Although the title of this paper may seem rhetorical to some, the fact is that there has existed a trickle of voices throughout the ages that have either sincerely queried over this question, dismissed it as absurd, or vigorously asserted an answer in the affirmative.
As indicated by a unique survey (right) we conducted supplementing this paper, the same is certainly true of today. In answer to the question: ‘Do you believe Guru Nanak was a Muslim?’ 72% (166) of respondents, from a total of 232 votes, said they did NOT believe him to be a Muslim, while 8% (19) were honest enough to claim ignorance. But, what was most worrying was that 10% (23) of respondents were certain he was Muslim, while an equal percentage thought he could be. The poll suggests that 20% (47) of respondents doubt Nanak was a kaafir (disbeliever). If this site were a sensationalist newspaper, the heading for this news would most probably read something like: “Almost a quarter believe Guru Nanak could have been a Muslim.”
There exists a mixture of ignorant and deluded Muslims that have erroneously concluded that Guru Nanak was either an overt Muslim or one who had converted to Islam, but, for one reason or another, never openly proclaimed or practiced it – choosing instead to conceal it. And the following excuse usually accompanies this latter opinion: his Muslim identity was, down the centuries, reinvented by some of his followers into the traditional Sikh identity we know of today. There are then those Muslims who go the extra mile in their attempt to audaciously prove and promote the notion, often to the extent of compromising the very basic tenets and principles of Islam, that Nanak was a Muslim.
From an Islamic perspective, giving any type of credence to such an idea will, in essence, occur due to two reasons:
- Either extreme ignorance.
- Or, a misunderstanding of the creed (‘aqeedah) and principles of Islam.
Muslims who have knowledge of ‘aqeedah (creed and doctrine), as it was understood and implemented by Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) and his companions, and have a rudimentary knowledge of Guru Nanak’s life and teachings, will certainly be utterly bewildered to learn of fellow Muslims who hold such dubious opinions. It is for this reason that an in depth study be undertaken to comprehensively address this subject.
Since the inception of the Islam-Sikhism, we have received a number of emails from Muslims sincerely inquiring into this query over whether Nanak was a Muslim.
Nadeem Bhatti in 2006 questioned:
While Mr Rahman queried:
Mohsin Malik simply asked:
Firstly, let us take the following rule of thumb: when an object is described or attributed to something, it does not always mean that it is an accurate reflection of the truth. For example, changing the label of a bottle of water with the label ‘Coke’ doesn’t change the content of said bottle to water. Hence, claims need to be examined to determine their veracity; the assertion that someone who is known to be a non-Muslim can be said to be a Muslim demands that the claim be critically assessed.
There have been two modes of historical association between Islam and Sikhism:
- Those from the Muslim community, often described as Sufi saints and mystics, who openly interacted and supported the Sikh community.
- Arising from the moment when the Gurus decided to incorporate material into their scriptural corpus from the couplets of certain so-called Muslim holy men, viz. Kabir and Baba Farid.
And it is through the use of this historical association that those attempting to bridge this religious gap between Islam and Sikhism have gone so far as to affirm Guru Nanak’s Islam. 
It is, therefore, imperative that if we are to correctly answer this question, a critical examination of the evidence that supports the above two modes of historical association between the two religions be conducted through the all-important lens of the Islamic ‘aqeedah (creed).
But before that, it is necessary to firstly know who a Muslim is and how one is designated and recognised as one.
THE DUEL DECLARATION OF ISLAMIC FAITH
The Shahaadatayn, or the duel declaration of faith, is:
- Laa ilaaha ill Allaah – There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah.
- Muhammad ar-Rasool Allaah – There is none worthy of being followed in truth except the Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah).
Since this is a “declaration” of faith, “it is the first thing sought from the unbelievers when they are invited to embrace Islam”, i.e. to articulate it, for the Prophet said:
Similarly, when the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allah) sent Mu’aadh as a proselytiser to Yemen, he instructed him:
An alternate wording is recorded by Imam Muslim in his Sahih:
This profound statement, however, needs to be broken down and elaborated upon further so as to arrive at a correct and accurate answer to the question of Guru Nanak’s alleged Muslim identity.
In his book Clarifying the Meaning of La Ilaha Illa Allah, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baaz, explicated the Shahaadatayn as follows:
There is no Islam except with this statement by word, action, and belief. So based upon that the Muslim says Laa ilaha illa Allah with his tongue and confirms it with his heart and actions. The Muslim makes Allah one and singles Him out for all worship and disassociates (himself) from the worship of other than Him. It is a must that there be along with this (which has been mentioned) the testimony that the messenger ship is for the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah).  (bold ours)
The scholars of Islam, both past and present, have defined Laa ilaaha ill Allaah thus: Stated Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah, “Allaah (the deity) is al-Ma’looh (the one who is deified). And al-Ma’looh is the one who is deserving of worship.” 
Stated Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H) – rahimahullaah, “Laa ilaaha illallaah: That is: there is none worthy of worship besides Allaah.” 
Stated Imaam Haafidh al-Hakamee (d.1377H) – rahimahullaah, “So the meaning of laa ilaaha illallaah is: There is no deity worthy of worship in truth, besides Allaah (laa ma’bood bi haqq illallaah).” , 
In this respect, Shaykh Ibn Baaz continues with his explanation:
As for the actualization of the second: and it is the testimony that Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) is the messenger of Allah, then faith in him consists of belief that he is the servant and messenger of Allah and that Allah sent him to all of mankind and jinn. He called them to the Tawheed of Allah and to believe in Him. Also (from the actualization of this testimony is) following that which the messenger of Allah came with, along with the belief in all those who have come before from the messengers and prophets. Then after that (comes) the belief in the legislations of Allah, which He has legislated for His servants upon the hand of His messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah), and (along with that) is taking hold to it, holding fast to it with prayer, obligatory alms, fasting, pilgrimage, jihad, and other than that.  (bold ours)
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said in Sharhul-‘Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah:
In regards to the Muslim’s belief in “the legislation of Allah”, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan further expounds:
It is therefore obligatory to accept the Prescribed Laws of Allaah in matters concerning worship, social transactions, judging between people in that which they differ regarding their personal situations and other matters, whilst [at the same time] rejecting man-made laws. What this means is to reject all the innovations and deviations that have been introduced and propagated by the devils – from amongst mankind and the jinn – in the matter of worshipping Allaah. “Indeed, whoever accepts anything of this has actually committed shirk in [the matter of] obedience to Allaah, just as Allaah said in this verse: … “They take their rabbis and their priests to be lords besides Allaah.” [Soorah at-Tawbaa 9:31]
In an authentic narration the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once recited the above verse to Adee ibn Haatim at-Taa’ee, may Allaah be pleased with him (radiallaahu ‘anhu), so he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, we do not worship them.” So he replied: “Do they not make lawful to you that which Allaah has made unlawful, which you then deem as lawful? And do they not make unlawful to you that which Allaah has made lawful, which you then deem as unlawful?” He said: “Yes indeed.” So the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him: “This is worshipping them.” …
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullaah, clarified this point in more detail in Majmoo’ Fataawaa (7/70-71), stating: “Those that take their rabbis and priests as lords obeying them in their making lawful what Allaah has declared to be unlawful, and their making unlawful what Allaah has declared to be lawful, occurs in one of two ways:- Firstly: that they know that they [i.e. the rabbis and priests] have changed the Religion of Allaah, yet follow them in this act of changing (tabdeel). They thus believe to be lawful that which Allaah has made unlawful; and unlawful that which Allaah has made lawful, following their leaders in this, along with knowing that they have opposed the Religion of the Messengers of Allaah. This is unbelief (kufr), which Allaah and His Messenger consider to be shirk – even if they do not actually pray or prostrate to them …. Also, this making unlawful what is lawful, and making lawful what is unlawful, if it occurs from a scholar whose intention is to follow the Messenger, but the truth [in this matter] was not clear to him, but he feared Allaah as much as he was able, then Allaah will not take him to task for his mistake. Rather, he will be rewarded for the scholarly striving (ijtihaad) he undertook in obedience to his Lord. However, whosoever knows that this is a mistake, yet still follows his mistake, turning away from the saying of the Messenger, then such a person has a share of this shirk that Allah has condemned, especially if the person is following his whims and desires in this, supporting it with his tongue and hand, along with having knowledge that this opposes the Messenger. This is shirk,, the doer of which is deserving of punishment.” …
So this is the major [type of] shirk which negates the very tawheed that laa ilaaha illallaah points towards. 
The Muslim says Laa ilaha illa Allah with his tongue and confirms it with his heart and actions. The Muslim makes Allah one and singles Him out for all worship and disassociates (himself) from the worship of other than Him.
This clarification of religious figureheads duplicitously changing what God has legislated and finalised by declaring permissible what God originally made forbidden, and vice-versa, is important when we come to examine those who, despite being affiliated to Islam, were, in actual fact, in cahoots with the Sikh community.
This association with the non-Muslims (mushrikoon) also falls under one of Islam’s doctrinal principles (qawaa’id) called: al-walaa wal-baraa (allegiance and non-allegiance).
In his monumental treatise, The Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam, the great revivalist, Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab at-Tameemi, declared:
“You will not find a people believing in Allaah and the last day loving those that oppose Allaah and His Messenger, even if they are their fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk. Rather Allaah has decreed true faith for their hearts, and strengthened them with proofs, light and guidance from Him; and He will enter them into gardens of paradise beneath whose trees rivers will flow, and they will dwell therein forever. Allaah is pleased with them and them with Him. They are the party of Allaah. Indeed the party of Allaah are the successful.” [Qur’an 58:22] (bold ours)
Commenting on this principle, Shaykh ‘Ubayd al-Jaabiree said:
Alliance is to love and support for the sake of Allaah; disassociation is to hate and show enmity for the sake of Allaah. (bold ours)
In this respect, the Shaykh quotes Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab as follows:
Firstly: The command to worship Allaah alone, to promote this, love those upon this and declare whoever abandons this to be a disbeliever.
Shaykh al-Jaabiree continues:
Al-Muwalaat (alliance) is to love and lend support for the sake of Allaah, and this is ‘Muwaddah‘ because loving and hating has to be for the sake of Allaah. …
Hence, it is compulsory to hate for the sake of Allaah even though it may be a close relation, if it is someone that opposes Allaah and are stubborn in their resistance to the divine legislation of Allaah. …
They do not show love to people who are upon disbelief, disobedience and wickedness.  (bold, underline ours)
The Shaykh concludes:
But what are the consequences of muwalaat towards the disbelievers or those who oppose Allaah and His Messenger? Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Ubaykaan divides “loyalty (muwaalaat) to the Kuffaar [disbelievers] and aiding them (mudhaaharah)” into three types:
- That this (loyalty) is a complete, unrestricted, general tawallee (loyalty with underlying love and pleasure). This is kufr [disbelief] that expels from the religion of Islaam ….
- That (the loyalty) is for the sake of attaining a specific benefit for the one who makes this loyalty and gives this apparent aid, whilst there is nothing that justifies resorting to this, such as fear (of harm) and its likes, then [t]his is unlawful (haraam) and it is not kufr. 
- That (the loyalty) is shown due to fear of the Kuffar and its likes, so the ruling pertaining to this is that it is permissible. 
It goes without saying that the most dangerous type of loyalty is the first one; it is this category that is of utmost importance in respect to this subject.
