Shabeer Kirmani with Imran Khan, Former Cricketer & Prime Minister of Pakistan
In Memorium – The Good Life: Scholar who made political predictions, Shabeer Kirmani was a multilingual man who spoke Urdu, English, Arabic, Persian, and Pashto well.
Shabeer Kirmani, a renowned scholar and numerologist who died of pneumonia in London at the age of 78, was a man of knowledge and insight, character and integrity. His affectionate approach spread far and wide, and was appreciated by friends and strangers across the world.
Despite being the heir to a well-known Jhelum shrine, Shabeer Kirmani loathed being referred to as a “Peer”, a honorific title meaning ‘Saint’, often given to Sufi Spiritual masters historically.
In Jhelum, he was laid to rest. His Chehlum, or 40th Day Remembrance, an important posthumous remembrance for prominent individuals, was attended by individuals from all walks of life. His wife Shahnaz and three children — Khudija, Ameer Hamza, and Ameer Turab Ali — survive him.
Intellectually, Shabeer Kirmani was a polymath who spoke Urdu, English, Arabic, Persian, and Pashto. According to friends and family, he was tall, attractive, and humorous.
His ability to decipher historical documents was indeed unique. He studied in Egypt at Cairo University as well as in Iraq in Baghdad in his late twenties and early thirties. He conducted study and then shared his findings with institutes all around the world through text and lectures.
He traveled to Oxford in the United Kingdom to study engineering in the late 1950s, but was unable to complete his education due to financial constraints and the death of his father.
He was the heir and caretaker of his father’s shrines in Jhelum (Astana Peer Qasim Ali Shah, Pir Peshawari) and Peshawar (Astana Peer Qasim Ali Shah, Pir Peshawari).
He was a true philanthropist who committed his life to the welfare of those around him.
Shabeer Kirmani’s mastery of numerology was never used to entertain or amaze the people around him.
Numerology has a long standing history in many prominent civilizations, including Chinese, Indian, Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin societies.
Kirmani is said to have consulted influential people from numerous disciplines, including politics, about problems of fate and the future. His precise predictions enthralled Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto served as the 4th President and 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan, and was the father of Benazir Bhutto, the 11th and 13th Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Shabeer Kirmani was never one to impose his beliefs on others. To him, prayer was a personal affair between an individual and the Almighty. He was a firm believer in God’s love for His creation. And how could one be close to God if they did not love another human being? This was a recurring theme in his speeches, and in fact in his life itself.
To be close to God, he would often say, one must first appreciate the Prophet Muhammad. Only then will one be able to uncover and perceive things that only the blessed could see.
Kirmani had developed a relationship with Former Cricketer, Humanitarian and Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, whom he met with several times. They often discussed spirituality, peace, tranquility, and the betterment of the society in light of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
Khan has openly expressed on numerous counts that he is inspired by the leadership of the Prophet Muhammad, and sought to replicate the governance of the State of Madina.
Artistic Depiction of The Prophet Muhammed in the Supreme Court of the United States of America, who inspired Shabeer Kirmani
Kirmani and Khan would discuss the lessons of peace, tolerance, love, compassion, unity, development, strategy, and upliftment as taught by the life of the Prophet and the teachings of Islam. Additionally, they would discuss the necessity of promoting good and forbidding evil in society, a religious obligation upon Muslims.
They would also discuss how to ensure that the most downtrodden members of society, the impoverished, are able to have a fair shot at food, shelter, healthcare, education and happiness. At the core of this goal lay a deep sense of justice, and the establishment of justice in society for all. This would lead their conversations to understanding how to inculcate justice (or ‘insaf’ in Urdu) in society, an important theme to both men, but especially Khan, whose political party which he founded is called Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, or ‘Pakistan Movement for Justice’.
Additionally, they would discuss views and poetry of the great poet-philosopher Sir Mohammad Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan. Known as Allamah (‘Very Knowing’ or ‘Most Learned’ in Persian) Iqbal in the Indian Subcontinent, and as Iqbal Lahori in the Persian speaking world, Iqbal wrote in Urdu as well as in Farsi.
Shabeer Kirmani drew inspiration from Sir Mohammad Iqbal, known as Allamah Iqbal or Iqbal Lahori, the National Poet of Pakistan
The works of Iqbal include poetry which uses the metaphor of the ‘Shaheen’ or the ‘Falcon’, which has to face turbulent winds in order to fly, however the winds are not to destroy or demoralize the falcon, but rather to drive the bird to fly higher, above the gusts of the turbulent winds. This particular analogy has been used by Khan in many of his speeches, in which he draws from the Greatest Thinker from the Subcontinent in the last 500 years, according to Khan. In his thinking and writings, Iqbal integrates modern science and religious mysticism, which may have inspired Kirmani, who although was deeply entrenched in religious spirituality while also being a proponent of modern society.
Modern scholars may be able to learn from the thoughts of Shabeer Kirmani and his wisdom in the Islamic tradition, who encouraged people to understand the wisdom of the spirit of the religion, a spirit rooted in peace, tolerance, and love. However, he encouraged this focus on religious spirituality, without compromising the benefits of the developments of the modern world. This was a unique blend of traditionalism and modernism which can serve as a valuable resource for posterity.
Much the same way as his mentors & inspirations, Kirmani will be remembered as a beacon of peace, preaching wisdom, tolerance, and harmony, in an ever more divided world.
You can follow the legacy of the Shabeer Kirmani on Twitter: @shabeerkirmani