Sikhism: Beliefs, Goals, Traditions

Sikhism is a form of philosophy or religion that was founded in the 15th century in the Punjab area in India. The religion is practiced by people referred to as the Sikhs. According to Singh (2018), Sikhism is believed to have been started by Guru Nanak (1469–1539), who was later succeeded by nine other people who are called Gurus. According to Farhadian (2015), Sikhism means the “way of the gurus”. The Sikhs believe the ten human gurus were led by one spirit. After the demise of Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the spirit moved into an external guru forming the religion’s sanctified scripture. The Sikhs call the scripture Adi Granth “First Volume” or Guru Granth Sahib “The Granth as the Guru”. Today the religion is practiced by over 25 million people majority of whom reside in the city of Punjab.

The goal of Sikhism is to shape a close and adoring connection with God. Sikhism is somewhat similar to Islam because both religions believe in one God, although he has many different names. Also, the Sikhs just like the Hindus, believe in Samara, that is, the cycle of birth, life, and death. However, the Sikhs do not believe in the caste system, which does not promote equality. The Sikhs’ overriding principle is that all people are equal before the eyes of God. Farhadian (2015) states that the Sikhs perform prayers several times in a day. They are not allowed to worship other forms of gods such as icons, images, or idols. The Sikhs call all their male children “Singh” meaning lion, while the women carry the name “Kaur” meaning princess (Singh, 2018). The naming was adopted as a strict deviation from the Hindu culture.


Farhadian, C.E. (2015). Introducing World Religions: A Christian Engagement. Baker Publishing Group.

Singh, J.S. (2018). Who are the Sikhs and what are their beliefs? Web.

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