Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur Sahib:
The brave and fearless Tenth Guru of Sikhs Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji was living with Sikhs and Sahibzadas at the Fort of Sri Anandpur Sahib. There Guru Sahib created Khalsa on Vaiskhi of 1699 and blessed all with equality and rejected all discrimination.
Pahari Raaje and Mughal Army surround Anandpur Sahib:
At this time Hindu Kings of the Hills, known as Pahari Raaje, along with the Mughal Emperor started getting jealous. After that Mughal and PahariRaaje’s Army jointly attacked Anandpur Sahib. They surrounded the Qila (fort) of Anandpur Sahib, and asked Guru Sahib to leave the fort.
On oath they assured passage to Guru Sahib Ji and Sikhs:
Mughal Emperor Aurungzeb and Pahari Raaje sent a message on Oath that if the Guru and his Sikhs left the fort they would be allowed to go wherever they please.
Guru Ji and Sikhs leave the Fort of Anandpur Sahib:
Guru Gobind Singh had his doubts, but on being persuaded by his devoted Sikhs, he reluctantly agreed to leave the fort. However it happened exactly as the Guru had apprehended.
Mughals and Pahari Raaje broke their promises:
As soon as Sikhs came out of the fort the Mughal Army pounced upon them. A fierce battle was fought on the banks of Sirsa River. The Valiant Sikhs faced the enemy with unparallel courage. Each one of them killed quite a few Moghul soldiers before sacrificing himself.
Parivaar Vichora – Separation of the Family at Sirsa River:
In the dust and din of battle, members of the family of Guru Gobind Singh got separated from each other at river Sirsa (Note: Now days Gurudwara Parivar Vichora is situated at this place in the memory of separation of the Family).
The two younger sons Sahibzada Zorawar Singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh proceeded along with Guruji’s revered old mother Mata Gujri Ji. They passed through thick forests and difficult terrains.
Chotte Sahibzade passed through the Jungle:
They came across wild animals saw lions and snakes on the way but the brave Sahibzadas walked on and on fearlessly in the company of their grand mother, reciting the holy psalms of their Gurus. The grand mother related to them stories from Sikh History. They were thus able to cover journey comfortably.
Vadde Sahibzade crossed the river and went to Chamkaur di Garhi:
The two elder brothers, Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh, accompanied their father Guru Gobind Singh. After Crossing Sirsa River, they stayed for the night at Roper and reached the Chamkaur di Garhi (Little fort of Chamkaur) early next morning.
Mata Ji and Chotte Sahibzade stayed at cottage of Kuma:
After a long and hard journey Mata Gujri Ji along with the two Sahibzadas, reached the hut of a devoted Muslim water carrier, Kuma. On seeing Mata Ji he rushed out and, with folded hands, requested Mata Ji to bless his humble cottage by staying therein. Mata Ji was pleased with his devotion. Since it was getting dark, she decided to halt there for the night.
Gangu requested Mata Ji to come to his house:
Next morning Gangu, a former cook of Guru Ghar, arrived and requested Mata Ji to go with him to his village. He assured her that their whereabouts will not be known to the Emperor’s officials and they would be quite safe there. Mata Ji was a little reluctant but on his persistent requests she agreed. After getting their luggage loaded on a pony, all of them set out for his village.
Chotte Sahibzade asked Mata Ji – Where is our Father:
The two Sahibzadas went walking along with their grand mother. Off and on, they would enquire about their father Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the elder brothers, Sahibzada Baba Ajit Singh Ji and Sahibzada Baba Jujhar Singh Ji.
Chotte Sahibzade and Mata Ji reached village Kheri:
After travelling the whole day, they reached village Kheri in the evening. On arrival in Gangu’s house Mata Ji put her bag and baggage in a corner of one of the rooms. Sahibzadas Zorowar Singh and Fateh Singh changed their clothes and set their beddings, recited the holy evening prayer and went to sleep in their grand-mother’s embrace.
