Islamic Perspectives

SaaeeN Baba

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By Shakeel Shamsi

An Indian Muslim faqeer who was buried in Shirdi village of Maharashtra’s Ahmadnagar district on 15 October 1918 is a person whom crores of non-Muslims revere/worship as “god” or devta but no one knows his real name or his place or date of birth. He is called Sain (SaaeeN) Baba by the people. The word “SaaeeN” is used in many senses. The dictionary meanings of this word are god, master, husband, a perfect man, beggar, Faqeer. Also, it is the common word used by dervishs to address each other. The word “Baba” is a Persian word used for father. “SaaeeN Baba” came to Shridi in 1885 and settled there. Most of the time he was in meditation and rarely spoke to anyone. But whenever he opened his mouth, words of wisdom flowed out of it.

People came to realise his worth and wisdom when he started talking about the Holy Qur’an along with Hindu scriptures. In earlier days, he used to roam in uninhabited places but when subsequently Muslims of Shirdi requested him to come and stay at Shirdi, he came and  began to live there in an old, desolate mosque which he named Dwarkamaee mosque. It may be stated in this connection that when Krishnji left Mathura and proceeded to coastal areas, he had set up a new city at the sea coast which he named Dwarka. SaaeeN Baba named the mosque where he lived as “Dwarkamaee” to promote Hindu-Muslim unity. He did a lot to promote Hindu-Muslim unity.

During his stay in the mosque all and sundry used to come to him to seek his blessings and took the ashes of the aloe stick which he lighted in his cubicle in the mosque to their homes with great devotion. Gradually, his popularity and the number of his devotees began to increase in the whole of Maharashtra.

No body knew who was SaaeeN Baba and from where he had come but it is said that once he had told one of his devotees that he was in the army of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi who had fought against the British but after her defeat he had taken to spiritualism and also worked for uniting Hindus and Muslims against the British.

He had given the message of sab ka Malik ek, ek hai sab ka Malik to the whole country. Whenever someone asked him if his wishes would be fulfilled or if he would succeed in his objectives or not, he used to say ‘Allah is the Master’.

It is, however, a pity that instead of carrying forward the two important messages that he gave to the nation (sab ka Malik… and Allah is the Master) for strengthening Hindu-Muslim unity, it is being forgotten today. Today crores of people consider SaaeeN Baba as an incarnation of Bhagwan but his real and sincere message has been forgotten.

Under a particular motive and plan he has been converted into a Hindu saint, whereas he did not at all believe in any kind of discrimination on religious grounds. One of his peculiar habits was that he always used to cover his head with a cloth and covered his body with a patched garment which he called kafni (shroud). His only personal belongings were a lota  for ablution and two utencils for taking meals and nothing else. Today crores of rupees are being spent by people as offerings in his name and his idols are decorated with gold and silver crowns but his important message of communal harmony and unity neither finds any mention anywhere nor is practiced anywhere.

The writer is Editor of Inquilab Urdu daily where this article appeared on 15 October 2013 . It has been translated from Urdu by MG staff

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2014 on page no. 20

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