Sufism: the voice of one’s inner self: MP Governor

By Pervez Bari,,

Bhopal: Delivering inaugural speech at the three-day 40th International Conference on Sufism here at Bharat Bhavan on Friday, Madhya Pradesh Governor Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav said that Sufism propounds love for entire nature by construing it as love for God. He said that at the spiritual level, Sufism is the voice of human being’s inner self. The basis of Sufism is the quest of soul to attain God and the rituals are undertaken to achieve this goal. Its main principles include lofty spiritualism, peace of mind and soul, secularism and equality among human beings. Sufism does not encourage religious hypocrisy, caste distinctions, racism etc. He said that with respect to Sufi philosophy, universalism casts a deep impact on human existence.

Earlier, the Governor inaugurated the conference by offering petals of flowers to water as per the Sufi traditions. About 56 scholars from Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tajikistan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal were 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.

Madhya Pradesh Governor Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav delivering inaugural address at the three-day International conference on Sufism at Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal on Friday.

Murshed Cemal Nur Sargut of Turkey, who was the chief guest of the inaugural function, addressed them in Turkish language being translated in to English simultaneously. Her inaugural address repeatedly stressed the need for love, compassion and mercy; the attributes of Allah Almighty. Her speech was listened to by the assemblage in pin drop silence. She said that the world becomes a place with undefined beauty, 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 in a state to forgive and love others, then Allah will not be leaving us alone and he will shower his choicest blessings on us”, Cemal Nur said. She ended her address by appealing “Let us unite and let us be the one committed to spread the message of Allah; of his love, compassion, peace and tranquillity to humanity at large which is now reeling under hatred, violence, wickedness”.

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 havoc in the world and the irony is that those who are witness to these aberrations in society too are busy joining the fundamentalists, he averred. He expressed his passionate feeling on Sufism, to be the most appropriate solution to these problems during these testing times of mankind.

He reiterated Sufism as the song of the soul. He said that Sufism is not a religion and it doesn’t dismantle a religion. It has the ability to opens windows and shows that there is oneness in multiplicity. He said Sufism as a way of thinking could remove inequality from the 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, the organisational committee president Mrs. Ajeet Cour threw light on the objectives of the conference. She said Sufism is a great philosophy of deep and infinite feelings, but not a religion. “One can be a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian or a Jew and besides being one among them a Sufi too; because Sufism is an exalted state of mind where love and peace resound like a soft melody, it echoes and re-echoes in the depth of one’s soul. It creates a new ideological state of mind overflowing with love. The message of Sufism transcends all boundaries, and not only it goes across, but negates racism and religious fundamentalism” she said.

Mrs. Cour said: “In this age of rat-race for self-gratification and our thousands of never-appeased hungers for accumulating wealth, cars, posh bungalows and land much beyond our need. In this age of globalization and consumerism, the lyricism of Sufism brings us peace; because it takes us across to the nowhere land where peace, 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, with the universe he has created, and with all the living beings which are ordained to share the bounties of this Universe. The Universe where the planet earth and millions of planets in eternal rotation in their infinite void, moves without any accidents; the days then merges into nights, and nights gives way 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 honouring them with shawls. One of the major attractions of the inaugural function was the dance performance by Baul dancer Ms Parvati Baul based on Bhakti music. Governor Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav was honoured by representatives of Dargah Shareef Ajmer who tied a turban to his head and presented him with a Chadar of Dargah.

Dr. Madkour of Egypt, Dr. Karim Najafi of Iran, Dr. Ovezov Annaguly of Turkmenistan, Dr. Saleem Agha of Pakistan, Mr. Samant Ilangakoon of Sri Lanka, Prof. Abhi Subedi of Nepal and Syed Ahmad Chisti of Afghanistan were all present for the function among others. They were all felicitated and presented with shawls by the representatives of Ajmer Dargah Shareef, who as a part of honouring them, tied pink coloured turbans on their heads. Mr. Manmohan Singh Mitwa proposed vote of thanks.