Authenticity of the True Path
Sikhi is a way of life based on pure and pious living. It is a dynamic and practical religion. It has certain principles and a certain discipline to follow. More important than belief in the principles of the Sikh faith is the actual practice of the teachings of the Gurus. There are set rules and ways for the ideal life in Sikhi which determine Sikh belief and practices. These belief, principles and practices collectively are called Sikh Rehat Maryada (code of conduct).It is a manual and code of discipline for the followers of the Sikh faith for social, moral, religious, spiritual and general living.
Rehat Maryada was started by Guru Nanak Sahib. During the two centuries of the Gurus, Sikh belief and practices evolved slowly and matureduntil it was finalized by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In 1699, the mission started by Guru Nanak Sahib was completed and Sikhs were completely transformed into a separate nation. It is absolutely imperative for every Sikh to follow the Rehat Maryada. If a Sikh breaches the cardinal instructions of no hair cutting, no adultery, no use of intoxicants and no eating of Kutha meat, he is called Patit and the transgressor must go through the initiation process again. If a Sikh violates the code of conduct other than the four cardinal transgressions, he becomes Tankhaeya and has to appear before the Panj Pyaras for undergoing Tankhah. It is very essential to point out that no individual or individual organization has the authority to change or alter the Sikh Rehat Maryada as per personal needs and whims. Any need for change must be done by the collective decision of the Khalsa Panth and the change must be based on holy Guru Granth Sahib and authentic Sikh scriptures and sources.
During British rule in India, it became necessary for Sikhs to write a true version of the Rehat Maryada in order to make it uniform and consistent as Sikh adversaries and particularly those who were propagating the myth that the Sikh religion was part of Hinduism, were creating confusions among the Sikhs. They did this to lure Sikhs to follow the same Brahmanical rites and rituals which had been rejected in Sikhism by Guru Nanak Sahib Ji, i.e. right from the beginning. Therefore, in 1945 Rehat Maryada was published which has become the only Maryada accepted by Akal Takhat. Ignorant of the Sikh motive behind this move, Sikh doctrine and history, Muslims have questioned the veracity of the Rehat Maryada. They state:
Due to the absence of clear guidance and edicts concerning what is permissible and impermissible in Sikhism's Holy Scripture, the Sikh world was forced to render and formulate a customised 'code of conduct' providing guidelines for all Sikhs to follow.
The statement is far from the truth. There is not a single line written in Rehat Maryada that cannot be referenced to Sikh scriptures and authentic historical sources. Also, it is in accordance with the Sikh dictums and Sikh religious practices, already being followed by Sikhs from the days of the Sikh Gurus. We will by Guru’s Kirpa (grace) show in this article that Rehat Maryada is not an invention of the Sikhs but a document based on authentic Sikh scriptures and sources.
Falsehood will come to an end, O Nanak, and Truth will prevail in the end. (Ang 953)
A Short Background
It is only sheer ignorance and lack of proper understanding of Sikhi that have led Muslims to question the purpose of Rehat Maryada based on conjectures. To understand this we need to look at the history of the Sikh Panth and the political struggle it went through during the British rule. In 1849, the British annexed the Sikh kingdom and took strong measures to destabilize the Sikhs. The Sikh army was reduced significantly and replaced with Anglo and Indian soldiers. Forts, weapon factories and Sikh schools were closed down. All Sikh Gurdwaras were taken over by the British and their control was handed over to the Sanatan Hindu priests. Muslims and Hindus had the right to run their own Gurdwaras but this was not the case with the Sikhs. It was done to suppress the mighty Sikh power which was the only opposing force left in India. There still remained large number of Sikh groups that had started to raise a revolt and Gurdwaras were the best places for them to organize, hold meetings and discuss their plans. To prevent any rebellion from taking place, the British took precautionary steps and took control of the Gurdwaras.
