Sindhi Writers’ Call for adopting Sufism to defeat extremist forces in the Country

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SHAH Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine custodian Syed Waqar Shah Latifi and other scholars discuss mysticism in a segment of the Sindh Sufi Melo at Hyderabad Club on Tuesday.—INP
SHAH Abdul Latif Bhitai shrine custodian Syed Waqar Shah Latifi and other scholars discuss mysticism in a segment of the Sindh Sufi Melo at Hyderabad Club on Tuesday.—INP

HYDERABAD: Speakers have emphasised the need for society to turn to mysticism in order to defeat retrogressive forces, fanatics, terrorism and extremism.

They were speaking on the concluding day here on Tuesday at a three-day Sufi festival organised by the Auqaf department at Hyderabad Club.

During the three days, various sessions on mystics and mysticism were held followed by musical nig­hts and performances. A theatre on folk­lore Umer-Marui was also staged.

Speakers observed that when people were divided on the basis of religion, Sindh had challenged them. They said history was witness to the fact that Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Sachal Sarmast, Sufi Shah Inayat, Makhdoom Bilawal and other mystics had given an ideology and thinking to the world of peace and brotherhood. If teachings of those mystics were followed, terrorism and extremism could be defeated easily.

Speaking at a session on Sachal, Bedil and Khawaja Ghulam Farid, Professor Farida Shaikh said Sachal used to receive people from all religious backgrounds. Every resident of Sindh had an element of Sufism in him/her, she said.

Professor Qalandar Shah Lakyari said degree holders at times did not match the wisdom of uneducated people and said that Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai had travelled from one end to the other to spread knowledge and educate people. He said that one had to negate his/her self in order to reach some destination.

Noted writer Taj Joyo said mysticism was in fact part of every religion, but it was not religion itself. Mysticism opposed prejudices, he said. A Taiwanese national, Pie-ling Huang, said she was learning Raag of Bhitai and added that she found peace and harmony at the shrine of Bhitai.

Bhitai’s Raagi Manthar Faqir said that when Pie-ling Huang could learn Bhitai’s Raag, why the daughters of Sindh could not learn or recite it. He said she was there to do PhD on this subject, but she lost herself in it. At another session on ‘Qalandari Tareeqo Ayein Fikr-i-Shah Inayat Shaheed’, Sufi Mehboob from the shrine of Shah Inayat stated that Sufis had served mankind in multiple ways because mysticism was all about serving humanity.

Auqaf chief administrator Muna­war Mahessar said “Qalandar Tar­eeqo” was the nucleus of mysticism which was also manifested through “dhamal” and “raqs”.

Qalandar Shah Lakyari said Qalandari branch of mysticism was the oldest one in the subcontinent which was still being practised. He said Shah Inayat led his struggle practically with a modern philosophy. He said he gave the slogan of “jo kheere so khaye” (he who ploughs has the right to yield). He said his thinking and ideology had influenced the world and this also became the cause of his martyrdom.

Mohammad Ali Manjhi moderated the session.

Sufi Mela: The Institute of Art and Design of the University of Sindh (SU) organised a Sufi Mela in collaboration with the Sindh Auqaf department to highlight services of Sufi saints.

Presiding over the event, SU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Fateh Moham­mad Burfat said Pakistan generally and particularly Sindh were the land of saints.

They had given message of peace and love with motherland, he said, according to a press release on Tuesday.

Earlier, the institute’s director Nai­m­a­tullah Khilji highlighted objec­tives of the Mela.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2017