SAJJAṆ, SHAIKH, a resident of Makhdūmpur, 20 km southwest of the ancient town of Talumbhā or Tulambhā, now in Multān district of Pakistan, was a thug or cutthroat who, according to the Janam Sākhī tradition, was once visited by Gurū Nānak. Sajjaṇ lived in apparent piety and prosperity and maintained a mosque for Muslims and a temple for Hindus. The sleeping guests were despatched by Sajjaṇ and his band of thugs and their goods became his property. As Gurū Nānak accompanied by Mardānā passed that way during his travel across southwestern Punjab and stopped by, Shaikh Sajjaṇ read in his lustrous face the signs of affluence and treated him with more than usual courtesy. At night, however, the Gurū tarried long before going to bed which made Sajjaṇ impatient. At last he came near the door to see inside. He discovered Mardānā was playing on his rabāb and Gurū Nānak was singing a hymn in enraptured devotion. Sajjaṇ was overwhelmed and falling at the Gurū's feet confessed remorsefully how sinful he was. The Gurū said that he could yet hope for God's grace and forgiveness if he confessed and repented and delivered all of his possessions which he had collected by impious means. "Then," says Purātan Janam Sākhī, "Sajjaṇ obeyed. He brought out all the things and gave them away in God's name." He converted his house into a dharamsālā which, according to the Janam Sākhī, was the first such centre established in the history of early Sikhism.

        Sajjaṇ's tomb still exists near Makhdūmpur, in Pakistan. A ruined mound near it is also known by his name.


  1. Harbans Singh, Guru Nanak and Origins of the Sikh Faith. Bombay, 1969
  2. Vīr Siṅgh, Bhāī, ed., Srī Gurū Nānak Chamatkār. Amritsar, 1928
  3. ---Purātan Janam Sākhī. Amritsar, 1926
  4. Giān Siṅgh, Giānī, Panth Prakāsh. Delhi, 1880
  5. Kohlī, Surindar Siṅgh, ed. Janamsākhī Bhāī Bālā. Chandigarh, 1975

Gurnek Siṅgh