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Hinduism Hinduism, Sufism and Sikhism

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Nadeem, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. Nadeem

    Nadeem
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    Due to the confused nature of statements from a minority of people in this forum about the historical connections between Sufism and Sikhism, I attach for everyone's consideration, the following article, obtained from the internet, for deeper consideration and reflection. Readers are warned in advance not to assume that this article is advocating the supremacy of one religion over and above another, but, is instead, identifying the profundity of the underlying similarities:

    THE SIKH AND THE SUFI

    In the latter part of the fourteen century, a great movement came into existence in India. It was a movement that later made the political achievements of Akbar possible. This political upheaval was preceded by a wave of religious revival, headed in the north of India by such immortal saints as Kabir and Nanak. National movements always seem to arise out of some such religious revival. Kabir was a Muslim, Nanak was a Hindu; but Nanak was claimed by the Muslims as their leader, being called by them Nanak Shah; and Kabir is claimed by the Hindus as one of their great teachers, his chief Gadi being in holy Benares. This was a movement that was intended to unite Hindu and Muslim; and the two great masters, Kabir and Nanak, typified in themselves this ideal of unity. About the same period there came, with liberalising forces, a movement that afterwards went by the name of the Sufi Movement.The religion of Sindh is Sikhism and Sufism. The Hindus in Sindh are chiefly Sikh, the followers of the teaching of Nanak. Guru Nanak himself visited the north of Sindh. The Sikhs of Sindh are chiefly Hindu Sikhs, and have very little in common with the Punjabi Singhs.Sikhism found a strong foothold in Sindh, perhaps because of the Buddhist influence there; the Sikhism of Guru Nanak contains in itself the original spirit of Hinduism, minus all the accretions of latter-day Brahmanism. So Sikhism has given back to the Sindhi the spirit of the old religion which he had lost to some extent owing to the causes mentioned above. But the influence of Sufism in Sindh both on the Hindus and Muslims has been tremendous. Many of the great original Islamic families in Sindh accepted Sufism. Shah Latif, the greatest poet and mystic of Sindh, was a Kureshi of the family of the Prophet, and a lineal descendant of the Mughal House of Herat near Afghanistan. Sachal, the next great poet and mystic of Sindh, belonged to the House of Khalif [Caliph] Umar, whose very near descendant, Shahabuddin, came with the Arabs and became the ruler of Sehwan. These great families have been the real repositories of the best that is in Islam; they have kept intact its culture. Sufism is the mysticism of Islam; and Ali, the lion of God and son-in-law of the Prophet, is said to have been the first initiator and organiser of the mystic school of the Sufis; but later on the Sufi Movement took on special colour as in Persia.The great Sufis of Persia, the immortal Rumi, Jami, Hafiz and many other resplendent mystic lights, have shed their effulgent and glorious spiritual rays on Inida; to this day they are the beloved teachers of Muslims as well as of Hindus. Sindh has had a full share of this bread of life from the Persian Sufis. Afghanistan also claims to be the birth-place of one of the greatest of Sufis, Senai, whose influence even to this day is not insignificant. When Sufism as such first came into India cannot be ascertained. Of course the spirit and teaching of Sufism are completely found in the Vedanta, and in the latter-day saints of India; but the comparatively fresher flowers from Persia added a charm, a beauty, a fragrance, that enriched the mystic treasure. The Sufis of Sindh are peculiar in the sense that the garment of their mysticism is neither specially Islamic nor Persian, but it contains in its warp and woof the threads of both the Indo-Aryan Sanatana Dharma and the Arabic-Persian mystic culture.In fact there is hardly a country in the whole of Asia, including India, in which the mystic thought of two great civilisations, the Indian and the Arabic-Iranian, is seen in so beautiful a union as in Sindh. There is a good deal of Sufism in the Punjab, and Punjab too has had some very great Sufis, such as Bulashah and Mian Bahu; but many of the Sufis of Punjab were in close touch with Sindh, as till comparatively lately Multan was a part of Sindh, whose boundaries extended even as far as Cashmere (Kashmir). The Punjab has even nowmany Sufis, but Sindh being singularly free from religious orthodoxyhas absorbed more of Sufism than Punjab where, on account of different political conditions, social and religious restrictions are more manifest than in Sindh.In Sindh at the present moment [ca. 1924], there are numerous Hindus and amongst them some of the best brains of Sindh, old and new, whoare Sufis by religion. In fact, throughout Sindh, the Hindu Amils are attached to the chief centres of the Sufis, and are the main supporters and advisers of the holders of the Gadi ['keepers of theflame']. This Hindu-Muslim union is a marvellous phenomenon in Sindh. This does not mean that there are no political dissensions in Sindh between the Hindu and Muslim, and that religious bigotry is altogether absent in Hindus and Muslims. As a matter of fact there has been enough of it, and it still exists in many forms and is bound to exist in some form or another while the present political policy, that divides race from race, religion from religion, caste from caste, Hindu from Hindu, Muslim from Muslim, exists.Of course these conditions are not due only to the present political policy; it is in a good measure due to other, deeper, causes that exist in human nature; and also to the very fact of the variety of religion and sects. But in Sindh, owing to its history and other causes, there is less of religious bigotry; and the experiment of the union of religions is to some degree successful and can be witnessed with the physical eye, not merely in the imagination.If one goes round to the various important centres of the Sufis, especially on the chief days of celebrations, he will be agreeably surprised to see the marriage of Islam with the older Religion. It is the fundmental basis of Sufism that the Truth is one. As the Koran says: 'There is nothing new that I give unto you, what I give is as old as the ages.' Thus while the Islam of the Arab is old as the hills, as they say, the religion of the Hindu is old as the snows of the Himalayas - even older. Sufism found a congenial soil in Sindh, and seems to have spread into every nook and corner.

