Guru ki Maseet or Guru’s Mosque is a mosque that was constructed at the request of the sixth Sikh Guru Guru Hargobind ji. It is situated in Sri Hargobindpur town on the banks of River Beas. It is also recognized as a historic site by UNESCO. When Hargobind Sahib ji was anointed the sixth guru […]
Guru ki Maseet or Guru’s Mosque is a mosque that was constructed at the request of the sixth Sikh Guru Guru Hargobind ji. It is situated in Sri Hargobindpur town on the banks of River Beas. It is also recognized as a historic site by UNESCO.
When Hargobind Sahib ji was anointed the sixth guru of the Sikhs he asked Baba Buddha ji, an eminent Sikh to bring forth two swords. These Guru Sahib put on as symbols of spiritual (miri) and temporal (piri) authority. Guru Hargobind Sahib is known as ‘miri piri thay malik’, “Lord of miri and piri”.
Guru Hargobind sahib built the Akal Takhat Sikhi’s most important Temporal throne, the throne of the Almighty, opposite the Harimandar Sahib (Golden temple), Sikhi’s most revered spiritual Gurdwara, again this was an additional sign of bringing together spiritual and temporal powers.
In December, 1634 Guru Hargobind Sahib fought a fierce battle against Mughal forces near the River Beas. Although heavily outnumbered, the Guru was victorious. Guru Sahib decided to stay there for a while, and soon a settlement grew up at this location. The settlement expanded into a town which became known as Sri Hargobindpur (-pur, being a suffix for “place of”).
As the conflict with the Mughals was intensifying the town’s defences were fortified. In fact, these fortifications were so solid that the original city walls and many buildings within are still visible today throughout Sri Hargobindpur in Gurdaspur district, Punjab.
Residents of all faiths flocked to the Guru and perceived themselves as heirs to the sixth Guru’s desire to found a secure and secular home on the banks of the Beas. The Sikhs built themselves a Gurdwara (Sikh temple) but the local Muslims did not have the capacity to build themselves a place of worship due to their smaller numbers. They came to the Guru and asked him for help.
The wise Guru was as respectful of Muslim faqirs as he was with Hindu sadhus and his Sikh followers; he viewed people of the differing religions of India with one benevolent gaze. The Guru ordered his Sikhs to start construction of a “Masjid” (mosque). The Masjid was duly completed and duly handed over to the Muslims.
This mosque has existed in this location since the period of the sixth Guru. With the turmoil of the partitioning of India in 1947 and the mass movement of people, the mosque fell into a state of neglect and disrepair. In time the care of the Masjid fell into the hands of a group a Nihang Singhs who installed the Sikh scripture Shri Guru Granth Sahib in the one-time Masjid. For many years, the mosque was maintained by these Nihangs.
In February 8th, 2003 a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) was signed by Baba Kirtan Singh the chief of the Nihangs, the Sikh caretakers of the mosque, and the Punjab Waqf Board. It was Baba Kirtan Singh’s desire that Muslims again perform their prayers at the mosque which had been gifted to them by Guru Hargobind.
As per the wishes of Baba Kirtan Singh, five saplings were planted in the names of five Sikh Gurus. Dr Mohammad Rizwanul Haque, Punjab Waqf Board Administrator, described the MoU as an international event which would pave the way for strengthening communal harmony in the country.
The mosque was in a state of disrepair and work was begun on its restoration by a group of Sikhs and Muslims in a unique manifestation of India’s multi-religious society, at least as the Sikhs have often practised it and as the Muslim masons joined in as well.