Abdullah Jan : Sai Baba’s devotee

Originally Of Tarbella, Hazara District, Near Peshawar, Muhammadan, Pathan, Living For Years At Korhale Near Sakori, Aged 40, Shirdi, 5th November, 1936.

I had left Tarbella when I was quite a boy. I had none to support me and I wished to go abroad and see Mecca, etc. So I travelled down south to Manmad. From there someone who took an interest in me said that I could easily go to Bombay and then to Mecca, etc.

In 1913, I was at Haripur and on the way to Manmad when I got to know that Sai Baba was a great person at Shirdi who was liberally showering moneys on fakirs and would send me to Mecca, if I wanted. So I went to Shirdi. As I entered the gate of the Masjid, Baba was in the main building. I looked at Him and He at me. Our eyes met.

At once I felt that Sai was indeed my Guru. I stayed on at Shirdi. He fed me and other fakirs abundantly and I resolved to stay on and lead an easy life at Shirdi with him. This was in 1913. I was not taking a serious view of life then, because I was so young. My stay with Baba brought about some changes in my mentality. When I came to Shirdi, I regarded Hindus as enemies of mine. After remaining about three years with Baba, this feeling of animosity passed away, and I was viewing Hindus as my brethren.

Baba passed away when I was 22 and so did not benefit me on the religious side in any appreciable way. I was feeling disappointed, and I set out on my travels. In 1926, I was going back north. There in the Swat Valley, (Malekhand Agency), I found the tomb of a great Saint, Akun Baba who was a Sayyad or direct descendant of Mohammed.

When Lord Roberts was advancing west-wards with a view to quell the Moslem tribes there, he felt that he could not move one foot further. It is said that Akun Baba, by his magical power, locked up Lord Roberts in a hill for 3 months and 11 days and Lord Roberts communicated to Queen Victoria (the British Government) this predicament of his. Akun Baba’s powers were widely talked of in those days and I lay down one night near his tomb praying that he might be pleased to take me under his wings and help me as Sai Baba had not given me help.

During the night, I had a dream wherein I saw not Akun Baba but Sai Baba. Sai Baba was sitting on a chair near my head, as I lay there. Baba did not speak. When I woke up, I recollected this dream or vision and understood that I was still under Sai Baba’s care. I had not addressed him but only addressed Akun Baba, when I went to sleep there. Yet he, Sai Baba, was kind enough to come to me of his own accord, (to help me) into Swat Valley, 1,500 miles off Shirdi.

My idea that Sai Baba had deceived me by giving me no help during the five years I was with him at Shirdi was evidently not right. I developed more faith in Baba from the time of that dream or vision in the Swat Valley. After returning to this side, I have full faith in him now. I married in 1924 and live with my family at Koshale, four miles from here.

Baba appears before me once in two or four years. I remember the past sometimes and see the vanity of my poor existence. Crowd always surrounded Baba in his lifetime, and it was hard to find room in the Mosque on account of these crowds. What a number of dogs, etc., were swarming round him! Now there are very few men and hardly any dogs in the mosque which is also deserted. If Baba’s splendour was so short-lived and if it faded away so quickly, what of me, a poor gnat?

I have heard of or seen no “Rohillas” staying with Baba. But I have known and heard of some intolerant Pathans who came to him. The late Bala Saheb, i.e., R.A.Tarkhad, told me of an incident in his life. He was sleeping one night at the Chavadi by the side of Baba. One Mir Jaman of Kandahar was then with Baba as a recent visitor. Suddenly, one night, at about 3 A.M. Mir Jaman got up and told Baba that the Hindus were spoiling him, and Mohammedan faith, and asked Baba if he would permit him, i.e., Mir Jaman, to take the sword and strike away at the throats of all the Hindus there and effect Baba’s release. R.A. Tarkhad listened with fear and wondered if the wretch meant really to murder him in cold blood.

Sai Baba, however, placated Mir Jaman by saying that he (Baba) was pagal, i.e., mad and the Hindus worshipping him there were mad, that he was responsible for their worshipping him (contrary to the custom and tenets of the Islamic faith) and not they for his mad state, and that it was his throat that should be cut by Mir Jaman, if he wanted to cut any throat and not theirs. Thereafter, Mir Jaman kept quiet.

There was another intolerant Moslem, named Abdullah Khan of Nagpur, who stayed sometime (three or four months) with Baba. He was a journalist and familiar with Buty, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. He was a Hindustani pathan and not a Rohilla and he died at Ahmednagar. During his stay at Shirdi, he was occasionally complaining that Baba had deceived him.

Once this man beat Nana Chopdar and was charged before the Kopergaon Magistrate. He was convicted and fined. He had no money to pay the fine of Rs. 15 and no security to offer and so was in jail for a while. Then Buty sent him Rs. 15. It seems that he declined it saying, that “he that deceived me should pay the Rs. 15 and no others.” Then Baba sent Rs. 15 out of his own pocket and got him released. I learnt that this man once told Baba, “I see that you are violating the principles of Islam by what goes on here and that your throat should be cut”. At that, it seems, Baba laughed and then the man begged pardon of Baba, at which again Baba laughed.

When Baba was alive, I heard him say to someone who feared that Baba would pass away and with him all his work and influence ‘Hunadande Hanin’ which is Mahratti for “From within the tomb I will beat with sticks.” i.e., that death of his body will not end his influence or activity.

Source: Devotees Experiences of SRI SAI BABA by B.V.NARASIMHASWAMIJI

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