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19 November 2011

Sufism propounds love for entire nature: Madhya Pradesh Governor

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40th International Conference on Sufism starts in Bhopal

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Governor Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav has said that Sufism propounds love for entire nature by construing it as love for God. He said that it is also the gist of all the religions.

Governor Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav was delivering inaugural speech at the three-day 40th International Conference on Sufism which got underway at Bharat Bhavan here Friday. He said that at the spiritual level, Sufism is the voice of human being's inner self. The quest of soul to attain God and rituals undertaken to achieve this goal are the basis of Sufism. Its main principles include lofty spiritualism, peace of mind and soul, secularism and equality among human beings. Sufism does not encourage religious hypocrisy, casteism, racism etc. He said that due to Sufi philosophy, universalism casts a deep impact on human existence.

Earlier, the Governor inaugurated the conference by offering flower petals to water as per Sufi traditions. About 56 scholars from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal are attending the international conference. The conference is being organised by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL), New Delhi, a SAARC Apex body in collaboration with Public Diplomacy Division, Ministry of External Affairs- Government of India, Arpana Cour, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Bharat Bhawan.

Murshed Cemal Nur Sargut of Turkey, who was the chief guest of the inaugural function, in a spirited address in her Turkish language, which was translated into English simultaneously by a colleague sentence by sentence, repeatedly stressed the love, compassion and mercifulness qualities of Allah Almighty which echoed in the auditorium as the assemblage listened to her in pin drop silence.

She said that the world becomes very beautiful place through the spiritual love. Everything starts with love and one who is in love with Allah will worship nothing else but Allah. Allah's real face can be seen only by getting rid of hatred and negative thoughts, she added emotionally.

“We should be able to forgive and love others then Allah will not leave us alone but shower His choicest blessings on us”, Cemal Nur said philosophically

She ended her address by appealing: “Let us unite and let us be one committed to spread the message of Allah of love, compassion, peace and tranquility to humanity at large which is reeling under hatred, violence, wickedness etc.”

Delivering the presidential address, Dr. Abid Hussain said that this is the age of hate, terrorism and separatism. People are opposing each other in the name of religion. The terrorism of politics with fundamentalism of religion has created a havoc in the world and the irony is that those who are witness to these aberrations in society join the fundamentalists, he averred.

Dr. Hussain Sufism seems to be the most appropriate solution to these problems during these testing times for mankind. He quoted late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, who believed in the ethics of morality.

He reiterated that Sufism was the song of the soul. He said Sufism is not religion but does not dismantle religion. It opens windows and shows that there is Oneness in multiplicity. He said Sufism is a way of thinking of poor and removal of inequality in society. We have to keep people united despite diversity like a bouquet of flowers of different colour and smell, he added.

"When the soul is dead, the music is dead inside. When the soul is alive, we open our hearts to all human beings”, he remarked.

Earlier, in her welcome address, organisation's president Mrs. Ajeet Cour threw light on the objectives of the conference. She said Sufism is a great philosophy of deep, infinite, feelings, but it is not religion. One can be a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jew, yet be a Sufi too, because Sufism is an exalted state of mind where love and peace resound like a soft melody, echoing and re-echoing in the depth of one’s soul, creating a new ideological state of mind overflowing with love. The message of Sufism transcends all boundaries, and not only goes across, but negates racism and religious fundamentalism."

Mrs. Cour said: “In this age of rat-race of self-gratification, of our thousands of never-appeased hungers for amassing wealth, of being surrounded by beautiful bodies and cars and posh bungalows and land much beyond our need, in the age of globalization and consumerism, the lyricism of Sufism brings us peace, because it takes us across to the nowhere land where peace and love and selflessness reign supreme.”

Continuing she said that it is only through love that we can reach the heights of self-evolvement and enlightenment. Love with the Creator of this Universe, and with the universe He has created, and with all the living beings which are ordained to share the bounties of this Universe: the planet earth and millions of planets in eternal rotation in infinite void, without any accidents; the days merging into nights, and nights giving to glorious, sun-drenched days, in an eternal cycle of merging and re-emerging, like the cycle of Death and Life.

“This is the Universe we human beings were placed in, to comprehend the meaning of Love and Compassion, not only with other human beings, but with all His Creations too!”, she opined.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Cour welcomed the guests by presenting shawls to them. One of attractions of the inaugural function was two dance performances by Baul dancer Ms Parvati Baul based on Bhakti music.

At the function, representatives of Dargah Shareef Ajmer tied a turban to the head of Governor Ram Naresh Yadav and honoured him by presenting a Chadar of Dargah.

Those also present at the conference included Dr. Madkour of Egypt, Dr. Karim Najafi of Iran, Dr. Ovezov Annaguly of Turkmenistan, Dr. Saleem Agha of Pakistan, Samant Ilangakoon of Sri Lanka, Prof. Abhi Subedi of Nepal and Syed Ahmad Chisti of Afghanistan amongst others. They were felicitated by the representatives of Ajmer Dargah Shareef who presented shawl and tied pink coloured turbans on their heads. Manmohan Singh Mitwa proposed a vote of thanks.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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