Sikhs were the first Muslims to convert

Religion: This is what the followers of Sikhism believe

The Sikh religion (Sikhi or Sikhism) was founded by Guru Nanak, who was born in Talwandi (now Pakistan) in 1469, and currently has over 20 million believers worldwide. Just like Christians and Muslims, Sikhs only believe in one God. The religion spread mainly in the area of ​​the Punjab province, which has been divided between India and Pakistan since 1947. In the Indian city of Amritsar is the main shrine of the Sikhs, the Golden Temple, which was stormed by the Indian army in 1984 during religious and political conflicts.

No boxes

In addition to the sacred writing of the Sikhs, the Guru Grant Sahib, the karma doctrine (doctrine of the cycle of birth) and a virtuous life with overcoming egoism are particularly valid. The last of the ten main gurus in Sikh history, Guru Govind Singh, had replaced the Guru essence that had been in effect until then with the Holy Scriptures in the 17th century. Unlike Hinduism, Sikhism has no caste system.

At the same time there are different currents within religion, some of which interpret faith very differently. Time and again there are tensions and disputes between these individual currents. While traditionalists only accept the ten main gurus, some sects worship other scholars as saints. These are mostly descendants of lower-caste Hindus who converted to Sikhism. The community in Vienna also belonged to such a current, the so-called Ravidas movement.

Common surnames

Today there are around 25 million Sikhs worldwide; most of them live in India. Around 15,000 Sikhs are at home in Germany. Sikhs have common surnames as an expression of equality. Sikh women have the surname Kaur (princess) and men Singh (lion). They respect the will (hukam) of creation, which is manifested in the laws of nature.

Sikhism is based on the principle of tolerance towards other religions and equality of all people and genders. Devout Sikhs live by strict rules: nicotine and alcohol are prohibited, as are adultery and pre-marriage sexual relations.

The hallmarks of a believer include uncut hair with a turban (for spirituality), a small sword (for courage and self-sacrifice) and a steel bracelet (for unity with God).