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  3. vaapaaraa

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    There is no comparision to sikhism, Sikhism is unique.

    You cannot compare them with sufism, islam or hinduism. Anyway the article you posted is just conceptions of a historian, and is not accurate. I had to stop after reading "Kabir was a Muslim, Nanak was a Hindu."
     
  4. simpy

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    Respected Nadeem Ji,

    not trying to bring up any controversy- but trying to clarify why our Guru Sahibaan have been friends with all different kinds of Saints and we have Hymns from all different kind of Bhagats in Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.



    Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji is a collection of Dhur Ki Bani(written by those people who were Truly Realized Souls). It includes not only the Real Saints of that time but even before-like Baba Farid, NaamDev, Bhagat Trilochan and more.

    Our Guru Sahibaan believe that Saadh Sangat(Company of the Holy) is very helpful in Spiritual advancement. Sangat can be done by being physically present in the Saint's Company and listen to the preaching or can be done by reading the preaching. Because the Fruit of the endeavor lies in following the teachings, not just listening or reading. So They Blessed the Sikhs with a lot of Holy Company by accumulating all the Hymns of all these Saint Souls. There was never a purpose to make Sikhs-HinduSikhs or MuslimSikhs. Sikh is a Sikh.

    And Sikhi is a Spiritual way of life. A lifestyle that brings in Spiritual elevation by all means.

    Spiritual Wisdom is not bound to any language, time and space.

    Does not matter where one was born and lived, Sikh, a True Sikh must lead the life under God's Command. And for Sikhs-God is All and All is God. God is within and without. This mixing of other cultural tastes, similarities and dissimilarities with other Religions cannot take the True Essence away from any True Seeker, be it a Sikh or a Hindu or anyone. We respect all Real and True Saints, Scriptures and Spiritual Writings. Anything that can make our belief more strong, but nothing that is trying to shake our faith...... We also help others by sharing our beliefs.

    Anybody wants to be a Christian(sometimes due to family obligations) but want to follow teachings of Dhan Dhan Siri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, can do this, but it cannot be said that now Sikhs are ChristianSikhs. This person is doing this because it is hard for him/her to understand the word of God through Bible.

    Some people take what ever is convenient for them from all beliefs available, does not matter to them even if it is coming from a cult- and are trying to attain Spiritual Wisdom, Does Not Work That Way.

    Hard Work is the Key(Living the Truth Truthfully), Does Not Matter What Path You Follow, but has to be a True path......





    forgive me please
     
  5. Nadeem

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    Sat Sri Akal Surinder Ji,

    Many Thanks for your very kind words. I completely agree that Sikhism is unique. Each religion must premise itself on its own uniqueness otherwise it could not persist. In fact, it is my view that Sikhism is that Divine Ocean where the pure waters of both Sufi Islam and Hinduism converge - so, in a sense, Sikhs enjoy a very special place in terms of being the active recipients of two very powerful traditions. It was providential that Islam and Hinduism met on Indian soil and permitted Sikhism to benefit so directly from both. Many Thanks, Nadeem.
     
  6. vaapaaraa

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    Except the last line, everything was right.

    It was Allah's blessings to both hindus and muslims, that they both got benefitted from the teachings of Guru Nanak Sahib ji. All Glory to Guru Nanak Sahib ji, who saved the drowning hindus and muslims of that time.
     
