Dissimilarities between Sikhism and Islam
Sikhism, founded in fifteenth century Punjab on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and ten successive Sikh Gurus (the last one being the sacred text Guru Granth Sahib), is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world. This system of religious philosophy and expression has been traditionally known as the Gurmat (literally the counsel of the gurus) or the Sikh Dharma. Sikhism originated from the word Sikh, which in turn comes from the Sanskrit root śiṣya meaning "disciple" or "learner", or Sikshameaning "instruction".
Islam is the religion articulated by the Quran, a religious book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of the single incomparable God (Allah), and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad's demonstrations and real-life examples (called the Sunnah, collected through narration of his companions in collections of Hadith). Islam literally means submission to God (see Islam (term)
There are many Similarities between Sikhism and Islam, let's analyze dissimilarities:
- 1 Equality among different human beings
- 2 Equality of Women with Men
- 3 Monogamy in Marriage
- 4 God's presence is everywhere
- 5 Fasting and pilgrimages
- 6 Dowry
- 7 Way of life
- 8 Sacred places open to all
- 9 Consumption of meat
- 10 Circumcision
- 11 Ritual Slaughter of Animals
- 12 Ritual Impurity
- 13 Hell and Heaven
Equality among different human beings
1) In Sikhism everyone is equal. All people of different color, religion, caste, creed, race and sex are equal in the eyes of God. No one is high or low. All are children of God created by God and God loves them all. Sikhism teaches that everyone should live a peaceful life and love each other as human beings. Sikhism teaches love, humility, equality, humbleness and how to live a peaceful life.
"The temple or the mosque are the same, the Hindu worship or the Musalman prayer are the same; all men are the same; it is through error they appear different. Deities, demons, Yakshas, heavenly singers, Musalmans and Hindus adopt the customary dress of their different countries. All men have the same eyes, the same ears, the same body, the same build, a compound of earth, air, fire, and water. Allah and Abhekh are the same, the Purans and the Quran are the same; they are all alike; it is the one God who created all. The Hindu God and the Muhammadan God are the same; let no man even by mistake suppose there is a difference." (Guru Gobind Singh, Akal Ustat, pg. 275)
First, Allah created the Light; then, by His Creative Power, He made all mortal beings. From the One Light, the entire universe welled up. So who is good, and who is bad? ||1|| (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1349)
This clearly shows that from one light of God everyone came into existence. So if everyone comes from the same creator who will you call good and bad?
On the other hand, Islam does not teach equality. Islam teaches hatred, inequality and killing of those who do not believe in Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. Islam teaches that only Muslims, who believe in Mohammad being the last prophet, are superior beings to others. Muslims are taught to live with love with each other but not with others. The following is a passage from the Quran.
"Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends. They are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number. Allah does not guide the wrongdoers." (5:51, Quran)
"Mohammed is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another." (48:29, Quran)
"When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. If they repent and take to prayer and pay the alms-tax, let them go their way. Allah is forgiving and merciful." (9:5, Quran)
Equality of Women with Men
- Main article: Women in Sikhism
2) Again, Sikhism teaches equality of all human beings including women. Women are given very high status in Sikhism by the Sikh Gurus. Women are given not only equality but they are also given rights to do everything that men can. For example, women can participate and lead the congregation. Women can go to Sikh temple and worship there. Women can play a role of priest, lecturer, singer and whatever there may be. The third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji, appointed many missionary priests that were sent all over India to preach Sikhism and fifty two of them were women. Read the following points and see it yourself how Sikhism is proved to be lot better than Islam when it comes to women’s rights.
Sikhism says this:
"We are born of woman, we are conceived in the womb of woman, we are engaged and married to woman. We make friendship with woman and the lineage continued because of woman. When one woman dies, we take another one, we are bound with the world through woman. Why should we talk ill of her, who gives birth to kings? The woman is born from woman; there is none without her. Only the One True Lord is without woman" (Guru Nanak Dev, Var Asa, Ang 473)
"Woman is one half the complete personality of man, and is entitled to share secular and spiritual knowledge equally." (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Var 5, Pauri 16:59)
Quran says this:
"Man have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them." (4:34, Quran)
Even beating of women is permitted in Islam, and men are given a higher status.
