Guru Nanak Goes To Mecca

Discussion in 'Questions & Answers' started by ExploringSikhi, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. ExploringSikhi

    ExploringSikhi SPNer

    Aug 14, 2013
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    Sat Sri Akal everyone,

    some of you may recall my first thread on this forum in which I got the impression that most, if not all of you, reject the concepts of miracles in Sikhism. Indeed, I have been reading other threads on this site in which members say that they like Sikhism because it is the only religion which does not require them to suspend their disbelief and accept things they know are impossible.

    The story of Guru Nanak going to Mecca was one of the first I came across a few months ago when I first started researching Sikhism. Of course I didn't believe it, but all the Sikhs I was interacting with did believe it, which made me think that perhaps this religion wasn't for me. However, since my time on SPN, I have found a different 'brand' of Sikhism, one which is more appealing to me because it rejects the rituals/susperstitions I have found in other parts of the Panth.

    The problem I have come across is that the story of Guru Nanak going to Mecca and making it spin around is not just any other story, it is actually recorded in the work of Bhai Gurdas. For those of you who may not know, he is considered to be the premiere SIkh historian, or at least that's what I have heard from other Sikhs. In his Vaars, Bhai Gurdas records:

    ਬਾਬਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਮਕੇ ਗਇਆ ਨੀਲ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਧਾਰੇ ਬਨਵਾਰੀ।
    Baabaa Dhiri Makay Gaiaa Neel Basatr Dhaaray Banavaaree.
    बाबा फिरि मੴके गइआ नील बसत्र धारे बनवारी ।
    Donning blue attire then Baba Nanak went to Mecca.
    1 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੧

    ਆਸਾ ਹਥਿ ਕਿਤਾਬ ਕਛਿ ਕੂਜਾ ਬਾਂਗ ਮੁਸਲਾ ਧਾਰੀ।
    Aasaa Hadi Kitaab Kachhi Koojaa Baang Mousalaa Dhaaree.
    आसा हथि किताब कछि कूजा बांग मुसੴला धारी ।
    He held staff in his hand, pressed a book under his armpit, caught hold of a metal pot and mattress.
    2 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੨

    ਬੈਠਾ ਜਾਇ ਮਸੀਤ ਵਿਚਿ ਜਿਥੈ ਹਾਜੀ ਹਜਿ ਗੁਜਾਰੀ।
    Baitdaa Jaai Maseet Vichi Jidai Haajee Haji Gujaaree.
    बैठा जाइ मसीत विचि जिथै हाजी हजि गुजारी ।
    Now he sat in a mosque where the pilgrms (hajis) had gathered.
    3 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੩

    ਜਾ ਬਾਬਾ ਸੁਤਾ ਰਾਤਿ ਨੋ ਵਲਿ ਮਹਰਾਬੇ ਪਾਇ ਪਸਾਰੀ।
    Jaa Baabaa Soutaa Raati No Vali Maharaabay Paai Pasaaree.
    जा बाबा सुता राति नो वलि महराबे पाइ पसारी ।
    When Baba (Nanak) slept in the night spreading his legs towards the alcove of mosque at Kaba,
    4 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੪

    ਜੀਵਣਿ ਮਾਰੀ ਲਤਿ ਦੀ ਕੇਹੜਾ ਸੁਤਾ ਕੁਫਰ ਕੁਫਾਰੀ?
    Jeevani Maaree Lati Dee Kayharhaa Soutaa Kudhar Kudhaaree.
    जीवणि मारी लति दी केहड़ा सुता कुफर कुफारी ।
    The qazi named Jivan kicked him and asked who was this infidel enacting blasphemy.
    5 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੫

    ਲਤਾ ਵਲਿ ਖੁਦਾਇਦੇ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਪਇਆ ਹੋਇ ਬਜਿਗਾਰੀ।
    Lataa Vali Khudaai Day Kiu Kari Paiaa Hoi Bajigaaree.
    लता वलि खुदाइ दे किउ करि पइआ होइ बजिगारी ।
    Why this sinner is sleeping his legs spread towards God, Khuda.
    6 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੬

