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Answering 10 Questions of Muslims
A Muslim (Umar) has posted a list of questions to Sikhs about so-called “flaws” in the Sikh religion. For believing Sikhs this is of course an absurdity as Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, the word of God, tells us:
“There is only one true Dharma (faith). Gurmat (Sikhism) is complete and perfect through the ages.” (Ang 1188)
Through this attempt to answer the questions posed, we will show that Gurmat is indeed the perfect and eternal faith. The website has the motto “you can’t hide from the truth forever.” Indeed, the truth is that Gurmat is the only complete path and this truth is one that cannot be denied.
1. Is Guru Nanak a False Prophet?
In the list of questions the writer makes the assertion,
“According to Sikh Scriptures (more of which later), he had “millions” of followers.”
Which Sikh Scriptures claims that he had millions of followers? The absolute absurdity of this article is that the writer is completely unfamiliar with basic Sikh tenets and principles. Sikh scripture is limited to the following: Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, sacred writings and literature written by Guru Gobind Singh jee, Works of Bhai Gurdas and the works of Bhai Nand Lal Singh. Beyond this are non-scriptural texts that are useful for historical study but not permitted to be sung as scripture in the Gurdwara. These non-scriptural sources are only accepted so far as they coincide with Gurbani. These texts include Rehitnamas, Tankhanama, Janamsakhis, and historical texts like Gurbilas, Panth Parkash, Suraj Parkash, etc.
I think the issue here lies with the question of “prophethood”. Guru Nanak Sahib jee was a Satguru. This is MUCH more than a simple prophet. A prophet by default is one who has the ability to reveal prophecies. According to Muslims, Muhammed had the Koran revealed to him through the angel Gabriel. Satguru receives revelations directly from God. Satguru Nanak Sahib jee was called to God’s court and ordered to reveal the divine Naam to the world. It is written clearly in Sri Guru Granth Sahib:
“Vaheguru gave me His Hukam (Order) to sing His Praises day and night. Vaheguru, my Lord and Master summoned me, His minstrel, to the True Mansion of His Presence. (Vaheguru,) the Image of True Praise and Glory, gave me the Siropaao, robe of honour. The spiritual-life giving Name, Amrit Naam, the True Name, which gives eternal spiritual life, has become my food [sustenance].” (Ang 150)
As Satguru, Guru Nanak spoke DIRECT revelations from God and did not use any middle-party like Muhammed. Guru Nanak makes this clear when he says:
"O Lalo! As the Lord’s word comes to me so I deliver it." (Ang 722)
There are numerous references like this in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. Another example is:
"I myself know not what to say; all I speak is what the Lord commands." (Ang 763).
You have supplied a quote attributed to Guru Nanak Sahib jee “There is no Muslim, there is no Hindu.” This is not found ANYWHERE in Sikh scripture. The closest that can be found is “Neither am I Hindu nor Muslim” (Ang 1136).
The article further says,
When a person claims Prophethood, this claim must then be verified. Prophets throughout history have brought miracles to demonstrate to their people (Moses, Abraham, David, and Others, may peace be upon them all). For example Moses spilt the Red Sea, David was able to melt metal in his hands, and Abraham was able to withstand fire. These miracles have been verified both through scriptures and through science.
I would be interested in knowing how these so-called miracles were verified through science? Were there scientific studies carried out on the veracity of these miracles when they were carried out? Spiritual powers, otherwise known as “ridhi sidhis” are very common in the Indic tradition. Anyone who meditates does gain certain power. The Sikh Gurus however told the Sikhs to shun their use. Miracles that take place by the will of God and by his order are however accepted.
“That alone is spirituality, and that alone is miraculous power, which the Lord spontaneously bestows.” (Ang 633)
There have been countless such miracles attributed to the Sikh Gurus and their proof exists even today in local legend and physical evidence. In Hasan Abdal, Pakistan there exists to this day a massive boulder with the palm print of Guru Nanak Sahib jee. This boulder was rolled down on him by Wali Kandhari and was stopped with one hand. A spring of water also created by Guru Nanak Sahib jee still flows there today. Countless similar miracles attributed to the Gurus are recorded and their evidence still exists all across South Asia.
Even in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee, the coming of Babar (the Mughal invader) and the eventual defeat of the Mughals is prophesied by Guru Nanak Sahib jee and proven to have been absolutely correct.
“Coming in seventy-eight (1521 C.E.), they will depart in ninety-seven (1540 C.E.), and then another brave man will rise up. Nanak speaks the Word of Truth; he proclaims the Truth at this for it is now the time for truth ||2||3||5||” (Ang 723)
The fact is however Sikhism rejects just miracles as proof of divinity or “prophethood”. Miracles are a cheap way of winning support from people. The true miracle is changing the self-centered mind to become God-centered and invoking the love of God in people. Guru Nanak Sahib jee made murders, cannibals, thugs, and bandits become Godly through piercing their hearts with love and the power of Naam and Baani. Even magicians or tricksters can perform so-called miracles (e.g. David Blain).
