Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal Saudi Arabiais an Arabstate in Western Asiaconstituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula. Approximately 2.15 million km2 in area, Saudi Arabia is geographically the fifth-largest state in Asia and second-largest state in the Arab world (after Algeria). It is bordered by Jordan and Iraq to the north, Kuwaitto the north east, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to the east, Oman to the southeast, and Yemento the south. It is the only nation with both a Red Seacoast and a Persian Gulf coast, and most of its internal terrain consists of arid inhospitable desert or barren landforms. Its capital is at Riyadh. The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of four distinct regions: Hejaz, Najd, and parts of Eastern Arabia (Al-Ahsa) and Southern Arabia (‘Asir’). The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud. He united the four regions into a single state through a series of conquests beginning in 1902 with the capture of Riyadh, the ancestral home of his family, the House of Saud. The country has since been an absolute monarchy, effectively a hereditary dictatorship governed along Islamiclines. The ultra-conservative Wahabismreligious movement within Sunni Islam has been called "the predominant feature of Saudi culture", with its global spreading largely financed by the oil and gas trade. Saudi Arabia is sometimes called "the Land of the Two Holy Mosques" in reference to Al-Masjid al-Harem(in Mecca), and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (in Medina), the two holiest places in Islam. The Kingdom has a total population of 28.7 million, of which 20 million are Saudi nationals and 8 million are foreigners.  Petroleumwas discovered in 1938 followed up by several other finds in the Shia-majority Eastern Province.Saudi Arabia has since become the world's largest oil producer and exporter, controlling the world's second largest oil reserves, and the sixth largest gas reserves. The kingdom is categorized as a World Bank high-income economy with a high Human development Index, and is the only Arab country to be part of the G-20 major economies.  Clockwise from top left: Map of S. Arabia, Minarets, Kaaba, Mecca skyline, Abraj al Bait, and Mina. In pre-Islamic times, apart from a small number of urban trading settlements (such as Mecca and Medina), most of what was to become Saudi Arabia was populated by nomadic tribal societies in the inhospitable desert.  The Islamic Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca in about 571 A.D. In the early 7th century, Muhammad united the various tribes of peninsula and created a single Islamic religious polity. Following his death in 632, his followers rapidly expanded the territory under Muslim rule beyond Arabia, conquering huge swathes of territory in a matter of decades. In so doing, Arabia soon became a politically peripheral region of the Muslim world as the focus shifted to the more developed conquered lands.  From the 10th century to the early 20th century Mecca and Medina were under the control of a local Arab ruler known as the Sharif of Mecca, but at most times the Sharif owed allegiance to the ruler of one of the major Islamic empires based in Baghdad, Cairo or Istanbul. Most of the remainder of what became Saudi Arabia reverted to traditional tribal rule.  In the 16th century, the Ottomans added the Red Sea and Persian Gulf coast (the Hejaz, Asir and Al-Ahsa) to the Empire and claimed suzerainty over the interior. One reason was to thwart Portuguese to attack the Red Sea (hence the Hejaz) and the Indian Ocean.  Ottoman degree of control over these lands varied over the next four centuries with the fluctuating strength or weakness of the Empire's central authority.  The emergence of what was to become the Saudi royal family, known as the Al Saud, began in Nejd in central Arabia in 1744, when Muhammad Bin Saud, founder of the dynasty, joined forces with the religious leader Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab,  founder of the Wahhabi movement, a strict puritanical form of Sunni Islam.  This alliance formed in the 18th century provided the ideological impetus to Saudi expansion and remains the basis of Saudi Arabian dynastic rule today.  The first "Saudi state" established in 1744 in the area around Riyadh, rapidly expanded and briefly controlled most of the present-day territory of Saudi Arabia,  but was destroyed by 1818 by the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali Pasha. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the Al Saud contested control of the interior of what was to become Saudi Arabia with another Arabian ruling family, the Al Rashid. By 1891, the Al Rashid was victorious and the Al Saud was driven into exile in Kuwait.  The oil industry comprises about 45% of Saudi Arabia's nominal gross domestic product, compared with 40% from the private sector. Saudi Arabia officially has about 260 billion barrels (4.1×1010 m3) of oil reserves, comprising about one-fifth of the world's proven total petroleum reserves.  