Do Sikhs Fast? 

With over 26 million Sikhs worldwide, you should lend an ear to Sikhism’s religious customs as it skyrockets in popularity.

Since fasting is common in other religions, you may wonder if Sikhs adhere to a similar diet during special occasions.

Sikhs believe that the human body is a home for the eternal soul. As a gift from God, it must be treated with the respect and care that fasting cannot offer Sikhs. Therefore, Sikhs usually do not fast for religious reasons, but may for unrelated purposes.

In the remainder of this article, you’ll learn more about why Sikhs typically reject fasting as a God-respecting ritual and why some Sikhs may still fast despite general opposition.

Why Many Sikhs Don’t Fast

Sikhism is a religion centered around their undying love for God’s creation, including our human bodies. It ensures that physical care is an important aspect of daily life.

Rather than fast and rob their body of nutrients, Sikhs take care of their bodies as a passionate display of loyalty.

Fasting violates the reverent relationship Sikhs have built with their bodies and God. Fasting indicates voluntary abstinence from food and robs humans of the essential supplements they need to care for their bodies.

Since the physical body is thought to be the temple of the soul, Sikhs love and nourish it.

Additionally, Sikhs don’t fast like other religions because they prefer to follow other dietary guidelines to pay respect to God and His creations.

Instead of fasting, Shikhs say food and beverage regulations intimately connect them to God, including:


While meat may be off-limits in other religions, it’ll certainly be on the dinner table if you attend a traditional Sikh dinner.

Rather than fast to show discipline, Sikhs strictly follow the Jhatka method of animal slaughter that ensures a quick, moral death.

Meat is permissible to eat because of Sikhs’ symbiotic relationship with nature that nourishes the body in ways fasting can’t.


While fasting is typically done to keep the body pure and connected to God, Sikhs accomplish this by rejecting alcohol, cannabis, or any other intoxicants.

It’s outlawed in Sikh culture because they do serious damage to the brain, heart, and liver.

Our organs are gifts from God that deserve the best treatment, and this includes only putting what’s healthy in our bodies.

The Reasons Behind Rare Sikh Fasting 

Regardless of Sikhism’s official stance on fasting, you may meet some Sikhs who still fast and say Sikhism is the driving force behind it.

Remember that Sikhism hasn’t adopted ritualistic fasting into their culture, so a Sikh’s decision to fast is unrelated to the ideology. 

Below are the top reasons Sikhs may fast. 

  • Health-Related Matters

It may be essential for someone to fast if their survival depends on it.

A doctor may advise a Sikh to fast due to digestive issues. It may be to relax their organs or avoid inflammatory consequences, so fasting is permissible in this instance.

Fasting is also acceptable before any surgical procedures to ensure a healthy journey. 

The most important thing is maintaining health and wellness, so deviating from traditional customs is appropriate.

A Sikh may go to a Guru (spiritual leader and guide for all Sikhs) to discuss these personal health concerns.

They’ll find supportive reassurance that their survival is detrimental to God and that it’s in accordance with God’s will to live their life to the fullest.

  • Personal Choice

Sikhs are active truth seekers. They understand that the truth may be found down avenues far different than imagined.

Sikhism advocates for free will, or the human ability to choose and shape the future.

Yet there’s an understanding that rituals and sacrifices (like fasting) aren’t considered legitimate demonstrations of respect for God.

To embrace this concept of free will, Sikhs exercise this freedom by choosing to fast to prepare for religious celebrations.

If a Sikh has an alternate perspective on fasting, it’s not a traditional part of the religion; it’s that person’s attempt to find the truth and exercise free will.

Final Thoughts 

Since fasting is a ritualistic practice intended to please God and withhold nutrients from the body, it is largely rejected for going against Sikhist ideology.

With the exception of health-related matters and personal choices, Sikhs favor a few dietary guidelines on meat and intoxicants to connect them to God.