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In Islam, Muhammad is the last and final prophet of God. Islam views Jews, Christians and Muslims as "People of the Book" as all three major faiths are part of the Abrahamic religions. Muslims also believe Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Jesus were prophets. However, Muslims do not consider any Sikh guru as a prophet since they came after Muhammad, the last Prophet.
Many Islamic dynasties ruled parts of the Indian subcontinent starting from the 12th century. The prominent ones include the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal Empire (1526–1857), with which the Sikh gurus frequently came into direct confrontation, however these empires helped in the spread of Islam in South Asia, but by the mid-18th century, the British Empire had ended the Mughal dynasty.
Sikhism arose in a climate that was heavily influenced by Bhaktism and Sufism. Guru Nanak Dev was its founder. The Guru Granth Sahib contains the teachings and beliefs of eleven Hindu saints, four Sufi saints and later on followed by the subsequent additions from seven of the Sikh Gurus. Because of this diversity many people mistake Sikhism as being a branch of Hinduism or Islam, but it is its own separate religion.
The Gurus and their Muslim contemporaries
Guru Nanak's preachings were directed with equal force to all humans regardless of their religion. As such he freely borrowed religious terminology from the lexicons of two faiths, sometimes redefining them.
He also said, "if you make good works the creed you repeat, you shall be a Muslim," and "act according to the Qur'an and your sacred books." Guru Nanak defines the transformation of man, after which he is established in permanent union with God.As part of his preaching against communalism summarized by the famous phrase, "There is no Hindu and no Muslim," Guru Nanak defined a Muslim as follows:
SHALOK, FIRST MEHL:
To be Muslim is to be kind-hearted, and wash away pollution from within the heart. He does not even approach worldly pleasures; he is pure, like flowers, silk, ghee and the deer-skin.
I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim. My body and breath of life belong to Allah — to Raam — the God of both.
|Sri Guru Granth Sahib|
At Mecca, Guru Nanak was found sleeping with his feet towards the Kaaba Kazi Rukan-ud-din, who observed this, angrily objected. Nanak replied with a request to turn his feet in a direction in which God or the House of God is not." The Qadi took hold of the Guru's feet. Then he lifted his eyes seeing the Kaaba standing in the direction of the Guru's feet, wherever he turned them[dubious ]
Guru Nanak was pointing out that if he moves his feet elsewhere God is still in that direction as God is Omnipresent i.e. not confined by space (or time).
Many Muslim historians[where?] argue that Guru Nanak was a perennialist Muslim[dubious ] and was seeking to show the unity of origin of the major religions. Their contention is that Guru Nanak remained a Sufi Muslim until he died, and only after his death some of his followers created a new and institutionalized religion now known as Sikhism.[dubious ] There in doesn't appear to be any overt suggestion from Guru Nanak life and early writings where he is claiming to be a new prophet or indeed commanding people to follow him as religious figure after Mohammed.
The Muslim rulers of the Lodhi dynasty and the first Mughals were too concerned with consolidating their respective rules, and Akbar's liberalism led him to establish cordial relations with India's religions. The influence of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi and the Sufi Naqshbandi order on Jahangir led to the subsequent execution of Guru Arjan Dev in 1606.
The Sikh rebellion against Mughal rule
Early in Aurangzeb's reign, various insurgent groups of Sikhs engaged Mughal troops in increasingly bloody battles. In 1670, the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur encamped in Delhi, receiving large numbers of followers, was said to have attracted the wrath of Emperor Aurangzeb.
The execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur infuriated the Sikhs. In response, his son and successor, the tenth Guru of Sikhism Guru Gobind Singh further militarized his followers.
