Hazrat Baba Daud Rishi alias Batamaloo Sahib Rehmatullahe alayh

Posted: November 21, 2014 by kashmirsufis in AWLIYAE KASHMIR

In the heart of Srinagar city, in a locality named after him, is the shrine of another principal Rishi of Kashmir, Hazrat Baba Daud Rishi, more popularly known as Batamaloo Sahib. He is said to have been the son of one Shaikh Shangli Butt, a Pandit convert to Islam. Like most other Kashmiri Rishis, Batamaloo Sahib did not receive any formal education, but yet, he is said to have been directly inspired and taught by the Prophet Muhammad(salallahualayh wa sallam) and to have thus been an Uwaisi. Later, he became the disciple of a noted Sufi of his day, Khwaja Yusuf Katju, who sent him to be in the service of Hazrat Allah Dad Rishi, one of the several khulafa of Baba Harde Rishi, and also a disciple of another acclaimed Sufi, Khwaja Masud Pampori (d.1612 C.E.).
Two interesting stories are told of how Baba Daud Rishi earned the title of ‘Batamaloo Sahib’, and both point to the central role that the Rishis seem to have played in helping the poor, irrespective of religion. According to one story, as related in the Tarikh-e-Hasan, a medieval chronicle of Kashmiri history, he was particularly popular among the Butt sub-caste of the Kashmiri Pundits, who considered him to be their ‘father’ (moul)’. According to the other story, as related in the Tarikh-e-Kabir, the Baba would distribute cooked rice (bata) to the poor and the needy, just as a father (moul) feeds his own children. He would, it is said, also share his spiritual grace just as a father cares for his own children (Quraishi, 1991: 44-53. Also Ibrahim, n.d. : 195).
Like the other Muslim Rishis of Kashmir, Baba Daud Rishi earned his livelihood through his own hard work. This he had learnt from his spiritual masters, Baba Harde Rishi and Khwaja Masud Pampori, both of whom used to cultivate fields. To begin with, Baba Daud Rishi would travel all the way to Thana Mandi in Rajouri, and return toKashmirwith sacks of salt, a rare and precious commodity inKashmirin those days, laden on his back, which he would distribute to the poor. Later, he took to cultivating land, sharing the produce with the needy. With his earnings he also constructed several mosques andkhanqahs (Quraishi, 1991: 44). He himself would abstain from food throughout the day, and eat only a few morsels at night in order to break his fast. He would stay awake late into the night in deep mediation and reflection.
Hazrat Baba Daud Rishi had numerous disciples, and they were drawn from various sections of society. These included Mulla Zainuddin Pal, a famous Kashmiri poet, Mulla Mohsin, a noted calligrapher, and Mir Afzal, who used to earn his livelihood by making copies of the Holy Qur’an. After Baba Daud Rishi’s death, he was succeeded by his principalkhalifa, Hazrat Shaikh Nur Muhammad Parwana (Quraishi, 1991: 120-134).

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