At Mindnight Gangu tried to steal Gold Coins:
At midnight Gangu quietly stole into their room, looked at Mata Ji who was resting in her bed with her eyes shut. Presuming that she was fast asleep, he bent down, put his hands into the bag, removed the gold coins and slipped out of the room. Mata Ji heard the sound of footsteps and saw Gangu stealing the coins but she just slept over it and continued resting as usual till morning.
Mata Ji asked Gangu about the stolen coins:
When she got up the next morning, she asked Gangu, “Our things are lying scattered about; I hope the outer door was closed. Where are the-gold coins?” Gangu just looked blank. Without uttering a word he rushed out of the house and started shouting for help to trace the thief.
Gangu shouted “Chori Hogi Loko – Chori Hogi”:
Mata Ji called him in and asked him not to make unnecessary fuss. Gangu, however, persisted in saying that the thief must be found out. Mata Ji tried to pacify him and asked him to keep the gold coins if he so wished. At this Gangu flew into rage, “So you are suspecting me. How ungrateful of you. I have given you refuge and this is the reward I get.” Mata Gujri made every effort to persuade him to see reason. Gangu shouted “Chori hogi loko Chori hogi”, “Theft has taken place o! People, Theft has taken place”.
Greedy Gangu reported to the Police:
Gangu, however, would not listen to any advice. He left his house and headed straight for the Kotwali (Police station) Morinda. On arrival at Morinda, he went straight to the Kotwal. After paying his respects he told him that he desired to convey some confidential information.
Gangu gave whereabouts of Mata Ji and Sahibzade to the Police:
On an enquiry by the Kotwal, Gangu confided to him in a low voice that Guru Gobind Singh’s mother and his two young sons were hiding in his house. His intention was to keep the stolen Gold coins with him forever after the arrest of Mata Ji and Sahibzade.
Kotwal proceed to arrest Sahibzade:
The Kotwal was pleased to get this news. He called his constables and sent them along with Gangu to his house to arrest them.
Police raided village Kheri to arrest Mata ji and Sahibzade:
When the constables reached Gangu’s house, some neighbours peeped out. The constables ran to the back of the house and were surprised to see Mata Gurji ji and the two Sahibzadas sitting unconcerned. They apprised them of the Kotwal’s (Kotwal means Mughal Police Officer) orders to arrest them.
Police arrested Mata Ji and Sahibzade:
Mata Gujri ji embraced the two Sahibzadas who were ready to go. Sahibzada Zorawar singh and Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Mata Gujri Ji accompanied the constables. A small crowd had collected outside the house Ganga was standing aside with downcast eyes. People were cursing him for his dishonesty and betrayal.
Woman’s remark about Gangu Paapi:
A woman remarked about Gangu “How treacherous! Gangu Paapi brought them to his house and then went and informed the authorities”.
Divine look of Sahibzade:
People were wondering why the young innocent Sahibzadas and respected Mata Ji were being escorted to the police station. There was no fear on their (Mata Ji and Sahibzada’s) faces. They were walking bravely. People were impressed by the divine looks and the graceful look of Mata ji and Sahibzade.
Mata Ji and Sahibzade in Police custody:
On arrival at the police station Mata Gujri ji and the two Sahibzadas were lodged in the Kotwali (Kotwali means Police station) for the night. Both brothers listened to the tales of bravery of the followers of Guru Nanak, story of the unique martyrdom (Shaheedi) of Sri Guru Arjun Dev Ji and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji from their dear and affectionate grand mother.
All three joined in reciting the sacred evening Nitnem, Sikh daily prayer, Rahras and Kirtan Sohila – before going to bed. Early next morning they were taken in a bullock cart to Bassi police station.
News of arrest spread like jungle fire:
News of their arrest had spread far and wide. People in large numbers collected everywhere on the way. People were surprised that the young innocent Sahibzade had been put under arrest along with their venerable grand mother. The fearless looks of the Sahibzadas aroused their admiration and they observed, “They are the brave sons of their brave father“. The remarks of the on-lookers made the constables panicky and they started walking fast. The cart-driver also whipped the bullocks so that they could reach Sirhind quickly.