Sanatan Hindu priests, puppets of the government, installed idols in the vicinity of Gurdwaras and introduced Hindu practices. If this was not enough, the British refused to recognize the separate Sikh identity. Sikh ceremonies, rites, wearing Kirpan and black turban were declared illegal. The result was that many gullible Sikhs came under the Hindu influence. Max Arthur Macauliffe who resigned the high post of divisional judge in Punjab to author 'The Sikh Religion', published by Oxford University London in 1909, had recorded in its introduction in Vol.1 that the best religion of the present age, the Sikh religion, may not survive for long as Sikhs fell under the Brahmanical spell to follow its rites and rituals categorically prohibited in the Sikh religion and in spite of the warnings of their great Gurus. He surmised that, by this blurring of values, Sikhs would forget their Sikh code of conduct and be reabsorbed back into the Hindu fold. It is apparent that when Macauliffe wrote his book, Sikh rites and ceremonies were practiced by many Sikhs and thus Rehat Maryada existed.
Seeing the decline of Sikh practices in Sikh Gurdwaras and among the Sikhs, many eminent Sikh scholars came forward and formed the Singh Sabha which sought to bring back the traditional principles and Sikh way of life as prescribed by the Gurus. The reform movement worked like a magic and within a short period of time, the Sikh population was on the rise again. Then the attention turned to the political recognition of the Sikh principles and its identity. In 1909, the Anand Marriage Act was passed which recognized a separate marriage ceremony of the Sikhs, and Sikhs could legally marry according to the Sikh tradition. The British also passed the laws allowing Sikhs to wear Kirpans and black turbans. Idols were removed from Gurdwaras though the control was not handed over. The British started to make changes in their laws and recognize the Sikh identity and ceremonies. Although professed and learned Sikhs had been practicing their religion but passing of the laws was a sign of government recognition. These laws were nothing more than politically accepting the Sikh identity and its religious practices.
Sikhs appealed to the government to restore the control of Gurdwaras back to them and take action against the Hindu mahants for committing immoral activities in the Gurdwaras. When nothing was done by the government to stop such disrespect to the Gurdwaras, Sikhs resorted to protests and started to take over the Gurdwaras themselves. This was a hard and long struggle but eventually Sikhs won. When all of the major Gurdwaras came under the Sikh control, a managing committee was formed called the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Its job was to properly manage and run Gurdwaras based on Sikh principles. The Gurdwara Act of 1925 was written. All of the Rehat Maryada was scattered in different sources and, therefore, it was decided to prepare one single document that would encompass every single aspect of the Maryada. Also, it was a considered the best way to stop the mismanagement of the Gurdwaras in the future and prevent gullible Sikhs from falling under the anti-Sikhi influence.
Furthermore, the language the Rehat was written in was over 200 years old and it had become difficult for many people to understand it without properly studying it. For this purpose, in 1927, theSGPC appointed a 29 member committee whose job was to prepare a draft of the Rehat Maryada. In this daunting task, many Sikh scholars and groups were consulted and had the opportunity to review the initial draft.Sikh scriptures and various historical sources were reviewed. These sources were Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Granth, the poetical works of Bhai Gurdas and Bhai Nand Lal, Janamsakhis, Bhagat Mala, Bhagat Rachnaavli, Sarabloh Granth, Rehatnama Bhai Chaupa Singh, Rehatnama Bhai Prehlad Singh, Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh, Rehatnama Bhai Daya Singh, Gur Sobha, Prem Sumarag, Sau Sakhi, Mahima Parkash, Gur Bilas, Gur Partap Suraj Granth, Sri Guru Panth Parkash, Gurmat Parkash (Bhag Sanskaar), and the many Hukumnamas of the Gurus that are available. This process took over 13 years and scholars made sure that nothing was left out. Nothing in the Rehat Maryada was new or something that had not been in practice since the beginning of the Sikh faith. Thus, Sikh Rehat Maryada came into the present form.
Rehat Maryada in Earlier Sources
Rehat was started by Guru Nanak Sahib when he started to spread the divine revealed message. Any person who became a follower of Guru Sahib was given Amrit (charan Amrit) as a way of initiation and given three basic principles to follow: Kirat Karni (living honest way of life), Vand Chakna (sharing with poor and needy) and Naam Japna (meditating upon God’s name). Further, it was instructed to wake up early in the morning, to bathe, meditate upon Naam, recite daily prayers such as JapJi Sahib, Sodar and Sohila which are part of Sikh’s daily prayers even today and to join the congregation. Guru Nanak Sahib also instructed Sikhs to keep unshorn hair and wear a turban. Idol worship, caste system, circumcision, eating meat, hajj, fasting and blind rituals were prohibited. All of this can easily be found in Gurbani and Vaars and quotes can be provided if Muslims wish to clear their doubts.
