The Sacred Verses of Shaikh Farid

I have been hearing and also reciting the hallowed verses of ‘Bhagat Farid ji’ ever since I was a child. But when I read about his life and works he went up in my esteem by several notches. The Wikipedia introduces him as follows:

Farīd al-Dīn Masʿūd Ganj-i-Shakar ( 4 April 1179 – 7 May 1266) was a 12th-century Punjabi Muslim preacher and mystic. He went on to become “one of the most revered and distinguished Muslim poets” of the medieval period. He is known reverentially as Bābā Farīd or Shaikh Farīd by MuslimsSikhs and Hindus of the Punjab.

Bhagat Farid in the Sikh Scripture

The ‘vaani’ of Bhagat Farid ji appears in Sri Guru Granth Sahib at several places, but has a distinct place of pride as ‘Slokas’ at page numbers 1377 to 1383 of the holy book. This year when I was going through the verses, I was struck by something I had never noticed before. I found a mention of ‘Nanak’ in one verse. A closer look revealed that within those slokas, there were a few which had been written by Guru Amar Das ji (the 3rd Sikh Guru) and Guru Arjan Dev ji (the 5th Guru). That led me to do some more detailed research.

The Timeline

Shiakh Farid ji was born in 1179, and that was nearly 300 years before Guru Nanak (b 1469) and our holy book was compiled by Guru Arjan Dev ji (1563-1606). There is no mention of Bhagat Farid in Guru Nanak’s works. And yet, if his ‘slokas’ were considered worthy of inclusion in the holy book, it is apparent that the followers of the Sikh Gurus had been singing Bhagat Farid’s rhymes, for the nearly four centuries that had elapsed. Three things become evident from this:

  • Punjabi, as spoken in the twelfth century was much the same as it was during the time of our Gurus.   

  • The fundamental philosophy of the Sufi saints was quite similar to the vision of the Sikh faith.

  • The slokas of Shaikh Farid had apparently come down to the disciples by word of mouth, since the ‘gurmukhi’ script was evolved by Guru Angad Dev long after the demise of Shaikh Farid.

A Few Shlokas of Farid ji

For those who may not have read his works, I am giving below four of his shlokas, along with their English translation.


Shaikh Farid on Old Age

Shaikh Farid lived to the ripe old age of 93. He could, therefore, comprehend the specific problems of the old people better than anyone else. The renowned singer, Jagjit Singh recorded an album which has some of the verses, under the title, ‘Buddha hoya Shaikh Farid’ and this album has been converted into a ‘sing along’ format. In this you get the original verses along with the English translation. The lady who joined Jagjit is Neelam Sahny.  Please click on the link given below to listen to the shlokas:


The Tailpiece

Yesterday, I entered the eightieth year of my life. And my personal feelings about the old age have been described so accurately in these sacred verses, that I beseech all my friends who are in the same age bracket to listen to these ‘shlokas’ intently. It also gives me great pleasure to place below, a picture of the shrine built by the admirers of Farid ji in a town called Faridkot, which has been named in the memory of the great saint.

 tila baba


  1. colls says:

    khudda karey
    aap hazzaaaroe saal jiyein

    khushwant Singh ji”"

    Excellent is the wine
    you squeez
    out of red roses
    all drink as amrit
    not red wine
    coming from those nimble fingers

    you do oft read poetry
    of mine
    for me you alone are
    my intrinsic
    you must
    like not a diamond

  2. colls says:

    ”I wish to thank everyone
    who has greeted me on the anniversary of my birth through phone calls, Whatsapp ”messages”
    and the Facebook.
    Stay safe, and God bless.
    Thank u 4 tnkng colls
    one out of many friends
    millions you have
    do remember colls
    you may have not forgotten yet
    You have a MILLION FRIEND
    I have one ONLY

    HAPPEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee U Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    humor not makhan ji
    du peeeeeeeeee and drink red wine freeleeeeeeeeeee

  3. Lt Gen R K Mehta says:

    Many Happy Returns Sir. Have a great year ahead.
    Stay safe and Stay healthy.

  4. Dave sood says:

    Surjit.. Happy Birthday. Have a Super start to the next decade.
    Farid is excellent advise. Each word is well written. Read him for the first time.
    Best advice I can give you is “Don’t let the old manin”.
    This will keep you going for many more years.
    Stay safe Stay Healthy.

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