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Upsetting Sufis

Published Oct 25, 2012 12:37pm


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After targeting police and military personnel, Pakistani extremist and sectarian outfits, many of whom (in 2007) came under the umbrella of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), began to also target worshipers in mosques and common civilians in market places with remote-controlled exploding devises and suicide bombers.

They then further expanded their relentless (and remorseless) campaign of anarchic destruction by also including Sufi shrines to their long list of places to be attacked.

A spate of terrorist attacks by the extremists on some famous Sufi shrines in Pakistan has brought into focus something that was taken for granted, and only rarely studied: Pakistan’s ‘shrine culture’ that still thrives in the subcontinent.

This is an important development especially considering the negligible knowledge the country’s young urbanites have of this culture – in spite of the fact that shrines continue to play an important spiritual and economic role in the lives of a majority of Pakistanis.

The shrine culture, pertaining to the devotional, recreational and professional activity around the shrines of Muslim saints, has been present in the subcontinent for hundreds of years.

It is largely associated with activity around the shrines of Sufi saints who started arriving from Iraq, Iran and Central Asia with various waves of Muslim invaders in India from the 8th Century onwards.

These men (and some women) fused Islamic esotericism with the cultural rituals of the many religions that they came into contact with in the subcontinent.

More than the ulema and the clerics, it was the Sufi saints who made the foremost social contribution to the spreading of Islam in the region.

The saints’ interpretation of Islam was more accommodating. Consequently, over the centuries a largely permissive culture of devotional music and indigenously cultivated rituals began taking shape around and inside the shrines.

The shrine culture was enthusiastically patronised by various Muslim dynasties that ruled the subcontinent, and it became a vital part of the belief and ritual system of a large number of Muslims in the region.

A 14th Century painting showing Indian musician and poet, Amir Khusro, with famous Sufi saint, Khwaja Nizamuddin Aawliya.

This culture has remained intact amongst the majority of Muslims of the region despite the attempts of many puritanical movements striving to eliminate it, alleging that it encouraged heretical ritual and doctrinal innovations.


Though before the 1960s, a majority of urban middle-class Pakistanis had always described this culture as born from the spiritual convictions of the uneducated and the superstitious, Pakistani rulers from 1947 till 1977, openly patronised influential Pirs (head of shrines and Sufi orders), to blunt the political challenges posed by the advocates of the more puritanical strains of the faith.

Even before the creation of Pakistan when conservative 19th century Islamic revivalists were denouncing Muslim modernists and reformers like Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Syed Ameer Ali for asking India’s Muslims to gain a Western education, and to turn towards a rational interpretation of the Islamic scriptures, Syed and Ali had found some support from Muslim traditionalists who were trying to bring the shrine culture on a single doctrinal platform.

Nineteenth Century Muslim reformer, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, was denounced by puritanical Islamic revivalists for advising Indian Muslims to gain Western education and to rationally interpret Islamic scriptures.

These traditionalists, such as Ahmad Raza Khan, too were facing intellectual attacks from puritanical revivalists.

Raza responded by attempting to give a more consolidated shape to the widespread but diverse shrine culture in India – a lose and decentralised construct that began to be called ‘Barelvi Islam.’

In Pakistan, since ‘Beralvi Islam’ and the shrine culture remained to constitute the bulk of the ‘folk religion’ of the masses, secular military dictator Ayub Khan and the populist Z A. Bhutto, both actively patronised it to ward off the challenges faced by them from the conservative Islamic parties.

The patronage that this culture got, especially by leaders like Bhutto in the 1970s, saw it begin to attract urban middle-class youth as well.

For example, just like the middle-class hippies of the West (in the 1960s) – who had chosen various esoteric Eastern spiritual beliefs to demonstrate their disapproval of the ‘soullessness’ of the Western system – young, middle-class Pakistanis (in the early 1970s), increasingly started looking upon Sufism and the shrine culture as a way to make a social and political connect with the ‘downtrodden and the dispossessed,’ and to show their disapproval of the figurative ‘mullah.’

During political rallies, former Pakistani Prime Minister, Z A. Bhutto often submerged himself in the role of a modern-day Sufi. On such occasions he used to discarded his expensive suits in favour of a simple kameez-shalwar; then after rolling up his sleeves and rip-opening his front buttons, spoke like a man intoxicated by the energy of the masses. In the Punjab, a famous Punjabi Sufi ‘dhamal’ song dedicated to Sufi saint, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, was tweaked by Bhutto’s admirers and his name added to the song (Dam-a-dam mast qalandar, Bhutto da phela number … ).

