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What does Sikhi say on slavery ?

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Just now, BhForce said:

Well, OK, but you have to admit it is merely a glancing mention by Guru Sahib. And it's only a mention of dishonoring of women, not really of ongoing sex slavery. And also not of "normal" slavery of men.

Now, I"m not saying slavery is OK because Gurbani doesn't mention it. To the contrary.

But, it's a blow to those Sikhs who naively say that they will only follow Guru Granth Sahib and nothing else. The fact is there is a whole host of stuff we are to do and not do which is not really explicitly mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib.

but if you follow the rehit of not hurting another's heart as too are God's light then it is near impossible to abuse, misuse or imprison as a slave another person. you cannot honour the godhead in someone and similtaneously treat them less than an animal.

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Just now, YOYO29 said:

you mean to say that there is not word for divorcee in Sikhi or in Punjabi language ? Just curious to know how divorce is done in Sikhism ? or marriage is a life long thing just like Catholics ?

Right, people use the word "talaak".

Basically, in Islam, marriage is a wordly contract. In Sikhism, as in Christianity, marriage is seen as holy. Of course, people do what they want to. We're talking about the religion.

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1 minute ago, jkvlondon said:

but if you follow the rehit of not hurting another's heart as too are God's light then it is near impossible to abuse, misuse or imprison as a slave another person. you cannot honour the godhead in someone and similtaneously treat them less than an animal.

Yeah, that's fine. But it's still extensions and interpretations of Gurbani. It's not explicit like he was asking.

And that's a refutation of Sikhs who claim to "only follow Guru Granth Sahib".

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2 minutes ago, YOYO29 said:

you mean to say that there is not word for divorcee in Sikhi or in Punjabi language ? Just curious to know how divorce is done in Sikhism ? or marriage is a life long thing just like Catholics ?

Marriage is a dedication of oneself  to Akal Purakh in Sikhi not owning another human or dedicating oneself to another. Both partners agree top support each other in this life mission to get union with Akal Purakh that's it. You can't divorce in sikhi because marriage is on a different premise to other faith marriages

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1 minute ago, BhForce said:

Right, people use the word "talaak".

Basically, in Islam, marriage is a wordly contract. In Sikhism, as in Christianity, marriage is seen as holy. Of course, people do what they want to. We're talking about the religion.

okay but what a person does if does not want to live with his/her partner.Do they approach some sikh panchayat for dissolving their marriage ? or they just stop living in the same house ?

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Just now, jkvlondon said:

You can't divorce in sikhi because marriage is on a different premise to other faith marriages

Thanks for clarifying 

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Just now, YOYO29 said:

okay but what a person does if does not want to live with his/her partner.Do they approach some sikh panchayat for dissolving their marriage ? or they just stop living in the same house ?

Well, like I said, the religion doesn't allow it, but people do what they want. So, yeah, someone gets mad at their husband/wife, and goes away. And then files for divorce in the government court. If you believe in the "Sikh panchayat" and actually go to them, they'll just tell you to reconcile, and possibly also counsel the party who is being unreasonable.

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1 hour ago, BhForce said:

Well, OK, but you have to admit it is merely a glancing mention by Guru Sahib. And it's only a mention of dishonoring of women, not really of ongoing sex slavery. And also not of "normal" slavery of men.

Now, I"m not saying slavery is OK because Gurbani doesn't mention it. To the contrary.

But, it's a blow to those Sikhs who naively say that they will only follow Guru Granth Sahib and nothing else. The fact is there is a whole host of stuff we are to do and not do which is not really explicitly mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib.

maybe these are closer to the mark:

  • ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥: The One God is our Father; we all are the children of the One God (sggs 611).
  • ਸਗਲੀ ਜਾਨਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਮਉਦੀਫਾ ॥: Saglee jaan karo mauleephaa: Let your daily worship be the knowledge that God is everywhere (sggs 1084).
  • ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Jo deesai so taeraa roop: Whatever is seen, O God is Your form (sggs724).
  • ਏਕਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਜੀਅ ॥: Ekaa surati jete hai jeea: There is One Awareness among all Jeeva or beings (sggs 24)
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Good questions. You probably already know Gurbani is not written in the manner of Abrahamic scriptures, so it doesn't read like a law book or historical account. You have to digg deeper. The answer will be found. Maybe not in the biblical format of "thou shall not...", but the answer can be found. Slavery is not accepted i am sure. Its existence is mentioned, but not condoned. Remarriage is accepted from historical precedence. Divorce is not mentioned as far as i know. 

Im sure someone more knowledgeable can provide more Gurbani and rehitnama quotes.  

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

maybe these are closer to the mark:

  • ਏਕੁ ਪਿਤਾ ਏਕਸ ਕੇ ਹਮ ਬਾਰਿਕ ਤੂ ਮੇਰਾ ਗੁਰ ਹਾਈ ॥: The One God is our Father; we all are the children of the One God (sggs 611).
  • ਸਗਲੀ ਜਾਨਿ ਕਰਹੁ ਮਉਦੀਫਾ ॥: Saglee jaan karo mauleephaa: Let your daily worship be the knowledge that God is everywhere (sggs 1084).
  • ਜੋ ਦੀਸੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ ਰੂਪੁ ॥: Jo deesai so taeraa roop: Whatever is seen, O God is Your form (sggs724).
  • ਏਕਾ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਜੇਤੇ ਹੈ ਜੀਅ ॥: Ekaa surati jete hai jeea: There is One Awareness among all Jeeva or beings (sggs 24)

All highly appreciated, all basically contributing to a feeling of brotherhood and equality, yet also again not mentioning nor prohibiting (and also not allowing) slavery explicitly.

