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Youth Q&A - Confused about whether I must keep my hair

I am a teenage Sikh. I have been told by almost all my family members that it is not a must to keep my hair long...

 Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

I am a teenage sikh. I have been told by almost all my family members that it is not a must to keep my hair long. Up till this point in life my family members have made me cut my hair. When I was younger my family members never told me that sikhs keep their hair uncut. I only found out a year ago that sikhs have to keep their hair.

Ever since I have tried to keep my hair. But whenever my family members think that my hair or beard has grown too long they take me to a nearby barber shop and make me cut my hair and shave my beard.

So I started to ask them why they continuously kept making me cut my hair. They told me several reasons such as :

You need to look need neat and presentable It is very hard to maintain long hair It is very hard to tie a turban I will not get into a good school if I keep my hair and beard I need to shave my beard for things such as renewal of my passport.

Then a few days ago I sat down to discuss this matter with my grand uncle. Since he was the oldest in our family I thought he would be able to help me. I asked him why all the members in my family had been cutting their hair and why they were making me cut my hair. This is because I found out that Guru Gobind Singh Ji ordered us to keep our hair uncut and our beards unshaven.

What he said in response made me even more confused. He told me that Guru Nanak Dev Ji did not say that we could not cut our hair. I am not saying that my family members are bad. They have given me a very comfortable life and have cared for me a lot. But this may be one of the few times when I disagree with their decision.

Sorry for being so long. I am just a young sikh who wants to keep his hair and beard. I am inexperienced and I need some help. I have cried many times at night wondering what should I do. I did not want to cut my hair. I do not know whether Guruji will forgive me if I keep my hair and beard henceforth. Please help me out here.

Any opinions and advice will be very much appreciated.

This question has 13 replies. Here's a sample:

1. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!

One of the best things in our generation is that we are allowed to ask why. We are often unsure about so many things and in today's time there are many people who are very happy answering our questions!

Our Gurus did prohibit cutting hair. And there is a very good reason behind it. Vaisakhi, which we celebrate every year was started by Guru Gobind Singh Sahib ji. He told his sikhs not to do 5 things - You can read description of it here. It has Punjabi in it too as the primary source and proof " . Hajamat – Cutting, plucking, dying Kesh... (Read more)

2. I am disappointed by the response of Guruji's Daughter as Sikhi is not, nor was it ever intended to be, a legalistic faith. Judaism and Islam are both legalistic faiths, and their heavy focus on rules and laws is evident in their teachings.

I think it would be a mistake to see the keeping of hair as normative for all Sikhs, everywhere, forevermore. This is something that was very appropriate for that time when the Guru's lived, in that place in the world (i.e. The Punjab). It is clearly something derived historically from Indian (and specifically Punjabi) culture...  (Read more)

3. Dearest Sikhs, Wjkkwjkf, I myself have been cutting my hair for the past 40 years of my life and have been leading a normal manmukh life What seems like forever now. Hv done and tried almost everything. But since I turned 41 this past June, I hv abstained from cutting hair, drinking alcohol and have tried to wake up early to go to Gurdwara at least 3-4 I es a week. The process of letting my hair grow isn't easy since its a big change for me and everyone else around me as well. My head looks big and my hair looks huge... (Read more)

4. Hair has been recognized as sacred for over 5,000 years. It has a purpose. See: The Value of Hair...  (Read more)

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