2. Are the Sikh Scriptures authentic?
A. the Janamsakhi
The Bala Janamsakhi has never even CLAIMED to be divine revelation by any Sikh. Sikh scholars have rejected it as a creation of the 19th Century. The research you have presented is that which Sikh scholars themselves have tabled. This Janamsakhi isn’t and has never been read in Sikh congregations.
B. The Guru Granth Sahib Ji
Sikhs claim that this book is the “Eleventh” and final Guru, and should be regarded and revered as a Guru. There is even a tale of this book, upon compilation, to be given its own bed whilst a Guru, Guru Arjan slept on the floor!
For this book to be the 11th Guru, the final way to God and scripture in its own right, surely it would have to be a perfect book, free from errors and contradictions? However, we find that this is not the case.
Some errors include:-
Teaching God to be “Sargun” (Possessing Attributes) and “Nargun” (Possessing no Attributes).
Claims there is only one way to God, then says many ways
Reincarnation is taught in one section, yet is rejected elsewhere
How can it be that a Divinely inspired book, a Guru, a way to God, be so full of contradictions?
In addition to this, the Book provides no details of the origins of the Earth or of Man, and provides no answers to “where did we come from” as a result. Surely any divinely inspired text would present Gods answer to these questions?
The so-called “errors” you have pointed out will be addressed point by point.
1) Sargun (with attributes) and Nirgun (without attribute) is not a contradiction. Unlike the Koran’s numerous grammatical and historical contradictions such as those about the creation of man and various Bible stories, this “contradiction” is even at face value no mistake. In the same line in Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee it is written, “Sargun, Nirgun, the Formless One is in complete Samadhi” (Ang 290) and also “He is himself is Nirgun and he himself is also Sargun” (Ang 287).
Clearly where these are presented in the same verse, there must be a meaning or message. It has not been done accidentally or through oversight.
A simple answer to the apparent “contradiction” is this: God has existed forever. He is without start. He continues to exist. God is formless and his realm is Sachkhand. But just as the sun resides in one place but its rays are everywhere and felt everywhere, so is the nature of God. When God created Creation, He placed His jot or His light within it. Creation has his light within it and so it is not separated from him. When someone becomes spiritually enlightened through Naam, the light of God is seen from creation as well.
2) Can you give me even ONE reference to where Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee points to more than one way to God? There is only ONE way to God and that is through Naam revealed by Guru Nanak. All other ways including Islam fall short.
3) Reincarnation is taught throughout Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee. It is not rejected anywhere. What reference can you give to support this claim? None! Because it’s a total fabrication, which is a sign of desperation to disprove something, which is infallible.
4) Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee also gives a very detailed explanation on the origin of the Universe.The Sikh explanation of creation is much more detailed and true than the story of Adam and Eve etc. Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee describes what was before creation:
"(Before the creation of the world) for endless eons, there was only utter darkness. There was no earth or sky; there was only the infinite Command of His Hukam. There was no day or night, no moon or sun; Vaheguru sat in primal, (like) in profound undisturbed meditation. ||1||" (Ang 1035)
The universe did not come into existence by itself. The Creator created it:
“From the True Lord came the air (gases), and from the air came water. From water, He created the three worlds (referring to the sky, earth and sea); in each and every heart He has infused His Light. The Immaculate Lord does not become polluted. Attuned to the Shabad, honor is obtained. ||3||” (Ang 19)
According to Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee the creation was manifested from the Sunn (void) in which the creator eternally existed:
“In the Primal Void, the Infinite Lord assumed His Power. He Himself is unattached, infinite and incomparable. He Himself exercised His Creative Power, and He gazes upon His creation; from the Primal Void, He formed the Void. ||1|| From this Primal Void, He fashioned air and water. He created the universe, and the king in the fortress of the body. Your Light pervades fire, water and souls; Your Power rests in the Primal Void. ||2||” (Ang 1037)
There are three distinct functions that Vaheguru continually performs through his creation:
“Vaheguru, the One Divine Mother, emanated three functions. One, the Creator of the World; One, the Sustainer; and One, the Destroyer. He makes creation perform these functions to the Pleasure of His Will. Such is His Celestial Order.” (Ang 7)
Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee also tells us that the universe is not permanent:
"Night and day, and the stars in the sky shall vanish. The sun and the moon shall vanish. The mountains, the earth, the water and the air shall pass away. Only the Word of the Holy Saint shall endure. ||1||" (Ang 1204)
"Neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the planets, nor the seven continents, nor the oceans, nor food, nor the wind-nothing is permanent. You alone, Lord, You alone. ||4||" (Ang 144)
Furthermore Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee tells us:
“Many times has the creation been created (the universe been created) and expanded.” (Ang 276)
One question, which someone may ask, is “Who created the Creator?” To Guru jee tell us:
“Vaheguru alone is fearless, who has no destiny written on His head. God Himself is unseen; He reveals Himself through His wondrous creative power. He Himself is unattached, unborn and self-existent. O Nanak, through the Guru's Teachings, He is found. ||12||” (Ang 1042)
Fundamentally, one must understand and accept that humans cannot understand the limits of God’s creative power, creation and wonder:
“No one knows Your state and extent. You alone created the expanse of the Universe.” (Ang 1220)
“O Nanak, the Creator alone knows the workings of His creation. ||2||” (Ang 275)
Thus it has been shown Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee gives Sikhs an understanding of the creation of the world that is very scientific and matches the views of contemporary scientists. Very unlike humanity being created out of mud and a human rib.
