Opinion » Comment

Updated: April 9, 2012 02:57 IST

A Sufi message from a Pakistani President

Saeed Naqvi
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Lofty symbolism: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer on Sunday. Photo: PTI
Lofty symbolism: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer on Sunday. Photo: PTI

Asif Ali Zardari must be applauded for choosing to visit the shrine of Chishti at Ajmer at a time of rising extremism in India and Pakistan.

That Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will visit Pakistan at a suitable time is important news, of course. But, put it down to my personal bias if you like, the loftier symbolism of the visit lies elsewhere. The appearance of such a large Pakistani delegation at the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti's shrine in Ajmer will strike a chord with an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis who are more comfortable with the soft, humane message of the Sufis compared with the vengefulness that Hafiz Saeed represents.

Disconcertingly, his ratings in Pakistan have shot up in an atmosphere of high voltage anti-Americanism. In this atmosphere, an American bounty even on the head of the devil would give him championship in the popularity stakes. That is why Mr. Zardari's Ajmer mission deserves applause.

Contrary to popular perception, the rapid spread of Islam across the length and breadth of India was primarily the handiwork of Sufis. At a time when Rahul Gandhi and his cohorts are wondering how to win friends and influence people, the Sufis offer an excellent model. For the model to gain traction, the first requirement is a message which can be simply put across. The message the Sufis sought to communicate offended nobody: oneness of Being (Wahdat ul Wajood), equality of men, Love as a universal value.


Rungs of the stratified Hindu order found the egalitarianism of Sufi Khanqahs, ashrams, hospices, compelling. The first-time visitors to the hospice were overwhelmed by the hospitality. The cuisine was custom made for universal consumption. It was not just vegetarian but care was taken to avoid garlic and onion too which some Hindu sects abstain from.

If there was one dogma the Sufis lived by, it was their total aversion to Kings and Sultans or those who sat at the top of the feudal heap. Since they would not visit the Sultans as a matter of principle, there were instances of the rulers who, overawed by the saint's boundless popularity, expressed a desire to visit them at their hospices.

“If the King enters from the front gate, I shall leave by the backdoor” Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia once famously said. They lived by the Biblical dictum: it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. So, the poor and the intellectually precocious flocked to them.

It was not just their charming temperament, demeanour and belief which attracted the people to them. It was part of their spiritual training to harmonise totally with the cultural environment of whichever place they had made their home. They accepted and adopted the local culture.

Their contribution therefore to folk, popular and classical art forms was immense. For instance, Hazrat Amir Khusro, principal disciple of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, invented the sitar, tabla, ragas. And, by experimental fusion of Hindvi and Persian, he virtually laid the foundation of what later came to be recognised as Urdu. For popular participation, there were always the Qawwalis, with trance inducing rhythms deftly employed between spiritual and romantic lyrics.

It was in pursuance of the trend set by the Sufis that every great Urdu poet proceeded to strengthen sub-continental syncretism. Hasrat Mohani always followed up his “haj” by a visit to Barsana for a “darshan” of Radha, because it was a belief he fancied that God had sent prophets to every country and the one he sent to India was Lord Krishna! It can only happen in the subcontinent: Maulana Hasrat Mohani was a member of the Communist Party and a member of the Constituent Assembly. He refused to sign the Constitution because it was “anti-people”. He is an icon in modern Urdu ghazal. The famous ghazal sung by Mallika Pukhraj, “bezubaani zubaan na ho jai” (hark! Silence begins to have voice) is the Maulana's composition.

Quite naturally, the rapid expansion of this spectacular, colourful Islam, far removed from the arid rigidity of Najd in Saudi Arabia, invited a puritanical reaction.

There were one or two schools of Sufism, like the one to which Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi belonged and which deviated towards puritanism divorced from the colours of India. He was principally opposed to Moghul Emperor Akbar's effort at forging Din-e-elahi or a common religion of God. Later, Shah Waliullah opposed the syncretic excess which leaned too much on the arts, music and dance as a path towards spirituality.

Darul Uloom at Deoband became the centre for puritanical reform within Islam. The effort to bring the faithful back to the straight and narrow continues. Unfortunately, politicians in search of vote banks find Deoband and one or two Imams of mosques, the only Muslim middlemen they know.