Before we move on, it is imperative that we briefly explain the scholars’ repeated use of two integral words in this context, viz. tawheed and its mutual opposite Shirk. Shaykh Abdur Rahman as-Sa’dee defined tawheed as follows:
Tawheed is the servant’s knowledge, belief, and outward acknowledgement that the Lord alone has every Attribute of perfection. The servant also believes that there is no one who shares with Him in these Attributes, none similar to Him in His Perfection, and that He possesses the sole right to be worshipped by all of His creation. The servant then devotes all forms of worship to Him alone.
Included in this definition are all three categories of tawheed:
- Tawheed ar-Ruboobiyyah [Tawheed of Allaah’s Lordship]: It is to acknowledge that only the Lord creates and provides for His creation, and He alone takes care of all their affairs.
- Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat [Tawheed of Allaah’s Divine Names and Attributes]: It is to affirm all the beautiful Names and Attributes that Allaah has affirmed for Himself and those that His Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) affirmed for Him, without likening Him to His creation  or claiming that He is similar to anything,  and without perverting the texts  or declaring them to be devoid of any real meaning. 
- Tawheed al-‘Ibaadah [Tawheed of Allaah’s Worship]: It is to single out Allaah with all the different types and varieties of one’s worship, making them all sincerely for Allaah alone, without ascribing a single partner to Him in any of that. 
Shirk is the antithesis of tawheed. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen states:
While Shaykh al-Fawzaan adds:
Hence, committing “unrestricted shirk … causes a person to leave the Religion”  of Islam.
In summary, what we have outlined are the following points:
- Shahaadatayn – the duel declaration of Islamic faith that comprises of:
a) Laa ilaaha ill Allaah – There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah.
b) Muhammad ar-Rasool Allaah – There is none worthy of being followed in truth except the Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah).
- This declaration entails verbal utterance in order to enter into the folds of Islam.
- Legislation is for Allaah alone, which entails a rejection of all other laws.
- The principle of al-walaa wal-baraa – allegiance and non-allegiance, which included the different categories of al-muwaalaat (loyalty).
- The definition of Tawheed and its three categories.
- Tawheed’s antithesis: Shirk.
With these points in mind, we are now in a position to determine whether Guru Nanak was a Muslim.
AN HISTORICAL PERUSAL
An article written by a Muslim academic titled: The Mission of Guru Nanak: A Muslim Appraisal,  has been widely published on various Sikh websites. Unfortunately for Professor Mushirul Haq, this appraisal has come at a price. It is apparent from the outset that the Professor is certainly no scholar of Islamic theology. In fact, his evaluation seems to advocate the untenable idea of religious plurality. He reasons:
A religion devoid of such message is no longer a religion. But the existence of the divine message among various religions cannot be taken to mean that one religion has necessarily borrowed the message from another, because, as it has been pointed out, this very common message is the real essence of every religion.
Once it is understood that religion by itself is not a purpose but only a means of leading people nearer to God, there is no difficulty in realising that every religion can stand by itself. (bold, underline ours)
Al-Muwalaat (alliance) is to love and lend support for the sake of Allaah …. They do not show love to people who are upon disbelief, disobedience and wickedness.
His contention is that the common factor that pervades all religions is a message which, at its source, is divine. The implications are astounding because for this to be true, the Professor must reject the Shaahadatayn!
As covered earlier, the only logical conclusion when correctly understanding and applying the first part of the Shaahadatayn: “There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah” is, as the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) implied, the rejection of whatever else is worshipped besides Allaah. Since Muslims negate all forms of false worship except what Allaah has legislated in Islam, it stands to reason, thus, that Muslims necessarily reject all opposing claims of a message being divine, which includes Sikhism.
Furthermore, since the second part of the Shaahadatayn: “There is none worthy of being followed in truth except the Prophet and Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)”, entails believing, following and obeying him, Muslims are obligated to accept his following proclamations:
I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad. I am al-Mahi; by me Allah eliminates disbelief. I am al-Hashir; upon my foot people will gather on the Day of Judgment. And I am al-‘Aqib; there is no prophet after me. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim)
There will be thirty liars among my people, each one claiming to be a prophet; while I am the last prophet and there is no prophet after me. (Sahih Muslim)
I had been given preference over the other prophets by six tings: I was given the perfect form of speech. I have been assisted by dread being instilled in my enemies. Spoils of war were made legal for me. All the Earth was made a prayer place and a purifying place for me. I was sent to all humanity. And prophecy was sealed by me. (Sahih Muslim)
Hence, since Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) was the last and final recipient of a divine message with no successor, Prof Haq is proven wrong.
The Professor’s leanings towards religious plurality are not only evident from statements such as: “As a matter of fact, monotheism is the real foundation of almost every religion”, but also discernible from subtle allusions similar to the following wherein he says: “[W]e may take the example of the so-called polytheists of Mecca at the time of Prophet Muhammad.”
If the Professor intends by the word ‘monotheism’ to be the Arabic equivalent of the word tawheed, then, as we have already shown, his statement is in actuality false. It is a must that a Muslim accept the belief that there is no other religion that establishes the unity, uniqueness and absolute perfection of Allaah through the three categories of tawheed (Lordship, Worship, and His Names and Attributes) except Islam. To say otherwise is to risk negating one’s belief in the theology-proper of Islam. Thus, Prof Haq’s claim that “monotheism cannot be taken as the sole property of any particular religion” clearly contradicts the Shahaadatayn.
It seems that what essentially exposes the underlying reason for the Professor’s adoption of the irrational notion of religious plurality is his statement: “Every religion in one way or the other affirms the existence of the one Supreme God.” In relation to the three categories of tawheed, Prof Haq could only have reached this vacuous conclusion by accepting the category of Tawheed of Lordship to the exclusion of the other two. Had he judged this affair in light of all three categories as he should have, he would have been steered towards the inevitable conclusion that every religion in one way or another affirms the existence of the one Supreme God, but not His Worship or Divine Nature.
The Professor bends over backwards in his attempt to show the “high ideals [that] Guru Nanak stood for” and “hence the striking similarities between his and Islam’s teachings”. He adds that when “passages from the Qur’an and the hymns of Guru Nanak are placed side by side, one can understand the reason of the Muslims’ regarding Guru Nanak as one of them”.
But once again, as our entire site has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, when one critically examines both the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of both religions, there is only a striking dissimilarity.
As we shall see, Guru Nanak affirmed the contradictory theology of Nirgun-Sargun, which includes the Omnipresence of God (a notion that the Professor erroneously ascribes to Islam when he adjudges: “The features common between the two are, for example, belief in the One, Omnipresent and Omnipotent God…” and “Muslims believed in an omnipresent God.”). Islam on the other hand, rejects the doctrines of God’s Omnipresence, Pantheism, Monism and Anthropomorphism. Instead it teaches that the Most High God is “separate and distinct from his creation”. 
In his further eagerness to show a similarity between the two religions, the Professor ironically quotes a verse from the Qur’an which, if he had understood and interpreted it as Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) had originally taught, stands as a proof against him:
This verse has been distortedly translated and, more importantly, incorrectly interpreted. The Arabic word rendered as “the Outward” is ath-Thaahir, which, in this context, has always been understood by the early Muslims to mean “fawqa kulli shay – above everything”. 
The Professor should also know that the Soteriological beliefs of both religions are impossible to reconcile (as documented on our site); so in what way are there striking similarities when the fundamentals of each are mutually exclusive?
Although the Professor acknowledges that “at no time did he [Nanak] claim to be a Muslim”, it is inexplicable for any Muslim who correctly understands the tawheed of Allaah to contend that “if Muslims and Hindus had realized the essence of his message they could have regarded him as one of them”. The Professor thankfully does concede that “since Guru Nanak refused to be reckoned as either a Hindu or a Muslim, both the religious groups regarded him as one who was determined to weakening the roots of Hinduism and Islam”. And this is precisely how a person, who understands both the rudimentary aspects of the Islamic creed and the a priori rules of bi-valued logic, would be expected to react when encountering the antithetical teachings of Guru Nanak.
The Professor then opines: “Once he was satisfied of having himself been divinely commissioned he could not have associated himself with either the Hindus or the Muslims, because the association would have destroyed his mission. His mission was to bring the people back to the original teachings of their own religions.” This reasoning is somewhat paradoxical, though completely understandable given the Professor’s ignorance of tawheed. If Nanak’s mission was to encourage Muslims to return to their original teachings, it would have been self-defeating to associate himself with a religion which, in accordance to its original teachings, would have eventually inculcated in its adherents the precept of spurning Nanak’s associative attempts sans his complete renunciation of Sikhism and acceptance of Islam.
Moreover, his claim that Nanak “was to remind them that all the messengers and the prophets in history came only to lead people to the right path. These messengers never considered themselves belonging to one group. They were for all” directly contradicts the following tradition of Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) who said:
Worse still for the Professor, Allaah says in the Qur’an:
Hence, the 144,000 prophets sent to their respective communities over the long course of human history all taught and proclaimed the first part of the shahaadah: “None has the right to be worshipped in truth except Allaah,” thus making their religion one. Allaah declares unequivocally:
Whoever follows a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him and in the hereafter he shall be from amongst the losers. (Qur’an 3:85)
Hence, Darshan Singh Maini’s sentimental views that “the Guru [Nanak] had the highest respect for that pristine Islam which had risen in the 8th century like a flame of truth in the burning sands of Arabia. Its original message had a strongly humanist character”  is again, like those of the Professor, inconsistent with the fundamental tenets of Islam.
All this is especially true when one contrasts the following saying of Nanak to the Islamic ‘aqeedah:
There are millions of Muhammads, but only one God. The unseen is True and without anxiety.
Many Muhammads stand in His court.
So numberless, they cannot be reckoned.
Prophets have been sent and come into the world.
Whenever He pleaseth, He hath them arrested, and brought before Him.
The slave Nanak hath ascertained,
That God alone is pure and all else is impure. 
Thus does the Professor, at least in this instance, correctly conclude:
A similar stance is also held by the new-age Ahmadiyya cult who falsely ascribe to Islam and call themselves Muslims. In the following video, the movement’s fourth so-called Khalifatul-Masih (successor to the promised Messiah), Mirza Tahir Ahmad, makes the preposterous claim:
You (Guru Nanak) went there (Makkah) to proclaim Tawheed ….
He also affirms:
In recognising you (Nanak) as pious, the Ahmadiyya community is compelled to accept the fact that you (Nanak) were an intimate friend/ holy man (wali) of Allaah – you were a Sufi ….
This is further made clear by Ahmadi “professor”, Abdul Jaleel, who proclaims on their website:
What has preceded, however, not only exposes the ignorance of the Ahmadiyya movement and its firgureheads vis-á-vis orthodox Islam, but also further cements (as though further cementation was necessary) the position of all Muslims towards them: the Ahmadis are no less upon disbelief (kufr) than the Sikhs they attempt to impress upon with their false Nanakian arguments.
Though the above emphatically puts to rest any suggestion of Guru Nanak’s overt Muslim identity, a poser could still be forwarded by a Muslim arguing that Nanak may have uttered the shahaadah privately while choosing not to disclose his conversion to anyone. Since this is a legitimate and valid theological position, it demands a response.
WAS NANAK A CLOSET MUSLIM?
Guru Nanak declared … “I am neither a Hindu, nor a Mussalman. I accept neither the Vedas, nor the Quran.”
Shaykh Rabee’ bin Hadi Umair al-Madkhalee said:
Guru Nanak is reported to have said to Babur: There are millions of Muhammads, but only one God.
If Nanak was a Muslim who did indeed have a hitherto unknown yet legitimate reason to conceal his conversion, then how long could this have feasibly lasted?
