Islam in Sikhism

Guru Nanak (1469-1539 C.E.) was the first of Sikhism's 10 Gurus, a lineage of holy teachers that continued until the end of the 17th century. The Gurus are understood to be the mediators of divine grace.
The term Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit word for "disciple" or "learner." Sikhs are those who are disciples to the Guru. Sikhism originated in the Punjab region of northwest India, where it drew on elements from Bhakti Hinduism and Islamic Sufism to develop into a distinctive religious tradition in its own right. Sikhs believe that liberation from the karmic cycle of rebirths occurs in the merging of the human spirit with the all-embracing spirit of God. Their religious worship involves contemplation of the divine Name. The ultimate deity is known by several names: Sat (truth), Sat Guru (true Guru), Akal Purakh (timeless being), Kartar (creator), and Wahi-Guru ("praise to the Guru"). By concentrating on God's Name (or many titles), one conquers the ego and unites with God.
The compilation of the Sikh scriptures, the Adi Granth, was begun in 1604 by the Fifth Guru. The last of the ten Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, announced that he would be the last personal Guru and that thereafter, Sikhs were to regard the Adi Granth (Guru Granth Sahib) as their teacher. This sacred book is considered the living embodiment of all ten Gurus and is therefore the focus of worship in all Sikh temples and local gurudwaras, or sanctuaries. The Adi Granth, though never claiming to be a revealed scripture, unlike Quran, comprises of three main parts: a long poem by Nanak summing up the elements of Sikhism, a collection of Ragas, or songs composed by the first five Gurus, and a mixed collection of commentaries elaborating on the Ragas together with hymns of many Hindu saints and Sufi mystics, most prominent (seemingly) Muslim contributors of them all are Sant Kabeer, Sheikh Farid and Sheikh Bhikan. There are 292 hymns associated to Kabir in Adi Granth. Kabir (1398 to 1495) was probably born to a Brahmin mother and raised by a Muslim step mother. He lived as a Sufi saint, abhorred the caste system and all religious rituals. Sheikh Farid has 4 hymns and 130 shlokas by his name. Sheikh Farid (1175 to 1265) was also a Muslim Sufi saint of great piety. He is considered the father of Punjabi poetry. Sheikh Bhikan has 2 hymns. A Muslim Sufi scholar saint Sheikh Bhikan died in the early part of Akbar's reign. He was one of the most learned men of his time. He believed that only God's name can heal a diseased mind and body.

With such contributors, the reference to Islam and it's Ideals, are too many to miss. 

Some of the best shlokas and hymns (of my choice) appears here:


|| 7 || SHALOK, FIRST MEHL: It is difficult to be called a Muslim; if one is truly a Muslim, then he may be called one. First, let him savor the religion of the Prophet as sweet; then, let his pride of his possessions be scraped away. Becoming a true Muslim, a disciple of the faith of Mohammed, let him put aside the delusion of death and life. As he submits to God's Will (Islam) and surrenders to the Creator, he is rid of selfishness and conceit. And when, O Nanak, he is merciful to all beings, only then shall he be called a Muslim.

|| 2 || FIRST MEHL: There are five prayers and five times of day for prayer; the five have five names. Let the first be truthfulness, the second honest living, and the third charity in the Name of God. Let the fourth be good will to all, and the fifth the praise of the Lord. Repeat the prayer of good deeds, and then, you may call yourself a Muslim. O Nanak, the false obtain falsehood, and only falsehood.

Quran 98:5 And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.

Quran 4:36 Serve Allah, and join not any partners with Him; and do good- to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (ye meet), and what your right hands possess: For Allah loves not the arrogant, the vainglorious.

|| 6 || SHALOK, FIRST MEHL: Let mercy be your mosque, faith your prayer-mat, and honest living your Koran. Make modesty your circumcision, and good conduct your fast. In this way, you shall be a true Muslim. Let good conduct be your Kaabaa, Truth your spiritual guide, and the karma of good deeds your prayer and chant. Let your rosary be that which is pleasing to His Will.


|| 2 || Reciting the four Vedas from memory, they do not obtain the Mansion of the Lords Presence hereafter. Those who do not understand the One Pure Word, utter total nonsense.