These institutions have been plodding away for decades. However, it was the war on terror painting Muslims as terrorists which generated anger in the community, enabling Deoband to marginally augment its reservoir.

By and large, Islam in Afghanistan, Kashmir, North West Frontier Province, other parts of Pakistan and India has, for years, been cloaked in colours of Sufism. But it was the manufacture of Wahabism in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union which was at the bottom of recent Islamic upheavals, of which 9/11and its aftermath are landmarks.

Islamic extremism

Basically, a strand of Islamic extremism has been in Pakistan's DNA since the country's inception but it was only a strand. The Munir Commission in 1953 investigated what is true Islam and came to no conclusion. But a backlash from the Afghan war reached its crescendo with the fall of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad in 2007. Extremism has remained on a plateau since, helped by U.S. policies and the military establishment in equal measure.

Hafiz Saeed is currently the most high profile representative of this extremism which is linked to Wahabism first manufactured in Afghanistan in 1980. In India, Deoband is a harmless reform school. But in Pakistan, Deobandi/Salafi alliance is embarked on a vicious Jehad for the soul of the nation.

It is for this reason that Mr. Zardari's pilgrimage to Ajmer has symbolic value for Pakistan and beyond.

(The writer is a senior journalist, television commentator and interviewer.)

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The core principles of Islam are those which define 'Islam'. It
includes the belief that there is no God except Allah, and the prophet
Mohamed (Peace be upon him) is his messenger. These principles are
outlined in the Holy Quran and the sayings of Prophet Mohamed.
Whatever '-isms' that we talk about are all just political
interpretations. They are more viewed (rightfully so) as attempts to
use religion for political purpose than showing the way to reach the
one and only God by acts of goodness,kindness, tolerance, sacrifice
for the sake of the general well-being of society. No one needs to be
an advocate of any form Islam to believe that he or she is a true
Muslim. It is just a personal matter known only to our own conscience
and the creator.

from:  S.A.Thameemul Ansari
Posted on: May 4, 2012 at 16:21 IST

Mr Tameem and Mr Mausa have a similar statement somewhere during their narration that sufism does not stand in confirmity with core islam. What do they mean by core islam? is it the Wahabism or the Slafism? or an offshoot of these two: Deobandi philosophy in India?. The versions of Islam like Whabism, Salafism and Deobandi forms defamed muslims across the world; these forms of islam support terrorist activities or Jihad in the name of Allah; they do not recognize other faiths or other civilizations, though in Quran it is mentioned that "God has sent his messangers across the world for different people"; Muhammad (peace be upon him) is for Arabs.

It to be remmembered that Sufism propagated from Arab, Central Asia, and then to India. In india they did a great job by propagating Islam to every nook and corner of the country in a peaceful manner. It is pathetic that some section of the Indian muslims do not recognize their own crest jewels from the community.

from:  Shaik Bazi
Posted on: Apr 26, 2012 at 11:42 IST

The article is a misplaced and futile attempt to generate hope in the minds of the people on both sides of the border. Peace will neither come from visits to sufi shrines by corrupt politicians nor will it be achieved by trade. A genuine desire on the other side of the border to achieve peace is the first and foremost condition for achieving peace and never in the past 6 decades of its tumultous existence, Pakistan has been able to fullfil this condition. The Kashmir issue and India bashing in general is like the Ram Mandir issue amongst the muslims in Pakistan - to be kept alive and milked when needed. We in India should keep this in mind and act accordingly. When it comes to elements like Hafeez Saeed, peace will only come through the barrel of the gun. As someone pointed out above, a corrupt, unpopular and powerless leader like Zardari can only ask Allah or his Sufi Intermediaries for a perpetual state of chaos in Pakistan so that his coffers keep overflowing.

