Talk:Guru Granth Sahib's guidance for Muslims
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Earlier than this or after this, even after the genocide of 1984, the Sikhs have never exhibited any revenge, hatred or ill feelings against the community responsible for the carnage. The basic reason for such an attitude lies in the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib.
There is a most glaring example of Sikh-Muslim relations. The Sikhs have ruled for 84 years in Punjab including present Pakistan, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, parts of Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring foreign lands of Afghanistan and China, but cared and nursed a small Muslim State of Malerkotla in Punjab, not even touching it during the partition riots.
After independence, Nawab of Malerkotla was elected more than once on Akali Dal ticket to the Legislative Assembly. (Muslims of Malerkotla have taken an oath along with Sikhs at Shri Akal Takhat Sahib and participated in the Akali agitations on several occasions.) This was in token of the gratitude towards Nawab Sher Mohmmad Khan.
In December 1705 Wazir Khan, Governor of Sirhind, got imprisoned 81 years mother of Guru Sahib Mata Gujjar Kaur and younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh of 9 years and Sahibzada Fateh Singh of 6 years. He wanted to convert these children into Islam by giving incentives and threats. On their refusal they were tortured for four days before being bricked alive. During the proceedings in the court of the Governor, Dewan Suchha Nand Khatri, was emitting venom against Guru Sahib and pleaded for severe punishment.
On the other hand Nawab Sher Mohmmad Khan of Maler Kotla, has strongly protested. Upon this the Governor reminded him that, they are the children of the Guru who has killed his brother Nahar Khan in the battle of Chamkaur from where he was just returning. The Nawab replied, I would settle my scores with the Guru in the battlefield, but putting any harm to these innocents was against Islam.
On 16th February 1994 at Gurdwara Akal Gadh, Ludhiana, in a historical conference, President of United States Mr. Bill Clinton was conferred the title “Nawab Malerkotla” for his sympathy towards the innocent and indiscriminate killings in Punjab. The Nawab who protested against the killing of younger sons of Guru Sahib.
The Sikh movement was initiated to eradicate the misunderstandings created between Islam and Hinduism and harmonise their relations. Though faith in God is fundamental in both the religions, the vested interests created a wedge by finding faults in rituals and customs to separate and divide them by searching disparities, contradicting and opposing each other.
Sikhism came into existence to unite them, project their basic similarities and draw their attention towards the fundamental philosophy of worshipping the Only Creator and respect its Creation in whatsoever manner and language. The forces with vested interest, particularly the rulers and historians have not spared any attempt to distort the independent and separate identity of this Most Humane Movement of Sikhism.
Guru Granth Sahib has played a significant role to unite Hindus and Muslims for co-existence. Right from the days of Guru Nanak Sahib, all the first five Gurus have been collecting and preserving the hymns from the nook and corner of the country in the original languages of the Muslim Sufis, so-called untouchable and Hindu Bhagats for 135 years, to include in a single source of guidance to the entire mankind.
For example, Hazrat Baba Sheikh Fariduddin Masood Gunj-I- Shakar (1175-1265) of Punjab in Punjabi, and Bhagat Jai Dev (1201-1245) of Bengal in Sanskrit, expired about two and a half-century before the 1st Guru, Guru Nanak was born. Guru Sahib himself personally collected their authenticated hymns, when he visited their places. This Scripture consists upon the wisdom and experience of 36 pious souls revealed to them during 500 years from Hazrat Baba Sheikh Fariduddin Masood Gunj-I-Shakar (1175-1265) to the 9th Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadar (1621-1675).
The fifth Guru, Guru Arjan himself compiled it in 5 years from 1599 to 1604. Later 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh has added the compositions of the 9th Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadar in the year 1705. He bestowed Guruship to this Scripture in the year 1708.
