Shabad is a word meaning hymn. In Sikhism, a shabad is a sacred song selected from Sikhism's scripture Guru Granth Sahib, everlasting Guru of the Sikhs. It is not the book, paper, ink, binding or cover which is considered as the Guru, rather it is the shabad, the sacred songs of Gurbani, and the enlightening emanating brilliance which is present when the shabad is seen, spoken, or sung, and its meaning reflected on, which is the actual Guru of the Sikhs.

The shabads or hymns of Guru Granth Sahib are known as Gurbani or the Guru's word, and are written in the Gurmukhi script and composed in raag, a musical score. The main focus of any Sikh worship service is kirtan, or singing the sacred shabads of Gurbani. Shabads may be sung by kirtanis, (individual singers,) or ragis, (professional singers versed in Gurbani) accompanied by sangat (members of the Sikh congregation).