WITH the advent of Turkish rule in north-western India in the early 11th century, Muslims began to settle in the region. To their increasing numbers were added the local converts. By the time of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), Muslims had become the most visible section of the social order in Punjab. They consisted mainly of the orthodox Sunnis, represented by the ulama (mullas and qazis) who upheld the Islamic law (shariat), and the various orders of the mystics of Islam (the Sufis) who represented a parallel interpretation of religious beliefs and practices. Guru Nanak came into close contact with Islam during his 10-year stay in Sultanpur, and later at several places during his travels. He brackets Islam with the major religious systems of India in the early 16th century.
The recently published Shri Guru Granth Sahib: Teachings for Muslims contains over 30 extracts from Guru Nanak’s compositions. The editor, Nanak Singh Nishtar, says in his introduction that the Sikh gurus respected Islamic beliefs and practices, and presented them to Muslims as the teachings of Islam. They told Muslims to become good Muslims, as they told Hindus to become good Hindus. This raises two issues: Guru Nanak’s familiarity with the beliefs and practices of contemporary Musalmans, and his assessment of Islam.
Guru Nanak talks of God in His primal state before creation. For millions upon millions of years, there was only darkness—neither the earth nor the sky, but only the limitless Divine Ordinance, and the Creator was absorbed in unbroken trance. None other than the Only Lord was there; there was no Brahma, Vishnu or Mahesh. There was no mulla and no qazi, no shaikh and no haji; there were no Vedas, and there was no Quran. Significantly, there is no mention of Allah. In another composition, Guru Nanak equates Allah with Aad Purkh. In other words, Islamic monotheism was close to Guru Nanak’s own conception of God.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The draft Environment Impact Assesment has triggered outrage for watering down earlier provisions to protect the fragile ecology
Turncoats: An Open Season
As Trinamool embarks on an aggressive rehabilitation and induction drive, BJP keeps looking for poaching opportunities
‘I am happy about the new phase in my life'
Bobby Deol made a grand entry into Bollywood with Barsaat way back in 1995 and followed it up with major hits like Gupt (1997) and Soldier (1998). The youngest son of Dharmendra, however, failed to hold onto his early successes and had to sit at home without any work for three years in the new millennium. The 51-year-old, who makes his digital debut with Class of ’83, a Shah Rukh Khan-Netflix production on August 21, speaks to Giridhar Jha about his latest film, his 25 years in movies and how he handled his failure. Excepts:
Styled Yours, Mahi
Seen from the perch of his great brand appeal, Dhoni is in the sublime present, and as grounded and undemonstrative as ever .
The IAS isn’t a preserve of the elite any longer. Candidates from the hinterland, often with disadvantaged backgrounds, are laying claim to its hallowed ranks.
Language of politics
More voices from the state demand learning of Hindi
A Rotor Blade
MSD impressed as rookie, champ, skipper in the quest to excel for India
Kamala, Here She Comes
First Indian-American to run for US vice president
Mewat In The Mirror
Jasraj was one of the early popularisers of Hindustani classical, his voice timbrally pleasing and rich, but ductile enough to be drawn into thin filigree
A Covid-Era How-To For The Money-Wise
Lessons on investor behaviour during the unprecedented pandemic
UP, UP AND AWAY
Awanish Kumar Awasthi, CEO, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), has taken on the onerous task of completing five massive ongoing infrastructure projects
Another BJP sarpanch shot dead in Kashmir
Many Party Workers Shifted To Safer Places
भारत भूमि युगे युगे
भारत भूमि युगे युगे
An Eternal Light
India Today commemorates the life and times of Guru Nanak with a special edition on the founder of the Sikh faith
Living A Legacy
Enterprising, warm, vibrant and generous, Sikhs have stayed true to the teachings of their gurus. As they celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, it is also a time of reflection for the community
6 Luxury Home Decor Stores in Delhi
Home is where the heart is and it’s the perfect place to showcase your unique style.
Rahe Na Rahe Hum...
Poets like Majrooh Sultanpuri pass this way just once. Farhana Farook takes you through the life and times of Hindi cinema’s most prolific lyricist(OCTOBER 1, 1919 − MAY 24, 2000)
A True Oasis
Set in the prehistoric, crimson desert landscape in the UAE, the sturdy 86,000 sq ft Al Faya Lodge is built on sand, literally
Fixing The Judiciary, Pak Style
Pakistan’s judicial community is up in arms against what could best be described as a government-judiciary stand-off, where Justice Qazi Faez Isa, one of its most cited judges – and slated to take over as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 2023 – is being hounded by the government and the army. His crime: Delivering independent judgements and remarks in cases against the government and the powerful army.