from:  Rahul Apte
Posted on: Apr 17, 2012 at 12:54 IST

Was this a pathetic attempt of delinking Sufism from Islam? There is a popular meme in india that somehow sufism came into being in what they perceive was india. Sufism is an understudy within the vast, diverse Islam throughout the world. The first sufis were Arabs, then Persians, then Central Asians, and then South Asians. So was "india" the reason for sufism in those far-away lands, before Muslims came into contact with hinduism? It is true that certain folk-Islamic groups within South Asia mingled hinduism with Islam. This does not make a stiff, singular definition of sufism, nor should one equate folk-Islam with sufism. Almost all the revered sufi saints were devout Muslims; some fought in defensive wars (Suhrawardi), they learned from and established madrassas (Rumi), and were alims of the highest order.

from:  Mir Azad
Posted on: Apr 15, 2012 at 01:15 IST

Brilliant article by Saeed Naqvi. Thanks for the effort. Sufi spirituality has much to contribute in making a friendly world for all. Long live Indo-Pak friendship.

from:  Dr.Cajetan Coelho
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 16:41 IST

Naqvi is right. If Zardari could only carry the message to his people in Pakistan it would usher in a new era of Peace and Prosperity in the subcontinent!

from:  Balakrishna Shenoy
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 00:04 IST

It is heartening to note that even the politicians of India and Pakistan are thinking
of improving the relation between their respective countries.We must think of
Punjab on both sides of the Wagha border,which was cut un two pieces,resulting in the homeslessness of about 10 million people and death of one million people.
The sufferings of the Sikhs has not bin noted by any of the commentators,they
were not properly compensated(the infamous Punjab cut upto 90% of the landed
property left in W.Punjab),in addition to that they suffered in the hands of fanatic
anti-Sikh regime,who declared them ´a criminal tribe´to be dealt
severely.Operation blue star and genocide in Delhi,Kanpur and other cities are the
outcome of the great Nation building in India and Pakistan.
Even to-day it will be wise for the fighters of 2 great world religions to bury the
hatchet and follow the Sufi saints, and Sikh Gurus.Open your hearts and Borders.

from:  Trilok Singh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2012 at 18:26 IST

i noticed that this article seemed to appeal only to hindus. Almost
every Muslim form across the border has scoffed at the article.Gose on
to show how off the mark the article in ;-)

from:  siddhartha
Posted on: Apr 10, 2012 at 13:54 IST

As one of the readers, S.A.Thameemul Ansari, has pointed out, true Islam does not compromise on its basics and do not recognize Sufism as any form of Islam. According to his Islam, there can be no peace except through total submission to Allah, which in other words means, there can be no peace for people from other faith.

Regardless of the desperate attempt by a handfull of moderate muslims, like the author of this article, to mislead the world, Islam that is followed by large majority of muslims, is intolerant towards other faiths, which logically leads to its violent character.

from:  Anjaan
Posted on: Apr 10, 2012 at 01:15 IST

Saeed Naqvi has again written a timely piece to bring the whole discussion on Indo-Pak matters to culture and tradition. Sufis preached and practiced in a manner that was totally inclusive and the Hindus felt a part. Naqvi has hit the nail on the head! It is the influence of Wahabism that has distorted the whole debate. In parts of South India, Muslims felt very comfortable visiting a temple because this was a part of their culture. Now, 'moral policemen' will seek out such behavior. This article is timely from a political angle too because,India is also learning to be proactive rather than react to Media pressure. People in the region must seek common ground and that must be their common culture.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 23:13 IST

Dear Naqvi,

You may agree that Islam in its manifest form envisages pluralism, be it a deobandi or a bareilvi or a sufi or a sunni, its the kalma that unites us. Let us not make the mistake by arguing on what is the popular perception or what is righteous perception, for then we enter the same debate, of slitting our own throats for we know not what the breast of a man holds. Indeed Islam is an ocean, one drinks to the extent of his thirst.

Today Sufis suffer the same issue as the deobandis - will merely aping of practices override the objective of spiritual attainment?
Man is wise, he will tread the path he chooses - for if it is Islam he follows ... he will follow the prophet who was neither a hanafi, etc. nor was he a wahabi or a sufi or a sunni or a shia!!!

Lets not denounce each other. Lets try to ensure people quench their thirst of spiritual attainment. Wonder what u have to say to that.

