BUDDHŪ SHĀH, PĪR (1647-1704), a Muslim divine whose real name was Badr ud-Dīn and who was an admirer of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, was born on 13 June 1647 in a prosperous Sayyid family of Saḍhaurā, in present - day Ambālā district of Haryāṇā. Because of his simplicity and silent nature during his early childhood he was given the nickname of Buddhū (lit. simpleton) which stuck to him permanently. He was married at the age of 18 to a pious lady, Nasīrāṅ, who was the sister of Said Khān, later a high-ranking officer in the Mughal army. It is not certain how Buddhū Shāh first became acquainted with Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, but it is recorded that he called on him in 1685 at Pāoṇṭā, on the bank of the Yamunā. At his recommendation, the Gurū engaged 500 Paṭhān soldiers under the command of four leaders, Kāle Khān, Bhīkhan Khān, Nijābat Khān and Hayāt Khān. In 1688, when Gurū Gobind Siṅgh was attacked by a combined force of the hill chiefs led by Rājā Fateh Shāh of Srīnagar (Gaṛhvāl), all the Paṭhāns with the exception of Kāle Khān deserted him and joined the hill monarch. The Gurū conveyed the news of the treachery to Pīr Buddhū Shāh, who immediately rushed to Bhaṅgāṇī, the battlefield, with 700 of his followers, including his brother and four sons. Many of the Pīr's disciples as well as two of his sons, Ashraf and Muhammad Shāh, and his brother, Bhūre Shāh, fell in the action. After the battle Gurū Gobind Siṅgh offered rich presents to the Pīr which the latter politely declined to accept. However he, as the tradition goes, begged the Gurū to bestow upon him the comb from his hair and the turban he was going to tie. The Gurū gave him the two articles and a small kirpān or sword which the Pīr and his descendants kept in the family as sacred heirlooms until Mahārājā Bharpūr Siṅgh of Nābhā (1840-63) acquired them in exchange for a jāgīr or land grant. The relics are still preserved in the family's palace at Nābhā (in the Punjab).

         The Rājpūt chiefs defeated at Bhaṅgāṇī remained hostile towards Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, and wished to evict him from Anandpur to where he had returned. To solicit help from the imperial government, they sent to the emperor reports describing the Gurū as a dangerous rebel. Complaints also reached the authority against Pīr Buddhū Shāh who had rendered assistance to the Gurū. The faujdār of Sirhind, under whose jurisdiction the parganah of Saḍhaurā then fell, directed a local official, 'Usmān Khān, to chastise the Pīr. The latter marched on Saḍhaurā, arrested Buddhū Shāh and had him executed on 21 March 1704. Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur avenged the Pīr's execution in 1709 by storming Saḍhaurā and killing 'Usmān Khān. Pīr Buddhū Shāh's descendants migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Their ancestral house in Sāḍhaurā has since been converted into a Gurdwārā named after Pīr Buddhū Shāh.


  1. Sūrī, V. S. , and Gurcharan Singh, Pir Buddhu Shah. Chandigarh, 1971
  2. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966
  3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909
  4. Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, vol. I, Princeton, 1963

Gurcharan Siṅgh