Structural changes coupled with propagation of Sufis

JAMSHORO: Speakers at a seminar have stressed the need for extracting the spirit and essence of mystic thought, by integrating it to the contemporary socio-political concept to transform the society.

 

They said that they needed to bring structural changes in Sindh and Pakistan to counter the growing menace of terrorism and extremism adding that there was a visible and wide disconnect between such philosophies of paramount importance and the thought-patterns of youth in the country whereas the seminar had filled the gap.

 

This they said while addressing the seminar titled “Tasawuf- historical background and conceptual foundation” held at Institute of Sindhology, University of Sindh Jamshoro here on Tuesday. Sindh University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat presided over the seminar.

 

Addressing on the occasion, the keynote speaker intellectual, author, columnist and social activist Jami Chandio said that as its name suggested, Tasawuf had its roots in Islam, however it had existed for infinite time in form of spiritual practice across the world.

 

He added that Tasawuf possessed absolute relevance with today’s societies despite changing its modes yet retaining its staunch power to serve as an antidote to all channels of extremism and religion intolerance.

 

“Sufism is a vague idea. It is so fine, so refined. It is a way of life that tells the purpose of creation with peaceful coexistence for all,” said Jami Chandio.

 

He said that Sufism started at 8th century and initially it emerged in Baghdad, Iran and later in Hindustan (Sub-Continent).

 

Tracing the history of Tasauf, he quoted the philosophies of Mansoor Bin Hilaj, Shablay, Rabia Basri, Hassan Basri, Junaid Baghdadi, Ibn e Arabi, Maruf al Farqi, Ba’yazeed Shatami, Imam Ghazali, Baba Fareed Shakar Ganj, Moeenuddin Chishti, Khowaja Nizauddin Auliah, Ali Bin Usman Hajveri popularly known as Data Darbar, Qalander Lal Shahbaz, Khowaja Ghulam Fareed, Warish Shah, Bulhay Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and other Sufis of the world.

 

Jami Chandio said there were a great deal of similarity in Tasauf and religion but both could not be termed as the same adding that Tasauf and secularism were totally two different things.

 

“Tasauf means staying away from the world while secularism means stay connected with the world; Therefore it is wrong to say that Sindh has remained secular and simultaneously the soil of Sufis”, he said.

 

Jami Chandio talked about the positive as well as negative aspects of Tasauf and described that the today’s human also needed spiritualism but not consisting of ostrich-belief.

 

In reply to a question, he said there was a lot of difference in teacher and Murshid adding that teacher always taught his students to explore the things and conduct research to get new inventions but Murshid always taught not to doubt whatever he was told.

 

He highlighted the three aspects of Sufism, which according to him are philosophical, psychological and social.

Jami Chandio said that tolerance and inter-faith harmony were two basic tenets of Sufism which, if followed religiously, will wipe out extremism and bigotry running high among today’s youth.

“People can take guidance from the philosophy of Sufism which propagates peace, love and brotherhood”, he said.

 

Sindh University Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat said mysticism changed the lives of people by identifying human deficiencies adding Sub-Continent remained Islam’s hot-bed.

 

He spoke about the role of Sufis in Sindh. “We should respect other religions for inter- faith harmony,” he said and added that intolerance was not capable of solving problems.

 

“There is a need to study life of Sufis and conduct research for the promotion of their message”, he said and added that the aim of organizing the seminar was to discuss the issues of society from the perspective of intolerance and extremism.

 

The Director Institute of Sindhology Dr. Ishaque Samejo said that Sufis tried to please Allah Almighty through prayers and mediation.

 

“They lead simple lives and emphasize others to follow in their footsteps. Their teachings are capable of changing the mind and heart of people because these are mission-oriented”, he added.

 

He further said that Sufis played a key role in spreading the message of Islam and especially in the Sub-Continent, they played an active role in promotion of love and brother hood adding that mysticism preached Sufism.

 

“Mysticism can be felt and can be seen but the term itself cannot be explained in the material world,” he said.

 

Among others young columnist Izhar Soomro, Dr. Abdul Ghafoor Memon, PVC SU Naushehroferoze campus Muhammad Nawaz Narejo, Engr. Sajjad Hussain Shah, Ghulam Nabi Kaka, Saif Samejo, Dr. Rafique Memon, Faheem Noonari, Roshan Birhmani Idrees Jatoi, Muhammad Ali Deeplai, Dr. Jamshed Baloch and Asghar Burfat.

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