During Guru Nanak’s travels to the Middle East, local author Taajudin Naqshabandhi joined Guru Nanak and stayed with him for about one and a half to two years. Taajudin documented his time with Guru Nanak in great detail. Four centuries later, a young Kashmiri man, Syed Mushtaq Hussain, came across Taajuddin’s manuscript while studying to become an Islamic scholar. This manuscript changed Mushtaq’s life. He converted to Sikhism and became the famous Sant Syed Prithipal Singh.
Since no facility was available to copy the book in facsimile, Mushtaq Hussain took notes from Taajudin’s handwriting. He also took notes from another book, Twarikh-e-Arab, written by Khwaja Jainul Abdin, a Muslim author who also accompanied Guru Nanak during his travels to Mecca. Mushtaq’s notes later formed the basis of a Punjabi book,
Khwaja Jainul Abdin, the author of Tarikhe Arab, wrote a first-person account of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Arabian journey. He writes in his Arabic book: “I was with Guru Nanak Dev Ji when Guru Ji met the Qazi (Islamic religious judge) Rukn-ud-din. When they met face to face, Rukn-ud-din offered his Salam and the Guru replied, “Sat Shri Akal, Gurbar Akal” (Lord Immortal is the only truth; Almighty timeless God). Rukn-ud-din asked, “Fala Alla Mazahbu” meaning “to which religion do you belong?” The answer was: “Abdulla Allah La Mazahabu” which means “I am the servant of God; I have no religion.”
When Guru Nanak slept near the Kaaba, his feet were facing the Kaaba. When the participants noticed this, they informed Qazi Rukunudin. He came there, kicked Baba Nanak, and asked, “Who is the infidel (Kafir) who sleeps while keeping his feet towards the house of God? To this, the Guru replied, “I am an old man and tired. I do not know on which side Allah lives. kindly turn where Allah does not dwell.”
In this, the Qazi held his feet and turned his body, but was surprised to see that in the direction he turned the guru’s feet, the Kaaba was also turned.
Bhai Gurdas Ji gives an account of Baba Nanak’s visit to Mecca.
His sixth sense immediately warned him that this man was no ordinary person. And then he bowed before Guru Nanak.
Many Muslims take offense at the reference that Jeevan (Qazi Rukunudin) saw the movement of the Kaaba as he moved Guru Nanak’s feet to direct them away from the Kaaba. They say it couldn’t have happened. However, there are many famous references in Islam that talk about the movement of the Kaaba.
May I remind you that when Mohammad Sahib was declared the last prophet, his wife Aisha protested and said to the people, “Say that he is the ‘seal of the prophets’ but do not say that there is no prophet after him?
The author of the book Sihayto Baba Nanak Fakir writes: “After the master had given an unlimited stream of Naam in Baitul Muqaddas for three days, he handed over the responsibility of preaching to Ibne Wahid (mentioned earlier), a respected member of the Sibi tribe. The Master, Mardana, and I then set out for Makkah. After a few days, we reached the Kaaba in the evening. The Kaaba is built outside Mecca, on one side.
At night the priests and administrators go home.
Baba (Nanak) circumambulated the deserted Kaaba and then seated himself on a large mussala15 of the Sunni sect and began kirtan (spiritual chanting).
The Kaaba, is the small black structure pictured above, and the large complex without a cover is the Masjid Al-Haram. The Kaaba’s dimensions of 10m by 15m have not changed significantly throughout history, although it has been rebuilt about twelve times. The Masjid underwent a major expansion. It started at roughly 35 m x 50 m in the time of the Prophet and currently has an oblong shape of roughly 124 m x 164 m. At the time of the Guru, the mosque was roughly 50 x 150 meters.
In the third quarter of the night (around 3:00 a.m.) the Lord commanded Mardan, “Brother, do not stop the kirtan.” The Guru then lay down and directed his head away from the Kaaba and
he leaned his feet against the wall of the Kaaba and fell asleep. We were all surprised; if the Guru was supposed to sleep, why didn’t he let us sleep too?
The purpose of this instruction became clear later: the master was going to awaken the masses of Mecca, who had fallen into a deep sleep of illusions and superstitions.” At the end of the third quarter of the night, a janitor16 approached the city with a broom and began to clean around the Kaaba. He was absorbed in chanting the kalma (verses of the Koran ) at the top of his lungs while sweeping “House
Allah” in service.