According to Max Arthur Macauliffe, Nanak “was born, according to all ancient Sikh records, in the early morning of the third day of the light half of the month of Baisakh (April-May) in the year A.D. 1469”  and died “on the tenth day of the light half of the month of Assu, Sambat 1595 (A.D. 1538) at Kartarpur in the Panjab” (though some Sikhs put it at 1539).  There are two dates one could conceivably take to estimate a given period of time for Nanak to have outwardly practiced the religion of Islam. It could either be from the moment of his birth, which means that he had 68-9 year period, which is unlikely, or from the moment of his so-called enlightenment in 1499 C.E. when he “was thirty years old”,  (although the date 1496CE  and 1497CE  have also been suggested) which leaves him a good 38-9 years. We also know that Nanak spent approximately 28 of these 38-9 years on his udhasis (proselytising missions) with his partner Mardana, who was said to be a Muslim. These 28 years of travel took Nanak to places as far afield as Tibet and the Middle East (11 years); thus, one would expect that he would have joined his Muslim companion Mardana (assuming Mardana prayed) and/ or other Muslims in their respective locales, from whom he would presumably have had no reason to hide his Islam, to openly practice his duties of worship.
During such periods of normality, Shaykh al-Fawzaan states in al-Muntaqaa min Fataawaa (1/9-10):
If all things were equal and Nanak was a Muslim, the question which then begs to be answered is whether there exists any historical account of Nanak having manifested his Islam “outwardly”?
Was Guru Nanak ever circumcised? Did he eat halaal meat (something forbidden for Sikhs to consume)? Did he give zakaah (obligatory alms-giving)? And above all else: did he pray any of the five obligatory prayers and are there any witnesses to this?
These questions are, as we said, important vis-á-vis the outward practice of faith, as Balwant Singh Anand rightly acknowledges:
As Sikhism does not have an authentication process for historiography similar to Islam’s Sciences of Hadeeth, it is difficult to say how far the accounts of Nanak’s life are true and how much is folkloric embellishment. Hence, all stories recounted in our attempt to answer the aforementioned questions are being examined at face value.
An opportunity of worship vis-á-vis prayer did, in fact, present itself to Nanak very early on during the start of his mission and after his so-called enlightenment at the age of 30. But the decision Nanak took in this respect effectively lays waste to any excuses of him legitimately having hidden his faith to the point of suspending his prayers. Following his re-emergence from the river Baeen after having allegedly gone missing for three days, the story continues as follows:
“He who is firm in his faith
Has a right to be called a Muslim
His acts must accord with his faith in the Prophet
He must cleanse his heart of his pride and greed
No more troubled by the two impostors-life and death
Resigned to the will of God
Knowing Him as the Doer
Freed from the domination of the self
Compassionate to all things
Such a one may call himself a Muslim.”
(Majh Ki Var, Guru Granth Sahib, p. 141) (bold, underline ours)
At this point it is necessary to point out that this may be true of Nanak’s world view, but certainly not of the Muslims. Alas, the response, or lack thereof, has not been recorded by the chronicler; but if it had been, then, assuming it came from an erudite Qazi (or Qadhi – judge), it would most probably be along the lines of him explaining that faith (or eemaan in Arabic) increases through acts of obedience to Allaah and decreases through acts of disobedience. Based on this, a Muslim would still be a Muslim despite his faith having weakened.
There is a revealing point made by the Nawab at this point. He does not ask Nanak to join them in prayer on account of him being a Muslim, but on the basis that all religions are the same, thereby alluding to the possibility of Nanak not necessarily having to be a Muslim to join them in prayer:
A number of key points emerge from this story:
- Firstly, the Nawab Daulat Khan’s invitation for Nanak to come join them in prayer does not seem to stem from the belief that Nanak was or had claimed to be a Muslim, but rather on his declared position that “there is no Hindu or Musalman” and, therefore, to him “all the religions were the same”.
- Secondly, his refusal to pray upon the basis that said prayers would be rejected makes Nanak guilty of committing shirk with Allaah. No Muslim has the authority or the knowledge to issue such a judgement over the acceptability of said persons’ prayer on the basis of their hidden thoughts. And since this hidden information is known only to Allaah alone, not only would such a judgement be exclusively the purview of Allaah, but in claiming such knowledge Nanak is guilty of making himself alike with Allaah’s absolute divine attribute of Omniscience. Although it is true that Allaah could, if it suited His divine purpose, reveal this type of hidden knowledge to his chosen emissaries; but, given that Nanak was not a Muslim (as this paper will show), ergo, he was not an emissary of God and could not have been privy to said knowledge.
As for prayer in and of itself, Shaykh Bin Baaz said that it “is the most important act of worship after pronouncing Shahadah”:
Therefore, the intransigent ones that still insist Nanak was a Muslim, will have to reconcile between Nanak having purposefully missed the prayer and his excuse, which does not qualify as a legislative (shari’) reason except that it amounts to shirk, for having done so.
This incident also has Nanak claiming to be a recipient of divine revelation:
And this, as already covered, amounts to a clear statement of disbelief and the rejection of the second part of the shahaadatayn since Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) was the final recipient of revelation.
Macauliffe  also cites an account of Nanak’s supposed journey to Mecca and the Ka’bah (with some versions including an addition in which the Ka’bah is said to have relocated  its position in a direction contrary to Nanak’s outstretched legs: 
At Mecca, says the Janam Sakhi, he lay down being fatigued in a mosque with his feet towards the Kaaba. When the Mullah saw this act of sacrilege, he was infuriated and kicked him, saying, “Knowest thou not this is the House of God, and thou sleepest, thy feet towards the holy Kaaba”. Unperturbed, the Guru quietly answered, “Turn my feet in whichever direction God’s House is not.” 
Not only is this again another proof for Nanak to openly practice Islam (prepared as he was dressed as a hajji) being in the holiest of holies, but the story  again says nothing of Nanak following Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) by praying towards and circumambulating around the Ka’bah, or kissing its Black Stone (hajr al-aswad).
Another point to be made, which could raise some doubt over the authenticity of the above account, is the statement of the fifth Guru, Arjun Dev, who said:
I do not make pilgrimages to Mecca, nor do I worship at Hindu sacred shrines …
poojaa kara-o na nivaaj gujaara-o …
I do not perform Hindu worship services, nor do I offer the Muslim prayers …
naa ham hindoo na musalmaan …
I am not a Hindu, nor am I a Muslim.
If he does not act upon the requirements of laa ilaaha illallaah, but satisfies himself with merely pronouncing it, or he acts in opposition to it, then the ruling of apostasy will be applied to him, and he will be treated as an apostate.
Since Sikhs maintain that the same Jott (divine light) subsisted in all 10 Gurus, it would only be consistent to say that since one Guru did not consider himself a Muslim nor did he deem it appropriate to visit Mecca for pilgrimage, the same would have to be true for all the others; unless it be tenuously argued that this prohibitory edict evolved later on during the development of Guruship. Otherwise, not only does this conspicuous stance raise the question of how Nanak’s journey as a Hajji (pilgrim) to Mecca could be reconciled with his successor’s apparent prohibition, but also reinforces the point being argued that Nanak did not consider himself nor could he have been a Muslim.
What is worse, however, is the repeated suggestion that Nanak knew the specific details of their hidden thoughts, which, as mentioned above, constitutes Shirk billah (associating partners with Allaah).
In addition, we are told that Nanak also rejected the theological acceptance of the seven samawaat (heavens/ skies) – information that is an integral part to having correct belief in what Allaah has informed Muslims of vis-á-vis the unseen world (al-ghayb):
While in Baghdad contradicting the Muslim priests views that there were only seven upper and as many lower regions Guru Nanak shouted out his own prayer saying.
As far as we are aware, there is no other historical evidence of Nanak’s observance of prayer or his open declaration of faith, let alone him having practiced any of the many other outward manifestations of faith that would be a necessary corollary of his obedience to Allaah and His Messenger.
There are, however, other historical accounts attributed to Nanak wherein the founder of Sikhism openly declares himself not to be a Muslim. For instance, Jagjit Singh states:
More emphatically, in reply to a question posed by the people inquiring into which of the two religious paths – Hinduism or Islam – Nanak followed, he answered:
Guru Nanak’s reply clearly indicates his complete break with his Hindu past. Guru Nanak clarified unambiguously that he was rejecting both the Hindu and the Muslim paths, and instead, was following God’s right path, because God was neither Hindu nor Mussalman. In other words, the Guru rejects the Hindu and the Muslim paths, not because of the shortcomings of their followers, but mainly because God is non-sectarian. … A Hindu Khatri complained to the Delhi Sultan that “he does not recognise the authority of either Vedas or Kateb.” ,  (bold ours)
While Sher Singh damningly recounts how, while refusing to have faith in Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah), Nanak instead encouraged faith “only” in God – a statement that categorically negates the second part of the duel declaration of Islamic faith:
The question still remains to be answered as to how Guru Nanak’s alleged Muslim identity will convincingly be proven? More fundamentally, however, is how a person endeavouring to do so will be able to explain away many of Nanak’s more tendentious antithetical teachings and statements the worst of which include the contradictory concept of God that is Nirgun-Sargun; reincarnation; and claims of having received divine revelation from God.
His acceptance of the bipolar nature’s of God as Nirgun and Sargun are found, for example, in the following verses of the SGGS:
The Lord is without attributes (nirgun); the attributes of virtue are under His control. (SGGS 222)
From His state of absolute existence, He assumed the immaculate form; from formless, He assumed the supreme form (nirgun te sargun). (SGGS 940)
As regards reincarnation, then the following are only a small selection of verses that clearly establish Nanak’s affirmation of said notion:
O Nanak, by the Hukam of God’s Command, we come and go in reincarnation. (SGGS 4)
You shall not be consigned again to the wheel of reincarnation. (SGGS 13)
Their comings and goings in reincarnation do not end; through death and rebirth, they are wasting away. (SGGS 19)
All the world continues coming and going in reincarnation. (SGGS 26)
No one merges with Him through the love of duality; over and over again, they come and go in reincarnation. (SGGS 27)
Further evidence is found in Nanak’s belief of karma and its association with past lives:
Born because of the karma of their past mistakes, they make more mistakes, and fall into mistakes. (SGGS 149)
Since a person cannot commit mistakes before being born, this proves that a past life, or as the following verse puts it: “janam janam ke paap”, must have existed for the accruement of bad karma.
When all is said and done, however, what all this boils down to is whether there exists any credible and convincing evidence of Guru Nanak having articulated the Shahaadatayn? Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:
Since there does not exist any evidence of Nanak having ever declared the Shahaadatayn, and while there exists copious evidence of him having held and taught concepts of kufr (disbelief), Guru Nanak could not have been anything other than a disbeliever (kaafir).
Finally, Prof Haq stated in his aforementioned article:
This claim brings us to the next section of our research. In order to cover all angles in our assessment over why some Muslims have mistakenly entertained the idea that Guru Nanak was a Muslim, we have to examine those individuals who ascribe themselves to Islam and are revered by all Sikhs, viz. Kabir, Farid, and Mardana.
