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After 90 years of safeguarding, a Pakistani Sufi organisation has handed 110-year-old copies of rare Guru Granth Sahib manuscripts to a gurdwara in Sialkot. According to Iftikhar Warraich Kalravi, the head of the Mitr Sanjh Punjab organisation, the two manuscripts had been in the custody of Pir Syed Munir Naqshbandi, a revered Sufi elder from Kalra Dewan Singhwala in the Gujrat district, for many years, as reported by The Express Tribune.

Anecdote of interfaith harmony 

Naqshbandi, a known advocate for interfaith cooperation, had offered refuge to a few Sikh families trying to escape ethnic violence before partition. Warraich Kalravi informed the media that apart from protecting the family, he had also saved some of their holy scriptures from destruction. Two manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib were among them. When the Sufi elder died in 1950, he left the scriptures in the care of his children, and they have stayed with the family ever since. 

Kalravi also stated that Naqshbandi had always advocated for Muslim-Sikh brotherhood and interfaith cooperation in general. He was well-known for his kindness, and it was because of this trait that the revered Sikh texts found their way into his possession. 

After more than 90 years of careful safekeeping within the family of the Pir, it was decided that the manuscripts should be legally given to the Gurdwara Baba Di Beri. This decision was reached after much deliberation.

Kalravi told the media, "This is a great example of Muslim-Sikh friendship and will help further strengthen our relationships." 

While a lot can be read over the media about the discord between different faiths, instances like these are proof that humanity is still alive. It encourages more people to live in harmony with people of other faiths as well as respect their own religion. Guru Granth Sahib is a revered book in Sikhism, and returning the manuscript to the gurudwara is not only a respectful gesture but a celebratory moment for the Sikhs. 

 

*Based on an article published in The Tribune, on 25th September 2020

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