Sikh History

Sikhism is a syncretistic religion, a combination of Hinduism and Islam. The name of the religion means learner. It is often mispronounced 'seek'; the English word 'sick' is much closer to the correct pronunciation.

Its founder was Guru Nanak, (1469-1538) who was born in the Punjab area of what is now Pakistan. At Sultanpur, he received a vision to preach the way to enlightenment and God. He is responsible for the saying "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim" which has since become one of the pillars of Sikhism. Guru Nanak and Panth (his followers) later built the first Sikh temple at Katarpur.

A succession of nine Gurus (regarded as reincarnations of Guru Nanak) led the movement during the period from Guru Nanak's death until 1708. At that time, the functions of the Guru passed to the Panth and to the holy text.

A Sikh state was founded in the early 19th Century. It lasted until the invasion by Great Britain triggered the Sikh Wars (1845-1849). The British successfully gained control over all of India. After independence in 1947, occupied India was partitioned on religious grounds into a mostly Moslem Pakistan and mostly Hindu India. A mass migration of Sikhs from Pakistan to India and a reverse migration of Moslems resulted. The Sikhs have been seeking an independent homeland since the late 1940's. They totaled 147,440 in the 1991 Canadian census.

Sikh Holy Texts

The tenth Guru, Gobind Rai finished the compilation of hymns and writings into the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. This text is read by all Sikhs.

Sikh Beliefs

Beliefs include:

Sikh Practices

Practices include:

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