Sikhism is a religion founded in India in the fifteenth century that now comprises the fifth-largest world religion. Approximately 30 million people are affiliated with Sikhism worldwide.
What do Sikhs believe? What is Sikhism?
Of great importance in its original context was the principle that all people are equal and the rejection of discrimination based on gender, caste, family, or beliefs. In addition, Sikhism includes some aspects of both Islam and Hinduism. It believes in one God, called the Sat Nam (True Name) or Eckankar. In addition, Sikhism adheres to the eastern concepts of karma and reincarnation, teaching that the series of reincarnations can be broken through mystical devotion to Sat Nam.
Sikhism also adheres to a primary source of divine writing like Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Instead of a Bible or Qur'an, however, its inspired writing is called the Guru Granth Sahi or Adi Granth that was published in 1604. It includes both the teachings and songs of the Sikh tradition.
Some of the social teachings of Sikhism that stand out include refraining from alcohol, drugs, and tobacco; not cutting one's hair; and discouragement regarding material wealth. Sikhs are also forbidden to offer animal sacrifices and have no priestly class like many other religions.
Approximately three-fourths of the world's Sikhs live in the Punjab province of India where they comprise a majority of the population. Over the past two centuries, growing migration of Sikhs for work-related purposes has led to communities in Canada, the United States, Middle East, East Africa, the United Kingdom, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
In comparing Sikhism with biblical Christianity, several contradictions emerge. First, the definition of God is vastly different. Sikhs worship a single God, yet it is a God far different than the Triune God of Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Second, the holy writings of both groups are different. For Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib is believed to be inspired, while Christians follow the inspired teachings of the Bible. Third, salvation is different. Sikhs follow a set of practices they believe will help them in the next life, while the Bible teaches all people stand in need of salvation through Jesus Christ alone by faith (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 4:12). Finally, the Sikh view of the afterlife includes reincarnation rather than the biblical teachings of heaven or hell after this life.
Sikhism is not a blending of Islam and Hinduism, yet it is also not compatible with the teachings of the Bible. It exists as its own unique religious movement, one of great influence in parts of India and beyond, yet far different from the teachings of biblical Christianity.
How is Christianity unique?
What do Hindus believe? What is Hinduism?
What do Muslims believe? What is Islam?
What do Eckists believe? What is Eckankar?
What are the major world religions in existence today?
Truth about Religion