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Letters From Guru Gobind Singh To Aurangzeb (1705)

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Zafar Nama

Zafar Nama

Photo © [S Khalsa]

Fateh Nama Letter of Victory:

Guru Gobind Singh, Daya Singh, Dharam Singh and Man Singh escaped from the battle of Chamkaur and reunited in Machhiwara at the home of elderly Gulaba. With Mughal troupes close on their heels, they shifted to the nearby residence of brothers Nabi Khan and Gani Khan, a pair of Pathan horse traders who revered the Guru and offered him aid.

The Guru composed a letter of 24 couplets titled Fateh Nama addressed to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Proclaiming victory even though he had lost two sons in the Chamkaur massacre of 40 Khalsa warriors against a Mughal horde of thousands, the Guru rebuked and challenged the emperor to join his troops and meet him face to face on the battle field.

Daya Singh carried the letter for delivery masquerading as a Muslim Fakir transported in a palanquin by Dharam Singh, Man Singh and the Khan brothers disguised as his dervish devotees. They were detained at village Lal where a suspicious Mughal officer contacted Qazi Pir Mohammed of Sohal, an instructor who had schooled Guru Gobind Singh in Persian, to check the identity of the travelers. The Pir verified that the Guru was not among them. They were allowed to precede, and traveled to Gulal with the Pir where Guru Gobind Singh had pre-arranged to meet them and awaited their arrival.

Hukam Namas Letters of Commendation and Praise:

Guru Gobind Singh thanked the Pir and rewarded him with a Hukam Nama, letter of commendation, and sent him safely home.

The Guru visited various towns and villages. He stopped in village Silaoni with an Udasi who shared the name Kirpal Singh with his master who had fought along side the Guru in a previous battle at Bhangani. Here the Pathan horsetraders parted ways with the Guru, who presented them also with a Hukam Nama letter praising their service to him.

Zafar Nama Letter of Triumph:

Raikala visited Guru Gobind Singh in Silaoni and asked him to come to his home in Rai Kot. The Guru went on to Rai Kot where at his request Raikala dispatched Naru Mahi to inquire the whereabouts of the Guru's wives, mother and younger sons. The Guru remained with Raikala for about 16 days. During that time, the Guru learned that his wives had been sheltered in secreted in Dheli with Bhai Mani Singh, but that his mother Gujri and youngest sons Sahibzade Zarowar Singh Fateh Singh and had been captured and martyred at Sirhind. He also received news that Anup Kaur, a young relative of his wife Ajit Kaur (Jito), had taken her own life rather than succumb to the advances of her captor Sher Muhammad of Malerkotla.

The Guru made his way around the countryside evading the Mughals while visiting sympathizers and supporters in various villages and townships. While in Alamgir, he met with Nagahia Singh, the son of Kala and elder brother of Bhai Mani Singh, who provided him with a well bred horse. The Guru then arrived in Dina where he rested, recouped and received another high caliber mount from a staunch Sikh named Rama. Many devotees came to see him and pledge their allegiance, others came to hear his divine message.

While in Dina, the Guru revived an arrogant reply from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb proclaiming himself the sole secular and religious authority of a singular kingdom, and the Guru to be a mere subject of his. Guru Gobind Singh responded chastising Aurangzeb for his vile tyranny and treachery, and reproaching him for the merciless slaughter of innocents including the Guru's own young sons. The Guru communicated in the Persian language using metered verse in a composition of 111 stanzas titled Zafar Nama. He praised the valor of Sikh martyrs who laid down there lives fearlessly though vastly outnumbered at the Chamkaur massacre, and described the his courageous feats of own martyred son's, the Sahibzade Ajit Singh and Jujhar Singh. Inviting the emperor to come and sort things out with him, the Guru wrote,

"Chun kar az hameh heelatae dar guzasht
Halal ast burdan ba shamshir dast


When strategies exhaust all means of employing the word,
It is righteous to negotiate by raising the sword."

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