Gurus - Guru Nanak In Palestine And Syria | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Gurus Guru Nanak In Palestine And Syria

Dalvinder Singh Grewal

Jan 3, 2010
Dr Dalvinder Singh Grewal


Guru Nanak passed through Jordan and entered Palestine. [1] Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Syria were all then part of Ottoman’s Empire. The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, who in the 12th century bc occupied a small pocket of land on the southern coast, between modern Tel-Aviv-Yafo and Gaza. Palestine is generally defined as a region bounded on the east by the Jordan River, on the north by the border between modern Israel and Lebanon, on the west by the Mediterranean Sea (including the coast of Gaza), and on the south by the Negev, with its southernmost extension reaching the Gulf Of Aqaba. The region is also known as the Holy Land and is held sacred among Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Israeli Jews constituted roughly half of the population west of the Jordan, while Arabs—Muslim, Christian, and Druze—and other smaller minorities accounted for the rest. In August 24, 1516, the Ottoman sultan, Selim I, routed the Mamlūk armies at the Battle of Marj Dābiq. Palestine began its four centuries under Ottoman domination. Under the Ottoman Turks, Palestine continued to be linked administratively to Damascus. Palestine was divided into the districts of Nāblus and Acre, both of which were linked with the province of Beirut and the autonomous district of Jerusalem, which dealt directly with Istanbul.[2] At Jerusalem the Guru met the religious leaders of Judaism and Christianity and held discussions with them. No memorial of the Guru however is available. [1]

Syria officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia. Syrian territory borders Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. [3]The government's control now extends to approximately 30–40% of the state area and less than 60% of the population. [4] Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians Assyrians, Kurds [5] mandeans [6] and Turks.
After his journey to Egypt and Palestine, Guru Nanak entered Syria then known as Sham Des. [7] In English, the name "Syria" was formerly synonymous with the Levant (known in Arabic as al-Sham). Syria had become part of Ottoman Empire in 1517 AD. Damascus also known as Esh Sham. was its capital when Guru Nanak visited it. [6] Timor had massacred most of the population in 15th century except for the artisans, who were deported to Samarkand. [8][9] In 1516, the ottoman Empire invaded the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, conquering Syria, and incorporating it into its empire. Damascus was made the major entrepot for Mecca, and as such it acquired a holy character to Muslims, because of the beneficial results of the countless pilgrims who passed through on the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. [10]

Ottoman administration followed a system that led to peaceful coexistence. [11] The religious heads of each community administered all personal status laws and performed certain civil functions as well. [13] Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000. [12] Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an uprising against Assad and the Ba’athist government as part of the Arab spring, a crackdown that contributed to the Syrian Civil war and to Syria's becoming one of the most violent countries in the world.[14] Arabic is the official language, Aleppo (Heleb) and Damascus with population of 2 million and 1.7 million respectively have been the capital towns alternatively.

From Damascus, the Guru went to Halab (Aleppo). After Damascus, Aleppo is the largest town in Syria. The Guru asked Mardana to play upon the rebec and himself began to sing the hymn. The people tried to forbid the Guru from song and music, but he paid no attention to this. On a complaint the religious leader Pir Mohi-ud-Din cam at the site, but instead of saying anything to the Guru, he himself was elated into an ecstasy because of sweetness of the music. When the ruler came to know of this , he sent his preceptor Pir Abdul Rehman Rumi, who also went into ecstasy listening to the music. The ruler came himself and bowed before the great Guru and Guru held discourses for all of them. It is said that there is a mosque here named mosque of Wali Hind near the mosque of Baba Farid.[15]


1. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, 1969, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh 2nd edn, p. 147
2. Palestine | History, People, & Religion.
3. Pliny. "Book 5 Section 66". Natural History. 77AD. University of Chicago. ISBN 84-249-1901-7

4. "Momentum shifts in Syria, bolstering Assad's position", The New York Times, 2013-07-18.
5. Gammer 2004, p. 64.
6. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, 1969, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh 2nd edn, p. 151
7. Who cares for the Mandaeans?, Australian Islamist Monitor.
8. "Neolithic Tell Ramad in the Damascus Basin of Syria". Archive. Archived from the original on 11 November 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
.9. "Battle of Aleppo". 22 February 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
10. "The Eastern Mediterranean, 1400–1600 A.D". Archived from the original on 28 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
11. "Syria – Ottoman". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 25 January2013.
12. Stanford J. Shaw, "Dynamics of Ottoman Society and administration", in "History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey”.
13. Michael Bröning (7 March 2011). "The Sturdy House That Assad Built". The Foreign Affairs.
14.Sherwell, Phillip. "Syria replaces Afghanistan as world's least peaceful country". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
15. Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, 1969, Travels of Guru Nanak, Punjab University, Chandigarh 2nd edn, p. 151

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