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Baba Nanak And 'His Islamic Chola'

Jul 13, 2004
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The great souls or free thinkers get onto many routes to understand the intricacies of that particular path. Then later one by one, rejection starts of those paths due to various reasons best known to those souls. This doesnt mean, one can be labelled to belong/limit to one particular religion.

It is great to know that different religions want to have Guru Nanak Dev ji belonging to them. If some one says 'He was a muslim'. I tend to correct this incomplete statement by saying 'Yes, He was a muslim, but for a short time during his quest to know the supreme power. After realizing the futility of some aspects in Islam, best known to Guru ji, he left it for better ones, which later gave birth to sikhism'.

I beg for pardon if this creates any offence for our learned sangat. 'Muslim' is word taken as an example only, and not to tarnish anyone. If you feel so, I can change the wording to make it neutral looking.

Thanks.
 

Rana

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Feb 22, 2010
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Neutral ji I tried your provived link but didn't work. Anyway I knew few things about the Chola as under:

The Chola, or the cloak of Baba Nanak, is the holiest relic of the Guru and is preserved in Dera Baba Nanak, a small village in Gurdaspur District of the Punjab. This is a cloak which Nanak wore in his life-time and it is considered so sacred that his immediate followers took every care to keep it safe. The regard and reverence rendered to the Chola by the Sikh community is a testimony to the authenticity of the cloak. The words of Guru Nanak as contained in the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh scriptures) were not collected until the time of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Guru, and therefore cannot be relied upon as accurate particularly as Sikhism had by that time assumed an attitude of hostility towards Islam. But the Chola is clear from this charge, because it was handed down by Nanak himself and has come down to our times in its original condition. It is commonly alleged that verses from different scriptures in different languages are written on the Chola. But this is not true. The verses chosen for writing on the Chola are quotations from the Holy Quran as revealed by photographs recently taken. The religion followed by the man can be none other than Islam. But strangely, the misconception has gained upper hand in the case of Chola as in the case with teachings of Baba Nanak, which, in spite of being purely Islamic, came by and by to be looked upon as a compromise between Hinduism and Islam.
The congruence of the teachings of Baba Nanak with those of the Holy Quran is so perfect that one cannot escape the conclusion that the Guru had accepted Islam as his religion. He declared that there was One God and He was the same for all and that He was formless. There is none else who is equal to Him. He is the sole Creator of this Universe. Everything is created by Him. He is the ultimate determinant in terms of all forms of His creation.
Sikhism believes in a one and formless God and it does not believe in idol worship. According to it, idol worship promotes attachment of God with something other than God and God cannot limit Himself in the form of an idol or a stone. He is beyond everything and in everything at the same time.
Sikhism does not believe in Avatar, i.e. God descending on earth to protect humanity. On the other hand, it believes that there are men who are spiritual to the highest degree, are blessed souls and therefore are assigned the duty to liberate humanity from its continual suffering.
The book Janam Sakhi of Bala Sahib is an authoritative source of Sikhism. Bala was Nanak's constant companion and he accompanied his Master for twenty years during his travels. It is true that in Janam Sakhi one finds much fiction mixed with facts. Bala was a Hindu and after Nanak's death, estrangemant of Sikhism from Islam had started. As such any statement contained in Janam Sakhi in favour of Islam has the weight of a hostile witness.
The following passages are quoted from the third edition of Bala Sahib's Janam Sakhi, printed by the press, Anarkali, Lahore in the early part of this century.
On page 134 of Janam Sakhi, we read, The Quran is divided into thirty sections, proclaim thou, this Quran in the four comers of this world. Declare the glory of one name only for none other is an associate with me. Nanak proclaims the word of God that came to him, thou hast been granted the rank of Sheikh, so thou shouldst abolish the worship of gods and goddesses and the old Hindu idol - temples.
The fundamental article of the Islamic faith, the Kalima, has been given the greatest stress in Janam Sakhi. A few Shaloks (verses) from this Sakhi read:
I have repeated one Kalima, there is none other.
Those who repeat the Kalima and are not devoid of the faith, shall not be burned on fire.
Repeat the Holy Kalima of the Prophet, it shall cleanse thee of all sins.
By repeating the Kalima, the punishment of this world, as well as the next is averted.
Whoever repeats the Kalima, how shall he be punished? the merit of repeating the Kalima is that a person is cleansed of his sins.
In Bala's Janam Sakhi, we also read that during his pilgrimage to Mecca, Baba Nanak met Qazi Rukn-ud-Din, the Imam and had long conversations with him. It is reported that Nanak said, 0: Rukn-ud-Din, it is written in the Book (i.e., the Quran) that those who drink wine or 'Bhang' shall be punished on the Day of Judgement.
Baba Nanak was not a Muslim in belief only. He recognised the necessity of worship in the form enjoined by Islam and laid stress on this point in his teachings. On page 193 of Bala's Janam Sakhi, we have: Nanak said, 0: Rukn-ud-Din, hear from me the true reply: the saying of the Lord is written in the Book. That person will go to hell who does not repeat the Kalima, who does not keep the thirty fasts, and does not say the five prayers, who eats what is not lawful for him. These shall receive the punishment and the fire of the bottomless pit shall be his abode. It is also reported that Baba Nanak kept fasts for a whole year at Mecca and put his fingers in his ears and gave the call to prayer. It is also related that Nanak recited the Khutba of the Prophet and became happy.
The few quotations are sufficient to show that Nanak not only made a full confession of the absolute truth of Islam but also performed the obligations of Islamic law and enjoined others to follow them. Now the question arises how the religion preached by Nanak came to be identified as an offshoot of Hinduism. Anybody who is acquainted with the history of Sikhism would reach the conclusion that the transformation was due to political, not religious reasons.
Baba Nanak was not a mere convert to Islam. He felt he had been called to act as a spiritual guide and to take people into his discipleship after the manner of many Muslim Sufis. This has lead later historians to conclude that Baba Nanak founded a new cult which took into his fold Muslims as well as Hindus and hence Sikhism was a compromise of the two religions. We have to reject this conclusion because no Muslim disciple of Nanak is known to have given up his belief in Islamic principles nor to have acted against any Islamic injunctions regarding prayers and fasting. Punjab, at the time of Nanak, was under Muslim rule and if Nanak had converted any Muslim to a faith other than Islam, he would have been sentenced to death for apostasy, (though it is un-Islamic to the core!) was strictly enforced by all Muslim rulers in the Middle ages, but Nanak's disciples were not harmed in any way let alone being stoned to death. This clearly shows that Nanak was looked upon as a Muslim Sufi by his contemporaries. It is indeed difficult to explain fully the causes which led to the identification of Sikhism with Hinduism rather than with Islam. But so subtle and variant are generally the causes which shape the religious thought of a people, that a complete satisfactory explanation is often impossible in such matters.
 