Sahibzade and Maja Ji kept at Thanda Burj, Sirhind:
On arrival at Sirhind, they were lodged for the night in a cold room in the tower, called Thanda Burj. Thanda Burj (Cold Tower) was a high place with no walls to shed the chilling breeze. These were very cold nights of December.
Dhan Moti Jis Punn Kamaya – Gur-Laalan taain Dudh Piaya:
At a great risk to his life, one of the devotees of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Baba Moti Ram Mehra managed to send milk for Mata Ji and the Sahibzadas. Even today the Sikhs remember this great service of Baba Moti Ram ji and common saying among Sikhs “Dhan Moti Jis Punn Kamaya – Gur-Laalan taain Dudh Piaya” (Baba Moti Ram Mehra Ji’s service is great to fed milk to children of Guru Sahib). Later the Emperor of Sirhind ordered its’ police to kill Baba Moti Ram Ji along with his family for his service and devotion for Mata Ji and Sahibzade. Baba ji along with his family was crushed in a mill roller and they were martyred (Shaheedi).
Baabaniya-Kahaniya (Sakhis of one’s ancestors):
Sahibzada Baba Zorawar Singh Ji and Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji listened to the Sakhis (true stories) from Sikh History from their grand-mother. Sahibzadas listed the Sakhis of Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, Shaheedi of Guru Arjun Sahib Ji and Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji. On hearing about the ideals set by the Gurus the two Sahibzadas assured Mata Ji that they would stand by their faith and follow in the foot steps of their illustrious father. Mata Ji was pleased to hear this and admired her grand children’s courage and firm determination.
Order to appear before Nawab Wazir Khan’s court:
Next morning the Sipahi (police constables) appeared again and told Mata Ji that they had orders for taking the two Sahibzadas to the Nawab Wazir Khan’s court. On an enquiry by Mata Ji as to why they were called there, they answered that they were not aware of the reasons; their duty was to obey orders only.
Sahibzade and Mata Ji:
Mata Ji loved her grandsons, blessed them and asked them to uphold the holy traditions of the Gurus. The two Sahibzadas assured to do so and departed cheerfully. The two Sahibzadas walked to the court boldly along with the constables.
Sahibzade reached the court:
As Sahibzade reached the Court they noticed that the big gate was closed and there was only a small window for gaining entry to the Court. It was setup so that the Sons of Guru Gobind Singh would have to bow down to enter the Court.
Saadi Jutti Dian Nokan Ne (Your power is at the toes of our Shoes):
The intelligent Sahibzadas saw the plan that Mughals want to show that Sahibzadas, the Sons of Great Sikh Guru, bowed before the Mughal Power. So, they first put their feet forward and jumped inside through the window without bowing their heads. It was a symbolic message for the Mughals that the Sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the Little Khalsas, take the Mughal power to the toes of their shoes.
Gur Fateh Gajayee:
The Nawab’s court was in session. As the two Sahibzadas stepped inside, they greeted the courtiers with the Fateh – Wahguru ji ka Khalsa, Wahguru ji ki Fateh – The Khalsa is God’s own Victory be to God” The court resounded with their greeting.
A Surprise for the Nawab:
All the courtiers, including the Nawab Wazir Khan, were greatly surprised by their fearless behaviour. Dressed in saffron shirts with Kirpans worn round their wrists, the Sahibzadas looked very sweet and firm.
Nawab tried to induce Sahibzadas to Islam:
Nawab Wazir Khan addressed them in an affectionate tone: “What sweet and brave faces! Islam will be proud to have you within its fold. Just recite Kalma (Muslim lessons) and we shall welcome you in our midst. You will get anything for the asking”.
Sikhi Sidak Naa Jaave:
The two Sahibzadas shouted back in one voice. “We care not for the worldly wealth. We shall not renounce our religion at any cost”. “Saada Ser Jaave tan Jaave, par Saada Sikhi Sidak Naa Jaave” (We can lay our lives but can not leave the Sikhi).
Slap of Words for to Nawab:
Reply of Sahibzade was like a strong slap of words for Nawab Wazir Khan. The Nawab got annoyed at their reply but just kept quiet.