Guru Nanak Sahib’s mission was further propagated by later Gurus and finalized by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. In Bhatt Vahis, there is a clear mention of Guru Har Rai Ji instructing his Sikhs to keep uncut hair and read Bani. Guru Gobind Singh Ji delivered verbal instructions to his Sikhs which were penned down and later became to be known as Rehatnamas. Bhai Chaupa Singh was given clear instructions to write a document explaining every aspect of rehat. Copies of this huge document were found and studied by scholars like Bhai Randhir Singh (researcher). Prem Sumarag Granth written in later part of 18th century was heavily based on this rehatnama. Bhatt Vahis, handwritten accounts by bards, explain many historic events and rehat practiced and prescribed by Guru Sahib. One of very important works is Siri Gur Katha by Bhai Jeevan Singh Ji who wrote an eye witness account of the martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji and Amrit Sanchaar of 1699 (which are very important historic events) as well as rehat of Sikhs.
If we try to give reference of every rehat from historical texts, the length of this article would be significantly long. Therefore, we will keep it limited to the bare minimum though very important parts of the Rehat just to highlight the fact that the Rehat Maryada drafted in 1945 was taken from the earlier sources and not invented by the Sikhs.
1) A Sikh is a person who follows Guru (Satguru) only.
ਸੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਸਖਾ ਬੰਧਪੁ ਹੈ ਭਾਈ ਜਿ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਭਾਣੇ ਵਿਚਿ ਆਵੈ ॥
He alone is a Sikh, a friend, a relative and a sibling, who walks in the Way of the Guru's Will. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 601)
ਸੇ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਧਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਹੈ ਜਿਨੀ ਗੁਰ ਉਪਦੇਸੁ ਸੁਣਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਕੰਨੀ ॥
Blessed, blessed are those Gursikhs, who, with their ears, listen to the Guru's Teachings about the Lord. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 590)
ਧੰਨੁ ਧੰਨੁ ਸੋ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਕਹੀਐ ਜਿਨਿ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਲਇਆ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖ ਕੰਉ ਹੰਉ ਸਦਾ ਨਮਸਕਾਰੀ ਜੋ ਗੁਰ ਕੈ ਭਾਣੈ ਗੁਰਸਿਖੁ ਚਲਿਆ ॥੧੮॥
Blessed, blessed is that Sikh of the Guru, who serves the True Guru, and so obtains the Lord's Name. I bow forever in deepest respect to that Sikh of the Guru, who walks in the Way of the Guru. ||18|| (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 593)
ਪੈਰੀ ਪੈ ਪਾਖਾਕੁ ਹੋਇ ਪੈਰਾਂ ਉਪਰਿ ਸੀਸੁ ਧਰਾਵੈ॥ ਆਪੁ ਗਵਾਏ ਆਪੁ ਹੋਇ ਦੂਜਾ ਭਾਉ ਨ ਨਦਰੀ ਆਵੈ॥ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖੀ ਗੁਰੁ ਸਿਖੁ ਕਮਾਵੈ ॥੧੬॥
Falling on the feet and becoming dust of the feet, he reposes his head on the feet of the Guru. Becoming one with Him he loses his ego and now the sense of duality is nowhere visible with him.Such is a way of life of the Sikh of the Guru. (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 28)
2) A Sikh must keep faith in Bani, Guru Granth Sahib.
