D&D Religion's "Ask About Sikhism" Thread Watch

Ferdowsi
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(Original post by SaintSoldier)
First, define the position of God in Islam/Christianity. Then I can answer your question
Fair enough :P

The position of God in Islam is most importantly monotheistic. God created the world and he created the people in it. God created the rules by which his creation is meant to live, and he is the moral arbitrator with respect to sin and in judgement and ascension to paradise. People are meant to worship and praise God, and only God. Christianity is roughly the same , but it is a bit less prescriptive and has traces of dualism with Jesus.
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Ibn Fulaan
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(Original post by SaintSoldier)
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does sikhism have a formal system of goverment
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Phantom Lord
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Do Sikhs believe in Heaven and/or Hell?
If yes, are all non-believers going to hell?
Why don't Sikhs try to get more people to convert?
Are Sikhs allowed to marry non-Sikhs?
Are homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage allowed?
What's your opinion of the Khalistan militant organisations?
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Charzhino
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(Original post by AkaJetson)
Do Sikhs believe in Heaven and/or Hell?
It is fairly certain from scripture that heaven and hell is not a literal place akin to abrahamic religions. Heaven is the peaceful blissful state of the soul once its merged with paramatma [God].

If yes, are all non-believers going to hell?
People who dont achieve this escape from the material world will be reborn within it.

Why don't Sikhs try to get more people to convert?
As in all dharmic religions, it considers multiple paths to achieve enlightenment.
Are Sikhs allowed to marry non-Sikhs?
Yes
Are homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage allowed?
I think abortion is not recommnded unless it endagners mother. As for homosexuality and premartial relations, there is no specific rule. However if one considers it detrimental to their path for achieving enlightenment then they are negative aspects.

What's your opinion of the Khalistan militant organisations?
Youll have to ask someone else. I really hate it when religion becomes a part of politics and state affairs.
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P.Kaur
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(Original post by AkaJetson)
Do Sikhs believe in Heaven and/or Hell?
Good question! Sikhs believe in reincarnation, and the ultimate goal of the Sikh is to become one with God- to break the cycle of reincarnation and merge with Him. This ultimate peace of merging with God can be seen as our concept of heaven; on the other hand, we don't reject the Christian principle of heaven and hell. It may well be that such places exist and some people are consigned to them based on their actions... it's possible that there are different realms and different goals for the believers of different religions. Nonetheless, Sikhs hold a view that their mission is to get to Sachkhand (which is this merging with God I was talking about).

If yes, are all non-believers going to hell?
No. But they may not find salvation in this life, they may be consigned to another life... it is important to believe in God but the need for good actions is emphasised; I guess you can't have one without the other. No one can really say.

Why don't Sikhs try to get more people to convert?
We haven't been given any indication that it's necessary to convert others. It's important that whoever is a Muslim follows Islam properly, and the Hindu follows Hinduism properly, etc- if they do, they too can reach their ultimate goal. Basically, there are different pathways to God.

Are Sikhs allowed to marry non-Sikhs?
It wouldn't be ideal because the Sikh marriage ceremony incorporates God as the central part of the marriage. Promises are made that the couple will join together and devote themselves to getting to God... marriage is not about two people in love, but two people who realise that their marriage is more about love with God. It includes doing the early morning prayers together, meditation, etc etc. In other words, marriage is about God so it would make sense if both partners were of the same religion. Race and such is unimportant, but the goals and the way of life should be the same.

Note: I'm talking about religious Sikhs who actually follow Sikhism. Most "Sikh" weddings you will hear of may take place in a Gurdwara but the couple aren't concerned with God, don't understand what's being said, make such promises without caring just because everyone else does. Such a case is obviously different.

Are homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage allowed?
Homosexuality- nothing has been said on the topic, so it's really left to individual opinion. Personally I'm not against it, and we're certainly not able to judge anyone who is homosexual even if we ourselves don't agree with it.

Abortion- again, nothing's said, left to personal opinion.

Sex before marriage- no, it's now allowed. One of the things that we should try to conquer is lust... that indicates that even after marriage, one shouldn't have sex for pleasure, but for procreation.
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SaintSoldier
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(Original post by Ferdowsi)
The position of God in Islam is most importantly monotheistic. God created the world and he created the people in it. God created the rules by which his creation is meant to live, and he is the moral arbitrator with respect to sin and in judgement and ascension to paradise. People are meant to worship and praise God, and only God.
Isn't that the same for all religions?