Nawab and Qazi’s Talk:
Addressing the Qazi the Nawab said, “Have you observed the insolent behaviour of these boys! Don’t regard them as innocent. They are the rebellious sons of a rebel. They will have to be punished.”
Qazi (Muslim Priest) told the Nawab that, according to Islamic/Muslim law, the two boys were not guilty. They could not be held responsible for anything which they never did.
Nawab observed, however, “They are rebels too. Haven’t you heard their rude statements!”
Qazi answered, “But they have not committed any crime”.
Nawab Wazir Khan was taken aback at the Qazi’s unexpected reply.
Nawab again tried to induce Sahibzadas:
Nawab Wazir Khan again tried to pursue them and said “You are still young and innocent. It is your age for enjoyment and fun. If you listen to our advice, you will enjoy life to your heart’s content in this world and be blessed with a glorious life in Paradise” .
Sahibzadas replied – We love Sikhi:
Sahibzadas spoke fearlessly. “We are fighting against tyranny and injustice. We are the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the grand sons of Guru Tegh Bahadur and descendants of Guru Arjan Dev. We shall follow in their footsteps. We are ready for all sacrifices for the protection of our Sikhi”.
In a low voice the Nawab observed, “How proud of their faith!”.
Next Day in the Court:
Sahibzadas were brought back to Thanda Burj (Cold tower) in the evening, and Sipahis (Police constables) used to take Sahibzadas to the court in the morning, where Nawab and Qazi used to threaten Sahibzadas. They asked Sahibzadas to leave Sikhi. But Sahibzadas remained firm and said they will never leave Sikhi. They used to listen to the Sakhis from Mata Gujri Ji in the night.
Sucha Nand and Sahibzadas:
On next day in the court one of the officials of the Moghul government Dewan Sucha Nand, who was there, walked up to the Sahibzadas and asked them some questions.
Sucha Nand: “If you are released, where will you go?”
Sahibzadas: “We shall go to the forests, meet other Sikhs, get hold of any good horse and then come and face you and your army on the battlefield.”
Sucha Nand: “Do you know that your father has been slain?”
Sahibzadas: “No one can kill our respected father. He will never fall into your hands.”
Sahibzadas shouted firmly and loudly: “We don’t need any advice from you. Listen carefully. Until this tyrannical government is completely wiped out, we shall go on fighting.
“Sons of Snakes …”- says Sukha Nand Paapi:
Dewan Sucha Nand was taken aback at their reply. Addressing the Nawab he said, “Sir killing the serpent and feeding his young ones would not be wise. When these young kids grow up, they will rebel against the government. They must be punished and should, on no account, be released.” He said “Sons of Snake also bite like Snakes, they should be killed”.
Nawab, Sukha Nanad and Qazi talked to each other:
The Nawab listened to what Dewan Sucha Nand said. The two Sahibzadas were in a playful mood, talking to each other fearlessly and quite unconcerned when the Nawab, the Qazi and Dewan Sucha Nand were engaged in this conversation.
The courtiers were quite amazed at the lack of any fear or anxiety on their faces even though it was a question of life and death for them. The Nawab said to the Qazi again, “You have heard the impertinent answers given by them to Dewan Sucha Nand. It would not be safe to release them. They are sure to raise the banner of revolt, like their father when they grow up”.
Qazi ordered to brick Sahibzadas Alive:
The Qazi had listened to the conversation that took place between Dewan Sucha Nand and the two bold sons of Guru Gobind Singh. After some deliberations he pronounced the judgement and ordered that they be bricked up alive in a wall.
Sahibzadas remained firm:
Sahibzadas heard the sentence without dismay and remained firm but the courtiers were taken aback on hearing the judgement.
Nawab of Malerkotla:
The Qazi advised the Nawab further that they be handed over to the Nawab of Malerkotla for carrying out the sentence since his brother met his end at the hands of the Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
“Hand over Sahibzadas to Nawab of Malerkotala, he will take his revenge from Guru Gobind Singh Ji by Killing Sahibzadas”, said Qazi.