It is a misconception that this Scripture is in Punjabi language. This is in multi-lingual communicative spoken languages of the country in addition to Sanskrit, Shaskriti and Persian. A separate Script is invented by the 2nd Guru, Guru Angad to scribe these collections of different languages in one simple Script, which is known as “Gurmukhi” and now recognised as a Script for Punjabi language. In those days Punjabi language was written in local scripts in rural areas and in Urdu Script in urban areas and in Pakistan it is still written in Urdu Script.
There are 36 contributors from various walks of life in this Scripture. Among them only 6 are Sikh Gurus, 2 are so-called untouchable Bhagats, 7 are Muslims and remaining are from different communities from among the Hindus. The Muslim contributors are, Bhagat Sheikh Kabir Jolaha Quddisa Sirra-hu a weaver and Bhagat Sheikh Bhikan were of Uttar Pradesh. Bhagat Sadhna was a butcher from Sind. Rai Satta, Rai Balwand, Bhai Mardana and Hazrat Baba Sheikh Farid of Punjab.
The Sufi saints preached Islam through love, affection, equality and spiritual knowledge and thousands of Hindus embraced Islam. The living evidence can be witnessed at the Dargahs all over the country, where Hindus in many folds outnumber Muslims in paying their obeisance. Among them Hazrat Baba Sheikh Farid has a distinct place, who was instrumental in en-bloc converting hundreds of villages in the north-west belt of the country.
After formation of Pakistan, several Pakistan newspapers have written editorials stating that, actually the foundation of Pakistan was laid down eight hundred years back by Hazrat Baba Sheikh Farid when this belt was changed into Muslim majority area. Though Shri Guru Nanak Sahib and the Sikh movement were the champions of equality of human beings, religious freedom for all and resisted oppressions and forcible conversions by sacrifices and sword, but they were great admirers of Hazrat Baba Sheikh Farid. This is the living evidence that the Sikhs were against oppression by the Society and the State, but never against Muslims and Islam.
The recent incident of “Guru Ki Masjid” may be fresh in the minds. The 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind constructed a Mosque at village Hargobind Pur of Gurdas Pur district of Punjab. This was constructed with the contributions of Daswandh of the Sikhs and they built it with their “Kar Seva” (voluntarily service by hands), which was famous as “ Guru Ki Masjid ”.
In 1947 after the partition, the Muslim population migrated from the village, and the Masjid was abandoned. The Sikhs took over the premises and established a Gurdwara and the name of Masjid continued as “ Gurdwara Guru Ki Masjid ”. In the year 2003 some Muslims came to the village for settlement. Then the Sikhs, voluntarily, handed over that structure for restoring the Mosque again. Now the same “Guru Ki Masjid” stands as a symbol of religious tolerance of the Sikhs. Now a days when Mandir – Masjid conflicts and hatred are spread all over the world, this exemplary gesture of the Sikhs is a shining example of their belief of oneness of God and oneness of humanity.
In today’s civilised society some individuals and organisations of Hindu, Muslims, Boudhi and Christian are trying to prove their religion superior to all other religions. To convert others to their own religion, apart from other legitimate or illegitimate means, people spread hatred and negate the religion of others.
This situation has created an atmosphere of unrest and bloodshed. Thus society is divided into two groups of people. The Fundamentalists think other religions are much inferior to their own. And the Secularists discard religion as source of all evils and are proud to be called moderates and irreligious. This attitude is responsible for producing a generation without the spiritual base necessary for life.
Today humanity is exploring the unseen in the sky and in the depths of the earth and the sea, but it is unaware of itself. The circumstances demand that every right thinking person should come forward to save human race from this degradation and let people follow their own Scripture in true letter and spirit.
The study of Guru Granth Sahib if done as Scripture of the Sikhs can never convey the real message it intends to spread. But if it is studied with the object to know about the Creator and its Creation, the correct perspective and message can be understood.
May the God Almighty bless us with the vision to search for similarities among ourselves and not let our differences divide us?
- Based on article Shri Guru Granth Sahib – Its relevance for Muslims by Nanak Singh Nishter