3. How can Re-Incarnation be Accurate?
When dealing with a question of this nature I like to start off with a ‘test case’. Let’s use that of a baby who is born, screams one scream and then dies. What will happen to this infant? Why was it born? To what purpose was its life? If we go with the Muslim understanding, this baby was born, and Islam provides that it will go to heaven. But if it was only to live for an instant (as many babies do) why did God bother sending it? If this baby will go to heaven and share a spot with the greatest of Shahids (martyrs) who had to struggle through life, is this justice? Why was this baby given such a short life (ie. a short test) while the Shahid was given such a difficult test when the result will be the same i.e. heaven? If you say that the Shahid will have a higher level in heaven then I ask where is the justice in that? The baby wasn’t given an opportunity to get to a higher level.
If you take the Sikh approach, the baby was born due to karma (the law of action and reaction). It had the karma to have lived such a short life and now it will be reborn. The cycle of birth and death continues until the soul attains union with God while alive through Naam and devotion. After this, the soul is forever united with God in Sachkhand and reincarnation is finished. This is a system of total justice.
Why are some born with so many problems be they poverty or physical handicap, etc. while others are born with so many advantages? Where is the justice in this? If the reward is the same (Paradise) why is the test different for different people. This is an inherent injustice. If the reward is not the same (different levels of Paradise) then once again it is an injustice as not all have the same opportunity to achieve the higher levels.
Even the concept of Muslim after-life is an affront to spirituality. The Muslim afterlife of Paradise is an enjoyment of worldly pleasures like rivers of milk and wine and beautiful attendants. These are physical pleasures that are even possible on this Earth if someone has the resources to create them or you just have to travel to your local supermarket and buy as much milk and honey as you desire! Sikhism believes in the existence of Heavens and Hells but not as permanent places as in Islam and Christianity. The soul may enjoy these places for a time as a reward but then must be sent back into reincarnation. The ultimate goal is Sach Khand which is far greater than any Heaven. It is a state of UNION WITH GOD in which the soul forever enjoys SPIRITUAL bliss. Not physical pleasures.
Now to address you points as they appeared:
a) Do you have a measuring tool by which you have determined the world is in decline? Practices like human sacrifice, slavery, brutal wars are far less today than in the past. At any rate, karma is not necessarily a positive-reinforcement process. Bad karma will lead to a negative outcome while positive will lead to a positive. Quite simple! The way Sikhism differs from Hinduism however is that the human is NOT A SLAVE TO KARMA. The way to break out of karma and reach God is through Naam meditation.
The source of “evil” is a separation from God. The soul has the light of God but when the individual is not aware of this, he sees himself as a distinct entity. Independent of all others in creation and will do anything to benefit himself even if it is destructive to others. But a spiritual and God-oriented soul will see that light within himself and in others and will not act selfishly.
b) I have already shown you how the real injustice is in the Muslim understanding of birth and death. It is in fact a system that lacks mercy as well because one who makes a mistake is never given a chance to repent or reform. If someone never has heard of Islam or God, how can they be judged? The system is intrinsically unfair to them. However in the Sikh understanding, even if someone does not know about Sikhism or does not realize God, they can have the opportunity in the future. There is compassion and mercy in this system because God is always forgiving and no soul is forever condemned to Hell. There is always a chance for reform where there is the will.
You bring up the fact that past lives are not recalled. This is for the benefit of the individual. We have enough trouble managing just this one life, if we could recall countless past lives, imagine how much more trouble that would be. Instead of a duty to our immediate family we would have duties to so many parents and siblings, etc. At any rate, reincarnation is not a punishment as you have made it out to be so much as it is a continuation of the soul’s journey. Based on past karma, the soul is placed in a certain situation. Perhaps due to past karma the soul is placed in a situation of total poverty. Whatever the soul decides to do in that situation (earn money through hard work or become a thief, etc) is the source of new karma.
So characterizing reincarnation as punishment is incorrect. It is simply the soul proceeding on its journey.
Even your statement that past lives cannot be recalled is incorrect. There have been countless examples of young children who for whatever reason (perhaps as miracles of God to prove the world the truth of reincarnation) can recall pas lives. Through meditation this becomes quite possible. An interesting article on this quite common phenomenon is at http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20020112/windows/main1.htm
c) There are indeed more HUMANS on this planet than before. That however coincides with the elimination of countless animals and natural habitats, forests, etc. The loss of these other types of life forms can easily be shown to balance the increase in human lives.