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, beat them; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means: For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (Quran, 4:34)
Sikh women can go to Sikh Temple (Gurdwara), say their prayers and worship accordingly. Women can also take the role of a priest and any other role. Women can lead the congregation and are encouraged more to participate in congregations. But Islam teaches totally the opposite. Women not only have fewer rights than men, but they are also prohibited to go to a Muslim church, called mosque, and worship. Women cannot say their prayers at mosque. Women can go to some graves of holy saints to pray there. When they are at home they have to stand behind men to say their prayers.
The Gurus gave Sikh men and women the same dress. Five symbols Kes (hair covered with turban), Kara (an iron bracelet), Kirpan (sword), Kangha (wooden comb) and Kacherra (an under short) are give to both men and women. Both are required to say the same prayers, live same way of life and wear the same dress. Everything is exactly the same. Sikh women are also not required or forced to wear a veil.
"Stay, stay, O daughter-in-law - do not cover your face with a veil. In the end, this shall not bring you even half a shell." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 484)
But in Islam it is different. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot even drive cars. Women have to cover themselves up from head to toe. Women cannot go out without asking their husbands and when they do, they have to be accompanied by someone else (a male). In other words, women cannot walk freely outside their house. Women are considered to be property of men. If Islam teaches equality then why don’t men have to cover themselves up from head to toe as well? One incident that is worth mentioning follows: A few years ago, an eleven years old girl was raped by an old man. However, even though that innocent girl was raped, the man did not receive any punishment, because according to Islamic law, it was the girl who provoked it by not covering herself up. Thus it was claimed that if she had properly covered herself, this incident would not have happened. This is but one real world example of the equality Islam teaches.
Islam teaches that women are not only inferior by birth but impure due to their monthly cycles. The Quran says women are impure during menstruation and men are forbidden to go near them until they purify themselves. Read some Ayeh (quotes or lines) yourself and see how ridiculous it sounds.
They ask thee concerning women's courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution: So keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time, or place ordained for you by Allah. Surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves. (Quran, 2:222)
This entire Ayeh does not make sense and states that women are dirty for a natural occurrence. Menstruation is part of the female anatomy and completely natural. This is an important function for women to bear children. How can such an event be dirty? If women are impure because of their monthly cycles then how can they purify themselves because it is part of their body? If women are impure then so are all men because it is women who gave birth to all humankind. Muslims like other religions believe that God created men and women. Therefore, why should God tell his prophet Mohammed that men should avoid women during their menstruation period? Why would anyone consider his own creation bad and dirty? God told Mohammed that his own creation, women are filthy and must be avoided seven to ten days a month during a good portion of their life. Frankly, I don’t understand what does a woman's menstruation have to do with the last sentence. Surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves. Does this mean that God loves women who clean themselves or men that go into women after they are cleaned? It is not clear.
Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should wait four months; so if they go back, then Allah is surely Forgiving, Merciful. (Quran, 2: 226)
Does this mean that if a man got angry at his wife, he should not sleep with her for four months and if he does sleep with her in those months then Allah will forgive him? For what? Why is it the business of Allah if a husband or wife sleep with each other or not?
On the other hand, Sikhism says women are as pure as men. The Gurus teachings say that one cannot be pure by washing his body but purity of mind is the real pureness. I think only one quote would do the job but you can find many if you want to do more research.
They are not called pure, who sit down after merely washing their bodies. Only they are pure, O Nanak, within whose minds the Lord abides. ||2|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 472)
Monogamy in Marriage
3) Marriage Beliefs and Policies.
The Gurus regarded marriage a very spiritual state of life. Marriage is given very high respect by the Gurus.
They are not said to be husband and wife, who merely sit together. They alone are called husband and wife, who have one light in two bodies. ||3|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 788)
Furthermore, a man and woman can have only one partner at a time. The only way for someone to remarry is if his/her marriage partner has died or he/she is divorced. In Sikhism, the marriage ceremony is very simple and the same every time. It does not matter whether it is ones first or fifth marriage.