Nawab Sher Mohammad and Qazi:
Nawab Wazir Khan called Sher Mohammad, the Nawab of Malerkotla. Qazi’s told Nawab Malerkotla, “Your brother lost his life at the hands of Guru Gobind Singh. Here is an opportunity for you to wreak your vengeance.
The Qazi has sentenced these two sons of Guru Gobind Singh to death and has further ordered that they be bricked alive. We are handing them over to you for doing the needful”. On hearing this Sher Mohammad Khan was dumb founded.
I can’t kill the Sahibzadas, this is a sin:
Nawab of Malerkotla (Sher Mohammad Khan) said “This is cruelty! My brother was killed on the battlefield. These innocent boys are not responsible for his death. If we have to take revenge it shall be from the father. God save us from this sinful act.” Saying this he got up and remarked in a mournful tone, “O God, how cruel!”
Sahibzadas resent to Thanda Burj:
Thereafter the Nawab ordered that both the boys be sent back to the tower. He directed his officials to arrange for executioners who would brick them alive in between two walls, which may be constructed immediately. The Sahibzadas reached the tower and gave a report of the proceedings of the court to their grand mother. She embraced her grandsons patted them on their backs for their courageous and bold stand and said, “You have rightly upheld the dignity and honour of your revered grand-father and your valiant father May God ever abide with you.”
Nawab’s Last offer:
Next morning they were taken to the Nawab’s court. The Nawab asked them again, “I do hope you have made up your mind to embrace Islam, otherwise, as you know, you will be bricked up alive.”
Sahibzadas reject the Nawab’s offer:
Both the Sahibzadas proclaimed fearlessly, “we shall never give up our faith, whatever may be the consequences. Death has no meaning for us.” The Nawab was simply amazed at their determined and firm reply.
Jalaad Shashal Beg and Vashal Beg:
One of his officials stepped forward, and said to the Nawab, “Sir the two royal executioners of Delhi, Shashal Beg and Vashal Beg, are present in the court for hearing of their cacse. They are prepared to carry out your orders for bricking up these boys alive if they are granted pardon.” The Nawab called them and told them, “Your request for pardon has been granted on condition that you brick up these two sons of Guru Gobind Singh alive in a wall.”
The constables took away both the Sahibzadas. A large crowd had collect Nawab that the two young innocent sons of Guru Gobind Singh were to be bricked alive.
“What crime have they committed?” said one.
“How cruel and inhuman are Mughal rulars. O God!” said another.
“But they are not terrified,” remarked a lady in the crowd.
“They are brave sons of their brave father, Guru Gobind Singh,” said another Lady.
The constables, who were escorting the two Sahibzadas, were getting agitated on hearing such observations from the crowd and were rushing forward.
Place of Shaheedi:
The Sahibzads were brought to the spot where a wall was to be raised. Both of them were made to stand side by side.
Qazi’s Last attempt:
The Qazi arrived there soon after and tried to persuade them to accept Islam and not to cut short their lives. Qazi thought Sahibzadas are little children and will be afraid of horrifying death and will accept Islam and leave Sikhi.
Raise the wall quickly:
Sahibzadas replied: “Raise the wall fast. This will bury the Moghul Raj Quickly”.
“Don’t delay for a minute”, they said.
Ussar Rahi Khooni Deewar:
Thereafter both Sahibzadas started reciting Jap Ji Sahib while the wall was going up brick by brick. The wall went up higher and higher until it reached their chests.
Nawab and Qazi made Last time Offer:
The Nawab and Qazi approached the Sahibzadas and said to them in an affectionate tone, “There is still time for you to save your lives, just recite the Kalma and the wall will be pulled down immediately.”
“Death can not frighten us” – Sahibzadas:
The Sahibzadas shouted loudly, “We shall not give up our faith death does not frighten us.”
Both the Nawab and Qazi were amazed at their steadfast determination.
Tears flowed from the eyes of onlookers, as they observed, “Blessed is their mother who gave birth to such children.”
The wall went up still higher and it was shoulder high.