4.How can God be Omnipotent and within Evil?
As I mentioned earlier, the light of God is within and can be discovered by meditation on Naam. It is because of this very ignorance caused by ego that there is pain and “evil”.
There is no rival power to God as in Islam like Satan. How can there be any power opposed to God? Sikhi doesn’t believe that Waheguru created some “evil force” (Satan) that misled Adam and Eve to eat an apple and then took over hell. This is pure nonsense as it implies that Satan (created by Waheguru) could not be controlled or destroyed and became so powerful that Waheguru Himself was unable to liberate His creation (hell) from Satan.
What was creation created from? All that existed was God so what is the source of creation? It has to be God. God’s light is in creation and is why it functions. It is God’s power and his presence in creation that is the source of the miracle of the Universe where everything is in such order.
What is pure and what impure? To God nothing is pure and nothing is impure. Animal excreta are used for burning when dried, and as manure it is spread over fields, which is absorbed by the plants whose fruits and crops we eat. Once we eat this, we excrete this back out. So God’s cycle is the nitrogen cycle as you read in science. We breathe nitrogen, excrete nitrogen, and that nitrogen goes into the soil, which goes into the plants and those plants we eat again. So what is excrement and what is impure? If you think excreta are impure then you shouldn’t eat crops, fruits or even drink water, which is full of animals and organisms’ excreta. For a Sikh the source is God and everything merges back in God.
If Allah created earth then did he not create everything that exists in the earth including excreta, tobacco and wine which is considered haram (unlawful) in Islam on earth but this haram is given as a reward in paradise? As explained before, God created a balance and nothing exists without His will.
5. How can Sikhs claim to have a complete way of Life?
A: Sikhism is given a clear "Theo-democratic" system of law. Guru Gobind Singh jee, the Tenth Master, in his farsightedness knew that not all crimes are the same and thus no one punishment can be given for them at all: does the thief who steals bread due to hunger receive same punishment as one who steals a car due to greed? No! Thus Guru jee said:
"The Khalsa is my true form, I abide within the Khalsa"
Guru jee gave power to decide these things to the Khalsa in the form of the Panj Piaaray (5 initiated selected Sikhs). The Panj Piaaray look at each case and then give a case-by-case decision. There are no blanket amputations for everyone as some religions may prescribe. There are rehitnaamas and tankhaahnaamas (edicts and codes of conduct) dictated by Guru Gobind Singh jee that clearly outline what is right and what is wrong. For example, adultery is a 'bujjar kurehat', a cardinal sin, for which a Sikh is excommunicated from the Panth (community) and if they wish to become a member of the Panth again, they must then present themselves before the Panj Piaaray to be re-initiated and given corrective measures.
Even beyond the rehitnaamas and tankhaahnamas, there is the concept of Miri-Piri: temporal and spiritual aspects to Gurmat, i.e. a theo-political system. Guru Hargobind Sahib jee gave us the Sikh parliament of Sri Akaal Takhat. The Sarbat Khalsa (entire Khalsa) is the parliament and the motions passed are called "Gurmattas". A system of passing gurmattas is carried out by consulting Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee and then voting on each motion. The Five Takhats are the Centres of Sikh power with the main headquarter being Sri Akaal Takhat. The Five Jathehdars (representatives) are the "cabinet" of the Panth and organise the Panth's movement. The Jathehdaar of Sri Akaal Takhat (Amritsar) has power as spokesperson of the Panth. Akaalee Baba Phoola Singh, for example, was Jathehdaar during Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's time and gave him punishment of a fine and a caning due to his adultery.
Thus it is clear that Sikhism does have a law in Rehitnaamas and tankhaahnaamas along with the Rehit (code of discipline), which is given during Amrit Sanchaar (initiation ceremonies). Local decisions are to be taken by Panj Piaaray, which can be appealed to the Takhats, and Sri Akaal Takhat takes final decisions. The collective Sikh parliament is Sarbat Khalsa and motions are called Gurmattas.
How much tax should I pay in a Sikh State, as a Non-Sikh?
Sikhs do not believe in a Jaiziya system like the Muslims where non-Sikhs must pay to ensure their protection. This question therefore is moot. The taxation system in a Sikh state is the same for non-Sikhs and Sikhs.
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding testimony in a court?
A Sikh is to always speak the truth. Unlike in Islam (where the testimony of one man is equal to a testimony of four women), a man’s testimony is equal to a woman’s testimony
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding the sentence for stealing?
Depends on the nature of the crime and how it was committed and why. The answer is given by the Panj Pyaaray based on each case. This is a stark contrast to default amputations of limbs like the Musllims.
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding the age of maturity?
Each person matures at a different rate. If there is a need to determine this, the question is brought to the Panj Pyaaray.
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding my relations with my neighbour?
Sikhism teaches to treat all humans with kindness and compassion be they your neighbour or anyone else.
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding how I should treat an animal?
