Sant Kabir was brought up by a Muslim weaver. No one knew whether he was born a Hindu or a Muslim as eh was found as a small baby, left alone on a river bank. The Muslim weaver brought him hone and raised him. Right from early childhood, he was a different child from all the rest. He prayed a lot and said that all men and women are children of one Almighty Creator. Hence all of us must help one another and live like brothers and sisters. He was kind, courteous and helpful to all.
One day some Brahmins were annoyed with him as he said that sacrificing things in fire does not really appease God. It is man’s kind actions, truth and purity that matter. They decided to set his hut on fire. Quietly in the middle of the night, they sprinkled kerosene all round his hut and set it in flames. They try ran away. The neighbors were alarmed when they saw the tongues of fire leaping in the air. They rushed to pour water on the burning hut. After a while, Sant Kabir emerged from inside, totally unharmed. He smiled and said that people whose hears are filled with hatred must be pitied, never harmed. They must be forgiven with love in our hearts.
Sant Kabir composed ‘dohas’ or short couplets which were full of wisdom. He preached religious tolerance. He refused to participate in any activities that set Hindus and Muslims apart. He would invite home beggars and share whatever little he had with them. Then he would speak to them about the basic unity of mankind.
Who has not heard of Sai Baba of Shirdi? Was he a Hindu? Was he a Muslim? Who knows? He was a saint who worked ceaselessly to uplift the poor and helped everybody in difficulties. He knew how to make medicines from herbs. Eh sat by the sick and nursed them with loving care. He too spoke of one Almighty Creator who is father to all mankind- Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Parsees and Christians are all his children. Customs may differ, languages may differ but ultimately, we all pray to this one supreme God, father to all mankind, animals, birds and plants.