What is Sikhism?Sikhism is a monotheistic religion based on a definitive revelation. With over 25 million followers worldwide, Sikhism is one of the youngest major world religions. Sikhism was revealed to Guru Nanak over 500 years ago in the Punjab, the Sikh Homeland in South Asia. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion, remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality between all human beings and social justice, while emphatically denouncing superstitions and blind rituals.
What is the message of Sikhism?All peoples of the world are equal
Women are equal
One God for all
Speak and live truthfully
Control the five vices
Live in God's hukam (Universal Laws)
Meditate on the name of God (Remember God)
Practice Humility, Kindness, Compassion, Love, etc
How many Sikhs are there worldwide?Sikhism is one of the world’s youngest religions, but is the fifth largest religion in the world with over 25 million followers.
What does Sikhism teach about other religions?The Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, is the only major religious text which contains writings by teachers of other faiths. This is because the Sikh Gurus taught that there are many different ways of achieving a connection with the God. The Sikh way is one of these ways. If you are following the Sikh way, you must follow it to the best of your abilities, and with absolute devotion.
What are the Sikh Articles of Faith?Sikhs wear an external uniform to unify and bind them to the beliefs of the religion and to remind them of their commitment to the Sikh faith at all times. Unlike other faiths where only the clergy are in uniform, all Sikhs are enjoined to wear the uniform of their beliefs. These five articles of faith, along with a turban, distinguish a Sikh and have deep spiritual significance for Sikhs. The five articles of faith start with the "k" alphabet in Punjabi, and are thereby referred to as the 5 K's. They are:
1. Kes (uncut hair)
2. Kangha (comb)
3. Kara (steel bracelet)
4. Kirpan (sword)
5. Kaccha (soldier’s shorts)
Why do Sikhs wear turbans?The turban is part of the uniform because it has immense spiritual and temporal significance. Wearing a turban declares sovereignty, dedication, self-respect, courage and piety. All practicing Sikhs wear the turban out of love and as a mark of commitment to the faith.
Why do so many Sikhs have a common name, Singh or Kaur?The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, created the unique identity of the Sikhs and also gave all Sikh men one last name - Singh - and all Sikh women another - Kaur. The reason for doing so is strongly rooted in the culture of South Asia. In that time period’s caste-ridden society and even today, someone’s last/family name signifies their social status and caste. Guru Gobind Singh wanted to remove these barriers between people, and create an egalitarian society. The word “Singh” means “Lion” and the word “Kaur” denotes “Princess.” Over time, many Sikh families have reverted to using their family name, but have maintained Singh and Kaur as middle names.