Jahangir and the Muslim fundamentalist movement
Emperor Jahangir (August 31, 1569 to October 28, 1627) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire and India from 1605 until his death in 1627. He signed a treaty with the British East India Company promising their merchants preferential treatment, opening the Indian subcontinent to Britain for the first time.
Jahagir was responsible for the execution of the fifth Master, Guru Arjan in 1606. He wrote the following in his memoirs called Tuzak-i-Jehangiri; "At Goindwal on the banks of the river Beas, lived a Hindu, Arjan by name, in the garb of a Pir or Sheikh. Thus, many innocent Hindus and even foolish and ignorant Muslims he brought into his fold who beat the drum noisily of his self-appointed prophethood. He was called Guru. From all sides, worshippers came to offer their homage to him and put full trust in his word. For three or four generations, they had warmed up this shop. For a long time I had harbored the wish that I should set aside this shop of falsehood or I should bring him into the fold of Islam."
- 1 Muslim fundamentalist movement
- 2 Muslims call for a change
- 3 Direct reference to Guru Arjan
- 4 Sikhism moves into another gear
- 5 Akbar dismisses complaints
- 6 Prince Khusrau seeks Guru's blessings
- 7 Jahangir's account in "Tuzuk-i-Jahagiri"
- 8 Personal reasons
- 9 Opposition for other quarters
- 10 Political reasons
- 11 Internal rife within the family
- 12 The Guru's hand of friendship
- 13 A higher penalty imposed
- 14 Two "charges" levelled against Guru
- 15 Impact of order
- 16 Fundamentalists fear growth of Sikhi
- 17 Intervention of Muslim Divine
- 18 Conclusion
- 19 See also
- 20 References
Muslim fundamentalist movement
Sikhism, in spite of its emphasis on peace and tolerance, was perceived by Muslim fundamentalists as a threat to their supremacy. During the reign of Akbar, the Sikh faith had flourished on account of his policy of liberalism. Akbar had followed a policy of Sulh-i-Kul . He was noted for his secular and liberal outlook.
The fundamentalist Muslims, however, did not like the policy of religious toleration. However, they tolerated it till a time, they got an opportunity to strike a blow at it. In Punjab, the Muslim revivalist movement was started by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujaddid Alf- i-Sani (1564-1624) with its headquarters at Sirhind. The Shaikh bitterly criticised the policy of Akbar and not only, condemned the Hindu gods and was deadly against granting any concessions to the Hindus.
Muslims call for a change
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi's writings prove without any doubt that he saw Sikhism as an enemy of Islam. It not surprising, therefore, that he incited the rulers to crush it. He believed that Akbars policies had succumbed to the unwholesome influence of Shaikh Abul Fazl, Faizi and certain other nobles who had diverted him from orthodox Islam.
The previous Emperors appointment of Hindus to high positions, marriages with Rajput ladies, introduction of Din-i-Ilahi and Sijda, and celebration of Hindu fairs and festivals were all viewed by Shaikh Ahmad as posing a serious danger to Islam. These views are expressed in many letters Mujaddid, which although mainly concern with topics of theological interest, have also political significance. (1)
Direct reference to Guru Arjan
One letter has a direct reference to the martyrdom of Guru Arjan. In this letter Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi expressed to Shaikh Bukhari Murtaza Khan his jubilation at the execution of the saint of Goindwal. The letter reads:
- "Recently a very good thing - the execution of the accursed infidel of Goindwal- has taken place, which had been a cause of great frustration to the wretched Hindus and indeed he was the chief of heathens and the leader of the infidels. The movement had many powerful adherents at the Mughal Court."(2) These elements were feeling very sore over the growing influence of the Sikh movement but were lying low as long as Akbar reigned supreme.
Sikhism moves into another gear
The very succession of Guru Arjan as fifth successor had brought about a new era in the history of Sikhism. His manifold activities infused public spirit into the community. Places of worship were built wherever Sikh influence was felt. Large tanks were dug and lands were set apart, the proceeds of which went to defray the expenses of their upkeep.
Another most remarkable achievement of the Guru was the compilation of the Granth, the Sikh holy scripture. The compilation of the Granth (3) alarmed even a section of the Hindus who lost no opportunity to lodge a serious complaint with Emperor Akbar that the Hindus and Muslim prophets were reviled in the new Granth.
