IS, Taliban anti-Islam, Indian Muslims scared: Sufi forum
Sufi scholars took a firm stand against terrorism, saying extremist outfits such as IS, Taliban and Al-Qaida were "anti-Islam" and urged Muslim youth to shun such organizations. The scholars, speaking at the World Sufi Forum asked the government to address the concerns of Indian Muslims. A declaration was prepared at the end of the summit, which would be circulated to CMs of all states.
Sufism is most accurately described as an aspect or dimension of Islam. It is not a sect, rather it is considered as the part of Islamic teaching that focuses on spirituality over religion. Sufis pray five times a day, fast during Ramadan and follow all outward practices of Islam. However, they also engage in Dhikr, remembrance of God through verses and song.
'Sufi' may derive from the word for 'wool' and the woollen garments worn by early Sufis. It may also have connections with the word for 'purity' and another suggestion is that it has links with the Greek word 'sophia', or wisdom.
The World Sufi Forum is a four-day event, organized by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), the apex body of Sufi Dargahs in India. PM Modi inaugurated the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi on 17 March, attended by several spiritual leaders, scholars, academicians and masters of Sufism. The theme of the event is "Tawwauf in 21st century seeking to combat global crises."
The All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) is an apex body of Sufi-oriented Muslims in India, which was established with the objective of "disseminating Sufi teachings and practices to foster a composite Indian culture as an anecdote to radical ideologies in the country."
The meeting primarily seeks to debate on how Sufi teaching can influence Islam and prevent global terrorism. The forum also seeks to address the issue of growing sectarian violence within Islam and seeks to guide the Muslim community away from sectarian division. The organizers also stated that the role of women in Islam would be an integral part of discussions at the forum.
PM Narendra Modi said "the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion" and any link between the two should be rejected. He was speaking at the World Sufi Forum at Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. The event was attended by religious leaders from across the world, including Egypt's Grand Mufti Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam and Dewan Ahmed Masood Chishti from Pakistan.
"When the spiritual love of Sufism, not the violent force of terrorism, flows across the border, this region will be the paradise on earth that Amir Khusrau spoke about," Modi added, referring to the 13th century Sufi poet.