Guru Granth Sahib teaches, “Show kindness and mercy to all life and realize that the Lord is pervading everywhere; this is the way of life of the enlightened soul, the supreme swan. ||7||” (Ang 508)
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding lawful earnings?
Sikhs are taught to earn their living through honesty without infringing on the rights of anyone else. One of the fundamental principles of Sikhism is “kirat karo” or to earn an honest living. Eating food earned through cheating is equal to eating the carcass of a dead animal (Ang 15). Furthermore, earnings should be shared with others and the Sikh system of Dasvandh or 10% of all income being donated is mandatory on all believers. “Through hard work make your earnings and eat, and also give something to others from your hand. Such a person has found the true path” (Ang 1245).
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding killing a non-Sikh and the punishment for that?
Each case is presented before the Panj Pyaaray and based on the merits of the case a ruling is given.
What is the ruling in Sikhism regarding riding a horse?
What need would there be for a “ruling” on such a trivial issue? Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee is concerned with the salvation of the soul and light of God. God has blessed humans with common sense and intellect. Riding horses etc. are mundane issues that simple human intellect can resolve.
What is the ruling in Sikhism if I use a nuclear weapon?
What is the Islamic ruling? This is a plainly foolish question.
As you can see, Sikhism is a complete and rational way of life. Each situation is judged on its merits as opposed to blanket amputations for crimes like theft (as the Muslims would have it).
6. What is a Just War in Sikhism?
The writer asks, “When we see this in practice however, we can see that very rarely has a Sikh War been any different to any other war fought on behalf of misguided religions: For Land, Nation and Resources. “
This is an interesting comment coming from a Muslim. Have Muslim wars been for anything different? Muslim conflicts today in Kashmir, Chechnya, Palestine, Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq are all based on nothing but land, nation and resources.
You have given a list of examples, which frankly are non-sensical. As mentioned before, Sikh struggles are governed by the Sri Akal Takhat Sahib through the institutions of Gurmata passed by the Sarbat Khalsa. This has been the system in the past. Demanding that Panjab’s resources be controlled by Panjab and the elimination of those who are killing innocent civilians does not seem unjust. You are correct however that bombing of civilian targets is condemned by Sikhs. On the other hand Muslims in the name of Allah of infamous for committing suicide bombings and killing innocent men, women and children for the Islamic cause. If people professing the Sikh faith do such things they are wrong and to be held accountable. The Guru has taught a Sikh to use violence at the last resort when all other means have failed and even that situation the rights and life of the weak, oppressed and innocent should be guarded at all costs regardless of gender or faith. A Sikh defends himself, his nation and the weak – A Sikh never instigates attack as in Islam in pursuit for wealth, women slaves (who are sexually exploited) and spreading Islam by the sword.
But once again it seems very strange for a Muslim to be commenting on the unjust nature of bombings when Muslims are known for bombing civilian targets around the world. We need not look any further than the London 7/7 bombings or suicide bombings in Iraq and Palestine. The number of innocent civilians unintentionally killed by those professing the Sikh faith is almost nothing in comparison to the lives intentionally lost to Muslim terrorists.
7. How can God Create himself?
Gurbaani is the infallible word of God, within which there are no contradictions. Humans can make mistakes when interpreting, translating or understanding Gurbaani, however the Guru and God are Perfect.
“Everyone makes mistakes; only the Guru and the Creator are infallible.” (Ang 61)
The Mool Mantar, the first verse of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee describes God. It states God is “ajoonee” (unborn) and “saibhuN” (self-existent). The Mool Mantr is the yardstick of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee and is the foundation of Sikhi.
One should be careful when reading translations and understand that some words are difficult to translate to another language and sometimes the exact word is difficult to find. Therefore, it is best if one reads the original script in Gurmukhi.
The Shabad (hymn) on Ang 463 says:
“Pauree: The Almighty Himself fashioned the world and Himself assumed His Name. Secondly, He fashioned the creation; seated within the creation, He beholds it with delight. You Yourself are the Giver and the Creator; by Your Pleasure, You bestow Your Mercy. You are the Knower of all; You give life, and take it away again with a word. Seated within the creation, You behold it with delight. ||1||” (Ang 463)
According to Gurbani God has always existed and uncreated:
“He cannot be established, He cannot be created.” (Ang 2)
When in Gurbaani it refers to “creating Himself” or “fashioning Himself” it means that God Himself manifested Himself from His Nirgun (invisible) form, whichever forever existed, to his Sargun (visible) form.
8. Why can Sikh women not Divorce?
Sikhism still does not give the right of divorce to its adherents except in extreme circumstances, and even then since it is not legislated within Sikhism this is decided by Western or Hindu Courts.
This is mentioned in many sources, and some quotes from Sikhs are as follows:-
“In the case of broken marriage, divorce is not possible according to the Sikh religious tradition. The couple can, however, obtain a divorce under the Civil law of the land.”
Of more concern is how Sikhs refuse to even consider divorce, leaving the spouse trapped in a loveless marriage. Take this example from the Sikh SpectrumMagazine:-
When two souls become one, there is no duality between the way a husband and a wife think. Whatever they do, they do it together. A divorce, in such a case, is inconceivable.
