Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion

10 GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION. (GIANIIBADULLAH) (The writer who is well conversant with Sikh literature is a convert to Ahmadiyyat from Sikhism. In this article, he proves that Guru Nanak was a Muslim) Whichever religions are found in the various continents and countries of the world have been revealed to the righteous and the chosen ones of Godj and all those religions have particular principles and creeds attached to them so that they appear distinct from one another. We, the members of the universal Ahmadiyya Community of Ahmadi Muslims respect all these religions from the core of our hearts and the denial or falsification of any religious guide of any nation is considered by us as heresy and an extremely undesirable act. The world has seen numerous scenes of the sinking into oblivion of insolent critics and the success of the faithful adherents and will continue to see it in the future as well. Most of our Sikh friends believe that the founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak Ji who was born in a middle class Hindu family in 1536 A.D. or in 1467 H. E. and about whose birth a Muslim sage had already given the good tidings before hand. However no researcher denies the fact that Guru Nanak Ji never professed Hinduism inspite of his birth and bringing up in a Hindu family. Instead he drastically apposed and openly confronted every creed and custum of his ancestral religion. One Sikh scholar writes:- “Guru Nanak Ji studied the Vedas and Shastras seriously and deeply but gave them up as being unimpressive.” (Nuskha Akhbar Dyanandian p. 197.) Another learned Sikh Professor Sher Singh Ji M.Sc describes:- “Guru Nanak Ji never professed the authenticity of Vedas with any respect or reverence like the other followers of Vedas, nor did he believe that the Vedas are Divine books, nor he considered that the contents of Vedas could teach lofty virtues of truthfulness and honesty.” (Guru Sat Dershan . p. 91) GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION 11 Still another Sikh scholar Pandit Kartar Singh ji waka writes in this context:- “Gurii Nanak Ji refuted and rejected the Vedas by describing them as creators of crisis (trouble shooters) preachers of sin, stores of material greed and the teachings of which drive one farther away from God. He dubbed their adherents as followers of dictates of mind, eligible to punishment at the hands of the Angel of Death and liars of the first rate. ” (KharaKhalsap.118) Again:- “There is no doubt that the Dynasty of Guru Nanak Ji was Bedi but at the same time there will be no greater folly to regard him as a follower of the Vedas when his ideas were against their contents.” (Khara Khalsa p 110) Late Giani Lai Singh Ji, former secretary to Punch Khalsa Diwan said in this connection:- “Gurubani contains mostly the refutation of the Hindu religion and there are numerous sermons to safe guard against the evil effects of Hindu creeds.” (Sikh Qanoon p357) All the fore-mentioned references shed sufficient light on the fact that inspite of Guru Nanak Ji’s birth in a Hindu family he was not a Hindu by religion. In his own sacred speeches he has openly rejected each Hindu creed and custum. It was after reading the refutation of the Vedas by Guru Nanak Ji that the founder of the Ariya Samaj Pandit Diya_Nand Ji openly reproached him (Satyarath Parkash p 11) The modern Sikh nation believes Guru Nanak Ji as the founder of Sikhism and regard him as their first Guru. According to one Sikh Scholar:- “Guru Nanak Ji laid the foundation of Sikhism but it was completed and trimmed to its final shape by Guru Gobind. (Guru Sat Darshan p95). Dr. Pecha Singh ji published a book named Janam Sakhi Guru Nanak Dev Ji on the title page of which was written “The original text of this book has been taken from the manuscricpt No pnj b40 from the India office 12 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Library (London) and is being published with the kind permission of the Incharge of Records of the Library.” While introducing Guru Nanak Ji in this Janam Sakhi the verse used is:- “Name given to him was Baba Nanak and he introduced his own ideology in the spoilt and corrupt world.” (Janam. Sakhi Guru Nanak Dev Ji p33). But a well known Sikh scholar Dr. Surinder Singh Ph.D expressed his ideas like this:- “The originality of any biography depends upon its presentation of the true picture of the happenings and events of that time. From this biographical point of view every scholar has been treating Baba Nanak Ji with injustice. A modern scholar begins the biography of Guru Nanak Ji by saying that Guru Nanak Ji was the first Guru of the Sikhs and was the founder of the Sikh religion. To describe, him however as the founder of Sikhism is to pin point the limitations of his personality and this is not the quality of an expert biographer.” (Sach Di khoji about Guru Nanak Ji) The above quotation by Dr. Surinder Singh Ji needs no comments and it proves two points:- (1) To describe