A short time after the martyrdom of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah in 1844 AD an opulent Muslim took upon himself to construct a shrine for the great soul. After all the planning was done, this gentleman died before the construction ever actually started. Thereafter, his son decided to fulfill his father’s mission to start the construction and just like his father he died the night before the construction could commence. After a short while another local Muslim was able to construct the perimeter wall and the walls of the shrine; unfortunately, before he could complete the roof of the shrine he died as well following by the shrine walls as well as the perimeter walls plummeting by itself. Time passed and a fourth person decided to erect the shrine again and low and behold the second night after completing the construction this person dies as well following a repeat of the plummeting of the shrine as well as the perimeter wall.
It was after the fourth death that the natives of Hathala reported multiple dreams with Syed Wilayat Ali Shah stating
“Do not build the shrine perimeter or a roof over the shrine walls. This is the task assigned to my sons and they will be the one who will do so”.
Nobody had the courage to go against the will of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah and thus the people of Hathala gave up on the idea of building a perimeter wall or a roof over the shrine anymore. This state of open skies continued for a long 142 years.
After travelling for a day or so Syed Wilayat Ali Shah’s horse came to a stop and wouldn’t go any further. He understood the sign and decided to settle right there. This place was known as Hathala. Hathala is about 60 kilometers west from Dera Ismail Khan and is accessible through Tank road in Tehsil Kulachi. Although the names Batala and Hathala rhyme, they are not the taken as the same.
According to a folk lore when Syed Wilayat Ali Shah arrived at his destination he uttered the word “Batala”. The Saraiki speaking natives took that word and named that location Hathala. However, there is no written documentation to support this claim.
The place of residence of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah was towards the southwest outskirts of hathala city population. He started his preaching and started making acquaintances. Mostly people would come to him when they or someone they loved got sick so he could pray over them to get in Allah’s good graces. The word of his power of prayer and miraculous recoveries spread quickly and the heavily Hindu population started to convert to Islam. In a short period of five years all of hathala had accepted as their religion and most of the population became Syed Wilayat Ali Shah’s subjects.
Under the rapidly changing environment and religious landscape change, a few hardliner Hindus and Sikhs got together to plan the murder of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah. Disguised as robbers, they succeeded in martyring Syed Wilayat Ali Shah along with his horse in early 1844 AD ~ 1261 Hijri. The local natives, subjects, and disciples decided to bury him in Hathala. A shrine was built later in Syed Wilayat Ali Shah’s honor and to date people from nearby places come to visit the shrine for votive offerings and get blessed. It was due to this untimely death that there were no direct descendents of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah and neither did the natives know of any known family to send any news of his sad demise.
Back in Dera Ismail Khan, Syed Ameer Shah received the news of his son’s martyrdom through oneiromancy. After receiving the dream for third consecutive night Syed Ameer Shah understood that his beloved son has met his maker. He shared this news with his younger son Syed Inayat Ali Shah but neither of them knew the exact whereabouts of Syed Wilayat Ali Shah except that he travelled westwards of Dera Ismail Khan. In the later part of 1844 the demise of Syed Inayat Ali Shah’s wife struck the last straw and with a heavy heart both the father and son set out for the pilgrimage after selling the mansion and the garden.
Since the early years Syed Wilayat Ali Shah was into spirituality and had a religious inclination. He was a Hafiz-e-Quran and was skilled and knowledgeable on several fronts. He was mostly found lost in the brown study and loved being by himself. Later in 1839 Syed Wilayat Ali Shah received an annunciation to travel west of Dera Ismail Khan to spread the word of Allah and Prophet Muhammad (SAW). This annunciation was the primary reason for Syed Wilayat Ali Shah to turn down the marriage proposal of the niece of Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai. Soon after Syed Wilayat Ali Shah received the annunciation, he told his father seeking permission to leave Dera Ismail Khan and travel westwards to serve Islam. Syed Ameer Shah swiftly gave permission to Syed Wilayat Ali Shah. Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai gifted his personal horse to Syed Wilayat Ali Shah for his travels ahead.
