Posted by: Submitter | February 17, 2008

Sikhism

SIKHISM

Founder

The father of the Sikh religion, Guruk Nanak Dev was born on April 15, 1469 in the Punjabi village of Talwandi in the Shaikhupura district not far from today’s Lahore into a noble Hindu family. His father was an accountant under the employment of Muslim authorities and his mother was also a high born woman. Nanak had an interest in religion at an early age, entertaining both Hindu and Muslim friends. At six years old he was sent to school to learn Hindi and mathematics. There have been some who claim that he learned Persian and Arabic, but no sound historical records have been forthcoming to prove such a claim.

At 13 years of age, when it was time for him to wear the sacred thread of Hindu tradition, he rejected the custom and demanded that people should just have good characters rather than wear threads. This brought some embarrassment and shame upon his family, but they were able to weather the storm.

Nanak went on to herd the family cattle and during his free time, he would debate with Hindus and Muslims about theological issues, much to the consternation of his family. At the age of 16, his parents had him married to a daughter of a merchant by the name of Sulakhani. Both were nobles and the match was complete. When the family had two sons, Sri Chand (b. 1494 AD) and Lakshmi Chand (b. 1497 AD) he was overjoyed. At this time he concerned himself less with spiritual matters and more with employment. His parents secured him a job as an accountant in charge of the supplies of the Muslim governor of Sultanpur.

Although hard working, early every morning, Nanak would go to the river Bain for his bath after meditating on the purpose of life. One day he disappeared and did not reappear for three days (it is believed that this happened around the year 1496 AD). When the startled people were surprised by his presence, he began to preach his new religion, which began with the words,

‘There is no Hindu, there is no Mussulman (corrupted Hindi for Muslim)’

At thirty years of age, he began to travel and preach his new religion to people. All religions are one, and people should live in commitment and righteousness to them. To make his preaching more easily acceptable, he chose the medium of music, with the hypnotic wail of flutes and the beating of a tambourine to preach the faith. When in the presence of Muslims, he would pretend to be an adherent of that religion, dressing in their clothes and using whatever technical terms he had learned of the faith. When with Hindus, he would employ the same tactics.

It is also reported that he used deceptive tactics to gain entry to the sacred city of Makkah in Arabia, the most revered site to Muslims. While there he sought to convert people to his new Hindu/Muslim blended religion. After failing in this venture, he set out to other lands, one of them being Tibet, to try to curry favour with the followers of other religions. For all of the proselytising and preaching that he took part in, he was able to gain little following other than those who were in the subcontinent or had had visited him hearing about his rumoured powers of reason and miracles. On September 22, 1539 AD, Guru Nanak died and went under the Judgement of Allah, with the rest of the pretenders and false prophets that had preceded him. It was said by his admirers that he had been ‘bewitched by the beauty of the Creation of God.’ What fitting words for those who claim prophesy after the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

Key beliefs

The beliefs that are going to be given are those of the majority position in Sikhism as far as we know. You should make note of these and remember them in the event that you have a Sikh neighbour or a friend who you may preach the faith to and help from darkness to light.

1. The Lord Almighty is unknowable

2. Each prophet that has come through time has been a reincarnation of the one previous. All of them come from one original spirit.

3. Guru Nanak, the Gurus after him and all previous prophets taught the same message.

4. Salvation is in good deeds that break the cycle of reincarnation.

5. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) was neither the primordial prophet nor the last of them.

6. The Qur’an is not the final revelation.

7. The Universe is eternal in scope.

8. Those that follow their religions sincerely and with good deeds will be saved and in good standing.

9. All religions emanate from One Source and One God. Any faith is of God that glorifies Him.

10. Muslim halaal meat is absolutely forbidden (Kosher meat would fall under the same classification). This would be classed as killing by prayer and/or slow death, things that Sikhism strictly prohibits. Therefore, sacrificial meat is absolutely impermissible.

11. The covenant of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him ), which was sealed in the contract of circumcision for all males, is rejected and not accepted, for the reason that, if the Lord Almighty wanted someone to be circumcised, they would have been born that way.

12. There is no Great Fire to come. Rather this is not a place but represents the cycle of births and rebirths.

13. There is no Paradise, but really it is the merging with Allah and becoming one with Him.

14. Karma regulates the reincarnation and transmigration of the soul.

15. There is no Day of Judgement, but rather a continuation of the cycle of transmigration or merging with ‘the One.

16. The five cardinal vices are mentioned as Kam (lust), Krudh (anger), Lubh (greed), Muh (worldly attachment) and Ahankar (pride). If one defeats these, they will achieve salvation. But idolatry is not considered among the five cardinal vices.

Extent

Sikhism has attracted the devotion of 16 million followers, most of them in India. But as more Sikhs move to the West, this exposes Muslims more to Sikhism so that they might be equipped to guide the devotees of Guru Nanak to a true and lasting faith.

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Responses

  1. http://sikhismexplained.wordpress.com/


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