Sayyed Sheikh Abdullah (Sayyed Badshah)

His real name was Sayyed Abdullah, but he was known as Sayyed Ba’dshah. He was born on Monday night of 27th Zil-Haj, 1302 Hijri. His early education was accomplished under his father and later benefited from other great scholars of the age. He was handsome in appearance and had a great wisdom and scholarship. He was a living embodiment of meditations, prayers, spiritual exercises and patience.

He used to keep his face covered and spent most of time at home in prayers. He was always modest and never put his eyes on the members of the opposite sex. During the struggle of Pakistan, he showed his full support to this movement and ordered his disciples to favour the Muslim League. He advised his relatives to follow the Quaid-e-Azam. Agha Sayyed La’l Ba’dshah Bokhari who was his brother-in-law was persuaded by him to favour the Quaid and join the Muslim League. That is why Agha Sawed Lag Ba’dshah gave a warm welcome to the Quaid-e-Azam during his tour to Peshawar. He was Quaid’s host and Quaid went to his home for prayer. Allah Buksh Yousafi in his book Saya’siyat-e-Serhad Kay Ibtadaee Manazil (The Early Days of Serhad Politics) says that Quaid’s tour to Peshawar was result of Sayyed Badshah’s efforts. He says that Quaid-e-Azam himself was desirous of touring the frontier, but the circumstances were not favorable. Therefore, Maulana Shaukat Ali was informed about the whole situation, by Jamiat-e-Khilafat, yet one of our colleagues who was a lawyer (Peer Bakhsh Khan) invited Quaid-e-Azam. Muhammad Shall Sabir writes in his book that when Quaid-e-Azam went to England in 1931 to participate in the Round Table conference, Peer Bukksh met him and invited him to visit the NWFP. Peer Baksh Khan was associated with the group led by Agha Sayyed Lal Badshah who was supported by Hazrat Sayyed Badshah. Muhammad Shall Sabir, the writer of Tarikh -e-suba Serhad (The History of Frontier), discusses the reasons saying that, “The actual situation was that during Municipal elections, the Khilafat workers of Peshawar had split into two groups, one favoring Peer Baksh and led by Agha Sayyed Lal Badshah and the other consisted of the supporters of Sardar Abd-ur-Rab Nishter. The Nishter group thought that Peer Baksh Khan wanted to strengthen his position in the next election by calling the Quaid-e-Azam to Peshawar. This opposition was expressed later on also. On the arrival of the Quaid-e-Azam, Sardar Abu-ur-Nishter and his supporters welcomed the Quaid-e-Azam in Cambell Pur while the rest were present at the Peshawar Railway Station.

The Historian of the Frontier says the welcome committee selected to arrange Quaid’s tour was presided over by Agha Sayyed Lal Badshah while Peer Baksh Khan, Advocate, was its General Secretary. On October 18, 1936 Quaid-e-Azam arrived at Peshawar Railway Station in Peshawar. He was wearing an English suit and white sola hat. Headed by Agha Sayyed Lal Badshah, the leading member of Majlas-e-Khalifat and the receptacles of the city were present on the platform to welcome him. Sitting in a car, the Quaid-e-Azam brought to Mandi Beri Yakka Toot in a large procession which passed through the main bazar of the city. Sayyed Iqbal Shah Bokhari s/o of Agha Sayyed Lal Badshah (who is an eye witness describe the people of Peshawar were very happy on Quaid’s Arrival and were rasing slogans.) Quaid-e-Azam stayed in the building where now a day Govt. Girls High School, Yakka Toot is functioning. All the facilities were arranged by Majlas-e-Khalifat. This is the place where Sayyed Badshah met Quaid-e-Azam. A great congregation was arranged at Shahi Bagh Peshawar on 19, October 1936.