    ਟੰਗੋਂ ਪਕੜਿ ਘਸੀਟਿਆ ਫਿਰਿਆ ਮਕਾ ਕਲਾ ਦਿਖਾਰੀ।
    Tangon Pakarhi Ghaseetiaa Dhiriaa Makaa Kalaa Dikhaaree.
    टंगों पकड़ि घसीटिआ फिरिआ मੴका कला दिखारी ।
    Catching hold of the legs he lynched (Baba Nanak) and lo and behold the miracle, the whole of Mecca seemed to be revolving.
    7 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੭

    ਹੋਇ ਹੈਰਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਨਿ ਜੁਹਾਰੀ ॥੩੨॥
    Hoi Hairaanu Karayni Juhaaree ॥32॥
    होइ हैरानु करेनि जुहारी ॥३२॥
    All got surprised and they all bowed.
    8 ਵਾਰਾਂ ਭਾਈ ਗੁਰਦਾਸ : ਵਾਰ ੧ ਪਉੜੀ ੩੨ ਪੰ. ੮


    There appear to be two issues with the above recording (I have put them in bold):

    1) Muslims do not believe that Allah resides in the Kabbah, so even if Guru Nanak was pointing his feet towards the Kabbah, no one would have said "why is this infidel pointing his feet towards God." They may have been annoyed, but surely they must have known enough about their own religion to be aware that nothing in the Qur'an or Sunnah says that Allah resides in the Kabbah. I do not know why that is in there.

    2) The second issue, a miracle. Bhai Gurdas says "lo and behold the miracle", it was as if Mecca was spinning around.

    I have seen Bhai Gurdas' work be used in discussion on SPN before, so clearly he is a respected figure in the religion, even on this forum.

    How do the Sikhs on SPN reconcile the notion of no miracles with the miracle described above by Bhai Gurdas? Why would a Qazi, someone who is supposed to be a judge/expert on Islamic law and philosophy, make such a novice mistake by suggesting that Allah resides in the Kabbah?
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  3. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller

    Panga Master


    Jan 31, 2011
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    What I do when I come across Sakhis, or stories about the Gurus is simply apply the litmus test. Take everything you know to be fact about Sikhism, the desire to embrace truth rather than ritual, the desire to move away from pointless actions, mumbling, chanting, (sorry Chazji/Luckyji no disrespect intended).

    To that end, I cannot speak for the Qazi, however, here in the UK we have Sharia Law enforcers who walk around confiscating drink from areas that they have placed under Sharia law, not of course that they represent the bulk of Islam, but there always those that take offence regardless.

    Simply put, the laws of nature were not compromised, however this story simply illustrates God is everywhere,

    I have been known to embellish a story or two myself, sometimes to make it more interesting....
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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  4. aristotle

    aristotle SPNer

    May 11, 2010
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  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin 1947-2014 (Archived) SPNer Supporter

    Jun 17, 2004
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    Exploring Sikhi ji

    It is entirely likely that the "miracle" of seeing Mecca "spin" is a figure of speech: i.e., the psychological world of the believers changed through their interaction with Guru Nanak. It went into a dizzying spin. Things were confusing at first, until a different way of understanding the omnipresence of the Sat took hold of them. Much the same way we say, "My world was turned upside down," the center of a spiritual universe also turned round and round.

    Perhaps scholars of eastern religions can explain the other part of your question. That is, how it comes to pass that by the time of Guru Nanak, some Muslims believed, or it was reported they believed, that Allah resided in the Kabbah.

    Or perhaps again, that is precisely the point. In a way Mecca did spin. When these believers understood that Allah could not confine himself to the Kabbah or to Mecca or to any particular location, and they began to wonder whether all spaces are sacred, an old and trusted center of belief ceased to be the center any longer. Consider what happens when the center does not hold. William Butler Yeats, a British poet, once compared this experience to a second coming, a kind of miracle close at hand.
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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  6. dalvindersingh grewal

    dalvindersingh grewal Writer Historian SPNer

    Jan 3, 2010
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    Ruqan-ud-Deen: The Sikh Martyr of Guru Nanak Period​

