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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sikhs and Muslims need to put behind an old wound on Gurpurab

Courtesy of Huffington Post:Sikhs and Muslims Can Come Together for Guru Nanak's Birthday
It’s the 542nd birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism. Let’s pray this Gurpurab nurture goodwill and remove ill-will between Muslims and Sikhs.
Guru Nanakji’s birthday has a special significance to me, indeed, the religion we called Sikhism, started out as an interfaith movement, where he primarily brought people from different religions together and taught common sense goodness; serving humanity and caring for the neighbors.

I selected this picture, as my Mother's great uncle looked just like him with the same Turban and we called him Sikh Nana. 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.


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 Sikhs is a stories and 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, the 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 Quraan that happened 350 years ago and has rightfully etched in the psyche of Sikhs.

In an article in Huffington post about Kentucky Senator David William’s bigotry I wrote, “No one has a right to belittle other's faiths. If Senator Williams has a problem let it be his problem and 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 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.
MUSLIMS AND SIKHS NEED TO WORK ON RECONCILING THE ILL-WILL.


I just want to share a great misunderstanding that occurred in the 17th century and has lasted till this day. I was a speaker on “reading the scriptures” at the Parliament of world’s religions in Melbourne, Australia.


During the conference, one of the Sikh scholars was presenting a verse from Quraan that has been difficult for Sikhs for over three hundred fifty years. When Dr. Avtar Dhaliwal started his presentation with the obviously wrong translation of a verse from Quraan, a fellow Muslim was outraged and walked out and was looking at me for a response. Later, I invited him back into the hall and responded to the mistranslation during my presentation and not during Dr. Dhaliwal’s presentation. That is a whole another story but for now, I will share the email that followed the conversation.


Continued at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/sikhs-and-muslims-on-542n_b_1087327.html
 
THE MISUNDERSTANDING:

I have recieved several comments on facebook from the Sikh youth, it appears that the new generaion is not even aware of this conflict, where as it has been carried on in the hearts and minds of several. I am glad the senior did not burden and biased the youth with their baggage.

A verse from Quraan was mis-interpreted by the Mogul King’s sycophants, please remember regardless of religions, almost all kings had sycophants who left no word in praising, exalting and appeasing the kings… those idiot Kings (Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs or Christians) doled out more money to the biggest of the lickers. In this case King Aurangzeb had animosity towards Guru Gobind Singh and his sycophants justified that by mistranslating Qur’anic verses like the following one – Dr. Dhaliwal had refers to


Surah Al-Hijr Sura 15:26-30 "Verily We created man of potter's clay of black mud altered, (26) And the jinn did We create aforetime of essential fire. (27) And (remember) when thy Lord said unto the angels: Lo! I am creating a mortal out of potter's clay of black mud altered, (28) So, when I have made him and have breathed into him of My Spirit, do ye fall down, prostrating yourselves unto him. (29) So the angels fell prostrate, all of them together (30) "

The above was misinterpreted in Sikh literature to read as Sikhs were altered and were like black Potter's clay and the Sikhs who wanted to flare up the issue wrote and exaggerated it, and the Sikh Animosity towards Muslims has run deep for 350 years, and some of the cruelty by the kings at that time was blamed on Quraan. The first question the Sikhs failed to ask (at that time was), Sikhism was not there when Islam came into being and Sikhism was not referred to in Quraan.

The more appropriate translation is referred to in the article and each verse is written up.

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Mike Ghouse is committed to build a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His work is indexed at www.MikeGhouse.net

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