SIKHISM’S MUSLIM CONNECTIONS
“O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitaanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those other than you (outside your religion or upon other than the right way) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely.” (Qur’an 3:118)
Darshan Singh Maini observes:
It is unsurprising that Sikhs find a commonality and connection with the Sufis of Hindustan. We would add that like Sikhism, Sufism also carved out its own identity with its own sui generis (literally: of its own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics). This identity, however, came about through the rejection and violation of the Prophet’s Sunnah, which in Arabic is called bid’ah. This sinful act – considered second in severity after the worst sin of all: ash-Shirk – was most succinctly and comprehensively defined by Imam ash-Shaatibee as follows:
The principle for worship in Islam is that it is: mana’ (forbiddance) unless there is an authentic proof from the sharee’ah to say otherwise. This means that God cannot be worshipped except in the way He has legislated; thus, Muslims cannot invent ways of worship not legislated by Allaah and His Messenger or practiced by his companions. For this reason, the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) said:
In specific regards to the Sufis, Shaykh Ihsaan Ilaahee Dhaheer said in his book Sufism: Its Source and Origin:
While Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan al-Wakeel said in the introduction of the book The Downfall of Sufism:
It is, thus, unsurprising that Sikhs have inclined towards some of these Sufis whose innovated beliefs ultimately originate from non-Islamic sources.
MARDANA – THE BARD OF NANAK
The person is upon the religion of his friend,
so let each one of you look to see whom he befriends. 
– Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
In Islam, immense importance is given to the company one keeps. It is the crowd one interacts with that determines one’s socio-religious stance and standing.
In relation to one’s religion, and according to the above cited prophetic tradition, the Pious Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Saalih), as well as the scholars of Islam, take the principle that a person is upon the religion of the one s/he befriends and accompanies.
The great scholar from the second generation of Muslims (at-Tabi’een) Muhammad ibn Sireen (d.110 A.H.) said:
The great scholar from the companions ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood said:
While the companion Abu ad-Dardaa said:
When we examine the life of Mardana, we find that he spent a large portion of his latter days accompanying Guru Nanak:
We can appreciate why Trilochan Singh, after having initially called him a Muslim, describes him as a Sikh disciple! Holding to the aforementioned principle of companionship and acknowledging the fact that we are in no position of excommunicating from Islam, it would be difficult to see how Mardana was not a Sikh. The sad fact is that Mardana shamefully accompanied Nanak in propagating the disbelief of his doctrine; what type of Muslim who fears Allaah’s Anger and punishment would accompany such a person and partake in such an activity?
Mardana’s choice, however, was not based on his ignorance of Islam; rather it seems that after having been presented with the opportunity of following Nanak on his udhasis, he accepted it with full knowledge of the consequences:
Even on his death bed, Mardana issued potential statements of disbelief, such as, calling Nanak “Master” and yearning to be his “true disciple”:
Though the illness continued to weaken him day by day, Mardana seemed to be at peace with himself and his approaching death. Early one morning, he opened his eyes and saw the Guru still sitting by his side, exactly where he had been when Mardana had fallen sleep.
“Master,” he said, without fear, “my time has come.”
“So be it, my dearest friend,” Nanak said, “I will build a shrine to your memory so that the world shall forever remember Nanak’s companion, Mardana.”
“No, Master,” Mardana said, with a small smile. “My spirit is attempting to find release from this cage of flesh and bones. Do not seek to hold it in a prison made of stone.” He paused for breath. “In years to come, whenever people talk of you, as they will, my name will be mentioned too. I only wish to be remembered as a true disciple of Nanak.”
Nanak caught his friend’s hand in both his and squeezed it gently. In Mardana, he had found the respect and devotion of a disciple, the love of a friend, the support and affection of a brother, and the joy of a companion. They had been together for so long and been through so much that their souls were bound together in a way that the world had rarely seen, a bond that even death could not break.
“Go, Master, it is time for the morning prayer.” His eyes fixed on his Master’s face, Mardana left this world. Nanak gently closed Mardana’s eyes and drew the sheet over his face. Someone in the room began to sob and Nanak saw that it was Shehzada. He drew him into an embrace and consoled him. Then he went quickly to bathe so that he could be in time for the morning prayers.  (bold ours)
So blind was Mardana’s devotion to his “master” that not even the emotional appeals of his wife and daughter, who in Islam had infrangible rights over his company and support as a husband and father, could dissuade him from setting out on his long journeys:
The scholar Mu’aadh bin Mu’aadh said to Yahyaa bin Sa’eed:
And Mardana’s son, Shahzada, would certainly not have been oblivious to his father’s religious standpoint:
What was the consequence of this exposure? Following his father’s death, it turned out for him to be, at least in this instance, the lamentable case of ‘like father, like son’:
Little wonder he smiled, having ensnared an entire family towards the practice of kufr (disbelief)!
So in conclusion, what do we recognise Mardana to be: a Muslim or a Sikh?
After all, this is a man who, in terms of al-walaa wal-baraa, showed clear muwalaat (loyalty) and mudhaaharah (aid and assistance) towards a disbeliever. And we know what the verdict is for the one who shows complete, unrestricted, general tawallee (loyalty with underlying love and pleasure): kufr (disbelief) that expels from the religion of Islam.
Ibn Battah narrated from Yahya Ibn Sa’eed Al Qattaan who said:
Ibn Battah then commented:
If the logic of Sufyaan’s position was extended to Mardana’s case, the conclusion one would draw is that since Mardana accompanied the Sikhs, he was a Sikh.
Ibraheem bin Maysarah (d.132 A.H.) said:
What would, therefore, be the state of the one who honours a disbeliever?
Whenever you accompany the people,
accompany the best of them.
And do not accompany the lowly,
so that you are destroyed with those who are destroyed.
– An-Naadhim, Qurratul-Uyoon
Farid ud-Deen Masud Ganj-i-Shakar (1175-1265 C.E.)  is a well known mystic from Pakpattan, South Asia. Sikhs hold him in the highest regard, just as they do their 10 Gurus, because he is one of 15 Bhagats (devotees) whose teachings were chosen and incorporated into their holy scripture: Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Baba Farid, as he is commonly known as, had 112 of his couplets (saloks) and four hymns included.
However, when one critically examines this Sufi’s life and the Chishti Order (silsilah) he belonged to, the reason soon becomes clear as to why it was that Guru Nanak developed an affinity towards him and his teachings. More importantly, looking to his past will also help determine this Sufi’s status as a Muslim; that is to say, whether he was from the people of tawheed and sunnah or from the people of bid’ah and misguidance.
As we have already mentioned, part of the correct understanding of the three categories of tawheed is the affirmation of a literal distinction between the Creator and the Created, the atemporal and the temporal, i.e. a rejection of Omnipresence, Pantheism, Monism and Anthropomorphism.
When we look to the leading proponents of the Chishti Sufi Silsilah, such as its founder Khwaja Syed Muhammad Moinuddin Chishti,  Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,  Nizamuddin Auliya,  Baba Farid, et al., we find that they did not affirm that Allaah, in terms to His Essence (bi thaatihi), is separate and distinct from His creation (baa’inun min khalqihi), nor that He is literally above all His creation in a way that befits His divine majesty. On the contrary, their Order affirmed the antithetical doctrine made famous by the infamously prominent Sufi Muhiyyud-Deen Ibn ‘Arabi called Wahdatul-Wujood  (Unity of Existence).
Gort et al. state:
Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, wrote:
Khwaja Hsan Moinuddin Chishti was the first missionary to reach the subcontinent, where he established the Chishtiyya Sufi tradition … ‘the most important religious influence on Indian Islam was the teaching of Ibn al-Arabi and the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud, the unity of being’ (Lapidus 1988: 449), which was spread by both the Chistis and Shattaris.  (bold ours)
Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions observes:
While B. S. Anand states:
Before we move on, it is necessary to assess the position of Baba Farid vis-á-vis the great Islamic scholars’ stance towards those who held a doctrine antithetical to the orthodox position that Allaah is separate and distinct from His creation.
Imam Abu Hanifah (d.150 A.H.) was uncompromising in this respect and considered it disbelief (kufr):
This too was Abdullah Ibn Mubarak’s (d.181 A.H.) position:
Even Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilaani (d. 561 A.H.), whom a vast number of Sufis falsely claim to follow and regard as their own, refuted this idea saying:
Ghunyat ut-Taalibeen of Shaykh Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (1/241-242)  (bold, underline ours)
While the Shaykh of Imam al-Bukhari, the compiler of the magnum opus Al-Jami’ as-Saheeh, Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Firyaabee (d.212 A.H.), declared:
Source: “Khalq Af’aal il-Ibaad” of Imaam al-Bukhaaree (p.15) 
The Shafi’ee scholar, Imam Ibn Khuzaimah (d.311 A.H.), said:
In taking all of the above into consideration, it would not be too difficult to predict what these illustrious scholars would have made of Baba Farid’s apparent affirmation of Wahdatul-Wujood:
And the creation in the Creator.
Whom shall we blame when He is everywhere. (23-24) 
This cannot in any way be construed or interpreted as affirming the ‘aqeedah of the Pious Predecessors. To say that Allaah is in the creation and the creation in Allaah is to categorically negate Allaah’s ‘uloo (absolute elevation) and His distinction and separation from what He has created. And this interpretation is likewise clear to Harbans Singh:
Shaykh Bin Baaz said in answer to a question that sought an Islamic ruling over a Muslim father who told his son that “Allaah is present everywhere”:
And with that it is known that the statement of the people of innovations, that Allaah is present everywhere, is from the most false of falsehood, and it is the way of the Hulooliyyah (those who believe Allaah dwells within his creatures), who are innovators and astray. Rather, it is disbelief and misguidance, and it is denial of Allaah, glory be unto Him, and denying His Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him), in what is authentic from him regarding his Lord being above the heavens.  (bold, underline ours)
The level of Baba Farid’s deviation from the truth, however, does not stop there. In further investigating the historical accounts of his life, one is taken a back by the filth of shirk and bid’ah he and his Chishti colleagues were steeped in.
An example of one heretical form of worship he was famed for was his extreme acts of penance. One such penance, which he had seemingly made his own, was called the “inverted prayer”:
This last, a rare test from which only the greatest among the Chishti Sufis could obviously come out successfully, is stated to have drawn on him Divine benediction in the form of a celestial Voice. This early excruciating penance also drew from his Master Khawaja Qutbuddin and the great Khwaja Muinuddin great ecstatic praise and blessing. …
Owing to his great learning and piety he was known as Sheikh-i-Kabir (The Supreme Divine). 
It is the general opinion of the Indian Shaikhs that no saint has excelled Baba Farid in his devotions and penitences… According to Shaikh Nizam-u’d-din Auliya, it was a pathetic and thrilling scene to see Baba Farid in his prayer. When alone in his room he would lay his head on the ground for hours and recite, (I die for Thee and I live for Thee).  (bold, underline, italicisation ours)
Based on the “determination… [and] tenacity he exhibited in his ascetic practices” B. S. Anand is “inclined to believe that he did perform this chillah“. Anand, in fact, cites Slokas 90 and 91 from the Adi Granth itself as “indirect evidence” for this:
Ravens peck at the hollows of my hands and feet,
Up to the present,
God hath not come to mine aid, Behold His servant’s misfortune
O, ravens, you have searched my skeleton and eaten all my flesh,
But touch not these two eyes, as I hope to behold my beloved
Farid is hung up-side-down in the well, the birds have made nests in his body and yet his search for God is not complete. In the next sloka, he entreats the birds to spare his eyes, even though his body has become a skeleton, so that he may have the power to behold his Beloved. Such was the extreme penance which Farid underwent to seek his Master ….
Whoever does not acknowledge that Allah is above His ‘Arsh [Throne], above His seven heavens, and that He is separated from His creatures, is a Kafir (unbeliever).