Guru Nanak Ji as the first Guru of Sikhism and its founder is injustice to him. (2) That it is not the characteristic of an expert biographer to begin Guru Nanak’s history by saying that he was the founder of Sikhism. The Doctor has quoted two points in favour of the above mentioned facts :- (1) The literature that gave the Sikh religion a distinct appearance from others has doubtlessly been an addition after the death of Guru Nanak Ji. (Sach Di Khoji pi 16) (2) There is also no doubt in that it is the Sikh religion that owned Guru Nanak Ji and adopted his sayings more than any other religion but the origin of Sikhism of today is not from the Guru. Hence it is an’ established fact that the Sikh literature that is separating it from other religions was an addition after the death GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION 13 of Guru Nakak Ji with which he has no conection nor can he be held historically responsible in any way. Therefore the creeds that did not exist during the days of Guru Nanak Ji could neither be preached nor practiced by him. Here is a point for the scholars to ponder over. Moreever the pictures of Guru Nanak Ji previously prepared by Sikh artists did-not show him in the form of a Sikh, equipped with the five Ks. Dr Surrinder Singh also admits that the old pictures of Guru Nanak Ji were prepared in the form of a Muslim bard as he said:- “In the old pictures Guru Nanak Ji appears only as a Muslim sage.” (Sach di Khoj 59, 128) It should be remembered that these old pictures of Guru Nanak Ji were not prepared by Muslim artists but on the other hand they were done by his non Muslim devotees and admirers. Their picturising Guru Nanak Ji in the form and dress of a Muslim sage proves that no image of any appearance with the five Ks. ever existed in those days as is shown in his pictures of those days because no five ks existed in his time. So it was not possible for him to wear and adopt them and have his picture with them. Sant Table Singh ji narrates that Guru Gobind Singh Ji possessed a few pictures of some of the Gurus which he handed over to some of his reliable and favourite Sikhs:- “These pictures include one picture in which Guru Nanak Ji is appearing as a pilgrim preparing to go to Mecca for Haj.” Who can believe that the picture of Guru Nanak Ji in the robes of a pilgrim to Mecca can also depict him as putting on the five ks of the Sikhs? It has been historically proved and is a recognised fact that Guru ji adopted the journey to Mecca in the form of a Muslim. A reputed Sikh sage Bhai Guru Das Ji writes:- “Then Baba, travelled to mecca in a blue garments, with a walking stick in hand, the Book under his arm, a water pitcher and a cloth for prayer.” (Chapter 1 para 32) Instead of giving our own comment on the “book” possessed by Guru Ji on that journy we would quote the explanation of a famous Sikh scholar Sardar G. B Singh Ji retired post Master General. He writes:- 14 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS ” Bhai Guru Das has said that the Book under the arm pit can be understood as the Holy Quran (Hamail) of small size in fine print. The Muslims usually hang it on the arm after wrapping it in a satchle, due ot its light weight.” (Parachin Bateran 20) This is note worthy that the copy of the Holy Quran carried by Guru Nanak Ji on his journey to Mecca existed in Guru Hersihaye district Perozpur till 1931. “Khalsa Samachar” a news paper of repute of Amritsar reported in this connection, “A copy of the Holy Quran is lying in Guru Hersihaye Distt Ferozpur and it is believed that this is the Holy Quran which Guru Nanak Ji carried with him on his journey to Mecca and Median.” (Khalsa Samachar Amritsar Oct 8, 1931) It proves that the Holy Quran belonging to Guru Nanak Ji still existed in Guru Hersihaye Distt Ferozpur until 1931 and that In 1944-45 it was destroyed and replaced by a manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib. Sardar G. B. Singh has expressed this view when he says:- “The”miraculous conversion of’a copy of the Holy Quran into a copy of Guru Granth Sahib came into light only after the investigation of the Ahmadis. The conversion took place stealthily some time between 1908 and 1944. But there is one flaw left in this miracle that instead of replacing it with another book, they put a copy of Guru Granth. No volume of Guru Granth can ever be ascribed to Guru Nanak Ji”. (Prachin Bateran 21) It should be remembered that the Guru Granth was compiled in 1661 Bikrami i.e. 1604 A.D while Guru Nanak Ji had passed away 65 years earlier because he is said to have died in 1595-96 i.e. 1538-39 A.D. Hence the book that came into being after 65 years of the death of Guru Nanak Ji can never be called his book. There is food for thought for our wise and learned Sikh brothers. It will not be out of place, here, to explain that a deputation of our Jamaat went to Guru Hersihaye and saw that Holy Quran. Among others the most revered second Imam Hazrat Musleh Maud was also a member of that deputation. Sardar G. B. Singh retaired post