Akbar dismisses complaints
Akbar visited Goindwal towards the end of 1598.(4) He found the complaint totally unfounded and dismissed it. The popularity of the Sikh Faith had increased by leaps and bounds for which the Muslim bigoted Mullahs and Brahmins grew jealous.
They did not favour the new faith, as their hold on the people had started waning out whereas the new faith had started emerging as a force. Those who were feeling afraid of their own hegemony in danger joined hands in conspiracy to eliminate the Guru from the scene.
Akbar died at Agra in 1605 and was succeeded by his son, Salim under the title of Jahangir.
Prince Khusrau seeks Guru's blessings
Jahangirs eldest son, Prince Khusrau revolted against his father and fled from Agra to Kabul. He called on the Guru at Taran Taran and sought his blessings. While crossing the river Chenab he was apprehended by the imperial army and thrown in prison and later put to death.(5)
According to the Sikh traditional accounts, the Gurus detractors, particularly the Hindu Diwan Chandu Mal, had already poisoned Jahangirs ears. Prince Khusraus meeting with the Guru stirred up Jahangirs bigotry against the Guru.
Jahangir's account in "Tuzuk-i-Jahagiri"
In his autobiography he wrote:
- "In Gobindwal, which is on the river Beas, a Hindu named Arjan used to live in the garb of a spiritual master and mystic guide, under the influence of which he had induced a large number of simple-minded Hindus and some ignorant and silly Muslims, to become attached to his ways and customs. He had the drum of his spiritual leadership and sainthood loudly beaten. They called him Guru. From all sides and directions ignorant ones and dervish-grab worshippers inclined towards him and reposed full faith in him. For three or four generations they (he and his precursors) had kept his business brisk. For a long time the thought kept coming to me of either putting an end to that shop of falsehood or to bring him into the fold of Islam." (6)
Emperor Jahangir continues in his memoirs:
- "It happened now that Khusrau was passing by that route. This useless man let wished to attend on him, Khusrau halted at the place where he had his seat and residence. He saw him and conveyed to him some far-fetched things and on his forehead put a finger-mark in saffron, which in the usage of Hindus is called qaashqa (Persian for tika) and is held to be auspicious. When this matter was brought to the notice of this glorious court and I realized the full extent of his false conduct, I ordered that he be brought to my presence (at Lahore). I gave over his homes and houses and children to Murtza Khan (Jahangirs Mir-i-Bakhshi), confiscated his goods and ordered him to be capitally punished."(7)
Several cases may be cited as evidence of Emperor Jahangirs orthodoxy and fanaticism born out of fear and suspicion of the times. But for our purpose, only one example may be sufficient to prove this allegation. It is on the record that Jahangir allowed daily allowances to the new converts. It is also well known that when he learnt that in certain localities Muslim girls were converted to Hinduism and married to Hindus, he put a stop to it and punished the guilty. In the case of the execution of Guru Arjan, the Mughal Emperor attempted to stand forth a protector of the true faith.
It is evident from his own Tuzuk that Jahangir had already formed a prejudice against the Sikh movement and he got the long-sought chance in the rebellion of Khusrau. However, it appears that Jahangirs charge against Guru Arjan that Hindus and Muslims were embracing his faith in large numbers had been prompted by some external agency, mainly the fanatical mullas.
The Mujaddid may have worked overtime to bring upon the mind of Emperor through his trusted friend Shaikh Farid Bukhari. Guru Arjan was executed under the direct orders of the Emperor himself for his religious popularity and proselytization gained additional strength, making the Guru a real martyr at the alter of his faith. To oblige the Muslim orthodoxy, Jahangir became extremely biased against the Sikh movement and was in the lookout to finish it by eliminating the Sikhs Guru Arjan under the pretext of sheltering Prince Khusrau during his flight to the Punjab.
Opposition for other quarters
Apart from the bitter opposition of the orthodox coterie at the Mughal Court, the opposition also came from persons like Diwan Chandu Mal,(8) a banker and Diwan in the Lahore Court. He became one of the bitterest enemies of the Guru, because the Guru had declined the hand of Chandu's daughter for his son, Hargobind, because of very derogatory remarks passed by Chandu Mal against the institution of the Sikh Guru. There was yet another rival, Prithi Chand, the elder brother of the fifth Guru, who indulged in all sorts of intrigues against him. It is however, certain that his role in the final tragedy was merely subsidiary.