ਵਾਹੁ ਵਾਹੁ ਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਰੰਕਾਰ ਹੈ ਤਿਸੁ ਜੇਵਡੁ ਅਵਰੁ ਨ ਕੋਇ ॥
Waaho! Waaho! is the Bani, the Word, of the Formless Lord. There is no other as great as He is. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 515)
ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕੀ ਬਾਣੀ ਸਤਿ ਸਤਿ ਕਰਿ ਜਾਣਹੁ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਕਰਤਾ ਆਪਿ ਮੁਹਹੁ ਕਢਾਏ ॥
O GurSikhs, know that the Bani, the Word of the True Guru, is true, absolutely true. The Creator Lord Himself causes the Guru to chant it. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 308)
ਇਕਾ ਬਾਣੀ ਇਕੁ ਗੁਰੁ ਇਕੋ ਸਬਦੁ ਵੀਚਾਰਿ ॥
There is One Bani; there is One Guru; there is one Shabad to contemplate. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 646)
ਆਗਿਆ ਭਈ ਅਕਾਲ ਕੀ ਤਬੈ ਚਲਾਇਓ ਪੰਥ ॥ ਸਬ ਸਿਖਨ ਕੋ ਹੁਕਮ ਹੈ ਗੁਰੂ ਮਾਨਿਓ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ॥
ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਮਾਨਿਹੁ ਪ੍ਰਗਟ ਗੁਰਾ ਕੀ ਦੇਹਿ ॥ ਜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਕੋ ਮਿਲਿਯੋ ਚਹੈ ਖੋਜ ਸਬਦ ਮੈ ਲੇਹਿ ॥
By the will of Waheguru (God) Khalsa Panth was established. All of the Sikhs are to follow Guru Granth Sahib as their final Guru. Following the Granth Sahib, one will be able to see the true spiritual embodiment of all ten Gurus. Whosoever seeks to find the Almighty Waheguru must search Him in the Word of Granth Sahib. (Guru Gobind Singh Ji)
ਬਾਣੀ ਗੁਰੂ ਗੁਰੂ ਹੈ ਬਾਣੀ ਵਿਚਿ ਬਾਣੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਸਾਰੇ ॥
The Word, the Bani is Guru, and Guru is the Bani. Within the Bani, the Ambrosial Nectar is contained. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 982)
ਦੂਸਰ ਰੂਪ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਜਾਨਹੁ । ਆਪਨ ਅੰਗ ਮੇਰੇ ਕਰ ਮਾਨਹੁ । ਰੋਮ ਰੋਮ ਅੱਛਰ ਸੋ ਲਹਹੁ । ਬਾਤ ਜਥਾਰਥ ਤੁਮ ਸੋਂ ਕਹਹੁੰ । ਜੋ ਸਿਖ ਗੁਰ ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕੀ ਚਾਹਿ । ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਕਰੇ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਆਹਿ ।…ਜੋ ਮਮ ਸਾਥ ਚਹੇ ਕਰਿ ਬਾਤ । ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਪੜ੍ਹੈ ਬਿਚਾਰਹਿ ਸਾਥ । ਜੋ ਮੁਝ ਬਚਨ ਸੁਨਨ ਕੀ ਚਾਹਿ । ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਸੁਨਹੁ ਚਿਤ ਲਾਇ । ਮੇਰਾ ਰੂਪ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਜੀ ਜਾਨ । ਇਸ ਮੇਂ ਭੇਦ ਨ ਰੰਚਕ ਮਾਨ । ਤੀਸਰ ਰੂਪ ਸਿਖ ਹੈ ਮੋਰ । ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਰਤਿ ਜਿਹ ਨਿਸ ਭੋਰ ।
“The Granth is my second self and should be taken as such for me. A Sikh who wants to see me should a look at the GranthSahib. One who wishes to talk to me should read the Granth and contemplate over it. One who is anxious to listen to me talk, he or she should read the GranthSahiband listen to its recitation with attention. Consider the Granth as my ownself. Have not the least doubt about it.” (Rehatnama Bhai Nand Lal Singh Ji)
3) A Sikh must take Amrit, wake up at Amrit Vela, meditate upon Naam and read Bani.
