How and from where the people got the notion of categorizing the shrines of Muslim saints for some special demands. But the belief is there since time immemorial. For example, young boys and girls flocked to the ‘mazar’ of Pir Baba, beseeching him for quickly marriage, in spring days every year. It was used to a time of great festivity and the town of Pacha Kaley (Buner) presented a colorful look due to the young ladies. The boys, wearing traditional ‘Pakols’ or caps and stuck flowers on the back of their ears. I was twenty two years old then (in 1965) and still unengaged. We were visiting Buner with our officer Mohammad Karim sahib. Our lunch on that day was scheduled at Batai village with Naqshey Malak. His son, Mohammad Khan was my class fellow in Jahanzeb college in 1958-59. My other class fellows from Buner were Ahmad Hussain of Pacha Kalay, Nazar Khan of Malakpur and Shakoor Advocate of Elai. After lunch and an hour siesta, we came to the shrine of Pir Baba. Our officer inspected the under construction Minars of the Masjid. The original ‘Minars’ has been declared dangerous and thus demolished. The new Minars had the same dimensions and profile, having cost of 48000/- at that time, a big amount then. I went inside the shrine. It was a large, low and dark room made of wood and earth. The ‘Mazar’ was inside an iron cage on an impulse? , I raised my hands and asked Allah for arranging my marriage, without nominating a particular girl. I was perplexed to select one out of a score names. Surprisingly, i was not only engaged on my return but got married the same week. Strange it was indeed though I did not and still not believe in these ideas.
There was a poplar tree near the Mazar of Saidu Baba, which could be seen in old pictures. If a child had fever, he was brought here and the small cones of that tree were tied around his neck with a white thread and he got rid of the fever. Similarly, mental and mad patients were also tied with a rope to the tree for two or three days.
There is a grave near the famous Barikot ‘Ghakhi’. The leaves of the old olive tree are crushed and the liquid is dropped in ears to heal the pain.
In Hesar Totakan, there is a shrine called Hesar Baba. Patients with scabies and other skin diseases go there for getting their wounds cured. One day, a man of that village came to Saidu for consulting a Skin Specialist. The doctor asked him where he came from. He said, “Hesar Baba”. The doctor said why he did not he attend the shrine. The man replied, “Sir, I went there but Hesar Baba referred me to you”.
P.S: “ I will like to add that I am not advocating for the Babas or their strange powers.”