Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Mecca

Please turn my feet away from the direction of God

For over twenty years from about 1497, Guru Nanak had been on his travels. He had visited all parts of India. He had been to the east as far as Assam and Burma. To the South he had gone as far as Sri Lanka (previously called Ceylon). To the north he had gone even to places outside India. Crossing the Himalayas, he had visited Tibet and China. He had travelled on foot. What a tireless traveler he was!

He had travelled so long and so far, but he was not yet satisfied. He now decided to go towards the west. His aim was to visit Muslim countries. He wanted to visit also, the Muslim mosques in those countries. He chose Mecca as the first such place to visit. Mecca is in Saudi Arabia. It contains the most sacred Muslim mosque called the "Kaaba" or the House of God.

Each year a pilgrimage, called the Hajj (Arabic: حج,) occurs during the 6th to the 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. Pilgrims who complete this pilgramage to Makkah and preform its arduous rituals can add the suffix Hajji to their names. This is considered a title of honor similar to "Huzuria", a suffix one who has been granted the citizenship of Sri Hazur Sahib may add to his name.

Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the cubical building towards which all Muslims pray each day, kiss the sacred black meteorite mounted on its corner, run back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drink from the well of Zamzam, go to the plains of Mount Arafat and stand in vigil, then gather pebbles to throw at stone pillars that represent the devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform an animal sacrifice, and celebrate the four day festival of Eid ul-Adha.

Guru Nanak Dev's Fourth Udasi (Travel)

For his fourth odyssey (1518-1521) Guru Nanak decided to take part in the hajj, starting in Punjab he traveled to Sind where he caught a boat headed West to Jeddah then he traveled South East by foot to Mecca, also called Makkah, then he started his trip home traveling East to Medina (lit. the city), Basra and Baghdad. He then traveled through Iran crossing to Kabul in Afghanistan and back through Peshawar to the Punjab.

On the way to Mecca Guru Sahib visited Sheikh Braham who was the eleventh successor to the Muslim holy sage Baba Sheikh Farid at Pakpattan across the Sutlej from Lahore.

Guru Nanak Ji During the visit to mecca also stopped at Vadodara, Junagarh & Lakhpat. Lakhpat is about 20 Km from Korini village where there is a big Sarovar in memory of the visit by Guru Nanak Dev ji. From Lakhpat Guru crossed to Somiani port in Sind for going to Mecca Medina (Saudi Arabia).

Guru Nanak's Attire During this Journey

He put on the blue attire worn by hajjis. (Today all male Hajjis must wear a simple two piece white garment of rough homespun cloth.) He took a fakir’s staff, or stick in his hand. The Guru carried a book of his sacred songs or hymns. Like the hajjis, he had with him a lota or jug. He also carried a prayer mat like the hajjis. Dressed thus, he looked like a typical hajji. All along, he acted in every way as hajjis did. Bhai Mardana, a Muslim, was with him he also dressed as a hajji.

Guru Nanak arrived in Mecca, dressed in Navy-blue dress (Neel Bastar) with Bala and Mardana. Nanak and Bala had discourses while Mardana is having Ziarat (prayers) inside Mecca. All three are dressed in blue, the colour in which the Fourth Veda was wrapped when brought by Krishna from under the throne of Indra which upon being thrown to earth is the Ka'aba (by Kahan-nabi). The stool on which Indra rested his feet is also in North Saudi Arabia, a less known shrine. Thus, Nanak dressed in Neela Bana: Neel Bastar lai kaprey pahirey, Turk -pathani amal kiya (adorned navy-blue dress adopting Turki form). Later, as the Tenth Nanak (Guru Gobind Singh), discarded it by saying: Neel bastar lai kaprey faare, Turk pathani amal giya (adorned blue-attire torn, discarding the Turk Pathani form). Out of this form the Nihang sect originated.

It is also said that Baba Nanak used the name 'Abdul Mazeed' when he reached mecca.

Reaching Jeddah, is now in Saudi Arabia

Guru Jee then debarked on the Arabian coast at Jeddah. From there, he walked on foot reaching Mecca in due course. By the time he arrived in Mecca, he was very tired. His feet were sore and he needed rest. So he lay down to rest himself. He knew quite well that no Muslim would lie with his feet towards the Kaaba. But he wanted to draw the attention of the hajjis, so that he could teach them his wisdom.

