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Sikhism and its connection with Islam

Sikhism is one of the most recent religious faith, only 500 years old. It has strong influence from Islam, specially Sufi Islam. The founder, Baba Nanak Sahib {Guru Nanak Dev (14691538)} did not intend to establish a new religion of his own. One of his principal aims was to build bridges of love and harmony between people of different faiths and communities, exhorting them to serve the one God. Now, in Arabic, one who surrenders himself or herself to God and God’s Will is called a ‘Muslim’, and this is why many Sufis consider Baba Nanak Sahib to have been a true Muslim.

The Udasis or accounts of the travels of Baba Nanak Sahib tell us that he traveled to Mecca for the Hajj or Islamic Pilgrimage. He is also said to have spent six long years in Baghdad, which was then a major centre for the Sufis. Here he studied with many leading Sufis of his day, and it is said that he was presented by the Sufis of the city with a turban as a token of respect and honor. In Baghdad , in the courtyard of the shrine of Hazrat Bahlol Danaai, a famous Sufi, there is a shrine which mentions that Baba Nanak Sahib stayed there. The shoes, the Muslim-style prayer mat [ja-namaz] and the blanket of Baba Nanak and the copy of the Holy Qur’an which he used to regularly read, are also preserved there. Baba Nanak Sahib’s chief disciple was Mardana, who remained a Muslim till he died, and he served Baba Nanak Sahib for sixty-four long years. Mardana’s descendants still live in Lahore. They describe themselves as Sikh-Muslims.

Basic faiths of Sikhism:

Sikhism began about 500 years ago by Guru Nanak, word Sikh is derived from the word Sisya (disciple)

Scripture : Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib), Sikhs follow path of japa (recitation) of hymn, devotional prayers (kirtana) singing the names of God (e.g., Nam Simran)

Belief in ten Gurus - spiritual guide who dispels ignorance and darkness

God is creator of the universe and its existence and continued survival depends on His hukum (will)

Monistic or Non-dual, ultimate reality is unity of all existence, God is both Saguna (with attributes) and Nirguna (without attributes), and is called by names such as Sat (truth), Sat Guru (true Guru), Akal Purkh (timeless being), kartar (creator) and Wahi-Guru (praise to the God).

Sikh is immersed in God assimilated, identified with Him. It is the fulfillment of individuality in which man, freed of all limitation becomes co-extensive and co-operant and co-present with God.

Guru Gobind Singh (last living Guru) organized Sikh tradition of Khalsa (pure one). Male members traditionally wear 5 "k"s, uncut hair and beard (kesh), comb (kanga), traditional shorts (kacha), wrist ring (kada), sword (kirpan).

Attachment to material objects is the primary cause of rebirth on the basis of past karma (action)

Only way to achieve liberation (mukti) from the cycle of birth and death is by being God-conscious (gurmukh)

Does not believe in incarnation of God in human form. Disapproves asceticism and self mortification as path to enlightenment.

From, Sufi News // Hindunet // The Birth of Sikhism // Sikhism // Inter relation of Sikh Gurus and Sufis // About Guru Nanak

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