A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
Martyrdom Of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib (Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji). Sikh commemoration in the Indian state of Punjab on the 24th day of Jeth, the third month in the Sikh calendar, of the 1606 torture and execution, arising from a charge of treason. This was on the orders of the Moghul Emperor of the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Jehangir, for refusing to erase some Sikh text that offended the Emperor and pay a fine of 200,000 rupees, £1,500,000 at present values. There is a Gurpurb Festival, including an akhand path (ਅਖੰਡ ਪਾਠ, uninterrupted recitation of all the verses in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ) central holy religious scripture of Sikhism. There may be a procession with the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and sweets are normally offered to those outside the gurdwaras, the Sikh places of worship. Guru Arjun Dev was born in 1563 in Goindval (ਗੋਇੰਦਵਾਲ), Punjab, the son of Guru Ramdas, the fourth Guru of the Sikhs and grandson of Guru Amardas, the third Guru. Guru Arjan made the first compilation of the Sikh Holy Scriptures, the Adi Granth, including all the past Gurus’ writings into one book. He included the compositions of both Hindu and Muslim saints that he considered consistent with the teachings of Sikhism and of the Gurus. Arjun Dev laid the foundations of the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) in Amritsar and designed the four doors in the gurdwara, proclaiming that: “My faith is for the people of all castes and all creeds from whichever direction they come and to whichever direction they bow.” Arjun Dev declared that all Sikhs should donate a tenth of their earnings to charity. Image: youtube.com.
Treaty of Hudaybiyyah (صَلَح ٱلْحُدَيْبِيَّة, Ṣalaḥ Al-Ḥudaybiyyah). Anniversary of the 6 Dhu al-Qi’dah AH 6 in the Islamic lunar calendar (c629 CE) signing in Mecca of the Peace Agreement negotiated by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin, son-in-law and companion. The Treaty was pivotal, as Muhammad (PBUH) represented the state of Medina and many of the members of his Qurayshi tribe in Mecca strongly opposed him. The signing is recorded in the Qur’an by the words verily we have granted thee a manifest victory. It helped to decrease tension between the two cities, affirmed peace for 10 years and authorised Muhammad’s (PBUH) followers to return the following year on a peaceful pilgrimage, later known as The First Pilgrimage. After the treaty was signed, pilgrims who had come to Mecca objected to: giving in to the Qurayshi; the using of the name of Allah; and the Prophet calling himself the Messenger of God. However, the Treaty was very important in Islam, as it recognised the Islamic state in Medina and allowed the Muslims who were still in Mecca to publicly practise Islam. As there was no longer a constant struggle between the Muslims and the polytheists who believed in multiple deities, many people saw Islam in a new light and accepted it. The Treaty led to other tribes making treaties with the Muslims and served as an example of how Islam was not merely spread by the sword. The oath that Muhammad (PBUH) took under the tree at al-Hudaybiyyah made him a true ruler over parts of western Arabia, as in early Islamic Egypt having a forefather who had pledged allegiance under the tree conferred considerable social prestige. Ali ibn Abi Talib ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 until his assassination in 661, and is one of the central figures in Shi’a Islam. He is regarded by Shi’a Muslims as the rightful immediate successor to Muhammad (PBUH) as an Imam. Image: youtube.com.
Prayer How shall a message be effectual for them, since a Messenger has already come to them, explaining things clearly? Yet they turn away from Him, saying He is a man possessed. Listen, O thou who denieth His greatness and His luminous light. Though miracles seem a thing of the past, come thou yet and see them with the servants of Muhammad (PBUH). The Holy Qur’an is a miracle, the like of which never was and never will be. The age of its blessings and bounties is everlasting. آمين ʾAmin
Naomh Caoimhín (St Kevin of Glendalough, Cóemgen, Coemgenus) (c498-618). Eastern Orthodox Feast Day, wine and olive oil permitted, commemorating noble Irish pupil of St Petroc of Cornwall in Leinster, an ascetic and the founder and first Abbot of Glendalough Abbey in County Wicklow, now one of the most important sites of monastic ruins in Ireland. After ordination, Kevin moved to the isolated Glendalough, the Glen of two Lakes, to avoid the company of his followers, and lived for 7 years as a hermit in an ancient partially-man-made cave. This was only large enough for sleeping and is now known as St Kevin’s Bed, to which he was led by an angel. His companions were the animals and birds all around him. He went barefoot and spent his time in prayer. Disciples were soon attracted to Kevin and a further settlement enclosed by a wall, called Kevin’s Cell, was established nearer the lough. By 540, his fame as a teacher and holy man had spread and in time his foundation at Glendalough grew into a renowned seminary of saints and scholars and the parent of several other monasteries. In 544, Kevin went to the Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath to visit the holy Abbots Sts Columba, Comgall and Cannich and then proceeded to Clonmacnoise to to retire into solitude for 4 years, only returning to Glendalough at the earnest entreaty of his monks. Until his death, Kevin presided over his Glendalough monastery, fasting, praying and teaching. Glendalough, with its 7 churches, became one of the chief pilgrimage destinations in Ireland. The Nobel prize-winner Seamus Heaney’s St Kevin and the Blackbird relates the story of Kevin holding out his hand with trance-like stillness whilst a blackbird built a nest in it and laid eggs that hatched, for the chicks to fledge. Venerated in Eastern Orthodox Church, Roman Catholic Church (cultus confirmation). Roman Catholic Feast Day 3 June. Patron of blackbirds, Archdiocese of Dublin, Glendalough, Kilnamanagh. Image: anpost.com.