Sikhism identifies its founder as Guru Nanak Dev Sahib, a religious innovator and theologian born in 1469 and living until 1539. Nanak, according to sparse historical records, lived in modern day Pakistan. He was born nearly 40 miles from Lahore, living with his Hindu family and ultimately embarking on a theological career path.
At a young age, Nanak showed a deep interest in religion. He received several signs from God, according to fellow citizens and family, indicating a special theological purpose of his life. Nanak embraced theological studies at a young age, focusing his religious studies on Hinduism and Islam. In addition to studying religion, Nanak showed interest in poetry and philosophy. However, his interest in religion persevered, and it distinguished Nanak from his family and friends . When just 11 years old, he rebelled against traditional Hindu dress codes, refusing to wear religious clothing appropriate for boys his age. Nanak rebutted with an individualistic remark, calling on a need for recognizing people as distinct individuals with unique attributes.
By the late 1490s, Nanak married and became a father to several children. He traveled through the region, visiting India, Tibet and Arabia, preaching his concept of individualism and spirituality. Nanak receives praise from many for opposing the restrictive caste system and supporting equality among all citizens, regardless of age, race and ethnicity.