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The Sanatan Sikhs - The Seva Panthis/Addan Shahis
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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 comments:

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 to all.'
( ‘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.

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