The population of Saudi Arabia as of July 2013 is estimated to be 26.9 million, including between 5.5 million. The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic.Hejaz is the most populated region in Saudi Arabia  as it includes Mecca and Medina the most important religious centers of Islam. Jeddah is the most important port. Guru Nanak visited all these places around 1518 AD. Guru Nanak entered Saudi Arabia at Jeddah from Aden/Port of Sudan. Hejaz was then a protectorate of Ottoman King Selim I. it is mentioned in Sikh scriptures that Guru Nanak met Selim I during his travel to this area.  There are five place connected with Guru Nanak in Gulf region: 1. Aden 2. Jeddah 3. Mecca 4. Medina 5. Baghdad. All the places of his visit had buildings (makan) in the shape of mosques. All had golden domes and a platform inside. Except at Aden all other places had free kitchen by Shah Rum. The caretakers were duly paid. They wear blue dress with salwars up to just below the knees.  Guru Nanak visited Mecca in 1517-1518 AD after Aden and Jeddah. Guru Nanak in Jeddah Jeddahis a city in the Hijaz Tihamah region on the coast of the Red Seaand is the major urban center of western Saudi Arabia. It is the largest city in Mecca Province, the largest sea port on the Red Sea, and the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia after the capital city, Riyadh. With a population currently at 3.4 million people, Jeddah is an important commercial hub in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, which able-bodied Muslimsare required to visit at least once in their lifetime and also to Medina, the second holiest place in Islam. Economically, Jeddah is focusing on further developing capital investment in scientific and engineering leadership within Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East. Jeddah was independently ranked fourth in the Africa-Mid-East region in terms of innovation in 2009 in the Innovation Cities Index.  Given the city's close proximity to the Red Sea, fishing and sea food dominates the food culture unlike other parts of the country. The city has been labeled as "different" by the majority of Saudis in an effort to promote tourism in the city that had been previously perceived as "most open" city in Saudi Arabia. 1. Jeddah (Mid-1800s) 2. Jeddah in 1938 3. Jeddah latest Commonly believed its name was derived from Jaddah, the Arabic word for "grandmother". According to eastern folk belief, the tomb of Eve (21029’31”N 39011’24”E) considered the grandmother of humanity, is located in Jeddah.  The tomb was sealed with concrete by religious authorities in 1975 due to some Muslims praying at the site. Ibn Battuta (1304–1368) visited Jeddah during his world trip. He wrote the name of the city into his diary as "Jiddah".  On official Saudi maps and documents, the city name is transcribed "Jeddah", which is now the prevailing usage. Jeddah first achieved prominence around 647 AD, when the third Muslim Caliph, Uthman Ibn Affan turned it into a port making it the port of Mecca. In 703 AD Jeddah was briefly occupied by pirates from the Kingdom of Axum.  Jeddah has been established as the main city of the historic Hijaz province and a historic port for pilgrims arriving by sea to perform their Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. The Ottoman admiral Selman I defended Jeddah against a Portuguese attack in 1517. In 1517, the Ottoman Turks conquered the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt and Syria, during the reign of Selim I.  As territories of the Mamluk Sultanate, the Hijaz, including Jeddah and the holy city of Mecca, passed into Ottoman possession. The ottomans rebuilt the weak walls of Jeddah in 1525 following their victory in the Red Sea. The new Turkish wall included six watchtowers and six city gates, constructed to defend against the Portuguese attack. Of the six gates, the Gate of Mecca was the eastern gate and Gate of Medina facing north.  Having stayed at Aden for three days Guru Nanak went to Jeddah Sharif, and sat near Eve’s grave’. Muslims believe that upon expulsion from heaven, Adam landed in Sri Lanka and Eve in Jeddah. Jeddah is named after Arabic word “Jaddah’ meaning “grandmother” of all mankind. Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s temple (makan) is towards the east of the grave of Mother Eve on the bank of river  In these countries where ever Guruji’s makan is there, it is called Nanak Qalander or Wali Hindu daira. It is so because in whatever this country Guruji went he wore the local dress and preached in the local language. In Arab countries he had stick in his hand, book under his armpit, and a blue coloured dress, a seli cap covering his head etc. (35) Guru Nanak landed at Jeddah by ship in or around 1918 A.D. and a Sikh shrine commemorates his visit. The shrine is located towards the east of the sepulcher of Mother Eve. It is styled as a mosque and is known as house (makan) of Nanak Pir or Wali Hind.  