10 Essential Books To Help You Explore The Sikh Faith

Find a comfortable nook, settle in and let these books be your guide.

If you are seeking to go deeper into your faith's traditions, or explore a new tradition you’ve been curious about, then you’ve come to the right place. HuffPost Religion’s new series ReligionReads features essential books to learn more about a certain religion or faith tradition, as recommended by practitioners and religion scholars. The list may include works of fiction, non-fiction, religious texts, poetry and more. We hope the selected texts will offer insight, wisdom and personal reflection along the way.

This week the series highlights the Sikh faith. Thanks to Sumeet Kaur, Navdeep Singh, Sona S. Kaur, Sahaj Kohli, Jasneet Aulakh and Angad Singh for their recommendations.

Scroll down to see 10 essential books that should be on your shelf if you want to dive into the Sikh faith:

Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib
The Adhi Granth, later known as the Guru Granth Sahib, is the central religious text of the Sikh faith. It is comprised of hymns describing the qualities of God, composed by early Sikh gurus. Our recommenders noted two different translations of the holy text, one by Gurbachan Singh Talib and another by Ernest Trumpp.
The Sikhs
The Sikhs by Patwant Singh is a detailed overview of Sikh history and tradition that reads like a captivating story. As Navdeep Singh, policy director of SALDEF, said: "Singh’s work remains one of the most accessible and researched books on the history and evolution of the Sikh community. He was writing a counter-narrative to balance depictions of Sikhs as a feared other and provided a more holistic and balanced discussion and representation of the community."
Lost In History: 1984 Reconstructed
Lost In History: 1984 Reconstructed by Gunisha Kaur investigates a period of attacks on Sikh houses of worship throughout the state of Punjab that included pogroms, police brutality and other assaults on Sikhs in India. "Dr. Gunisha Kaur explores the problems that set off this horrific part of modern day Indian history and how the world’s largest democracy responded to it," said Sumeet Kaur, communications manager for SALDEF.
Jasmin's Summer Wish
Jasmin's Summer Wish is a picture book by Liz Glines that tells the story of a group of children living in New York City and grappling with the realities of climate change. It is one of the first children's books to feature Sikh characters in an urban setting, according to Amazon.
Garland Around My Neck
Garland Around My Neck by Patwant Singh and Harinder Kaur Sekhon tells the story of remarkable humanitarian Puran Singh. The book "emphasizes his work with the disabled, destitute, and lower sections of society in the Amritsar area," and provides an "excellent [resource] on Sikh service and philanthropy," according to Amazon.
Spirit Born People
Spirit Born People is a book of lecture notes by Puran Singh first published in 1928. It served as a wake up call particularly for young Sikhs who had strayed from their faith. It also sought to revitalize and reinvigorate the tradition.
The World According To Sikhi
The World According To Sikhi by I.J. Singh, "examines the Sikh philosophy and applies it to the challenges of modern day society," said Sumeet Kaur. "While taking a closer look at these issues, Dr. Singh offers unique ways for Sikhs and non-Sikhs to find answers to life’s questions for him or herself."
The Name Of My Beloved
The Name Of My Beloved is a translation of Sikh scriptures by Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh. "This is a great introduction for a non-Sikh looking to begin a study of Sikh scripture," said Sona S. Kaur, communications director for SALDEF.
Making Ethnic Choices: California's Punjabi Mexican Americans
Making Ethnic Choices by Karen Leonard explores the hardships faced by early Sikh and Punjabi migrants to the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Amazon writes: "Using written sources and numerous interviews, [Leonard] invokes gender, generation, class, religion, language, and the dramatic political changes of the 1940s in South Asia and the United States to show how individual and group perceptions of ethnic identity have changed among Punjabi Mexican Americans in rural California."
A History Of The Sikhs
A History Of The Sikhs writtenby Khushwant Singh in two volumes fulfills the promise of its title. First published in 1963, the text provides a sweeping overview of Sikh history and tradition.

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