(Original post by getoom)
does sikhism have a formal system of goverment
Yes :yep:

It's currently not in use, as there is not Sikh state in existance, but it is there. It's actually very in depth and it suits the mdern era more than any other religion's system.

Milton Friedman, an American Economist who won the Nobel Prize for his field, had this to say about the Sikh political system:
"If India comes solely under the authority of the Sikhs, then the problems of degeneration and poverty will be solved. The fear of any foreign invasion will cease to exist." - Milton Friedman.

Quote me again if you want more info about what our political system actually entails, but yes we do have one.


(Original post by AkaJetson)
Do Sikhs believe in Heaven and/or Hell?
No. We believe in reincarnation.

When Guru Granth Sahib refers to "heaven" and "hell," it does not mean that they are literal places that we will go to. It refers to states of mind.

Heaven - the state of spiritual bliss when you are following the Gurus' teachings. People in this state feel no pain, no anger, hence they are metaphorically in "heaven."

Hell - the state of pain when you do not follow the Guru and live an immoral life. You will constantly receive pain through the karma system, and you're stuck in the materialistic world.



Why don't Sikhs try to get more people to convert?
Two methods of parchaar (preaching) are permitted:

1. Role model. A Sikh should practice Sikhism to the greatest extent possible. By doing this, people around that Sikh will come to admire him/her. They will want to be like him/her. They may want to convert in this situation. We believe that our rehit (code of conduct) causes people to emerge as role models in society. In India, Sikhs are commonly refered to as "sardars." This literally means "leader." The Hindus/Muslims/etc. all Sikhs this because Sikhs have always been the leaders of the diverse mutlicultural communities of India, and they have always fought for justice for everyone, not just themselves.

2. General human morality. Telling someone not to steal is a form of preaching. We can condemn things that all religions condemn, hence making society better.

What we are NOT allowed to do is go around town entres shouting "Sikhism is the only truth" or something stupid like that.

It makes people feel bad about their own religion, and hurts their feelings. We, as Sikhs, cannot do this.

A lot of Atheists have told me that they respect Sikhism because we do not preach. Preachers lose respect for the community that they represent. We Sikhs pride ourselves that our community has a reputation for being hard working and loveable. We do not want to lose that.

Also, we believe that religions are just labels. It's what you do that really counts, not what you think. Anyone can say "I believe in X," but it takes much more effort to go out and feed the poor etc. This is what you will be rewarded for, not some fickle belief that nobody can even see.


Are Sikhs allowed to marry non-Sikhs?
No.

A lot of Sikhs will tell you that we can, for the own convenience. The truth is we can't.

There are various Hukamnamas (commands) relating to this. the rehit (code of conduct) states that you must marry a Sikh if you are a Sikh.

It's not about prejudice or anything, it's just common sense. If one parent is talking about Guru Nanak's teachings, while the other is saying that Guru Nanak was a false prophet and will be in Hell, what is the child going to do? Such a family would be cleft apart by divorce very soon. Children need to learn about Sikhism, hence both parents must be Sikh.

homosexuality,
This is a topic of debate within the Sikh community.

Guru Gobind Singh told us that any disputes must be resolved by the Akal Takht, the supreme seat of Sikh temporal power.

Read this for the official opinion and the reasons for it.



abortion
Sikhs believe that life starts and conception, therefore abortion should not be done for convenience reasons:
"For months He preserved you in your mother’s womb, and then, after you were born," (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 481)

However, Guru Gobind Singh gave the Khalsa free thinking. We are not trapped in dogma, like some other religions. Thus, if a Sikh thinks that abortion is justified (eg. in the case of rape), the she is free to carry it out. As long as the decision is based on Gurbani (the Gurus' word), then no sin is incurred. Adhering to dogma verbatim is pointless.


and sex before marriage allowed?
http://www.sikhanswers.com/modern-yo...posite-gender/


What's your opinion of the Khalistan militant organisations?
Most of them rally most of their support from the UK, Canada, and USA.

That is meaningless support because most UK Sikhs wouldn't move to Khalistan even if it was set up.

They are not listening to the ordinary villager in Punjab. At they end of the day, he is going to be the one living in Khalistan, not some wannabe "bad man" Sikh from Birmingham.

But they do some charity work in Punjab, and I respect them for that.

FYI they're not really "militant" becaus they don't kill innocent people like the Taliban etc. do. Even the Indian government admits that much.

Support for Khalistan is at an all time low, people just aren't interested. Times have changed since 1984, and Sikhs have a much better position in India than they had previously.

