|Biographical detail : ||He was called ‘Hafiz Shirazi’ of Pushto Sufi poetry.
Rahman Baba had a deep understanding of different disciplines including theology, philosophy and history and was well-versed in the Arabic and Persian languages. He was a practising Sufi but there is no evidence to show that he followed a particular Sufi order.
The first ever printed diwan of Rahman Baba was produced in Lahore in 1877 and was based on the manuscript collected by Maulvi Ahmed. Robert Sampson, a distinguished scholar of Baba, along with Momin Khan, has based his translation on Syed Rasool Rasa’s edition containing 343 poems.
Sampson raises the question as to what type of mysticism Baba present? Rahman Baba has been accused of committing a carnal sin in the abandonment of the mosque but one should not be tempted to see the Sufi poet outside of Islam. He redefined the approach to God by replacing the prescribed ordinances of the Shariah with alternative disciplines of mysticism.
The consensus among Pakhtoons is that Rahman Baba’s diwan is more than just poetry. For them it is like a holy book, given the fact that no Pushto poet has enjoyed so much reverence as Rahman Baba has among the Pakhtoons.
Rahman Baba was born Abdurrahman in Bahadur village to the south of Peshawar city (Pakistan) where he lived all his life.