Gurmat & Islam

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji has multiple writers. How can it be claimed to be a revelation unlike the Quran?

Islam teaches that God sends prophets to the nations, in different times and different places, to communicate His message. Since the beginning of time, Islam believes God has sent His guidance through these chosen people. They were human beings who walked among their people and taught them about faith in One Almighty God, and how to walk on the path of righteousness.

The Quran says that:

“The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one of them believes in God, His angels, His books, and His Messengers. They say: ‘We make no distinction between one and another of His Messengers.’ And they say: ‘We hear, and we obey. We seek Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys'” (Al-Baqarah, 2:285).

It is believed that all prophets gave guidance and instruction to their people about how to properly worship God and live their lives. Since God is One, His message has been one and the same throughout time. In essence, Muslims believe that all the prophets taught the message of Islam – to find peace in your life through submission to the One Almighty Creator — to believe in God and to follow His guidance.

Although only 25 prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur’an, a Hadith (no. 21257 in Musnad Ibn Hanbal) mentions that there were a total 124,000 Prophets throughout history. Among the prophets that Muslims honour are: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Hud, Salih, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Lot, Jacob, Josphet, Shu’aib, Job, Moses, Aaron, Ezekiel, David, Solomon, Elias, Elisha, Jonah, Zechariah, Jesus and Muhammad.

So if God can speak through 124,000 people, which includes farmers and shepherds, and still reveal the same message, how is it not possible for the Almighty All-Powerful God to speak through 36 God-conscious divine holy men? There is no logic in this argument.

Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is ‘real’, i.e. it is ‘reality’ not philosophy. The ‘Shabad’ (Divine Infinite Wisdom) is the Guru. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and the Ten bodies revealed and interpreted the Shabad. Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji, accumulated the Shabad revelation from the first five Nanaks, fifteen Bhagats (Devotees of God), eleven Bhatts (Bards) and three Sikhs (enlightened disciples), and recorded it into the ‘Physical Word’ in the form of ‘Aad Granth Sahib Ji’ (also referred to as ‘Pothi Sahib’), which was earlier form of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

It is often said that Guru Arjan Dev Sahib Ji included the Banis (revealed writings) of Hindu and Muslim mystics. This is false! All the Bhagats and Bhatts whose revealed Bani was accepted and included in ‘Aad Granth Sahib Ji’ shared the common religion of ‘Gurmat & Naam’ and had experienced ‘Sat’ (the Truth).

Truth is the Truth. There is no different angle to the Truth. The Truth is eternal, unchanging, and constant irrespective of which light someone sees it. Therefore, the Sikh Guru Sahibs, the Bhagats and Bhatts all experienced and talked about this One Universal Truth, which was “Ik Oankaar” (ੴ), as explained in the opening verse of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji:

ੴ ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥
“One Universal Creator God. The Truth. Who is Naam. The Creator, who pervades everything. Without Fear. Without Hatred. Image Of The Undying. Unborn. Self-Existent. Attained by the (True) Guru’s Grace.” (Ang 1)

So what is the difference between Guru and Bhagat (Devotee of God)? This can be explained using an analogy of a mother and child. There is one child who opens his eyes and realizes he is sitting in his mother’s lap. There is another child who crawls to his mother and then sits in her lap. Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and his Ten bodies had Brahm-Gyaan (Knowledge of God) from the beginning. They opened their eyes and they were already sitting in the lap of Waheguru. The Bhagats were those who through life, experience, effort and grace attained union with the Divine and sat in the lap of Waheguru. Through their Bhagti (devotional worship) and through the blessings of God they became “Brahm-Gyanis” (God-Conscious Beings). According to Sukhmani Sahib (8th Asttpadi) the Brahm-Gyani becomes one with God and as a result possesses all knowledge of the creation and therefore, also comes to possess the divine knowledge of Gurbani which they were then able to reveal.

So, once the Bhagats reached this level, Waheguru revealed the Shabad to the world through them. As a consequence there is no difference between the Shabad (Gurbani) revealed through the Sikh Gurus and the Bhagats etc. Both are ‘Gurbani’.

Some academic views on whether the Quran is really a revelation: