Return to the Path of the Sufis

Uzair Khan

Auqabi Rooh 07smrumi_jpg_1228507fBaidar Hoti Hai Jawanon Mein
Nazar Ati Hai Iss Ko Apni Manzil Asmanon Mein

When an eagle’s spirit awakens in youthful hearts,
It sees its luminous goal beyond the starry heavens.

Words that were used to rally a nation into action. Have self belief, it tells the agitators and the activists. Focus on the innate ability and capabilities one is endowed with. Reach for the stars and believe. Iqbal in his famous poems brings to attention the power of the people, especially the inherent quality to challenge oppression, ignorance and injustice. It is a message that has its foundations in Islam. Pre-Islam Arabia is a cogent example.  It was a society where daughters were buried alive, corruption rife,  injustice common and ignorance widespread.  Islam brought enlightenment, knowledge and justice. It brought with it a message of peace. What Islam stands for, are no longer the ideals its followers adhere to.

It is evident that there is cancer growing in the Muslim world. Extremism, in all forms, whether purported by ISIS or the extreme wahabism of the Saudis, has deformed the message of Islam. Both to a varying degree have adopted the violent and the subjugated version of religion for their own interests. The religion that speak out against violence again and again is used to justify violence for self interests and power.

There is a clear need for reformation in the Muslim world. None more so than in Pakistan. We have gone through terrible ordeals since independence. The society has become highly polarized. Orthodox right and the liberal left are tearing away at the fabric of our society, with both sides adamant that they are right. Yet, there is a path that has served us well in the past, and there is a strong need to revive it. It is the path of the Sufis.

Sufism has taken on a negative connotation in our society, and rightly so. Shrine worshipping, gaddi nasheeni and misuse for political gains are what remains of the once great tradition of learning, wisdom, and social activism. It is no secret that Islam was spread by the Sufis in South Asia, but what is forgotten is their teachings. One cannot do justice to the teachings of Sufism in such short space. But, it is important to acknowledge the role Sufis have played in the reformation of Muslims of South Asia over the last three hundred years or more.

Sufism has had a strong influence in the revivalist movements in South Asia. From active opposition to a more subtle approach, Sufis have adopted different strategies.  Shah WaliUllah, a 18th century reformer not only focused on the intellectual and spiritual development of Muslims, but also pushed for political gains.  Post 1857 was a tumultuous period for the Muslims. There was need for a more subtle approach. The reformation was taken up by another follower of Sufi teachings, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan. The Aligarh movement for education and economic empowerment was borne from the desire to see Muslims of the sub-continent re-gain their dignity. It emphasized on bridging the gap between Islamic ideals and modern education. In the early 20th century, the ideals of Sufism, especially of reformation were beautifully encapsulated in the poems and words of Iqbal. Words used  eloquently and with such mastery that they still have an impact on those who choose to listen to its message. The message is steeped in the core belief of sufi teachings –  khuddi.

Sufis in the sub-continent have played various roles at different point in times. Sufis have actively opposed oppression,  focused on social/economic uplift and have generally been reformers. Once again it is crucial for the people of this land to realize that the way forward is the middle path. The path which  asks for empathy, understanding, respect, tolerance, knowledge and wisdom. This path has served us well in the past and it is the light that can lead us well in the future as well. We need to return to the path of the Sufis.


  • Dr.Ashfaq A.Khan

    When somebody in distress comes to you don’t ask him about his religious beliefs feed him and fulfil his needs.
    Khwaja Nizam-ud-Din Auliya, The mentor of Amir Khusro Dehlavi.

    Tell people about your Beliefs without the use of your tongue.
    Imam Jafar Al Sadiq a.s

    The whole essence of Sufism lies in these two quotes by the two greats of all the times.

