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June 18, 2019

Pashto Sufi poet laid to rest


June 18, 2019

PESHAWAR: Pashto Sufi poet Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba, who had passed away the other day at the age 60, was laid to rest at the Akbarpura village of the Nowshera district on Monday.

A number of his disciples, notables and local literati attended his funeral. He left behind a widow, Syeda Zakira Bibi and five sons -Syed Zainul Abideen, Attaur Rahman Syed, Muhammad Ilyas Syed, Muhammad Mashhood and Mustafeezur Rahman.

Syed Muhammad Ismail had been bedridden since long and of late was on his visit to Syed Ali Tirmizi aka Pir Baba where after staying for a night at the shrine he breathed his last on way to his hometown Akbarpura.

Literary circles, disciples and fans of Muhammad Ismail Baba aka Niharwala Badshah Sahib termed the death a great loss to Pashto mystic literature. Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, head of the Pashto Department at the Islamia College University, said Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba was not only a great Sufi saint but also a noted Pashto poet who had thousands of disciplines and followers. The professor praised him for being above the sectarian prejudice and preaching interfaith unity.

He had to his credit three Pashto poetry volumes but later he added that Baba’s followers and fans had brought out his complete poetic work 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 Buner as he followed Chihshtia Nizamia Sufi order and used to arrange Mehfil-i-Samaa at his residence on a regular basis.

The late spiritual guide had not received formal education but had extensive studied mysticism, philosophy and Sufi literature and loved poetry drenched in Sufi thoughts.

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 poetry in the form of Qawwali.

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