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Q: Can Sikhs marry someone from another religion in the Gurdwara Sahib?

A: The Sikh marriage ceremony is very spiritual, religious, and a promise with God. When the bride and groom get married in the Gurdwara Sahib, they do not only make a promise with each other to help, protect and support each other but they also make the promise with God to lead a spiritual life to be one with God. This is why, unless the person beliefs in Sikhism, and follows Sikh beliefs, they should not get married in the Gurdwara Sahib.

One should get married in the Gurdwara Sahib if they want to lead a spiritual life shown by the Sikh Gurus. Anand Karaj should be performed only if both partners are willing to follow the Sikh Lifestyle.

Interfaith marriages had been increasing in Gurdwara Sahib across the world. Gurdwara Sahib were relaxing the Sikh Code of Conduct to accommodate the wishes of individuals rather than following the Guru’s teachings. In response, Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib - the Supreme seat of authority of the Sikhs - issued a Hukumnama (decree) regarding this matter on the 16-8-2007 stating that Sikh marriage ceremony should only be conducted when both bride and groom are Sikhs (as a respect toward Sikh religion). If the couple or either one of them is not a Sikh, then they must embrace the Sikh faith. This includes that they must change their last name to Singh or Kaur officially before the Marriage Ceremony.

The original letter (along with a translation) can be accessed with the following link:
http://www.sna.org.uk/cms/hukumnama/


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