Middle-class Pakistani youth began to frequent shrines more often, especially on Thursdays, when (till even today), a number of shrines hold nights dedicated to the traditional and hypnotic sub-continental Sufi devotional music, the ‘qawwali.’


The country’s shrine culture is still strongly linked to ‘Barelvi Islam.’ It openly celebrates the ritual and social outcome of Sufism’s historical engagement in the region with other faiths.

According to an extensive 2006 report published in the academic journal, Critique, the percentage of people visiting mosques in Pakistan before the 1980s was one of the lowest; but today it is one of the highest (the lowest now is in Albania, Turkey and, surprisingly, Iran!).

Till the late 1970s more Pakistanis visited shrines than they did mosques.

Though some scorn at this, there are those who suggest that the level of violence, crime and corruption (and religious hypocrisy) in the society were drastically lower than what it climbed up to become from the 1980s onwards.

In other words, the rise in the number of mosques and in the number of those who visit them didn’t turn Pakistan into becoming a more stable and ‘cleansed’ society.

Muslim evangelists, conscious of this fact, maintain that this is mainly due to Pakistanis’ lack of understanding of the ‘discipline-generating aspects of namaz (Muslim prayer ritual),’ and of the ‘hypocritical way that they approach this ritual.’

When (in 1977) the reactionary military general, Ziaul Haq, toppled Bhutto, he found it hard to introduce certain harsh Islamic laws in a scene steeped in centuries-old traditions of ‘folk Islam’ revolving around the shrine culture.

This culture was not attuned to the interpretation of jihad that Zia was using to boost up his regime’s aggressive stance against the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan.

The widespread shrine culture’s passiveness and looseness constituted a problem for Zia.

As a response, his dictatorship went about building a number of new mosques and madrassas (mostly paid from Saudi ‘Petro-Dollars’), and headed by puritanical and radical religious leaders.

In a speech given by Zia during a religious conference in Islamabad in 1983, Zia suggested that a ‘mosque’s moulvi was really an Islamic scholar (ulema) and should not be made fun of.’

This was a plea by the dictator that the shrine culture that had for centuries shown a revulsion against the ‘mullah,’ should treat him with as much reverence as it does a pir.

Zia’s speech came during a time when many shrines (especially in Sindh) had become centres of intense protest activity against the dictator.

At the same time, Zia began co-opting conservative spiritual leaders (Pirs).

A group of Sindh Awami Tehreek and PPP activists hold a meeting inside a shrine in Mirpurkhas during the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in 1983.

The tactic of ‘hijacking’ the shrines (through co-opted pirs and ‘ulema’) was successful in diminishing the participation of the middle-classes in the shrine culture, but the culture’s core participants (the ‘masses’) remained intact.

Another reason for this was also the social and economic impact that travelling to and working in oil-rich Arab countries had on a number of Pakistanis.

Many Pakistanis (especially from the Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) had increasingly begun to travel to and work in Arab countries from the mid-1970s onwards, especially when a building boom began to take shape in these countries due to the rise in the price of oil.

Those returning to Pakistan in the 1980s or sending money back from the oil-rich Arab countries perhaps gave birth to Pakistan’s first major batch of the ‘nouveau-riche’ lot.

The phenomenon was satirically captured by director Haider Chaudry’s film ‘Dubai Chalo’ (Let’s Go to Dubai).

Though released in 1979, the film was slightly ahead of its time in accurately depicting the cultural fall-out of the mad dash towards oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

A scene from the 1979 film, ‘Dubai Chalo’ that satirised the Pakistanis’ dash towards oil-rich Arab countries.

A lot of men (and some women) who managed to travel to places like Dubai and Saudi Arabia as labourers and white-collar professionals, saw an impressive rise in their incomes, and along with the money they also began sending brand new Japanese VCRs, radios and colour TV sets to their families in Pakistan.

With all this came a largely transformed view of faith as well. And with a religiously conservative man as the country’s new leader (Ziaul Haq), those returning from their Middle Eastern jobs found an encouraging environment to shed off their old ‘Barelvi’ (and at times ‘liberal’) pasts and replace them with a more puritanical strain of the faith that was (and still is) emphasised by Arab monarchies.

Early on many Pakistani and Indian Muslims who had travelled to these monarchies were mocked by their Arab employers for ‘holding heretical views’ (Sufism, shrine visitations, etc.).

Also, the new money and socio-economic status that they gained due to their jobs in Arab countries was not only expressed with the exhibition of brand new electronic equipment and homes, it was also expressed with the portrayal of their new-found outlook of Islam.

The past that was traditionally associated with ‘folk Islam’ now reminded many people of days when they were not so well-off and lower down in the pecking order.