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਸਦਾ ਚਿਰੁ ਜੀਵਹੁ ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਤ ਅਨਦ ਅਨੰਤਾ ॥
So drink in forever the Ambrosial Nectar; may you live long, and may the meditative remembrance of the Lord give you infinite delight. (Guru Granth Sahib,Ang 496)
ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਨਾਮੁ ਨਿਧਾਨੁ ਹੈ ਮਿਲਿ ਪੀਵਹੁ ਭਾਈ ॥
The treasure of the Naam, the Name of the Lord, is Ambrosial Nectar; meettogether and drink it in, O Siblings of Destiny. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 318)
ਗੁਰ ਸਤਿਗੁਰ ਕਾ ਜੋ ਸਿਖੁ ਅਖਾਏ ਸੁ ਭਲਕੇ ਉਠਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ…. ॥ ਫਿਰਿ ਚੜੈ ਦਿਵਸੁ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਗਾਵੈ ਬਹਦਿਆ ਉਠਦਿਆ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਧਿਆਵੈ ॥
One who calls himself a Sikh of the Guru, the True Guru, shall rise in the early morning hours and meditate on the Lord's Name….Then, at the rising of the sun, he is to sing Gurbani; whether sitting down or standing up, he is to meditate on the Lord's Name. (Guru Granth Sahib, Ang 305)
ਕੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾਂ ਪਿਛਲ ਰਾਤੀ ਉਠਿ ਬਹੰਦੇ॥…ਕੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾਂ ਹੋਇ ਇਕ ਮਨਿ ਗੁਰ ਜਾਪੁ ਜਪੰਦੇ॥…ਕੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਤਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਗੁਰਸਿਖਾਂ ਗੁਰਬਾਣੀ ਨਿਤਿ ਗਾਇ ਸੁਣੰਦੇ॥
I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who get up in the last quarter of night...I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who remember the Lord with single Devotion….I am sacrifice unto those Gursikhs who sing and listen to Gurbani daily. (Bhai Gurdas Ji, Vaar 12)
ਪੀਵਹੁ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਖੰਡੇਧਾਰ ਹੋਇ ਜਨਮ ਸੁਹੇਲਾ ।
Drink the Amrit (Pahul of Khanda) and succeed in your spiritual life. (Bhai Gurdas Singh Ji, Vaar 41)
ਪ੍ਰਿਥਮ ਰਹਤ ਯਹ ਜਾਨ, ਖੰਡੇ ਕੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਛਕੇ । ਸੋਈ ਸਿੰਘ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ, ਅਵਰ ਨ ਪਾਹੁਲ ਜੋ ਲਏ ।
First rehat to be followed is to take Khanday-Ki-Pahul. Only he is a true ‘Singh’ (Sikh) who doesn’t take pahul from someone else (waste his life following others).(Rehatnama Bhai Desa Singh)
4) A Sikh must keep hair and wear a turban.
Keeping away from the five vices, longing for the congregation of the holy saints, adopting compassion and mercy and renunciation of worldly pleasures is the true way of life. A true Khalsa’s way of life is to never take intoxicants and cut or trim hair and beard. (Sri Gur Sobha, Sain Singh)
Guru’s seal is hair and whoever gives it up (cuts it) will become a bemukh (non-Sikh). (Sau Sakhi)
A barber’s hand must never touch the hair and beard (keep them intact). (Bansavalinama, Bhai Kesar Singh)
Keep the hair in top not, always wear two turbans, keep the head covered and comb the hair twice a day. (Rehatnama Bhai Daya Singh)
A Sikh of the Guru must never cut or trim his hair. Comb the hair twice….consider the hair seal of the Guru. (RehatnamaBhai Chaupa Singh)
"...Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa should keep his hair unshorn, have flowing beard and have simple Dastaar which saves him from impiety. Then the Sikhs asked what would happen to those Amritdhari who start cutting their hair or do not keep their hair covered. The Guru replied that they would be stupid and will lose their sensibility. It is a blemish to remain bareheaded...Always keep two turbans. When the bigger turban is removed, the smaller be kept. The smaller turban should not be removed."(Bijai Mukat Dharam Shastra - Sakhi-8)
Other parts of rehat can be referenced but above few points should be enough to prove the point. Therefore, it is clear that the Rehat Maryada is not just the “opinions of simple minded people” but result of hard work of 13 years by Sikh scholars. The entire maryada is authentic and given to Sikhs by Guru Sahib Himself. One has to be a complete fool to disregard the importance of Rehat Maryada without actually studying its history and original sources. The so-called shortcomings and errors are only perceived by the minds of unintelligent and confused people.
An Unfounded Statement
Muslims claim that Guru Sahib did not speak against “certain evil practices” which is completely false. Guru Sahib’s message clearly condemns the immoral and evil practices of the past and present time. This is because the divine message is based on principles which are the foundation of morality. Gurbani rejects idol worship, caste system, widow burning, abortion (female feticide), subjugation of women and many other evil practices. Listing every evil practice is absurd because it makes the divine message dependent on time and place and becomes useless once the evil practice is abolished. This is why Gurbani is superior to Quran because it contains principles which are universal and independent of time and place.
