MULTAN (SO012`N, 71°31`E), ancient city which had been a prominent centre of Muslim piety, was where according to Bhai Gurdas, Varan I. 4445, Guru Nanak met with some local Sufi saints. Travelling from Kartarpur, on the River Ravi, Guru Nanak first went to Achal Batala and thence to Multan. As the Guru arrived at Multan, the pirs of Multan brought to him a bowl over flowing to the brim with milk. By this gesture they meant to say that the place was already full of religious teachers.

Guru Nanak laid upon the milkbowl a jasmine petal indicating thereby that he would still find room for himself without displacing anyone. And the Guru, says Bhai Gurdas, mingled there as do the waters of the Ganges and the sea. The Miharban Janam Sakhi, a work contemporaneous with that of Bhai Gurdas, says that many inhabitants of Multan turned out to listen to Guru Nanak, among them Shaikh Bahauddin Makhdum, a descendant of the famous Muslim saint Bahauddin Zakaria (b. 1171 AD).

Multan being a predominantly Muslim city, no Sikh shrine commemorating Guru Nanak`s visit was established there, although according to Tara Singh Narotam, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi, a memorial did exist in the house of one of the pirs.It was served by Muslim mujawirs or officiants. The city was the capital of a province under the Mughals. It was ceded to Ahmad Shah Durram in 1752.

The Bhangi clan of the Sikhs conquered it in December 1772, but lost it to Taimur Shah, son and successor of Ahmad Shah, early in 1780. Later in 1818, it became part of the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1848, the Sikh governor of Multan, Diwan Mul Raj, revolted against the British which led to the second AngloSikh war, 1848-49.

References :

1. Narotam, Tara Singh, Sri Guru Tirath Sangrahi [Reprint]. Kankhal, 1975
2. Kirpal Singh, Janam Sakhi Parampara. Patiala, 1969
3. Beale, T.W., Oriental Biographical Dictionary, edited and revised by H. G. Keene. London, 1894
4. Bhagat Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his Times. Delhi, 1990
5. Harbans Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1980