As already mentioned above, neither the Muslim nor the Hindu orthodoxy or persons bearing ill-will against Guru Arjun Dev, could do any harm to the Sikh movement during the life-time of Emperor Akbar. So far as Emperor Jahangir is concerned, his personal reasons for the execution of the Guru are too evident from his memoirs quoted above. In person, Emperor Jahangir was the chief prosecuting authority to level criminal charges against him as well as the final judge to pass the sentence of death on him. Fortunately for history, we have both on him. The Emperors charges and his sentence is available to us in his own words as recorded by him in his autobiography, the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri. This is supported by other contemporary accounts such the Dabistan-i- Mazahib and later Sikh sources like Mahima Prakash.and Umdat-ut-Tawarikh.
Emperor Jahangir, it is well known, was not a puritan representative of Islamic faith. Some time before and after his accession to the Mughal throne, he had perforce, of political necessity, to assume the character of the defender of the Muslim faith and play the role of a puritan. This he did in keeping with his promise to an influential section of the fanatical Muslims, the Naqshbandi revivalists under the leadership of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi.
According to calculated plan, the revivalists approached Jahangir, the successor of Emperor Akbar and offered him full support on the condition that there was complete change in the imperial policy towards the non-Muslims. The staunchest advocate of the revivalist movement at the court was Shaikh Farid Bukhari who also supported the claims of the heir apparent Prince Salim (later Jahangir) to the Imperial throne.(9)
Internal rife within the family
The revolt of Prince Salim and court intrigues resulted in reconciliation. Emperor Akbar publicly recognized Prince Salim as his heir to the throne. In reality, however, Akbar approved the nomination of his grandson Khusrau and desired to be succeeded by him rather than by his rebellious and intemperate son Salim.
This set in motion the intrigues and counter-intrigues for winning support of the contesting parties- Prince Salim and his son Khusrau. Khan-i-Azam Aziz Koka and Raja Man Singhs proposal to exclude Prince Salim as unworthy in favour of his son was opposed by courtiers who supported Khusraus candidature.
The new development at Mughal court afforded a favourable opportunity to the adherents of the puritan revivalists to exact from Prince Salim a price for their support to his claims over the imperial throne. Consequently they not only obtained a solemn oath binding Salim in the first place to defend Islamic faith against non-Muslim heathenism and secondly to punish those who had at any time in the past espoused the cause of Khusrau.(10)
The Guru's hand of friendship
The most popularly known cause was the revolt of Emperors son Khusrau who had advanced his claim to the throne after Akbar and rebelled against his father. He was forced to flee from Punjab but was captured on the bank of Chenab by the forces of Emperor Jahangir.
According to Sarup Das Bhalla, Mahima Prakash , Khusrau was in serious trouble. The Guru extended to him the hospitality of Guru Ka Langar. Spending the night there, he resumed his journey. It may be added here that the Prince could expect hospitality and good wishes and prayers for his success only from a person who had the moral courage to make his opposition and one who would not be afraid to take consequences of the royal displeasure.
However, to offer food and succour to a rebel against the Imperial throne was in itself clearly tantamount to abetting high treason sufficiently serious to exact the extreme penalty of the law. It is not surprising therefore, that the Guru was arrested by the direct orders of the Emperor.
A higher penalty imposed
The Sikh chronicles would make us believe that the Gurus detractors, headed by Chandu Shah, incited the Emperor, while he was still in Lahore against him (the Guru) alleging that he had given help to the rebel prince and had blessed him putting a mark of royalty on his forehead.
Jahangir, according to what he records in his autobiography, resolved, to put an end to his preachings or bring him to the fold of Islam, The pious wish expressed in the italicized words, was, however, not carried out, presumably because personal factor had now come in.
A harder treatment was now thought necessary. He summoned the Guru and ordered his execution with confiscation of his property. (11)
Two "charges" levelled against Guru
- (a) The popularity of the religious teachings and the ways of life of the Guru amongst the Hindus and Muslims who followed him as a religious head.
- (b) The visit of the Guru to the rebel prince Khusrau whom he is said to have blessed with saffron mark on his forehead. Of these two allegations, the first may be accepted as a historical fact. He was the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, the fourth in succession to Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Khusraus visit to Guru Arjan Dev during his flight, was considered as a gesture of blessings in favour of the rebel and accordingly the Guru ordered to be arrested. It is surprising that no enquiry was made and no trial was held (12).