To Anand, it matters not whether this was a legitimate act in Islam (why would it?), what is significant, however, is his interpretation that such “extreme” worship is given credence in his holy scripture. For him, it is enough for asceticism to hold “negative virtue” if it is not “counter-balanced by the attachment to the Lord”. It is sufficient to validate Farid’s asceticism because it is “coupled with a positive vibrant affirmation of the Lord ‘I live and die for thee’ … which were always on his lips” 
Is there any proof from the Qur’an or Sunnah or the example set by the Pious Predecessors, or scholars who followed them in perfection, of hanging from a tree or well for days on end? Those thoroughly familiar with the biography of Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) and his companions will know that this type of extreme worship was neither advocated nor encouraged. What is certain is that if this worship was not approved by Allaah, then the alleged celestial voice would have to have originated from none other than the devils! This is consistent with what Allaah says in the Qur’an concerning the liars and sinners:
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) discouraged extremism in all its forms. He said, repeating thrice: “Doomed are those who go to extremes.” 
The reason for this discouragement – especially of going to extremes in worship – was because it would lead to unnecessary hardship that would invariably cause fatigue, which could then potentially culminate in burn-out. Imam an-Nawawi commented on the meaning of the above tradition saying it meant:
The Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) came to facilitate ease and guide humankind towards a balanced way of life. He said:
Shaykh Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani explicated the meaning of a tradition, related by Anas ibn Maalik and narrated in the Saheehayn (Bukhari and Muslim), wherein three people – who were “new to Islaam” – erroneously concluded after being informed of the following worshipping habits of their Prophet: standing in prayer at night, fasting during the day and marrying women, that his level of worship was “little”. The reason being, as al-Albaani elaborates, was “because of what had settled in their minds that the Prophet must pray the whole night and that he must fast all the time and that he was a monk and did not go near his wives. So they were shocked to find something that was not in compliance with their notions”. And the reason for this false assumption was that “Allaah had forgiven all of the Prophet’s past and future sins”. This distorted notion caused them to “assume that they were obligated to exceed in worship and that they must surpass what they heard about the Prophet’s worship” resulting in the following pledges being made: The first person said “I will pray all night and won’t sleep.” The second: “As for me, I will fast all the time and never go a day without fasting.” And the third: “I will not marry women.” This was a form of extremism on their part where they thought they knew better, which arose because of their failure in strictly following the example of their Prophet.
When the Prophet learned of this, he corrected them during a sermon (khutbah) by teaching them the path of true moderation:
In another tradition narrated in the Saheehayn, the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) said:
The Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) also discouraged accepting handouts. Instead he inculcated in his followers the noble habit of alms-giving:
According to another report: It was said, “Who are those who are under our care, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Your wife is one of those who are under your care.” 
The Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) taught the Muslims that they all have responsibilities, which included those who were responsible over the affairs and well being of others:
Contrast these instructions with the following incidents. Baba Farid’s extremism is said to have extended to such an extent that it even affected the health and well being of his loved ones:
How helpless could this man have been to display such cold, callous and irresponsible behaviour? And yet we are told that “Baba Farid led a life of piety and penitence”! 
According to Gurbachan Singh Talib, Sheikh Farid “slept with only a small worn-out blanket which could hardly cover his body”; an indication of his “utmost discipline and self-denial in the matter of food and clothing”. 
Moreover, Anand is uncertain as to why, despite “so many followers and the great popularity that he enjoyed, all income or gifts to the Khanqah“, “the last years of Farid’s life were spent in extreme poverty” to the extent that “towards the end, it appears, there was almost nothing in the house to sustain Baba Farid and his family”. And yet “this did not deter him from rigorously following his routine of prayers, fasts and penitence”!  The answer is obvious: extremism.
As for Baba Farid’s warped and perverted interpretation of the concept of ‘Submission to God’s Will’, then this could have most plausibly been the inevitable result of a person who chose to follow a Sufi path that had veered so far from the Sabeel (path) of Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah). Allaah says:
This contorted Sufi notion of submission to God’s Will has even been mentioned by Daljeet Singh during his appraisal of Sufism. He observes:
As scholars, such as Ibn al-Qayyim,  have pointed out, this conception of leaving everything to God’s Will has the potential of not only being wrongly applied to justify forbidden and sinful deeds, but also interpreted to mean the absence of accountability for neglecting Allaah’s commands and recommendations.
This entire view was perfectly summed up in the following Sufi poem:
It is all the same if we move or stay still.
It is crazy of you to seek provision,
When the foetus hidden in his mother’s womb gets his provision. 
This could quite plausibly have been the reason behind Farid’s extreme detachment from the world, which led to him shirking his rights and responsibilities: the belief in the absence of accountability. But, this is certainly not what Islam taught:
Sa’d ibn Maalik reported that the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) said to him:
And Ka’b ibn ‘Ijrah said:
An evaluation of a Sufi would not be complete without mentioning their alleged miracles (karamaat). These could include the appearance of “miraculous gifts (karamat) during the period of ritual prayer” or “the ability of the shaykh to foresee events and to predict the actions of others”. One of the murid’s (students) of Baba Farid was Nizam ad-Deen (whom we shall examine later, insha’Allaah) who narrated one of the most famous incidents involving his murshid (spiritual guide/ teacher) in this context:
Although the historical validity of these types of folkloric tales is near impossible to ascertain, it is sufficient for us to scrutinise it at face value. Suffice it to say, that this is impossible for any human to achieve without some external mode of help, such as, acquiring information from the help of a Jinn, which would constitute shirk with Allaah.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ in Saudi Arabia said concerning those who seek help from a Jinn:
To say, however, that such knowledge was an exclusive attribute of Baba Farid allowing him to access portents of the unseen (ghayb), which could only be known by Allaah alone, is to claim equality with Allaah’s absolute divine attribute of Omniscience and would again amount to shirk.
Baba Farid and the early adherents of the Chishti Order also enjoyed what is known as sama’:
Sufis identify sama poetry of two types-one which focuses on spiritual links addressing figures of Sufi hierarchy in praise and devotion, God in Hamd, Prophet in Naat, and saints in Manqabat. The second type focuses on spiritual emotion, or mystical love, ecstatic states and on separation and union. Some of this poetry is composed by the saints themselves, some addresses the saint, while some is associated with certain aspects of a saint’s life and works, or with the ritual devotion to the saint and his shrine.
Music of sama is set within a metric framework, accompanied by the dholak, tabla, sarangi, harmonium and sitar. It is sung by a group of qawwals who are led by one or two solo singers. The music can be classical or folk.
In the performance of sama, music and poetry fuse together, and have a special effect on the listener. They reach a spiritual state which expresses itself in gestures-weeping, vocalising and ultimately a dance of ecstasy. An offering is made to the qawwal with the permission of the Shaikh or presiding elders.
Wherever sama is practised by the Chishtiyas of South Asia, what is crucial is the immediate power of the spiritual-emotional impact of the sama songs, the power of music serving the power of saints in Darbar-e-Auliya. 
We are further informed:
The mystic saints were conscious of nothing except the Divine love. Sama delighted the ear. It reminded them of God. It was the spiritual interpretation of a line of poetry that made them ecstatic. The listeners of Sama were more in perfect state than the musicians or he recitors of poetry. The musician might sing with or without feelings, whereas the listeners felt truly, because the spiritual reality appeared before their vision.  (bold, underline ours)
There is, as you might have guessed, nothing in the annals of early Islamic history that comes even close to resembling these musical extravaganzas. Prophet Muhammad’s (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) worship, over the stage of his revelatory life of 23 years, has been recorded in meticulous detail and at no time did he enact or instruct his companions to acquire such an alleged spiritual state through this innovated (bid’ah) practice. In contrast, he forbade the use of musical instruments for men while only allowing women to use a duff (drum-like instrument) on three specific occasions: the two days of Eid, a wedding where segregation is strictly observed, and on the arrival of a traveller. 
Baba Farid it seems, however, gave little concern to adhering to the example of his Prophet.
From his most famous murid’s (Nizam ad-Din Awliya) recorded conversations, we are told of how addicted the teacher was to these sama’ sessions:
As for the company he kept, we find the same failings of shirk and bid’ah. Take his most celebrated student Nizam ad-Din Awliya. Sama’ was so important to this man that he went so far as to categorise rules for it without even taking into consideration the basic rule of worship: forbiddance unless there is divine legislative evidence to the contrary:
At “the core of the large song repertoire of sama… [was] the textual and musical composition” of Nizam ad-Din’s disciple “and Sufi poet par excellence” Amir Khusrau:
So central was the ritual of sama’ to these Chishtis that it even led unbelievably to the death of Baba Farid’s own Murshid Khwaja Syed Muhammad Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. Despite being justifiably “opposed by the Ulama on this account”, “the Khwaja regarded sama (audition) as a means of inducing a mystical state of ecstasy”.  This led to the following incident:
The martyrs of the dagger of taslim (surrender) Each moment get a new life from the Unseen World.
Taken to his house, the Khwaja ordered the verse to be repeated each time he regained consciousness, which always occurred at the time of obligatory prayers. He then lapsed back into an ecstatic state. On the fifth night, 14th Rabi’ 1, 633/27th November, 1235, he died and was buried in Mahrauli about eleven miles from Delhi, at a place he himself had chosen. 
The Khwaja likewise had his opportunities to display his alleged “supernatural powers”:
Another story regarding the Khwaja’s supernatural powers is as follows. A poet named Nasiri from Transoxiana, bagged the Khwaja to [sic] today for the success of his poetry at the Sultan’s court. The Khwaja prophesied his good fortune in this regard. At court a recitation of the first verse failed to capture the Sultan’s attention, but the poet mentally invoked the power of the Khwaja. At that point, the Sultan began to listen with rapt attention and afterwards rewarded him with thirty-five thousand tankas. In gratitude, the poet requested the Khwaja to take half for the poor, but the Khwaja refused to accept payment.  (bold ours)
It is interesting to note that in spite of the fact that the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) severely rebuked and warned against the appearance of the innovators after his death, we are told that he (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) appeared to a man guilty of committing clear acts of shirk and innovation!
In regards to the subject of karamaat (miracles of God’s chosen people), then this is a phenomena that is affirmed by Ahlus Sunnah (the people of the Prophetic example) without doubt. But, there are stipulations and a criterion through which this is to be interpreted and understood. Imam Ibn Abil ‘Izz al-Hanafi, in his explanation of the masterful creed of Imam at-Tahaawi, elaborates on this subject by stating that a miracle is what produces a “commendable, objectionable, or permissible” outcome:
Finally we have a contemporary of Baba Farid, “The Great Chishti Shaykh ‘Abd al-Quddus of Gangoh (d.991/1583), famous for his ecstasies and his faith in wahdat al-wujud … his son Shaykh Rukn al-Din … was also highly ecstatic and a firm believer in wahdat al-wujud ….” 
We could carry on, but the examples given above are more than sufficient for us to draw the following conclusion: it is beyond reasonable doubt to infer from Baba Farid’s religious life and his commitment to the heretical Sufi Chishti silsilah that this man was most assuredly not from Ahlus Sunnah.
How true are the words of Ibn Abil-‘Izz al-Hanafi concerning people like Baba Farid and others of a similar disposition:
The final personality to be mentioned is one who was part of a movement from which, according to B. S. Anand, Farid “borrowed many features” including: “extreme asceticism … sang and danced in the ecstasy of the Beloved One”:  Kabir of the Bhakti movement.
Kabir (c.1398-Unknown C.E.), or Bhagat Kabir as he is also known in Sikhism, is said to have been liberated according to the soteriology of Sikhism:
Naam Dayv the printer, and Kabeer the weaver, obtained salvation through the Perfect Guru. Those who know God and recognize His Shabad lose their ego and class consciousness. Their Banis are sung by the angelic beings, and no one can erase them, O Siblings of Destiny! (SGGS 76) 
It is said that Kabir was “found in a lotus pond near Benaras by Neeru and his wife Neema who adopted him and named him Kabir (the Most High) ….  Though a Hindu by tradition, he was a Muslim by upbringing”. 