But in Islam it is not only different but very unfair to women. A man can have up to four wives at the same time.
Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. (Quran, 4:3)
Muslims say this is true only during wartime but I do not see anything that mentions or implies this from the quote. Also, why cannot women fight? In Sikhism women have always fought alongside with men. This has been true since the times of the Gurus. Not only that, women have led the Sikh armies into the battle field and received martyrdom with glory. The message of Islam clearly shows that women are considered weak and incapable of fighting. But the Sikh Gurus gave women equal rights and made men and women both saints and warriors at the same time. If men are given sword to fight for themselves then women are given a sword too so they will not have to look upon men to protect them. Sikh Gurus taught Sikhs to be prepared to fight oppression and injustice at all times. Thus, Sikhism is totally different than Islam.
if we investigate further, we find that not only polygamy is permitted in Islam but also marriage with your adopted son’s wife is also permitted. Prophet Mohammad himself asked his adopted son to leave his wife so prophet could marry her himself. When his followers questioned him by saying that he was his son and his son’s wife his daughter so he could not marry her. But Mohammad said, it was not his real son but adopted. In Islam marrying your biological son’s wife is prohibited, but marrying your adopted son’s wife is acceptable. Prophet Mohammad married anywhere from 38-45 women, the youngest being 6 years old, who became pregnant at the age of nine. Her name was Ayesah.
Behold! Thou didst say to one who had received the grace of Allah and thy favour: "Retain thou (in wedlock) thy wife, and fear Allah." But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: thou didst fear the people, but it is more fitting that thou shouldst fear Allah. Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And Allah.s command must be fulfilled. (Quran, 33:37)
In Sikhism, divorce in marriage is done with the consent of both couples and it is very straight forward. But in Islam there are hard rules for women. All a man has to say is Talaak (divorce) three times and they are divorced. If he wants to remarry her then his wife has to marry someone else and spend a night with her other husband. Then if her newly husband gives her divorce by saying the word divorce three times she can remarry her old husband. Now you can see, what a woman has to go through in a marriage life. Such a ridiculous way of marriage in Islam does not fit the modern way of life.
God's presence is everywhere
4) In Sikhism God is all pervading and is in all directions. God is omniscient, omnipotent and loves all. Sikhs do not face any particular direction to say their prayers. But in Islam Muslims face towards Mecca to say their prayers because according to Islam, God lives at the Kaaba in Mecca and accordingly this it is their holiest place - Mecca is Saudi Arabia where no non-Muslim is allowed as would "contaminates" the holiness if a non-Muslim were allowed in the sacred place. Sikhism rejects such behaviour.
If the Lord Allah lives only in the mosque, then to whom does the rest of the world belong? According to the Hindus, the Lord`s Name abides in the idol, but there is no truth in either of these claims. ||1|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang1349)
The God of the Hindus lives in the southern lands, and the God of the Muslims lives in the west. So search in your heart - look deep into your heart of hearts; this is the home and the place where God lives. ||2|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1349)
Fasting and pilgrimages
5) Sikhism does not believe in fasting or pilgrimages.
"The mind is not softened by fasting or austerities. Nothing else is equal to worship of the Lord's Name." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 905)
"The pilgrimage to shrines, fasting, cleanliness and self-mortification are not of any avail, nor are the rituals, religious ceremonies and hollow adoration's. Deliverance, O! Nanak! is in the devotional service of God. Through duality the mortal is engrossed in worldliness. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 75)
I do not make pilgrimages to Mecca, nor do I worship at Hindu sacred shrines. I serve the One Lord, and not any other. ||2|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1136)
I do not keep fasts, nor do I observe the month of Ramadaan. I serve only the One, who will protect me in the end. ||1|| The One Lord, the Lord of the World, is my God Allah. He adminsters justice to both Hindus and Muslims. ||1||Pause|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1136)
Contrary to Sikhism, Islam teaches Muslims to fast during the special month of Ramadan. It is this month that Muslims have the opportunity to get closer to God. But my question is: why this special month? If this is the only month to get closer to God then what is point for Muslims doing five prayers a day for the rest of the eleven months?
“Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Quran, 2:185)
“The Brahmins observe twenty-four fasts during the year, and the Muslims fast during the month of Ramadaan. The Muslims set aside eleven months, and claim that the treasure is only in the one month”. ||3|| (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1349)
6) Sikhism rejects the idea of dowry which is a common practice in Islam.
“Any dowry which the perverse offer for show, is only false egotism and a worthless display. O my father, please give me the Name of the Lord God as my wedding gift and dowry”. (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 79)
“You have lost your self-discipline, you fool, and you have accepted an offering under false pretenses. The daughter of the alms-giver is just like your own; by accepting this payment for performing the wedding ceremony, you have cursed your own life.” (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 435)
Way of life
7) Sikhism is not merely a religion but a way of life. This way of life is filled with love of God. The Gurus taught Sikhs to follow and worship God out of love. Sri Guru Granth Sahib places greater emphasis on love of God as the main motivation for man.
"Within my heart, I sing the Glorious Praises of the Lord, and celebrate the Word of the Lord's Shabad. The Lord Himself is pervading and permeating the world; so fall in love with Him!" (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 790)
"Remembering Him in meditation, one abides in peace; one becomes happy, and suffering is ended. Celebrate, make merry, and sing God's Glories. Forever and ever, surrender to the True Guru." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 386)
But the Quran puts more emphasis on fear of God. Quran teaches you to follow God not out of love but out of fear because otherwise He will get angry, and you will burn in the fire of hell.
"Truly, none will take heed but the wise: those who keep faith with Allah and do not break their pledge; who join together what He has bidden to be united; who fear their Lord and dread the terrors of Judgement-day; who for the sake of Allah endure with fortitude..." (13:18, Quran)
"Allah's reward is great. Therefore fear Him with all your hearts and be attentive, obedient, and charitable. That will be best for you." (64:13, Quran)
Sacred places open to all
8) Sikh Gurdwaras (Temples) are open to everyone regardless of color, race, caste, creed, gender and religion. Free food is served to everyone on a daily basis. There is no discrimination. Everyone is treated the same way with love and equality. Non-Sikhs are allowed to visit and enter the most sacred shrine of the religion, Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple). But this is not true in Islam. Non-muslims cannot even go to a mosque let alone going to Mecca.
"Believers, know that the idolaters are unclean. Let them not approach the Sacred Mosque after this year is ended" (9:28, Quran)
"Blessed is the place, and blessed are those who dwell there, where God's Name is meditated upon. The sermons and songs of God's praises are sung there and there is nothing but peace, poise and tranquility." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 816)
"If the Lord Allah lives only in the mosque, then to whom does the rest of the world belong? “The God of the Hindus lives in the southern lands, and the God of the Muslims lives in the west. So search in your heart - look deep into your heart of hearts; this is the home and the place where God lives." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1349)
Consumption of meat
9) In Sikhism eating meat is prohibited. Sikhism rejects the killing of any animal by evoking a prayer or by slow death. But it is permitted in Islam.
"Yet holding the knife, the world they butcher. Wearing blue the rulers approval they seek; With money derived from mlechhas the Puranas they worship. Goats slaughtered over the unapproved Muslims texts they eat." (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 472)
“Make virtue your bread, good conduct the ghee, and modesty the meat to eat. As Gurmukh, these are obtained, O Nanak; partaking of them, one`s sins depart.” (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 553)
"Kabeer, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent, if it is flavored with salt. Who would cut his throat, to have meat with his bread?
10) Sikhism rejects the idea of circumcision. Sikhs believe in living a natural way of life the way God created us. Muslims believe that one can only be a Muslim through circumcision. This means a woman cannot become a Muslim. This is why women are considered property of men.
