A first hand account of the Sikhs written by Qazi Nur Muhammad, a writer who accompanied Ahmed Shah Abdali, the Moghul ruler who invaded and descecrated Harmandir Sahib in 1764.
“Do not call the Sikhs dogs
Because they are courageous like lions in the battlefield.
How can a hero who roars like a lion be called a dog by us?
If you wish to learn the art of war,
Then come face to face with them in the field.
They will demonstrate it to you in such a way
That one and and all will praise them for it.
If you wish to learn the science of war,
O swordsmen, come to learn from them;
How to face an enemy like a hero
And yet to get out safely unhurt
O! it is unjust to call them dogs, as we do.
Leaving aside their mode of fighting,
Hear ye another point, how they excel all other fighting people:
In no case would they slay a coward,
Nor would they put an obstacle in the way of a fugitive.
They do not plunder the wealth or ornament of a woman
Be she a well-to-do lady or a humble servant.
There is no adultery among these ‘dogs’
Nor are these mischievous people given to thieving.
There is no thief at all among these ‘dogs’
Nor is there any house-breaker born among them.
They do not make friends with adulterers and house breakers.
They are not among Hundus
They have a seperate religion of their own.
from The Sikh Way of Life by Ranbir Singh