Whereas Akali Nihangs speak of Udasis sometimes going
armed to defend themselves as did some Nirmalas like Baba Dargaha
Singh, the Seva Panthis were complete pacifists.
Though they did not say it was wrong for a person to defend themselves,
Seva Panthis themselves desisted from all forms of violence.
Of Bhai Addan Shah it is said he would not even travel
on a path which would disturb the birds on the trees. One Seva Panthi
leader Bhai Jagta had ponds dug specifically for
the wild animals of the jungle so they could drink water. With the
aid of the Sikh Maharaja Kharak Singh, Bhai Jagta also arranged
a daily allowance of bread to feed the stray dogs and birds.
Bhai Jagta Ji
The great philanthropist Bhai Jagta Ji after whom the headquarters
of the Seva Panthi/Addan Shahi order at Goniana Mandi, Batinda,
Punjab is named
A very strong Hindu influence can be found amongst
the Udasis and Nirmalas, and to a lesser extent in Akali Nihangs,
however, this is not so for the Seva Panthis. The environment in
which they lived and interacted with was a predominately Muslim.
They won the hearts of the Muslims
through their indiscriminate selfless service. Narinder Singh Sauch
‘Men make history and history makes men.
In these regions in these Muslim areas from place to place sprang
pools of Sikhism. From house to house the simple life style,
the compassion, the virtue of earning their own living, the
charitable deeds, sweet words, humility, day and night done
service of these holy men was discussed. The Muslims even worshiped
at their mausoleums. They prayed to fulfil their desires. Gave
offerings there. For hours on end they stood there with hands
clasped. Bowing their heads they did not lift from ground. Their
[Seva Panthi] words they respected as of the pure holy Koran.
Good words do not have a distinct religion they belong
( ‘Bhai Jagta Ji', Narinder Singh Sauch, Pa.26-27)
As mentioned before, many Muslims in Punjab looked
upon Guru Nanak as a 'faquir' (holy man), and naming him as 'Nanak
Shah' (King). Guru Nanak’s constant companion Bhai Mardana
was a Muslim. The fifth Sikh Guru’s best friend was also a
Muslim holy man Sai Mia Mir.
A photograph of a Muslim Sufi priest
engaged in reading the holy Koran Shareef
Sai Mia Mir had laid the foundation of the Sikh holiest
of holy Durbar Sahib in Amritsar. Akali Nihang Guru Gobind Singh
Ji had innumerable Muslim associates and followers such as Shah
Mira Pikh, Kazi Slarudin, Sayd Beg Khan, Mdar Fakir, Krim Khan,
Nihang Khan, Nabee Khan, Gani Khan, Sajedh Ibrahim Shah, etc.
Hence, the Muslim association with Sikhism was a long
established one. The Seva Panthis built upon this.