Many signs reflected this. From the rise in the number of large mosques, madrassas, ‘Islamic schools’, to the proliferation of VCRs, colour TVs, new cars and the emergence of brand new bungalows and apartment buildings, many of them with the inscription of the Arabic term (mahshallah – Whatever Allah Wills), scribbled at the entrances.

Consequently, with the urban middle-classes gradually turning towards the more conservative strains of the faith and the state halting its patronage of the shrines, many shrines faced neglect and a growth of crime around them.

One of the outcomes of this neglect, and the pressure Barelvi Islam faced with the state-sponsored rise of militant Islamists was the eventual creation of the first radical outfit of Barelvi Muslims, the Sunni Tehreek (ST).

Sectarian in outlook (anti-Shia and anti-Deobandi/’Wahabi’), and militantly opposed to any change in the country’s controversial blasphemy laws (introduced by Zia), the ST at the same time, is vehemently anti-Taliban (who are an extreme version of ‘Deobandi Islam’).

Just before it began praising the killer of Salman Taseer in 2011 (shot dead by a man who claimed Taseer was a blasphemer), Sunni Tehreek was also being courted by the US as a potential Sunni militant counterpoint against the Deobandi/Wahabi-influenced Islamists.

Nevertheless, the patronage was ended once the Tehreek began to justify Taseer’s murder.

Sunni Tehreek activists at an anti-Taliban rally (2008).

Sunni Tehreek activists holding a placard in support of Salman Taseer’s murderer (2011).

After Pakistan’s plunge into the War on Terror and the consequential rise in the number of terrorist attacks by Islamist militants, the Pakistani state’s interest in reinvigorating the all-encompassing nature of the shrine culture was revived.

Governments under General Pervez Musharraf and the current PPP-led coalition invested funds and effort to upgrade and renovate various famous shrines – especially as an attempt to neutralise the growth of extremism now creeping within the middle and lower-middle-classes.

Some sceptics suggest action in this respect has come a bit too late. The process that saw large numbers of (mainly urban) Pakistanis switching to the more puritanical and conservative denominations of Islam, and the neglect the shrine culture faced in the last two decades, has now opened up the shrine culture to radicalised and less pluralistic Barelvi elements who, to exhibit that they can be equally ‘Islamic’ and ‘anti-West’ as the puritans, are rapidly confining the centuries old pluralistic dynamics of this culture.

For example, in the Punjab, many famous shrines have increasingly disallowed the mixing of the sexes – something that was common in and around these shrines for hundreds of years.

And though nothing of the sort has happened in shrines in Karachi and especially in the rest of the Sindh province, political forces opposed to ‘Talibanisation’, have shown concern that the shrine culture in Sindh too might experience the mutation of its traditional pluralistic environment.

As a response, between 2006 and 2009, Karachi’s city government headed by the secular MQM, invested heavily to renovate some of Karachi’s most frequented shrines, and also clean-up the ‘unwanted rabble’ around it so that middle and lower-middle-class Karachiites could begin returning to them.

Karachi’s famous Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine was given a thorough make-over by the City Government in 2008.

In Sindh, the PPP-led provincial government, in an attempt to attract and reconnect the new (and largely secular) Sindhi middle-classes to the province’s historical link with Sufism has planned to construct a Sufi university at Bhit Shah (‘International Sufi University’).

However, even though attendance at Sufi shrines continues to be large, there is certainly a steady decline in this respect compared to what it was 25 years ago.

And just how strong is the shrine culture today to withstand what is being decried as the ‘Talibanisation of the Pakistani society’, is still up for debate.

As one journalist remarked on the eve of the extremists’ attack on the popular shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh in Lahore (in 2007):

‘The whole of Lahore would have come out to protest had this attack taken place 20 years ago.’ But, as the saddened journalist lamented, ‘today Lahorites decided to stay home and just remain quiet.’

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Author Image

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and He is also the author of two books on the social history of Pakistan, End of the Past and The Pakistan Anti-Hero.