  • Rashid Bajwa

    well, i believe that’s another extent and a mere reaction to the extremism. i would support the phenomenon with its limitation to one’s own thinking and practice. we still have the followers of early sufis who practice the religion much away from its original form…. i would suggest to strive for knowing the true essence of islam and practice it, which is the best and everlasting solution

  • timely

    A clump of poison coated with honey is more dangerous.

    The sufis are just a honey coating on a fascist ideology with the goal of exterminating non-muslims.

    The sufis too are “non-violent” helpers in this islamic genocide upon non-muslims.

    Muslims describing their arab god as “god of love” is a parody and hypocrisy.
    They are just trying to market their fascistic god-concept.

    So many humans have been fooled in the past and are now under the boot of islamic fascism, unable to escape.

    That is also the work of these sufis.

  • timely

    A clump of poison coated with honey is more dangerous than the one not coated.

    These sufis are just a honey-coating on a fascist imperialist arab ideology with the goal of exterminating non-muslims.

    The sufis also are “non-violent” helpers in this islamic genocide upon non-muslims.

    Muslims describing their arab god as “god of love” is a parody and hypocrisy.
    They are just trying to market their fascistic god-concept.

    So many human beings have been fooled in the past and have converted to islam and are now under the boot of islamic fascism, unable to escape.

    That is also the work of these sufis, so-called peaceful god-lovers.

  • Kamath.

    Religion, religion, religion and more religion. Arn’t you tired of it?

  • timely

    to kamath

    On a pakistani block, religion (the arab religion) is the most dominant factor – because it is this arab totalitarian ambitiously imperialist religion, which is pulling the people into an abyss.

    We talk about it out of humane care for them.
    But they return this care with hate.
    That is to be expected form this arab religion. What else do you expect?

    Ridiculous that this real cause has to be mentioned by us and they try to avoid this fact and thus perpetuate their own tragedies and also inflict them on others.

  • cordoba

    If the Sufis were ‘clump of poison coated in honey’ millions of non-believers have not entered to Islam in sub-continent or at least they have reverted back to their previous beliefs. Even the non-Muslims affirm their contributions towards the society. If you do not believe, go and see this on tomb of any sufi in India. There are a lot of genocides in recent history imposed by others on Muslims (Bosnia, Myanmar, Spain,) but not a single from Muslims so you need to improve your own knowledge. You are advocating peace by spreading hatred, very interesting.

  • timely

    to cordoba

    you have learnt only the islam-glorifying narrative of history. Non-muslims were deceived by sufis into becoming muslims. They thought that islam was a good religion but in reality it is not. And now they are under the boot of islamic fascism and cannot escape.
    The worst of islam is yet to come and self-deceivers like you will help that happen.

  • cordoba

    To Timely,

    Do not deceive yourself by bigoted ideas and hate preaching

  • cordoba

    To Timely,
    Do not deceive yourself by bigoted ideas and hate preaching

  • tajender

    where u bring pizza and prostitute now,we

  • timely

    to cordoba

    you write:
    “Do not deceive yourself by bigoted ideas and hate preaching.”

    This is what you must tell the muslims.

  • tajender

    timely yoga is agreat hindu art of deceiving,

    It took a British author Mark Singleton to nail the lies of Hindutva yoga peddlers. He has clearly proved beyond doubt that the systems of yoga exercises popular all over the world are not more than 120 years and plagiarized from European gymnastics. Yoga was popularized in India and abroad last century by the Iyengari Krishnamacharya (his disciples like Pattabhi Jois and B K S Iyengar), the obese Swami Sivananda (and the hordes of gluttonous greeedy swamis he spawned) and Yogendra (Yoga Institute, Mumbai).

    The feudal king of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar (the fourth) was one of the key figures of the Hindu renaissance. The Wodeyar rulers were dummy rulers who were put into power by the British after the freedom fighter Tippu Sultan was assassinated by the British-Brahmin colonizers. The Wodeyars clan were a bunch of British sycophants whose main function was to loot the rich natural resources of Karnataka for the consumption of the British. The British provided these feudal lords all the protection and throw them some crumbs from their left overs.