Last words of Sahibzadas with each other:
Sahibzada Zorawar Singh said to his younger brother, “They are putting us to test. They do not know that the Sikhs of Guru Nanak are fearless. Our Fifth Guru Arjan Dev faced martyrdom cheerfully on burning iron pans. Whereas he guided humanity to the path of a truthful and noble life, he also set an example of facing death boldly and with full faith in God.”
The younger brother Sahibzada Fateh Singh remarked, “The martyrdom of our revered grand father, Guru Teg Bahadur was also unique. We shall soon join him. He is waiting us.”
Sahibzadas Bricked Alive:
Later both the Sahibzadas became unconscious. The executioners became nervous and consulted each other.
“They are now nearing their end. There is no need to raise the wall further. Why not cut short their agony by beheading them? It is already getting dark.”
The wall falls. They brought the unconscious Sahibzadas out laid them flat on the ground and, in an instant, martyred them.
People in the crowd were shocked at this ghastly act. They sighed in dismay, “what cruelty!”
Mata Ji left the world:
As soon as the two Sahibzadas attained martyrdom, Mata Gujri ji, who was sitting in meditation in the tower, breathed her last.
The messenger who came with the news of the martyrdom of the Sahibzads found that Mata-Ji had already attained salvation.
Cruel Mughal Empire:
There was great commotion in the town of Sirhind. Everyone was furious at the atrocious crime. They were unanimous in their view that this heinous act would herald the doomsday of the Moghul Empire.
They admired the courage and steadfastness of the brave sons of Guru Gobind Singh and remarked, “What determination at this young age! They did not budge an inch from their position in spite of several allurements by the Nawab and Qazi.”
Diwan Todar Mal’s devotion:
The same evening Dewan Todar Mal, a devoted Sikh, a jeweller reached Nawab Wazir Khan’s court for permission to cremate the dead bodies of the two Sahibzadas and Mata Gujri Ji.
Most Costly land on Earth:
The Nawab agreed on condition that the Dewan paid for the required piece of land by spreading as many Gold coins as would cover the entire spot.
Dewan Todar Mal accepted the terms and brought bagfuls of Gold coins. He marked the site and spread coins on entire piece of land he selected for cremation.
When he started laying coins Wazir Khan said placing the coins vertically, in sanding form, so that maximum coins could cover minimum land.
The two martyred young sons of Guru Gobind Singh were cremated with full honours along with their grand mother. Now days Gurudwara Jyoti Saroop Sahib is situated at place where Sahibzadas were cremated.
There is no parallel to the martyrdom of such young boys in the annals of human history. Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji was seven years old and Sahibzada Baba Zorawar Singh Ji was nine years old. They laid down their lives in December 1705.
They were bricked alive but did not bow before the tyranny of the Moghul government.
Their Martyrdom (Shaheedi) uprooted the Mughal Raj:
Guru Gobind Singh was at the time in the forests of Machhiwara when the news of the martyrdom of his younger sons reached him. On hearing this he pulled out a plant with the tip of his arrow and prophesized that this tragedy will herald the uprooting of Moghal Empire.
Char Muey toe kya huaa:
Guru Gobind Singh addressed his followers thus: “Sahibzadas are sacrificed for the survival of the thousands of my children who are still alive.” (All Sikhs are Guru Gobind Singh’s sons and daughters).
Baba Banda Singh erased Sirhind and Established Sikh Raj:
After some time the recluse Guru Gobind Singh ji blessed Baba Banda Singh Bahadur who shook the Moghul Empire erased Sirhind and established first Great Sikh Raaj. Now days Sirhind is renamed as Fatehgarh Sahib, after the name of Youngest Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji and Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib is built at the place where Sahibzadas were bricked alive and were martyred.
Shaheedi Sabha of Fatehgarh Sahib:
Sikhs in very large numbers from all around the world gather at Fatehgarh Sahib in last days of December every year to remember Sahibzadas. This gathering is called Shaheedi Sabha.
We salute to Great Shaheedi of the Chotte Sahibzade …
ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕਾ ਖਾਲਸਾ ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ ਜੀ ਕੀ ਫ਼ਤਿਹ।
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheugru Ji Ki Fateh ||