According to legends, he was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad and lived for over 700 years. Baba Ratan twice visited Mecca and met the Prophet on both occasions. He is believed to have seen the miracle of splitting of moon with his own eyes. There is controversy as to whether he embraced Islam or not but there is no doubt that he spent considerable time with Rasul Allah. The first reference to Haji Ratan in Islamic literature dates back to twelfth century. Several Hadith collectors traveled from as far as Andalusia and Central Asia to collect the supposed traditions from him. Abu Marwan Andalusi, a Spanish Muslim chronicler, visited Haji Ratan and penned an interesting sketch of him. When he arrived at the Baba’s monastery, he was taken aback to see an ancient, wrinkled man, his cheeks covered with hair ‘as white as cotton’. The Baba addressed him in a language he could not understand. When he heard the translation, Abu Andalusi came to know that Baba Ratan was present in Medina during the famed Battle of the Trench./He was just fourteen years of age at that time. When the Prophet saw him laboring at the trenches, he blessed him with a long life. His name is mentioned by Ibn Hajar Asqalanl in his’ Asabafl Marifati s-Sahdba’ and also by A'dh-Qhahabiin his ‘Tajrid’. Ibn Hajar calls him as one of the companions of Rasul Allah.
Another account of the story is as follows-
Baba Rattan Hindi was from a village of Batinda in India and was a follower of Hindu religion. He was a trader by profession, who used to regularly travel from India to as far as the Arabian lands.
Baba Ratan Hindi narrates an event during his trading days; “Once, during our trading visit to Arabia, we travelled through Makkah, and passed a small village. We came across a small handsome boy who was looking after a herd of goats, trying to cross a nearby creek.
Due to heavy rainfall, the water was fast flowing, all the goats jumped across, but the small boy had difficulty crossing. With basic language, I kindly offered to help. I carried the handsome boy on my shoulders and crossed to the other side. The charming boy then said a prayer for me with such words “May Allah gives you long life”. The charming boy uttered this 7 times. It was rather surprising and unusual to see such composition in a child; I adored this very much, however we carried on with our trading journey.
Some 50 years later, we were sitting in the middle of the jungle, in our village. Suddenly we witnessed the moon being split into two halves and then rejoining again. We were so astonished by this sighting; we started to enquire from people for an explanation. People would acknowledge the event but could not dwell further into the event.
Once, a group of traders from Makkah came to India and we enquired from them with regards to this event. They explained that a man from the Quraish named Muhammad (S.A.W), who announced his Prophethood and had shown many miracles. He was challenged by the people of Makkah to split the 14th day moon (full moon). With His Index Finger, He pointed towards the moon and the moon split in two. Then the people of Makkah challenged Him (S.A.W) to join the moon back again, He pointed to the moon and it joined back together.
Upon hearing this; I felt a desire to meet this young man. After trying for some years, I finally made the long journey to Makkah. When reaching Makkah, I was told by the people that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) had migrated to Madina Shareef.
After reaching Madina Shareef, I enquired about the Prophet (S.A.W) and was directed to Masjid Nabwi Shareef. Upon arrival in the Masjid I saw the Companions sitting amongst a beautiful man who was the Prophet (S.A.W). It was as though I had seen the full moon again.
I explained that I had come from India upon hearing about His (S.A.W)’s miracles. I said; “please show me a miracle as well so that I can declare my faith in you”. He (S.A.W) smiled and replied “Ratan Hindi, is that childhood Dua (supplication) not enough of a miracle for you, when you helped me cross the creek (stream) and I prayed for your long life”? Upon hearing this I accepted Islam”.
Hazrat Baba Ratan (R.A) accepted Islam and then returned to India, where He (R.A) lived on to the great age of 700 years. This amazingly long life was due to the Dua made Seven times by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W), in His (S.A.W) childhood.
Hazrat Sheikh Razi al-Din Ali ibn Saeed Lala ibn Abdul Jaleen Ghaznawi (R.A) mentions that when I visited Hind in 624AH, He (R.A) narrated to me some incidents of the blessed majlis of Holy Prophet (S.A.W).
Hazrat Allamah ibn Hajr Asqalani (R.A) has mentions Hazrat Haji Rattan ibn Nasr Hindi (R.A) in his book Al-Asabah (R.A) Tarif al-Sahabah and Hazrat Sheikh 'Alau- din Samnani has also mentioned him in his book Fasl al-Khitaab.
Baba Ratan is said to have died in 1234-5 A. D. and lies buried in his present shrine at Tabar Hind(former name of Bhatinda). Mazaar, Pir Baba Haji Rattan of Bhatinda city represents the multi-cultural facet of Punjab. This place of worship is open to people from any religion. This mausoleum is located between the grain market and the Civil Hospital and has a peaceful atmosphere. "Pir Baba Haji Rattan" has represented India as its ambassador in the sacred city of Mecca."Pir Baba Haji Rattan" answers the prayers of everyone from any religion who seeks his blessings. So the city of Bhatinda worships the "Pir" as an existing God.
The shrine of Baba Haji Rattan is associated with the popular legends of the visits of ‘Sikh’ Gurus; Guru Nanak, Guru Hargobind and Guru Gobind Singh. Punjab Wakf Board manages the shrine and an iron railing protects the grave of the saint. Before partition, it was the most popular shrine of Indian sub-continent but today it stands as a shadow of its regal past. An annual Mela also takes place every year at the shrine