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Monday, April 9, 2012

Some interesting facts about Sikhism

I was reading an article on Sikhism and came across these interesting facts, which I thought would be useful to share with the rest of you.

Please note, I am not targeting any specific religion or saying any one religion is the best. These are just some facts which I found to be interesting enough to be shared with the class.

These facts are about the "Chaar Sahibzadey", whose martyrdom is a very important part of the Sikh history and is remembered and honoured with great vigor and sadness at the same time.

The word "chaar" means four and "Sahibzada" (Sahibzadey is the plural form) means son (Sahibzadey meaning sons) in Punjabi. The Chaar Sahibzadey were the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The reason why they are remembered with such honour is because of their martyrdom for the religion of Sikhism.

The two elder sons, Sahibzada Ajit Singh, aged 18 and Sahibzada Jhujhar Singh, aged 14, were the "Vadde Sahibzadey". The word "vadde" means elder in Punjabi. At a Sikh temple called "Chamkaur Sahib" (in Punjab), Guru Gobind Singh and his Sikhs (numbered around forty) were attacked by the Mughal forces. This was the battle where the Vadde Sahibzadey died bravely fighting these Mughal forces. Below is a picture of Guru Gobind Singh in red and his two elder sons in the yellow attire.


The two younger sons, Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, aged 9, and Sahibzada Fateh Singh, aged 7, were brought up under the care of their grandmother, Mata Gujri Ji after the death of their mother. These younder sons were the "Chhote Sahibzadey", "chhote" meaning younger in Punjabi. One morning, the two younger sons were summoned in front of Nawab Wazir Khan where they were lured with honour and wealth if they embraced Islam, but the Sahibzadey refused, after which they were threatened with death. The two remained brave and still refused. Nawab Sher Muhammad Khan intervened and asked Wazir Khan to let the two children think about the decision  for some time. As a result, the Sahibzadey spent two days of severe winter with their grandmother in a cold tower, ultimately sticking to their previous decision. After hearing their final decision, Nawad Wazir Khan ordered their death by bricking them alive. Below is a picture of the Chhote Sahibzadey being bricked alive.


Seth Todar Mall, a wealthy and influential citizen of the town where the Chhote Sahibzadey were bricked alive, made arrangements to perform the final rites. However, no one agreed to give him the land required for the cremation. Finally, a local resident, Chandhari Atta agreed to sell him an amount of land that Todal Mall could cover with gold nuggets. Todar Mall bought a small amount of land for the cremation and performed the final rites.

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