4. The Fourth Battle— Battle of Kartarpur
Battle of Kartarpur
Battle of Kartarpur was caused by the Pathan Painde Khan who had been a
loyal friend and supporter of the Guru. Turning against the Guru he first
went to the Subedar of Jullundhur, Qutab Khan, who accompanied him to the
Court of the Emperor who despatched a strong force against the Guru. Kale
Khan, the brother of Mukhlis Khan, was given the command of fifty thousand
men. Qutab Khan, Painde Khan, Anwar Khan and Asman Khan were commissioned to
fight under Kale Khan.
of the impending attack Bhai Bidhi Chand, Bhai Jati Mal, Bhai Lakhu, and
Bhai Rai Jodh had arranged their troops on the four sides of the city before
the imperial army chiefs advanced against them. The force, mostly of Pathans,
was overpowered by the brave Sikhs who were fighting for their religion and
their Guru. Bidhi Chand engaged Kale Khan, and Baba Gurditta, the Guru's
eldest son took on Asman Khan. Even Tegh Mal (later on the ninth Guru) who
was only fourteen years old, showed feats of valor in the field earning the
honorary addition to his name of Tegh Bahadur.
Khan with drawn sword confronted the Guru directing some profane words
towards the Master. In the words of Mohsan Fani, a Muslim historian of that
time, the Guru addressed him with :
Khan, why use such words when the sword is in your hand. Brave as you are my
boy, come I give you full leave to strike first. I have no grudge against
you. But you are full of wrath. You can wreak your rage by striking the
Khan then aimed a heavy blow at the Guru who parried it off. The Guru
allowed him again to strike - also in vain. Infuriated with his double
failure, he gave a third blow which also missed the Guru. The Master then
my boy, I will teach you how to strike. Not your way but this."
this he gave him such strong blow that Painde Khan fell to the ground
mortally wounded. From this blow he seemed to have regained his old sense of
discipleship. The Guru told him:
art a Musalman. Now is the time to repeat your kalma (creed)." Painde Khan
replied, "O master, your sword is my kalma and my source of salvation."
Guru on seeing him dying was filled with pity, and by putting his shield
over his face so as to shade it from the sun, he said, "Painde Khan, I
cherished you, I reared you, and I made you a hero. Though men spoke ill of
you, I forgot all your failings, and nothing entered my mind against you;
but destiny misled you so much that you brought an army against me. It is
your own acts of ingratitude and insolence that have led to your death at my
hands. Though you have been ungrateful and untrue to your salt, I pray the
Almighty to grant you a dwelling in heaven."
all his chiefs were slain, Kale Khan confronted the Guru. He discharged an
arrow which whizzed past him. A second arrow grazed the Guru's forehead, and
drops of blood bespattered his face. He remarked, "Kale Khan, I have seen
your science. Now see mine." At this he discharged an arrow which killed
Kale Khan's horse. The Guru thought it a point of honor also to dismount and
offer his adversary a choice of arms. Sparks of fire issued from clash of
sword on sword. He parried all his strokes and commented, "Not thus, this is
the way to fence." He then dealt Kale Khan a blow with his two-edged
scimitar which severed his head from his body. On this the imperial soldiers
fled for their lives as Bidhi Chand and Jati Mal shouted slogans of victory.
is said that several thousand Muslims were killed while only seven hundred
brave Sikhs lost their lives in this battle. It ended on the 24th day of (Har,
Sambat 1691)) 1634.