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Meer Khalander
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Baba Budan Hills
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Aulia
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Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar

Among the earliest followers of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) there was a group called As-hab-e-Suffa (people of the pyol). These men were celibates and had renounced the world. They spent most of their time in prayers and meditation. They received special instruction and training from the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) and were given the important job of bearing the banner during the battles.

The chaotic conditions in India attracted the attention of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him) and he selected a close disciple and member of this group, Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Azeez Mecci to take the message of peace to India. The Holy Prophet (peace be on him) blessed him, prayed for his long life and called him "Hayath-ul-Bahr" (one with the life of a sea). He was ordained a "Khalandar" (a position of eminence in the spiritual hierarchy), directed to proceed to India and spread the message of peace, with Chandra Drona Parvata in South India as his head quarters. Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Azeez Mecci is the first Khalandar and he was known as Hazrat Dada Hayath Mir Khalandar in India.

Dada Hayath came to this mountainous region with a few companions and selected a cave for his residence. This cave was believed to be the abode of Sri Dattatreya Swamy by the Hindus. He cleaned it and made it habitable. He needed water to perform "Wazu" for his prayers. He was a stranger in the area and did not know where water was available. He prayed to God and started digging the ground in front of the place he had selected as his seat for meditation, and found a perennial spring within two feet. It exists even today. He thanked God and spent the night in prayers and meditation. Early in the morning the next day, a Brahmin and a Jangam entered the cave as per their custom for worship. Both of them saw Dada absorbed in meditation, and thought he was an incarnation of Sri Dattatreya Swamy. They were proud of their good fortune and prostrated before Dada, and became his devotees. Slowly the news spread and day by day the number of devotees, began to increase. For a few days they just listened to his teachings and watched his ways. It did not take much time for them to be convinced of his sincerity and the truth of his teachings. When the Palegars (Chieftains) of the neighboring areas learnt that a stranger had settled down in the holy cave and was teaching a new religion to the people, they became furious and spared no efforts (including Black magic and witchcraft) to tease Dada and torture his companions and devotees. Their object was either to drive away Dada and his companions from their holy cave or kill them. But the patience and fortitude of Dada and his companions were a match to all their efforts.

The failure of all their attempts and those of their magicians increased the faith and the number of Dada's devotees. Many of them were so much impressed that they embraced Islam. There were many others who were in a dilemma. They loved their own old ancestral religion and at the same time were devoted to Dada. Dada understood their reluctance to change their old religion and never compelled them to change their faith. He treated them with the same affection that he bestowed upon those who had embraced Islam. His paternal attitude towards one and all earned him the title of Dada (grand-father) with which he is universally referred to even today. These people continued to follow their old faith and observing his miraculous powers began to look upon Dada as the incarnation of Sri Dattatreya. The belief exists even today and the cave is held sacred by both Hindus and Muslims.

It is difficult to guess how long Dada stayed in this cave. After some time he felt that the institution he had established could function satisfactorily even in his absence. He brought suitable people from Arabia and other countries and placed them in charge of the institution. It became his practice now to visit different parts of the country, helping people in distress, and returning every now and then to this center. It is no wonder that one hears of Dada's visits and seats of meditation not only in different parts of Karnataka but also in other parts of India. But none has come across or heard of his tomb. Since Dada was blessed with a long life, it is believed by many that Dada is still alive and people in distress can always rely upon his help. There are thousands who narrate how Dada came to their rescue when they were in a tight corner. It is impossible to describe the various types of problems pilgrims bring with them. Some suffer from ailments which have not been diagnosed even by eminent doctors or considered incurable; some are entangled in spiritual problems; some are possessed by evil spirits; some suffer from lunacy; some suffer in business continuously; some are worried about employment or their children's marriages. All come here dejected, get consolation and return hopeful. Some time later they come back to express their gratitude to Dada for the relief they get. Human intellect cannot explain, how all their problems which had defied all solutions got solved after their visit to Dada. No wonder that these devotees call Dada and seek his blessings at every hurdle in life.

History records that there trade relations between Arabs and South India, since time immemorial, which continues even after the advent of Islam. People in Malabar Coast who came in contact with these Arabs as Muslims were very much impressed by the change in their outlook and behavior. But these Arabs were essentially traders. Dada was the first to come to India with the sole purpose of settling down in India and preaching Islam, at the behest of the Holy Prophet (peace be on him). Hence this cave in Baba Budan Hills is the first Islamic center in India. In addition to this, it has been a spiritual academy where many eminent saints like Hazrat Shihabuddin Rumi, Hazrat Syed Khizar Rumi, Hazrat Nut-Har Wali of Trichinopoly, Hazrat Makdoom Jan-e-Jahan Gashth, Hazrat Shah Latheef Berri, Hazrat Syed Meeran Mahmood, Hazrat Sheikh Khizar Paidoz, Hazrat Baba Tajuddin of Nagpur and many others spent some time here and were blessed by Dada.

Dada's personality has been a mystery to one and all. After learning a few facts about him every one become's anxious to know more and see him if possible. Some have realized subsequently that the person who helped them in distress was Dada himself. In an attempt to explain Dada's personality many stories have become current, none of which is true. Some are given below:-

  1. Some people think that Dada is in fact Hazrat Mohammed Haneef, who was a son of Hazrat Ali and Bibi Haneefa.
  2. In the opinion of some Dada and Hazrat Mardan-e-Ghaib of Shivasamudram are the same. This is not correct. Hazrat Mardan-e-Ghaib was in fact the son of Hazrat Tajuddin Abdur Razak who was the grand-son of Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Khadir Jeelani, Mahboob-e-Subhani of Baghdad. He was born in Baghdad and his name was Hazrat Sheikh Jamal. He resembled Hazrat Mahboob-e-Subhani who had great affection for him in facial appearance and had predicted that Hazrat Sheikh Jamal would be Mardan-e-Ghaib.
  3. Some believe that Dada and Hazrat Thab-le-Alam Badsha Nuthar Wali of Trichinopoly are one. Hazrat Nuthar Wali was formerly a king. He renounced his throne and became a fakir. He received instructions from Dada for some time and settled down in Trichinopoly. Dada directed him to take care of Mama Jigni whose grave is beside that of Hazrat Nuthar Wali. Since there is Mama Jigni's seat of meditation in the cave at Baba Budan Giri Hills and since the graves of Hazrat Nuthar Wali and Mama Jigni are side by side at Trichinopoly, some people might have made this guess.
  4. Since nobody has come across or even heard of Dada's tomb, some believe Dada to be Hazrat Khizar, the Prophet who according to Muslim belief is still alive and acts as a guide to those who have lost their way.
  5. Some people guess that Dada, Hazrat Mohammed Haneef, Hazrat Mardan-e-Ghaib and Hazrat Nuthar Wali are all one and the same.

    There may be many more and all are far from the truth. [BACK TO TOP]