Emperor Jahangir simply says:
- "I fully knew his heresies, and I ordered that he should be brought into my presence, that his houses and children be made over to Murtaza Khan, that his property be confiscated, and that he should be put to death with tortures."
Impact of order
The contemporary writings of both Emperor Jahangir and Shiakh Ahmad Sirhindi, speak volumes for the attitude of the fundamentalists towards non-Muslims and particularly about the Sikh Guru. It was dangerous for the Emperor not to act in accordance with the wishes of the revivalists whose chief advocate was his own chief supporter and adviser. It is not surprising therefore, that the Guru was handed over to Murtza Khan for execution according to the Mughal law of yasa and Siyasat (13) and upon him he bestowed the confiscated property of the Guru.
Throughout his life, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi fervently tried to preach the Shariat from the orthodox Sunni point of view and had thus more of a narrow-mindedness of a Mulla in him than the catholicity and liberalism of a Sufi. The rhetoric and appeal of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindis letters kindled religious fervour and resulted in a religious revival, which took some times to bear fruit and went a long way in completely altering the history of medieval India.
Unfortunately the first casualty was Guru Arjan who in his eyes was the Chief of the infidels (Rais-i-ahl-i-shirk). The Shaikh repeatedly urges upon his devoted follower Murtza Khan for his humiliation and destruction, as the necessities of Muhammadan faith. (Jihad-i- bil-kuffar wa ghilzat bar ishan az zarurat-i-din ast). (14)
Fundamentalists fear growth of Sikhi
The reasons of Mujaddid being inimical towards the Guru are not far to seek. The Mujaddid was a preacher of puritanical Islam and called upon to see the supremacy and superiority of the Islamic faith established in the Mughal Empire. No one else in the Mughal Empire was as much interested in the removal of Guru Arjan from the field of religious preachings as the Mujaddid was and again, no one else had then as much influence in the imperial court as he had, through Murtza Khan to carry out his wishes.
However, Mujaddid could not see his dream materialize in the face of vast population professing the non-Muslim faiths. In the Punjab, the non-Muslims were either the declared followers of the Sikh faith or were being increasingly attracted towards it through the preachings of the Guru.
This is testified by the near contemporary source the Dabistan-i-Mazaheb which records In short, in every mahal (each Gurus reign), the Sikhs increased in numbers, till in the reign of Guru Arjan Mal, they became very numerous. Not many cities remained in the inhabited region, where the Sikhs had not settled in some number.(15)
Intervention of Muslim Divine
Guru Arjan bore the tortures for three days and nights, seated on red-hot iron plate, boiled in cauldron of scalding water, while red-hot sand was poured on his blistered body. Meanwhile Hazrat Mian Mir, the Muslim saint, on seeing the tortures perpetuated on the Guru was full of grief. According to Sikh tradition he prayed to Gurus approval to invoke the powers of destruction for his torturers, but the Guru calmed him by saying that one should completely resign oneself to the Will of God. Accepting cheerfully the most agonizing physical torture, the Guru said: "Sweet be Thy Will, my Lord. Thy grace alone, I beseech." Mian Mir then bowed and left in silence.
Having subjected the Guru to a number of tortures the body was thrown into the strong torrent of the river Ravi on 30 May, 1606. (16). The subsequent developments of the Sikh movement testify that this martyrdom became a turning point in the Sikh history.
In the light of contemporary historical evidence from the direct and original sources mentioned above Guru Arjan was arrested and executed for:
- (a) his religious preachings,
- (b) contemporary political developments and
- (c) personal reasons.
The execution took place under the orders of Emperor Jahangir during the second year of his reign when due to political, personal and religious necessity he had to honour the Muslim revivalists to act as defender of Islamic faith.
In his Memoirs, the Emperor unashamedly confessed that it was he who ordered Guru Arjan to be put to death and it was also naively accepted that the motive for this crime was the Emperors religious bigotry and that an excuse to eliminate the Guru was then sought in the rebellion of Prince Khusrau. That the Emperor himself may have been misled regarding the true facts is, however, always a possibility.
The case of Guru Arjan happened to be the first important one reported to him for his decision as a test case to prove his bona fides as a saviour of the Muslims from the influences of the non-Muslims.
