his Itikaf (Communion with Allah) period in Kahaja Gilgit Mosque of Sopore in 1975, Ahad Bab would come during nights to his mosque and recite Quran and educate himself from him about the teachings of the Holy Quran.
He also revealed that one night he sought from him explanation of the verse number 8, 9 and 10 of Surah Al-Muzammil (The Enshrouded One) of the Holy Quran.
“Wazkurisma Rabeka wa tabatal illaihe tabteela. Rabul Mashriqe wal Maghribe la ilaha ila huwa fatakizhho wakeela. Wasbir ala ma yaquloona wahjur hum hajran jameela.”
(So remember the name of thy Lord and devote thyself with a complete devotion. Lord of the East and the West; there is no God save Him; So choose Him alone for thy defender---- And bear with patience what they utter, and part from them with a fair leave- taking). ([Surat # 73] Verse 8, 9, 10).
The seeking of explanation of these holy verses was emblematic because these stressed that when a believer turns to Allah, he must leave everything of the world. And this is what Ahad Bab was on who had begun to minimize his worldly needs and had detached himself from all desires. At some stage Ahad Bab like the followers of the clan or leaders of Chisti and Moulvi Sufi sects felt inclined in hearing music to stimulate spiritual emotions within his soul.
After coming over all the important stages and paths of Sufism, he finally reached to the highest stage of spiritual development, Fana and Baqa. At this stage he subjected himself deliberately to physical troubles and traumas. He would wear less and thin garments in chilly winters and walk on snow and during rains bare - footed. He would spend nights at the places without roof or shelter. He had submitted his mental capacities to Allah, followed the path of self-negation and retained spiritual existence and threw out evil qualities. Finally, he retained only the good, virtuous and spiritual realities at the cost of his self-consciousness.
No sooner did Ahad Bab make communion with Allah, than the people of the Valley turned as his devotee’s and sought solutions answers, comforts to their problems and anxieties. The devotees thronged his ancestral residence at Ashapeer Sopore, the walls of which fortunately gratified my ancestral home. The people loved him and would stay at his residence for weeks. Ahad Bab had no interest in the worldly affairs of the people and he would frequently flee from his home for many days.
His disciples and devotee’s would motivate him to return home and when the devotee’s would gather around him again for his blessings, he would feel irritated and turn violent and aggressive. Since he was tall, strongly built with immense physical power, he would beat ruthlessly the devotee’s. But astoundingly, the beaten devotee’s would complain of no pain and instead, would admit that his beating relieves them from the physical ailments and other concerned problems for which they would come for their redress to him.
The people from all the faiths would visit Ahad Bab and request him for his blessings. All poor and rich, are united on the point that the peer of Sopore changed their fates and they received salvation at his hands.
After 1990, Ahad Bab became calm and peaceful and he would not inflict violence upon people usually. He would remain silent and one could easily feel his divine relationship with Allah. Everybody knew that he had qualified himself as a great spiritual saint due to his mystical and saintly commands.
Ahad Bab achieved the stature of those Sufis who agreed and strongly believed that Allah is One, Alone, Single, Eternal, Everlasting, Knowing, Powerful, Living, Hearing, Seeing, Mighty, the First and the Last. He had surrendered himself before Allah and had got associated with Him.
Though Ahad Bab needs no pages of history to remember him because he will rule the hearts of the people perpetually, yet it would be fitting and better that his family makes an endeavor to catch his biography scripted which they have not done so far.