It’s the 545th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism. Let’s pray that this Gurpurab nurtures goodwill and removes ill-will between people of all faiths. That would be the highest tribute we can pay to the Guruji, indeed that was one of his missions for people to live in harmony with each other. Guru Nanakji’s birthday has a special significance to me.
Indeed, the religion we called Sikhism started out as an interfaith movement, in which Guru Nanak primarily brought people from different religions together and taught common sense goodness, serving humanity and caring for the neighbors. On this auspicious day of Guru Nanak Devji’s birthday, on behalf of World Muslim Congress and the Foundation for Pluralism, we wish peace and blessing to the world. As a Pluralist, I have been writing about the “Festivals of the world” for the last twenty years, I write the essence of every major Festival of every religion and a message to go with it for the common man of other faiths to get a gist of it and a special message on the occasion.
Last month, I wrote an article on Gandhi’s birth celebrations – the best tribute to Gandhi; do not poison your children at http://www.foundationforpluralism.blogspot. com/2014/10/mahatma-gandhi-do-not-poisonyour. html and also wrote a message about the Sikh Genocides, Muharram, Diwali, Rosh Hashanah and other festivities and commemorations. This Month, I hope to contribute my message is dedicated to ease the relationship between Sikhs and Muslims, the discomfort is not on the surface, but lurking deep inside their psyches, perhaps not with the 2nd generation after independence. Guru Nanak Jayanthi is the birth celebration of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, and one of the most sacred festivals in Sikhism.
The festivities in the Sikh religion revolve around the anniversaries of the 10 Sikh Gurus. These Gurus were responsible for shaping the beliefs of the Sikhs. Their birthdays, known as Gurpurabs, are occasions for celebration and prayer among the Sikhs. The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of guidance in poetry composed by Hindu and Muslim spiritual teachers.
Indeed, the land for the Golden Temple was a grant by King Akbar and the first brick for the Golden Temple was laid out by a Muslim fakir. Happy Gurpurab to all the Sikhs and to everyone who is a well-wisher of the ideals of Sikhism. I hope, on this auspicious occasion of Gurpurab, that Muslims and Sikhs make a genuine effort to pay tribute to the spirit of Guru Nanak Devji and remove the misunderstandings that erupted from a wrong translation of Quran that happened 350 years ago and has rightfully etched in the psyche of Sikhs. In an article in The Huffington Post about Kentucky Senator David William’s bigotry expressed against Hindus, I wrote, “No one has a right to belittle other’s faiths.
If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and no one should malign Christianity for his bigotry.” Likewise, King Aurangzeb’s bigotry should not be slapped on Muslims. I have nothing to do with it, nor does any Muslim has anything to do with him. Sadly there was a lot of bloodshed during the partition of India that has deepened the ill-will among a few Muslims and a few Sikhs. It is time to forgive for our own sake, as it will release the tension and apprehension within us and free us to deal with each other as free individuals. May the noor (divine light) of Guru Nanankji brighten the world. Amen! Sikhism was one of the first formal religions that began as a reconciliatory goodwill nurturing faith and let’s give the full value to it.