Although, have a look at my sig. A lot of Sikhs think that we contribute so much to the state of India, and we get nothing back. Yes, we don't get what is due to us, but we're not getting beaten up and killed in the streets like we were in 1984. Things are slowly improving.
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Phantom Lord
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Militant doesn't necessarily mean kill innocent people.
What is the Sikh equivalent of a Priest? Are both genders allowed to be it?
Why weren't there any female Gurus?
Is there any food Sikhs aren't allowed to consume?
Why do men and women have different names? (Singh and Kaur)
If Sikhs aren't allowed to cut their hair, why are they allowed to cut their nails?
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SaintSoldier
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#688
(Original post by AkaJetson)
Militant doesn't necessarily mean kill innocent people.
True, but most people associate militancy with the killing of innocents.



What is the Sikh equivalent of a Priest? Are both genders allowed to be it?
A Sikh priest is called a Granthi (literally, "of the book").

Sikh women are equal to men in every respect, so yes women have the full right to be priests. We're one of the only religions to allow that.

The only requirement for being a Granthi is that your are an initiated Sikh. Neither your gender nor your family name is taken into account.

We do not have a preistly "caste" like Hinduism, as all forms of casteism are banned in Sikhism.



Why weren't there any female Gurus?
When Guru Nanak was born, the world was a mess.

Women had absolutely no rights. They were regarded as property, to be bought and traded amongst men. Female infanticide was common. They had little value other than for sex.

The Gurus worked hard to raise the position of women. In Sikhism, a man is equal to a women in every respect - both spiritually and temporally. There is no distinction between the two at all.

Since the "lower" status of women had been engrained into society for so many years, it took a long time for the Gurus to undo this. This is why there are no female Gurus.

However, there are many Sikh women who changed the course of history and they are regarded very highly amongst Sikhs. Some examples are:
Mata Khivi, the blessed wife of Guru Angad who was given the role of organizing and managing the Guru Ka Langar (free kitchen)
Mata Gujar Kaur, the blessed wife of Guru Teg Bahadur and mother of Guru Gobind Singh. She expressed great courage, leadership and faith amongst all adversities.
Mata Ajeet Kaur (aka 'Mata Sundari'), the blessed wife of Guru Gobind Singh, who led the Khalsa for 39 years after the Tenth Guru.
Mata Sahib Kaur, the Mother of the Khalsa
Mata Bhaag Kaur, an inspiration that led an army of 40 Sikhs into battle and later was entrusted as the bodyguard of the Tenth Guru.
Shaheed Bibi Harsharan Kaur, who sacrificed her life in single-handedly cremating and performing the last rites of Guru Gobind Singh sons and the Sikhs after the battle of Chamkaur.
Shaheed Mata Susheel Kaur, the brave wife and cheif military advisor of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur

There are so many more examples, but those are just a few.

As you can see, women have a very high place in Sikhism. As time went on, women starting gaining more and more influence - a sign that the Gurus' teachings were finally being heard.

Is there any food Sikhs aren't allowed to consume?
Sikhs are vegetarians.

Why do men and women have different names? (Singh and Kaur)
Singh = Lion (specifically a lion with a mane, hence a male lion).

Kaur = Lioness/Princess.

As you can see, both names are complemetary to the person in question.

It would be offensive to call a woman a "Singh" (and vice versa) because Singh specifically refers to a male lion. Kaur is the word for a female lion (ie a lioness), and can also mean princess, because the royals of India used to have the names "Singh" or "Kaur," to denote how powerful they were.

If Sikhs aren't allowed to cut their hair, why are they allowed to cut their nails?
http://www.realsikhism.com/index.php...8365011&ucat=7
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okapobcfc08
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(Original post by SaintSoldier)
Isn't that the same for all religions?


Yes :yep:


Most of them rally most of their support from the UK, Canada, and USA.

That is meaningless support because most UK Sikhs wouldn't move to Khalistan even if it was set up.

They are not listening to the ordinary villager in Punjab. At they end of the day, he is going to be the one living in Khalistan, not some wannabe "bad man" Sikh from Birmingham.

But they do some charity work in Punjab, and I respect them for that.

FYI they're not really "militant" becaus they don't kill innocent people like the Taliban etc. do. Even the Indian government admits that much.

Support for Khalistan is at an all time low, people just aren't interested. Times have changed since 1984, and Sikhs have a much better position in India than they had previously.

