He, along with his contemporary Khushal Khan Khattak, is considered one of the most popular poets among the Pashtuns in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His poetry expresses a peaceful mystical side of local culture which is becoming increasingly threatened by less tolerant interpretations of Islam.Rahman was a member of the Ghoryakhel Mohmand sub-tribe of the Pashtuns, a group which migrated from the Hindu Kush mountains to the Peshawar valley, from the 13th to the 16th century. He grew up in a small pocket of Mohmand settlers on the outskirts of Peshawar. Rahman apparently lived peacefully in the area, and never mentions his involvement in the fierce inter-tribal conflicts of his day.
Opinion is divided about Rahman's family background. Several commentators are convinced that his family were village Maliks (chieftains). However, Rahman Baba was more likely to have been a simple, though learned man. As he himself claimed: "Though the wealthy drink water from a golden cup, I prefer this clay bowl of mine." Abdur Rahman Baba died in 1715 CE, and his tomb is housed in a large domed shrine, or mazar, on the southern outskirts of Peshawar (Ring Road Hazar Khwani). The site of his grave is a popular place for poets and mystics to collect to recite his popular poetry. In April each year, there is a larger gathering to celebrate his anniversary.Rahman Baba was an ascetic but various unfounded theories have been made about who Rahman's guide may have been, and to which order he was attached.
Sabir suggests that Rahman had a Naqshbandi Sufi tariqa initiation in Kohat, as well as training from the sons of Pir Baba. Schimmel and Saad Ahmed Baksh casually assign Rahman to the Chishti order. Aqab, himself of the Qadiriyyah order, claims Rahman was a Qadiri.Rahman Baba has received a large amount of praise. His work is regarded by many Pashtuns to be far more than poetry and next only to the Quran. The Pashtun Sufi master Saidu Baba said "if the Pashtuns were ever asked to pray on a book other than the Quran, they would undoubtedly go for Rahman Baba's work."On 8 March 2009, "militants" bombed Rahman Baba's tomb in Peshawar.