Martyrdom of Sahibzadas Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, December 26, 1705:
Guruís mother entrusted herself and the two grandsons, who accompanied her, to a Brahmin. He with sweet words took them to his house and induced them to put faith in him. When the Guruís mother went to sleep, he stole her money, which she carried in a saddlebag and buried it. He then went to her and told her that there were several thieves prowling about the neighbourhood, and she must be careful of her valuables. He said he gave her this information so that she might not afterwards blame him. He almost immediately afterwards informed her that her saddlebag was missing. As no one had entered the house but the ladyís party and the Brahmin, she interrogated them latter on the subject.
He pretended to be furious at suspicion having been directed against him and said that it was the result of doing good and of entertaining homeless wayfarers and out laws. He had saved the Guruís mother and children from death and in the return they made him for his trouble and hospitality, was to charge him with theft as if he were a vulgar malefactor. Then saying that he could not trust her and her children, he ordered them to leave his house. The Brahmin with loud cries proceeded to the Chaudhri or chief civil official of Kheri and informed him that Guruís mother and sons had just come to his house and both he and Chaudhri would obtain a large reward for delivering them to the imperial authorities.
The Brahmin and the Chaudhri went to the next highest official, a Ranghar(type of race among muslims), the governor of Morinda. He proceeded with them to the Brahminís house and hence they took the Guruís mother and her two grandsons to Wazir Khan, viceroy of Sirhind. He ordered them to be confined in a tower. People thronged next day to see them, and cursed and abused the treacherous Brahmnin to their heartsí.
Wazir Khan ordered the children to be brought before him. When the Guruís mother heard the order, it stung her like a sharp arrow. The Governor of Morinda told Mata Gujri, in order to pacify her, that he would send the children back after showing them to Wazir Khan. Not believing him, she put one of them at each side of her and tried to conceal them with her dress.
The Guruís sons on hearing the Rangharís voice stood up and said to grandmother, "The Turks have ever been our enemies. How can we escape from them? Therefore let us go to the viceroyís court", the Ranghar, in order to add to their sufferings told them that their father, their oldest brothers and their companions had been killed in Chamkaur. He added, "Your only hope to escape now is to bow before the viceroy and accept Islam and perhaps he will spare your lives". Sahibzaade when confronted with viceroy then addressed him "my father, the holy Guru Gobind Singh is not dead. Who can kill him? The immortal God protects him. If any one says that he can tear down heaven, how is that possible? Were a storm to attempt to drive a mountain before it, could it ever do so? were any one to try to grasp the Sun and the Moon, it would be a feat impossible to accomplish.
Were the Guru to desire it, he could destroy every trace of you, but he deemed it his first duty to obey the laws of heaven. When we have dedicated our heads to our father who is such a Guru, why should we bow them before a false and deceitful sinner?" On hearing this the people all cried out that the children ought to be allowed to go unharmed. The misnamed Suchanand now interposed and repeated that these were the offspring of a cobra and from their heads to their feet filled with venom, "see my friends", he said, "they have not the least fear and are so proud that they even insult and defy the viceroy." Wazir Khan then rejected that if the children became Mohammedans, it would be a gain and glory for his faith. He told them that, if they would accept his faith, he would grant them an estate, marry them to the daughters of chiefs and they would become happy and be honored by the emperor. Elder Sahibzaade then looking at his younger brother said, "My brother, this is the time to sacrifice our lives, as our grandfather parted with his head but not with his religion, and he ordered us to follow his example. Now that we have received the baptism of the spirit and the sword, what care we for death? Wherefore it is best that we should give our lives, thus save the Sikh religion, and bring down Godís vengeance on the Turks?" Elder Saahibzaada again spoke on the same subject "My brother, our grandfather Guru Teg Bahadur spurned the Muhammadan religion. Here is this noble family of ours Ė a man like Guru Gobind Singh our father, a man like Guru Har Gobind our great grandfather. We, who are their descendants, cannot attach a stigma to their memories?" The young boy waxing still angry continued, " Hear, O viceroy, I spur the thy religion and will not part with mine own. It hath become the custom of our family to forfeit life rather than faith. O fool, why seekesd thou to tempt us with worldly ambition? We will never be led astray by the false advantage thou offerest. The indignities inflicted by the turks on our grandfather shall be the fire to consume them, and our deaths, the wind to fan the flame. In this way we shall destroy the Turks without forfeiting our Holy faith." The Muhammadan Viceroy could not endure out spoken-ness of the chronicler, began to burn like sand in a fiery furnace. He said we must put children to death. They had no fear of any one, and their words were liable to cause disaffection and religious apathy in others. Suchanand was ready to support the viceroy and suggested additional reasons for putting the children to death. He said they had spoken insolently before the viceroy and when they grew up they would follow their fatherís examples and destroy armies. What good could be expected from them? They would be always exciting revolts.
