Sathya Sai Baba & The Muslim Pir – Haji Baba (Babaji)

Sathya Sai World Religions

Miracles Of Haji Baba (Babaji)
By Dr D.J. Gadhia
Sai Smaran (Chapter 35, pages 254 – 258 )

I shall now describe an interesting incident that happened on my arrival in Nairobi after my graduation. Harjibhai Patel, the proprietor of D. L. Patel Press, requested me to come to his residence as he wanted medical advice. He took me to his son who was lying in bed with paralysis of both legs.

He asked, “As far as modern medicines are concerned, have you come across anything that will cure my son?” I answered, “Forget medicines! I don’t think there is anything at the moment, but there is the possibility of a cure through the Divine Grace of divine personalities. They have powers to cure any disease, even to give another life after death. Lord Sathya Sai Baba, as well as saints, sages, and pirs can cure your son. They can change the course of karma (destiny). If an individual is suffering because of past karma and if he or she develops bhakti (ardent devotion) for the Lord in this life, these personalities can change the karma and effect a cure.”

Some time after this meeting with Harjibhai Patel, a 92-year-old Muslim saint (pir), Al-Haj Shirazi Azgar Shahji, alias Haji Baba (Babaji), alias Abdalla Baba arrived in Nairobi from Karachi, Pakistan. I shall digress here to say a few words about Islam.

Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in Arabia in 570 A.D., and the religion he founded, Islam, first took root in a place called Yathrib, now known as Medina. The word Islam in Arabic means “Surrender” or “Submission” and is related to salam which means “Peace”. In other words, the believer can attain total peace only by surrendering or submitting to the Will of God.

The Koran is the holy book of Islam and the word is derived from an Arabic word meaning “to read”. For Muslims, i.e., followers of Islam, it is the infallible word of God which is read with devotion.

Various subjects are covered in the Koran, which is the main source of guidance to Muslims. It deals with morality (ethics), basic duties and laws. It points to the grandeur of the universe and the signs in nature, and asks believers to reflect on the Cause and the Creator of all this harmony as a manifestation of Truth. One should surrender to that Supreme Architect, and pour out one’s gratitude and love in prayers addressed to Allah (Almighty God).

Islam rests on five cardinal pillars. They are:

  1. Prayer – Salat or Namaz
  2. Charity – Zakat
  3. Fasting – an act of purification
  4. Haj – pilgrimage to Mecca
  5. Jihad – an Arabic word meaning ‘effort’ or ‘struggle’, i.e., the inner struggle against forces (like lust, anger, greed, hatred) that take one away from God; more commonly, it refers to fighting against the external enemies of Islam.

Prayer is the golden link between man and God, and has to be performed five times a day – early morning, early afternoon, mid-afternoon, sunset and night. Exactly like japa or nama-smarana, the 99 Glorious Names of Allah are remembered by repeating them (zikr), e.g., Allahu Akbar, Allah Malik, etc.

Babaji Cures Paralysis
Harijbahi Patel went to Haji Baba (Babaji) who said, “I must see your son with paralysis.” When Harjibhai asked when would be a convenient time, Haji Baba replied, “It is said that if you can do good work tomorrow, do it today! And if you can do it today, do it now! Let us go to your house NOW!” One can learn a lot from these words of wisdom.

In Harjibhai’s residence, Haji Baba sat by the bed of the paralyzed boy and closed his eyes with both palms pointing towards the sky. After five minutes he said, “I am getting a call from a dargah (holy tomb or shrine) at Kisumu (60 to 70 miles from Nairobi). We have to take your son there now!” Harjibhai rang a few friends and relatives. Within no time, six cars and a van arrived at his doorstep! The boy was lifted into the van and all set off for Kisumu.

On reaching Kisumu, Haji Baba directed, “We must go to the Cemetery.” When they arrived, Babaji said, pointing to one particular dargah (tomb), “Lay the boy near this tomb!” The moment he shouted “Allahu Akbar!”, the boy got up and started to run! Through their good fortune, all who were present and observed this miracle were greatly elated. All of them developed faith in Babaji.

It is said, “If you do not have faith, that is as you wish, but do not criticise anyone when you hear about certain supernatural powers in a person!” Harjibhai’s son soon became a perfectly normal person and used to drive Babaji around whenever he visited Kenya.

Some time after my car accident on 5 May 1974 and when my right leg was still in plaster, Shri Smritlal Hadani, manager of soap and chocolate factories belong to Shri Muljibhai Madhvani, informed me, “Haji Baba is coming for breakfast from Nairobi, would you like to have his darshan?” I said, “We have heard a lot about Babaji and we would most certainly like to have his darshan.”

I was lifted into a van, sent by Amritlal to take me to his residence on top of a hill in Arusha. Owing to his old age, Haji Baba was assisted by two people into the house. From the 50 ladies and 50 gents who were present, Babaji pointed to Nanda, called her near him and said, “Your husband pain will go away within two months, and then I will come to your house!”

He then went to Dar-es-Salaam, capital of Tanzania, and stayed in Dr. Krishna’s residence. After two months, when my plaster was taken off and I was well, Babaji telephoned us – exactly after two months – and said, “I am coming to your house by chartered flight and will stay with you for only two hours. You may call your friends and relatives!” Nearly 250 people gathered in our house, and this number increased to about 500 towards the end of his short visit.

Babaji arrived in a chartered flight. Clearly sensing Nanda’s dilemma about feeding this unexpectedly large crowd, he glanced at the kitchen and said, “Do not worry; give food to everyone.” True to his word, everyone was fed satisfactorily and there was still food left over! Such was the power wherever his drishti (sight) fell!

Through his divine darshan, nearly two hundred devotees recovered from minor complaints and everybody felt divine energy entering their bodies – such was the impact of Babaji. He returned to Dar-es-Salaam after giving a promise to come again to our residence and stay overnight. Babaji was brought to our residence by a person called Bakarbhai who had been very poor. But after blessings from Babaji he became a millionaire within a year.

In a telephone call from Nairobi, Babaji said he was coming to visit us. Harjibhai’s son drove him over to our residence and, once again, many devotees received his divine darshan. He then asked us to go to Dr. Krishna’s place in Dar-es-Salaam. There we saw him curing a paralyzed person within 24 hours. Nanda asked me to request Babaji to talk to us in private.

Babaji And Sathya Sai Baba
Babaji was very kind and we had a question and answer session with him. One most important question I asked was, “Babaji, what is the difference between Shirdi Baba, yourself and Sathya Sai Baba?”

His answer started with a question, “Have you heard about Ramdev Pir?” Immediately I said, “Yes Babaji. Ramdev Pir of Ranuja!” He then explained, “Ramdev Pir, Shirdi Baba and I are on the line of pirs, while Sathya Sai Baba is on Krishna’s line. My work is confined to devotees in Karachi (Pakistan), East Africa, Malawi, the United Kingdom and a few other countries, while Sathya Sai Baba’s work is for the whole world and has no limit. If I bring rain, Baba will not interfere or stop it; while if He brings rain, I will not stop it either. When we meet, we ‘salute’ and acknowledge each other. When Sathya Sai Baba came to Nairobi Airport to fly to Bombay in 1968, I went to the airport. As Baba was climbing the steps of the plane, our eyes met and we ‘saluted’ each other!”

At that time, Babaji was 92 and Beloved Swami was 42 years old. Yet Babaji acknowledged Beloved Swami as the Cosmic Power. Babaji’s statement is thus highly significant.

Allah Hu Akbar