  7. Nadeem

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    Vaapaaraa,

    what was wrong with the last line? Should I change it?
     
  8. vaapaaraa

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    Yes change it, You are saying sikhism benefitted from islam and hinduism. Which is totally out of place.
     
  9. Nadeem

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    Dear Vaapaaraa,

    How should I put it? That Sikhism DID NOT benefit from both traditions?
     
  10. simpy

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    Respected Nadeem Ji,


    Thanks for the response.

    The time Sikh Dharam is formed into an organized Religion, Hindu religion was facing all these kurehtaan, Muslims were against Sikh Gurus, Hindu rajas were against them, Nobody was liking their way of life-

    As
    they started respecting women,
    they believed in inner cleansing of the Soul other than outer rituals,
    they were protecting poor and untouchables,
    considering all equal
    and for many many more reasons......

    can you give me any points of similarity on the traditions of Sikhs with Hindus and Muslims, just for knowledge sake...



    Forgive me please
     
  11. Nadeem

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    Many thanks Surinder-Ji,

    I think it is extremely important to make distinctions between political decisions at the time and purely spiritual or religious distinctions. Not ALL Muslims were against the Sikhs and not ALL Hindus. If you recall, Aurengzeb and Jahanghir were highly political individuals with very negative attitudes towards any new power bases, in this case the Sikh Gurus. However, Emperors Akbar, Shah Jahan and Prince Dara Shikoh - not to speak of Sufi Masters like Hazrat Mian Mir and others, declared their allegiance to the Light brought by the Sikh Gurus and had extremely cordial relations with them. Infact Guru Arjun Dev Ji gave Hazrat Mian Mir a Tasbee (rosary) which has, to this day, been preserved by the Qadiri Sufis in Paksitan. The emphasis on the ONE TRUE God is similar to both Islam in general and Hindu Vedanta. The elimination of caste distinctions is both Bhaktic and Sufi as is the equality of women. I could go on. I hope this was helpful.
     
  12. simpy

    simpy
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    Respected Nadeem Ji,


    many thanks for the reply.


    God is one- is the Spiritual Essence, NOT A TRADITION.. Tradition can be classified as the path to reach the Self-Realization, and the other beliefs-totally different in all the three organized religions.



    Pattern of social classes- varana in Hinduism---is a cast distinction, isn't it????


    Hijaab/Parda in Muslim Women, what is it???????

    Separate place for worship for women in Islaam, is that equality????





    forgive me please
     
  13. vaapaaraa

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    If islamist rulers believed in one God, then they wouldnt have fought with their hindu brothers, forcing them to convert to Islam, Proclaiming only Allah is the true God, rest are kafirs, Then they wouldnt have done killing of hindus in india.

    If muslims believe in equality of women, then in your country give equal rights to women, your words are baseless.
     
  14. Nadeem

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    I did not say that belief in ONE GOD was a "tradition" - however you wish to understand that word. I agree that belief in ONE GOD [monism] reflects the need to get closer to a spiritual essence, common to Vedanta, Bhaktism and Sufism. Social class divisions are transcended in Bhaktism, Vedanta and Sufism. Hijab and separate places of worship for women do not exist in Sufi Islam where the overriding emphasis is on equality and oneness. I hope that helps!
     
  15. Nadeem

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    Dear Vaapaara,

    No one in this forum, least of all myself, can justify or defend cruelty, forceful conversion or any other political malpractice - it is totally forbidden in Sufism.

    The "killing of Hindus" for political and quasi-religious purposes is a reflection of certain "islamist" leaders. It does not reflect the reign of rulers such as Akbar, Shah Jahan or the patronage of Prince Dara Shikoh, for example. As you may be aware, this is a highly politicized discourse and not one that is appealing to anyone who seeks unity.
     
  16. vaapaaraa

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    ਆਸਾ ॥
    आसा ॥
    aasaa.
    Aasaa:

    ਰੋਜਾ ਧਰੈ ਮਨਾਵੈ ਅਲਹੁ ਸੁਆਦਤਿ ਜੀਅ ਸੰਘਾਰੈ ॥
    रोजा धरै मनावै अलहु सुआदति जीअ संघारै ॥
    rojaa Dharai manaavai alhu su-aadat jee-a sanghaarai.
    You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure.

