GURDWARA SAHIB MUAR, JOHOR
Jalan Mohamediah, 84000 Muar, Johor
Sikh personnel and their families, most of whom were in the Police Force, settled in the Muar area in the late 1920’s. To serve their religious needs, they rented the upstairs of a shophouse, which was then located on the site of the present Semangat Motors. Very soon, they left this place and rented a double storey shophouse in front of Semangat Motors, which is presently lawyer Javasingam’s office. The upstairs of this building was used as the Darbar Sahib and the ground floor was utilised as a clubhouse.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Gurdwara Sahib was shifted again to another rented shophouse directly in front of the old Post Office.
Around 1927, many Sikh Police personnel were stationed in Muar. The Sikhs felt that it was necessary to have a permanent Gurdwara building. Bhai Amar Singh (Bhai Dass) played a major role in this matter.
The Sikh community chose the present Gurdwara site. The land, under Grant Number 12835 with an area of 1 Rood 37.19 Poles was purchased from Toki Saudagar Singh Didarewala on 13thDecember 1927 for Straits Settlements $2,450.00.
At this time four trustees were appointed to manage the affairs of the new Gurdwara Sahib viz: Toki Saudagar Singh, Sardar Santa Singh, Sardar Sadhu Singh and Sardar Ishar Singh.
The construction of the new Gurdwara Sahib building began in 1931 and was completed in January 1933. The Police personnel contributed one month’s salary and the rest of the Sikh community also donated generously. This new Gurdwara Sahib was officially declared open by the Commissioner of Police, State of Johor on 3′ March 1933. An Akhand Path was held on this occasion. All kinds of Punjabi sweets were served with the Guru Ka Langgar. A wrestling match as well as a ladoo-eating contest was also held on this occasion. Sardar Bhag Singh ate eleven ladoos at one sitting to win the contest.
On 30′ September 1938 a resolution was passed that a Khalsa Punjabi School be set up. This school was registered with the Johor Education Department in February 1939 and operated in the Gurdwara premises. In 1969 it was found necessary to construct a separate building for the school. The new school building was constructed on the left side of the Gurdwara and officially declared open on 23′ November 1969 on the occasion of the 500th birthday anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Sahib Ji. At the same time the school was renamed Sri Guru Nanak Vidyala. There are presently 15 Sikh students who attend Gurmukhi and kirtan classes, which are held three times per week.
Sardar Gurbax Singh served as a teacher in this Punjabi school from 1943 to 1947 followed by Giani Gian Singh from 1948 to the 1950’s. Bibi Mahinder Kaur served as a teacher until 1967. Bibi Jaspal Kaur has been serving as a teacher for more than 35 years from 1967 to present. Since 1995, Bibi Pritam Kaur has also been engaged as a teacher in this school.
In 1938 a library was also started in this Gurdwara Sahib. It still exists and is presently managed by the Sikh youths. Baba Jiwan Singh Ji served selflessly, with a lot of love and humility, as a Granthi Sahib in the Gurdwara Sahib Muar from 1934 to February 1940. He used to participate prominently in the general sewa like chopping firewood, washing the dishes, sweeping the Gurdwara compound etc. When he did path in someone’s house, he never had his food there but instead used to cook his own meals. When he ate the Guru Ka Langgar in the Gurdwara, he would put some of his money in the golak (Donation box). Other than his salary of $30.00 a month, he never accepted any other offering. His living was based on the basic principles of Sikhism. He is remembered to this day as a true Gursikh.
Bhai Mehar Singh Ji Dhaleke served as a Granthi in the Gurdwara Sahib Muar for nearly 16 years from 1958 to May 1969 and December 1971 to mid 1978. He is remembered for his simple and straightforward nature. By the grace of the Guru, he was happy with whatever little he had. He loved children who naturally enjoyed his company and adored him. Most important of all, if anyone said any harsh words to him, he used to remain unaffected by them. This made him even more loveable. During Jormelas, he used to insist on cooking and serving the langgar sparingly to avoid wastage.
The present Granthi, Giani Gornam Singh Village Brahmpura, Amritsar, has been serving in the Gurdwara Sahib Muar since 1978.
The Gurdwara Sahib Muar was extensively renovated in 1982. At the same time the kitchen was upgraded with gas stoves and the langgar hall was tiled.
The Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Gurdwara Sahib Muar were held by holding an Akhand Path from 14th – 16th April 1983. The Sikh sangat came from all over Malaysia to celebrate this event.
The elected management committee of this Gurdwara comprises of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and two committee members. The present trustees of this Gurdwara Sahib are Sardar Harjit Singh, Sardar Utam Singh and Sardar Mancharanjit Singh.
There are about 25 Sikh families who participate in the religious activities of this Gurdwara. There are two rooms available for Sikh visitors who may wish to stay in this Gurdwara. The Isteri Satsang programmes in Muar were started on 1 3th February 1976 under the able leadership of Sardarni Jaswant Kaur Hauldarni. The Isteri Satsang programmes are held on every Tuesday afternoon from 3.30p.m. to 6.00p.m. The normal weekly prayers are held on Sunday mornings from 9.00a.m. to I 0.00a.m. Sikh Naujawan programmes are held on weekends.