It was Mohammad who, instead of stopping people from engaging in evil practices, advocated them and made them part of his own lifestyle and Islam. Polygamy, owning and raping slaves, dowry and pedophilia are some of the practices advocated by Mohammad. He also did not speak against caste system, burning of the widow, devdasi system, female feticide and inequality of women. Quran greatly subjugates and mortifies women by taking away their personal rights and making them go through [a] humiliating and evil divorce process. They are degraded to the level of personal property. Where then is the so-called “revealed” message in Quran and how can it be universal and applicable to the entire humanity when it does not even have a shred of morality and instead advocates many immoral and evil practices which are considered illegal in many countries in the modern world?
Unauthenticity of Islam
In this section we analyze some of Islamic core beliefs and scrutinize their authenticity.
Every person must recite Kalima in order to become a Muslim. Reciting Kalima is the first step or initiation in Islam. It is an astonishing fact that the very first step in becoming a Muslim, reading Kalima, is missing from Quran. Also, there is not a single verse in Quran that explicitly makes it obligatory for Muslims to recite Kalima. Hence, the method of initiation is missing from the so-called “revealed” text. Due to absence of a clear guidance of initiating others into Islam, Muslims were forced to create one on their own for all Muslims to follow. This is why we find Kalima written in Hadiths which came into existence during later time period. Even then, there is no evidence to prove that Mohammad himself read the Kalima and if it has been unaltered since then. Muslims believe that Mohammad was the first one to recite it at the moment he found out he was the messenger. Assuming Mohammad did recite the first Kalima then its form would’ve been something like “There is no god but Allah, and I am his messenger”. Mohammad could not have referred to himself as third person. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that if Mohammad ever recited the Kalima (which he never did) then its form has been changed by Muslims (replacing “I” with Mohammad) to make it more suitable for others to recite it. It goes to show that Mohammad established no clear way of initiation into his religion. In its absence Muslims had to come up with a new way to bring in more converts. Hence, reciting Kalima is simply a method created by gullible Muslims.
On the other hand, initiation ceremony in Sikhi was started by Guru Nanak Sahib. Every person (man and woman equally) was given Naam through ‘charan-amrit’ as a way of initiation. Rehat (explained above) was given. Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699 changed ‘charan-amrit’ to ‘Khanday Da Amrit’ (double edged sword) which has been the traditional practice ever since. Theceremony is performed exactly the way it was by Guru Sahib and thesame rehat is given to new initiates. Thus, Guru Sahib established a firm way of initiation into Sikhi.
Before questioning the rehat maryada, Muslims need to pay more attention to Quran and try to make it an error free document as far as grammar and math is concerned. Even then its authenticity cannot be established since it was not written by Mohammad. There is no single proof to verify if Gabriel understood the actual words of God and what Gabriel further passed to Mohammad was fully understood in literal and contextual sense by Mohammad. Further, the message written down by Muslims could not even be verified and checked for errors by Mohammad since he was an illiterate person. Quran was written after the message was verbally “revealed” from God to Gabriel to Mohammad to Muslims. Deliverance of any verbal message is prone to different interpretations, errors and deficiencies. Thus, Quran is not free of errors and is a document of opinions and interpretations of pagans turned Muslims who neither had any divine knowledge nor did they have any reference let alone “revelation” to rectify their own mistakes. Furthermore, abrogation (replacing or cancelling one verse with another) is allowed which means that the so-called ‘revealed’ message is not consistent throughout Quran and word of Allah is not unchanged as suggested in verses 4:82 and 10:64. Not a single copy of the Quran exists that was written and finalized while Mohammad was alive. It was compiled by Abu Bakr after Mohammad’s death. When Uthman was the caliph many various copies of Quran were circulating which resulted in him finalizing the Quran and ordering the other copies to be burnt.
This is in stark contrast to the Sikh scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, that was written and checked by the Gurus themselves. Sikh Gurus ensured that the divine message was written exactly the same as it was revealed and did not lose its true interpretation. The first ever written copy of Guru Granth Sahib still exists today. Many copies bearing the signatures of Guru Sahib are preserved in many Gurdwaras and in private households.
