Do Sikh's Have A Sabbath? (from Ottawa Citizen) | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Do Sikh's Have A Sabbath? (from Ottawa Citizen)


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Balpreet Singh is legal counsel and acting executive director for the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

I think Sunday shopping has become a part of every day life and most people don't think twice about it anymore.

Sunday shopping was originally restricted because Sunday is the Christian Sabbath and is observed as a day of rest in the Christian faith. As Canada's population has grown and become increasingly diverse, there are many Canadians who aren't Christian and for whom Sunday is simply another day of the week. For them, the restriction on Sunday shopping wouldn't make any sense.

Individuals should have the freedom to observe the Sabbath on Sundays but, at the same time, those who do not observe the Sunday Sabbath should also have the right to go about their every day activities without restriction.

Many individuals work on Saturdays and for them, the restriction on Sunday shopping was a major inconvenience.

Speaking from a Sikh perspective, the Sikh faith does not have a Sabbath or particular day of rest. The Gurus taught that any day in which we remember and meditate upon God is a blessed day and every day should be consecrated to remembrance of God.

Ideally, a Sikh should to go to the Gurdwara daily to be a part of the congregation but often this isn't possible.

I remember when I was younger, because it was everyone's day off, Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship) used to have their main service on Sunday. Sunday was the day most Sikh families went to the Gurdwara and there was usually quite a large turnout.

Now however, although Sunday congregations still take place, in many Gurdwaras, they aren't as large as they used to be. Many families now attend the Gurdwara service on Saturday night or other week nights.

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