Ripples of a Miracle
to Baba Sabir, it is sacrosanct for every believer to first visit the
pilgrim spot before proceeding to other shrines.
famous Dargah Kaliyar Sharif is now in existence for about 800 years.
The arrival of Khwaja Makhdoom Alauddin Ahmed Sabir Pak popularly
known as Baba Sabir at Kaliyar unfolds some interesting
episodes of his life. It is said that after his fathers death,
Sabirs mother Hazrat-e-Hazra brought him to Pakpattan in 1204 A
D where her brother Baba Farid lived. Eleven-year-old Sabir could
make unusual predictions. One day, he predicted his grandfathers
death. Astonished by this revelation, his uncle asked: Sabir,
when you are here, how can you predict your grandfathers death,
who lives in Baghdad? Sabir told his maternal uncle: Right
now when I was meditating, I saw my fathers face. He pointed
his three fingers towards me which signals death. Baba Farid
believed him and said: Child you are a saint by birth.
Thereafter, Baba Farid decided to teach Sabir lessons on worldly
wisdom and declare him a scholar.
three years of stay in Pakpattan, Sabirs mother decided to
return to Herat. Before leaving, she told Baba Farid: This
child talks less and eats less. So please take care. When I come
back, I will like to marry him to your daughter. Baba Farid was
delighted to hear this.
Baba Farid entrusted all the responsibilities of managing the
bhandara (mass meals) to Sabir. Every morning, Sabir came out
of his room, distributed meals and went back. Again in the evenings
he would do the same. For about twelve years, he followed this
practice and nobody ever saw him eating or drinking anything. When
Baba Farid asked him why, Sabir replied: When I was made
responsible for the bhandara, I was only told to distribute
food, so I did not eat. I survived on my souls strength.
day, a man saw Sabir crying in his room. When the man asked him the
reason, Sabir said: Today, God has broken my bonds with the
world and told me that from now onwards only divine men shall meet
me. After that day, nobody ever dared to go near Sabir.
one auspicious day, Baba Farid tied a turban on his head and said:
Sabir you are the protector of `Kaliyar Sharif. Go there
and serve the men of God.
reached Kaliyar Sharif in 1253 A D. At Kaliyar, he stayed in the
house of an old woman called Gulzadi. Soon his fame spread all over
Kaliyar. Sabir started preaching the natives of Kaliyar about God and
religion. He prayed day and night and had so much aura around him
that people from far and near came to see him. The Qazi of
Kaliyar Sharif, Tabrak, became so jealous that he began to poison
people against him. Tabrak even spoke ill about Sabir to Rayees-e-
Kaliyar (a rich and influential man). Rayees-e-Kaliyar decided to
resolve this matter with Sabir on a Jume Raat (Thursday
one Jume Raat when Sabir was delivering his sermon at the
masjid (mosque), Rayees-e-Kaliyar asked Sabir: If you
can tell me about my goat I lost three months back, I will
acknowledge you the Imam (religious head). Sabir clearly
understood that his authenticity was being challenged. So he raised
his hand towards the sky and said: Those who have eaten the
lamb, please come here. As soon as he said this, 27 men
appeared. When asked if they had eaten the lamb, they denied it. On
repeated denials, Sabir asked Rayees-e-Kaliyar to call the lambs
name. Rayees-e-Kaliyar shouted: Harmana Harmana! Where are
you? Hearing this, the lamb screamed from the stomach of those
men and feebly described how she was cut into pieces and feasted
upon. This miracle created ripples but Rayees-e-Kaliyar and Tabrak
called Sabir a magician and continued conspiring against
a long time, Sabir tolerated this resentment. However, one day when
Sabir was sitting with his peers in the first row to read namaz
(prayer to Allah) the rich men of Kaliyar objected. A verbal
dispute occurred and Sabir out of sheer anger cursed: All of
you will die and this place will remain deserted. Soon the
mosque fell, and those inside, were crushed to death. There was utter
chaos and trepidation everywhere. Only a Guler tree, a bees
hive, a small piece of land and a graveyard survived the disaster.
Sultan of Delhi, Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, hearing the news of
Kaliyars devastation, was so scared that he pleaded Baba Farid
for protection. Baba Farid consoled him but instructed him to stay
twelve kos away from Kaliyar.
12 years, Baba Sabir stood under the Guler tree which is still there
in Kaliyar. People who visit Kaliyar light candles around this tree.
1435, another saint, Qutbe-Alam-Shah was born. It is believed that
one day when Qutbe-Alam was sweeping the floor of his grandfathers
graveyard, an old man passed by and said: Please sweep my
graveyard also. This old man was none other than Baba Sabirs
image. Alam realised that it was time for him to go to Kaliyar. But
before leaving for Kaliyar, Qutbe-Alam prayed for 40 days. It is said
that Baba Sabirs soul was so impressed with his austere
reverence and humility that he withdrew his curse, shunned his wrath
and allowed everyone to visit Kaliyar.
this day onwards, Kaliyar Sharif became a famous pilgrim spot.
Qutbe-Alam built Baba Sabirs grave and a mosque at Kaliyar and
visited it every month. Today Qutbe-Alams descendant, Shah
Mansoor Aijaz Sabri is the religious head of Kaliyar Sharif.
Urs is celebrated with a lot of fanfare in the month of
May-June in Kaliyar Sharif. After a glimpse of the moon of
Rabi-ul-awwal, the head priest goes to his old house (in
Kaliyar village). Inside the room, he reads Khatam Sharif and
walks out with a plate on his head. The plate has mehndi and
dori in it. Next he goes to the dargah and reads the
Fatiha. After this the dori is distributed to everyone.
Mushaira and Qawwali take place at the dargah
and the mood is festive.
TO GET THERE
Sharif at Roorkee is
5 km along the canal from the market premises. Roorkee is
km north of Delhi.
Rail: Shatabdi Express
Delhi to Dehradun
Road: Delhi via Meerut and Muzzafarnagar to Roorkee.