    Col Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal

    Recently new facts about Qazi Ruqun-ud-Deen of Mecca Mosque, a devout follower of Guru Nanak have come to light where he has been stoned to death on the order of Ameer of Mecca because he followed and propogated Guru Nanak’s teaching instead of Islam Name of Ruqun-ud-Deen appears in 3 Janamsakhis: Puratan Janamsakhi (pp.105-107) (1), Janamsakhi B 40 (p.66) (2) and Janamsakhi Bhai Mani Singh (pp. 379-389) (3). In a recent paper by Prof. Himmat Singh (4) details of Ruqun-ud-Deen also appear in three recently located manuscripts ‘Syahto Baba Nanak Faqir’ (1509 AD) (5) written by Taj-u-deen Naqshbandi, Twareekh-i-Arab’(1505-06 AD) (6) written by Khwaja Zain ul Abideen and Gunitusalehin (1506-07) written by Abdul Rahman.(7)

    According to Puratan Janamsakhi, Ruqun-ud-Deen was a Qazi and was present at the famous Mecca mosque during Guru Nanak’s visit to Mecca. Reaching Mecca, Guru Nanak slept keeping his feet towards Qaba. Ruqun-ud-Deen asked him not to do so since feet should not be towards God’s home. Guru Nanak asked him to move his feet to the direction where God is not present. Qazi Ruqun-ud-Deen caught Guru Nanak’s feet and moved. In whatever direction he moved Guru’s feet the Qaba followed. Astonished Ruqun-ud-Deen kissed Guru’s feet and asked his name and held discussions with him. (1) Details of ‘Makke di Goshat’ are given thereafter in which Guru sang his hymn ‘Yak arz guftam pes(i) tu dargos kun kartar’. (Mahla 1; Tilang, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, p. 721).

    ‘Syahto Baba Nanak Faqir’(5) whose writer Taj-u-deen Naqshbandi had joined Guru Nanak’s party from Iran and recorded daily movements of Guru Nanak, wrote about this event as well. According to him, Guru Nanak moved from there to the Qabristan of Mecca and stayed there for three days. Mardana started his music (in accompaniment of Guru Nanak’s hymns). The people of Arab gathered in the presence of Guru Nanak. Heaps of dates and pots of milk were presented by these devotees. At the end of the music, Guru Nanak delivered a sermon. Qazi Ruqun-ud- Deen, Khwaja Zain-ul-aab(i) Deen (writer of Tareekh(i) Arab), Qazi Gulam Ahmed (Richest man of Mecca) and Ibni Aswad , the head of Quresh tribe and heads of Budhu tribes were also present then. The hymn ‘Yak Arz Guftam’ became a fad for Qazi Ruqun-ud-Deen.

    Khwaja Zain-ul-aab(i) Deen the writer of Twareekh(i) Arab, was present in Qabristan of Mecca. He wrote in the chapter Bab-ul-Mecca of his book ‘Twareekh-i-Arab’ (p. 300): The sermon of Guru Nanak was heard by 300 followers. Ruqun-ud-Deen went into deep meditation. Thereafter Ruqun-ud-Deen never went back to his home and remained in meditation in a cave till he was put to death by the fundamentalist regime.
    When Amir of Mecca came to know that the Muslims are following an infidel, he issued fatwas. These fatwas (religious orders) were;

    1. Nanak faqir is an infidel. His teachings are falsehood and against the Muslim religion.
    2. Ruqun-ud-Deen’s entire property will be confiscated.
    3. The Khwesh tribe, the follower of Guru Nanak is ordered to leave the country.
    4. Each followers of Guru Nanak ‘to undergo beating by 30 lashes and to be without food for 11 days.’
    5. They will then be burried in sand dunes.
    6. Before this they will be taken on camels around the city with blackened faces.
    7. They will be hung upside down.
    8. The strongest follower of Guru Nanak (Ruqun-ud deen) will be burried in ground till his chest and then stoned to death.

    Since it was announced in the city that a criminal is being stoned to death; the citizens thronged to watch the event. The citizens of Mecca gathered round with stones….The writer of Twarikh-e-Arab sums up this event saying: “The sacrifice of Ruqun-ud-Deen was special.Watching the sacrifice, 50% of the onlookers became followers of Nanak”. This is how the number of followers of Guru Nanak increased with each sacrifice.