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (145) Closed

aviratam Oct 26, 2012 08:09am
Cyrus, that violence was anti-Communist, because many thought the Chinese community was supporting them against the Indonesian state and getting its inspiration from Beijing.
Indian Oct 26, 2012 08:02am
Religious extremism,Racial extremism,National extremism,Regional extremism or any form of extremism is threat to peace and prosperity. Hatred has many degrees 0 means Leftist(liberal) 5 means moderate 10 means rightist/militia/terrorist each one can use the above scale to find where they stand.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:15pm
In 1965, 350,000 Overseas Chinese were brutally murdered by the Indonesian Malay population. Men women and children. They don't want that to happen again. Indonesia has reformed it's government and rid it of official corruption. . War is what happens when people cannot see reason and are ready and willing to believe all the lies about others, and lies about themselves. . God looks down and says, "They never learn, do they?"
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:11pm
Well said, Cyrus Howells
kamaljit Singh Oct 26, 2012 07:20am
I agree . Many Sikhs and Hindus visit Sufi shrines.
Imtiaz Oct 26, 2012 07:28am
This is a disappointment man! I would recommend you to watch bollywood movie OMG. Hope you will get your senses in the right place. Here you are mingling insanity with intellectuality. Are you a liberal with insanity?
Gohar Oct 25, 2012 10:37am
Always appreciate reading NFP and his penchant for using history to illustrate current events and scenario. I just have a couple of points to make. First. Trying to mould religious inclinations of Pakistanis to combat terrorism is principally wrong and thus fundamentally flawed. Second. more often than not NFP attempts to link every ill in our society to 11-year Zia regime. While I am no fan of that time, this approach is perhaps a reflection of writer's negative feelings emanating from his personal experiences; a situation which cloud judgement and impairs objective analyses. If Pakistan's 30 years before Zia and 25 years after him have given us nothing to withstand and repeal Zia doctrine then our problem must be something bigger
Huzefa Oct 26, 2012 06:44am
Rish: How condescending. Look up India's per capita income and ours. There isn't that great a difference. Then look up GDP per capita in terms of Purchasing Power Parity. If you knew economics you would know that is an indicator of well being and inspite of all this indian progress we are there or thereabouts. Extremism and intolerance is our problem and we'll need to deal with it. We'll deal with it in our way though.
Ameer Hamzah Oct 26, 2012 06:14am
Salaam Nadeem: Knowing your methodology of searching, sifting, collecting all materiel then comprising it in a most proportional manner to present to the reader. I have a small request, personally one of my favorite peer is Allama Inayat ullah khan mashriqi, Do you have something to say about him and his Khaksaar tehreek, aren't these khakees of Pak-Stand his progeny? Well written, thoroughly searched article, Thanks.
ahmad butt Oct 26, 2012 01:57am
The problem with saint culture in Pakistan is( as many Hajjis wouldve faced is) that middle eastern countries despise it and that's where there is a culture and religion clash. I am not taking Zia-ul-Haq side on this one, but i see mockery of religion and financial exploitation of all the helpless people who go their for their problems to be solved. If religion has to be followed, then not half hearted but like the way it is told, or dont follow at all(hypocrisy is a crime in itself). Unlike the West, where kids are taught the concepts of being independent and believing in yourself, even the next generation is not ready to embrace itself to teh future and will be subjected to sufi culture. The best day will Dawn upon this country, when a culture of tolerance will prevail, but then again what Pakistan is going through has been faced by countries going through a transformation phase. I wonder what Imran Khan thinks about this, a liberal who wants teh war to end and looks to be siding with the Taliban would have an interesting view on sufism, as a sufi rock band plays in most of his jalsas.
Tahir Razvi Oct 26, 2012 04:10am
Wahabhi, Salafi, Sufi etc etc you name it they are all nut jobs, They all have their own agendas all are partners in crime..Why can't these fools follow simple Islam, Do good things be a good human being. All religions have the same basic's that is be a good human being. NFP besides that dirty creature Taliban these Sufi's are not even less trying to impose their kind of faith, Best thing is to be free of all this religious myths.
gir na Oct 25, 2012 02:24pm
Let me clarify your doubts ....Who are you to judge which is correct and which is wrong ?Singing , Dancing and worshing is a century old tradition and noone should be allowed to point finger , Just like wearing kurata and skull cap in stead of jeans or skirt .Whole base of religion lies in faith , not science .I wonder if you can't understand this simple fact , then how can you write such good english ?
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:10am
No my brother, you've totally lost it. A true muslim would never label blowing up mosques or shrines as "jihad"
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:54pm