Reciting five prayers daily is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. Each prayer must be read at a particular time of the day. It is generally believed by Muslims that one who does not follow this principle is not a Muslim even if he has recited Kalima. Surprisingly, Quran is quite about specific prayers that must be read, how many times a day and at what times. Although it does mention that prayers must be read but specific times, prayers and number of prayers are not mentioned. The “last prophet” or “Allah” simply forgot to mention the very prayers that must be read. How ridiculous is the fact that it was made obligatory for Muslims to pray but were never told which prayers to recite. In the absence of clear guidance, Muslims were left with no choice but to rectify this shortcoming of Islam by selecting five times for the prayers. Even then, there is no clear guidance on which particular prayers must be read. Muslims usually read the opening suras (Al-Fathia) and then say whatever they want. It is noteworthy to mention that reciting Quranic verses daily is not a requirement set forth by Mohammad. Was it because he did not consider verses worthy enough to be part of the prayers or were they ‘revealed’ for some other purpose? Only he knows but the fact remains that requirement of praying five times a day is simply an opinion of gullible and simple minded Muslims and not an instruction given to Muslims by Mohammad.
On the contrary, all Sikh prayers are found in Guru Granth Sahib and Dasam Granth Sahib. These prayers are revealed word of Akal Purakh (God) and have been part of Sikh rehat from the beginning. The times of reading are also found in many authentic texts such as Vaars and Rehatnamas.
4. Other Practices
It is worth mentioning that many of the Muslim practices can be found being part of the pre-Islamic traditions. Pilgrimage (including hajj, shaving, running between Safa and Marwa, kissing black stone, throwing pebbles), fasting, circumcision and five prayers etc. all originate from pagan and Jewish practices. In fact, word “Allah” is also not revealed since Mohammad’s father and uncle were named Abdallah and Obeidallah respectively. Furthermore, the holiest place of Muslims, Mecca, used to be the worshipping place of pagan and ancient Arab tribes. Muslims during Mohammad’s time forcibly took over and converted it to a Muslim place of worship. Direction to be faced during prayer was changed from Jerusalem to Kaaba by Mohammad, which is clearly copied from the Jews. Mohammad had no idea of what to preach and in order to establish his fake prophethood, he copied and modified practices of pagans and other traditions. It is clear that Mohammad’s message is not revealed and Muslim code of conduct is copied from ancient religions, customs and cultures. This makes the Islamic message and practices unauthentic.
Other Sikh practices such as the four cardinal sins (cutting or trimming hair, eating kutha meat, tobacco and adultery), kirtan (singing hymns), going to sangat (holy congregation), Naam japna (meditation), seva (self-less service), dasvandh (giving tenth of income to charity) etc all have been part of the rehat since the times of the Gurus. Again, references can be found in the Vaars, Rehatnamas and other historical sources.
The Message of Sikhi is revealed from Waheguru (God) and written down by the Sikh Gurus themselves. The principles, practices and Rehat Maryada (code of conduct) of the Sikh faith were entirely new and practiced and advocated by Guru Sahib. The current Rehat Maryada is completely based on Sikh scriptures, authentic sources, eye witness accounts and early historic sources that include all of the Sikh principles, ceremonies, rites and belief and practices. Hukamnamas, hand written by Gurus, also mention some very important aspects of the rehat. Thus, it is clear that the current Rehat Maryada is not an invention of the Sikhs created in the “absence of clear cut instruction.” It shows beyond any doubt that Sikhi is the authentic pathbecause all of the Sikh rehat maryada is given to Sikhs by Guru Sahib himself and has been in practice since the time Sikh started.
On the other hand, many of the Muslim principles and practices such as pilgrimage, fasting, circumcision, five prayers, word Allah etc. all originate from pagan and Jewish practices. Kalima is missing from the Quran whose authenticity cannot be established. It is clear that Quran, Islamic practices and rituals are nothing more than interpretations and opinions of illiterate, gullible and simple minded Mohammad and pagans turned Muslims who in the absence of clear guidance had to rely heavily on ancient practices to ensure Islam’s survival and keep this backward religion going.Muslims have turned a blind eye to their imitative religion and question the divine Sikh practices. Muslims are intentionally writing misleading articles against the Sikh religion based on their ill-conceived notions. But the truth of Sikhi shall always prevail.
Those who have one thing in their heart, and something else in their mouth, are judged to be false. (Ang 488)