While Muslims hold that Adam landed in Shri Lanka, when expelled from Heaven, they hold that Eve landed in Jeddah a name derived from Jaddah, the Arabic word for "grandmother" or the mother of all mankind.

At Mecca

Baba Nanak at mecca

At Mecca, Nanak was found sleeping with his feet towards the Kaaba, before which the Mohammedans prostrated themselves when performing their prayer. Kazi Rukan-ud-din, who observed this, angrily remarked: "Infidel! How dare you dishonor God’s place by turning your feet towards Him?" He also kicked Nanak. The Guru did not show any anger. In fact, he was never angry with anybody. He smiled at him. In a calm, sweet voice he said to Jivan, "Brother, don’t be angry. I am very tired. I need rest. I respect the House of God as much as any one. Please turn my feet in a direction in which God or the House of God is not."

The Qazi took hold of the Guru’s feet. He dragged them in the opposite direction. Then he lifted his eyes. He saw the Kaaba standing in the direction of the Guru’s feet. He turned the Guru’s feet in another direction. The Kaaba was seen standing in that direction. Qazi dragged the Guru’s feet to this side and that. He dragged them round and round. The Kaaba was seen to be going round and round. It was always, in the direction of the Guru’s feet. His feet were always towards the Kaaba. The Qazi was struck with wonder. He then recognized the glory of Guru Nanak.

Kazi Rukan-ud-di and the other hajjis were all filled with wonder. Jiwan let go of the Guru’s feet. The Guru got up and said, ‘Don’t you see that God’s House is in every direction? I tell you He dwells in every place, in every heart. He is in your hearts. He is also in mine.’

Hajjis vs. Nanak

In the morning, a number of learned hajjis gathered around the Guru. They held religious discussions with him. He satisfied every one of them. He explained to them his golden rules of life and religion. They listened to him with utmost attention. They agreed to live and act as advised by him.

The Kazis and the Mullahs assembled to question Nanak on the subject of religion and God, Who has extended His Creation and no one can fathom the secrets of Nature. The muslim priest opened a book and asked him ‘Who is superior – Hindu or Mullalman.’ Baba Nanak answered ‘Oh Hajis, without performance of good deeds, both Hindu and Muslims will lament. Both will be denied shelter in God’s court on the basis of their respective religions alone. The colour of the flower called Kasumbh (Carthamus Tinctoria) is washed away by water (so labels are fragile). The followers of both religions are quarrelling, but of them are equal in the eyes of God. The world has gone astray as it pursues the path of sin.

On page 193 of Bala's Janam Sakhi, we have: Nanak said, 0: Rukn-ud-Din, hear from me the true reply: the saying of the Lord is written in the Book. That person will go to hell who does not repeat the Kalima, who does not keep the thirty fasts, and does not say the five prayers, who eats what is not lawful for him. These shall receive the punishment and the fire of the bottomless pit shall be his abode.

Nanak said, 0: Rukn-ud-Din, it is written in the Book (i.e., the Quran) that those who drink wine or 'Bhang' shall be punished on the Day of Judgement.
It is also said One of them said to the Guru, ‘Holy Sir, give me something which will always remind me of you.’ The Guru gave him his pair of sandals. They were respectfully kept in the Kaaba for some time. That Muslim fakir then returned to India. He brought the sandals with him. He kept them in his temple at Uch in Bahawalpur, now in Pakistan.
Nanak Shah Fakir, Hindu’s Guru; Muslim’s Pir.

Sau Sakhi

The Karni Namah and the Raj Namah is two significant chapters of the Sau Sakhi, the Sikh book of prophecy. The Raj Namah appears in, The History of the Sikhs, by J D Cunningham on p. 340. Cunningham came across this document during the mid 19th century. He states that these compositions are of course fabulous as regards Guru Nanak.

The Karni Namah was told to Qazi Rukan Din, Pir Bahaoud Din, Ghous, Kuthab, Saalaar, Hajji, Sheikh and Mushaikh Aulviya, who sat with Guru Nanak at religious discussions. The Raj Namah was told to Kaarun, on Guru Nanak’s return from medina.