Master General writes:- “All the members of the deputation were educated, the Holy Quran was on their finger tips, there could be no mistake in calling it the Holy Quran after seeing the Pathi (book), (Paracheen GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION 15 Another scholar Bhai Kellian Das Ji writes in this context:- ” Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sent some of his adherents to Guru Siahe Distt Ferozpur on 6th April 1908. On reaching there they saw the book in the presence of the custodian Bishen Singh and discovered that it was the Holy Quran”. (Sach di Khoj part 1 p7). Our late respected friend Saradar G. B. Singh, Editor of Prit Lary said in this respect: – “When the deputation of Jamaat Ahmadiyya inspected the book (the Holy Quran) they published this discovery in the press as the sure proof of Guru Nanak Ji being a Muslim. The custodian of Guru Hersiaye had it made known that Guru Ji used to keep that book always with him on his Journeys” (Parit Lary June 1945) Alas! That this sure and valuable proof of Guru Ji being a Muslim has been destroyed and with out giving it a second thought they replaced it with a manuscript of Guru Granth Sahib which means that Guru Nanak Ji used to carry Guru Granth Sahib with him on his journeys and they carelessly ignored the fact that a person who died in 1596 Bikrami i.e. 1539 AD could never have carried a Pothi which was written and compiled 65 years after his demise. That is he could never have left the Guru Granth Sahib in Guru Hersiaye as it was written in 1661 Bikrami i.e.. 1604 A.D. Dr. Surinder Singh Ji has further commented in this connection that the Sikhs quoted the sayings of Guru Nanak Ji more than of any body else but they did not pay much attention in putting those sayings into practice. The Doctor has given two examples based on this reality:- (1) Sikhism of today did not originate from Guru Nanak Ji. (2) It is true’that it is. a very difficult problem to find out facts about the life of Guru Nanak Ji of history but there is no problem to find out the historical image of the Guru. A study of his speeches in the Guru Granth Sahib depicts it thoroughly. Millions of people keep on reciting his anecdotes at rituals. Perhaps, no one has ever studied his speeches from the view point of finding out his true image. That is why Guru Nanak in whom we are believing to day is the Guru Nanak of Sikh story tellers and not the Guru Nanak of Guru bani.” (Sach Di Khoj 10) 1 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS It is clear from the above that the image of Guru Nanak Ji derived from his speaches by Sikh bretheren has no connection and relation with the real Guru Nanak. That is the image created by story tellers which is quite in contrast with that of Gurubani. A scholar writes about the pictures of the supposed Guru Nanak Ji that are being prepared these days:- “We have disfigured the picture of Guru Nanak Ji. We have absolutely changed the pictures that existed forty years ago. We do not know what is the conspiracy behind it. It is not impossible that even the name of Guru Ji may be changed in the pictures in the future i.e. they may start to write Guru Nanak Dev Ji instead of Guru Nanak Ji.” (Rasala’Sant Siasi Amritsar August 1963) A cursory glance at the pictures of Guru Ji, currently in circulation, will show that they have been changed using five Ks and the name will also start to appear as Nanak Dev Singh. May God save Nanak Ji from such people!. On the other hand Dr. Terlochan Singh Ji said:- (l)”Guru Nanak Ji beleived in the Muslim article of Unity of G’od.” (Jivan Charitar Guru Nanak Dev 307) (2) Guru Nanak Ji beleived that Mohammad (peace be upon him) was the choicest prophet of God. (Jivan Charitar Guru Nanak Dev 305) In the Kalima of Islam the existance of God and belief in the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammad (peace be on him) have been mentioned. Whoever proclaims this Kalima faithfully and sincerely is a Muslim. After this there’is no need to get any certificate from any maulvi who claims the monopiy of Islam or commercialises it. The founder of the Ahmadiyya Commuinity Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said in this connection:- “Our opinion about Baba Nanak is that he Was surely a true Muslim. He was certainly unimpressed by the Vedas. After having believed in the Kalima Tayyeba he had undergone a spiritual change in his life which cannot he conceived without following the Holy Prophet.” ( Sat Bachan 31) We, Ahmadi Muslims all over the world sincerely regard the real Guru Nanak Ji as a sage and one of us and will continue to own him till GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION 17 the last breath of our life. We have no concern with the imaginary Nanak Ji that the Sikhs are presenting to the world. A late learned Sikh Sardar Santar Gobind Singh Ji wrote:- “If Muslims regard Pir Nanak as a Muslim none of us should get annoyed because this is an hounor to our Guru Nanak, his gratification and admiration. Guru Nanak belongs to the