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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Originally Posted by Rana
Neutral ji I tried your provived link but didn't work. Anyway I knew few things about the Chola as under:

The few quotations are sufficient to show that Nanak not only made a full confession of the absolute truth of Islam but also performed the obligations of Islamic law and enjoined others to follow them. Now the question arises how the religion preached by Nanak came to be identified as an offshoot of Hinduism. Anybody who is acquainted with the history of Sikhism would reach the conclusion that the transformation was due to political, not religious reasons.
Baba Nanak was not a mere convert to Islam. He felt he had been called to act as a spiritual guide and to take people into his discipleship after the manner of many Muslim Sufis. This has lead later historians to conclude that Baba Nanak founded a new cult which took into his fold Muslims as well as Hindus and hence Sikhism was a compromise of the two religions. We have to reject this conclusion because no Muslim disciple of Nanak is known to have given up his belief in Islamic principles nor to have acted against any Islamic injunctions regarding prayers and fasting. Punjab, at the time of Nanak, was under Muslim rule and if Nanak had converted any Muslim to a faith other than Islam, he would have been sentenced to death for apostasy, (though it is un-Islamic to the core!) was strictly enforced by all Muslim rulers in the Middle ages, but Nanak's disciples were not harmed in any way let alone being stoned to death. This clearly shows that Nanak was looked upon as a Muslim Sufi by his contemporaries. It is indeed difficult to explain fully the causes which led to the identification of Sikhism with Hinduism rather than with Islam. But so subtle and variant are generally the causes which shape the religious thought of a people, that a complete satisfactory explanation is often impossible in such matters.
Rana ji

This is bizarre and inaccurate. Please do not continue with this type of posting. It is purely an attempt by you to proselytize your religion on a Sikh forum. This is against forum TOS which you agreed to when you became a member.

Consider this a warning. If it happens again -- and this is not the first thread in which you have conducted yourself thusly -- further action will be taken. Narayanjot Kaur
 
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karam

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Aug 12, 2010
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I beleive Guru Nanak was born enlightened he did not have any need to follow any paths, he was one with God from day one,God himself was guiding force behind him, he had word with hindu sadhus, muslim fakirs, and many inbetweens people, don't mean he was all of that, plus guru nanak's philosphy totally contradicts islamic philosphy, he beleived in reincarnation of soles, he beleived God is every where, while islam belives God is sitting some where above the skies in paradise etc, few days back someone gave my aunt a quran written in punjabi , out of her friendship she accepted the gift,does that make my aunt muslman, Many of us try to portray Guru Nanak as if he was learning things as he was growing but if you carefully review janam sakhis and bhai Gurdas's writings, you can see that Guru Nanak was born learned, mullas and brahmans had nothing to offer him, he was able to teach his mulla teachers and village kazis etc right from the begining, the Rai of the village recognised Guru Nanak's true colors and he told guru Nanak's father that your son is no ordinary child, I am thank ful to my Guru who cleared all my misconception way before they started, I will pray to waheguru to clear every sikh's misconceptions
 

Admin

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Jun 1, 2004
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I am thank ful to my Guru who cleared all my misconception way before they started, I will pray to waheguru to clear every sikh's misconceptions
Karam Ji, for the benefit of the readers please elaborate on which Guru you are talking about in your above message. Thank you!
 