This was the first congregation of the Frontier which was addressed by the Quaid-e-Azam. These were the days of congress’ zenith. The congregation was presided over by Sayyed Lal Badshah who actively participated in the establishment and development of the Muslim League and also propagated the seeret movement, founded by Hazrat Salman Phulwari, the custodian of Dargha Patna. It used to hold gatherings in Rabi-ul-Awwal in every city and village and this still continues. Sayyed Zafar Ali Shah takes out this procession of milad-un-Nabi in Rabi-ul-Awwal and arranges a great congregation. The purpose of narrating the above events is to establish that Sayyed Lal Badshah Bokhari, husband of Sayyed Badshah’s sister, was leading the Majlis-e-Khilafat, aided the Quaid on the instructions of Sayyed Badshah who favored Pakistan, but did not participate directly owing to his reclusiveness. He had perceived that Pakistan had become the destiny of the Muslim and, therefore, ordered his disciples to favour the Muslim League. In this way along with the publication of religion, he also participated in the Pakistan Movement through remaining behind the scene. On 20th Safar, 1391 Hijri (15 April, 1971) he passed away. He had willed to be buried in Basti Sidra, some 30 km from D.I.Khan, but for certain unavoidable reasons he was buried in Yakka Toot, Peshawar. Four and a half years later when his grave was re-opened on 11 Rajab, 1396 (10-07-1976) and the coffin was taken out, it was found to be fresh and in its original state. When the coffin was opened and the body was looked at, the beholders were surprised to see that the flowers thrown on the body were still fresh as the body was and water drops were seen trickling through the beard. For a whole day and night, the coffin was placed in the open for the visits of the people of Peshawar, the believers praised God and the non- believers looked on in surprise. But it is an immutable divine law that God protects his beloved people in such a way that life and death cease to matter and they travel from one abode to the other while the earth dares not to touch their bodies. It is not an old story and its eye witnesses still live to tell that a cloud stood on the coffin.

On 11-07-1976, the coffin was brought in a wagon to Sidra Sharif (0.I-Khan) which is a barren health some five miles off the road. People from far and near gathered there and the barren health was transformed into a populous religious center. A beautiful Sculpture was constructed by the heir caliph, which is unique in its architectural design and is visible on one’s way to Sidra Sharif, Off Banu Road. It welcomes the pilgrims from a far, as if, even after departing from the world, Sayyed Badshah has not left off welcoming his guests. There is a big mosque adjacent to the shrine in which there is a school, Sayyed-ul-Jamayya, where disciples are educated. The shrine is spread over a large area around which there is a high wall, having only one very big gate which resembles the gate of Shahi Qila, Lahore inside, on the left, along the wall, there is a long row of rooms, which are used for the stay of the pilgrims during Urs days. With the efforts of the heir caliph, the present Government has sanctioned a water supply plan for Sidra Sharif in which a lift irrigation canal will be constructed on the Chashma Right Bank Canal, which flows some 12 Kilometers away and waters the South-Western area of Sidra Sharif. This canal will pass on the North-Western side of Sidra Sharif. On the completion of this plan some half a million acres of land will be made arable. The supply of water is also being made certain through a pipeline from a tube-well at Wanda) amaal, near Paniala, located at some 20 kilometers from Sidra Sharif.

Only half a century ago, the small hamlet of Sidra Sharif consisted of only twenty houses where people of the Bali tribe were settled. They had two brothers named Khadr and Sadr whereas Sadr was their chieftain. After the name of chieftain people started calling this habitation ‘Sadr’ which later changed into Sidra. In 1909, the same was added to the revenue records. It is spread over an area of some 55000 kanals. The balis were the followers of Pir Afif-ud-Din Hussain Shah. They had offered 1000 kanals of land to him. After his demise, it was transferred in the name of the shrine. Today, the unknown hamlet of the pizoo pass of Suleiman Range has been transformed into a great religious center of the Muslims of the sub-continent. Every year the Urs is celebrated with great pomp and show and disciples gather from all over Pakistan to bless his soul. The praises of the Prophet are sung, prayers are offered and speeches are made. Scholars from all over Pakistan participate.