On November 24, the Sikhs remember the Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur, their ninth Guru.
An extremely important event in Sikh history that had a profound impact on the future direction of Sikhism, the religion of the Sikhs. Guru Tegh Bahadur undertook the supreme sacrifice for the protection of the most fundamental of human rights - the right of a person to freely practice his or her religion without interference or hindrance.
In the modern day we tend to take this freedom for granted – but in 1675, millions of people were denied this basic right.
However, what is even more astonishing is the fact that the Guru was not protecting the right of the Sikhs to practise their religion but instead the rights of non-Sikh peace-loving people from Kashmir. These people from Kashmir were very respected Hindus who were being converted to Islam under the threat of death by the "Mughal" Emperor Aurangzeb. In 1669, the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb departed from the policy of tolerance practised by his predecessors and unleashed instead a policy of religious persecution against non-Muslims. .....More
There are 134 Shabads (hymns) of Sheikh Farid incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib.
Many Sikh scholars ascribe them to Farid Shakarganj (1173 – 1265) of Pak Pattan, a disciple of the Sufi Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.
The tenth in succession to his post was Shaikh Brahm (Ibrahim), also known as Farid Sani or Farid the 2nd, and it is this Farid who Guru Nanak Dev met on two occasions.
Baba Farid is recognised as the first major poet of the Punjabi language and in recognition of his exalted status, the district of Faridkot in Punjab, northern India is named after him. Baba ji was a Muslim with a predominantly Sufi background.
Farid ji has been honoured by the Gurus of Sikhism and his verses were collected and subsequently compiled into the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib (normally referred to as Gurbani) under three different sections as detailed below:-
First section: The first section consists of two shabads in Raag Asa at page 488 in the Guru Granth Sahib. The Bani starts " Aasaa, The Word Of Shaykh Fareed Jee:" "They alone are true, whose love for God is deep and heart-felt." .....More
Once there was no rain in a particular area for an extended period resulting danger to the crops. In some areas, the crops had already been destroyed.
So the local people of that area decided to do Ardas - a prayer or supplication to God so that their crops may be saved. Many hundreds of people gathered together at the designated place for this Ardas.
While this gathering was in progress, a passing Sikh Saint stopped by. He asked one of the crowd why there was such a big crowd gathered and what was the purpose of the gathering. One of them told the Sikh Saint that that they had gathered here to do Ardas because the crops will be destroyed in the absence of rain; they were going to ask God for rain.
The Saint said that was a good thing that they were doing an ardas but he did not see anyone carrying an umbrellas or "barsatie" (rain coats)…. When Waheguru (God) accepted your Ardas then there will be lot of rain. One group leader laughingly said, "But we do not know whether it will rain or not."
The Saint said, "How will your Ardas be accepted when you do not have faith in Waheguru" . He told them all to go home .