How is Baba Nanak perceived in the Punjab region of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
Dec 26, 2019 12:04 PM 0 Answers
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How is Baba Nanak perceived in the Punjab region of Pakistan?

Mudassir Ali
- Dec 26, 2019 12:04 PM

Being a Punjabi, I can say one thing very straight and clear that Baba Guru Nanak Dev ji is an eternal part of our soil. It’s privileged that I’m writing an answer about a person who was born and resting in Lehnda Punjab (a term used for Western Punjab region).

It’s not only me, but you will also come across number of Pakistani Punjabis who have immense respect for Baba ji. Some Muslims consider him as “Saint” due to his respect for Muslim disciples and his journey to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Baba Guru Nanak Dev ji traveled to Makkah and Madina which are the holiest sites in Islam. A number of Punjabi Muslims are aware of this fact and thus can be a reason they respect him a lot. My father and grandfather used to call him Allah ka Wali (which means Friend of Allah in English). Baba ji went to Baghdad with bhai Mardana (a Muslim and one of the closest friend of Guru ji) where he visited the shrines of Hazrat Junaid Baghdadi and Hazrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani (both of them are highly respected figure in Sunni Islam).

When it comes to the Pakistani part of Punjab, the associations of Baba ji with our soil are everlasting.

Guru Nanak ji was born in Rāi Bhoi Kī Talvaṇḍī village (Now Nankana Sahib, Sheikhpura). Sikh across the globe come to Pakistan and visit at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib.

Guru Granth Sahib, which considered as principal scripture of Sikhism and 11th Guru comprises some rhymes of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar (another Sufi Muslim Saint). This can give you a hint that how Guru ji was inspired by him. Sikhs across the globe do visit at shrine of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar.

Baba ji and bhai Mardana spent some time in Rawalpindi before traveling towards Kabul, Afghanistan. When they reached Hassan Abdal, Baba ji sent Bhai Mardana towards the top hill to fetch some water. Wali Qandhari who owns water well refuses to give water to both of them. According to Sikh beliefs, Wali Qandhari threw big rock which was stopped by Baba ji with his hands and stream of water came into being. That miracle is being remembered as “Panja Sahib” and famous Gurdwara still exists at its original place in Hassan Abdal. This site is considered as one of the holiest in Sikhism. Sikhs also visit the shrine of Wali Qandhari which is at the hill top of Hassan Abdal.

After his travels for about 20 years, Guru Nanak settled in Kartarpur along with his family. Following his death in 1539, Hindus and Muslims both claimed him as their own, and raised mausoleums in his memory with a common wall between them. The changing course of the Ravi River eventually washed away the mausoleums. But Guru Nanak’s son saved the urn containing his ashes and reburied it on the left bank of the river, where a new habitation was formed, representing the present day Dera Baba Nanak.

Despite Baba Guru Nanak has a very strong association and bond with Lehnda Punjab, I admit that he was not much recognized the way it should have been in previous years.

But it’s not too late.

I’m extremely happy to tell you, the government of Pakistan has built Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in record time with excellent infrastructure and facilities. I anticipate this will open doors between both sides of Punjab.

As Sikhs across the globe will be celebrating 550th birthday of Guru Nanak, I can tell you with my confidence, all eyes will be at the celebrations which will commence in Kartarpur.

This is not enough, govt of Pakistan issued commemorative coin to mark the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

I will end my answer with famous quote of Guru Nanak Dev ji.

There is but One God. His name is Truth; He is the Creator. He fears none; he is without hate. He never dies; He is beyond the cycle of births and death. He is self-illuminated. He is realized by the kindness of the True Guru. He was True in the beginning; He was True when the ages commenced and has ever been True. He is also True now.

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