It is incredulous that anything calling itself “the modern religion” still does not emancipate women and give them independence.
Divorce in Sikhism is considered a very grave matter. When the marriage takes place the husband and wife agree in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee to stay with each other and love and honour each other for life. If marital discord takes place, the community intervenes. Panj Pyaaray can be asked to help resolve the situation.
In the extreme and very rare case where one side simply refuses to reconcile one party may ask the permission of the Sangat or Panj Pyaaray to divorce and re-marry.
Marriage is not however considered something that can be formed and broken at will. It is a commitment made in front of God and to be relieved of that commitment to the other person some very extenuating circumstances must be present.
Sikhi teaches us how to become rational thinker moral beings. Guru Sahib has taught His Sikhs how to think in a moral way. This shows how much free thinking Guru Sahib has given to His Sikhs. It is a fact that divorce is not a simple thing as it involves lives of two human beings. There can be many different situations and circumstances related to divorce. Stating every different situation is ridiculous because a divorce can involve a simple reason to many complex reasons. There can be numerous possible solutions to one case. Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee is not a rule book. Gurbani teaches us how to think and how to tackle every problem and find the best solution. This is why Guru Sahib gave the power to Sikhs to make decisions that are best for everyone. Gurbani gives freedom of free thinking whereas archaic and inflexible rules would not.
In Sikhism marriage is highly regarded and both man and woman must respect one another as they join together to share their spiritual path and goal in life. Unlike in Islam where you have “muttah marriages” which are temporary marriage to sanctify immediate sexual gratification of lecherous men who can annul the marriage by saying “Divorce” three times in the presence of another Muslim. Very convenient for men who have little or no morals and who see woman as nothing more than cattle who they can sexually exploit. Furthermore, the Quran sanctifies and provides justification for Masters to take sexual advantage and sexually exploit their slaves without marrying them as the slave girls are the Master’s property.
Buying and selling of women as sex slaves is fully permitted in Islam. It is a perfectly a legitimate way to acquire as many sex-slaves as possible. Sky is not the limit, though. The only limitation is the affordability. One may say that this type of flesh trading is no more practiced today. This is true. However, nothing can prevent the Islamists from re-introducing the slave markets as per Qur’an and Sunnah when their ‘Jihad’ against the infidels is successful. Sexual slavery is absolutely legitimate in Islam. If Islam conquered the world, slavery could have never been eradicated, because Islamic laws are written on granite stone and are absolutely unchangeable.
You can have sexual intercourse with two slave girls at a time without ghusl (bath) but can’t do like this with free women…(Malik’s Muwatta 2.23.90)
Furthermore, Muhammed also encouraged the rape of captured women in front of their husbands:
“Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said: The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, send down the Qur'anic verse: "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hand possess."[Surah 4:24] ...(Sunan Abu Dawud, Book V, Chapter 711, Number 2150)
Muhammad himself had a Coptic slave that was presented to him by the ruler of Alexandria in Egypt. When the delegate from Muhammad visited this Coptic head of Egypt (Muaqaqis) with an invitation for him to convert to Islam he politely refused to do so, but knowing the taste of Muhammad, he presented Muhammad with two beautiful slave-girls who were sisters. Muhammad took for himself Mariya, the most beautiful one and gave her sister, Sirin, to his poet friend, Hassan ibn Thabit for him to enjoy her. Please note that neither Muhammad nor Hasan b. Thabit married these slave-girls. Mariya gave birth to Ibrahim, Muhammad’s last child who died in infancy. Sirin bore a son named Abdul Rahman to Hassan, the poet (ref. 10, p. 498-499). All these historical records are absolute proof that enjoying a female slave is totally ‘halal’ in Islam. You can read more about immoral sex and sexuality in Islam on http://www.islamreview.com/articles/sexinislam.shtml and http://www.answering-islam.de/Main///Silas/mo_sex.htm
This is a stark contrast to Satguru Nanak’s example. When the King of Sangladeep sent dancing girls to entertain and seduce Guru Nanak, Guru Sahib said,
O princess, my daughter, run away from this place!
Chant the True Name, and embellish your days.
Serve your Beloved Lord God, and lean on the Support of His Love.
Through the Word of the Guru's Shabad, abandon your thirst for corruption and poison. ||7||
The concept of slavery or sexual relations outside of marriage is absolutely forbidden in Sikhism, unlike in Islam.
In Islam if a man says “Talaq” three times to his wife, they have to get divorced. This cannot be reversed which makes it clear that any Muslim under the influence of frustration or anger can simply destroy the relationship and the lives of his children. A woman on the other hand has no right or say in this. If Islam was really all about equality then the woman would also have the right say the same word three times to get a divorce. But this is not the case. Man has more rights and final say. There is little to no room for thinking and communication. Once the word “Talaq” has been said it brings the hell process only for women.
1) A divorced woman has to wait three months and then she gets the right to remarry.