Karni Nama

While Guru Nanak was in Mecca and Medina, Qazi Rukan Din asked, True King, tell us your prophecy again. Tell us how you will unfold the future? Your name is Nanak Nirankari and you are from the Nation of the Lord. What are the instructions for the future?

Nanak replied Rukan Din, listen to the true answer Whosoever reads or listens to this shall be content. All doubts shall be removed.

In the tenth dress shall reside The Lord.
I shall fight many battles against Emperor Aurangzeb.
I shall then send a letter of victory (Zafarnamah) to Aurangzeb with my Singh (Bhai Daya Singh).
Upon seeing him, Power shall lessen and he shall forget his devious ways.
Emperor Aurangzeb will be overwhelmed by the sight of Daya Singh and will start to tremble.
The Khalsa been resurrected!
I shall leave having given a kingdom; My name being Gobind
There will be a time when the Khalsa shall forget the teachings I have given them.
Sikhi will only be left in name. Many Wars shall occur.
I will have to return again to resurrect the Khalsa. They shall reside in the Punjab.
I shall make people from all four corners into one.
They will be in Majjha; They will raid Lahore.
They will bring Potohaar to justice; They will take Peshawar.
They will set up a cantonment at Attock and then open the Khyber Pass.
They will establish a kingdom in Kabul and then take Ghazni.
After bringing Hazaara to justice they will march on to Kandahar.
After taking Balack and Buckaara, they will conquer Sindh and Baloch.
After gaining victory over these lands they shall govern all the people.
Mecca, Medina and Rome shall tremble.
They shall gain victory in battle over south and west India.
The Guru's Army shall sit at the throne of Delhi.
Umbrellas of kingship shall sway over their heads. All shall be content.
From East to West all shall be conquered. None shall challenge the Khalsa. All humanity shall become one.
In the kingdom of the True King, Satjug shall be established.
The Khalsa Panth shall rule. The arrows of death shall not touch them.
The Army of the Timeless shall grow and spread like locusts.
All shall wear vestments of blue; no one else shall be seen.
Listen Qazi Rukan Din, The Singhs shall rule.
The Unholy Sheikhs shall be destroyed. Pirs and Mureeds shall be no more.
All shall recite the one name of the Lord. Then he shall come himself.
The untrue shall not be able to see his glory.
All humanity shall unite and he will distribute provinces.
The Earth shall give food and the mountains shall give diamonds.
Fruits of many kinds there shall be, upon the sight of the timeless.
All shall recite VAHEGURU and achieve salvation.
Many Dharamsalas (places of discussion) shall exist. The Koran and the Mosques shall vanish.
The Lord shall manifest himself in body (as man).
He will make all utter VAHEGURU. All Singhs shall flock under his banner.
All shall know him as the True One. He will sit at the throne of Delhi.
He will establish a kingdom of peace and no enemies will remain.
Wherever the Khalsa turns his eye, the 14 realms shall tremble.
For 14,000 years, this kingdom shall remain.
Wealth will be collected and food shall be distributed.
The naked and the starving shall all receive; no one will go without.
Sayeth Nanak, Rukan Din, This is how it shall be.
Whosoever reads the Karni Namah, his love with The Lord shall grow.
The Word of the Timeless shall prevail. Those uttering falsehood shall not remain.
After the effect of The Akaal, forests, mountains and the world shall see salvation.
The Khalsa shall Rule. There will be no-one left to oppose them.
All who are lost shall gain the safety of the Khalsa.

