We are living in times when Krishna is a Hindu, Buddha a Buddhist, Nanak a Sikh, Christ a Christian and Muhammad a Muslim. People have started identifying the great thinkers of the past not because of their teachings but on the basis of the dominant group of people following their cults at present. Though, it seems so, but it was not like this always. In the past people would show reverence to all great men irrespective of their religious beliefs.
On this Eid Milad-un-Nabi, birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, I would like to bring to the notice of my readers a devout Sikh poet, who wrote in praise of Muhammad. He is Kunwar Mohinder Singh Bedi Sahar. Sikh religion, in his view, taught him to revere Muhammad, Ali, Hussain and Islam like Nanak because all religious belief lead humans towards God.
In one of his poems, Sahar writes in praise of Muhamamd;
Hum kisi diin se hon qaayal-e-kirdaar to hain
Hum sana-khwan-e-shah-e-haider-e-karrar to hain
Naamleva hain Muhammad ke parastaar to hain
Yaani majbuur paaye Ahmad-e-mukhtar to hain
Ishq ho jaaye kisi se koi chara to nahi
Sirf muslim ka Muhammad pe ijara to nahi
(I am convinced of his character, irrespective of my religion
I still praise Imam Ali
I utter Muhammad’s name and serve him
I am a slave of grandson of Muhammad
What is the cure of love, if one develops
Only Muslims cannot claim the monopoly over Muhammad)
The devotion Sahar expresses in the above poem is not very different from the Muslim poets. He points out the fact that to love a person like Muhammad, for his high ideals, one need not be a Muslim; a non-Muslim can also praise him for his teachings.
In another poem, Nuzuul-e-Paighambar (Revelation of the Prophet), Sahar writes that Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to the earth when the evil was abundant and good hopeless. He writes;
Ho jaaye jabke khalq-e-Khuda maayal-e-Gunah
Jab log bhuul jaayen muhabbat ki rasm-o-raah
Ankho me noor qalb me khursandagi na ho
Bande to ho Khuda ke magar bandagi na ho
(At the time when humans are attracted towards sins
When people forget the traditions and etiquettes of love
The vision is devoid of light and heart is not content
People stop praying to their God)
In those times of distress, God decides to send his prophet among his people. Sahar writes;
Khalq-e-khuda ko raah pe laane ke waste
Sote huon ko phir se jagane ke waste
(To bring humans to the path of righteousness
To wake up the sleeping humanity)
Sahar writes that at such times when people were fighting with each other, forgot the reason behind their own existence, killed their own brothers and became involved in all kinds of corrupt practices, God decided to correct them by sending a Prophet among them. God wanted to bring back humanity among humans. Through His prophet, He wanted to establish love among humans and establish the rule of right religion.
Sahar writes that so God appointed a chaste soul for this person and who was;
Mardaan-e-paakbaaz the aabid the nek the
Nanak, Masih, Krishna, Muhammad sab ek the
(They were people without sins, pious and virtuous
Nanak, Christ, Krishna and Muhammad all were same)
Apart from these, Sahar wrote extensively in praise of Ali, Hussain and other Muslim sufi saints. Today, we need to revisit those times when people valued the teachings of great men without using lenses of religious bigotry.
(Saquib Salim is a Writer and a Historian)
Source: Awaz The Voice