As we all know the month of December for Christians is a month to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, for the followers of the Sikh faith, December is the month to remember the Shaheedi (martyrdom) of the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaaj’s four sons and mother.

Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh the two elder sons were martyred at the young age of seventeen and thirteen in the Battlefield in the battle of Chamkaur after their weapons broke whilst fearlessly fighting against Mughal soldiers even though they were outnumbered. 

Mata Gujri ji the mother of the tenth Guru and the two younger sons Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh attained martyrdom at the age of eight and five. The two younger sons were captured by the Mughal emperor Wazir Khan. The emperor gave them the option to convert to Islam or to be killed. Baba Zorawar Singh replied ““My father is Guru Gobind Singh, my grandfather is Guru Teg Bahadur and my great-grandfather is Guru Hargobind. Death means nothing to me. Our death will fan the flames that will drive all the tyrants from this land.” Due to the refusal of the choice to convert to Islam they were buried alive in a brick wall.

Shortly after finding out about the death of the two younger sons, Mata Gujri Ji also passed away. Seeing the bravery of the two young Singhs, Todar Mal the finance Manager of the Mughal empire pleaded Wazir if the bodies could be allowed to be cremated. The Wazir said there is no land available for their cremation. Todar Mal asked if he could buy a piece of land for the cremation.

Wazir replied “yes” but could he only buy the amount of land that could be covered in gold coins. Todar Mal agreed and arranged for the gold coins to be brought. He laid the coins on the floor but the Wazir was not happy so he ordered Todar Mal to place the coins on their side in rows, instead of face down on the floor to ensure more coins will be needed for the land. With that said Todar bought the land and cremated the bodies of the two sons and Mata Gujri. We can see why the month of December and its martyrdoms holds such high values for Sikhs as it’s because of these sacrifices that the Sikh faith is still here today. 

To remember the sacrifices made, Sikhs go to the Gurdwara – Sikh place of worship and sing hymns about those who gave their lives for the Sikh community. The ardaas which is a prayer also consists of showing gratitude to those who gave their lives, you can see this through the literal translation from a part of the ardaas. The five Beloved Ones, the four Sahibzaade (sons of the tenth Master), the forty emancipated ones, the martyrs, the true disciples, the contemplators of God, and those who remained steadfast on the path of Dharma, remember their glorious deeds. The ardaas is a prayer read by Sikhs as a daily ritual and the start and finish of most prayers.