Shahid Misl

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The Shaheedan Misl, was one of twelve Sikh Misls that later became the Sikh Empire. It held a small amount of territory in the Malwa (Punjab) area around the Damdama Sahib before being incorporated into the Sikh Empire of the Sukerchakia Misl by Ranjit Singh.

Origins and History

In 1748, Baba Deep Singh was appointed the leader of the Shaheedan Misl and the Mahant of the Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. In 1757, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India and sent an army to the Harmindar Sahib to block Sikhs from entering the Gurdwara. Baba Deep Singh and a company of men who rode with him to free the gurdwara were killed in an action against the Durrani Army. His successor, Suddha Singh, later led the misl into a skirmish against the Afghan government of Jalandhar City The first two leaders of the misl were considered Shaheeds, or martyrs, by their contemporaries so the misl became known as, Shaheedan, or the followers of the martyrs. Karm Singh, the next leader of the misl, expanded the territory of the misl by annexing several nearby towns to his control. The misl was annexed by the Sikh Empire at some point in the early 19th century and became a part of the Sikh Empire. The Nihang order of Sikhs maintains the traditions of this misl.

S. Gurbaksh Singh who defended Sri Akal Takht Sahib along with his 21 companions* also belonged to this Jathâ. Baba Naudh Singh and Baba Hakam Singh were the other leading personalities of this Jathâ. When by the order of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Sri Harmandir Sahib was blown up and the sacred Sarovar was filled with filth, Baba Deep Singh set out from Damdama Sahib in 1761 with a vow to ‘die at the door of the ‘Lord’, obtained martyrdom in the precincts of Sri Harmandir Sahib. The leaders of this misl generally kept their area of influence around Damdama Sahib and cis Satluj. Damdama Sahib is still famous as the ‘Chhâonî’ of Nihang Singh. After Bâbâ Deep Singh Ji, Jathedar Karam Singh became its leader. Thereafter, the glory of the misl was enhanced by Akali Phula Singh and S. Sadhu Singh. This misl had very small strength of soldiers. It was just about 2,000. Its name remained famous on account of courage and bravery. During the period of Ranjit Singh, the misl made Akal Takht Sahib as their centre of activities. Maharaja Sahib did not think wise to indulge in the affairs of this misl. He respected the misl very much.

                            from the book: Brief History of Sikh Misls
                                          published by Sikh missionary college
                                           Publication No.360