In a temporary alliance, both groups attacked Gobind Singh and his followers. The united Mughal-Rajput Imperial alliance laid siege to the fort at Anandpur Sahib. In an attempt to dislodge the Sikhs, Aurangzeb vowed that the Guru and his Sikhs would be allowed to leave Anandpur safely. Aurangzeb is said to have validated this promise in writing. However Aurangzeb deliberately failed to keep his promise and when the remaining few Sikhs were leaving the fort under the cover of darkness, the Mughals were alerted and enagaged them in battle once again; where two of the younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh [Zoravar Singh and Fateh Singh] of 9 and 7 yrs respectively were bricked up alive within a wall by Wazir Khan in Sirhand (Punjab). The other two elder sons [ Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh] as well as many other Singhs fought with giant Mughal force achieving martyrdom and proved words of tenth guru "Sava Lakh se Ek Laraun Tabhe Gibind Singh Naam Kahaun" [That each brave Khalsa must fight with more than a million oppressor]. The events of which Guru Gobind Singh wrote a letter to Aurangzeb, called a [Zafarnamah :- epistle of Victory]. The Emperor died shortly after on March 3, 1707. Eventually the Guru was attacked and wounded by two of Aurangzeb's soldiers, Jamshed Khan and Wazir Khan who was the Mughal Governor of the Punjab at Sirhind before. The Guru would later die because his wound's stitches had reopened.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh's empire was secular; a strong empire consisting of Sikhs & Muslims. During Ranjit Singh's time Punjab saw peaceful times amongst Punjabis, with unity & love as well as the strength to withstand foreign invaders. The majority of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's subjects were Muslim including his Foreign Minister Fakir Azizuddin. When Fakir Azizuddin met the British Governor-General of India, Lord Auckland, in Simla, Lord Auckland asked Fakir Azizuddin which of the Maharaja's eyes was missing, Azizuddin replied: "The Maharaja is like the sun and sun has only one eye. The splendor and luminosity of his single eye is so much that I have never dared to look at his other eye." The Governor General was so pleased with this reply that he gave his gold watch to Azizuddin. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had many Muslim Generals & soldiers in his empire; of these some notable Generals are listed as the following: Ch. Khuda Buksh Chattha, Ch. Nawab Khan Chattha, & Ghaus Mohammed Khan. Within Maharaja Ranjit Singh's "Fauj-i-ain" units many Muslims & Sikhs fought united in several different units, 19 of these consisting of Muslims & Sikhs together & 2 of these units primarily Muslim.
Differences between Islam and Sikhism
Sikhs are prohibited from eating halal (and kosher) food or any other ritually slaughtered meat/fish. Most Sikhs eat various non-halal meat, although Sikhs only serve vegetarian food in Sikh temples. Sikhs do not believe in pilgrimages; Muslims, in contrast, consider Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) a crucial part of the faith. Male Sikhs do not circumcise unlike Muslim males.
The Five Pillars of Islam (Arabic: أركان الإسلام) is the term given to the five duties incumbent on every Muslim. These duties are Shahada (Profession of Faith), Salat (prayers), Zakat (Giving of Alms), Sawm (Fasting during Ramadan) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). These five practices are essential to Sunni Islam; Shi'a Muslims subscribe to eight ritual practices which substantially overlap with the five Pillars.
The Five Symbols of the Khalsa or Five Kakkars are Kirpan, Kanga, Kesh, Kara and Kaccha, meaning the wearing of a short sword, the wearing of a comb, uncut hair, the wearing of a symbolic bangle and characteristic shorts or underpants respectively.
In Islam and Abrahamic faiths, when a Muslim dies, he or she is buried, whereas when a Sikh dies, then cremation is the funeral act which is carried out, as is also done in the other main dharmic faiths.
In accordance with the Islamic belief in predestination, or divine preordainment (al-qadā wa l-qadar), God has full knowledge and control over all that occurs. This is explained in Qur'anic verses such as "Say: 'Nothing will happen to us except what God has decreed for us: He is our protector'…" For Muslims, everything in the world that occurs, good or evil, has been preordained and nothing can happen unless permitted by God. In Islamic theology, divine preordainment does not suggest an absence of God's indignation against evil, because any evils that do occur are thought to result in future benefits men may not be able to see. According to Muslim theologians, although events are pre-ordained, man possesses free will in that he has the faculty to choose between right and wrong, and is thus responsible for his actions. According to Islamic tradition, all that has been decreed by God is written in al-Lawh al-Mahfūz, the "Preserved Tablet".
Islamic predestination concerns in reality less the life after the current life but the regulation of cases within the current life, like for instance the life of a warrior in Jihad or struggle in the way of God, which renders him a place in Paradise. Concerning eternal life, it is positively acquired through the absolute declaration of faith in Allah and Muhammed. The key concepts mentioned in the Qu'ran are Jabar (determination) and qadar (predestination).
The Shia understanding of predestination is called "divine justice" (adalah). This doctrine, developed in Sunnism as well by the Mu'tazili, stresses the importance of man's responsibility for his own actions. In contrast, the Sunni de-emphasizes the role of individual free will in the context of God's creation and foreknowledge of all things.
Sufism as a whole is primarily concerned with a direct personal experience and is considered one of the mystical dimensions of Islam, and as such may be compared to various forms of mysticism such as Bhakti form of Hinduism, Hesychasm form of Greek Orthodox, Zen form of Buddhism, Kabbalah from Judaism and Gnosticism from Christian mysticism.
There are also other major differences in Islam and Sikhism. The Qur'an as in the Bible describes God as merciful and beneficent, though frequently angry. In the Adi Granth, this is not an attribute of God, who is beyond human emotion and understanding.
