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BHIKHAN SHAH OR SHAH BHIKH, PIR

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BHIKHAN SHAH OR SHAH BHIKH, PIR, a seventeenth century Sufi saint, was born the son of Sayyid Muhammad Yusaf of Siana Sayyidari, a village 5 km from Pehova, now in Kurukshetra district of Haryana. For a time, he lived at Ghuram in present day Patiala district of the Punjab and finally settled at Thaska, again in Kurukshetra district. He was tlie disciple of Abul Mu`ali Shah, a Sufi divine residing at Ambhita, near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, and soon became a pfr or saint of much repute and piety in his own right. According to tradition preserved in Bhai Santokh Singh, Sri Gur Pratap Suraj Granth, Pir Bhikhan Shah, as he learnt through intuition of the birth of Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) at Patna, made obeisance that day to the east instead of to the west.

At this his disciples demurred, for no Muslim should make such respectful gestures except towards the Ka`ba. The Pir explained that in a city in the east, the Beneficent Lord had revealed Himself through a newborn babe, to whom it was that he had bowed and to no ordinary mortal. Bhikhan Shah with his disciples then travelled all the way to Patna to have a glimpse of the infant Gobind Rai, barely three months old. Desiring to know what would be his attitude to the two major religious peoples of India, he placed two small pots in front of the child, one representing in his own mind Hindus and the other Muslims.

As the child covered both the pots simultaneously with his tiny hands, Bhikhan Shah felt happy concluding that the new seer would treat both Hindus and Muslims alike and show equal respect to both. Sikh chronicles record another meet ing between (Guru) Gobind Singh and Pir Bhikhan Shah which took place in 1672 when the latter went to see him at Lakhnaur, near Ambala, where he was halting for some time on his way from Patna to Kiratpur.

References :

1. Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Dasvin Patshahi. Lahore, 1912
2. Santokh Singh, Bhai, Sn Gur Pratap Suraj Granth. Amritsar, 1926-37
3. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa. Patiala, 1970

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