30.0 Pir Sabzali

During the stretch of 1,400 years, on the pages of Ismaili history, there have been descriptive notes of extraordinary and chivalrous individualities. Lives of our revered Pirs, Sayyids, Fidais and Da'is, passing through this cycle, prompt us to become great personalities.

Among others, Pir Sabzali was the one to create his own life history, which showed his spiritual power to thousands of persons of the community and other communities also. Hazrat Imam Sultan Mohammed Shah had said: "Pir Sabzali came to this world as a human being and the beginning of his life was just like of an ordinary man. But a moment in life is so chanced that it changes one's life. One who seizes the opportunity of this moment of transition, can derive its benefit. His action in life changed and from ordinary person he became remarkable." In the life of Pir Sabzali also this moment of transition arrived, as a result of which he performed historical deeds in life.

He was born to a wealthy parents at Bombay and had nothing to miss in affection and fortune. However, in order that he may be able to progress in life, his mother and father had decided to send him out of Bombay. At that time Vazir Rehmoo had a vast business in Gwadar, but he used to remain engrossed in the services of the Imam of the Age. Adolescent Sabzali was deputed to a very religious personality, who was devotedly attached to Imam. Losing friends at Bombay he came into the custody of Vazir Rehmoo. Here his new life began. With the inspiration and teachings of Vazir Mohammad Rehmoo he began to acquire religious education. An ardour for benefitting the Jamat with the knowledge gained by him gave vent in him and he was inspired to deliver Wa'z. He went on reading, making progress in education and in the light of knowledge he saw a new world: a world of spiritual enlightenment, real spiritual serenity.

Simultaneously he began to get trained as an expert businessman. He had skilfully managed to run the business of honourable Vazir and side by side began, to enrich jamats with the spiritual understanding.

Thereafter he began to reside at Karachi. Here he plunged into the field of social service and gained fame in Jamat as a missionary as well as a devoted worker. He was dealing in hides, dry fish and cotton business and earned handsomely by making remarkable progress. But his soul was craving for something quite different and he began to trade for securing spiritual comfort. That was service to the Imam. He devoted his life to serve the Imam.

Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah shouldered him with vast responsibilities. He was appointed special Commissioner of the Jamats of the Punjab and North West Frontier Provinces. He toured to Syria and Middle East and achieved wonderful success there among Arabic speaking Jamats. He visited Africa thrice, during which twice he went as a special Commissioner of the Imam. He last toured for 23 months, during which he inaugurated four Banks, and an Insurance Company there. He was also able to secure business of 20,000,000 shillings for the Insurance Company.

On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Imamat of Hazrat Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah (50 years Imamat-celebration), the Pir took great pains and undertook wide tours throughout India, for which he was entitled as "Alijah".

However, amongst all these, the tour he undertook as an Ambassador of Hazrat Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah to central Asian Jamats in 1923 C.E. was of the same nature of the tour that Pir Sadruddin in his days undertook from Iran to Indo Pakistan. The tour of that part was so dangerous that at every moment and every step there was a fear of death and his undertaking was as historic as that of the disciples of the Holy Prophet who converted many to Islam. It may be mentioned here that he had also rendered service in Volunteer Corps of our Jamats.

He glorified Ismailism in Badakshan, Khurasan, China, Russia, Turkistan, Afghanistan, N.W.F.P., Chitral, Dir, Hunza, Gilgit, Kashmir, Pamir, India and Africa.

Pir Sabzali left this mundane world on December 13. 1938. Hazrat Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah bestowed upon him the noble title of 'Pir'. Hazrat Imam made a holy farman: "Itmadi Sabzali has served me in such manner that I have bestowed upon him the title of 'Pir'. If others would do such service, they all would secure the same position. I have given this honour to only one person during my Imamat of 54 years."

The next day after death of Pir Sabzali, Hazrat Imam Sultan Mohammad Shah made a holy farman to Jamats: "Itmadi Sabzali became dear to God. I give my best blessings to his soul. His name will remain everlasting in history. Similar to the da'is of the past, he was a great Da'i. He brought Ismaili Faith to light in Africa, Sind, Punjab and Gwadar."

"Pir Sabzali was a leader of the devotees of Ismaili faith. By his passing away the world has suffered an irreparable loss, but his soul has highly benefited. He has achieved eternal peace."

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Pir Sabzali
Sabzali Ramzan Ali, Pir