The concept of a Last Judgment is found in all of the Abrahamic religions whereas the Sikh Gurus taught reincarnation and karma, which are also Hindu beliefs, and Muhammad preached of a Qiyamah. Muslims, as do Christians, accept from their scriptures, the concepts of Heaven or Jannah and Hell or Jahannam, whereas in the Dharmic faiths one reaps the fruit of his/own own Karma to attain Nirvana. Sikhs are instructed to transcend and merge one's soul directly with God. The Sikh has to rise above ego in order to escape repetitive reincarnation and attain permanent union with the creative immanence of God. Having done so, the soul retains its identity; man and God are never ontologically identical.
Sufi saints in holy Guru Granth Sahib Ji
- Bhagat Beni
- Bhagat Bhikhan
- Fariduddin Ganjshakar (Baba Farid)
- Bhagat Sadhana
Sufi saint: Hazrat Mian Mir construction of Golden Temple
In December 1588, the Sufi saint of Lahore, Mian Mir, who was a close friend of Guru Arjan Dev, initiated the construction of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) by laying the first foundation stone.
Bhai Mardana Ji: Muslim follower of Guru Nanak
Bhai Mardana Ji (1459-1534) was a Muslim and one of the first followers alongside Bhai Bala, who travelled with Nanak in his early journeys across India and Asia. On his later journeys, Nanak was accompanied by Saido and Greho, and Mardana remained with his family. Mardana was born a Muslim to a Mirasi couple, Badra and Lakkho, of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi (modern Nankana Sahib, capital of Nankana Sahib District of Pakistan).
Pir Bhikhan Shah, a 17th-century Sufi saint, was born the son of Sayyid Muhammad Yusaf of Siana Sayyidari, a village 5 km (3.1 mi) from Pehowa (in modern Kurukshetra district of Haryana). For a time, he lived at Ghuram in present-day Patiala district of the Punjab and finally settled at Thaska, again in Kurukshetra district. He was the disciple of Abu l-Muali Shah, a Sufi divine residing at Ambhita, near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, and soon became a saint of much repute and piety in his own right.
According to a tradition preserved in Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Pir Bhikhan Shah, as he learnt through intuition of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) at Patna, made obeisance that day to the east instead of to the west. At this, his disciples demurred, for no Muslim should make such respectful gestures except towards the Kaaba in Mecca.
The pir explained that in a city in the east, God had revealed Himself through a newborn baby, to whom he had bowed and to no ordinary mortal. Bhikhan Shah with his disciples then traveled all the way to Patna to have a glimpse of the infant Gobind Rai, barely three months old. Desiring to know what would be his attitude to the two major religious peoples of India, he placed two small pots in front of the child, one representing in his own mind Hindus and the other Muslims. As the child covered both the pots simultaneously with his tiny hands, Bhikhan Shah felt happy concluding that the new seer would treat both Hindus and Muslims alike and show equal respect to both.
Sikh chronicles record another meeting between Guru Gobind Singh and Pir Bhikhan Shah, which took place in 1672 when the latter went to see him at Lakhnaur, near Ambala, where he was halting for some time on his way from Patna to Kiratpur .
Relations between Sikhs and Muslims
During the partition of India in 1947, there was much bloodshed between Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims, there was mass migration of people from all walks of life to leave their homes and belongings and travel by foot across the new border, on trains and on land people were killed in what was felt to be revenge attacks.
Today in the Indian subcontinent, relations between Indians and Pakistanis are very positive since relations between India and Pakistan have improved overall in the last 10 years, both countries have experienced increased levels of tourism by Pakistani Muslims wishing to visit Indian Islamic shrines or sport events in India, or Sikhs wishing to visit the few historical temples in neighboring Punjab in Pakistan.
- Battle of Chamkaur;
- Mughal Empire
- Conversion of non-Muslim places of worship into mosques
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- A Gateway to Sikhism | Sikh Bhagats : Baba Sheikh Farid Ji - A Gateway to Sikhism
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- Harmandir Sahib Amritsar, Swarn Mandir India, Golden Temple India, Swarna Mandir Amritsar, Swarn Mandir In Punjab
- Pak delegation arrives to celebrate Bhai Mardana's 550 birth anniversary
- Sikh Personalities
- A Gateway to Sikhism | Early Gursikhs: Bhai Mardana ji - A Gateway to Sikhism
- India to ease visa rules for Pakistanis
- On the scene: Musharraf tribute at Gandhi shrine
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- Protest march over 'conversions'
- The Holy Qu'ran
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