Pir Baba (R.A): Saint of saints in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan

Mosques Contributor
Pir Baba (R.A)
Pir Baba mosque and shrine. Photo Courtesy: Writer

The shrine of Pir Baba (R.A)

Between the two towering mountains, Elum and Dua suary Ghar lies the shrine of Syed Ali Shah Tirmizi called Pir Baba (Rahmatullahi Allaih) in District Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Pir Baba, (R.A) who is considered to be the earliest saint of the province, is spiritually higher than these two mountains between which he was buried in 1583.

Passing through a narrow market and narrow streets one can finally reach a huge mosque and shrine of Pir Baba (R.A) with a deep green dome. The shrine is surrounded by very old tall trees. There’s a lush green graveyard to the west. One can also find faqirs around carrying bowls for charities.

Personal life and spiritual journey of Pir Baba (R. A)

Hazrat Sayed Ali Tirmizi (Pir Baba R. A) the son Syed Qanbar Ali Shah was born in 1502 in the village Tirmiz of Badakhshan Afghanistan. His mother was the sister of Mughal emperor Babar. Pir Baba (R.A) had married the sister of Daulat khan a respectable person of Buner.

Pir Baba (R.A) had two sons the name of the elder son was Hazrat Syed Mustafa Shah Tirmizi R.A. He is buried in Kuner province of Afghanistan. His younger son Hazrat Syed Habibullah Shah Tirmizi R.A. is buried in Buner. Pir Baba got his early religious and spiritual education from his grandfather Syed Ahmad Noor who was a very pious person.

Pir baba’s (R.A) father was a commander in the army of Mughal emperor Babur. Therefore, he also went to India along with his father and joined the Army. But Pir baba selected the path of mysticism. He deeply felt the transitoriness of this life. He thought that an emperor also dies one day, leaving behind everything. First, he went Maankpur in Punjab to learn religious education from Hazrat Sheikh Saloona. Later on, he went to Ajmer Sharif and stayed with Hazrat Khawaja Salar Attaullah Rumi and remained his devoted disciple.

His preaching of Islam and struggle against anti-state groups

After the death of his mentor, on the instruction of his son Hazrat Sheikh Hassan, Pir Baba (R.A) moved to Bunir, Kohistan to preach Islam.

Pir baba (R.A) was also great supporter of Mughal Emperor Babur. He was also supposed to oppose and fight against the negative influence of Bayazid Pir Roshan who was the founder of Roshani Movement.

Bayzid Pir roshan was born in 1525 and died in 1585 while fighting against the military forces sent by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Bayazid had rebelled against Mughal Emperor Akbar’s declared Din-i Ilahi.

He is supposed to be the writer of “Khair-ul-Bayan”. It is known as the first book of prose in the Pashtu language. The book was believed to be lost. But an original handwritten Persian text was found in the University of Tübingen, Germany which has been translated into Pashtu language. The book was originally written in Pashtu, Hindi, Persian and Arabic. Bayazid also was the first to invent the Pashtu script. He added 13 characters to add sounds to written Pashtu which were spoken but were not available in the Arabic script.

His followers

Pir Baba (R.A) guided his followers Akhund Darweza (R.A.), Deewanana Baba (R.A.), Syed Mohammed Ibrahim Shah alias Hisar Baba (R.A) to fight against the Roshaniya group which was very influential in the surrounding areas. Many non-Muslims of those times converted to Islam due to his spiritual influence and religious preaching.

The Pilgrimage of Hazrat Pir Baba (R.A) is celebrated from 24th to 26th RAJA every year in Pir Baba village Buner, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. People from far and near come and participate in the holy festival.


(Written by Ijaz Ali, a freelance journalist. He holds a Master Degree in European Studies from Germany and can be reached at [email protected] )

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