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Sufis presented liberal face of Islam: Tressler

November 06, 2002

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 5: The teachings of Sufis present the real, humane and liberal face of Islam, inspiring people of all faiths, culture minister Col S.K. Tressler (retired) said.

He was speaking as chief guest at a memorial meeting convened by History and Archaeology Association to observe the 750th Urs (death anniversary) of the great mystic poet of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

The minister said collective endeavours must be made for elimination of terrorism from the country. He said minorities were enjoying full rights in the country. He appealed to the people to assist the government in dealing with all problems, particularly terrorism.

Prof (Dr) Ahmad Ahsan Dani, who was presiding over the event, paid tributes to the saints. He said meritorious services rendered by the Sufis with regard to the preaching of Islam was a golden chapter of Islamic History.

The keeper of the great saint’s shrine at Sehwan Sharif, Dr Mehdi Raza Shah, referred to prose and grammar books written by the saint in Persian and Arabic languages. He said, at that time, these books were taught at many famous monasteries, including a Madrassah at Sehwan Sharif, that was greatly respected by many Muslim scholars. In fact, the saint was a prominent Persian poet, he added.

The Institute of Cultural and Historical Research director, Prof Riaz, speaking on the occasion, said his department was processing two publications — one being the biography and the second on the saint’s Persian poetry. He said the project was undertaken to propagate the life of the great Sufi, who traced his mystic lineage to Hazrat Jalaluddin Rumi.

He said, according to an article published in Time Magazine recently, Hazrat Rumi continued to dominate the intellectual content of Western scholars even today.

The magazine also stated that about 200,000 books on Hazrat Rumi and other mystic traditions had been published in the United States in the last 10 years.

On this point, Prof (Dr) Hyder Sindhu of Pakistan Study Institute at Quaid-i-Azam University said Sufis spread the real meaning of Islam through virtuous behaviour and way of living.— Jonaid Iqbal