SHĪHĀṄ, Dhīr Mall's masand, desperately supported his patron who had set himself up at Bakālā as one of the several claimants to the gurūship following the death of Gurū Har Krishan in March 1664. He enticed the Sikhs to his patron's presence telling them that he was the late Gurū's successor and he, as a mark of it, had in his possession the original copy of the Holy Granth. After Gurū Tegh Bahādur had been anointed Gurū, Shīhāṅ counselled Dhīr Mall to occupy the gaddī by force. Dhīr Mall agreed to the proposal and allowed Shīhāṅ to make an armed attack on Gurū Tegh Bahādur and ransack his house. Shīhāṅ even fired at the Gurū, who however escaped unhurt. Makkhāṇ Shāh, a wealthy trader and a staunch follower of Gurū Tegh Bahādur who happened to be in town with his armed attendants, retaliated and plundered Dhīr Mall's residence. But when the Gurū learnt what Makkhāṇ Shāh had done, he bade him restore the property to its owner. He even had the sacred volume returned to Dhīr Mall. Shīhāṅ was not deterred from his malicious ways. According to Gurū kīāṅ Sākhīāṅ, he was still with Dhīr Mall when the latter, in 1676, was summoned by royal warrant to Delhi to be confined to the Fort of Raṇthambore.
A. C. Banerjee