Raj Nama

Spoken by the First Master
First, Nanak went to Mecca;
Medina he afterwards visited.
The lord of Mecca and Medina,
Kaarun, he made his disciple.
When Nanak was about to depart,
Kaarun, the fortunate, thus spoke:
Now thou art about to go,
But when wilt thou return?
Then the Guru thus answered:
When I put on my tenth dress
I shall be called Gobind Singh;
Then shall all Singhs wear their hair;
They shall accept the 'Pahal' of the two-edged Sword
Then shall the Khalsa be established;
Then shall men exclaim 'Vaheguru'
The four races shall become one and the same;
The five weapons shall be worn by all.
In Kalyug they shall array themselves in vestments of blue;
The name of the Khalsa shall be everywhere.
In the time of Aurangzeb
The wondrous Khalsa shall arise.
Then shall battles be waged,
Endless war shall ensue,
And fighting shall follow year after year.
They shall place the name of Gobind Singh in their hearts.
When many heads shall be rendered up,
The Empire of the Khalsa shall prevail.
First, they shall conquer Punjab;
Then other countries shall be theirs;
Hindustan and the North shall be possessed by them;
Then the west shall bow to them.
When they enter Khorasan,
Kabul and Kandahar shall lie low.
When Iran has been laid prostrate,
Arabia shall be conquered and they shall march on to Mecca.
Mecca shall be beheld,
And Medina shall be seized.
Mighty shall be the rejoicing,
And all shall exclaim 'Vaheguru'.
Unbelievers shall everywhere be destroyed;
The holy Khalsa shall be exalted.
Beasts and Birds shall tremble in the presence of the Lord.
Men and Women shall everywhere call on God.
The Earth, the Oceans and the Heavens shall call on God.
By calling on the Guru shall men be blessed.
Every faith shall become of the Khalsa;
No other religion will remain.
'Vaheguru' shall everywhere be repeated,
And pain and trouble shall depart.
In the Kalyug shall the Kingdom be established,
Which Nanak received from the Lord.
Worthless, I fall before God;
Nanak, the slave, cannot comprehend the ways of the Lord.
Thus replied Nanak to Kaarun's question.
Note the couplets “I shall return to reserect the Khalsa", "All shall wear vestments of blue", "All Sikhs shall flock under his banner." All shall wear blue, this is one of the colours of the Khalsa. All Sikhs shall frock under his banner.

One boat is preserved at Uchch wherein Guru Nanak and Makhdum of Uchch travelled together to Mecca.
Urdu textbook which contained a poem by Iqbal in which he had paid rich tribute to him:
The land where Chishti delivered the message of truth. The land where Nanak sang the song of God's oneness, The land where the Tatars made their home, The land which lured the Arabs from Arabia, That land is my home, that is my home.

Bhai Gurdas Vaar

Pauri 32 At Mecca

ਬਾਬਾ ਫਿਰਿ ਮੱਕੇ ਗਇਆ ਨੀਲ ਬਸਤ੍ਰ ਧਾਰੇ ਬਨਵਾਰੀ
Donning blue attire then Baba Nanak went to Mecca.

ਆਸਾ ਹਥਿ ਕਿਤਾਬ ਕਛਿ ਕੂਜਾ ਬਾਂਗ ਮੁਸੱਲਾ ਧਾਰੀ
He held staff in his hand, pressed a book under his armpit, caught hold of a metal pot and mattress.

ਬੈਠਾ ਜਾਇ ਮਸੀਤ ਵਿਚਿ ਜਿਥੈ ਹਾਜੀ ਹਜਿ ਗੁਜਾਰੀ
Now he sat in a mosque where the pilgrms (hajis) had gathered.

ਜਾ ਬਾਬਾ ਸੁਤਾ ਰਾਤਿ ਨੋ ਵਲਿ ਮਹਰਾਬੇ ਪਾਇ ਪਸਾਰੀ
When Baba (Nanak) slept in the night spreading his legs towards the alcove of mosque at Kaba,

ਜੀਵਣਿ ਮਾਰੀ ਲਤਿ ਦੀ ਕੇਹੜਾ ਸੁਤਾ ਕੁਫਰ ਕੁਫਾਰੀ
the qazi named Jivan kicked him and asked who was this infidel enacting blasphemy.

ਲਤਾ ਵਲਿ ਖੁਦਾਇ ਦੇ ਕਿਉ ਕਰਿ ਪਇਆ ਹੋਇ ਬਜਿਗਾਰੀ
Why this sinner is sleeping his legs spread towards God, Khuda.

