Sahibzada Fateh Singh
Sahibzada Fateh Singh (12 December 1699 - 26 December 1705), the youngest of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons, was born to Mata Jito ji (also known as Mata Sundari ji) at Anandpur on 12 December 1699. During the flight from Anandpur, when the Sikhs, having been promised safe passage to Punjab, Sahibzada Fateh Singh was, along with his elder brother Zorawar Singh, put under the care of his grandmother, Mata Gujari Kaur ji, Unfortunately in the confusion of the rain swollen Sarsa (normally little more than a creek) and an attack by Muslim pursuers, the Guru's two youngest sons and their Grandmother were separated from the main body of Sikhs. However, managing to get across they were befriended by one of the Guru's former cooks. Later betrayed and handed off by the authorities of the small village where they had been given sanctuary, they were handed over to agents of Wazir Khan and carted off to Sirhind and placed under arrest in the Khan's Thanda Burj (cold tower). While the Thanda Burj was built to capture the cool night breezes of air drawn over water channels in the areas hot summers, during the dead of winter the unheated burj offered no comfort for the Guru's mother and sons.
On 26 December 1705, Fateh Singh and his elder brother, Zorawar Singh were martyred at Sirhind. Fateh Singh is probably the youngest recorded martyr in history who knowingly laid down his life at the very tender age of 6 years. Sahibzada Fateh Singh and his older brother, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh are among the most hallowed martyrs in Sikhism.
The mind boggles to understand how children of such young age had the guts, courage, bravery and focus to refuse the promise of many lavish gifts and a future of cosy comforts of royalty that were being offered by the Mughals. All they had to do to get all these luxuries was to abandon their religion. This young child was asked to weigh an easy out against the stark option of a brutal, painful and tragic death entombed within a wall of bricks and cement.
The world salutes the supreme sacrifice of these kids of steel who never once - even for a moment considered the easy option and always remained focused on their mission to uphold the principles of God's kingdom and allowed their bodies to be tortured, violated and endured the intense pain of a slow, pain-ridden and certain death.
On the one hand the world witnessed, the supreme sacrifice of the youngest members of the Guru's household for the highest ideals of humanity and on the other hand you have the lowly, cruel, cold-blooded and barbaric acts of the heartless and immoral Wazir Khan who had broke an oath sworn on his own Holy book—the Qur'an. May the world reflect on this supreme sacrifice made by this 6 year old, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Guru Tegh Bahadar to fight for justice and for the right of his people and people of other faiths to practise their own faiths without interference or imposition. May we all, the different peoples of our planet learn from this episode in our global history, the values of life and the way to uphold these values. Also, may we all realise the dangers posed by uncontrolled and immoral minds on the development of humanity on this fragile earth.
The flight from Anandpur
A combination of Mughals and hillmen besieged Anandpur Sahib on the orders of emperor Aurangzeb. Finally the stock of food in the town ran out. The Mughals promised safe passage to Punjab for the Sikhs if they would hand over the fortress of Anandpur. At first Guru Gobind tested their promise of safe passage by staging a test which the attackers failed miserably, later with promises written in the margins of the Muslims Holy Qur'an and some of the sacred writings of the Hindu elements of the army that had all but starved his small contingent of family and Sikhs and a personal promise of safety by Aurangzeb sent by an ajent of the Emperor who was fighting in the distant Deccan, the Guru was persuaded to agree to their offer, leaving Anandpur with his family and a small band of retainers.
They had not gone very far when the Mughals, breaking their promise, came after them. Guru Gobind and his two older sons got separated from his mother, Mata Gujri and his two youngest sons, Zorawar and Fateh Singh during the confused departure from Anandpur. After they managed to cross the nearby river they felt themselves saved when they reached the village of Sahedi and ran into their former Hindu cook, Gangu who kindly gave them shelter in his home. But like a sly fox he handed them over to the Mughal authorities of his village, no doubt hoping for a reward.
Turned over to the faujdar of Morinda. They were soon taken to Sirhind where, still stinging over the escape of the Guru, Wazir Khan, the Nawab of Sirhind was most pleased to have the two young Princes.
The two sons of Guru Gobind, Zorawar (9 years old) and Fateh (6 years old) were offered princely rewards, riches, honor and power if they would only bend down and recite the Kalma and become Muslims. With a courage that belied their years, both boys refused to do so.
Wazir Khan, loosing his chance to gain some small bit of revenge on the Guru, sentenced them to death. He gave orders that masons were to brick the Gurus two youngest sons into a section of the citiy's wall. Perhaps the masons were either Hindus who saw the cruelty of the orders or Muslims who had a better sense of the teachings of Islam than the angry Khan, which forbid the killing of innocents (especially children and women) for history tells us that the wall fell apart, as if mocking the faujdar's orders, who angryly ordered his executioner to kill the two youngest sons of the Guru in the same manner their grandfather had been killed. Told of the death of her grandsons the Guru's mother too left her earthly body.
Although he did not know it then, Wazir Khan was to pay for the crimes that he had committed. After Guru Gobind's death, Madhodas Bairagi, a former Hindu mendicant from Nanded, whom the Guru baptised as Banda Bahadur, was charged by a dying Guru Gobind Singh with returning to the Punjab and rallying the Sikhs to rid the land of Mughal rule. He and an army of Sikhs besieged the Punjab. After laying waste, to the cities of Samana and Sandhaura, he attacked Sirhind and after defeating the city's Mughal defenders, Wazir Khan was killed.
The place where the two sons of Guru Gobind were Martyred is today known as Fatehgarh Sahib.
|These articles deal with Char Sahibzade|
- 1. Sainapati, Kavi, Sri Guru Sobhd. Patiala, 1967.
- 2. Chibar, Kesar Singh, Bansdvalindmd Dnsdn Pdtshdhidn Kd. Chandigarh, 1972.
- 3. Sukha Singh, Bhai, Gurbilds Dnsvin Pdlshdiu. Lahore, 1912.
- 4. Paclam, Piaia Singh, Char Sdhibidde. Patiala, 1967.
- 5. Trilochan Singh, Life-sketch of Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1968.
- 6. Dates changed in accordance with Nanakshahi calendar