Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism


Bhai Pheru Mall

Pheru Mall jee (d. 1526), father of Guru Angad, was the third son of Bhai Gchnu Mall, a Trehan Khatri of Marigoval village in the present Gujrat district of Pakistan. He was born in his ancestral village, but was brought up in the family of his mother's parents, who lived at Matte di Sarai, a village now known as Sarai Nariga, 16 km northeast of Muktsar, in the Punjab. He gained proficiency in Persian and, as he grew up, he was employed as an accountant by the local landlord, Chaudhari Takht Mall. He was married in the same village (the bride's name has been recorded differently by chroniclers as Sabhrai, Ramo and Daya Kaur).

A son, Lahina (Guru Angad), was born to the couple on 31 March 1504. In 1519, Pheru Mall had differences with his employer and quit service. In the following year, during one of Babar's incursions into the plains of India, Matte di Sarai suffered pillage at the hands of the invaders. Pheru Mall, along with his family left the village and, after a brief stay at Harike, shifted to Khadur, now known as Khadur Sahib. Here Mat Sabhrai, the sister of his former employer and a devotee of Guru Nanak, treated him as her own brother and helped him to get settled. Pheru Mall died at Khadur in 1526.

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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