Qur'an 16:51 Allah has said: "Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One Allah, then fear (only) Me"


|| 22 || SHALOK: The heart is cooled and soothed, and the mind is at peace, chanting and singing the Glorious Praises of the Lord of the Universe. Show such Mercy, O God, that Nanak may become the slave of Your slaves. I long to become the dust under the feet of Your Saints. Please shower me with Your Mercy, O Lord God! I have given up my excessive cleverness and scheming, and I have taken the support of the Saints as my minds support. Even a puppet of ashes attains the supreme status, O Nanak, if it has the help and support of the Saints.

On the authority of Anas (ra) it is reported that some people said: "Oh, Messenger of Allah (saas )! Oh, the best of us and the son of the best of us! Our Master and the son of our Master!" He (Muhammed) replied:

"Oh, you people! Say what you have to say and do not allow yourselves to be seduced by Satan. I am Muhammad, the slave of Allah (swt ) and His Messenger (saas ). I do not like you to raise me above the status assigned to me by Allah (swt ), Almighty All-powerful." (Narrated by An-Nasaa`i )

Anas informs us in this Hadith that a number of people addressed the Prophet (saas) in terms of excessive praise and eulogy and that the Prophet (saw) rejected this, informing them that such was the temptation of the devil, that he might lead them by this means into Shirk (partnership with God). Then he informed them of the correct manner of addressing him which is to say: Muhammad, the slave and Messenger of Allah (saw); and he indicated to them his dislike of being elevated above the position which Allah (swt) has designated for him.


|| 1 || ASHTAPADEE: Slandering the Saints, ones life is cut short. Slandering the Saints, one shall not escape the Messenger of Death. Slandering the Saints, all happiness vanishes. Slandering the Saints, one falls into hell. Slandering the Saints, the intellect is polluted. Slandering the Saints, ones reputation is lost. One who is cursed by a Saint cannot be saved. Slandering the Saints, ones place is defiled. But if the Compassionate Saint shows His Kindness, O Nanak, in the Company of the Saints, the slanderer may still be saved. || 1 || Slandering the Saints, one becomes a wry-faced malcontent. Slandering the Saints, one croaks like a raven. Slandering the Saints, one is reincarnated as a snake. Slandering the Saints, one is reincarnated as a wiggling worm. Slandering the Saints, one burns in the fire of desire. Slandering the Saints, one tries to deceive everyone. Slandering the Saints, all ones influence vanishes. Slandering the Saints, one becomes the lowest of the low. For the slanderer of the Saint, there is no place of rest.

Quran 2:104 O ye of Faith! Say not (to the Messenger) words of ambiguous import, but words of respect; and pay heed (to him): To those without Faith is a grievous punishment. 2:105 It is never the wish of those without Faith among the People of the Book, nor of the Pagans, that anything good should come down to you from your Lord. But Allah will choose for His special Mercy whom He will - for Allah is Lord of grace abounding.

|| 8 || 10 || SHALOK: God alone is the Doer of deeds there is no other at all. O Nanak, I am a sacrifice to the One, who pervades the waters, the lands, the sky and all space.|| 1 || ASHTAPADEE: The Doer, the Cause of causes, is potent to do anything. That which pleases Him, comes to pass. In an instant, He creates and destroys. He has no end or limitation. By His Order, He established the earth, and He maintains it unsupported. By His Order, the world was created; by His Order, it shall merge again into Him. By His Order, ones occupation is high or low. By His Order, there are so many colors and forms. Having created the Creation, He beholds His own greatness. O Nanak, He is pervading in all.

Qurân 7:185: Will they not ponder upon the kingdom of the heaven and the Earth, and all that God has created to see whether their hour is not drawing near? And in what other revelation would they believe those that deny this (Qur'an) ?

Qurân 2:117-118: The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it : "Be!" - and it is. And those who have no knowledge say: "Why doesn't Allâh speak to us (face to face) or why does not a sign come to us?" So said the people before them words of similar import. Their hearts are alike, We have indeed made plain the signs for people who believe with certainty.

