#SikhiStrong - Take Guru Gobind Singh's example into your own life

Despite Mughal-Sikh conflicts, inclusion of Muslim poets in Guru Granth Saheb is proof of close tie

The views propounded during and after Partition notwithstanding, the communities seemed to have many historical bonds.

Just outside the city of Pakpattan, home to the shrine of Sufi saint Baba Farid Shakarganj, is a small village called Tibba Nanaksar. This Pakistani village lives up to its name: it is located on a small mound (tibba in Punjabi) with a gurudwara dedicated to Guru Nanak at its summit.

When I visited the shrine a few years ago, the gurudwara, a lone structure enclosed within a small space, had been freshly renovated and painted in pink. There were a few rooms around the gurudwara that, before Partition, used to serve as rooms for pilgrims. In fact, before Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947, the complex of the gurudwara used to extend all the way to the base of the mound and included a sacred pond along with several rooms. But in the years following Partition, these structures were taken over, while the main shrine was reduced to a dilapidated state and was given a face-lift only recently as part of the State’s plan to revamp Sikh gurudwaras across the country.

It is believed that during one of his several journeys around India and beyond, Guru Nanak, accompanied by his Muslim friend Bhai Mardana, ended up in Pakpattan (today in Pakistan’s Punjab province). Here, he met the spiritual descendant of Baba Farid, Sheikh Ibrahim, who also served as the guardian of the shrine. Through his conversations with Sheikh Ibrahim, Nanak was introduced to the works of Baba Farid, who was believed to be the first classical poet in the Punjabi language. In keeping with tradition, Sheikh Ibrahim presented Baba Farid’s writings to Guru Nanak at the top of this mound. 

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