ਟੰਗੋਂ ਪਕੜਿ ਘਸੀਟਿਆ ਫਿਰਿਆ ਮੱਕਾ ਕਲਾ ਦਿਖਾਰੀ
Catching hold of the legs he lynched (Baba Nanak) and lo and behold the miracle, the whole of Mecca seemed to be revolving.

ਹੋਇ ਹੈਰਾਨੁ ਕਰੇਨਿ ਜੁਹਾਰੀ ੩੨॥
All got surprised and they all bowed.
Pauri 33 Discussion with the Qazis

ਪੁਛਨਿ ਗਲ ਈਮਾਨ ਦੀ ਕਾਜੀ ਮੁਲਾਂ ਇਕਠੇ ਹੋਈ
Qazi and maulvis got together and began discussing religion.

ਵਡਾ ਸਾਂਗ ਵਰਤਾਇਆ ਲਖਿ ਸਕੈ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਕੋਈ
A great fantasy has been created and no one could understand its mystery.

ਪੁਛਨਿ ਫੋਲਿ ਕਿਤਾਬ ਨੋ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਵਡਾ ਕਿ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨੋਈ
They asked Baba Nanak to open and search in his book whether Hindu is great or the Muslim.

ਬਾਬਾ ਆਖੇ ਹਾਜੀਆ ਸੁਭਿ ਅਮਲਾ ਬਾਝਹੁ ਦੋਨੋ ਰੋਈ
Baba replied to the pilgrim hajis that, without good deeds both will have to weep and wail.

ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਦੁਇ ਦਰਗਹ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਲਹਨਿ ਢੋਈ
Only by being a Hindu or a Muslim one can not get accepted in the court of the Lord.

ਕਚਾ ਰੰਗੁ ਕੁਸੰਭ ਦਾ ਪਾਣੀ ਧੋਤੈ ਥਿਰੁ ਰਹੋਈ
As the colour of safflower is impermanent and is washed away in water, likewise the colors of religiosity are also temporary.

ਕਰਨਿ ਬਖੀਲੀ ਆਪਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਰਾਮ ਰਹੀਮ ਕੁਥਾਇ ਖਲੋਈ
(Followers of both the religions) In their expositions, denounce Ram and Rahim.

ਰਾਹਿ ਸੈਤਾਨੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਗੋਈ ੩੩॥
The whole of the world is following the ways of Satan.

Pauri 34 Victory at Mecca

ਧਰੀ ਨੀਸਾਨੀ ਕਉਸਿ ਦੀ ਮਕੇ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪੂਜ ਕਰਾਈ
Wooden sandal (of Baba Nanak) was kept as a memory and he was worshipped in Mecca.

ਜਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਜਗਤਿ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਬੇ ਬਾਝੁ ਖਾਲੀ ਜਾਈ
Go anywhere in the world, you would not find a place bereft of the name of Baba Nanak.

ਘਰਿ ਘਰਿ ਬਾਬਾ ਪੂਜੀਐ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੁਸਲਮਾਨ ਗੁਆਈ
Without discrimination of Hindu or Muslim, in every house, the Baba is revered.

ਛਪੇ ਨਾਹਿ ਛਪਾਇਆ ਚੜਿਆ ਸੂਰਜੁ ਜਗੁ ਰੁਸਨਾਈ
When the sun rises it cannot be covered and it lightens the whole world.

ਬੁਕਿਆ ਸਿੰਘ ਉਜਾੜ ਵਿਚਿ ਸਭਿ ਮਿਰਗਾਵਲਿ ਭੰਨੀ ਜਾਈ
When the lion roared in the jungle the flocks of deer ran away.

ਚੜਿਆ ਚੰਦੁ ਲੁਕਈ ਕਢਿ ਕੁਨਾਲੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਛਪਾਈ
If someone wants to conceal moon by putting before it a platter, it cannot be hide.

ਉਗਵਣਹੁ ਤੇ ਆਥਵਣੋ ਨਉ ਖੰਡ ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮੀ ਸਭ ਝੁਕਾਈ
From rising to setting directions i.e. from east to west, all the nine divisions of earth bowed before Baba Nanak.

ਜਗਿ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਕੁਦਰਤਿ ਵਰਤਾਈ ੩੪॥
He diffused his power in whole of the world.