For the Sikhs it was a supreme sacrifice of their Guru for the cause of righteousness and truth. It admittedly was a unique martyrdom which has no match in the Indian history. Guru Arjan is the first martyr in Sikh history who fought for his ideals and a righteous cause for which he stood unshakable and steadfast.(17)
The Gurus martyrdom had far-reaching consequences. It transformed the Sikhs into saint-soldiers who, from now onwards, exercised a decided influence on the subsequent history of the Punjab. Thus was the course of history changed due to one fatal mistake of Emperor Jahangir.
- based on article at esikhs.com - Emperor Jahangirs Fatal Mistake: Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan Dev
- Guru Arjan
- Martyrdom of Guru Arjan
- Reasons for the martyrdom of Guru Arjan
- Martyrdom of Guru Arjan in the eyes of non-Sikh historians
- Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadar
- Kashmiri pandits
- Kirpa Singh Dutt
- Sikh Martyrs
- (1) Mujaddid Alf-i-Sani, Maktubat-i-Imam Rabbani. (three volumes containing 536 letters were written between 1616 and 1622 A.D). See S.S.A. Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and the Seventeenth Centuries ( Lucknow, 1965). In one of the letters Mujaddid advocates to keep the Hindus as a distance like dogs. Maktubat No. 164., vide Ganda Singh. The Sikh Review, (Calcutta, February, 1988), p. 27. Ibid., letter No. 193. The letter clearly indicates in clear language the fact that many like him were deeply intolerant towards Hindus, as well as Shia Muslims and must have played a prominent role in bringing about the execution of the Guru. Ganda Singh, op. cit., p.28. For more details see M.S. Ahluwalia, Naqshbandis of Sirhind in Fauja Singh (ed.) Sirhind Through the Ages, Punjabi University Patiala (Patiala, 1972),pp. 48-63
- (2) By compiling Guru Granth Sahib, Guru Arjun Dev made a distinct contribution to the advancement of the Sikh Faith. He sorted out the works of all religious saints, Faqirs and sages of the Bhakti movement. Another sagacious step taken by Guru Arjan Dev was the foundation of Hari Mandir, now called Darbar Sahib, at Amritsar. The foundation of this temple was laid a Muslim Faqir, Mian Mir. This step illustrated that the new faith regards all human beings as equal and extends the same respect to all men of God irrespective of their religious beliefs.
- (3) Abul Fazl, Akbarnama, Persian text, (Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1886), III, p.746 Eng. tr. Shireen Moosvi in J.S. Grewal and Irfan Habib (ed) Sikh History From Persian Sources, Published by Indian History Congress (New Delhi, 2001), p.55. According to the Sikh traditional accounts, when Akbar visited Batala (District Gurdaspur) in 1605, he sent for the Granth Sahib to verify the allegation. He got it opened at random twice and heard the recitation in the presence of the Qazis. The couplet on two occasions read as follows: "We are all the children of one Father, God. Who pervades in all His creation and resides in Him. When there is nothing but God, In whom one should find fault."
- (5) For details of Khusraus revolt see Muhammad Akbar, The Punjab under the Mughals, Vanguard, New Delhi Reprint, 1998, Chap. IX.
- (6) Emperor Jahangir, The Tuzuk - i -Jahangiri, Persian text, (Photocopy available in CAS in History Library, AMU, Aligarh), relevant part relating to Guru Arjans martyrdom, translated into English by Shireen Moosvi, in J.S. Grewal and Irfan Habib (ed), op, cit, p, 57. For religious policy of Emperor Jahangir see, Beni Prasad, History of Jahangir (London, 1922) and Sri Ram Sharma, Religious Policy of the Moghul Emperors, Calcutta, 1940.
- (7) Ibid.
- (8) Chandu Shah, a wealthy banker and revenue official was serving the Mughal court at Lahore. The Sikh traditional accounts (such as Gur Bilas Chhevi Patshahi and Sarup Das, Bhallas Mahima Prakash) would make us believe that Chandu Shah earned the annoyance of the Sikhs by uttering disparaging words when his family priest proposed Guru Arjans son, Hargobind for his daughter who was of marriageable age. When the report of what had been said ( Chandu Shah reportedly said Gurus house was too low for his status and wealth), reached the Sikh Sangat, it urged the Guru to reject the proposal. The Guru, honouring the Sikhs wishes, broke off the match, which made Chandu Shah a deadly foe of the Guru. According to the Sikh chroniclers, when Emperor Jahangir sentenced the Guru to death with torture, Murtaza Khan, the Governor of Lahore, was ordered to carry out the sentence, but it was Chandu Shah who took charge of the holy prisoner and had him done to death with the cruelest torments. Harbans Singh (ed.) The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, vol.I, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1995, p. 438. The name of Chandu Shah, however, is not found in Tuzuk or any other contemporary account.
