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Abdul Rahman Momand
Abdul Rahman Mohmand (b.1653- d.1711)( ) popularly known as ( ) was called the Nightingale of Pakhtoonkhwa, the Pashto speaking region of Afghanistanmarker and Pakistanmarker. Rahman Baba is a legendary Pashto Sufi poet, and he was even called a new ‘Hafiz Shirazi’. His poetry places him alongside Khushal Khan Khattak for his contribution to Pashto poetry and literature.

Early life

Qareeb ur Rahman claims was of the Sarban tribe, who are recognized as the ‘true Afghans, Pushtuns’ because they can trace their ancestry back to the eldest son of the putative Pashtun ancestor Qais Abdur Rashid. The Sarban tribe migrated into the Peshawarmarker valley in modern North-West Frontier Provincemarker, Pakistanmarker from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century.

Rahman was a Mohmand, of the Ghoriah Khel (tribe), who lived in a small pocket of Mohmand settlers on the outskirts of Peshawarmarker. From 1550 CE the Yusufzai tribe had come to dominate the area, following the defeat of the Ghoriah Khel in the battle of Sheikh Tapur. Rahman apparently lived peacefully in the area, and never mentions his involvement in these inter-tribal conflicts.

Opinion is divided about Rahman’s family background. Several commentators are convinced that his family were village Maliks (chieftains). However Rahman Baba did not perceive himself to be of a powerful family.

Abdul Rehman Baba died in 1707 AD his tomb is situated near the Shrine of Akhuand Darwaizah Baba at Peshawarmarker, which is visited by his followers and admirers throughout the year.

Religious background

Rahman Baba was an ascetic but various unfounded theories have been made about who Rahman’s guide may have been, and to which order he was attached. Sabir suggests that Rahman had a Naqshbandi Sufi tariqa initiation in Kohatmarker, as well as training from the sons of Pir Baba. Schimmel and Saad Ahmed Baksh casually assign Rahman to the Chishti order. Aqab, himself of the Qadiriyyah order, claims Rahman was a Qadiri.

Published work

Rahman Baba's only work is his famed Diwan. The Diwan of Rahman Baba is now considered one of the most defining bits of Pashtun literature ever published. Despite its fame amongst Pashtuns it has only recently been fully translated into the English language.

Taliban's attack on Baba's shrine

Suspected militants in Pakistan blew up on Thursday, 5 March 2009 the mausoleum and the Mazar (Tomb) of Rahman Baba in Peshawar. "The structure of the shrine has been badly damaged but there were no casualties," said police officer Zar Noor.

Recommended reading

  • Robert Sampson and Momin Khan, The Poetry of Rahman Baba
  • Jens Enevoldsen, The Nightingale of Peshawar: Selections from Rahman Baba
  • H. G. Raverty, The Gulistan-i-Roh: Afghan Poetry and Prose
  • H. G. Raverty, Selections from the Poetry of the Afghans, from the 16th to the 19th Century


See also



References



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