May 24, 2008
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Reading Bhai Gurdass Ji's Vaars especially the first Vaar makes it amply clear that Guru Nanak Dev Ji's vision was beyond the scope of either Islam or Hinduism & almost whole of the Universe he had travelled & had conversations with all the religious heads . But none of them had any answers to the philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in a way they had nothing to offer to him but he instead made all of them agree to his views .
http://www.searchgurbani.com/main.php?book=bhai_gurdas_vaaran&action=pauripage&pauri=27&vaar=1
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Reading Bhai Gurdass Ji's Vaars especially the first Vaar makes it amply clear that Guru Nanak Dev Ji's vision was beyond the scope of either Islam or Hinduism & almost whole of the Universe he had travelled & had conversations with all the religious heads . But none of them had any answers to the philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in a way they had nothing to offer to him but he instead made all of them agree to his views .
http://www.searchgurbani.com/main.php?book=bhai_gurdas_vaaran&action=pauripage&pauri=27&vaar=1

Dalbirk ji,

Guru Fateh.

Well said! But we do not need Bhai Gurdas' vaaran to justify, Guru Nanak's vision. His Gurbani is suffice in which he repeatedly told the people of other religions that goodness can not be bred within by mere rituals. One can not become pure by taking a dip in some holy waters or going on a Hajj or any other kind of pilgrimages.

Good deeds, helping others, offering one's shoulder is what a Sikh maketh.

We, as Sikhs should be very alert and careful, and only should concentrate on SGGS, our only Guru. The fact is that the Vaarans by Bhai Gurdas did not pass the benchmark set by our Gurus as did not many Saloks by Bhagat Kabir and many others. That is the reason they are not found in SGGS.

Amrit Keertan which is a compilations of different Shabads from Gurbani and it also includes the Vaarans along with the oral tradition of saying that Vaarans are the key to learning SGGS, our only Guru made them famous. It is a dogmatic view inserted by someone else, not by our Gurus. It is rather insulting to Gurbani in my view.

First and foremost, SGGS, our only Guru is not under any lock that it needs the key to unlock it, as was common with other scriptures of most of the other religions where only the honchos could read and study them.They were not meant for the common person, unlike the SGGS which is open to all.

Bhai Gurdass ji's vaarans should be considered nothing but a good poetry because if we go through all of them, there is a lot of Hindutva slant in it which our Gurus were against.

Lastly I would like to add that In my opinion Amrit Keertan should be banned from using because the way it is set up.

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 

hsaluja

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Jun 7, 2010
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Reading Bhai Gurdass Ji's Vaars especially the first Vaar makes it amply clear that Guru Nanak Dev Ji's vision was beyond the scope of either Islam or Hinduism & almost whole of the Universe he had travelled & had conversations with all the religious heads . But none of them had any answers to the philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in a way they had nothing to offer to him but he instead made all of them agree to his views .
http://www.searchgurbani.com/main.php?book=bhai_gurdas_vaaran&action=pauripage&pauri=27&vaar=1

Are there any instances or conversations captured, where guru nanak ji had discussion with other religious heads. I will be really interested if someone could post some link capturing the same.
 

karam

SPNer
Aug 12, 2010
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Karam Ji, for the benefit of the readers please elaborate on which Guru you are talking about in your above message. Thank you!
My present Guru "shabd Guru" Guru Granth Sahib, I read or heard translations of japuji sahib and then I read sakhis and many other materials on sikhi available from different sources, after understanding japuji sahib I never felt any need to wander for anything else, I think I came across right things with the blessings of my present Guru:shri guru granth sahib". Bodies of my gurus are not around but shabd guru is here for me
 

sas

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Nov 26, 2011
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Re: Baba Guru Nanak and 'His Islamic Chola'

Hi

I have some Question to the article and to some one with knowledge about Sikhism.

1. Why is there Quranic writings on Guru Nanak's chola, and most important it says: La Illaha IL Allah = There is No God except Allah.
This CHola can be seen in Punjab, why would Guru Nanak wear this Chola?

2. Why did Guru Nanak go to Mecca and Medina, when we all know that NO non muslims are allowed into Mecca, and that there is a capital punishment at that time for doing so, why would he risk his life doing so ?