Point is that is your view, I don't subscribe to your view, Why it bothers you. Why call a bad name to my ritual, unislamic, kufar, biddat etc. Your scholars may be jaahil for other sect but I will refrain calling them jaahil. Live and let live.
m. saeed awan Oct 26, 2012 08:18am
very impressive. However the writer didn't mention the culture that flourished during these Melas..... For example number of artists like Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Alam Lohar, Bali Jutti etc were produced out of this rich sufi culture. There was absolute harmony and brotherhood seen before Zia ul Batal's era. The Saudi funding made the situation worst in Pakistan. Saudi brand religious organisations tried to introduce their policy by force and humiliation. That's the reason that Sufis are still respected after centuries but not Mullah or clerics.
Indian Oct 26, 2012 05:29am
The liberal Islam has very few takers in Pakistan. If there is no liberal Islam in Pakistan then there will not be peace with India. Pakistani Sufis love India,only they can build peace with India not the militants and the Taliban's who follow radical Islam.
Guru Oct 26, 2012 05:29am
The point that is not getting debated in the comments but what NFP alluded to, is the pervasive influence & export of Saudi Salafi/wahabbi culture. That has tipped many of the countries into anarchy. The influence that the Saudis have over masses across countries is unwarranted & needs to end. Similarity would be if Vatican 'mentally' ruled over all catholics and undermined loyalty to individual countries, cultures & the spirit of co-existence.
Danish Oct 26, 2012 12:33pm
What convoluted nonsense, molvi sahib. The so-called ulema used to hate the Sufis. And one their main grudges against them was that they didn't follow the sharia. The Sufi's response usually was 'whose Sharia?' Many Sufis didn't even pray. Yet, they remained to be symbols of Islam's most important teachings: Compassion, justice and tolerance. Molvi sahib, kabhi masjid sey bahir nikal kar bhi socho. But please, don't drag the Sufis in your narrow rooms.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:31pm
Because they want others to be as unhappy as they are.
Jehanzeb Idrees Oct 26, 2012 11:12am
I didn't read a word more after your statement "More than the ulema and the clerics, it was the Sufi saints who made the foremost social contribution" --- your differentiation is quite misleading and misplaced my dear NFP, you need to address yourself first before you address the issue for your selected readership. Sufi or Aalim and Sufiya and Ulema are the two faces of the same coin. There was not a single Sufi in Islamic history who didn't tread the path of Shariat to Tareeqat and subsequently to Wilayat. You need to understand that all Sufiya have to be Ulemas at the first place and the one you mentioned in the picture i.e. Nizamud Din Auliya was one of them. All their efforts were for Tassawuf, which has a special place in Islam and it is something far beyond the Sufi-Pop culture you find nowadays, which is something fashionable and favorite of your lot!
talk4real Oct 25, 2012 05:35pm
You don't seem to have profound knowledge on Islam. You prejudice is obvious in your writing. Sufis are not threat to Islam. But Islam does not preach to dance on music in shrines. Alhamdulillah, I am a practicing muslim and I am proud to be one. May Almighty Allah guide to the right path
ahmed41 Oct 27, 2012 08:27am
" The saints
Rashid Ali Oct 26, 2012 03:58pm
You have not read the article fully and started criticising simply shows that you are incapable of understanding the truth. You can only understand what is right "in your views only" but you don't care what 'actually' is right.....
dr vimal raina Oct 27, 2012 12:29pm
Sufism makes me more Hindu than just a hindu and a more 'muslim, than just a muslim.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:44pm
Baat to such hai, par baat hai ruswayee kee.
Imran A. Oct 25, 2012 03:24pm
NFP, if you would be so kind to mention that the conflicts of Taliban ideology started 1400 yrs ago, it would be a bit of an eye opener for those consistently degrading Sufis. But that would that would mean war. So i guess it's better that we let things turn out as they are and let time tell the truth. The truth has already started, and it will only get more bloody.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:32pm
But those who blow up mosque and shrines claims to be better Muslim than anybody else. My sympathies for Apologist with denial problem.
talk4real Oct 25, 2012 05:42pm
You too have totally lost it brother ;) Cheer need to get too upset....I too have a point of view like you do....what's the big tolerant....
observer Oct 25, 2012 05:04pm
What kind of a question is that? Please try to make sense and think what you are typing.
M. Khan Oct 25, 2012 02:18pm
Why don't u condemn Taliban for all the mess they have created and the bad name that they have brough to Islam. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) suffered at the hands of pagans including economic embargo for years, but did not (tuba nauzubillah) resort to aggression. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) allowed Christians of Najran to come into his Blessed Mosque and worship the Christain way, which also included symbols and drums. Many at that time - people like you - protested. However, the Najrani Christians did say their prayers in the Prophet Mosque. Follow his footsteps. Don't get all mixed up about music, going to shrine, et al. And read history.
