Lectures on Sufism by the Modern Sufis

Sufism is what brought Islam to the sub-continent. It’s the most tolerant and effective way of practicing God’s belief with no room for extremism or radicalism in it.

Samia Zaman, one of our readers pointed our attention towards how Sufism is blending into a force, again, in today’s modern world. I hope someone does know where these discussions are held. I’d love to attend one too!

“Sufism seems to be frourishing in Pakistan….my question is WHERE. I am not talking abt the old shingdin abt going to mazars and dargas but very eclectic and intellectual discussion and zikr groups that get togeather and discuss how to percieve GOD with love and not fear. Now this in itself is a unique concept as all i had evr heard about was “Allah se Daro” lectures. All i know is tht there is a LUMS professor who is part of the group and Ayeda who writes for Friday Times. But what i don’t know is that where does it happen?? “ – Samia Zaman

8 Comments so far

  1. Shehnaz Jabbar (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 9:28 am

    Get your history right ! Sufis did not bring Islam to the sub-continent. Its was Muslim Arab traders who brought it and took it as far as Indonesia on thier trade routes.

    Secondly there is nothing in Sufism that is not already present in general Islamic teaching. But certain aspects of sufism might/are not part of Islam as sufism in the sub-continent was influenced by hinduism and buddhism.

    Islam also does not have any room for extremism or radicalism in it. Its the ppl who use it and the general masses for a political means that give others that impression!

    The sufis originally were ppl who wanted to improve themselves by practicing ‘Taqwaa’ or ‘self-control and restraint’ in order to better themselves and thier relationship with God.

    However what you see in Pakistan today and what is associated with Sufism is far from it and closer to ‘shirk’ and sufism has become sort of a cult.

    Whether you talk about whats happening in the mazaars or on tombs or whats happening in these intellectual sufi gathering.

    Sufism has been a trend among some of the misguided elite and the semi-elite social climbers where they want to become religious but rather within thier social context with a little bit of show and tell sometimes.

    And sufism in Pakistan can be compared to the tablighi jamaat where you have to be part of a certain clique and follow thier doctorine to be a good Muslim.


  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 5:54 pm

    My friend, I do agree with you on this fact that Arab Muslim Traders brought Islam to the Sub-Continent, however, it were the Sufi Ulema who were responsible for its spread among the masses.

    And yes, Sufism is a part of our religion and there’s nothing in it out of context of general Islamic teachings.


  3. Monkey (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

    Why is Lahore Metblog not writing about it’s 7 gifts to the world like the Islamabad and Karachi Metblogs??


  4. Momekh (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

    @Shehnaz Jabbar: Who are you, where do you come from, and who gave you the right to talk a whole lotta sense! :)
    thank you, thank you, thank you.

    @Hasan: One thing that has to be totally clear in our minds, my dear, dear comrade, is that Sufis were ‘giants’ of their times and what they have done for our region and for Islam itself IS MASSIVELY POSITIVE. What our friend Shehnaz has pointed out is correct that it is more of a ‘cult’ now. nothing essentially wrong with that, no. But their are boundaries. And your sweeping statement that Sufism has no room for radicalism is totally, totally falwed, for Sufism – NOT Sufis but Sufism itself is THE EMOBODIEMENT of radicalism and extremism itself. Extreme Love and Extreme ‘Anything-goes’ mentality. People like Sheikh Nuh Keller, who practice the Orders of Sufis (their ‘school of thoughts’, if you may) are NOT ANYTHING like what we are lead to beleive Sufism is all about.

    And people actively involved in Sufism ARE doing Shirk; a friend of mine, on a recent visit to Data Darbaar, right here in Lahore, after ‘fathiha’ at the tomb, was making his way towards the Masjid for Maghrib prayer, when he saw an ACTUAL JAMAAT, separate from the Maghrib Jamaat, praying in the direction of the tomb itself. In all senses of the word, that is shirk. And that is wrong.


  5. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 11:06 am

    @Monkey: Unfortunately, we were left behind. However, we’ll try to catch up in next week’s round if its happening.

    @Momekh: I totally agree with you on the point that Sufism is about going to extremes in the name of love.

    And for your friend’s account, I myself have observed people doing Sajda in the direction of Darbars, at Pakpattan Sharif. But, are they the true followers of positive Sufism that we talk about or are they just a bunch of illiterate people with little understanding of the religion itself.

    I’m referring to people like this one example of a Muslim lady that used to work at my Grandparents’ place and who didn’t know why people go to Makkah or Medina…


  6. Monkey (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

    Yeah, we definitely should. Check out the Karachi metblog one. It’s really colourful and we can definitely find such 7 gifts in Lahore.


  7. iblees (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 9:34 pm

    The feeble minded group of people lost between religious and traditional rites can not be called Sufis.

    In this age, i don’t believe to see a real Sufi.

    @all: It doesn’t make you any cool to talk about Sufis. How many of you have actually read Masnavi-e-Rumi (or know what he meant)?


  8. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    @Monkey: I’m going to post an entry to get gift suggestions… Do recommend some on your behalf :)



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