Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sakhhi Series : 264 ( Uchch Da Pir)

Gani Khan Nabi Khan

When Emperor Aurangzeb's army attacked the fortress of Chamkaur Sahib, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji successfully resisted their onslaught and slipped away into the forests of Machhiwara where his three companions, Bhai Daya Singh, Bhai Dharam Singh and Bhai Man Singh rejoined him. The mughal forces were chasing.

There, Gulaba, an old masand of Machhiwara and a staunch disciple of Guruji, gave them shelter. But as the days drew into weeks Gulaba began to feel that his faith in the security of his house might be misplaced. There were reports of groups of Mughal soldiers going from door to door in search of Guru Gobind Singh ji. He realised that Guru ji was not safe anymore in his house.

At the same time GHANI KHAN and his brother NABI KHAN, Pathan horse dealers of Machhivara in present day Ludhiana district of the Punjab, were admirers of Guru Gobind Singh whom they had visited at Anandpur and to whom they had sold many good animals. When they learnt that, travelling in a lonely state after the battle of Chamkaur, the Guru had come to Machhivara, they at once turned out to meet him and offered their services. Gulaba and the two Pathan brothers decided that efforts should be made to whisk the guru out of the area before he could be found by the Mughals.

They provided Guruji with a blue coloured dress made by a Mata (old lady) who had been weaving it in the hope of presenting the same to Guru Gobind Singh ji when the time came.

So it was that the Guru was dressed in the robes of a saint (blue being honoured color of Muslim saints) and carried him out of Machhivara in a palanquin disguised as a Muslim divine. Ghani Khan and Nabhi Khan carried the front and Bhai Dharam singh carried the rear while Bhai Dya Singh waved a chaur sahib over Guruji. The doors of palanquin had been veiled by thich curtains to guard them agaonst curious eyes. Whenever they were stopped and asked as to who was in , the barers would reply "Uch da Pir" - the holy man of Uchch. Uchch was a very famous center of Muslim saints or pirs. THe moment the guards heard the name of they fell on their knees and asked for pir's blessing.

They escorted him thus up to Nehar in Ludhiana district, where a group of Sikhs relieved them. The Guru dismissed Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan with his blessings and a hukamnama meant to be a letter of commendation which has reverently been preserved by their descendants as one of their most prized possesion.
The family migrated to Pakistan in 1947. Their house in Machhivara is now a gurudwara known as Gurdwara Uchch da Pir (also known and Gurudwara Ghani Khan Nabi Khan)

Six generations of Ghani Khan, even after going to Pakistan after Partition, have kept this historic document safe.

A translated version of the 10- line Hukamnama reads: "The Sikhs may know that Ghani Khan and Nabi Khan are as sons to me. They have saved me. He who serves them would be blessed. Service rendered to them would be service done unto me".

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