Noted Pashto sufi poet Ismail Baba laid to rest

Sabir Shah Hoti

PESHAWAR: Noted Spiritual guide and Pashto poet, Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba was laid to rest in the graveyard of his village Akbarpura.

Large number of his disciples, notables and local literati attended his Nimaz-i-Janaza. He left behind a widow, Syeda Zakira Bibi and five sons –Syed Zainul Abideen, Syed Attaur Rahman, Muhammad Ilyas, Muhammad Mashhood and Mustafeez-Ur-Rahman.

Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba had been bedridden since very long and of late was on his visit to Syed Ali Tirmizi aka Pir Baba where after staying for a night at the shrine breathed his last on way to his home town Akbarpura, in district Nowshera. He was 60.

Literary circles, disciples and diehard fans of Muhammad Ismail Baba aka Niharwala Badshah Sahib’s demise and termed it a great loss to Pashto mystic literature. 

Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, head of the Pashto department at ICU said that Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba was not only a great Sufi saint but also a noted Pashto poet who had thousands of disciplines and followers owing to his lofty personality charisma and spiritual piety.

Being a soft-spoken person, he had never indulged in sectarian issues and believed in universal brotherhood and interfaith unity.

He used to preach love, mutual respect, and peace and wanted a society where people prospered and shared with other people everything best they had in their possession and spread spiritualism wherever possible.

According to Mr Yousafzai, the spiritual guide had published three Pashto poetry volumes but later he  added that Baba’s followers and fans had brought out his complete poetic works  in two volumes titled ‘ Diwan-i- Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba’ way back in 2015 . He was the spiritual successor of famous Sufi saint Syed Abdul Wahab aka Akhund Panju Baba (1530-1630) and remained a staunch devotee of Pir Baba in district Buner as he followed Chihstia Nizamia Sufi order  and used to arrange Mehfil-i- Simaa at his residence on regular basis .

The late spiritual guide had not received formal education though but had extensive study on mysticism, philosophy and Sufi literature and loved poetry drenched in Sufi thoughts, the release said.  Being an avid fan of Sufi music and poetry, he would always be found being surrounded by poets and folksingers who would love to sing his Sufi Kalam in the form of Qawwali, Mr Yousafzai commented.