Suddenly he came upon a man sleeping with his feet touching the walls of the Kaaba.
With a hoarse voice quivering with anger, he cried out:
15 Mussala is the name of the open space for prayer outside the mosque
16 In Vaaran Bhai Gurdas and in Janamsakhis this administrator is called “Jeevan”. Based
on the name, Bhai Vir Singh Ji thinks that Jeevan was probably of Indian origin and
either he or his parents settled in Mecca.
“Azim Biazbun Kufrahu Haza Kufaruna كفارنا هذا كفرهم قنب عزيم” means: “These kafirs (disbelievers) are unbelievable.”
He kept shouting more and more unbearable insults. But think objectively; he was right, as a Muslim, he witnessed the ultimate sacrilege of the House of Allah.
When ignorance began to exceed all limits, the merciful Guru sat down and addressed the administrator in a loving voice:
“My dear good man! Why are you so mad at me? What have I done so bad that you threaten me with fatwas of blasphemy?”
The attendant thundered, “You Indians look like Kaffirs. The Kafirs will be put to death. You insult the House of Allah and then ask what you did wrong! Mark my words! When the head Qazi (Islamic judge) appears, he will tie you to these pillars and tear your flesh with his eyelashes. Then you will understand what you have done
The guru tried to explain it to him, but it did not affect the warden’s soul, which was tainted with hatred. Realizing that no words would penetrate the man’s corrupted intellect, the Guru simply put his legs back and lay down again as before.
Taajudin writes that the administrator became enraged and said, “Before I thought you made an innocent mistake, now I know you are committing this blasphemy on purpose to hurt my feelings. Remember! I will make the Qazi put you to death unless you admit your guilt and ask for forgiveness.”
The embodiment of compassion, Satguru very patiently said, “O man of Allah! I didn’t do it to hurt your feelings. Instead, I seek knowledge from you. My friend, please move my feet in a direction where you do not see Allah?”
The caretaker dropped the broom and furiously pulled the Guru’s legs and spun his body until his head touched the wall of the Kaaba and his legs were pointing in the opposite direction. Then he thanked Allah and said, “This is the House of the Merciful Allah. You should show respect here.”
Satisfied with himself, as if he had won the battle, the janitor grabbed a broom, started reciting the kalma loudly again, and continued sweeping.
Turning, he found the Guru’s feet touching the Kaaba again.
He was confused and began to think that the Guru and his companions were harassing him and the Guru moved his feet again.
Ignorance is like a night. The warden jumped up and pulled his legs away again. As soon as he picked up his broom and turned around, he saw the feet touching the Kaaba again. He was more than angry now and said, “This time I’m going to drag you off and throw you into that hole over there.”
– Listening to his ignorant phrase, we began to worry, led by his fire of hatred; that the trustee would commit some disrespect.
Burning with anger, he grabbed the Guru’s legs and started pulling. Before that, the Kaaba moved when the caretaker wasn’t looking. This time the administrator saw with his own eyes that the Kaaba followed the Guru’s feet
I too have seen this wonderful sight three times with my own eyes. When the administrator witnessed the miracle, he fell at the Guru’s feet and began to beg,
“Taharana Ya Rabi Alaklubu Zulhalu” means “O man of Allah, please give me inner strength to know you.
The Guru sat down and said, “May you remember Allah” and then left
into a trance.
The administrator bowed again, hoping that the Guru would speak to him and he could beg forgiveness for his mistakes. He tried several times, but the Guru remained in a trance.
Mardana started singing on his rebab (stringed instrument),
“As long as he says my-my, not a single thing works. Once you give up me and my (ego), the Creator will come and settle all matters .”
At some point, the guru’s silence and the shrill message of Mardana’s chant overcame the caretaker, he got up and started running towards the city.
We were afraid – what if he goes and incites a religious mob or the mufti of the city?
I (Taajudin) started following the janitor. He went to Jama Masjid, climbed a tall minaret, and started shouting in Arabic.
“Hear Ye Arabians; for centuries you claim that the chamber of the Kaaba is the house of Allah. Come see today, Allah is sitting in his abode. Come see his vision and fulfill your heart’s desires.”