Abdul Rasood Syed
unfortunately, been hijacked by some so-called Muslims with narrow
understanding of the true spirit of Islam who believe that those who cherish
any ideology adverse to their self-concocted version deserve to be obliterated.
Consequently, what we see today is the surge of intolerance and extremism that
keep on manifesting sometimes in terms of Hazara genocide, sometimes in the
shape of issuing blasphemy edicts against those who don’t sign up to any
All these events suggest vividly that
intolerance and extremism have enveloped our society to the core. Islam, on the
contrary, is the embodiment of tolerance and patience and utterly repudiates
extremism and intolerance. We can’t force others to accept our point of view.
In the Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says, “There is no compulsion in religion…”
To add, once Holy Prophet (PBUH) was asked “What is Eemaan
(belief/faith)?” He (SAW) replied: “Eemaan (faith) is patience and
tolerance.” Realistically speaking, the ideology of Islam close to the version
as preached and underscored in Quran and Hadees is the ideology promoted by the
Sufi Order of Islam. We, therefore, can counter the extremist ideologies by
extensively propagating the teachings of Sufism.
based on the concept of non-interference, acceptance of the differences as well
as plurality. The Arabic word Tasamuh means roughly forbearance and
indulgence; this corresponds to the Turkish word Musamaha, for which the
Sufi poet Yunus Emre also used the expression Hos Goermek (‘accept everything’).
In Persian, alongside Tasamuh the less positive term (‘to resign oneself’, ‘to
put up with’) is used. In religious contexts, in the Sufi tradition of South
Asia and also Afghanistan, scholars favour the North Indian term Rawadari
(derived from Persian Rawa — ‘permitted’, ‘tolerated’); for ‘letting things
happen’; in this sense Pakistani and Indian Sufis often use the expression: Apna
‘Aqida Choro Nahin, Dusre Ka Chedo Nahin — ‘Keep your faith and do not
interfere with faiths of others’.
believe in love for humanity and prefer Haqooqul Ibad to Haqooq-ullah for they
contend that if one wishes to please Allah, the sublime, he must please his
creatures. It is vividly reflected in their literature. The mystics through
their penmanship have always furthered the very concept of love, humility and
humanity and have rejected the very notion of antipathy, arrogance and
extremism. Let me quote here a few renowned Sufis who played instrumental role
in presenting the true image of Islam through their literal work as well as
courteous code of conduct and thereby attracted even the non-Muslims to embrace
the true faith not through coercion but through the course of love and
celebrated Sufi, Baba Farid once addressed to a visitor with following
remarkable lines “Don’t give me scissors! Give me a needle! I sew together! I
don’t cut apart! (Nizami I976, p 89) Another noted Sufi, Ibn-e Arbi distinctly
warned against religious exclusiveness. In this vein, he writes: Do not attach
yourself to any particular creed so exclusively that you disbelieve all the
rest; otherwise you will lose much good, nay, you will fail to recognize the
real truth of the matter. God, the omnipresent and omnipotent, is not limited
by any one creed, for he says, “wheresoever’s you turn, there is the face of
Allah”. Jalaluddin Rumi, arguably the greatest and best-known Sufi master and
poet gave the following message of love to humanity through his Quatrain: Come!
Come! It doesn’t matter what you are, a kafir, an idol – or a ?re-worshipper.
Come! Our caravan is not a place of despair! Come! Even if you have broken your
vows a hundred times, come yet again!
conclude, Sufis with their spiritually deepened language of love oppose the
language of the antagonism of ‘closed’ theocratic world views as well as the
discourse of religious hardliners which generates intolerance. Their tolerance
of religious differences and their ‘live-and-let-live’ cultural diversity which
comes from the philosophical concept of Tawhid — the ‘oneness of the Divine’ —
bear testimony to an ‘open’, holistic world view.
is entirely oriented toward God, refrains from interfering in the religious
views and concerns of those of other faiths and welcomes the togetherness of
all in sacred places. Realizing the gravity of situation that our country is
undergoing today in terms of extremism, intolerance and sectarianism, we
should, therefore, highlight the importance of Sufism and spread its teachings
in every nook and corner of the country. Media, academia, rightly guided
religious luminaries and enlightened civil society should come forward and forge
synergy to defeat the extremist narrative by presenting Sufism as a counter
narrative. The Prime Minister’s initiative to establish a university namely
“Al-Qadir” for promotion and dissemination of Sufi teachings is a pronounced
step forward in this direction that needs encouragement and heart-felt
Source: The Pak Observer