Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth guru of Sikh, was the first of the two gurus to be martyred in the Sikh faith. He is known for compiling the first copy of the Sikh scripture called Adi Granth, now known as Guru Granth Sahib. First Guru to be born in the Sikh family, he completed the construction of Darbar Sahib in Amritsar, compiled the hymns of previous Gurus and other saints into Adi Granth and installed it in the Harimandir Sahib. Also Read - Amarinder pays homage to Guru Arjan Dev
In the year 1606, he was captured by Mughal Emperor Jahangir and was imprisoned in Lahore Fort due to his increasing influence in Northern India and the fast spread of Sikhism. It is also believed that Guru also blessed Jahangir’s rebellious son Khusrau. It is also said that his conversions to Sikhism threatened the orthodox Muslim clergy and Hindu elite. Also Read - Pak issues 96 visas to Sikhs for Guru Arjan Dev's death anniv
After arresting the guru, Jahangir asked him to convert to Islam but he refused. He even fined the guru with Rs 2 lakh plus elimination of all text from the Adi Granth that the Mughal emperor found ‘offensive’ to Hindu or Muslims. But again he refused. So, Jahangir condemned him to be tortured to death.
Famously, the guru was made to sit in a burning hot plate and hot sand was poured on his face. It is said that when he was allowed to take a bath in River Ravi on May 30, 1606, he never returned. It is now the exact place where Gurudwara Dera Sahib in Lahore stands. However, it is still unclear if he died by drowning in the river or by torture. In the history of Sikhism, his martyrdom is considered as a watershed event. As per the Nanakshashi calendar released in 2003 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 2003, this day is considered as Shaheedi Divas of Guru Arjan, which annually occurs in May or June.