M. Khan Oct 25, 2012 07:52pm
Beautifully said. God bless u.
reality not selected truth Oct 25, 2012 02:51pm
A rare positive article from NFP. I believe as well that the importance of shrines has been neglected. Too big a population visits these shrines. And the culture does not end on visits only. It is quite extensive. For many its their only psychological support. Their faith and devotion gives them the strength needed to go forward. If one goes beyond this culture and starts reading books written by these saints it is astonishing the level of knowledge they had. The depth of understanding is far more than what people in our areas have. Recently came across book meher e munir and after reading it understood ''that why he was so popular.''
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:43pm
I understand your point, and I am not a practicing Muslim, but why destroy what others have?
gir na Oct 25, 2012 09:33am
@Nadeem Ji You seem to be very moderate and secular. I am neither a follower of Islam nor a the path finder of this community . But in my imature mind , I can only say that Problem with Muslim community lies in non-coperation among different views. Sufisim believe in idol woshipping (some critics say this) ,But why other muslim communities are uncomfortable with it and why they take the path of violence ? These kinds of differences are in all major religions , but they are not that much violent . Such kind of non-coperation is not found in any other religion .You have countries based on shia majority and sunni majority ,though they are a part of a single religion . if this community can't come out of these differences , then I wonder How can they come out of other major differences like equality of all religions , modern education and gender bias etc.
Munawar Oct 25, 2012 11:04am
Most people here I think are being very black and white about Paracha's analysis. He is not only suggesting that the current state of religion in Pakistan is mainly due to the rise of state-sponsored puritanical Islam by Zia. He is also suggesting two other causes: 1: The unnatural rise in materialism and consumerism in society ever since 1980s and also the radicalization of the Barelvi sect as well.
Ravindra sanap Oct 25, 2012 02:25pm
This is because you are not the only one who are suffering...the extremists are attacking both the countries.
chaudry Oct 25, 2012 01:54pm
you can not apply the actions of some people to all followers of sufism.......
Secular Sindhi Oct 25, 2012 08:01am
Please stop talibanisation of Sindh by our "secret services". They are the ones spreading this in Balochistan which was pluralistic like Sindh but now look at the situation.
manulegend Oct 25, 2012 11:47am
Its not the sect that is the problem.. its the fanaticism that revolves in Pak. Malaysia and Indonesia have pure sects but then they are tolerant towards others. They are not insecure about their identity. Pakistani Muslims are intolerant because they are scared that the other sects will pollute their religion.. Never seen such insecure lot.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:37pm
Islam is about power. It has always been about power. Religion and politics are separate by their nature. People kill for power. Others sue for peace. To mix the two is to deceive the people.
wallace Ali Oct 25, 2012 10:41am
dude stop judging people, let them be, if they want to dnace or what ever the hell they want to do, let them be, mind ur own bussiness, its between them and their God.
Simplicity Oct 25, 2012 09:23am
Personally, I don't agree with shrines and spirituality as being part of Islam. Yet, I am perfectly clear on the fact that attacking, killing, calling infidel (or even criticizing in a harsh tone) other Muslims or non-Muslims is not allowed anywhere in Islam. I would never forbid anyone from doing what they are doing. My duty is to practice what I believe in and my duty ends right there. I will not be questioned on what other people did in sufi shrines. I pray to Allah to give Muslims guidance to keep their differences in the right proportions. Those that believe in violent propagation of salafi or wahabi interpretation of Islam have vested interests of some sort (like power, money, their insecurities, etc.). Of course, Islam does not allow harming those that don't agree with us. Simple, clean, clear, and transparent. No fuss about it.
Syed Hussain Akbari Oct 25, 2012 12:49pm
Biggest mistake of a polished politician like Butto was to surrender to the Mullahs and other religious fanatics and accept all what they wanted. Had he been firm on his own point the country would have been different today. A brilliant country.
G.A. Oct 25, 2012 08:46pm
Atleast they won't have Indian security forces breathing down their necks.
venkat Oct 25, 2012 04:37pm
Excellent mate!! The biggest problem of the 21st century is fiddling with what others think and mixing religion with everything. We need more and more and more people like you
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:06pm
The answer is very simple. It is the Chinese influence. Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia have been filled with Overseas Chinese during the last three centuries,
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:06am
