Sufism can ensure harmony in society

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A one-day national conference on ‘Sufism – as mainspring of peace, love and harmony’ opened at Shakarparian under the aegis of Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage) Wednesday.
In his opening remarks, National Heritage and Integration Secretary Faridullah Khan said, “Sufi saints in the subcontinent have contributed significantly towards conveying message of peace, love and harmony among the masses. They played the most important role in spreading Islam and preserving its true spirit all over the region. They were indeed the men of high moral characters. The concept of equality and brotherhood preached by these saints attracted the people in large.”
He stressed the need for highlighting their teachings.
He congratulated Lok Virsa on the initiative and assured the participants of every possible assistance and support from his ministry on the issue. He expressed the hope that the participants would discuss the subject at length and present recommendations for a more cohesive and effective approach.
In his welcoming speech, Lok Virsa Executive Director Khalid Javaid explained the objectives of the gathering. “In the current scenario of increasing hatred, animosities and bloodletting, only Sufism can help revive the culture of love, peace and interdependence. It is in this backdrop that Lok Virsa, being the custodian of folk and traditional heritage of Pakistan, has decided to help revive the culture of Sufism in the country. We will keep on doing different activities falling in our purview to help support our cause. This conference is a step forward in this direction.”
He asked the scholars to highlight the message of great Sufis to guide all the relevant institutions on how to revive the Sufi culture in the given.
The speakers and the topics included: Dr Shah Muhammad Marri (Mast Tawakali), Inamullah Sheikh (Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai), Dr Anwaar Ahmed (Khawaja Farid), Dr. Nighat Rashid (Bhulleh Shah, Waris Shah and Baba Farid), Prof Farhat Gil (Suharwardi), Dr Yar Muhammad Maghmoom (Rehman Baba) and Prof. Saeed (Mian Muhammad Bakhsh).
A mystic concert with popular folk singer Sanam Marvi was also an integral part of the conference of the evening. A large number of audiences from different walks of life attended the concert and praised for the thrilling performances of the artist.
The word Sufi is derived from Arabic word “Safa” meaning purity. Sufism is a mystic tradition encompassing a diverse range of beliefs and practices. This mystic Sufi tradition has existed in all parts of Pakistan and is a binding force that brings people of diverse cultures together. The saints whose shrines dot the landscape are the meeting place of the masses, the rich and the poor, the rulers and the ruled serve as a humanising force in society at both cultural and spiritual levels.
Like other Islamic movements, Sufism traces its origin to the Quran and the Hadith. In order to keep Sufism within the discipline of Islam, the Sufis organised themselves into ‘Silsilas’ or ‘Orders’.