By Manvir Singh Khalsa


Having left the Fort of Anandpur Sahib and getting separated from Guru Ji, the family and the rest of the Sikhs, Mata Gujri Ji (Mata Gujar Kaur Ji) and the two young Sahibzaade (sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji) walked through the forest alone. They met Gangu, a Brahman who served as a chef in the Guru’s Kitchen.

Gangu promised to look after Mata Gujri, Guru Ji’s mother, and the young princes aged 6, and 8.

“Let me take you to my village”, said Gangu.

“You will be safe there.”

Having trust for Gangu, Mata Gujri Ji agreed that she and the Sahibzaade would go to Gangu’s village. Arriving in the village, Gangu took them home and gave them beds to sleep on.

At nighttime when everyone had gone to sleep, Gangu sneaked into the room where Mata Gujri and the Sahibzaade were sleeping. He searched through Mata Gujri Ji’s bag of coins and stole her money.

In the morning Mata Gujri Ji asked Gangu, ‘O Gangu, where have the gold coins gone?’ Mata Gujri Ji knew in heart that Gangu had stolen the money. Angered by Mata Gujri Ji’s discovery of him stealing her money and lured by the greed of a reward, Gangu hurried outside of his house and shouted that he has captured the Guru’s children and mother in his home.

Suddenly, the police surrounded Gangu's house, and Mata Gujri Ji and the Sahibzaade were arrested and thrown in prison. Prison in those days was not cosy and a place where you can have a cup of tea and read the newspaper. Rather, it was abusive, cold, no comfort or care. Mata Gujri and the young Sahibzaade stayed in Tandaa Burj (The Cold Tower) at Sirhand.

As living example of an inspirational Gursikh, Mata Gujri Ji got the Sahibzaade to gather around her, and together they recited Rehraas Sahib (the evening prayer) and Mata Ji told the stories of Guru Arjan Ji, Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji and other Sikhs who have lived wonderful and brave lives. Hearing the stories and Gurbaani, the Sahibzaade were filled with courage and high spirits and told their grandmother that they wanted to walk in the footsteps of their grandfather and great-grandfather. Mata Gujri Ji was please to hear their strong faith.

The next day, the young Sahibzaade were summoned to the court of Wazir Khan, the Nawaab of Sirhand. The courtiers told Wazir Khan that the sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji were too young to face a fatwaa, punishment in accordance to Shari’ a Law. However one courtier called, Sucha Nand (known by Sikhs as ‘Jhoota Nand’) refuted these pleas to spare these young children.

Sucha Nand said, “Oh Nawaab Sahib, these children are the children of the Poisonous Snake. The sons of that snake are venomous as well.”

Wazir Khan was convinced by his arguments. He asked the Sahibzaade, “Oh young and innocent looking children; if I release you today, what will you do?”

“We are the sons of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and we are the grandchildren of Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji. If you release us, we will gather an army together and attack you!” replied the young Sahibzaade.

“What if you are defeated”, asked the Nawaab.

“Then we get up again, and gather another army and fight you and all those who cause tyranny and oppression. Until we are breathing, we will continue to fight for justice and righteousness.”

The Nawaab was shocked at the response from these two energetic souls. “You have insulted me! You have a choice now, you either convert to Islam or you will face the sword.”

“We are brave lions of Guru Gobind Singh Ji! We are not afraid of your sword. We are lions! How can we try to pretend to be sheep!” courageously roared the Sahibzaade.

Sikhs have never given up their faith when threatened by the sword.

Sikhs have never turned their back to the Guru when given the temptations of wealth and greed.

Sikhs have never traded in their spirit of Sikhi in exchange for anything.

However, today we see that when fired with arrows of modernism, fashion and false beauty, we as a Sikh community have fallen as prey.

We don’t need to be threatened by a sword to shave off our Guru’s identity, instead we are prepared to pay a barber £10 to do the job for us.

We turn our back on the Guru and instead follow fake self-proclaimed Satgurus and sants.

These two young brave souls, aged 6 and 8, were not scared, tempted or lured to give up their faith.

Instead they laughed and smiled and accepted death, rather than give up their priceless Sikhi.

The Qazi asked Wazir Khan to get Sher Muhammad Khan, the Nawaab of Malerkotla to deliver punishment to these young children, because Guru Gobind Singh Ji had killed the Nawab of Malerkotla’s brother in battle. Therefore, he could get revenge through killing the Guru’s young children.

Wazir Khan asked the Nawab of Malerkotla to deliver punishment.

