Articles: Guru Nanak Sakhis:
Neither a Hindu Nor a Muslim
Neither a Hindu Nor a Muslim
God is our Father, His children are we.
Love every person and pray to Thee.
(Guru) Nanak Dev, when he was about 30 years old and staying
at Sultanpur Lodhi, Punjab, went as usual to a nearby river for bathing.
When he did not return for three days the people got very worried and feared
he had drowned. They were, however, overjoyed when they saw (Guru)
Nanak Dev alive and coming to the village. A big crowd gathered around
him. (Guru) Nanak Dev gave his first formal sermon on that day.
"God loves everyone of us; for Him there is no Hindu, no Muslim; all of
us are his children, hence, equal human beings."
Both Hindus and Muslims loved Nanak and had gathered there
to welcome him. He made them all sit together as equals and named
the unique congregation sangat. The Guru explained his philosophy
by reminding them that people are composed of two things: the "body" which
in itself is dead matter and the "life" which makes all actions of the
body possible. Ram and Allah are the cause of these two. We
are living because the "body" and "life" are together. Then how can
we separate Ram and Allah? God, the Almighty, is both Ram and Allah;
those who love Him as Ram are called Hindus and those who love Him as Allah
are called Muslims. We should remember the truth - both Hindus and
Muslims are human beings created by God and have to be considered as equals.
Guru Nanak Dev while traveling in the Middle East visited
Mecca, Baghdad and Madina, the holy places of the Muslims. During
his discussions with the Muslim theologians, he was asked who he was.
The reply of the Guru was the same, "Neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim, just
a human being."
They questioned the Guru, as to who was the superior of
the two, the one who followed Islam or the one who followed Hinduism.
The reply given by the Guru is well documented by Bhai Gurdas, who scribed
the first compilation of Adi Guru Granth Sahib. Guru Nanak Dev told
them, "Without good deeds, both will repent."
The brave reply of the Guru embarrassed the Muslim religious
leaders because they had been preaching that if a person becomes a Muslim,
he is assured of reaching heaven after death. The Guru emphasized
that God values our deeds and not our beliefs.
All humans, being God's children, have equal status.
Sincere honest deeds done to serve human beings are the right path to realize
NOTE: This preaching of Nanak has now been
accepted by the World Conference for Religions and Peace. According
to their declaration at New Jersey, 1979, "Too often the names and
practices of our religions have been associated with warfare and strife.
Now we must reverse this by:
(a) Breaking down barriers of prejudice and hostility
between religious communities and institutions;
(b) Confronting the powers of the world with the teachings
of our religions rather than conforming to them when they act contrary
to the well-being of humanity; and
(c) Building inter-religious understanding in our local
communities, particularly where prejudices run strong.