"Because of the love of woman, circumcision is done; I don't believe in it, O Siblings of Destiny. If God wished me to be a Muslim, it would be cut off by itself. If circumcision makes one a Muslim, then what about a woman?" (Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 477)
Ritual Slaughter of Animals
11) On the day of Eid Al-Azha, muslims sacrifice an animal. Animal sacrifice is a futile gesture that will not sway God. Why would God want his followers to slaughter animals to please him? Abraham was sacrificing his son to god; however all the sacrifice in this instance has achieved destruction of the outer shell of the animal. The soul won’t travel to god, but merely to another form. Killing an animal with a prayer is not going to enoble the flesh. No ritual, whoever conducts it, is going to do any good either to the animal or to the diner.
"You seize a living creature, and then bring it home and kill its body; you have killed only the clay. The light of the soul passes into another form. So tell me, what have you killed? And what good are your purifications? Why do you bother to wash your face? And why do you bother to bow your head in the mosque? Your heart is full of hypocrisy; what good are your prayers or your pilgrimage to mecca? You are impure; you do not understand the pure lord. You do not know his mystery. Says Kabeer, you have missed out on paradise; your mind is set on hell." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, Ang 1350)
12) Islam has many laws on ritual impurity which are rejected by Gurbani.
Left hand is considered ritually impure in islam. Prophet Mohammad asked his followers not to eat with left hand.
"Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said: Do not eat with your left hand, for the Satan eats with his left hand." (Sahih Muslim B023 N5007)
A menstruating women is also considered ritually unclean in islam and is not allowed to enter mosque.
"Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu'minin: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came and saw that the doors of the houses of his Companions were facing the mosque. He said: Turn the direction of the houses from the mosque. The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) then entered (the houses or the mosque), and the people did take any step in this regard hoping that some concession might be revealed. He the Prophet again came upon them and said: Turn the direction of these (doors) from the mosque I do not make the mosque lawful for a menstruating woman and for a person who is sexually defiled." (Sunan Abu Dawud 1:0232)
The sikh gurus vigorously condemned such practices and said that impurity does not lie in any particular hand or menstruation. Instead impurity lies in evil tendencies of the mind.
"If one accepts the concept of impurity, then there is impurity everywhere. In cow-dung and wood there are worms. As many as are the grains of corn, none is without life. First, there is life in the water, by which everything else is made green. How can it be protected from impurity? It touches our own kitchen. O Nanak, impurity cannot be removed in this way; it is washed away only by spiritual wisdom." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 472)
"Outwardly, he washes off the filth, but the impurity of his mind does not go away." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 88)
Hell and Heaven
13) Muslims beleive that somewhere 'up there' exist futuristic and otherworldly hell and heaven. But according to gurbani, hell and heaven are 'here' and 'now'. Heaven is higher spiritual state of consciousness, and hell is a lower state of consciousness. To put it in simple terms, the enlightened mind is its own heaven whereas the unenlightened mind its own hell.
If otherworldly hell and heaven exist, where are these located? Are they located on some lofty island or on some mystical planets somewhere 'up there'? Are they located below the earth or above the earth? Can heaven and hell encompass God, or anything else for that matter? It is God who encompasses everything including the so called hell and heaven, not other way around. And the same one God who encompasses everything resides within our bosom as well. Therefore, any hell and heaven that reside in God must also reside 'here within' ourselves. Thus, imagining or believing the notion that hell or heaven are mere futuristic and otherworldly existence is a creation of man's inconsistent understanding of these terms. Therefore, whatever is 'up there' must be demonstrated here on this earth; otherwise it has no meaning.
"Everyone speaks of going there, but does not even know where heaven is. One who does not even know the mystery of his own self, speaks of heaven, but it is only talk." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 1161)
"He claims to know the lord, who is beyond measure and beyond thought; by mere words, he plans to enter heaven. I do not know where heaven is. Everyone claims that he plans to go there. By mere talk, the mind is not appeased. The mind is only appeased, when egotism is conquered. As long as the mind is filled with the desire for heaven, he does not dwell at the lord`s feet. Says kabeer, unto whom should I tell this? The company of the holy is heaven." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 325)
"Everything is within; there is nothing beyond. One who searches outside is deluded by doubts." (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 102)
Above points show that without any doubts Sikhism is a separate religion and differs from Islam not only by beliefs but by practice, philosophy and way of life.