The word “Sahibzada” means “son” in Punjabi and is a term commonly used to refer to the 4 sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru. The word is a traditional word not used in the everyday language of today. The plural of the word is “Sahibzade” with a stretched “A” sound at the end.
The younger pair, called the “Chotta Sahibzade” were martyred together by the Mughals in Sirhind at the tender age of 6 and 9 years old. The older sahibzade, called the “Vaada Sahibzade” died fighting the enemy of many thousands at the young age of 18 and 14 years old in battle at Chamkaur Sahib.
Char Sahibzade, (“char” means four and “sahibzade” refers to the sons or scions, young men of genteel birth) is a term endearingly used for the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, (Nanak X) all of whom died as martyrs while still very young. Their names are reverently preserved in Sikh memory and are recalled every time Sikh ardas or prayer of supplication is recited at a congregation or privately by an individual.
The martyrdom of the four sahibzade is an important part of Sikh history and the occasion of their martyrdom is remembered and commemorated both with great vigor and very acute sadness, by large numbers of Sikhs, every year in December by the Sikh Sangat (holy congregation).
The 21st and 26th of December are days that hold very dear memories for Sikhs around the world, for it was on these days in 1705 that the older sahibzade Baba Ajit Singh and Baba Jujhar Singh first set off for their heaven abode on the 21st and then on the 26th, as the delicate and tender light of the younger Sahibzade, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh was cruelly and inhumanely extinguished by the Mughal ruler of Sirhind.
Sahibzada Fateh Singh (12 December 1699 – 26 December 1705), the youngest of Guru Gobind Singh’s four sons, was born to Mata Jito ji (also known as Mata Sundari ji) at Anandpur on 12 December 1699. During the flight from Anandpur, when the Sikhs, having been promised safe passage to Punjab, Sahibzada Fateh Singh was, along with his elder brother Zorawar Singh, put under the care of his grandmother, Mata Gujari Kaur ji, Unfortunately in the confusion of the rain swollen Sarsa (normally little more than a creek) and an attack by Muslim pursuers, the Guru’s two youngest sons and their Grandmother were separated from the main body of Sikhs.
Sahibzada Zorawar Singh (November 28, 1696 – December 26, 1705), the third son of Guru Gobind Singh, was born to Mata Jito Ji (also known as Mata Sundari Ji) at Anandpur on November 28, 1696. He was barely nine years old at the time of the evacuation of Anandpur on the night of December 20, 1704.
Sahibzada Jujhar Singh (27 September 1691 – 7 December 1705), the second son of Guru Gobind Singh, was born to Mata Jito ji (also known as Mata Sundari ji) at Anandpur on 27 September 1691 (as per Nanakshahi calendar).
Sahibzada Ajit Singh (11 February 1687 – 7 December 1705), the eldest of four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, was born to Mata Jito ji (also known as Mata Sundari ji) at Paonta sahib on 11 February 1687. The following year, Guru Gobind Singh returned with the family to Anandpur where Ajit Singh was brought up in the approved Sikh style.