Mohammed Abid Hussain

from:  abid hussain
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 22:21 IST

Pakistans founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah would be appalled at the way the
country has turned out since its formation, the extremists have
embarrassed the nation and abused the faith. Both Governments should
begin peace talks and create one country again like East and West
Germany and have a roadmap to Reunification. One democracy, one law,
better trade more prosperity for the poorest people of the nations,
more peace in the world! Wake up citizens of India and Pakistan. The
results are Peace and ultimately the largest economy in the world.
Peace for all!

from:  Mahboob Mohammed Khushi
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 21:14 IST

There must be peace and harmony b/w the two countries but real peace and confident building measure will the solution of the issues like Siachin,Sir Creek and Kashmir.

from:  Syed Arbab Ahmed
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 20:15 IST

Recent visit of Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari got wide media coverage in both countries. After seven years any head of state from Pakistan is visiting India and as usual political temperature is very high between both countries. Now both countries have agreed to resolve all disputes through dialogues. True reality is that despite visit of several key personalities, without solving genuine and long disputes between both countries only cosmetics steps and media speeches cant bring any change in the region. Unfortunately despite growing poverty, unemployment and raising prices of basic commodities both countries are still spending huge amount of money on arm purchase and arm race is still going on between two nuclear power rivals. Last several years tension is still very high at borders. In case of any terror activity at Indian soil India accused Pakistan of terrorism and Pakistan is seeing Indian hand in worst peace situation in North west frontiers and Baluchistan province. Unfortunately both governments are also not able to make any decisions against the wishes of hard line elements of extremist parties. Several other key issues Kashmir, Siachen, construction of controversial dams, frequent acts of terrorism in both countries are also making things making bad to worst. Only months ago Pakistan has decided to move the International Court of Arbitration against the construction of the controversial Kishanganga dam. A proxy war is also going on in Afghanistan between both countries. Until and unless both countries are not able to solve genuine issues and long disputes dream of peace can’t come true in the region.

Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 20:04 IST

History teaches us that religions are worthless in any highly heterogenous society
(many religions). They can provide peace only in a homogeneous population. So, its
waste of time talking about them. But, still, President Zardari should be appreciated
for the effort taken against many odds at home. When politicians look for dividing
the people for vote politics and their survival these days, any act which tries to unite
people should be welcomed and reciprocated by India.

from:  Sivakumar Sambandan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 17:10 IST

Saeed Naqvi must write more often in The Hindu on similar topics bridging Islam and Hinduism. I was in New Delhi in February 2012 doing some mission work for our Evangilical Churches in Hapur and Hassanpur. We are in the process of setting up some medical shops in the interior of UP and Bihar. Some people have to walk three miles for ordinary fever treatment. We come with the message of Love and Humanism but not that people must receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Next time around in our seminars we want to invite Saeed to speak to our pastors in Hindi about the message of Love across various beliefs. It must be emphasised across everyone that India means Love.

from:  Richard Kamalanathan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 15:37 IST

Sufism in India has commonly been viewed as a secular attempt for eternal quest of the soul for its direct experience of the ultimate Super power. For centuries the Hindus accepted Sufi shrines as symbol of communal harmony. A large number of them have been offering prayers in Sufi shrines without any reservation but this liberal gesture has not been reciprocated Muslims.

Had Sufism as commonly been viewed as an attempt to adapt Islam in Hindu tradition, the philosophy of two-nation theory would not have emerged. The Hindu revivalist movement like Arya Samaj was a reaction to politicisation of the doctrine of Sufism, which widened the gap of mistrust between the two major religious communities of South Asia.

Contrary to the common perception that Sufism tried to unify the Hindu-Muslim spirituality for a communal harmony, the political Islamists of Sufi background used the doctrine of Tawhid to accelerate the process of Muslim separatism in Indian subcontinent. Their movements were the by-products of Sufi tradition of Islam. They were basically the mystics for the political domination of Islam activists.

The basic creed of mystic movements is unity of God irrespective of religious connotation. Unity of God denotes social unity and universal brotherhood. But these political mystics not only divided the society on the basis of religion but their doctrine created a permanent Hindu-Muslim conflict in the region. The spirit of mysticism is to resolve any dilemma confronting the society. But Sufi movement failed to resolve confronting Hindu-Muslim dilemma in Indian society.

Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 15:10 IST

In my view, both India and Pakistan have a great culture and a long and admirable history. It is read and heard by hundreds of thousands of people out side India / Pakistan every day. I am not a very strict follower of Islam but i do submit and believe in its teachings.There is no doubt that the way forward of which Zardari's visit to Ajmer in India and declaring India as the most favoured trading nation was to disguise the fact that Pakistan and India are one. They do have some political differences that should have been sorted before the partition of India. These are not significant and a step by step approach as suggested during the recent Zardari's visit by both leaders is certainly a step in the right direction. The success and failure of this visit lies in the hands of the ruling parties on both side of the borders. They must grab this oppurnity and work hard to re-establish normal relationship for a start. Once this is achieved the road map to success and prosperity will be held

from:  Sultan Pervez
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 14:50 IST

Our fears of extremist Islam can only be assuaged by the wonders within Sufism and Saeed Naqvi and The Hindu have given us many eye openers in this complex time, through this article.

It might be hard though, for many Indian Muslims to accept the beauty of Sufism because of its apparent willingness to melt and mingle - the inclusiveness being something that Hinduism never had a problem with. It might set off alarm bells that Islam might be vulnerable to influences that might dilute its core. Muslims brothers and sisters, please chime in.

No matter what opinion you may put forth, I have no fear of any form of any religion, except viewpoints and attitudes that might keep one of us in the dark about the other.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 14:25 IST

Saeed Naqvi is neither an expert on Islam nor on History to be making such grandiose claims and statements. Zardari's corrupt past and present is well documented and needs no reminding. He is the same one who reneged on publicly written agreements by saying these are not -'Quran or Hadith' One can only pity Saeed Naqvi for the hollowness of both his claims regarding sufism as well as his lack of understanding of the importance of the concept of Unity of God(as opposed to the so-called false 'unity of being'- an entirly pre-Islamic and antropomorphical concept) and the centrality of Quran and Hadith in Islam.

from:  Ziyad Pasha
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 13:32 IST

It would be foolish to rely on this visit as the catalyst for
positivity in Pakistan-India relationship. Sadly, it is destined
for disappointment. Zardari was out on an inspection of his
estates in England and France whilst thousands drowned the last
time. This time a 127 soldiers are buried under an avalanche in
Siachin while he seeks the blessings of an enshrined dead man in
Ajmer for his son's and his good fortune. For as long as the
corrupt in both countries rule there will be no peace and security
for its people. Its the power seeking greedy and corrupt who split
the country in the first instance who still maintain the status
quo by relying on fanaticism and extremism which they stoke.
Soldiers and civilians sacrificed in their multitudes needlessly.
The commonality of people of both countries is the only hope for
relationship built on trust and sincerity. When that happens,
borders will dissolve, not just between them but across further
into Kashmir, Afghanistan and further on.

from:  rajagopal raman
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 13:11 IST

I disagree, the spread of Islam across different parts of India was
primarily the handiwork of politics and cultural imperialism, you will
notice that in those regions in India, which did not have their own
Hindu leadership, Islam penetrated the most. UP, Punjab, Bengal,
Sindh(all pre-partition)...these regions did not have strong local
Hindu leaders like Rajputana, Hill States, Maratha region, Deccan,
North-East etc...hence there are more muslims in these regions. The
only exception is Kerala, where there is a large muslim population,
where Islam spread like Indonesia i.e brought by the Arab merchants,
hence Muslims in Kerala are still close to their Hindu cultural roots.

from:  Martin
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 12:50 IST

It is nice to know that Sufism is Islam's best effort to reform
and humanize itself. Surely it can only happen in a place
India(as opposed to middle-eastern theocracies), where attempts
to interpret the Quran to conform to our modern morality does not
result in death for the "sin" of blasphemy.
Nowadays, the Gita and Upanishad classes taught by mainstream
Hindu gurus is mostly about humanity and knowledge and
enlightenment; and nothing much to do with caste and rituals.
Likewise, most mainstream Christian preaching has to do with
helping people and living morally and less to do with dogma.
Needless to say, none of these new ideas follow from a "literal
reading" of the respective "holy book", but requires a creative
re-interpretation by a modern guru or preacher or imam. The so-
called holy books were all forged at a time when humanity was at
its infancy and their hallowed traditions can be kept relevant
today only by selecting the best bits out of them and re-
interpreting the rest.

