By : Haroon Rashid Bhat
Life is full of mysterious, twists and turns. When and where life takes the radical turn, no one can predict. It was a hot summer day, a village man from Syed-Pora- Bala namely Akbar Reshi nicknamed Akie Reshi was busy in hoeing work in the paddy field. In the meantime, a stranger appeared before him accompanied by a person from a peer family from Mulphaq Hazratbal. They started a conversation with Akie Reshi. Impressed by his humble attitude at the first instance, the stranger expressed his wish to take shelter at his residence at Syed-Pora-Bala. Akie Reshi and his family welcomed the new guest with an open heart. His outward appearance, the saintly getup, and his brief occasional sermons were vividly reflecting his spiritual stature.
Days passed, it was later confirmed that the stranger was from Kabul Afghanistan. His language was Urdu and he gained popularity among the locals by the name Bab or Peer Soub that is why his original name remained unknown. His peculiar lifestyle surprised everyone, he preferred isolation, used to cook his meals by himself, chanting mystical verses mostly before dawn and evening hours. During his stay there, Akie Reshi attended him day and night devotedly. His gentle attitude, Simplicity, submissiveness, dedication, and hospitality overwhelmed the guest. Later that proximity developed a sacred bond between them. The guest became his mentor and the host as his disciple. He acquainted him with an exceptional knowledge and Hikma that further bestowed the Reshi family a special privilege of treating the patients suffering from various kinds of diseases like- Jaundice; Snake or dog bites,, Herpes, Psoriasis, Acne vulgaris, etc, The procedure of this particular treatment starts with the recitation of those particular verses which he (Akie Reshi) learned from his mentor followed by the application of medicinal plants KahZaban-Arnebia Benthamii; Datur- Datura Stramonium; Tethwan- Artemesia absinthium; Kuth- Saussurea Lappa Pambechalan-Rheum Emodi; Kauri bootti-Ajuga bracteosa; Hapatfal-Sambauucus; Paewakh- Aconitum heterophyllous, Michre Komal, etc are the main medicinal plants used for various kinds of treatments depending upon the nature of the disease.
While narrating the history of his family, Assad-Ullah Reshi- the eldest member of the Reshi family said, “Akie Reshi before his death put each male member of his joint family on rigorous trials and tests. The intention behind those trials and tests was to check the level of patience, competence, and character of whether the person who was supposed to be selected as the successor could shoulder that responsibility or not. Finally, fortune favored his nephew Mohammad Shabhan Reshi. He nominated him as his successor. M.S. Reshi besides engaging with his family profession- blanket weaving and farming, continued this practice throughout his life as social work”. It is worth mentioning here that this entire area- Elaqi-Phaq is situated near the forest area and during those times skin diseases, animal bites were very common. Because those days, Allopathic medicine and modern medical facilities were the distant dreams for the common masses. So, any person suffering from any kind of ailment relied on then traditional ways of treatment.
When Mohammad Shaban Reshi left this transit world for good, he adopted the same procedure while selecting his successor before his death. And this time, it was the turn of his second son- Gh. Qadir Reshi who was found fit for this job. Since the first day, he has been serving the people assiduously as the true healer without any social bias or religious differences. People from far-flung areas what may be their faith or socioeconomic status suffering from the aforementioned health problems visit his traditional clinic located at Syed Pora Bala for treatment. There is a huge influx of patients on Sundays because it is believed that any treatment of such nature or Jadphoonk-exorcism on that particular day has a profound effect.
During my recent interaction with Gh. Qadir Reshi at his clinic, he shared very important information based on his day-to-day experience. According to him, jaundice and skin diseases cases have been increasing rapidly for the last few years. Out of 100 patients, 75% are those who are suffering either jaundice or skin diseases. Causes may be many but the main causes are water pollution and food adulteration. His youngest son Abdul Gani Reshi who was sitting beside his father writing the prescription and the senior Reshi was rubbing knife on the face of the middle-aged lady suffering from Herpes, murmuring mystical verses. A copper bowl filled with water was just placed in the room. About this unique kind of treatment, Abdul Gani first praised his prime family mentor and then said, “There are many successful stories associated with our family concerning the treatment of patients suffering from acute jaundice or other diseases. There were patients who were at the verge of death but as soon as they came under the influence of this unique treatment, they got fully recovered by the grace of Almighty Allah. Besides treatment, we put the patients under strict prevention. He further said, sharing this stage here is not an ordinary task, it needs patience, persistence, and a perfect balance of overall personality. Any wrongdoing or unethical practice on this path can be catastrophic. It is like sitting on the sword’ This Reshi family retained the legacy of their forefather and has been serving the people for the last two centuries or more with the same zeal and zest. Let us hope the family will keep this candle glowing.
(My special thanks to Assad-Ullah Reshi and his family, Molvi Mohammad Shafi Akhoon, Ab Gani Reshi, and Mohammad Yousuf Bhat from New Theed-rendering his service in LCMA who facilitated me while collecting the information.)
Author is a teacher by profession. He can be mailed at email@example.com