Today I am going to review a religious book “ Walking With Nanak “ written by Haroon Khalid a Pakistani Muslim writer.
Why did I choose this book to read?
I make regular visits to the different book stores in my neighboring area. I always tend to read something new and different which lifts my knowledge to a higher level. Therefore, I am more inclined towards “non-fictional books “. One day, I visited a famous book shop in sector 17 market, Chandigarh and I was going through different books arranged on the shelves. Then the picture of Guru Nanak Dev on the book cover page caught my attention and I immediately lift up this book and go through the index of contents and checked some reviews online which encouraged me to read this book as it seems to provide a different angle to study the life of Guru Nanak Dev ji. So, I decided to purchase this book. It took me around 15 days to complete this book. After reading this book, the following is my opinion.
# I always love to read about Guru Nanak Dev Ji, 1st Sikh Guru, and try to interpret his message. As a Sikh, I have great respect and faith for Guru Nanak dev and He is a God figure for me. This book throws light on the journey of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Pakistan. The author visited each place and Gurudwara related to the life of Guru Nanak Sahib. The author also quoted the history and important events of that place in such a beautiful way which makes you feel that you are a part of that moment. The author tries to reinvent those historical moments and he remains successful most of the time.
# There are various points and facts which I had never come in contact with before reading this book. Guru Nanak dev Ji traveled for 24 years on foot in various parts of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, West Bengal. During this journey with his best friend Mardana, Guru Nanak tried to spread the message of humanity and educated the people especially the religious class (priests and saints) about the fake and unnecessary Karam kand (false religious practices).
# The one thing which I admire about the author is that he sees the value in Guru Nanak’s teaching and message even though he is a Muslim. He along with his mentor Iqbal Qaiser (who himself is a writer) explore the streets and pathways that Guru Nanak and Mardana visited.
# Through this book, I came to know that the condition of various Gurudwaras and Hindu temples is in a pitiable condition. Some of the gurudwaras are refurbished when Iqbal Qaiser wrote about the conditions of Sikh shrines in Pakistan in his book published in the year 2008 which withdrew the attention of Sikhs from the UK and other foreign nations towards downgrading conditions of Sikh shrines in Pakistan.
# The author also mentioned the histories of all the subsequent Gurus after Nanak and traces the story of how an unorganized spiritual movement evolved into the institutionalized Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh. Through the journeys of all the Gurus, the book describes how Nanak became Guru Nanak, the saint.
# Author portrays Guru Nanak as a simple human with a higher intellectual level. However, this might not acceptable for a Sikh who firmly believes in Guru Nanak as a God.
# Author covered the traveling of Guru Nanak only in the Pakistan area which is a very small portion of his 24-year journey.
# Author has some different views about the other gurus which are mentioned in this book from the prevailing Sikh history record that seems a bit conflicting from my point of view.
# The author spent a lot of time describing how he reaches his destinations. Given the fact that I might never visit Pakistan, those details felt unnecessary to me.
Putting my religious thoughts apart, I feel that this book is a must-read for everyone especially Sikhs which would enlighten them about the real message of Guru Nanak dev Ji. You can easily learn that Guru Nanak has an entirely different school of thought at that time when there was no space for liberalism in the religions. Everyone was judged and identified by the stamp of religion and imagine how Guru Nanak tried to spread the message of humanity and equality at that time. Even the dress code of Guru Nanak as shown on the book cover page depicts the unity of religions and sends a strong message. Guru Nanak has to encounter different obstacles both on his journey and from his family but even then Guru Nanak spread his message strongly to the people of the World and now everybody respects his ideology.
Rating : 4/5
If you are interested to purchase this book then you can visit this link to get your copy from Amzon.com