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A History of the SikhsVolume 1: 1469-1838$
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Khushwant Singh

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195673081

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673081.001.0001

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Birth of Sikhism

Birth of Sikhism

(p.16) 2. Birth of Sikhism
A History of the Sikhs

Khushwant Singh

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the birth of Sikhism, which is a combination of Islam and Hinduism. However it is also noted that Sikhism has several features that do not resemble either Islam or Hinduism. Before discussing Sikhism, the chapter presents some background information on both Hinduism and Islam. It then examines Hinduism's compromise with Islam, which is called the Bhakti Movement, and Islam's compromise with Hinduism, which is called the Sufi mystics. The religious and political climate in fifteenth-century Punjab is also studied. The latter half of the chapter centres on Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, and some of the most important teachings of Guru Nanak. These include the conception of God, the Guru, the ideal of life, a casteless society, and the gentle path of nam and sahaj.

Keywords:   birth of Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism, Bhakti Movement, Sufi mystics, Guru Nanak, teachings of Guru Nanak, conception of God, the ideal of life, casteless society, gentle path of nam and sahaj

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