In general, however, Kabir’s life is not as well documented as the previous two Bhagats with a lot of what has filtered down to us through history immersed in legend and folklore:
In respect to the uncertainty surrounding the historical accuracy of stories attributed to Kabir, the best thing we can do, as we have done thus far, is to evaluate them at face value. Hence, according to one story:
When we take the above story on its own merit and test it against the principle of association (al-walaa wal-baraa), i.e. the person is on the religion of the people he interacts with and takes his knowledge from, we must conclude for the sake of consistency that just as we readily placed Mardana alongside his life long teacher Guru Nanak, we must likewise do the same with Kabir for having befriended Ramananda,  accepted him as his spiritual guide and supported him in propagating his non-Islamic ideas against Islam and the Muslims.
And Underhill reaches the same conclusion: “From the point of view of orthodox sanctity, whether Hindu or Mohammedan, Kabir was plainly a heretic ….” 
Kabir shared with his fellow devotees of the Bhakti movement, along with so many other Sufis, a belief in “the ‘simple union’ with Divine Reality which he perpetually extolled”, as can be witnessed from the following examples: 
He Himself is the tree, the seed, and the germ.
He Himself is the flower, the fruit, and the shade.
He Himself is the sun, the light, and the lighted.
He Himself is Brahma, creature, and Maya.
He Himself is the manifold form, the infinite space; He is the breath, the word, and the meaning.
He Himself is the limit and the limitless: and beyond both the limited and the limitless is He, the Pure Being.
He is the Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature. …
Kabir is blest because he has this supreme vision!
Within this earthen vessel are bowers and groves, and within it is the Creator: …
Kabir says: “Listen to me, my friend! My beloved Lord is within.”
Your Lord dwells within you: why need your outward eyes opened?
The infinite dwelling of the Infinite Being is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air.
Hari is in the East: Allah is in the West.
Look within your heart, for there you will find both Karim and Ram. …
Kabir is the child of Allah and of Ram: He is my Guru, He is my Pir.
Says Kabeer, O my Lord, You are contained in all. 
According to Muzaffar Alam, the doctrine of ‘simple union’ asserted by the Bhakti movement paralleled the doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujood:
Wakabayashi and Rita echoed Alam’s astute observations:
Similarly, D. Singh admits:
He calls Him both with and without Attributes, Persona and Impersonal, Finite and Infinte [sic], Conscious and Unconscious, and Transcendent and Immanent. He is above all opposites and Ineffable. He also talks in pantheistic terms when he says, “And the Lord Himself takes form.” Sometimes his descriptions appear monistic. 
Despite this muddled, contradictory and conspicuously un-Islamic outlook, D. Singh still outlandishly maintains that “Kabir was a monotheist”!
Kabir is also guilty of making some blasphemous claims against the Qur’an and its origin:
Lifting up the curtain, I have seen.
Kabir gives utterance to the words of experience; and he knows very well that all other things are untrue.
(Poems XLII) 
If Kabir did utter this deplorable statement, then by consensus of Muslim scholars he was a disbeliever since all Muslim scholars have affirmed throughout the ages that the Qur’an is the speech of Allaah and not “mere words”. Imam at-Tahaawi said:
Since Allaah threatened with Hell the one who said: “This is nothing but the word of a human being,” [Qur’an 74:26], we know and are certain that it is the word of the Creator of humankind, and it does not resemble the speech of human beings. 
Ibn Abil ‘Izz al-Hanafi commented on this maxim stating:
Allah has condemned as an infidel one who says that the Qur’an is the word of a man. Since Muhammad was a man, therefore, whoever says that the Qur’an is the word of Muhammad in the sense that he composed it is certainly an infidel. …
In short, the Ah as-Sunnah, the four schools of fiqh and others of the Elders and later scholars all agree that the Qur’an is the uncreated speech of Allah. …
The words of the author, “It is completely unlike the word of any mortal,” mean that it is incomparably more eloquent, true and dignified.  (bold, underline ours)
In this respect, Ibn Abil ‘Izz also quotes Imam Abu Haneefah:
“The Qur’an is the word of Allah, whether written in the book, remembered in the hearts, recited by the tongues or revealed to the Prophet. Our recitation of the Qur’an is created and our writing of the Qur’an is created and our reciting of it is created. But the Qur’an itself is not created. What Allah has mentioned in the Qur’an quoting from Moses and others and from the earlier prophets and from Pharaoh and Iblis, all of that is the speech of Allah, in which He is informing about them. It is the uncreated speech of Allah. The speech of Moses and other created beings is itself created. But the Qur’an is the word of Allah and not their speech. Moses heard Allah’s words when He spoke to him. He spoke to him with the speech which is His attribute from eternity. And all of His attributes are different from the attributes of the creatures. He knows, but not as we know. He has power, but not as we have power. He sees, but not as we see. He speaks, but not as we speak.” ,  (bold ours)
Such was the strictness of the scholars in respect to this doctrinal point that they even condemned those found to be elusive or equivocal. The shaykh of Imam al-Bukhaaree and Imam Muslim, for example, went as far as to censure the one who said the Qur’an was a “quotation”:
Similarly, Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir al-Jilaani said:
Thus, what would these scholars say concerning the one who declared the Qur’an to be “mere words”?
What might have also been gleaned from the previously quoted lines of poetry is that Kabir was disposed to addressing the “Infinite” (God) by the blasphemous Hindu names Brahma and Ram:
It is from the principles of ‘aqeedah in understanding the Tawheed of Allaah’s Divine Names and Attributes that we are restricted to calling Allaah only by those names that He and His Messenger have informed us of. In this respect, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen mentions the principle: “The Names of Allah are Tawqeefiyyah; there is no place for intellectual free-thinking regarding them”, and elaborates:
As a side note, the meaning of the name Brahma, according to the Oxford Sanskrit-English Dictionary, and other Sanskrit-English Dictionaries, includes: The Supreme Spirit, which is certainly not a divinely revealed name of Allaah. 
In contradistinction to the Qur’an, wherein Allaah declares that He has not created all things in jest/ play, Kabir writes:
His play the earth and the sky!
In play is the Creation spread out, in play it is established. The whole world, says Kabir, rests in His play, yet the Player remains unknown.
Similarly, he betrays his ignorance over the divine declarative word “kun” (Arabic for “Be/ Become!”),  which is spoken by Allaah during His creating and manufacturing process, by claiming:
After the accumulation of all this damning evidence, the question that requires answering by those who incessantly hold to the position that Kabir was a Muslim (Mohammedan) is why he was so transparent and deliberate in expressing such conspicuously heretical Hindu beliefs?
E. Underhill’s recognised that Kabir was a heretic to the “orthodox” Muslims, while distinguished Sanskrit scholar Prof. Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860) concluded that he was not a Muhammadan. Similarly, Rev. Ahmad Shah perceives:
Westcott on the other hand disagreed, being “inclined” instead to agree with those theories which suggested that Kabir was both a “Muhammadan by birth” and “associated with the Sufi order” (though he fails to furnish a name of this order). He, however, forwards the following proviso to his position:
Later he further adds:
In light of the evidences cited above, which strongly support the charge of heresy, one can fully understand the anger the Muslim “orthodox” must have felt towards this “one who despised [their] tradition” and utilised, in place of their adhered theology, Hindu philosophy and phraseology.
Kabir’s singular pursuit in seeking “to break down the barriers that separated Hindus from Muhammadans” resulted in him denouncing “the whole apparatus of piety, Hindu and Moslem alike-the temple and mosque, idol and holy water, scriptures and priests … as mere substitutes for reality”.  This denunciation, however, is wholly justified when one takes into consideration the following quotes from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (henceforth indicated by the letter G) and the Bijak (henceforth indicated by the letter B) that demonstrate Kabir’s ridicule of the Imams, Muslims and certain rituals of Islam:
If God wished me to be a Muslim, it would be cut off by itself.
If circumcision makes one a Muslim, then what about a woman?
She is the other half of a man’s body, and she does not leave him, so he remains a Hindu. (G) 
If your Khuda wished circumcision, he would have sent you circumcised into the world. (B) 
Kabeer has grasped hold of the Lord’s Support, and the Muslims have utterly failed. (G)[In context with circumcision and the Muslims,] Give up your holy books, and remember the Lord, you fool, and stop oppressing others so badly. (G)  [Kabir’s allusion to belief in reincarnation] The mobile and immobile creatures, insects and moths – in numerous lifetimes, I have passed through those many forms.
I lived in many such homes, O Lord, before I came into the womb this time.
I was a Yogi, a celibate, a penitent, and a Brahmchaaree, with strict self-discipline.
Sometimes I was a king, sitting on the throne, and sometimes I was a beggar. 
Says Kabeer, one who meets the True Guru, is not reincarnated again. (G) 
My pilgrimage to Mecca is on the banks of the Gomati River (G) 
Where have the Hindus and Muslims come from? Who put them on their different paths? …
O Qazi, which book have you read? (G) 
O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not behold Him by thought or contemplation.
You do not care for others, you are a religious fanatic, and your life is of no account at all.
Your holy scriptures say that Allah is True, and that he is neither male nor female.
But you gain nothing by reading and studying, O mad-man, if you do not gain the understanding in your heart.
Allah is hidden in every heart; reflect upon this in your mind.
The One Lord is within both Hindu and Muslim; Kabeer proclaims this out loud. (G) 
Worshipping their idols, the Hindus die; the Muslims die bowing their heads.
The Hindus cremate their dead, while the Muslims bury theirs; neither finds Your true state, Lord. (G) 
Whence have the Hindus and Muhammadans come?
Who has started these religious systems?
Think well in your hearts who has obtained heaven. …
Kabir is on the road to God and is marching on to his end, forsaking all partial views (B) 
If someone completely unfamiliar with the person of Kabir were to be given his complete couplets to read in full, and then asked to make a choice between the following two options: was Kabir a Muslim or a Hindu? The unbiased and critical mind would have to be extremely deluded to say Muslim. In fact, it would not altogether be unsurprising if that person decided that Kabir was neither. Rev. Shah is partially correct in stating that a study of his most authentic work, along with what is contained in the SGGS, and the Bijak “leaves a fixed impression that the basis of his mental equipment was Hindu”. But, perhaps a more accurate interpretation, in accordance to his teachings and his association to the Bhakti movement, would be that he was neither Muslim nor Hindu. And Kabir’s following rhetorical question from the Bijak (later to be more perspicuously expressed by his successor Guru Nanak as: “There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim”): “Whence have the Hindus and Muhammadans come?” certainly supports this.
What is to be said in the end is that the evidences strongly suggest that any claim of Kabir’s association to Islam is certainly more doubtful than for the two preceding bhagats – such was his deviation.
The objective of this research was to determine the answer to the question of Guru Nanak’s Muslim identity – repeated ad nauseam by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This was done by examining the historical evidence available to us through the lens of Islamic ‘aqeedah (creed), which we broke down into the following relevant categories:
- Shahaadatayn – the duel declaration of Islamic faith, which comprises of:
a) Laa ilaaha ill Allaah – There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah.
b) Muhammad ar-Rasool Allaah – There is none worthy of being followed in truth except the prophet and messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah).
- This declaration entails verbal utterance in order to enter into the folds of Islam.
- Legislation is for Allaah alone, which entails a rejection of all other laws.
- The principle of al-walaa wal-baraa – allegiance and non-allegiance, which included the different categories of al-muwaalaat (loyalty).
