Pir Budhu Shah and Lohgarh

In the history of Sadhaura and Lohgarh, the role of Pir Budhu Shah has great importance. His real name was Sayyad Badar-ud-Din. Being Sayyad (a descendant of the daughter of Hazrat Mohammed, the founder of Islam), he was also known as ‘Shah’ Ji and ‘Pir’ Ji. He was born on 13 June, 1647 and had his abode at Sadhaura. The Mughal Emperor (perhaps Akbar) had granted an estate to this family. He was a very polite person. When people bowed before him and touched his feet in reverence, he would stop them from doing so; rather he would ask them to call him Budhu Shah instead of Sayyad Badar-ud-Din Shah. He was such a down to earth personality.

Pir Budhu Shah and Bhikhan Shah of Thaska too were very friendly. It was due to his relations with Bhikhan Shah that he first met Guru Gobind Singh. Soon, Budhu Shah too became an admirer of the Guru. He would make frequent visits to the Guru.

His wife and sons (Ashraf, Mohammed, Mehmood Bakhsh and Hussain) would also visit the Guru at Chakk Nanaki, Paonta Sahib and Anandpur. Budhu Shah was married to Nasiran (sister of Sayyad Begh, a general of the army of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb).

Pir Budhu Shah played a noteworthy role in the edifying the Fort of Lohgarh. As per the known history, he and his father Sayyed Mohammad Ashraf remained a syndicate of Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Gobind Singh. The sons of Pir Budhu Shah embraced martyrdom fighting along with Baba Banda Singh Bahadur against the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah, in 1710, at Sadhaura. The family of the Peer Budhu Shah was one of the main landlords of Sadhaura. But being a God-loving family and a staunch supporter of humanity, the Sayyed families of Sadhaura were not happy with the orthodox policies of Aurangzeb and his predecessors. The mission of Guru Nanak appealed to the ancestors of the Peer Budhu Shah and they started following the ideology of Guru Nanak. When Guru Hargobind Sahib started the construction of Lohgarh Fort, Raja Shah Ibrahim Bala the grandfather of Peer Budhu Shah, accompanied Guru Sahib in the main survey of Lohgarh Fort. The location of Fort Lohgarh is near the pargana of Sadhaura and the Sayyeds of Sadhaura participated in the divine mission of Lohgarh Fort. Later, when Guru Har Rai Sahib stayed in this zone for 13 years, Sayyed Mohammad Ashraf, the father of Peer Budhu Shah played a significant role in the construction of Lohgarh Fort. The Sayyeds were a superior martial race army-men of the Mughals and their knowledge of the warfare certainly helped the Gurus for building better defences to fight against the mammoth army of Mughals. Bhai Lakhi Rai Vanjara and Bhai Makhan Shah Lubana were working in coordination with the Peer Budhu Shah and his ancestors for the construction of Lohgar Fort.

According to Nirmala Tradition, when Fateh Shah, the ruler of Garhwal attacked the Guru at Bhangani, on 18 September 1688, five hundred Pathan soldiers, whom the Guru had employed at the recommendation of Budhu Shah, betrayed the Guru and joined hands with Fateh Shah. When the Pir came to know about their treason, he, along with his sons and 700 of his followers reached there and participated in the battle. In this battle two of his four sons (Ashraf and Mohammed) and his brother Bhure Shah embraced martyrdom.

No source of history confirms this story. First of all there were no salaried soldiers in the army of the Guru, so employing 500 Pathans in his army is not true. Secondly, this battle was held at Bhangani (about 20 km from Paonta Sahib). According to Sawroop Singh (in Guru Kian Sakhian, episode no 44), this battle was fought just on one day and continued only for 4-5 hours. Now, if the Pathan soldiers had deceived the Guru, how did Budhu Shah receive the news at Sadhaura (85 km from Bhangani) and when did he reach there to join the battle. There were no telephones, nor helicopters to enable him to get the news of treason to join the battle. So, this story seems to be a concocted one. Further Guru Kian Sakhian book mentions the names of all the prominent persons who participated in the battle; and Pir Budhu Shah’s name figures nowhere. But, one thing is evident that Budhu Shah had a very loving relationship with the Guru and he used to make frequent visits to the Guru at Paonta Sahib and, later, at Anandpur.

Usman Khan the chief of Sadhaura town did not like Pir Budhu Shah’s affinity with the Guru. One day he invited the Pir to join him for hunting and took him to the forest where he got him burnt to death. It happened on 21 March 1704. This news reached the Guru much later. By that time Anandpur was under siege and the Guru could not punish Usman Khan. When Banda Singh attacked Sadhaura on 5 December 1709, the family of Pir Budhu Shah helped him a lot. After having occupied Sadhaura Banda Singh arrested Usman Khan. Usman Khan was the killer of the Pir Budhu Shah, he was also known for his hatred for the non-Muslims. He would forcibly take away young Hindu girls and rape them. Banda Singh publicly executed Usman Khan for his crimes.