Sufism could bring peace to Kashmir, says MAULANA WAHIDUDDIN KHAN to RANJENI A SINGH
At the Judah Hyam Synagogue in Delhi, there was excitement writ large on faces of the small gathering, led by Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar. The reason: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, an Islamic spiritual scholar and exponent of interfaith dialogue to promote world peace, was visiting the synagogue for the first time.
Maulana was sending out a strong message that instead of fighting over differences, people should look at the commonalities of all religions and the humaneness of people. He wanted to see the Torah, the Jewish scripture and pray for everyone’s welfare. After Rabbi Malekar led the Ereb Shabbath service, evening prayer service, the Maulana recited a short prayer in which Musa petitions Allah — “My Lord, put my heart at peace for me and make my task easy for me and remove the knot from my tongue, that they may understand my speech.”
Appreciating the fact that Maulana chose Friday — Muslims believe that Friday was chosen by God as a dedicated day of worship — to visit the synagogue, Malekar said that “there has to be intra-faith harmony along with interfaith harmony for peace in the world.
“When a meeting revolves around peaceful coexistence, the recent political developments in Kashmir are on everyone’s mind. The audiences wanted to hear what the nonagenarian scholar had to say. Maulana said that the current tension and fear in Kashmir is temporary and the union territory will become peaceful soon. He said, “Kashmir has been the cradle of Sufism and has been a rich reservoir of Sufi tradition. The spirit of Kashmir is Sufi in nature. The ruh, spirit, of great sufi saints like Sayyid Bulbul Shah, Sayyid Ali Hamdani, and Mir Mohammad Hamdani will guide the people of Kashmir towards peace and prosperity.” He said that the “love and peace that the Sufis exemplified in their lives can play a key role in promoting peace and harmony in society. The love and understanding that they exude and teach will bring people of different faiths together.”
He added that the time has now come for “Kashmiris to view the entire Kashmir conflict afresh, in the light of practical realities and focus their energies on positive purposes.” The Islamic scholar’s is not the only voice that sees Sufism as succour to the people of Kashmir. The chairman of Kashmir Society International, Farooq Renzushah, addressing a gathering last month in Kashmir, said that the Valley needs to be reconverted into an abode of Sufiyat, which will, in turn, bring in peace and prosperity. “Only tasawuf can prove to be a purified catalyst. After the arrival of Hazrat Bulbul Shah, Kashmir became an abode of peace. At present, Kashmir can be retransformed into a land of peace only through Sufism.”
While the talks dwelt on melding of hearts and oneness of humankind, Brahma Kumari Sister Husain tied rakhis on the wrists of Maulana and Rabbi Malekar, in the spirit of universal brotherhood. “Raksha Bandhan is a reminder that as souls, we are children of the one Supreme Soul, our Spiritual Father. Its true significance lies in portraying the pure love between brother and sister,” B K Husain said. Sister Husain applied tilak on their foreheads, tied the rakhi and offered them sweets. Explaining the significance of these rituals, she said, “The tilak is a symbol of awakening one’s awareness of soul-conciousness and tying a rakhi is a symbol of a bond of purity in thought, word and deed.” ■