Who Is A Sikh?

Who is a Sikh?

There are 2 different types of a Sikh:

  • a Sikh

  • a Khalsa

What is a ‘Sikh‘?

The term ‘Sikh’- covers all types of people within the Sikh faith who are not yet a Khalsa.

The translation of the word Sikh means a Learner. Therefore, Sikhi (or Sikhism) translates to ‘The Learner’s Path’. The reason those who cut their hair or are not baptised can still call themselves ‘Sikh’ is because we are all learners, therefore we as human beings have imperfections, and by listening to the holy teachings of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the current Guru of the Sikhs), and implementing these teachings into our lives, we may become better people. The term ‘Sikh’ covers many different types of people.

This includes:

  • Sikhs with cut hair.
  • Sikhs with cut beards but turbans.
  • Sikhs with hair but have not yet been baptised into the Khalsa.

What is a ‘Khalsa‘?

The term ‘Khalsa’ translates to ‘Pure’. The ‘Khalsa’ is not a normal Sikh, but a baptised Sikh. The baptised Sikhs must follow a code of conduct and keep a specific appearance that was given to all members of the Khalsa Sikh order by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji (10th Guru of the Sikhs and founder of the Khalsa order).

A Khalsa Sikh must wear the following:

5 Bastar (5 Items of Clothing)

  • Bana-The Navy Blue official uniform of the Khalsa army.
  • Kashera-The Warrior Briefs worn by the Khalsa army, which allows ease of movement, and in a humid environment of India, allowed the Khalsa Sikhs to be more comfortable.
  • Kamar-Kassa-The Warrior’s belt. This belt is made from a long cloth, and is used to contain the swords and other weapons of a Sikh.
  • Durmalla-The Turban of a Sikh. The turban is of great importance to a Sikh. The reasons why a Sikh wears a turban and why a turban is so important to a Sikh is explained further below.
  • Siropa-A robe that is placed around the neck, given to one for having done something that is of an abnormal feat.

5 Shastar (5 Weapons)

The reasons why a Sikh wears weapons is for the protection of humanity. The Khalsa order was created by the 10th Guru to combat the Mughal Empire, an oppressive empire that lasted from 1526 to 1857. The Mughal empire had oppressed many communities of India, and had stated that religious music could not be played, and all non-Muslims must pay Jizya (Islamic Tax) to the government.

Seeing the inequality in not only these deeds, but many other misdeeds committed by the Mughal Empire, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji initiated his Khalsa Army, the Pure Army, to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and be the vanguards of humanity. By using weapons, the Khalsa freed many Hindu women enslaved by the Mughal Empire, and had regained control over the Punjab region, and removing the Jizya Tax from the Punjab, along with allowing religious music to be performed by all religions of India.

What does a Khalsa Sikh look like and what do they do?

  • A Khalsa Sikh has uncut hair.
  • A Khalsa Sikh wears a Kirpan (Small Dagger-for the protection  of others).
  • A Khalsa Sikh wears a Turban.
  • A Khalsa Sikh does not Smoke, drink alcoholic beverages or eat Halal Meat.
  • A Khalsa Sikh has an uncut beard.

Why do Sikhs wear a Turban?

Many wonder why a Sikh wears a turban. Throughout the ages, a Turban has always been important within many religions. Sikhs wear the turban not only to keep the hair protected and respected, but as a sign of their royalty. This turban was only worn by high ranking officials of the Mughal Empire, and no one else was permitted to wear this turban. To show that his army was not under the order of an oppressive government, and that every one of his soldiers was as equal as each other, Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji had instructed all Sikhs to wear a Turban.

In Leviticus 8:9, it states:

And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Here, it shows that God had commanded to Moses for Aaron to wear a Turban. This turban is a crown upon the head, as is referenced within the Bible.