Sikhism is the youngest of the world religions and was founded in the Punjab area of India in the fifteenth century by Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding. His was a simple message of ‘Ek Ong Kar’ – we are all one, created by the one creator of all creation. The time in which the Gurus lived was a turbulent period with difficulties faced with both the Hindus and the Muslims, but the message was of one God who encompassed all, as outlined by Guru Arjan:
‘I observe neither hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save.The Lord of Universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are one; From Hindus and Muslims I have broken free. I perform neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One Sole Lord I serve, and no other. I perform neither the Hindu worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole formless Lord in my heart I bow. We neither are Hindus nor Muslims; Our body and life belong to the One Supreme being who alone is both Ram and Allah for us.’
Guru Nanak passed on his leadership to nine successive Gurus. The last was Guru Gobind Singh who established the Khalsa (see also Baptism) and died in 1708.