Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Islam and Sikhism

 Islam and Sikhism-1

I was not surprised when one of my friends told that earlier Sikhism was considered a branch of Islam in past because it has influence of Sufi teachings of Baba Farid in its foundation. Guru Nanak Dev had gone to Mecca twice the place prohibited for the non convert to visit. As the path was common, Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539) carried forward teachings of two Muslims: Baba Farid (1188-1266) and Saint Kabir (1398-1518). 

Baba Farid was born near Multan (Punjab-Pakistan) and was the disciple of Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, the Sufi Saint of Chishti order. He is considered the pioneer for the founding of Punjabi language of literature. Guru Granth Sahib includes 123 hymns composed by Baba Sheikh Farid. He has been revered as one of the 15 Bhagats including Saint Kabir. Langar is a tradition of Sufism tied to the Chishti Order adopted by Sikhs whereby food and drink are given to the needy regardless of social or religious background. 

Once, Guru Nanak Dev and Bhai Mardana had met Shaikh Ibrahim at Pakpattan who occupied the spiritual seat of Baba Farid. They had a great discourse on God. 

Sheikh Ibrahim recited the couplet of Baba Farid. “Fareed, I have torn my clothes to tatters; now I wear only a rough blanket. I wear only those clothes which will lead me to meet my Lord.” Guru Nanak replied: “The soul-bride is at home, while the Husband Lord is away; she cherishes His memory, and mourns His absence. She shall meet Him without delay, if she rids herself of duality.”

Shaikh Ibrahim’s response was: “Fareed, when she is young, she does not remember her Husband. When she grows up, she dies. Lying in the grave, the soul-bride cries, "I did not meet you, my Lord." Guru Nanak replied: The rude, ill-mannered bride is encased in the body-tomb; she is blackened, and her mind is impure. She can be with her husband Lord, only if she is virtuous. O Nanak, the soul-bride is unworthy, and without virtue. 

Shaikh Ibrahim asked that it needed a dagger to kill the mind. Guru Nanak replied: The knife is Truth, and its steel is totally True. Its workmanship is incomparably beautiful. It is sharpened on the grindstone of the Shabad. It is placed in the scabbard of virtue. If the Shaykh is killed with that. Then the blood of greed will spill out. One who is slaughtered (हलाल) in this ritualistic way, will be attached to the Lord. O Nanak, at the Lord's door, he is absorbed into His Blessed Vision. 

Shaikh Ibrahim felt very happy to listen to this and he handed over many couplets of Baba Farid that lay with him to Guru Nanak. 

How great the teaching is that the soul is a bride (गोपी) and her groom is the God/Allah/कृष्णा! To meet him is the only purpose of life and for that she has to purify her mind by good virtues and slaughter the ego with the knife of truth to remove the blood of greed. 


11 October 2023


  1. The best article which enlights Guru Nanak Saheb's preachings and Suphi phylosophy, thanks lot many Respected Sirji🙏 Gsbokhani

  2. Excellent text Parmar Saheb . It helps in understanding true Sikhism . To me Sikhism is Hinduism flavoured with great ideas of Sufism .


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