Haqiqat Rai

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Haqiqat Singh
Born Sialkot
Died Lahore
Other names Hakikat Rai, Hakikat Singh
Citizenship Mughal Empire

Haqiqat Singh was an 18th-century Hindu converted Sikh from Sialkot, who was executed in Lahore (Mughal Empire) for refusing to convert to Islam and insulting Muhammad.[1][2]


Haqiqat Singh was born into a Sikh family, in Sialkot, Punjab. He was the grandson of Bhai Nand Ram Ji, a devotee of Guru Har Rai Ji. His maternal great grandfather was Bhai Kanhaiya Ji. His uncle (mother’s brother) Bhai Arjan Ji was also martyred. Sardar Kishan Singh Ji was his father-in-law. His father's name was Bagh Mal, who took Amrit from Guru Gobind Singh and become Bagh Singh. Haqiqat Rai also took Amrit at the age of 12 and became Haqiqat Singh. At the Age of 18 he was married to Nand Kaur, daughter of Saradar Kishan Singh from Uppal-Batala [3] Different sources mention his year of birth differently, ranging from 1719 to 1724.[4][5]

It has been wrongfully accused that he was persuaded to convert to Islam, but he insults of Muhammad. As a result, he was beheaded in Lahore, during the governorship of Zakariya Khan. Quasi Abdul Haq, who was responsible for the Fatva, was also beheaded later on by Sardar Dal Singh and Saradar Mana Singh and shown arround in the city Batala[3] Different sources give different dates of his death, including 1732,[6] 1735,[7] 1742[8] and 1791.[9]


In 1782, a poet named Aggra (aka Agra or Aggar Singh) wrote a Punjabi var (ballad) titled Haqiqat Rai di Var.[9] Maharaja Ranjit Singh particularly revered Haqiqat Rai as a Sikh martyr.[8]

In the first decade of the twentieth century (1905–10), three Bengali writers popularized the legend of Haqiqat Rai's martyrdom through their essays. The three accounts differ greatly.[4] The Arya Samaj organized a play Dharmaveer Haqiqat Rai, advocating deep loyalty to Hinduism. It also printed copies of the legend, and distributed them free of cost or at a nominal price of 2 paisa.[10]

Before the partition of India in 1947, Hindus used to gather at his samadhi in Lahore, during the Basant Panchami Festival.[11] His samadhi in Sialkot was also a place of worship.[12] In 2004, Nawa-i-Waqt, a Pakistani daily opposed Basant Panchami celebrations in Pakistan, arguing that the festival celebrated Haqiqat Rai's insult of Hazrat Muhammad (Sallal Lahu Alaiehay Wasallum).[13]

Another samadhi dedicated to Haqiqat Rai is located in Boeli of Baba Bhandari (Hoshiarpur district), where people gather and pay obeisance to Haqiqat Rai during Basant Panchami.[14] In Gurdaspur district, a shrine dedicated to him is located at Batala.[15] The town also has a samadhi dedicated to Sati Lakshmi Devi, said to be the wife of Haqiqat Rai.[16]

Many cities in India have localities named after Haqiqat Rai, mostly the ones where the partition refugees settled; for example, Hakikat Nagar in Delhi.


  1. ^ Maan Singh Nirankari (2008). Sikhism, a Perspective. Unistar Books. p. 154. ISBN 978-81-7142-621-8. 
  2. ^ Lakshman Singh (2006). The Sikh Martyrs. Singh Brothers. pp. 118–122. ISBN 978-81-7205-382-6. 
  3. ^ a b Ishwar Dayal Gaur (2008). Martyr as Bridegroom: A Folk Representation of Bhagat Singh. Anthem Press. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-81-905835-0-3. 
  4. ^ a b Himadri Banerjee (2003). The other Sikhs: a view from eastern India. Manohar. pp. 185–186. ISBN 978-81-7304-495-3. 
  5. ^ Gokul Chand Narang (1972). Glorious history of Sikhism: from the times and teachings of Guru Nanak to the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. New Book Society of India. pp. 70–71. 
  6. ^ Ahsan Jan Qaisar; Som Prakash Verma; Mohammad Habib (1 January 1996). Art and Culture: Endeavours in Interpretation. Abhinav Publications. p. 9. ISBN 978-81-7017-315-1. 
  7. ^ Reeta Grewal; Sheena Pall; Indu Banga (2005). Precolonial and colonial Punjab: society, economy, politics, and culture : essays for Indu Banga. Manohar. p. 176. ISBN 978-81-7304-654-4. 
  8. ^ a b W. H. McLeod (24 July 2009). The A to Z of Sikhism. Scarecrow Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8108-6344-6. 
  9. ^ a b Harbans Singh (1 January 1998). The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism: S-Z. Publications Bureau. p. 413. ISBN 978-81-7380-530-1. 
  10. ^ Nandini Gooptu (5 July 2001). The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early Twentieth-Century India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 223–. ISBN 978-0-521-44366-1. 
  11. ^ Pran Nevile (2006). Lahore : A Sentimental Journey. Penguin Books India. pp. 23–. ISBN 978-0-14-306197-7. 
  12. ^ Pritam Singh and Shinder Thandi, ed. (1996). Globalisation and the region: explorations in Punjabi identity. Association for Punjab Studies (UK). p. 49. ISBN 978-1-874699-05-7. 
  13. ^ "EDITORIAL: Can't we have a nice time?". Daily Times. 2004-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Basant Panchami celebrated in traditional way". The Tribune. 2010-01-21. 
  15. ^ Gurdaspur: Tourist Places
  16. ^ India. Director of Census Operations, Punjab (1996). Census of India, 1991: Punjab. Controller of Publications. p. 17.