Mirza Ghalib's "shair" for all those who have marked "thumbs down" on my above righteous comment: Ya Rub Wo Na Samjhay Hain Na Samjhay Gay Meri Baat Dey Aur Dil Unko Jo Na Dain Mujh Ko Zubaan Aur ;)
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:49am
Sir, with due apologies, you have very bad taste in poetry ;)
Indian Oct 25, 2012 09:08am
We the Indias live peacefully with Sufis, Buddhist,jains other religions but we find it very difficult to live with radical Islam of the the mullahs.During partition there was no violence what so ever to Sufi shrines in India and Sufi citizens because they were very peaceful and all of India respects them as any other religion such as Christianity, Buddhism etc may of Indian Hindus visit Sufi shrines to pray for peace, harmony,and well-being both for themselves and for the society. But we Indians hate Taliban Islam which is against humanity and harmony and conflict and war between Hindus and Muslims. Sufis are respected all over the globe where ever he may be.Be it in christian country Muslim country and Hindu country.
gir na Oct 25, 2012 02:01pm
If it is your response , then time for Sufis to declare that they belong to a separate religion , not Muslims. I don't understand who gives you the authority to say some are islamic and some are not. is these things written in your koran ?
Dr.Ali Raza Oct 27, 2012 12:59am
Excellent Article to read cant stop reading it,Hats off very impressive.
IndianChristian Oct 27, 2012 08:02am
You are giving a false picture, Hindus have killed thousands of Christians and burnt down hundreds of Churches. Any Untouchable who cnverts to Christanity is killed along with his family.
Indian Oct 27, 2012 04:55am
Godly versus of Quran turned into Satanic Versus of Quran by the clergy.
F Hyat Oct 27, 2012 01:23am
I say live and let live. If going to a shrine makes someone feel good so be it. For those who oppose the shrine culture, like myself, keep it to yourself and don't judge others.
ComparativeReligionStudy Oct 27, 2012 07:47am
Yes. Those who bow down or pray to anyone or anything other than Allah the One are not Muslim and commit 'shirk', an unforgivable sin in Judaism and Islam.
Dr.Zakir Naik Oct 26, 2012 09:04pm
sufis are not muslims
ZZX-1 Oct 26, 2012 06:05pm
Very well articulated. Sufism as practiced to day has Hindu elements of idol worship. Islam and Judaism rejects this Paganism.
kamaljit Singh Oct 26, 2012 06:22pm
very true
Meme Oct 26, 2012 07:39pm
Understandable. Modern Sufism is Paganistic just like Hinduism.
Casino1127 Oct 26, 2012 05:17pm
Ali Oct 26, 2012 10:19am
Ghalib was a kattar shia.
vishmed Oct 26, 2012 11:36am
The writer clearly mentions that Saudi inspired puritanism, if it can be called that, started with the migration of South Asians to the Middle East. The Saudi influence is mainly due to economic strength over poor South Asians, who were supplicants. All that Saudis had to say was " Look how rich and blessed we are, because we follow the true path". It would be very difficult for the poor South Asians, already with an inferiority complex and inferior status to challenge this. So if one can't get oil wealth, the next best thing to do was ape the Saudis and follow true religion. The next step was to show your poverty stricken brothers, back home, the true path. It all boils down to economics, starting from Zia who received Saudi funding to the lowermost on the ladder who received Saudi salaries.
saira Oct 26, 2012 12:28am
raika45 Oct 25, 2012 11:54am
My posting Nadeem sahab has nothing to do with your column regarding intra religious quarrels in Islam.My question is this; Can a child baptized at birth by it's parents at birth in which ever religion they follow when grown up and capable of his or her own destiny have the right to follow a religion of his or her own choice?If not why not.I know this is going to send the moderator into a tizzy.He or she knows what will result if this comment is published.
Ashish Oct 26, 2012 12:11am
Excellent comment.
Ashish Oct 25, 2012 11:58pm
too late. all non-muslims already exterminated. all past already finished.
NASAH (USA) Oct 25, 2012 02:10pm
Puritanical rough riding Wahabism is killing the gentler kinder poetic Islam represented by pluralistic shrines of Sufism. Sufism is the bane of intellectual Islam in comparison to mechanical Wahabism.
Capt C M Khan Oct 25, 2012 11:28pm
"More than the ulema and the clerics, it was the Sufi saints who made the foremost social contribution to the spreading of Islam in the region"....So true. Sad this has been hijacked by the PTT (Pakistani Tamil Tigers) the so called TTP who are determined to distroy this part of our history and culture, to please thier Saudi sponsors. Great historical article.
ali Oct 25, 2012 10:27pm
Its hard for me buy this analogy that replacement of pirs with mullahs in pakistan has given rise to millitancy... Militancy has been deen result of other factors ....The sufi culture has been used by politicians like bhutto to muster up support from uneducated and superstitious people and same strategy has been used by Zia but Zia relied on Mullahs and mudrassas to achieve his political advantage...I think this ito come out these Pir or Mullah thing and give stress on the basics of humanity and religion and this can be achieved only if our leaders would stop using their religious credos to enlarge their political bases and take advantage of uneducated and illiterate masses.
Caz Oct 25, 2012 09:38pm
bane is not the correct word to use. What you mean is pillar - Sufism is the pillar of intellectual islam