However, feeling disturbed and emotional he replied, ‘everyone, 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. Allah save us from this sinful act."
Saying this he got up and mournfully said, "0 Allah, have mercy!!”

Hearing this, Wazir Khan ordered for the Sahibzaade to return back to captivity in the Cold Tower with their grandmother. Arriving in the Tower, the Sahibzaade ran and hugged their beloved grandmother. They explained everything, which had happened. On hearing what they had to say, Mata Gujri Ji told them, “I am proud of you, my children! You have kept your heads high and kept the dignity and honour of your grandfather. May Waheguru forever be by your side and help you.”

The next morning, the Sahibzaade came before the Nawaab. “I hope you have come to a decision whether or not you wish to live, by simply converting to Islam or accept death by being bricked alive.”

Unshaken and steadfast in their faith and unwilling to give up their Sikhi by the threat of death, the executioners prepared to build a brick wall.

The Sahibzaade were taken outside, and in front of crowds of people, they were bricked alive.

People stared and cried in dismay how these young children were being tortured to death. But no one, not a single person protested or dared to speak against these horrific atrocities.

As the wall was being raised the Sahibzaade were offered the chance of being saved by the Qazi by accepting Islam. However with the power of Gurbaani within them, and the strength of Amrit, the Sahibzaade roared a loud jaikaaraa, ‘Boley So Nihaal, SAT SIREE AKAAL!!!’

How can these children be in such high spirits and unshaken when they are being faced with death, wondered the Qazi. The Sahibzaade looked at him and said, “Raise the wall fast and bury the Moghul Raaj quickly. Don't delay for a minute."

Brick by brick, as the wall was being raised the Sahibzaade recited Sri Jap Ji Sahib. Onlookers looked in dismay and tears were welling up in the eyes of men and women watching by.

Thinking that these young children will get frightened soon when they realise that they are going to die, the Nawaab and Qazi urged the young children, “All you have to do is recite the Kalmaa (a passage from the Koran) and immediately this wall be destroyed.” The Sahibzaade roared, “We are lions! We are not threatened by death! Keeping our Sikhi we will die till our last breath.”

People watching were crying and saying, “Blessed is the mother who gave birth to them.”

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 by beheading them? It is already getting dark. The wall was pulled down. They brought the unconscious Sahibzaade 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! How shall they answer for their crime in the court of Allah?"

The young Sahibzaade were bricked alive and attained martyrdom at the age of 6 and 8.

Some Sikhs who call themselves ‘Historians’ or ‘prachaarics’ preach that Mata Gujri Ji committed suicide on hearing that the young Sahibzaade had attained martyrdom.

We don’t need enemies when we have Sikhs preaching this type of nonsense.

Mata Gujri Ji was the proud and sincere wife of Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji.

Mata Gujri Ji was the loving and inspirational mother of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Mata Gujri Ji was the compassionate and brave grandmother of the Sahibzaade.

Mata Gujri Ji was a living and breathing example of a true Gursikh.

On hearing the news of the death of grandchildren, Mata Gujri Ji who was absorbed in simran at that time, breathed her last breath. Her soul left her body and went to join the Supreme Soul.

That evening Dewaan Todar Mal, a jeweller approached Wazir Khan. He asked for permission to cremate the bodies of the Sahibzaade and Mata Gujri Ji. The Nawaab agreed on the condition that Todar Mal paid for the land needed for the cremation, by spreading as many gold coins, which would cover the space, needed.

Having love for Waheguru and compassion for the martyred Sahibzaade and martyred Mata Gujri Ji, he picked a site for cremating the bodies and covered the ground for gold coins for the Nawaab to take.

The bodies of the three shaheeds (martyrs) were prepared for cremation with honour and respect. In December 1704, the 6 and 8 years old brave children and Mata Gujri attained supreme martyrdom and showed the world, that no power, government or fear or greed could shaken or make a Sikh of Guru Gobind Singh Ji tremble.

We are not being faced with the choice of being bricked alive or keeping our Sikhi.

We are not being faced with the dilemma of facing death or keeping our head high in dignity.

We are not being asked to give up Sikhi and cut our hair or be tortured.

However, have we kept hold of the support of Gurbaani and the Guru’s teachings?

Have we taken Amrit and got the strength of that Amrit and Simran to be able to become fearless of death?

Have we looked after our Sikhi and educated, inspired, and involved our children in Sikhi like Mata Gujri did?

Let us ask ourselves, what can we learn from our history and what resolution will we make in our lives to make our lives worthwhile, worthy, and great just as the lives of Mata Gujri and the Chhote Sahibzaade.