While reading SGGS, a few questions popped into my mind. Any possible answers from anyone are most welcome.


|| 1 || Those whom You Yourself have led astray, forget You. Those who are in love with duality forget You. The ignorant, self-willed manmukhs are consigned to reincarnation. GWAARAYREE: True is the Lord King, True is His Royal Command. Those whose minds are attuned to the True, Carefree Lord enter the True Mansion of His Presence, and merge in the True Name. || 1 || Listen, O my mind: contemplate the Word of the Shabad. Chant the Lords Name, and cross over the terrifying world-ocean. || 1 || Pause || In doubt he comes, and in doubt he goes. This world is born out of the love of duality. The self-willed manmukh does not remember the Lord; he continues coming and going in reincarnation.

Sikhs doesn't specifically believe in the Day of Judgement but Adi granth does say, "By His Order, the world was created; by His Order, it shall merge again into Him", something like an apocalypse or the Final Day, as we believe in Islam. If that's the case, when world will come to an end, how come a 'manmukh' (Granth's usage for a disbeliever in the Unity of God), will continue to come and go in re incarnation? 


|| 5 || He created the 8.4 million species of beings. Those, upon whom He casts His Glance of Grace, come to meet the Guru. Shedding the residues of their sinful mistakes, His servants are forever pure; at the True Court, they are beautified by the Naam, the Name of the Lord.

Biologists today believe that as many as 100 million plant and animal species may exist on Earth today. Is this figure symbolic? This goes against the established sciences of today. What's the significance of this digit, if any?

Reader comments (edited): I am sending this to you concerning your attempt to compare Islam with Sikhism. Although I enjoyed your attempt I feel I should try to answer your questioning manner at the end (something which Muslims are known for).

Firstly Guru Granth Sahib Ji clearly states how when the supreme being (God) absorbs its creation back into itself only it shall remain. Hence all people, life etc will return to where we have all sprung from(God). When Guru Granth Sahib Ji talks about manmukhs (which means someone who follows their man (mind) and hence can be anyone even a Sikh, and not your interpretation) going through incarnation when God absorbs all back into itself surely they shall also be joined. Its as simple as that, especially when in Sikhism God belongs to everyone, and not just believers as in Islam (What's a Kaafir, is Osama Bin Laden One?). In Sikhism God is also referred as the one which joins all back into itself.

Your second question is easy, Guru Granth Sahib Ji clearly states that there are innumerable species and life forms, as well as planets etc. If you properly do your research you can even find this in the first part of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. The number you have given is what people of India traditionally believe which is possibly why the Guru's used it so that people can easily relate to it. What's important isn't the exact number but the deeper warning or message the Guru is revealing. Anyway from my knowledge you are incorrect in you claim that Biologists today believe that as many as 100 million plant and animal species may exist on Earth today. Either way, the key word may exist.

I hope this answers your question.

Dr. Baljit Singh

We agree with readers comments. Thanks for sending them to us and correcting us on definition of 'manmukhs'. Just a little bit correction to your knowledge about Islamic concepts too, God (Allah(swt)) indeed belongs to everyone. A 'believer' is one who believes in ONE God and doesn't ascribe any partners to Him else he is called as a 'kaafir' in Arabic. We have no idea about Osama's fundamental beliefs. He might not be a 'kaafir' but if charges against him are proved in the court of law, he might turn out to be a criminal, his offences might amount to a death sentence.

Also, we are all His creations irrespective and this is mentioned clearly in this verse: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other (not that you may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you." Qur'an  49: 13, "...and Allah means no injustice to any of His creatures." (Qur'an 3 : 108).

Muslims thus cannot claim to have secured exclusive rights to paradise just because of being born as Muslims.

We urge you to read this article: Man is Self centered, Allah is NOT

Qur'an 2:256
There is no compulsion in religion.
The right direction is henceforth distinct from error.

And he who rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break.
Allah is Hearer, Knower.

* All references of Sri Suru Granth Sahib (SGGS) are from 3rd Edition of English Translation by Singh Sahib Sant Singh Khalsa.


Back To Islam Awareness Homepage

Latest News about Islam and Muslims

Contact for further information