2) Divorced woman cannot remarry her previous husband. She first has to marry someone else, consummate the marriage and get divorce in the same manner and only then she can remarry her previous husband.
This practice of inequality makes women suffer so much. Assume a man says “Talaq” three times in anger and gets a divorce. Now, he wants to remarry his wife and the woman wants the same as they both love each other very much. But this cannot happen. The woman has to marry someone else and consummate the marriage. If she gets a divorce from her newlywed husband only then she can remarry love of her life. If her new husband refuses to give divorce, her whole life is ruined and she is forced to spend her life with someone she doesn’t love. This is what traps a woman in a loveless marriage because the husband has no such punishment. Even if the woman gets a divorce the very next day, she still has to undergo humiliation as she will have to spend a night with someone she doesn’t consider her life partner. It is a woman who gets trapped, punishment and is forced to go through humiliating and barbaric process. Where is the so-called equality? It exists no where in Islam.
9. How can Sikhs Claim that there are “many paths to God”, then he Punishes those whom do not adhere to Sikhism?
It is a ‘totally false’ argument that Sikhi believes all paths lead to the same goal and thus all religions are equal. From its very inception, Gurmat (the Guru’s Path) has been declared a unique and distinct path. Bhai Gurdaas jee writes:
“In the world, Guru Nanak Sahib jee established the authority (of his doctrines) and started a Path (of religion), devoid of any impurity.” (Vaar 1, Pauree 45 – Bhai Gurdaas jee)
The claim that all paths lead to the same goal is covered in Bhai Sahib Randheer Singh jee’s book ‘Anhad Shabad Dasam Duar - Open discussion of unstruck ethereal music at tenth door of abode-divine’, pages 46-47:
"The Liberation-state of Gurmat is unique and different in concept from other religious faiths. Liberation is not the mere ending-up of the human body or just an escapement of the soul from its bodily cage. Some envisage liberation as riddance from afflictions associated with the human body. They believe liberation is unattainable as so long as the soul is caged within the human body. Others identify liberation as the fulfillment of their desires to abide in a heavenly abode. However, this kind of liberation falls very short compared to the Gurmat concept of liberation. Liberation is not the banishment of imagined pain and sorrow, nor can it be described as the disassociation of the soul-being from materialism. Yogic faith conceives liberation as empty consciousness through meditational practices that bear no semblance to the Gurmat concept. Vedantic faith believes in the removal of duality to arrive at oneness with The Absolute, in order to be liberated. Buddhism believes liberation to be a state of total renunciation of desire and negative thought - Nirvaana. Jainism considers that non-violence and non-killing leads to liberation. Mere escape from transmigration is not the essence of True Liberation....
Gurmat considers the above listed forms of liberation as halfway and incomplete. The swan-bird Gurmukhs who are blessed with Divine Enlightenment reject all these forms. They merge with The Divine Immaculate Light whilst living; they envision The Glorious Lord in full Divine Splendour.
Gurmukhs are sustained by the nourishment of Naam-Divine, while they behold The Lord at all times. They find True Liberation within this Love-Divine...Their Liberation lies in the sole occupation of Naam-Devotion, in accordance with Gurmat. This supreme state is reached through complete dedication, when one takes refuge within The Guru...what is not sought is a form of liberation devoid of God-Realisation."
If we use this viewpoint to analyse some mainstream schools of thought, we may reach the following conclusions:
In Hindu or Vedantic traditions, Liberation = various states according to different schools i.e. freedom from transmigration, realisation of self as God (Sohang) etc.
In Buddhism, Liberation = escape from desires / realisation of the nature of self / Nirvaana.
In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Liberation = heavenly abode
In Sikhi, Liberation = absorption into Vaheguru/Naam, the destruction of self/ego, the merging of Aatma (soul) into ParAatma (Universal Soul) - all of which can only be achieved through complete dedication to The Guru's Teachings.
The concept of equality exemplified by Sikhi is not the result of a debate concerning religions. The Sikhi concept of equality is an inward and outward acceptance of all and seeing everyone as a soul with the same divine father, rather than religious labels, which results directly from the practice of Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee's teachings.
When it comes to true enlightenment, or liberation, Guru jee is very clear about its unique nature and definition within Gurmat; and in doing so we are taught who and what really is The True Teacher.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib jee over and over stresses the importance of "Gurmat Naam". Without Gurmat Naam no one can merge in Vaheguru or reach ‘Sach Khand’ (the spiritual Realm of Truth). In the House of Guru Nanak only Naam is found, the only tool to experience and merge into God.
“God has given this gift. Nanak’s home is filled with only Naam, the Name of Vaheguru. ||4||4||” (Ang 1136)
Without Naam, no one can be liberated and merge with God. GurbaaNee is clear about this fact:
“Those enshrined the True Name within their heart, those within is the flowing current of Naam, and those whose consciousness is attached to the vibrations of the Guru's Baani obtain all comforts and liberation from Maya (the illusionary world). O Nanak! Without the Naam, no one is saved; You too swim across to the other side this true way in which there no chance of drowning. ||9||7||” (Ang 1013)
Sikhi is unique by the fact that it does not condemn others to Hell or say if you are not Sikh you are eternally damned like in Islam. Rather a Sikh prays at least twice daily for "Sarbat Da Bhallaa", meaning the good and prosperity of all Humanity regardless of religion, belief or faith.