    Amir of Mecca sent his men to locate and eliminate Guru Nanak as well. Abdul Rahman the writer of another book Gunitusalehin (1506-07) was one such person assigned the job. He wrote about his encounter with Guru Nanak in his book: “When I was driving my horse with speed and hurry; my horse stopped abruptly. I tried to move him by kicking and hitting but the horse did not move. I lifted my head to find in front that at a distance of 100 yards the faqirs were seated. The elderly person in the midst of them had a brightened face and an aura around of him more powerful than thousands of suns. This brightness shut my eyes and I had a revelation that I was about to commit a crime. The horse proved better than me who saved me from committing this crime even though I gave him lashes to advance. In front of me is the same Godly person who had moved Mecca mosque. Shah Sharaf and Ruqun-ud-Deen became his devout followers. He has rightly spread the True Name of God among the Arabs and is now in front of me. I regained my senses and thought of doing the right. I immediately saw the reason; left my horse and shoes and fell at his feet.” This is how the person who had come to kill Guru Nanak turned his follower. Ruqun-ud-Deen had become a devout follower of Guru Nanak and was put to death because of his following of Guru Nanak. Ruqun-ud-Deen can thus be considered as the first martyr of Sikhism. His two tribes Sibi and Budhu migrated immediately from Mecca to Tirah area of Afghanistan where they are now permanently settled and have faith in reciting Japuji Sahib till date.

    1. Shamsher Singh Ashok (ed.), (November 1969), Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar, p. 104:‘Tab Guru Baba Makke vich jai vadia…..jai kar(i) soi rahia. Pair Makke di taraf kar(i) ke suta. Tab pesi ki nivaz ka ka vakht(u) hoia. Tab Qazi Ruqundeen niwaj(i) karn(i) aaia. Dekh kar(i) aakhios: “ Ai bande Khudai ke! Tu jo pair Khudai ke ghar val(i) keete hain(i) Qabe ki taraf, so kio keete hain(i)? Tab Guru Babe aakhia,” Jit(u) val(i) Khudai ate Qaba naahi, ***(u) val(i) mere pair(u) kar(i) chhad(u). Ta Qazi Ruqundeen jat(u) val(i) Guru Babe de pair(u) fere ***(u) val(i) Makke da muhra (mehrab) firda jaave. Tab Qazi Ruqundeen hairan(u) hoi rahia. Pair chumios, aakhios, “Ai darves! Tera nau kia hai. Guru Baba sang a sabd(u) in Tialng Raag(u)…. ’
    2. Piar Singh (ed.) (1989) B.40; Janamsakhi Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, pp.66-67.
    3. Kirpal Singh Dr. (Ed.) (1969), Janamsakhi Prampra; Bhai Mani Singh Wali Janam Sakhi, Punjabi University, Patiala, p. 379-380
    4. Himmat Singh (Prof) (2011), Guru Nanak Viaktitav: Ati parmaneek punravlokan, (Tatkaleen Arbi-Farsi srotan anusaar), paper published in seminar proceedings: Guru Kaal de Sarotan vich Guru Nanak Sahib: Jiwan te Shakhshiat, 22-23 November, 2011, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, pp. 135-140
    5. Taj-u-deen Naqshbandi (1509 AD, unpublished) Syahto Baba Nanak Faqir, original in Mecca State Library, translated into Punjabi by Sayyad Prithipal Singh in 1927-30, presently with Prof Himmat Singh (Reference 4)
    6. Khwaja Zain ul Abideen (1505-06 AD, unpublished) Twareekh-i-Arab, translated by Mohammed Iqbal, manuscript presently with Prof Himmat Singh (Reference 4)
    7. Abdul Rahman (1506-07), Gunitusalehin, manuscript presently with Prof Himmat Singh (Reference 4)
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  7. sikh Engineer

    sikh Engineer SPNer

    Jan 14, 2010
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    Waheguru ji ki fateh

    Though I am not scholar but what I can understand by exploring sikhi question is that firstly miracles have any place in sikhi and secondly muslims do not believe that Allah resides in Kabba.
    Dear Brother I just want to put this all muslims while namaz bow towards kabba so they feel no one can put their feet in that direction, Guru Nanak just wanted to clear that God is present everywhere that was his intentions Guru Nanak did not want to hurt anyone's feelings even now also muslims don't agree that Guru Nanak every visited Mecca I got one collection of Canadian traveler who has mention Guru Nanak visit details in hi sbook

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