    The Wodeyars appointed Krishnamacharya as the Physical Training teacher for the palace along with several other European trainers. It is here that the shrewd Iyengari learnt the gymnastic physical postures and cooked up a mystical lineage for this and named it Yoga. It is the second nature of Brahmins to cook up such stories just like their cock and bull Puranas. The upper caste Hindu nationalists took no time in adopting this so called ‘Ancient Exercises’ into their mind cult curriculum in their shakas.

    The editor of Dalitnation had many interaction with these yoga Gurus in our school life. In one instance at our high school in Mysore the fat pot bellied Pattabhi Jois once visited for a lecture and told us about the benefits of these ancient exercises supposedly revealed by their rishis. Many of us able bodied strong Dalit students laughed at the silly physical education lessons given by this pot bellied Brahmin. Pattabhi Jois talked about vegetarianism and how due to vegetarianism Brahmins are the most intelligent. At that time as an young boy we stood up and asked him if that were the case why Brahmins have not produced great scientists like Einstien, Newton, Copenicus, Neils Bohr and such. All these fellows were non-vegetarians. Even the so called Brahmin geniuses like Bhaskaracharya, Panini and others were not vegetarians.

    We are now watching with glee when modern scholarship debunking all the lies of these Brahmins

  • vt rajshekhar

    timely we will never forget what u did to our ister aishawaya rai,

    Aishwarya Rai is of the Bunt / Shetty caste of Karnataka and she belongs to the caste of V.T. Rajashekar the editor of Dalit Voice who is the greatest intellectual of India after Babasaheb. Dalit Voice is a magazine that inspired us to start Dalit Nation. The editor has worked with the great V.T. Rajashekar earlier and we have been inspired by him. Apart from Babasaheb and Kancha Ilaiah, VTR is our greatest inspiration. We have had several talks with VTR when he visited Oxford University in England. We have also had lengthy and stimulating discussions with VTR at his residence at palace lower orchards in Bangalore.

    Bunts are a backward caste and VTR has written about it. Bunts are shudras. The oppressed people who have come from the feet of God. Aishwaraya proved to the world that she is the smartest and beautiful when she won the Miss World title. Brahmins the most cruel race in the world could never digest it. When Aishwarya Rai joined movies the brahmin and Bania toilet papers like Times of India, Hindu and Indian Express were seething with jealousy. They made claims that she does not know any acting. They always sided with their jatwallah actress like the maharistrian brahmins Madhuri Dixit and Sonali Bendre.

    The wily upper caste people in Bollywood tried to set up Aishwarya Rai with the upper caste wallahs. But our Shudra sister Aishwarya never relented. It was during this time when she was harassed by these papans that Salman Khan rescued her. Salman Khan being a muslim wanted to get married to Aishwarya Rai and save her from the oppressive Hindu caste system. A system which has crushed and oppressed our men and especially women. But the upper caste wallahs started spreading all kinds of rumors about Salman Khan. They called him a cocaine addict. These brahmins can go to any length. They will tell what suits their need. Finally they implicated Salman Khan in a fake accident case. They split these two people so that Aishwarya can stay in the evil Hindu caste system. This is what all these upper caste people have been doing to Dalits so that they can never escape from their tyranny.

    After this incident they did not leave Aishwarya alone. They hatched a conspiracy in UP and got the manuwadi Amar Singh to get Aishwarya married to Abhishek Bachan, a half upper caste sikh and brahmin. They even made Aishwarya marry a banana plant before this marriage. How these evil people oppress us there is no end. Aishwarya now no longer identifies with her Dalit brethren. She has been swallowed up by this upper caste conspiracy.

  • timely

    to vt rajsekhar

    I did nothing to your sister.
    Rai became your sister only after she became famous and rich due to muslim financiers of bollywood, who get their money from underground nefarious activities.

    If you eat pig meat then you will surely become intelligent like Newton and Copernicus. So start today.