They were prisoners with no right of pardon, and if they were released, no one knew what they would do. There were no means for their repression but death. Then out spoke the Nawab of Malerkotla, " O Viceroy, these children are still drinking milk in the nursery, and are too young to commit an offence. They know not well from evil. Wherefore be pleased to allow them to depart." This representation the Viceroy headed not, but cast about for some one to kill the children. His servants who were present said they were willing to sacrifice their lives for him, but they were not executioners. He turned to right and left, but all his staff hung down their heads in token of refusal and pity for the children.
At last looking behind him he espied a Ghilzai(type of race among the muslims) who, with the cruelty of his race, offered to do the sanguinary deed. It is a general belief among the Sikhs that the children were bricked alive into a wall and suffered to die of suffocation in standing position, but the authors of the "Suraj Parkash" and of the "Gur Bilas" both state that the children were put to death in the order of their ages by the sword of Ghilzai execution. They vied with each other as to who should first have the honour of martyrdom. The two children aged eight and six years respectively perished on the 13th of Poh, Samvat 1702 (A.D. 1705). A rich Sikh called Todar Mal, as soon as he heard of the imprisonment of the Guruís children, hastened to the viceroy with the intention of ransoming them, but arrived too late. The children had been already put to death.
He then proceeded to the Guruís mother Mata Gujari, who had not yet heard of the execution of her grandchildren, but was at the same time suffering extreme mental agony. She every now and then would pray to the Gurus to protect her little ones " O Guru Nanak, may no hair of my grandchildrenís head be touched! Oh my son, Guru Gobind Singh, pardons my sins and protects me now! Woe is me! I know not what may happen to my grandchildren today? " Todar Mal sought to break the sad intelligence to her, but his voice was stifled to his throat. On seeing this, Mata Gujari became extremely alarmed, and standing up at once said, " Tell me the truth. Why art thou sorrowful? When will they allow my grandchildren to return and what questions have they put them?" Todar Mal then strengthening his resolve, addressed her, "I have made my heart harder than a stone, and come to tell thee of the death of thy grandchildren. O mother, the light of thine eyes, the support of the world, the life of the Sikhs, the darlings of the Guru have been today massacred by the Turks. On receiving this news Mata Gujari was struck down as if a mountain had fallen on her.
Todar Mal began to fan her in her swoon with the skirt of his dress. On receiving consciousness to some extent she began to call upon her grandsons, " O my beloved ones, after such love for me whither have you gone? Take me with you. Who will call me grandmother or mother? Who will come and sit on my lap? How shall I behold you? O youthful warriors, light of my courtyard, sun of my family, I know not what your sufferings must have been today. O my grandchildren, on whom I have never been, turned my back even when asleep. Today, alas! Alas! The Muhammadan tyrants have killed you, the darlings of mine eyes, my beautiful ones. I concealed my grand sons from the gaze of others and behold what hath happened today! What have I done to you, O children, that you should have abandoned me to misery?" saying this, she fell heavily to the ground and gave up her spirit.
Todar Mal cremated the bodies of the Guruís mother and her grandchildren and buried their ashes. A Sikh temple, now called Fatehgarh was subsequently erected on the spot.
(With thanks from: Sikhpoint.com)