- The definition of Tawheed and its three categories.
- Tawheed’s antithesis: Shirk.
A critical examination of the historical sources reveals that there exists no evidence to suggest Guru Nanak ever having recited the Islamic declaration of faith, either publically or otherwise. More significantly was the theological and doctrinal practices and teachings of Nanak which directly violated the shahaadatayn and the three categories of tawheed to the point of committing the greatest crime against Allaah: ash-shirk.
In our bid to cover this topic comprehensively, it was also necessary to make an historical perusal of Sikhism’s Muslim connection, i.e. those people who were associated to Islam and the Muslim community, but intimately revered by Sikhs. These included Guru Nanak’s bard, Mardana, and two of Nanak’s predecessors: Baba Farid of the Sufi Chishti Order, and Kabir of the Bhakti movement.
Although it is not in our purview to make takfeer bil ‘ayn (excommunication of individuals), the evidence in regards to the position of said bhagats pointed to the inescapable conclusion that they were unquestionably not from those Muslims who adhered to the Prophetic tradition (Ahlus Sunnah). Instead, it is beyond doubt that all three committed shirk and bi’dah, while Mardana and Kabir were certainly guilty of making allegiance (tawallee) to non-Muslims and assisting them (mudhaaharah) in propagating their anti-Islamic beliefs and practices.
In all, there is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that Guru Nanak was a Muslim.
Subhanakallaahuma wa bi hamdika, ash-Shahaadu al-Laa ilaaha illa Ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu ilayka.
 Here are two such examples:
- http://www.haqqanisoul.com/forum/topics/guru-nanak-was-a-muslim (a Sufi bid’ah website)
 Fn. 7: Reported by Muslim (no.37).
 S. ibn F. al-Fawzaan (1998), The Declaration of Faith, (UK, Message of Islam), p. 17.
 A.A. bin A. bin Baaz (2006), Clarifying the Meaning of La Ilaha Illa Allah, (NY, Al-Hujjah Publ.), p. 22.
 Fn. 3: Refer to Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (10/249) and (13/200) and Iqtidaa’us-Siraatil Mustaqeem (p. 461).
 Fn. 4: Refer to the Tafseer (2/291) of al-Qurtubee.
 Fn. 6: Refer to Ma’aarijul-Qubool (2/416) of Haafidh al-Hakamee.
 M. Qureshi (2006), The Meaning and Conditions of Laa ilaaha illAllaah, (Sunnah Publishing), p. 2.
 Ibid., p. 25.
 S. ibn F. al-Fawzaan, op. cit., p. 14.
 Ibid., pp. 40-3.
 Fn. 1: Al-Waajibaat Al-Mutahattimaat (pg. 5).
 U. ibn A. al-Jaabiree, (2007), A Gift for the Intellects in Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam, (UK, Salafi Publications), pp. 68-9.
 Ibid., pp. 70-2.
 Ibid., p. 77.
 These first two conditions of muwaalaat have also been mentioned by “al-Qurtubee (4/57, 18/52) in his ‘Tafseer’ and also Abu Bakr Ibn al-Arabee in ‘Ahkaam ul-Qur’aan’ (4/1770)”. See here for more information.
 A-M. al-Ubaykaan, Muwaalaat and Mudhaaharah (Loyalty and Support) to the Mushrikeen (Polytheists), (Salafi Publications), pp. 1, 3, 4.
Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh also covers this issue here.
 Fn. 11: Tashbeeh: To claim that Allaah similar to His creation in one or some of His Attributes or Actions.
 Fn. 12: Tamtheel: To claim that Allaah is similar to His creation in all of His Attributes and Actions.
 Fn. 13: Tahreef, also referred to as ta’weel: To pervert [distort] the meanings of the texts that establish Allaah’s Names and Attributes.
 Fn. 14: Ta’teel: To claim that Allaah’s Names and Attributes have no meanings at all.
 A-R. ibn N. as-Sa’dee (2004), Essential Questions and Answers Concerning the Foundations of Eemaan and Obstacles in the Path of Eemaan, (Toronto, T.R.O.I.D Publications.), pp. 17-8.
 M. ibn S. al-‘Uthaymeen (1997), Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam, (UK, Al-Hidaayah), pp. 74-5.
 S. ibn F. al-Fawzaan, op. cit., p. 15.
 Ibid., pp. 76-7.
 M. Haq, The Mission of Guru Nanak: A Muslim Appraisal, (Sikhi Wiki).
 The doctrinal fallacy of the Omnipresence of God has been discussed in detail and emphatically refuted in our article: Attributeless Waheguru.
 Muqaatil bin Hayyaan (d. 150H): The Meaning of ‘al-Baatin’ is ‘the Closest to Everything With His Knowledge’ Whilst He is Above His Throne, (AboveTheThrown.com, 2010).
 Saheeh Al-Bukhari.
 D.S. Maini (2003), Islam in Sikh scriptures, (The Tribune India, updated 2006).
 Fn. 8: Cf. Max Arthur Macauliffe, “The Sikh Religion,” Oxford, 1909, Vol.I, p. 121.
 A. Jaleel (1993), Birth of Sikhism, (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, The Review of Religions, March).
 R. ibn H. U. al-Madkhalee (2005), An Explanation of the Tolerance of Islam and the Mercy that it Contains, (Sahab.net Forum).
 M.A. MacAuliffe (1909), The Sikh Religion, Volume 1, (Internet Sacred Text Archive, 2001).
 Ibid., CHAPTER XVII.
 S.S. Brar (2009), The First Master Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539), (Sikhs.org).
Prof Daljeet Singh believes the year of Nanak’s enlightenment to be 1496 CE:
– (Eds) D. Singh, K Singh (1997), Sikhism: Its Philosophy and History, (Institute of Sikh Studies, New Delhi), p. 356.
 Both Harbans Singh and Mohinder Singh state:
– H. Singh, M. Singh (1988), Prof Harbans Singh Commemoration Volume, (Prof. Harbans Singh Commemoration Committee), p. 54.
Surinder Singh Johar agrees:
– S.S. Johar (1969), Guru Nanak, A Biography, (New Book Co.), p. 140.
 S. ibn F. al-Fawzaan, op. cit., pp. 39-40.
 B.S. Anand (2009), Baba Farid, (New Delhi, Sahitya Akadmei), p. 47.
 S.S. Gandhi (2007), History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469-1606 C.E. Vol.1, (Atlantic Publishers & Distributors), pp. 88-9.
 A.A. bin A. bin Baaz (2010), Ruling on whoever performs Salah at certain times and gives up at others, (Portal of the General Presidency of Scholarly Research and Ifta’).
 Fn. 1: Hau dhaadi vekaar kaarai laaia; Raat dihai kai vaar dhurho pharmaaia; Dhaadi sachai mehl khasam bulaaia. (Majh Var Mahla I).
 I. Singh (1985), The Philosophy of Guru Nanak, Volume 1, (Atlantic Publishers & Distri), pp. 116-17.
 S.S. Gandhi, op. cit., pp. 80-2.
 Vaars Bhai Gurdaas, Pannaa 1:
aasaa haathh kithaab kaashh koojaa baa(n)g musaalaa dhhaaree||
bait(h)aa jaae maseeth vich jithhae haajee haaj gujaaree||
jaa(n) baabaa suthaa raath noo(n) vaal mehiraabae paa(n)e pasaaree||
jeevan maaree lath dhee kaerrhaa suthaa kur kuaaree||
lathaa(n) val khhudhaae dhae kiou(n)akar paeiaa hoe bajagaaree||
tta(n)go(n) pakarr ghaseettiaa firiaa maakaa kalaa dhikhaaree||
hoe hairaan karaen juhaaree ||aa||
Donning blue attire then Baba Nanak went to Mecca.
He held staff in his hand, pressed a book under his armpit, caught hold of a metal pot and mattress.
Now he sat in a mosque where the pilgrims (hajis) had gathered.
When Baba (Nanak) slept in the night spreading his legs towards the alcove of mosque at Kaba, the qazi named Jivan kicked him and asked who was this infidel enacting blasphemy.
Why this sinner is sleeping his legs spread towards God, Khuda.
Catching hold of the legs he lynched (Baba Nanak) and lo and behold the miracle, the whole of Mecca seemed to be revolving.
All got surprised and they all bowed.
 O.P. Ralhan (1997), The Great Gurus of the Sikhs, Volume 1, (Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.), p. 131.
 G. Singh (2005), Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vol. 1, (Allied Publishers), pp. XXXIX.
 Prof Haq also recounts this story, but rejects the literalist take on it, instead interpreting it as allegory.
 R.K. Pruthi (2004), Culture and Civilisation Series: Sikhism and Indian Civilization, (Discovery Publishing House), p. 56.
 Fn. 1: Janamsakhi, Bhai Bala, p. 292.
EDITOR’S NB: Some Sikh scholars consider the author Bhai Bala to be “fictitious” and, thus, hold this biography to be “spurious”. Trilochan Singh believes it to be authentic but corrupted by the heretical groups: “the Minas, or Meharban and his followers. Then … by the Handaliyas, and then by the printers”. See: H.R. Gupta (2008), History of the Sikhs 1469-1708, Vol. 1, (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi), pp. 40-3.
 Fn. 2: Janamsakhi, Bhai Mani Singh Wali (Janamsakhi Prampra, edited by Kirpal Singh, Antka, p. 333).
 (Eds) D. Singh, K Singh, op. cit., p. 220.
 Fn. 19: Janamsakhi, Meharban Wali, pp. 10-12.
 Fn. 24: Janamsakhi, Bhai Bala, p. 279. Latif, p. 245.
 (Eds) D. Singh, K Singh, op. cit., p. 223.
 Fn. 4: S.R., I [M.A. Macauliffe (1993), The Sikh Religion Vol. I, (Delhi)], pp. 102, 121, 123.
 S. Singh (1986), Philosophy of Sikhism, (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar), p. 117.
 Al-Eemaan al-Awsat, (published under Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, vol. 7, compiled by Ibn Qasim), p. 151.
 D.S. Maini, op. cit.
 Al-I’tisaam, 1/231.
 For a more comprehensive introduction, read Notes on the Evils of Innovation.
 S. ibn F. al-Fawzaan (2001), Haqeeqat-ut-Tasawwuf, (Al-Ibaanah.com), pp.11-5: At-Tasawwuf: Al-Mansha’ wal-Masdar, p. 28.
 Ibid., Masra’ at-Tasawwuf, p. 19.
 Narrated by Abu Hurairah, Sunan at-Tirmithi, 2484 (Hasan).
 Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah by his Companionship: Sahih Muslim, (Salafi Publications, no.114, 2010).
 Ibid., Al-Ibaanah, 2/478.
 Ibid., Al-Ibaanah, 2/476.
 Ibid., 2/477.
 T. Singh (2000), Selections from the Sacred Writings of the Sikhs, (Orient Blackswan), p. 148.
 S.S. Gandhi, op. cit., pp. 1078-9.
 H. Dhillon (2005), Guru Nanak Spiritual Masters, (Indus Source), pp. 165-6.
 S.S. Gandhi, op. cit., p. 1080.
 Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah, op. cit., Al-Ibaanah 2/437.
 S.S. Gandhi, op. cit.
 H. Dhillon, op. cit., p.166.
 Early deviant sect that denied Allaah’s Divine Pre-Ordainment: the sixth pillar of Eemaan (Faith).
 Al-Ibaanah, 2/453.
 Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah, op. cit., Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee, 1/139.
 Not to be confused with the eleventh century Sufi, the so-called “patron saint of Lahore”, Pakistan, Data Ganj Baksh Ali ibn ‘Uthman al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri.
