The Sikh religion has a following of over 20 million people worldwide, and is ranked as the world's fifth largest religion. However, events such as the verbal and physical attacks on Sikhs just after September 11, where Sikhs were being mistaken for Muslims, suggest that the Sikh faith still remains mysterious to many.
This Very Short Introduction introduces newcomers to the meaning of the Sikh religious tradition, its teachings, practices, rituals, and festivals. Eleanor Nesbitt highlights and contextualizes the key threads in the history of Sikhism, from the first Gurus to martyrdom, militarization, and the increasingly significant diaspora. Examining gender, caste, and the changes that are currently underway in the faith, Nesbitt considers contemporary Sikh identities and their role in our world.