How Mughals Celebrated Diwali
In 1737, when Muhammed Shah Rangila, was ruling New Delhi, Bhai Mani Singh was the chief manager(Sarbrah) and head priest of Harimandir Sahib. He sought the permission of Mughal Nawab of Punjab, Zakaria Khan, to celebrate Diwali in Harimandir Sahib.
The Mughal Nawab granted Sikhs the permission to celebrate Diwali in Harimandir Sahib on condition that he pay a religious tax of 10000 rupees. Mani Singh thought he could manage to pay this amount as a large number of pilgrims would be expected along with donations. The Mughal Nawab had other plans. 30,000 Mughal troops were secretly deployed around the Harimandir sahib with insidious intentions. Bhai Mani Singh discovered this devious plan and immediately issued a Hukumnamah asking pilgrims not to attend Diwali celebrations at Amritsar.
Those pilgrims who already arrived saw that the Mughal army had been stationed to butcher them on Diwali. They immediately rushed back. Since the pilgrims had not turned up, the amount could not be realized. Mani Singh was unable to pay the amount he promised to Mughal Nawab.
Bhai Mani Singh was taken to the Mughal prison of Lahore. The Mughal Nawab asked Mani Singh to convert to Islam if his life were to be spared. Mani Singh flatly refused this offer. Outraged, the Mughal Nawab consulted Mullahs to determine the punishment due to Mani Singh. The Mullahs looked up the holy book of the Quran and declared that Mani Singh’s entire body had to be cut into pieces, limb by limb for his refusal to accept the holy faith!
The Mughals then began dismembering Mani Singh into pieces starting with his fingers. After his limbs, arms, and internal organs were dismembered he was thrown into a mill and torn into pieces.
His infant children were killed and their bodies were appended to spears. Their bodies were then put up for public display in front of Badshahi Masjid of Lahore.