Gurbani Word Of The Day: dastaar

​ਦਸਤਾਰ (dastaar)
Meaning: noun: Turban cloth.


ਨਾਪਾਕ ਪਾਕੁ ਕਰਿ ਹਦੂਰਿ ਹਦੀਸਾ   ਸਾਬਤ ਸੂਰਤਿ ਦਸਤਾਰ ਸਿਰਾ॥
naapaak paak kar hadoor hadeesaa   saabat soorat dastaar siraa.
Let purifying the impure mind be your book of divine instructions (Hadis),and a wholesome personality (exemplary character) be the turban (crown) on your head. -Guru Arjan Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1084

Message: Some Persian men, especially from Khorasan (Iran), traditionally wore/wear a turban called, “dastar”. A fun fact is that, dastar is a Persian word which has entered some South Asian languages. Sikhs also use the word dastar or dastara (as used by the Khalsa) to refer to their turban.

The Sikh Scripture speaks to humanity from all faiths. Likewise, the authors of Guru Granth Sahib talk to individuals in the vocabulary of their own faith and suggest how they can be better practitioners of their faith. Here, Guru Arjan Sahib is addressing a Muslim seeker and telling him what the Guru thinks about the true way of following the Islamic code of conduct, and who is a true Muslim acceptable in the court of Allah.

The part of the hymn from where this verse is taken advises us to make good conduct our body, firm faith our spouse, and enjoying the bliss of spiritual union with the Divine our pleasures. In this context, the verse implies: Let purifying the impure mind be our teachings and keeping ourselves intact (undistorted by vices) our turban or crown on our head.

Contextually the advice is to a Muslim but it applies to all irrespective of faith. It is a universal message for believers of all faiths to conduct themselves in accordance with the real message of their faiths, instead of merely focusing on outer rituals.

ਹੋਵਹਿ ਲਿੰਙ ਝਿੰਙ ਨਹ ਹੋਵਹਿ   ਐਸੀ ਕਹੀਐ ਸੂਰਤਿ॥
Such a personality, which has all its limbs (virtues, intact) and is not (limbless, like) a shrimp, is called beautiful.  – Guru Angad Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib, 1245

Notes: The Hadis (or Hadith) is the collection of biographic reports about the sayings, customs and doings of Mohammed and his companions. Next to the Quran, it is the second most important text, an important source of doctrine, law, and practice in Islam.

Etymology: From Persian dastaar (related with hand – sash or fine cloth used by hand; a handkerchief; a towel)from dasat (hand).

Some Fun Facts:
dasat: The hand.
dastaar-bast: A fine linen turban.
dastaar-band: A servant who makes up the turban.
dastaar-bandaan: (Wearers of turban) Chiefs, nobles, and learned men, etc.
– A Dictionary, Persian, Arabic, and English by John Richardson

1. A ceremony of wearing turban, act of wearing turban by the son or the heir of an elderly person, offered to him by his near and dear ones at the time of the elder’s death.
2. Custom of wearing turban on the installation of a Muslim judge.
– Encyclopedia of the Sikh literature by Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha

The Persian dastaar is different from the Muslim turban. Here is an example: 




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