On September 13, while targeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his use of the word ‘abba jaan’, so-called activist Harsh Mander made an overzealous remark and claimed that the word ‘Allah’ appears over 1,000 times in Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Holy book of Sikhs that is considered to be the living Guru.
Upon little research, a number of references were found that are linked to the use of words that describe God in Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Before we move ahead, it is important to understand a little about Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Notably, Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is considered to be the Supreme Spiritual Authority and Head of the Sikh religion.
As Guru Granth Sahib Ji is considered to be the “living Guru” of the Sikhs, Granth Sahib Ji is treated with the utmost respect by all Sikhs. Guru Granth Sahib Ji has a collection of devotional hymns and poems that emphasises the importance of meditation on the True Guru or God. The book contains moral and ethical rules for the spiritual salvation of the soul and its unity with God.
It is the only scripture in this world that not only has works of the founders but also writings from spiritual leaders of other faiths. Though the verses include works of Sikh Gurus predominantly, Bhagats, Bhatts, Pirs, and Gursikhs are included in the Holy book. Thus, God is referred to by many names across Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Has God been referred to as Allah in Guru Granth Sahib Ji?
Yes, there are verses like “ਬਾਬਾ ਅਲਹੁ ਅਗਮ ਅਪਾਰੁ” written by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji that means “O Baba, the Lord Allah is Inaccessible and Infinite” where the word ‘Allah‘ has been used to refer God. In verse written by Baba Farid, it says, “ਭਿਜਉ ਸਿਜਉ ਕੰਬਲੀ ਅਲਹੁ ਵਰਸਉ ਮੇਹੁ” that means, “No matter if my blanket is soaked, Allah’s rain should continue.” As such, the word ‘Allah’ has been used 12 times in the verses by Baba Farid and 18 times by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Arjan Dev Ji and Sant Kabir.
Allah as a word in Guru Granth Sahib Ji refers to God, and it is not the only word that has been used in the Holy book. Hari, which refers to Bhagwan Vishnu in Hindu scriptures, has been used as the word for God 8,344 times in Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Similarly, Ram has been mentioned 2,533 times, Prabhu 1,371 times, Gopal 491 times and so on.
Harsh Mander was right on the fact that ‘Allah’ has been used in Guru Granth Sahib Ji, but it was not about Islam but the word has been used to describe God similar to Hari. Also, while Mander said he was told by his grandfather that it comes over 1,000 times. However, in reality, the word ‘Allah’ has been used only a few times in the Holy Book.