 Moinuddin Chishti, (Wikipedia).
 Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, (Wikipedia).
 Nizamuddin Auliya, (Wikipedia).
 Wahdatul Wujood: Lit. Unity of Existence – The belief that all existence is a single existence and everything we see are only aspects of the Essence of Allaah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabee’ ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee explicated:
“The slave is the Lord and the Lord is a slave, I wish that I knew which was the one required to carry out the required duties. If I were to say the servant then that is true, or if I were to say the Lord, then how can that be required for Him.” (Al-Fatoohaat-ul-Makkiyyah as it is attributed by Dr. Taqiyyuddeen al-Hilaalee in his book al-Hadiyyatul-Haadiyah (p.43).)
He also says in al-Fatoohaat:
“Those who worshipped the calf worshipped nothing except Allaah.”
(Quoted as Ibn ‘Arabee’s saying by Ibn Tayrniyyah in al-Fataawaa (vol.11), who attributes it to the book al-Fatoohaat)
Ibn ‘Arabee is called ‘al-‘Aarif billaah’ (The one having great knowledge of Allaah) by the Sufis, and also ‘al-Qutubul Akbar‘ (The great pivot), ‘al-Miskul-Adhfar‘ (the sweetest smelling musk), ‘al-Kibreetul-Ahmar‘ (the reddest brimstone), despite his belief in wahdatul-wujood and other calamitous sayings. Indeed he praised Fir’awn (Pharaoh) and declared that he died upon eemaan! Furthermore he speaks against Haroon for his criticism of his people’s worship of the calf, thus directly opposing the text of the Qur’aan. He also held that the Christians were Unbelievers only because they made divinity particular to ‘Eesaa, whereas if they had made it general to all then they would not have been unbelievers. [Despite all the gross deviation of Ibn ‘Arabee and the fact that the scholars declared him to be an Unbeliever, yet he is revered by the Sufis and others who do not distinguish between the truth and falsehood, and those who turn away from accepting the truth even when it is as clear as the sun. But his books, which are filled with clear apostasy, such as al-Fatoohaatul-Makkiyyah and Fusoosul-Hikam are still circulated. He even has a tafseer, which he called at-Tafseerul-Baatin since he holds that there is an apparent and a hidden meaning for every Aayah, so the outer meaning is for the people of Ta’weel.]
From this group came Ibn Basheesh who said:
“O Allaah rescue me from the mire of tawheed, and drown me in the centre of the sea of unity, and mix me into the state of unity and oneness until I do not see, nor hear, nor sense except through it.”
– M. ibn R. ibn H. al-Madkhalee, (Trans) Abu T. D. ibn R. Burbank (1999), The Reality of Sufism in the Light of the Qur’aan & Sunnah, (Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution), pp. 21-2.
 J.D. Gort, H. Jansen, H.M. Vroom (2006), Religions view religions: explorations in pursuit of understanding Vol.25, (Rodopi), p. 202.
 A.A. Na’im (2002), Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book, (Zed Books), p. 202.
 W. Doniger, Merriam-Webster Inc (1999), Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, (Merriam-Webster), p. 199.
 B.S. Anand, op. cit., p.31.
 Fn. 308: See ‘Ali Al-Qari, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar, p.171; Adh-Dhahabi, Al-‘Ulu, p. 103.
 Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz, (Trans) M. A.-H. Ansari (2000), Commentary on the Creed of at-Tahawi (Sharh al-‘Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah), (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Sa’ud Islamic University), p. 236.
 Fn. 3: Jahmiyyah are the followers of Jahm Ibn Safwan, who was the first one to publicly declare the denial of Allah’s Attributes. Before long he denied the Attributes of Allah, he was killed and crucified by Khalid Ibn Abdullah Al-Khusari, Prince of Iraq. This took place during the era of the Tabioon, (students of the Companion). All the scholars at his time called him a Kafir [disbeliever] on account of plainly denying the Attributes of Allah.
 Fn. 4: Reported by ad-Daarimee in ar-Radd ‘alal-Mareesee (p. 24 and 103) and ar-Radd ‘alal-Jahmiyyah (p. 50) and Abdullaah Ibn Ahmad in as-Sunnah (p. 7, 25, 35 and 72).
 S.A. Kayum (2005), The Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis, (Ahya Multi-Media), Chapter 3: Pantheism, Wahdat al-Wajood or Moksha: Additional Proofs from the Sayings of our Pious Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Salih).
 Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): Refutation of the Saalimiyyah Sect Who Claim Allaah is Everywhere And Not Above His Throne Exclusively, (AboveTheThrone.com, 2009).
 Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Firyaabee, Shaykh of al-Bukhaaree, (d. 212H): Whoever Says Allaah Is Not Above His Throne is a Kaafir, Ibid.
 M. Murad (2010), Where is Allaah? (With slight modification), (SalafiPublications.com). For more information on this subject, (Salafi Publications).
 N.M. Sadarangani (2004), Bhakti Poetry in Medieval India: Its Inception, Cultural Encounter and Impact, (Sarup & Sons), p. 63.
 H. Singh (1998), Encyclopaedia of Sikhism: S-Z, Volume 4, (Punjabi University), p. 220.
 A.A. bin A. bin Baaz, (Trans) A. Walker (2007), The Statement: Verily Allaah is Everywhere, (Ad-Da’wah Magazine, Issue no. 1288).
 S.A. Kugle (2007), Sufis & Saints’ Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality, & Sacred Power in Islam, (UNC Press), p. 239.
 N. Hanif (2000), Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: South Asia, (Sarup & Sons), p. 86.
 M. Taher (1997), Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture, (Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.), p. 211.
 B.S. Anand, op. cit., pp. 21-2.
 Sahih Muslim, 2670.
 Sharh Muslim, 16/220.
 Sunan at-Tirmidhi, 2453; classed as hasan by Shaykh al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 1995.
 M.N.D. Al-Albaani (Trans. I. Alarcon), Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue 21.
 Sahih Muslim, 3/96.
 Musnad Ahmad, 2/524.
 Reported by Ibn Hibbaan and classed as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 1774.
 Fn. 27: Prakash, Dr. Satya. The Great Sufi Saint Baba Farid – Study in Life, Teachings and Achievements. In Perspectives on Shaikh Farid. Ed. Gurbachan Singh Talibi, Baba Farid Memorial Society, pp. 35-40.
 M. Mohammada (2007), The Foundations of the Composite Culture in India, (Aakar Books), p. 232.
 N. Hanif, op. cit., p. 86.
 G.S. Talib (1974), Baba Sheikh Farid Shakar Ganj, (New Delhi, National Book Trust), p. 31.
 B.S. Anand, op. cit., p. 34.
 D. Singh (2004), Sikhism: A Comparative Study of its Theology and Mysticism, (Amritsar, Singh Brothers), p. 144.
 Ibn al-Qayyim in Ma’aarij al-Qubool, 2/255, mentions the story, among others, of a man committing immoral actions with his wife and said, “What is this?” She said, “It is the will and decree of Allaah.” He said, “We accept what Allaah decrees.”
 Shifaa’ al-‘Aleel, p. 5.
 Musnad Ahmad, 2/160; Sunan Abu Dawood, 1692.
 Sahih al-Bukhari, 3/164; Sahih Muslim, 1628.
 At-Tabaraani, Saheeh al-Jaami’, 2/8.
 C.W. Ernst, B.B. Lawrence (2002), Sufi Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South Asia and Beyond, (Palgrave Macmillan), p. 68.
 A. ibn Mani, A. ibn Ghudayyan, A-R. Afify, Seeking help from the jinn to fulfill one’s needs, (Alifta.com, Permanent Committee Fatwas), p. 162.
 M. Mohammada (2007), The Foundations of the Composite Culture in India, (Aakar Books), pp. 200-1.
 Ibid., pp. 240-1.
 Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
Because singing, beating the daff and clapping the hands are actions of women, the salaf used to call a man who did that mukhannath (effeminate), and they used to call male singers makhaaneeth (pl. of mukhannath). This is well known.
– Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 11/565, 566.
 N. Auliya, B.B. Lawrence, H. Dihlavi (1992), Nizam ad-din Awliya: morals for the heart: conversations of Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya recorded by Amir Hasan Sijzi, (Paulist Press), p. 252.
 M. Mohammada, op. cit., pp. 240-1.
 Ibid., pp. 200-1.
 Ibid., p. 173.
 N. Hanif, op. cit., pp. 323.
 Ibid., pp. 322-3.
 Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz, op. cit., p. 462.
 M. Taher, op. cit., p. 193.
 Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz, op. cit., p. 459.
 B.S. Anand, op. cit., pp. 30-1.
 SikhiWiki (2009), Bhagat Kabir, (Encyclopedia of the Sikhs).
 If Kabir here is an Arabic word, then it does not mean “most high”, but rather: great, large, powerful, influential, distinguished, formidable, eminent, important, etc. (Hans-Wehr).
 SikhiWiki (2009), op. cit.
 R. Tagore, E. Underhill (1915), One Hundred Poems of Kabir, (London, MacMillan and Co. LTD.), p. x.
 Ibid., pp. xi-xii.
 Ibid., p. 92: “I became suddenly revealed in Benares, and Ramananda illumined me;…” (XXIX).
 Ibid., p. xv.
 Ibid., p. xv.
 Ibid., pp. 6-7, 8, 96, 62, 72.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 M. Alam (2004), The Languages of Political Islam: India 1200-1800, (C. Hurst & Co. Publishers), pp. 91-92.
 J. Wakabayashi, R. Kothari (2009), Decentering Translation Studies: India and Beyond, (John Benjamins Publishing Company), p. 121.
 D. Singh, op. cit., p. 158.
 R. Tagore, E. Underhill, op. cit., p. 50.
 Al-‘Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah.
 Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz, op. cit., p. 96, 104, 117.
 Fn. 105: Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, pp. 40-50.
 Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz, op. cit., p. 105.
 Ahmad bin Sinan al-Waasitee (d. 258H): Shaykh of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim Sends Jahmite Ash’aris Fleeing From Their Secret Hideouts: ‘Whoever Says the Qur’an is Two Things Or a Hikaayah is, by Allaah, a Zindeeq, Kaafir’, (Asharis.Com, 2009).
 Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H): Cleans Out the Secret Hideouts of the Ash’arites and Sends them Fleeing For Cover Out Of Awe and Terror: Whoever Claims the Qur’an is an Ibaarah (Expression) is a Kaafir Whose Repentance is to Be Sought, Ibid.
 G.H. Westcott (2006), Kabir and the Kabir Panth, (READ BOOKS), p. 22.
 M. Ibn S. al-‘Uthaymeen (2003), Exemplary Foundations Concerning the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allaah, (Canada, TROID), pp. 28-9.
 Abu A-R. A-A. Ibn F. Ibn Z. Ibn M. (2005), Investigation into the literal meaning of ‘Brahma’ in Sanskrit language according to Oxford Sanskrit – English dictionary and other dictionaries, (Salafitalk.net).
 R. Tagore, E. Underhill, op. cit., p. 89.
 The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it: ‘Be!’ – and it is. (Qur’an 2:117).
 R. Tagore, E. Underhill, op. cit., p. 88.
 A. Shah (1917), The Bijak of Kabir, (Hamirpur, U.P., India), p. 4.
 G.H. Westcott, op. cit., pp. 32-3.
 Ibid., p. 46.
 R. Tagore, E. Underhill, op. cit., p. xvi.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 G.H. Westcott, op. cit., p. 57.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib, op. cit.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
 G.H. Westcott, op. cit.