Pir Budhu Shah was a Muslim saint who lived at Sidhaura in Himachal Pradesh. His original name was Sayyid Badr-ud-din. He was born on June 13, 1641, in a rich Sayyid family of Sadhaura. From his childhood he was imbued with spiritualism and realization of God. As he took no interest in worldly affairs and spoke little, he was called Budhu or stupid. Being a Sayyid, Shah was added to his name. When he grew up to manhood, people considered him a man of God, and designated him Pir or a saint. The epithet of Budhu Shah stuck to him. He became Pir Budhu Shah.
While Guru Gobind Rai was staying at Paonta, the Pir was touring the hilly areas. The Pir came to know that Guru Gobind Rai, the tenth embodiment in the line of Guru Nanak, was staying at Paonta. He went to see the Guru, in a palanquin, as it was the fashion among kings and emperors of those times to move with royal pomp and show, in palanquins, with attendants and servants.
The audience with the Guru gave him the peace of mind which the study of religious books, prayers and meditation had not given. His mind was cleared of all doubts after exchange of views with the Guru. The difference of ‘That is yours and this is mine’ had disappeared from his mind. The Pir could see everything belongs to one God, when he left for Sidhaura.
After the first meeting it became routine for Pir Budhu Shah to visit the Guru. He no more needed a palanquin to visit the Guru. He came to realise that the Guru’s fight was not for any kingdom but against the tyranny which was being perpetrated against the poor people. Religion was being used as an excuse to commit tyranny. He got five hundred Pathans (Natives of Afghanistan) who had been dismissed from Aurangzeb’s army for being Shi’ah Muslim, enrolled with the Guru.
Before starting the War of Bhangani’, the hill states’ rajas tempted and enticed four hundred of these five hundred Pathans to join them. When Pir Budhu Shah came to know this disloyalty of the Pathans, he came to the Guru’s aid with his seven hundred followers, four sons and two brothers. Fierce battle was fought at Bhangani. Two of his sons attained martyrdom in the battle. The army of the hill rajas suffered heavy casualties in the war and their forces were routed.
After the war was over, the Pir came to take leave from the Guru to go back to Sidhaura. The Guru asked the Pir, “You have rendered great help to me in this war. You may ask if you have any special wish. Your wish will be fulfilled from the ‘House of Nanak’.” At the time, the Guru was combing his hair. The Pir said to the Guru, “If you are so pleased with my services, be kind enough to grant me this comb with your hair entangled in it.”
The Guru gave the comb with the hair to Pir Budhu Shan. Later on Maharaja Bharpur Singh of Nabha state obtained that comb and hair from the descendants of the Pir after paying the sum asked by them.
When Aurangzeb came to know that the Pir had helped the Guru in the ‘War of Bhangani’ he sent Usman Khan with a force to Sidhaura. Usman Khan arrested the Pir and to punish the Pir for helping the Guru, he was martyred by burying alive.
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur avenged the Pir Budhu Shah’s execution in 1709 by storming Sadhaura and punishing ‘Usman Khan. The ancestral house of Pir Budhu Shah in Sadhaura has since been converted into a Gurdwara named after Pir Buddhu Shah.