Posted by: Seeker of the Sacred Knowledge | August 6, 2011

Was Guru Nanak A Muslim ?

Was Guru Nanak A Muslim ?

First of all I would like to comment that as a Muslim
my faith should not be strengthened or weakened if
anybody like Guru Nanak was a Muslim or not. Our
faith is in Allah and not in anyone else, ‘No man will
bear the burden of sins of another man’.

Right now, lets analyze some aspects of the life of
Guru Nanak according to Sikh books and texts. He was
born in a Hindu family and his immediate friends were
Muslims, so he would have had some kind of Islamic
influence when he was young. He was once at school
and his teacher asked him to count to 3, he refused
and his teacher urged him to recite…. Nanak kept
saying 1, 1, 1, teacher asked him why? he replied
‘because there is only 1 God’. This in itself is
massive indication of his influence of Islam because
the Hindus at that time had millions of different Gods
and deities besides Allah, the Hindus being the arch
enemies and haters of Islam even from the time
(idolaters) of Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw)so for
some one to go against the tide of his culture,
family, religion and society and to profess the
oneness of God was very impressive indeed, verily to
monotheistic belief of 1 God. Being young to develop
this conviction lets look where he could have got
sources of information, both religious and
philosophical…we can deduce there were 3 main
sources, his family, his teachers and his
friends….his family was from a hardcore Hindu family
and Nanak went against the belief of his father and
forefathers, so that is ruled out. Clearly the
authority of his teachers didn’t hold much weight in
the sight of Nanak or else why would he speak against
them and disobey, and also they were all Hindu! With
logical reasoning one must deduce that his friends
were influential over him because Islam was the only
religion then to profess the oneness of Allah at the
time, so he must have had a Islamic inclination even
when he was young.

Lets move on to when he was slightly older though
still young. He was from a quite wealthy family, and
once his mother gave him gold bracelets to wear, there
and then Nanak went and threw them into the River
Ganges. Why did he do this? This act of adoration of
children was seen as a big custom for those that could
afford it. Sikh scholars as yet can only say he must
not have liked them, though this is clearly obvious he
didn’t like them but why didn’t he? Could it be
because Allah and his Prophet (saw) have declared it
haraam (impermissible) for men to adorn themselves with
gold, and this is why he hastened to get rid of them?

As Nanak was getting older he wore a jubba (like a
kurta pajama but without the slit down the side and
slightly longer!), he started wearing a turban and
lengthening his beard. This was not customary for
Hindus to wear such items, there is absolutely no
other rationale answer but to conclude that he was
following the sunnah (the way) of the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (saw), which every devout Muslim endeavors
to do. The Prophet (saw) used to wear a jubba, he
used to lengthen his beard, and he used to wear a
turban, just like many of the Prophets that had come
before. Now you may think that Sikhs don’t cut their
beard and they wear turbans so maybe he was a Sikh, a
quick and simple answer is that Sikhism wasn’t even
around at this time, only a couple of hundred years
later was the Sikh Khalsa formed at the hands of Guru
Gobind Singh.

Now as a devout Muslim one should not just try to
follow the Holy Prophet (saw) in just outward
appearance but inwardly as well, in his sublime
character, in his gentleness and generosity. As
Nanak was maturing glimpses of his life reflected the
teachings of the Prophet (saw). Once Nanak’s father
gave him some money to go to the market place and to
do business, on his way there he met some poor
beggars, Nanak spent all the money on food and fed the
beggars instead! Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an, ‘do
not rebuke the beggar’, it is a well known fact with
proof and authenticity in the field of hadith that the
Prophet (saw) never once sent a begger empty handed
when he was approached.

He would also meditate a lot and strived to renounce
the material life of this dunya, the words of the
Prophet (saw) comes to mind, ‘live in this life as if
you are but a traveler.’ He used to pray a lot (as
in the sufi meditation), and we can clearly see
that Naam Simran is just like the prayer that the sufis do.
In Islam, Naam Simran is known as Dhikr.
As you know the Sikh statement of faith is ‘Ek Onkar’,
this is what Guru Nanak was said to have uttered and
encouraged others to believe in. Lets study this, Ek
obviously means ‘one’, but what does Onkar mean?
Onkar is actually from the sanskript word ‘Omkar’ now
like a lot of sanskript words Omkar which means creator and
in Arabic Al-Khaaliq means creator which is
1 of the 99 names of Allah (swt) that are
found in the Holy Qur’an. The word ‘Rabb’ is also
very widespread in Sikhism and is found in the Granth
Sahib as well, ever thought where it came from? From
the Holy Qur’an which was written over 1400 years ago!