from:  Raamganesh
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 11:51 IST

Thank you - Mr Saeed Naqvi - for showing us the larger picture in the ultimate interest of humanity. Thank you - The Hindu- for publishing this great article.

from:  Rajiv Chaturvedi
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 11:36 IST

Great article, balanced and factual. The common people need inspiration from such
institutions to over come their fear and confusion from extremism usual The Hindu has
taken a lead in showing a beam of enlightenment...

from:  Farid Maharaj
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 10:37 IST

This is a misleading article. The vast majority of Muslims as also those non-Muslims who seek God Almighty do not wish to resort to gaining access to so-called intermediaries, and to say that Sufiism applauds the seeking of intermission of any saint is totally false. Secondly, Zardari's acceptance by his people is at its lowest ebb and he is known as the most corrupt person in the sub-continent. It is not surprising therefore that in keeing with the tradition of the corrupt among any faith he has chosen to visit and donate to the Dargah with an eye on some sort of forgiveness or repentance or in return for a favour granted, which incidentally was granted by God and not by Moinuddin Chisti. There is more to Sufiism than going to dargahs and singing. You cannot be a true believer if you believe God helps you only if you come through an intermediary.

from:  Massoud
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 09:39 IST

Brave article from a dude which is liked almost by every one in india for his unbiasing commentry on several issues. This article truely highlights pros and cons of Zardari's visit to sufi shrine. Whether, this will come as a rescue for the shattered President, remains to be seen.

from:  Malik Showkat
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 09:06 IST

God forbid if Zardari and his PPP manages to hoodwink the Pakistani people once
again by camouflaging behind Sufi outfits to win the forthcoming elections. They
have used every tactics to woo the poor masses including the infamous Roti, Kapra
and Makan slogan. Mr.Zardari and his elks have run out of steam and are looking to
use his pilgrimage to Ajmer to boost his standing in opinion polls.

from:  Saleem Mir
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 07:29 IST

Great write up and a very informative commentary. Fully agree with the
author, this will have a very positive impact on the Indo-Irna-Af-Pak
dynamics. President Zardari should be applauded for his bold and
visionary move.

India, should follow up with an offer to open up visas for such shrine
and spiritual related pilgrimage bounds trips, now that the strong
desire for such visits is there on both the sides.

As a descendant of Multan region and Mohen jo dero (Mohan jo
Dero)culture, someday I for one would love to visit that part of the
region and touch my roots.

Again, great effort Mr. Naqviji. Thanks.

from:  Dinesh Sampat
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 06:46 IST

Sufism was an outcome of Indian culture and region influencing the invading Islamic forces.
It was at the time of the pinnacle of 'Bhakti movement' such a melding that took place and
that would also explain the Hindu participation of Sufi celebrations and holy places. Got the
better of two beliefs!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 06:01 IST

Mr. Saeed Naqvi, the Editor and the entire staff at The Hindu:
Thank you.

from:  Roy M. Ramavarapu
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 04:55 IST

I hope such voice of reason and moderation gain currency among Muslims in India and is heard loud and clear all through the world. I, as a hindu, stand behind you.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 03:58 IST

Islam as a religion stands on the principles of The Quran and the
sayings of Prophet Mohamed (may peace and blessings be upon him). It
is complete and comprehensive. Anything added or deleted to the core
principles of Islam after Prophet's life amounts to causing mischief.
Though sufism is perceived in India as a beautiful synthesis of
Indian cultural interpretation of Islam, it does not stand in
conformity with the statements of the Quran or saying of Prophet.
Islam never accepts compromise in terms of integral principles for the
purpose of cultural integration. According to Islam peace can be
attained only through total submission to Allah in the manner in which
Prophet submitted himself to the will of Allah. May wisdom prevail
upon us.

from:  S.A.Thameemul Ansari
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 02:17 IST

Thank you The Hindu for publishing this article. Many non-Muslims like me are unaware of Sufism and their contribution. Unless we know all such contributions, its difficult to admire that culture of tolerance, love & faith that flourished throughout the history in India.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 01:57 IST
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