This is not a problem, however, as long as we don't ditch Sikh history.  The moment we do so, however, we will run into problems.

What if someone came up to you (Sikh or non-Sikh) and said (similar to what some nutcases say about homosexuality) that Gurbani is "silent" on slavery and therefore, you can choose to keep a slave or not keep a slave, it's your personal preference and no one should question or judge a Sikh who keeps a slave?

Well, you might say that "That's ridiculous. No Guru and no Sikh ever kept a slave, so therefore neither can we."

The reason you can make that statement is that it's manifest from history (Suraj Prakash and janamsakhis). But once we say "We're only going to accept Guru Granth Sahib and nothing else" you run into trouble real fast.

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On 9/13/2017 at 7:29 AM, YOYO29 said:

I have been on this forum for quite a long time now and gradually I have developed a keen interest in Sikhism.So,I was just wondering what does Sikhi say on slavery ? Does it condemn openly or it is silent on this issue ? Please give your answer with reference from Sikh scriptures.Thank you

To begin with, you need to erase your whole perception of religion as a whole.

Many times I see Muslims try to view Sikhi or any Dharmic faith through an Abrahamic lense and comparative criteria. Which is absolutely pathetic and does no justice to them when trying to understand the faiths at hand. 

 

In Gur Rattan Mal and Sri Gur Katha, there is a recorded instance of Sikhs capturing a Muslim Ranghar or Pathan woman as a form of revenge upon muslims, this was strongly detested by the Tenth Guru who ordered for the woman to be returned untouched, instructing the Khalsa to not stoop so low, as the Panth was made with to encompass morale. 

It's well established in Sikh scriptures and history (of the gurus and their Sikhs) that independence, sovereignty, and freedom of expression and practice, that conforms to the common moral reasoning and principles expected from all of human civilization and Gurmat, is a core principle that all Sikhs hold onto. 

 

In the biographies and hagiographies the Gurus and the Bhagat Sahibans, there are numerous instances in which the Gurus opposed such evil. 

ਕਬੀਰਜੋਰੀਕੀੲੇਜੁਲਮੁਹੈਕਹਤਾਨਾੳੁਹਲਾਲੁ॥

" Kabeer, to use force/coercion  (Zori) is tyranny, even if you call it permissable." -SGGSJ Ang 1374

Slavery would be vehemently against the Gurmat principles laid down by our Gurus. 

Due to their treatment of conquered people (rape, looting slavery, etc.), The Tenth Guru had called the marauding Muslims 'Asurs' (Demons) and Malech (Barbarians). 

ਅਸੁਰ ਸਿੰਘਾਰਬੇ ਕੋ ਦੁਰਜਨ ਕੇ ਮਾਰਬੇ ਕੋ ਸੰਕਟ ਨਿਵਾਰਬੇ ਕੋ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ ਬਨਾਯੋ ਹੈ॥ 

"To slay the Asur (Demon), To kill the Durjan (wicked men), to eradicate Sankat (crisis, calamity, hardship, scourge), The Khalsa has been made." -Sri Guru Sobha, Kavi Sainapat Ji.

To endorse, condone, and practice slavery is a crime that directly opposes the principles of the Gurus (ones instated especially by the first and the tenth) as well as basic morality. 

Edited by akaltaksal
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Also, divorce is acceptable in Sikhi. 

There's an instance in which a Noble comes to have Darshan of Sri Guru Amar Das Ji. This noble was married to a girl who was less than half his own age. Seeing this, the Guru disapproved, and had her remarried to another person who was around the same age and had Sanjog. 

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On 9/13/2017 at 9:18 AM, YOYO29 said:

okay but what a person does if does not want to live with his/her partner.Do they approach some sikh panchayat for dissolving their marriage ? or they just stop living in the same house ?

Traditionally, you approach the SGGSJ and/or Panj Pyare to end the marriage.

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On 18/09/2017 at 3:21 AM, akaltaksal said:

Traditionally, you approach the SGGSJ and/or Panj Pyare to end the marriage.

To add my pennies worth to the above...

Divorce (ending a marriage) is acceptable in certain circumstances. It would be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Panj Pyare/ Guru. There's no blanket rule/ law. Marriage is considered sacred; a union between man, woman and the Guru. It is not a contract between two people.

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On 9/18/2017 at 7:14 AM, akaltaksal said:

Many times I see Muslims try to view Sikhi or any Dharmic faith through an Abrahamic lense and comparative criteria. Which is absolutely pathetic and does no justice to them when trying to understand the faiths at hand. 

Same can be said of a sikh or hindu.When viewing Islam or Christianity they use dharmic lense. Anyway , considering Guru's ban on Halal way of meat (which is cruel btw) i was expecting same kind of clear cut approach in regards to slavery but sadly found none.

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