Shaikh Farid Bukhari had actually won for the Emperor his throne against his rebellious son Prince Khusrau and had received the title of Murtza Khan and a large landed jagir in the Punjab. Later he was appointed Governor of Lahore.Muhammad Akbar, op. cit., p. 248
- (9) In his impatience to be crowned, Prince Salim was suspected in 1591 of having administered poison to his father. In 1601 A.D., he openly revolted against Emperor Akbar, assumed the royal title and had Shaikh Abul Fazl, a dearest friend of Aakbar, murdered in August 1602. Regarding Muslim revivalist movement during the seventeenth century see also Irfan Habib, Political Role of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi and Shah Waliullah, Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 1961; S. Nurul Hasan, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi and Mughal Polcies, Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 1945; Ahsan Jan Qaiser, Jahangirs accession an outcome of orthodox Revivalism, Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 1961.
- (10) According to V.A. Smith, Salim gladly accepted both the conditions. (V.A. Smith, Akbar, pp. 101,103, 3111,316,321-23). See also Beni Prasad, History of Jahangir, pp. 51,61-62.)
- (11) This is supported by the near contemporary writing, the Dabistan-i-Mazahib. The author records, After the capture of (prince) Khusrau, His Majesty king Janat Makani Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir punished and mulcted Guru Arjan Mal, on account of having prayed for the welfare of Prince Khusrau, the son of His Majesty Jannat Makani, who had rebelled against his father, and a large amount was demanded from him ( Guru Arjan), he found himself powerless to pay it. He was tied up and kept in the desert around Lahore. He gave up his life there owing to strong sun, summer heat and the injuries inflicted by the collectors. This happened in A.H. 1015/1606 A.D. Irfan Habib Sikhism and the Sikhs,1645-46, From Mobad, Dabistab-i- Mazahib. In J.S. Grewal and Irfan Habib (ed.), op. cit., p, 67.
- (12) Bhagat Lakshman Singh, Sikh Martyrs, (Madras, 1919),p.42;Harbans Singh (ed.) op. cit., vol. II, p. 504-05. The Tuzuk further reads At last during the days when Khusrau passed along with this road this insignificant fellow made up his mind to see him and conveyed preconceived things to him and made on his forehead a finger-mark in saffron which in Hindu terminology is called qashqah (tkka) and is considered propitious. When this came to the ears of our Majesty, and I fully knew his heresies I ordered that he should be brought into my presence and, having handed him over his houses, dwelling places, and children to Murtza Khan (Shaikh Farid Bukhari) and having confiscated his property I ordered that he should be put to death with tortures.
- (13) Teja Singh,Ganda Singh, A Short History of the Sikhs, Reprint, Punjabi University, (Patiala,1989),p.33.
- (13) Siyasat literally means punishment, and yasa is the Mongol term for law. The translators of the Tuzuk and Sikh chroniclers have rendered the word yasa which originally belonged to Mongol language and passed into Turkish) as torture, pain, physical torture etc. In Mughal times both Siyasat and Yasa were used for capital punishment. See also J.S. Grewal and Irfan Habib (ed), op, cit., p. 57, fn.4. Emperor Jahangir appears to have ordered the punishment to Guru Arjan Dev in accordance with yasa on two grounds : One that the crime of Guru Arjan were of such grave and political
- (14) l nature that Gurus existence was definitely considered a threat to the safety of the Mughal Empire in India and, two that the spiritual status of the Guru was so exalted as to make it necessary for him to be put to death without shedding his blood. Kapur Singh Guru Arjan Martyred by Shamanistic Law, The Sikh Review, June, 1979, p. 23.
- (15) Ganda Singh, op. cit., p. 40 (16) J.S. Grewal and Irfan Habib (ed.) op. cit., p. 66.
- (16) dar bahr-i- Ravi andakhtand., Sohan Lal Suri, Umdat-ut-Tawarikh, text, Vol I, p.34
- (17) According to Guru Arjan Dev, The death is the privilege of brave men, provided they die for an approved cause.