Monday, January 23, 2006

Baba Haqiqat Rai Ji

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Baba Haqiqat Rai Jee

Haqiqat Rai was born in 1724 to Mata Durgi who was the daughter of parents who
believed in Sikhism. I think that her brothers were Singhs. It is not known if the family
where she was married was a Sikh family or not.

Haqiqat Rai belonged to a wealthy family and he grew up learning Gurmat and Sikh
history from his mother. He heard about the Sahibzadas of Guru Gobind Singh and was
especially impressed by Baba Zoravar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh. He thought about
them all the time.

In those days persian was very prevalent in Punjab and mostly persian was taught by
Maulvis (Moslem priests) in masjids (Moslem place of worship). Haqiqat Rai started
learning persian in the village masjid and he was the only non-Moslem student there.
Haqiqat Rai was extraordinarily bright boy and therefore many Moslem boys were
jealous of him.

In 1735 when he was only 10-11 years old, Haqiqat Rai got into argument with the
Moslem students of the school. The Moslem boys teased him by calling bad names to
Durga Mata (Goddess of Hindus). Hearing this Haqiqat Rai called Bibi Fatima (daughter
of Mohammad Sahib, the prophet of Moslems) bad names. At this he was severely beaten
by the Moslem boys.

Fearing that Haqiqat Rai would tell the Maulvi and have them punished the Moslem boys
went straight to the Maulvi and exaggerated the argument with Haqiqat Rai and told him
that Haqiqat Rai had said very derogatory things about Islam. Hearing this Maulvi could
not control his anger and he along with a group of other Moslems marched towards 11
years old Haqiqat Rai to teach him a lesson.

On the other side when Haqiqat Rai reached home all swollen his mother got very upset
when she found out that she was beaten by Moslem boys so badly. She told him that she
will talk to the maulvi personally about this.

By that time Maulvi reached their home with a lot of other people and he grabbed
Haqiqat Rai by his hair and started beating him mercilessly. They beat him so badly that
he got unconscious. Their anger did not extinguish at this. They carried him to the
Faujdaar (governor) of Sialkot (now in Pakistan).

Haqiqat Rai was brought before the Faujdar and questioned. Haqiqat Rai told them the
truth but no one believed him. The Faujdar along with the Qazi, ordered him that the only
way he can escape death is if he embraced Islam, the religion he allegedly condemned so

Gurdwara Tapoban Sahib
At that point Haqiqat Rai remembered Baba Zoravar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh. He
politely but forcefully declined their demand. He said that he will never convert to Islam.
This made the Qazi and other Moslems there mad. The Qazi ordered that he be tied by
the tree upside down and beaten with hunters (a kind of cane made out of leather). Where
ever the hunter fell it ripped the skin from the body. Haqiqat Rai did not bow.

Finally when Haqiqat Rai remained unyielding he was sent to Zakariya Khan at Lahore.
Haqiqat Rai's father pleaded for mercy and even offered money equal to the weight of his
son but the tyrants did not listen to him.

Before he was deported to Lahore from Sialkot, Dhan Mata Durgi the mother of Haqiqat
Rai told him that she would rather be mother of a shaheed than being mother of a loser
who gave up his religion because of fear of death. It was a very emotional departure and
many people present there had tears in their eyes.

Haqiqat Rai was brought before the subedar of Lahore, Zakariya Khan and he remain
defiant there also. People were amazed at this 11 years old young boy who wouldn't give
up his Dharam despite all the torture and threats. Haqiqat Rai came to this stage that he
did not care any more. He just wanted to be with his heros Baba Zoravar Singh and Baba
Fateh Singh.

Finally when all the measures to convert him failed his head was severed from his body
at the order of Zakariya Khan in January of 1735. Haqiqat Rai happily embraced death
but did not give up his religion.

I urge our youth to look up to these kids who did not give up their Dharam even in the
most difficult times. But what has happened to us ? Why are we giving up Gurmat when
we don't have any threat or danger to our lives ?

When the Khalsa forces of those times found out about Haqiqat Rai's shaheedi, everyone
was upset. Nawab Kapur Singh and others vowed to avenge the death of Haqiqat Rai
which they did.

Dhan Baba Haqiqat Rai Jee and his mother Mata Durgi Jee.

Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

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