Muslims first and then to us. More over there were only two major nations at the time of Guru Nanak Ji. Hindus and Muslims. Khalsa Panth appeard only after two hundered years. (Haqiqai Sacho Sach 72) Hence it is a vain idea to ascribe a religion to Guru Nanak Ji that saw-the light of day two centuries after his demise. As Sikhism did not exist during the life time of Guru Nanak ji, he could not be its founder. There is no need of any show of annoyance or provocation while pondering over it, because no problem can be solved in a state of anger or annoyance. On the othere hand a sensible attitude is required . Sikh scholars have now started to say openly that Guru Nanak Ji was not the founder of any new religion and to regard him as one is injustice to him. Another .Sikh scholar writes:- ” Guru Nanak Ji did not found any new religion. To regard him as having founded one is injustice to him.” (Haft Rozah Delhi Guru Nanak No. 1967) Dr. Kirpal Singh Ji says:- “A serious research into the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Ji will make it clear that he never intended to found any religion. He did not found any new religion.” (Rasala Sant Siari Amritsar Nov. 1962) Dr. Taran Singh Ji said:- “Guru Nanak Ji never personally preached any new religion nor did he ever intend to do so.” It is evident from those references that the sacred speeches of Guru Nanak Ji give no clue of his having founded a new religion. The founder is the supposed Nanak Ji of tale tellers not the real one. 18 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS Therefore as far as the sayings of Guru Nanak Ji are concerned they do not prove that he was the founder of any religion because it is inevitable for the founder of any religion to claim that God has chosen him to be His messenger and he should also propose the name of that religion and its followers with which they should be recognised. He ‘should also reveal the beliefs and articles of the faith. Nothing of the sort exists in the literature of Guru Nanak Ji and without these it is baseless to say that he founded some new faith. This fact about Guru Nanak Ji has been admitted by Sikh scholars: “Frorn Guru Nanak Ji to Guru Gobind Singh Ji no one claimed to be a sage or a prophet.” (Khalsa Samachar Amritsar 12 Nov. 1939) Still another scholar says:- “Guru Nanak Ji never said: ” I am Guru Nanak.” (Jagat Jalattar Amrakh 14) Many other prominent Sikh scholars have admitted that Guru Nanak Ji never proclaimed any thing ( Guru Mat Dershan 35, Rasala Pritani Delhi Dec. 1940 and Prit Lary Nov. 1946) Sardar Guru Bakhsh Singh Ji Editor Parit Lary says:- “With the passage of time Guru Nanak’s admirers assumed him to be special Guru and laid the foundation of a new religion on its altar” (Parit Lairy Dec. 1948). The truth is that Guru Nanak Ji neither claimed anything nor founded any religion. Those are all the concocted stories of later times. The Sikh scholars also admit that the rank of a Messenger of God is not given by man. It is God Himself who appoints whomsoever and whenever He likes. (Guru Granth Shahdar 929, Jagat, Rakh 33, Sant Siasi Amritsar July 1959) Sikh scholars state that to say that Guru Nanak Ji founded a new religion is injustice to him. There were only two major religions found in the time of Guru Nanak Ji. i.e. Islam and Hinduism. Islam enjoyed political domination while bindus enjoyed numerical majority. GURU NANAK AND THE SIKH RELIGION 19 Sardar Bahadur Khan Singh Nabah narrates:- “In those days there were only two prominent nations in the country e.g. Hindus and Muslims. If Christians and others had existed at that time even then Sikhs should have been regarded as fourth or fifth nation not third.” (Ham Hindu Nabin 57) Again:- “During the life time of Guru Nanak Ji there were only two main nations, Hindus and Muslims Khalsa sect came into being after two hundred years. (Sacho Sach. 16) A famous Sikh Bhai Gurudas Ji describes in this connection:- “The third religion Sikhism was started by the order of Guru Gobind Singh. (War 41 Pauri 16) “This is how the third sect came into being. Bravo to Gobind Singh, who was the leader as well as the disciple. (War 41 Pauri 17) Guru Gobind Singh himself said in this connection: “Regard Nanak and Gobind Singh as’ one and the same. We founded a 3rd religion. (Sam Granth 243) In another place the said Guru says:- “We resented the second relgion (Hinduism) and consequently founded a third one.” (Nam Dhari Nit Neem 288, Sikh Raj Niti 3, Ham Hindu Nahin 5,5, Katha Updesh 740, Kais philosophy 24). Again Guru Gobind Ji said:- “Starting from Guru Nanak Ji none of the next nine ones founded any religion. It is we who started to dislike the Hindu religion and then founded a third one.” (Baje Makt 303). The gist of this whole discussion is that Guru Nanak Ji was hot the founder of any religion nor was he appointed by God nor he himself ever claimed to be the messenger of God. According to famous Sikh scholars there were only two religions Hinduism and Islam during the life time of Guru Nanak Ji. continued on page 9.