Although, have a look at my sig. A lot of Sikhs think that we contribute so much to the state of India, and we get nothing back. Yes, we don't get what is due to us, but we're not getting beaten up and killed in the streets like we were in 1984. Things are slowly improving.
Lol, Singh dont take this the wrong way but aren't you day dreaming a bit? Im surprised because i thought for a man of your knowledge, you wouldnt come out with such unrealistic and frankly in my opinion incorrect stuff on Khalistan and Sikhs in India?
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Indo-Chinese Food
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(Original post by SaintSoldier)

I don't think that Sikhs should carry them around everywhere, but I think we should definitely be proficient in their use.

Guru Gobind Singh made the Sikhs into weapon bearing warriors, so we need to continue that role and responsibility.

If WW3 broke out tomorrow, how many Sikhs would be able to defend the weak from oppression? Not many, because we are all out of shape and do not possess martial knowledge. A true Sikh would rush to the battlefield, always prepared to sight in order to restore justice.
Well stricktly speajing carrying a small knife, or practicing some ancient indian martial art isnt going to prepare any sikh for WW3.

My question would be -is this relevant to the religion or simpy ritual ? Because if WW3 kicked off tommorrow, use of an M14A1, fighter pilot training or armoured military vehicle licence would be far more useful skills.
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nosaer
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(Original post by P.Kaur)
Sex before marriage- no, it's now allowed. One of the things that we should try to conquer is lust... that indicates that even after marriage, one shouldn't have sex for pleasure, but for procreation.
You've got to be kidding me right? Tough call.
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Phantom Lord
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#692
If someone is born gay, are they expected to not commit homosexual acts for all their life?
How old is the Earth according to Sikhism?
Do Sikhs believe God sent any of those Abrahamic prophets?
You mentioned Sikhs believe in evolution. Can you explain how God created the Earth and its creatures originally?
What do you think of the Sikhs in the EDL?
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J DOT A
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(Original post by okapobcfc08)
Lol, Singh dont take this the wrong way but aren't you day dreaming a bit? Im surprised because i thought for a man of your knowledge, you wouldnt come out with such unrealistic and frankly in my opinion incorrect stuff on Khalistan and Sikhs in India?
He's correct. Most Sikhs in UK, USA and Canada go on about Khalistan, whereas the Sikh farmers in Punjab really couldn't care less.
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P.Kaur
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(Original post by J DOT A)
He's correct. Most Sikhs in UK, USA and Canada go on about Khalistan, whereas the Sikh farmers in Punjab really couldn't care less.
I don't think that's true... we have the ability here to be much more open about the notion of Khalistan than those living under the Indian government do.

(Original post by nosaer)
You've got to be kidding me right? Tough call.
Haha yep, it's a very disciplined way of life.


(Original post by AkaJetson)
If someone is born gay, are they expected to not commit homosexual acts for all their life?
From a Sikh perspective, there are the "five thieves" which humans are bound by, and these are what the Sikh must attempt to renounce; anger, greed, attachment, ego and lust. The fact that lust is something the Sikh should have nothing to do with indicates that sex should only be a means of reproduction, and not for pleasure. Following from that, a homosexual couple would have to abstain from sexual acts, just as any couple who can't/ do not want to procreate. Like I said, Sikh scriptures don't say anything about homosexuality, I'm just using the reasoning that applies to every Sikh.

How old is the Earth according to Sikhism?
kavan s vaelaa vakhath kavan kavan thhith kavan vaar ||
What was that time, and what was that moment? What was that day, and what was that date?

kavan s ruthee maahu kavan jith hoaa aakaar ||
What was that season, and what was that month, when the Universe was created?

vael n paaeeaa pa(n)ddathee j hovai laekh puraan ||
The Pandits, the religious scholars, cannot find that time, even if it is written in the Puraanas.

vakhath n paaeiou kaadheeaa j likhan laekh kuraan ||
That time is not known to the Qazis, who study the Koran.

thhith vaar naa jogee jaanai ruth maahu naa koee ||
The day and the date are not known to the Yogis, nor is the month or the season.

jaa karathaa sirat(h)ee ko saajae aapae jaanai soee ||
The Creator who created this creation-only He Himself knows.

-(Written in JapJi Sahib, the prayer written by Guru Nanak Dev Ji describing God, which is what Guru Granth Sahib Ji begins with.)


Do Sikhs believe God sent any of those Abrahamic prophets?
It is to my understanding that God sent the different prophets, yes. All of the prophets and Hindu deities are workers of God, who were sent by him for different purposes, and whether their teachings have been misconstrued or whether they were actually able to fulfill their missions is a different matter.

You mentioned Sikhs believe in evolution. Can you explain how God created the Earth and its creatures originally?
Guru Granth Sahib Ji doesn't say how the world was created or how humankind developed, but most Sikhs believe that it points to evolution. There don't appear to be any contradictions.