After all of this even if one attempted to try and
refute all of the above, then I challenge anyone to
explain this. It is documented by many if not all
Sikh books on the life of Nanak that he performed Hajj
and Umrah therefore visiting the Holy cities of Mecca
and Medina. If he wasn’t a Muslim then why would he
do this, sikh scholars try to justify this by claiming
that Nanak was accepted by everyone and this is why he
went for Hajj and Umrah. Acceptance is one thing, but
participating in the most holy and significant
pilgrimage that a Muslim will ever make is quite a
different issue altogether. These same scholars are
silenced when the following verse of the Holy Qur’an
is recited to them, ‘..verily the disbelievers are
impure so let them not come near the Holy pave of
worship (Mecca)…’ Thus meaning that non Muslim shall
not never under any circumstances enter Mecca or
Medina openly, to this day and Insha Allah till the Day of
Judgment no fitnah can enter. So therefore Nanak
must have been a Muslim or else he wouldn’t be allowed
anywhere near the Holy Land, since he philosophy was to
respect all religions.

I think I’ve said enough but there are still a couple
other points, sikh sources testify to the fact that
Nanak went to Baghdad (Iraq), at that time Baghdad was
the Islamic capital of the entire world and was for
many years. At that time when economy was soaring,
social structuring through the justice of Islam was
being implemented, advancement of technology was
moving at a rapid rate. So much could be said about
Baghdad but the question is if Nanak wasn’t a Muslim
he had no reason to be in Baghdad. He spent twelve
long years in Baghdad, which was then a major centre
for the Sufis. Here he studied with many leading Sufis
of his day, and it is said that the Sufis of the city presented
him with a turban as a token of respect and honor. In
Baghdad , in the courtyard of the shrine of Hazrat
Bahlol Danaai, a famous Sufi, there is a shrine which
mentions that Baba Nanak Sahib stayed there. The
shoes, the Muslim-style prayer mat [ja-namaz] and
the blanket of Baba Nanak and the copy of the Holy
Qur’an which he used to regularly read, are also
preserved. The copy of the Quran is Guru Nanak used
to carry is at located in Ferozepore district in Punjab.

To conclude, in the Gurudwara of Ferozepur District
(North Punjab) was the jubba of Nanak, for reasons of
maintenance it was wrapped many times and remained
like this for many years, until just over 200 years ago
it was unveiled, and low and behold on the jubba was
verses of the Holy Qur’an, and scrawled across the
front was the statement of faith declaring, ‘There is
no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and that
Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah’….as yet
sikh scholars haven’t explained this unsurprisingly,
for it speaks for itself.

There’s so much more than can be said, I hope I have
done justice to your question, I pray that this is a
means of opening your heart to the light of Islam,
just like my heart was opened through the Mercy of the
ever- Merciful (swt).
As one companion of the Prophet (saw) once said when
inviting towards Islam, ‘we were sent to take mankind
out of the servitude of things and bring them under
the servitude of Allah, from the injustice of
oppressors and systems, to the justice of Islam. From
the narrowness of this dunya, to the vastness of the

‘No one can guide whom Allah has set astray, and no
one can set astray whom Allah has guided’

Guru Nanak’s Cloak :

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Translations :

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Translation “He acquired different sciences. In particular he acquired proficiency in Islamic lore, the interpretation of the Holy Quran, the knowledge of religious cults and Arabic and Persian literature. He made remarkable headway in these. He carried on a struggle to end oppression and repression that prevailed in different countries. He raised the banner of justice and destroyed untruth and hypocrisyl; so long as the weak did not obtain their right he stood by them and regarded the powerful who lost their head in their arrogance as dastardly. He was the best specimen of piety and hunger for travel.”

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In memory of the Guru, that is the Divine Master, Baba Nanak, Faqir Aulia, this building has been raised with the help of seven saints, and the chronogram reads. The blessed disciple has produced a spring of Grace year 917″

Shrine in Baghdad

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  1. You have some understanding of the teachings of guru nanak but clearly don’t understand his message. May I ask you if you accept that he was a Muslim? And if so was he a good Muslim?

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