    ਆਪਾ ਦੇਖਿ ਅਵਰ ਨਹੀ ਦੇਖੈ ਕਾਹੇ ਕਉ ਝਖ ਮਾਰੈ ॥੧॥
    आपा देखि अवर नही देखै काहे कउ झख मारै ॥१॥
    aapaa daykh avar nahee daykhai kaahay ka-o jhakh maarai. ||1||
    You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? ||1||

    ਕਾਜੀ ਸਾਹਿਬੁ ਏਕੁ ਤੋਹੀ ਮਹਿ ਤੇਰਾ ਸੋਚਿ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ਨ ਦੇਖੈ ॥
    काजी साहिबु एकु तोही महि तेरा सोचि बिचारि न देखै ॥
    kaajee saahib ayk tohee meh tayraa soch bichaar na daykhai.
    O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not behold Him by thought or contemplation.

    ਖਬਰਿ ਨ ਕਰਹਿ ਦੀਨ ਕੇ ਬਉਰੇ ਤਾ ਤੇ ਜਨਮੁ ਅਲੇਖੈ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
    खबरि न करहि दीन के बउरे ता ते जनमु अलेखै ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
    khabar na karahi deen kay ba-uray taa tay janam alaykhai. ||1|| rahaa-o.
    You do not care for others, you are a religious fanatic, and your life is of no account at all. ||1||Pause||

    ਸਾਚੁ ਕਤੇਬ ਬਖਾਨੈ ਅਲਹੁ ਨਾਰਿ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਹੀ ਕੋਈ ॥
    साचु कतेब बखानै अलहु नारि पुरखु नही कोई ॥
    saach katayb bakhaanai alhu naar purakh nahee ko-ee.
    Your holy scriptures say that Allah is True, and that he is neither male nor female.

    ਪਢੇ ਗੁਨੇ ਨਾਹੀ ਕਛੁ ਬਉਰੇ ਜਉ ਦਿਲ ਮਹਿ ਖਬਰਿ ਨ ਹੋਈ ॥੨॥
    पढे गुने नाही कछु बउरे जउ दिल महि खबरि न होई ॥२॥
    padhay gunay naahee kachh ba-uray ja-o dil meh khabar na ho-ee. ||2||
    But you gain nothing by reading and studying, O mad-man, if you do not gain the understanding in your heart. ||2||

    ਅਲਹੁ ਗੈਬੁ ਸਗਲ ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਲੇਹੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੀ ॥
    अलहु गैबु सगल घट भीतरि हिरदै लेहु बिचारी ॥
    alhu gaib sagal ghat bheetar hirdai layho bichaaree.
    Allah is hidden in every heart; reflect upon this in your mind.

    ਹਿੰਦੂ ਤੁਰਕ ਦੁਹੂੰ ਮਹਿ ਏਕੈ ਕਹੈ ਕਬੀਰ ਪੁਕਾਰੀ ॥੩॥੭॥੨੯॥
    हिंदू तुरक दुहूं महि एकै कहै कबीर पुकारी ॥३॥७॥२९॥
    hindoo turak duhoo-aN meh aikai kahai kabeer pukaaree. ||3||7||29||
    The One Lord is within both Hindu and Muslim; Kabeer proclaims this out loud. ||3||7||29||
     
  17. simpy

    simpy
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    Respected Nadeem Ji,


    many thanks for the reply.



    so now you are saying Sufi islaam- we are talking about similarity of Sikhism with Islaam/Hinduism in general. And as far as the world know- there are many many muslims who consider Sufism Not even a part of islaam due to the belief in Shaikh, because this is believed to be bidah-invocation, misguidance etc.


    anyways i am not satisfied with your explanation, NOT CONVINCED.









    forgive me please
     
  18. lovely_silky

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    Nadeem Ji,

    you are comparing three totally different relegions. you been trying to convince two people, unsuccessful.

    i also question all of your posts under this topic.

    your explanations does not prove your point.

    Sadh Sangat Ji Bhul Chuk Maaf


     
  19. Admin Singh

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    Admin Note: Dear members, please be more specific and explain in detail which of his comments you do not adhere to and why do you differ from him?
     
  20. GURVINDER

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    you Are Trying To Create A Type Of Misconception By Saying That Guru Nanak Was A Hindu And Kabir Was A Muslim Thise Is Due To Lack Of Knowledge .
    Secondly I Wanna To Ask A Question That If He Was A Hindu Then Why His Teachings Were Different From Hinduism?why He Was Against Vrat(fast)?why He Was Against Butprasti,murtypuja?
     
  21. Nadeem

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    Gurvinder-Ji,

    Sat Sri Akal

    I think you should concentrate on the past tense - "Guru Nanak WAS a Hindu and Kabir WAS a Muslim" refers to the past. It does not mean that they remained Hindu and Muslim after they received the Divine Guidance. Both became neither Hindu or Muslim and so they went far beyond these labels.
     

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