Again, Sikhism doesn't focus on the creation of the world or other such mysteries, as we must ultimately accept that only God knows and questioning it won't help you get to God, which is what Sikhism is focused on.

“The Creator who created this creation-only He Himself knows.”

But again, Gurbani seems to point to the big bang. A quick Google search will probably find many more quotations to support it.

“The True Lord created air (gases) which combined to form liquids (water =Hydrogen +Oxygen). The liquids brought forth the creation. The Lord established Himself as a spark in it.”

What do you think of the Sikhs in the EDL?
So stupid and very anti-Gurmat (contrary to Sikh teachings). Just because people like Guramit "Singh" were born into Sikh families, doesn't make them Sikh or mean that they can represent Sikhs with their evidentily anti Sikh actions and views.
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nosaer
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(Original post by P.Kaur)
Haha yep, it's a very disciplined way of life.
Sounds unhealthy that a couple can only have sex a handful of times throughout their lives (and very very hard to believe).

Anyway, why does Sikhism appear to have similarities and influences from other religions, namely Islam and Hinduism. Is there a link here?
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Study
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(Original post by nosaer)
Sounds unhealthy that a couple can only have sex a handful of times throughout their lives (and very very hard to believe).

Anyway, why does Sikhism appear to have similarities and influences from other religions, namely Islam and Hinduism. Is there a link here?
A copy right link maybey, I was goingg to ask this question aswell lets see what answers we get.
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Charzhino
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(Original post by P.Kaur)
From a Sikh perspective, there are the "five thieves" which humans are bound by, and these are what the Sikh must attempt to renounce; anger, greed, attachment, ego and lust. The fact that lust is something the Sikh should have nothing to do with indicates that sex should only be a means of reproduction, and not for pleasure. Following from that, a homosexual couple would have to abstain from sexual acts, just as any couple who can't/ do not want to procreate. Like I said, Sikh scriptures don't say anything about homosexuality, I'm just using the reasoning that applies to every Sikh.

Most of that paragraph you have made up yourself. Since when did lust mean no pleasure. Lust is a far more extreme vice than what you have described which is apparently equal to 2 loving people enjoying something natural. And nowhere in the Granth is homosexuality mentioned so its best to avoid putting your own spin on it and passing it off as scriptural doctrine.
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Charzhino
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(Original post by nosaer)
Sounds unhealthy that a couple can only have sex a handful of times throughout their lives (and very very hard to believe).

Anyway, why does Sikhism appear to have similarities and influences from other religions, namely Islam and Hinduism. Is there a link here?
It doesnt have too much in common to Islam. It has strong roots to Hinduism however because Guru Nanak was born in a surrounding of Hindu populations. That is the main reason why you will find so many Hindu diety references in the Holy Book. Guru Nanak wanted to restore the purity of worship to the One source of all natural manifestation. Hindus at the time had become too materialsitic worshipping any wooden, stone and metal idol they could see and asking for material requests such as fame and fortune.
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nosaer
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(Original post by Charzhino)
It doesnt have too much in common to Islam. It has strong roots to Hinduism however because Guru Nanak was born in a surrounding of Hindu populations. That is the main reason why you will find so many Hindu diety references in the Holy Book. Guru Nanak wanted to restore the purity of worship to the One source of all natural manifestation. Hindus at the time had become too materialsitic worshipping any wooden, stone and metal idol they could see and asking for material requests such as fame and fortune.
Sounds like a similar story to the origin of Islam. Not that that's the similarity I've seen, more along the lines of prohibiting alcohol, oneness of God (this is clearly a tenet of Sikhism, so can it be traced to Hinduism as I understand they have multiple deities and/or multiple manifestations), rules for the consumption of meat, keeping of the beard. These are just some I've come across when reading about Sikhism and they strike me as Sikhism being a product of its time in a way.

Was there any divine impetus for this 'reformation'? And was there a drive to convert these lost souls to the correct way, and if not, why not?
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Charzhino
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(Original post by nosaer)
Sounds like a similar story to the origin of Islam.

Was their any divine impetus for this 'reformation'? And was there a drive to convert these lost souls to the correct way, and if not, why not?
Its not clear if it was meant for reformation or restoration. Nanak certianly didnt convert anyone to Sikhism, his main teaching was essentially for a Hindu to be a good Hindu and vice versa for Muslims. What constituted as a good [insert religion] was that they followed what was taught in scripture, not what society had told them and multiple aimless rituals. This is where opinions depart, I believe Guru Nanak came to restore the ancient faiths rather than to create a new one.
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