"May the Divine-Name preached by Nanak be exalted. May all prosper and be blessed within Your Will." (Daily Sikh Ardaas)
Unless someone receives Gurmat Naam from Guru Nanak, there is no liberation. They will be rewarded for their good karma, but not liberated. They don't want liberation! Christians are content with heaven, and they will receive it. But then they will enter the cycle of births and deaths again, hopefully in a life, which will bring them closer to liberation. Gurmat Panth's respect of all religions goes as far as saying that they are not sent to eternal hell, they will get what they work for. Like Harmandir Saahib: God is open and available to all directions and all people of the world, but the path to God is ONE: Gurmat.
About other faiths:
”Some are Jains, wasting their time in the wilderness; by their pre-ordained destiny, they are ruined.” (Ang 1285)
”The Hindu is (spiritually) blind; the Muslim has only one eye.” (Ang 875)
“Prabhaatee: (O Hindu and Muslim brothers!) call the religions of the Vedas and Semitic books & Quran etc false. Those who do not realise this are false.” (Ang 1350)
All faiths will get what they work towards. Guru Nanak Sahib jee is the only True Guru who has preached Naam, and given Gurmat-Naam. Only Gurmat has a concept such as Sach Khand and God-Realisation in such a clear way. Thus, Gurmat is the only path to Sach Khand, i.e. merging with God.
“In Sikhs claims that there are “no chosen people”, why must people adhere to Sikhism to be saved? Why must they take the Khalsa?”
“No chosen people” means that no one is created higher than the other. Sikhi clearly says that only those will be accepted in the court of Waheguru who live true way of life as taught by Guru Granth Sahib Ji. This opportunity is only offered by becoming a Sikh. Khalsa is protector of justice and honor, fights injustice and oppression and always stands on the truth. In that sense, those who become Khalsa are indeed “chosen” to walk the path of spirituality and reunite with the Creator. Becoming a Khalsa is an honor and Muslims should consider themselves lucky to have such a beautiful path offered to them. It is for their own benefit to give up the incomplete and imperfect religion of Islam and adopt the Sikh way of life.
10. Why is Sikhism Not Evangelical?
Sikhism is the TRUTH. Therefore, Sikhs do not frighten others to convert to the religion as in Islam and Christianity with fear of eternal damnation, discrimination, inferiority, oppression and torture. Sikhs do not have to lure people to become Sikhs through greed and appealing to their lower desires as in Islam and Christianity. There are countless examples from Sikh history and world history where Muslims have offered rewards of land, money, women as sexual slaves, and exemption of Jaiziyah (tax on non-Muslims). Sikhism is the Truth and so rejects evangelical methods practiced by Muslims and Christians with appeals to one’s lust, anger, greed, attachment or ego. Inducing others to convert for the purpose of seeking physical rewards in heaven is not the Sikh way.
A Sikh is an evangelical. However the definition of an “evangelical” is redefined. A Sikh INSPIRES others. A Sikh lives the message, lives the Truth and lives the spiritual lifestyle, which radiates to those who come across him or her. A Sikh merely does not preach the message of Truth that benefits the world and everyone around however furthermore lives the message. Hypocrisy as displayed by Muslim preachers and Christian evangelicals is condemned! First practice what you preach!
Sikhism was meant to be shared with the world and as the Truth is for everyone. Unfortunately Sikhs have not lived up to this. Unlike in Islam and Christianity where they impose their religion on others to earn brownie points and for personal gain to get to Paradise or Heaven, the aim of a Sikh is for the betterment of humanity and not for self-gain. This is highlighted through the daily prayer of a Sikh, which one does morning and night asking for the good of all humanity through the Will of God.
“Servant (of God) Nanak begs for the dust of the feet of that GurSikh, who himself repeats Naam, and inspires others to repeat it. ||2||” (Ang 306)
“Repeat Naam yourself, and inspire others to repeat it as well.” (Ang 290)
So as you can see it is a duty of Sikhs to preach the message of Naam and Gurmat.
We close this rebuttal with: Come to Sikhi, Muslim brothers! As it is the only path to salvation. Without adhering to the message of Guru Nanak Sahib jee no one has been saved and no one ever will be. Sikhi is a unique Path, unlike any other! It is not based on fear, greed, lust, anger, hatred or ego – Sikhi is solely based on the Truth. A Sikh lives the Truth and inspires others with the Truth. Everyone has been blessed with life, however Guru Nanak Sahib jee alone is the one who puts the “style” in life. The true and perfect lifestyle, which brings total happiness, bliss and spiritual achievement, has been lived, exemplified and preached by Satguru Nanak Sahib jee!