3.Guru Nanak has been against many Hindu Scholars and Muslim Scholars and Hindu Vedas BUT he never said anything bad about the Quran.

4. as we wll know that Punjab was a Muslim rule, and U can not come up with any new teachings and have followers without the Muslim rule will find out, and then the punishment will be death. But this never happened, Muslims love to sit and hear Guru Nanak talking.

I know Guru Arjan was the one who composed all the writings into Guru Granth, but at that time Guru Nanak did not live, and many htings could have been edited.
 

BhagatSingh

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Apr 25, 2006
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1. There is no God except for Allah. This is true... but I am not sure whether get what it means. Guru Nanak intuitively got what it meant by "la ilaha il allah".

2. Guru Nanak had not only surrendered to God's will and saw His signs (the essence of Islam), he was also with a life-long Muslim friend.

3. He was not against any of those or the Quran.

4. Muslims also loved to sit and hear non-Muslims talking. Muslims are pretty accepting of others actually. Not as intolerant as you portray them.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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IF Guru Nanak ji becomes a "Muslim" just by going to Mecca...then why did a "Muslim" visit Hardwaar..Ujain..Kanshi..Benares..ALL the MAJOR HINDU TEERATHS ? And IF Guru nanak ji becomes a muslim just by wearing a chola....my son must be playing for manchester United becasue he wears their Jersey 24/7....even has the name Ronaldo on his back...my other son must be a Chelsea player....and my daughter a hard rock member because she loves to wear T-shirts showing Heavy metal Stars...heck..i must cheak whether i have become a Christian becasue i wore the Jesus saves T shirt the Church priest gave me the other day...it has a quote form the New Testament...boldly printed back and front. ALL TOTALLY FLAWED arguments...the ONLY REAL TRUTH is in Gurus own HAND..in SGGS.
 

Searching

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Aug 8, 2011
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Re: Baba Guru Nanak and 'His Islamic Chola'

I have some Question to the article and to some one with knowledge about Sikhism.

1.
Why is there Quranic writings on Guru Nanak's chola, and most important it says: La Illaha IL Allah = There is No God except Allah.
This CHola can be seen in Punjab, why would Guru Nanak wear this Chola?
Dear Sas ji.

Like Islam, Christianity and Judaism Sikhism too believes in one God, but unlike some other religions Sikhism does not try to confine Him to a particular name. God in Sikhism can be Allah, Khuda, Ishwar, Parwardigar, Rab, Bhagwaan etc.

Your point would have been valid had there been a complete Shahada written but that is not the case.

2.
Why did Guru Nanak go to Mecca and Medina, when we all know that NO non muslims are allowed into Mecca, and that there is a capital punishment at that time for doing so, why would he risk his life doing so ?
Guru Nanak not only go to Mecca and Medina but to Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places. In India itself he visited all the 4 sides. Maybe his purpose was to spread the message of Sikhism, maybe he wanted to see God's creation. who knows! but that certainly doesn't make him a Muslim. Tell me, Will any Muslim sleep with his feet facing towards the Kaaba?

3.
Guru Nanak has been against many Hindu Scholars and Muslim Scholars and Hindu Vedas BUT he never said anything bad about the Quran.
Well anyone who has an iota of Guru Ji's teachings would know that he was against rituals. I am sorry but Islam has its fair share share of rituals like fasting (winch he thought was useless. it can confirmed by the second line of Japji Sahib), slaughtering animals in the name of God etc. How can a Muslim be against its own values.
Sikhism has a concept of transmigration which is totally against Islamic values.
Will a Muslim teach all this?

4.
as we wll know that Punjab was a Muslim rule, and U can not come up with any new teachings and have followers without the Muslim rule will find out, and then the punishment will be death. But this never happened, Muslims love to sit and hear Guru Nanak talking.
Who says that there was a rule that you cannot come up new teachings or religion? Do you have any links to support this? And even if it was not allowed, it had to happen and it did.
Guru Nanak ji was not against Islam or any other religion. Muslims like to hear Guru Nanak ji because they feel spirituality and enlightenment in Guru ji's teachings, which go beyond any man made confines.
 

sajsikh

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Jul 1, 2012
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i had seen that chola 25 years back it was a small gurudwara only 2 rooms wide and now its a splendid gurudwara will get some pics if i go.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Yes Ji.."Gurdwaras" are getting more and more "splendid" by the year....BUT SIKHS arent. Gurdwareh Kacheh- SIKH Pakkeh has been REVERSED. The next time you go there might very well be a Devi Chunni in Gold thread allegedly belonging to Bebeh nanaki ( or perhaps to Mata Sulakhnni Ji ??)...just discovered of course..he he:singhbhangra:
 

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