On the route to Mecca Twenty two miles from Jeddah, Guru Nanak started walking in front of Shah Saraf’s camel. Shah Saraf was leading a group of Hajj pilgrims from Panipat (India). He was a spiritual god-loving person. In Taajudin Naqshbandi’s account , Shah Saraf asked, “Who is walking in the front?” Taajudin documented 62 questions and responses. Shah Saraf was pleased and satisfied with this exchange. He asked, “Oh Fakir, where are you heading?” “To Mecca Sharif” was the Guru’s response. Saraf’s disciples said, “You are a Hindu; you will not be allowed in Mecca,” and refused to include Nanak in the caravan. Guru Nanak distanced himself from the caravan and continued. When Shah Saraf’s group reached Mecca, they found that Nanak Shah was already there. They heard about Nanak’s fame in Mecca, and were amazed to find out that he had been there for five months. At Jeddah there is an important commemorative place called ‘Nanak Shah Kalandar’ Jeddah to Mecca was then 4 destinations. Guru Nanak started from Jeddah for Mecca on foot. Though Mardana and Muhammad Gaus Sankhatre walla, the two Muslims were with him, even then a fakir named Shah Sharaf asked questioned to test his faith through questions in Arabic:  Q1. Avl(i) faqiri chhesat aakhifri cheesat. (What type of sainthood should be adopted to start with and which type of sainthood should be to end with?) Ans 1: avl(i) faqiri fanah ast, aakhar faqiri baka ast. (The mendicant should start with considering the universe as perishable; and it should end with merge into God.) Q2. What is first stage for a mendicant? Answer 2: Perishable nature of the universe. Q3. What is the end approach of mendicant? Answer 3: Salvation through merger into him. Q4. What is the key to it? Answer 4: Practice Q5. How do we bind ourselves to practice? Ans5: Meditation on Divine Name Q6. What is the final dwelling point? Ans 6: Politeness. Q7. How to store it in mind? Ans 7: Through the company of the holy. Q8. Where from to get the light? Ans: From Knowledge Q9. How can it be spread? Ans: With sensibility and experience. Q10. Where lies the pleasure? Ans 10: Meeting Him. Q11. What food should one have? Ans11. Patience Q13. What should one get attached to? Ans 12: Truth Q14: How should one live? Ans 14: Living as if dead (from the worldly attachments. Q15. What should one inhale? Ans 15: Committed senses: committed position. Q16. What is the ultimate achievement? Ans 16: Merger in Him. Q17. What for is the cleaner? Ans 17: For cleanliness. Q18. What cap one wear? Ans 18: Ever happiness in His will. Q19. Where should the mind settle? Ans 19. In the house where there are no worries and care. Q 20. What words should one speak? Ans: Truth and truth alone. Q21: What will ferry one across? Ans 21: Earned good qualities. Q22. What is undergarment to wear for control? Ans 22: Self control. Q23. Where lies the salvation? Ans 23: In total commitment to Him. Q 24: What is life? Ans 24: Living according to His will. Q25.What is the limitation for it? Ans 25: Attachment to the world. Q 26: What should be the position for meditation? Ans 26: Staying still like iron keg. Q27: How far can one travel? Ans 27: Till the breath (air) permits.  Shah Sharaf put many questions which the guru replied to his entire satisfaction. Shah Sharaf finally questioned on the use of various dress items. Guru Nanak replied: “Cap says: Cutting hair at childhood is to make him religious. It is to make him without fear and enmity. If it does not do so; then he must wear turban and keep hair. Wearing the dress removed from the dead body +tells him that I am the dress of the dead; you must remain like dead. A dead man had no desires or ego before or after. The ground-cleaner says that I clean the earth: catch me only if you want to clean vices from within, otherwise do not. The smoke says: The way I burn all wastages and refuse into smoke you must burn all vices and desires and turn them into smoke and make your mind clean otherwise do not. The hanging cloth bag says that I collect everything but do not keep anything for self you must act accordingly otherwise do not have me. Similarly the Guru explained the purpose of rebec, stick, undergarment, wooden footwear and even the ash and asked him that a saint should have all these qualities of goodness otherwise he should not have them and should remain a family man, work hard, share among others and go to heaven.  The accompanying Hajjis listened to the question-answer session intently. All of them realized that Guru Nanak was a Hindu. They said: “The Arabic religion persons will kill you. They will trouble us as well. Please separate from us.” Baba said, “You are not the true Hajjis. You only reap the benefit of Hajj if you spread benediction, love, compassion, service and alms. If you go on having jokes, laughter, teasing and creating differences, you do not become true Hajjis. Saying this Babaji recited Hazar nama.  get his blessings. Sincerity is friendliness; insincerity is against religion. Pride is prejudiced; backbiting is like blackening one’s own face; honest person is free of all encumbrances, dishonesty causes bad blood. Hatred is hellish; Truth is heavenly. Egoistic person is lost into the world; person without ego is like a saint. Knowledge creates humility: attention takes one to heights. Saintliness is contentedness. Discontentment is hypocrisy. Oppression is an atrocity; nonuse of force brings purity. Prayer is capital; curse is a calamity. Justice is clean; theft is greed; miracle is of nature above. The true path is a guru-peer (guide); lost path is for those who do not have true guidance (True Guru). Who feels pains of other is a God’s man; who does not feel other’s pain is like a butcher. God gives employment to all; sword is for the brave; justice is for the kings. The person with these good qualities is the intelligent one. Having heard this they (hajjis) said, “We are afraid of godliness. They are ritualistic; not the researchers.” Baba moved separate from them and reached Mecca before them.