Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani Chronology (1907-1990)
Complied by Muhammad A.Irfan
This is the first edition of Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani Chronology (also known as Babajan). Baba Jaan’s life presented in a chronological format. The objective was to present the life of Babajan in a brief chronological order. Although it is a great injustice to attempt capturing the life of such a dynamic scholar, spiritual leader, in a few pages, and much remains to be added, this is an initial attempt and will be subsequently improved. The author takes complete responsibility for any errors or omissions. Feedback on errors, omissions or additions will be greatly appreciated and can be communicated to the author by email mairfan62 [@] gmail.com.
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) was born on 4th May in Andhra, South India. His father, Khan Bahaudur Habibullah Khan Durrani was a prominent figure, a scholar and civil servant in The British Government. His mother, Mehmud-un-Nisa was a pious lady belonging to the family of Sadaat Gaysu Daraaz (famous Sufi saint of Indian Sub-Continent). Durrani Sahib had four brothers and five sisters.
1913 – 1927
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) started school at age five or six, had interest and keenness of knowledge since childhood. Passed matriculation (grade 10) at the age of fourteen. Had read most of Shakespeare, Milton and Shelly at school, and at the same time had great affinity for scouting.
1924 – 1928
Education at Aligarh University. Fascinated by Mirza Ghalib’s poetry, he spent two years studying just Ghalib. Spent spare time in science laboratory doing experiments. Also had a keen interest in eastern classical music. Amir Khusro’s life deeply influenced him. At Aligarh he learnt to play the sitar very well, later on he made sitars with his own hands in order to improve the design. Also remained an active member pf the Khaksaar Movement.
Meanwhile also used to visit to Baba Tajuddin Aulia (Rh.) at Nagpur with his brother and sometimes spent summer holidays there. Went into a state of jazb for two and a half years. Came out of it by the grace of Baba Tajuddin.
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) invented “Safe Box” that would open only on the vocal command (“Open Sesame”!) of the male member of one family – based on harmonics. Won Indian government scholarship for higher education in England.
1924 – 1934
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) got Electrical Engineering degree from Sheffield, England. Far away from home, in a foreign land, to counter loneliness he devoted his spare time to western classical music. This taste for western music came through a recommendation by a Quaker friend he met while in Sheffield. Also spent his spare time reading literature of all sorts and visiting his brother at Leeds.
1934 – 1936
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) got training at Stafford Electrical Company, England.
Returned to India. Laid the foundations of a technical training institute at Aligarh. Started from a meager tin-shed, where boys were trained in basic electronics, electrical repair work or radios etc.
Serious illness: Contracted four kinds of TB –of the spine, intestines, glands and bones. One of the doctor attending to hom said: “He is just here for three or four months, there is nothing left him. “Dr. Nami, an old friend of Durrani Sahib from the Khaksaar Movement, treated him with homeopathic medicine. Almost miraculously after three months Durrani Sahib had no traces of any TB. Moved by his act of Kindness Durrani Sahib swore to learn homeopathy and serve humanity – which he did for the rest of his life, with a healing touch.
1940 – 1946
Steadily and with great persistence the technical institute grew to become Engineering College-Aligarh, under the able guidance and leadership of Prof.Durrani.
Soon after the WW II Durrani Sahib had a near fatal accident at Banaras (between Calcutta and Aligarh) while bringing used radio equipment for the Engineering College. The NDE (Near Death Experience) lasted for three and a half minutes. The doctor attending to him could explain this as a rare miracle(the human brain usually coagulates within three minutes). Durrani Sahib’s spine and ribcage were permanently damaged in this accident.
1948 – 1949
While at Yercaud (Tamil Nadu), Durrani Sahib contracted malignant malaria and a host of other serious varicose vein diseases and took vein treatment options. As a result was near to death once again and was brought to Hazrat Baba Qadir Aulia at Vizianagram to spend his last living days !
In a delirium, dictated Wither Ya Sadhu in one breath to a friend. Wither Ya Sadhu, written in English can be best described as a combination of poetry and written for seekers of Truth. Baba Qadir blessed him with a new lease of life.
Aligarh University: Head of Department, Electrical Engineering.
Migrated to Pakistan.
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) founded Engineering College, Peshawar. Initially remained Chairman of Electrical Engineering Department.
Later as Principal, received UN scholarship to travel across the world and research on how education could be established and improved in Pakistan. Went to most of the major universities of the world except Russia.
Came back and implemented some of the system at Engineering College, Peshawar.
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) went back to Qadir Nagar, India to see Baba Qadir. He wrote Hayat-e-Qadir (The life of Baba Qadir) in fifteen days only.
Baba Jaan saw in Bashaarat, (divine dream) to establish Qadir Nagar in Pakistan.
1961 – 1962
Searched for location to establish Qadir Nagar in Pakistan.
Professor Ubaid Ullah Khan Durrani (Baba Jaan) founded the place that was indicated in the Bashaarat. Bought the land from Wali of Swat and laid tha foundations of Qadir Nagar; five kilometers ahead of Pir Baba in Buner,Swat.
Retired from Engineering College, Peshawar as Principal. Was given the honor of Professor Emeritus.
Conducted free homeopathic clinic and medicines for public on Sunday at his residence since 1954. This practice is carried on to date.
Sunday evening gathering: Discussion written down by Late Sqn Ldr. Waliuddin and later transformed into booklets (about 15 to 20). Audiotapes of these gatherings are also preserved. Kun Faya Kun was published as a complete book.
As a matter of annual routine Durrani Sahib would spend the winters in Peshawar and summer in Qadir Nagar.
1980 – 1988
Member of Majlis-e-Shura (a special committee formed in Gen. Ziaul Haq’s regime).
Laid the foundation stone of Wali Mosque in Qadir Nagar.
Designed his own shrine and its construction was completed in his supervision.
June 9th , Qadir Nagar ,Sawat. Passed away at the age of eighty-three.
- Cousens,D. and N.Hann(1988). A Modren Sufi: Durrani sahib of Swat. An English translation of BabaJan’s autobiographical speech recorded in 1989 by his daughter Mahmooda Durrani. Published by Sakya Chekhor Lhunpo Australia.
- (1974). Durre-Aini : The Life of Baba Ubaidullah Durrani. Published in Urdu by Qaim Hussain, Nazimabad Karachi, Pakistan Presented by Mustafa Bano Wasim(Alig).