Any Indian traveler’s thirst to visit new places is going to remain unfulfilled without a visit to Amritsar! And, what’s the first thing that comes up in your mind while thinking about the same—the Golden temple, the Wagah Border, the Jallianwala Bagh or the tumblers of delectable lassi, right? But does Sufism ring any bell to you when thinking or wandering about Amritsar? Well, to those who didn’t know of this fact, Amritsar was essentially founded by a Sufi Saint Mian Mir who came from Lahore and settled herein. Well, that’s definitely not the entire story, so let’s start by making an attempt to know about this great man, Mian Mir.
8. Hazrat Mian Mir Was The Instructor Of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s Eldest Son, Dara Shikoh
Hazrat Mian Mir is one of the direct heirs of the famous Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, and had gathered much accolades and acknowledgements as the spiritual instructor of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s eldest son, Dara Shikoh. In fact, after the Saint’s death, his funeral oration was read by Dara Shikoh himself!
7. He Was Only 25 When He Came To Lahore
The saint arrived in Lahore at the tender age of 25, during the reign of the famous Mughal ruler, Akbar. And, it is believed that till the age of 40 years, he had practiced a stringent regime of self denial—he would continually fast for weeks at a stretch, which sometimes would even extend to a month; and, there would be nights after nights that he wouldn’t sleep but only pray to God! And, his songs would be one with an amalgam of religious intonations with a rustic local charm!
6. He Once Refused To See The Mughal Emperor Jahangir
During the hey-days of Mughals, naturally no one dared to say anything or speak against the Mughal emperors. But, Mian Mir was an exception. Once Emperor Jahangir had gone to seek the blessings of this great saint with all pomp and show, but he was stopped at the gate for the saint was praying. Although Jahangir had controlled his anger at this humiliation, he controlled his anger only to ask Hazrat himself for the reason behind it. To this, Mian Mir straightway answered in Persian that “They are there so that the dogs of the world/selfish men may not enter.”
5. He Offered Jahangir A Donation Of One Rupee
His tryst with Jahangir didn’t end there; it went a little further when he asked a poor disciple of his, who had come with an offering of 1 rupee to the saint, to donate it to Jahangir, the poorest of the poor. Why? Well, it was his own way of letting the great emperor, Jahangir, know that instead of running after capturing Deccan, he should be satiated with his own kingdom and find means to develop it even further! How we wish the contemporary politicians to know about this thoughts!
4. He Was Always Inclined Towards Sikhism
Hazrat Mian Mir’s inclination towards Sikhism started when he came in touch with the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan—their first meet, which was at Lahore, initiated what was supposed to be a life-long friendship that became not only a companionship of two people but two religions as well!
3. Mir Miah Was Invited To Lay The Foundations Of Harimandir Sahib By Guru Arjan
When the conception of building the Harimandir sahib was thought upon, it was perfected that people of all castes and creed were open to visit the auspicious place. In fact, instead of laying the foundational stone with his own hands, Guru Arjan invited Mir Miah to Amritsar to do the honor himself!
2. For His Friendship With Guru Arjan, He Often Offended The Mughal Emperor
At a time when people need to look up the Wikipedia or the Oxford Dictionary to know the meaning of friendship, it might be astonishing to know that to keep the word of friendship, Mian Mir had publicly voiced immense protests against all the atrocities done to the Fifth Sikh Padshah, Guru Arjan. In fact, this had even kept Mian Mir miles away from accepting any gifts and accolades from the Mughal Emperors, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
1. He Shared Equal Popularity Among Sikhs And Muslims
Hazrat Mian Mir is perhaps the only person who’s hailed with same respect and pride by the people of both Sikhism and Islam. He’s indeed a revered figure who had touched the hearts and sentiments of people for generations to come.