As time passed Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai became quite enamored by the Syeds. Impressed from their ancestry, miracles, truthfulness of their promises and actions, and virtues Sardar Abdullah Khan showed interest in giving his brother’s daughter (niece) hand in marriage to the eldest son Syed Wilayat Ali Shah. Syed Wilayat Ali Shah was made aware of this proposal; however, due to his dervish lifestyle he respectfully turned this proposal down. The Sadozai Sardar kept insisting on converting this friendship into a consanguineous relationship (aside from the fact that his did not have a daughter). After several repeated advancements and rejections from Syed Wilayat Ali Shah, the Sadozai Sardar proposed that the next in line Syed Inayat Ali Shah be offered the same marriage proposal.
Eventually, under the instructions of Syed Ameer Shah, Syed Inayat Ali Shah’s wedding took place in the year 1843 AD ~ 1260 Hijri. Unfortunately, the Sadozai Lady passed away within a year in 1844 AD and Syed Inayat Ali Shah did not have any issue with her. Immediately after the passing away of his daughter-in-law, Syed Ameer Shah sold the mansion and the garden and started their journey to the pilgrimage towards Saudi Arabia on foot. At that time there were a lot of Sadozai suitors for the lady. When the Sadozai Sardar married her off outside of the Sadozai family many of the local Sadozai family members started to dislike the Syeds but kept quiet due to their leader i.e. Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai.
The next morning when the Sardar looked upon the luminescent faces of the Syeds in the court, he felt as if he had not given a deserving welcome to the graceful Syeds. To make up for the opportunity lost Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai offered the Syeds an extended stay at the royal guesthouse that lasted for almost a year.
During that stay the Sardar saw the piousness as well as the miracles performed by the Syeds and become deeply impressed by their personality and virtue. Furthermore, the ruler of Dera Ismail Khan Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai granted Syed Ameer Shah and his sons a garden with a water well which was approximately 20 kanals (5445 square foot) area in 1839 AD ~ 1256 Hijri. There was also a small house on the said property that was part of the grant. This house still exists just inside the “Kanairyan Gate” but there is no reminiscence of the garden any longer. Houses were constructed over time all around the Syeds house that ended up being the cause of the garden vanishing. In 1839 AD when Sardar Abdullah Khan Sadozai showed his generosity and hospitality towards the Syed household there were many within the Sadozai family who did not like this action and started to count the Syeds as their foe.
In those times the journey to Dera Ismail Khan was very tiring as there was no bridge over the Indus River parting Dera Ismail Khan from Derajat. Therefore, it was late into the night when the Syed family arrived near Dera Ismail Khan.
Sardar Abdullah Sadozai was the Ruler of Dera Ismail khan at that time and it was under his order that the city gates were closed upon after dusk. The northern gate “Nizam Gate” was the last to be closed each day. The Mansions for the ladies of the Sadozai tribe were also located near the Nizam Gate of Dera Ismail Khan. By the time the Syeds arrived near Dera Ismail Khan all of the city gates were already closed. The Syeds pleaded with the guards appointed at the gates that as there was danger for them to stay outside the city gates to let them inside; however, the guards were under strict orders to not let anybody inside the city after dusk and the Syed family had to stay outside the city walls for the night.
That night the Sadozai Sardar saw a dignified masked horseman riding a superb horse and addressed the Sardar in a commanding voice:
“O Abdullah whilst you sleep on the bed of comfort, the Sons of Prophet (SAW) wander the wilder outskirts of the city and are wide awake”.
Sardar Abdullah awoke anxiously and was unable to go back to sleep. He eventually got out of the mansion and went to the city gate to have it opened and have a look outside. Once the Syeds were found he inquired about them and asked who they were? Upon knowing that these are the Syeds—about whom he had just received the message in the dream—Sardar opened up the red carpet for the Syeds and humbly requested them to stay at the royal guesthouse.