Abdus Salam Khan Oct 25, 2012 04:21pm
By the way, both Iqbal and Ghalib claimed to be Sufis , not in the shrine-ridden sense, but in the real sense of the word, namely a soul in search of his Maker. To wit, Ghalib says: "yeh masa-ai-lay tasuwaff yeh tayra bayaan Ghalib, tujhay hum wali samajhtay joe na ba'ada-khwar hoeta!" ( These intricate points of Sufism, and how beautifully you expound them... We would have taken you to be a sufi saint, were it not for your imbibing the Grape!) And see how Iqbal describes himself: "khoush aw-gaee hai jahaaan ko Qalandari mayree wagarna she'r mayra kaya hai,shaw-ai-ree kaya hai" ( The people take to me because of my being a Qalander( self-absorbed mystic) otherwise, what worth has my verse and my poetry in their eyes!)
G.A. Oct 25, 2012 09:37pm
Very good point. I attended a Bahai lecture long time ago and I asked them what makes them think that their religion won't go down the same way as other religions. He said that their is no clergy in the Bahai faith. I strongly believe that scriptures are meant for individuals to study and interpret. Who asked the clergy to come in the way of man and his creator?
G.A. Oct 25, 2012 09:29pm
I don't know which interpretation of Islam is right or wrong anymore. 1400 years have gone by and there have been Muslim rulers establishing their own narratives as the Saudis have done in recent times. All I know is that the Islam that took Muslims to great heights in scientific achievements could not possibly have been the contemporary Saudi and 'Ziaist' interpretation that is wreaking havoc across the Muslim World and dragging it back to the stone age.
AHA Oct 25, 2012 11:09am
They are Muslims, and what is more, they are main-stream Muslims. The sooner
Munawar Oct 25, 2012 10:48am
Gohar, whenever or whoever wants to write about the rise of the exploitation of religion for political, economic and cultural reasons in Pakistan cannot ignore the Zia years. It's as simple as that. Most NFP pieces are deeply rooted in a historical analysis of the current state of religion in Pakistan, so it is only natural that he will discuss Zia. How can one not do that?
Labad Oct 25, 2012 11:09am
Maybe they are just showing joy to be in the presence of God.
Raw is War Oct 25, 2012 11:16am
as always, really great topic.
Ravindra sanap Oct 25, 2012 10:53am
Those who attack mosques,church,temples,shia,ahmedi...are not muslims..then who are they? You people cant let off your responsibilities just by saying that they are not muslims.
Muhammad Ibrahim Oct 25, 2012 08:14am
This is really very good informative analysis but if the focus be on gravity of power and the segregation of national wealth,authority,jobs and roles be more focused and without any biasness I will add that who got the favor from where with respect to connection with the divided sects among us though it should not be considered while in business and official affairs ==== Unfortunately the most deprived and without any major political/military/agency/country specific support ---the one sect that u rightly pointed out the bravelis ========
Muhammad Zeeshan Oct 25, 2012 08:14am
Real Sufism is an additional part of Islam but as the media portrays shrine worshiping as Sufism and real or mandatory in Islam is absolutely wrong.
Syed Hussain Akbari Oct 25, 2012 01:28pm
Whatever your belief may be, in the first place you must be firm and convinced of it. How nicely Ghalib has said: WAFADARI BA SHART-E-USTAWARI ASL E IMAN HAE MARAY BUTKHANE MAEN, TO KAABE MAEN GARO BARAHMAN KO With our half knowledge we should not fall into religious discussion. It leads to no where but to hatred for other religion followers and one own self falls into doubts. Mr. Piracha has not written theology article. He has written an analysis from his point of view on a different subject and with different angle. Hats off for you Mr. Piracha
Talal Oct 25, 2012 08:22am
I've seen people worshipping graves. How is that correct? As tolerant as I try to be, it is an innovation in the religion which is hard to ignore. Moreover, dancing in the masjids? I have yet to come across someone who has been able to clarify these two ideas to me.
M. Khan Oct 25, 2012 12:24pm
It's still better than killing innocent people in the name of Islam.
rishi Oct 25, 2012 12:24pm
What materialism? Materialism alludes to a mad dash for things that are beyond your needs, not to be confused with bars survivalism. Materialism is for those societies who have an abundance. Aap ke paas kya hai?
GhostRider Oct 25, 2012 12:28pm
@AHA and Ravindra they are muslims and more importantly of a particular sect...but what astonishes me that cross border friends like you start patronizing us as if we look up to you for advice...
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:09pm
If I go to shrines, and not the mosque, why are you upset?
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:25pm
"My duty is to practice what I believe in and my duty ends right there." . So why bother to have a country at all?
Muhammad talha Oct 25, 2012 12:45pm
How can it be better than killling innocent ppl?? by doin what sufis do like shirk a person becomes mushrik but not by killin inoocent ppl!! i am sayin tht killing inoocent ppl is also bad but sufis are a lot mah=jor threat to Eman! May Allah save us from fitnas of both of them! Ameen Sum Ameen
Religious Oct 25, 2012 12:13pm
I agree with Talal. Why dancing in mosque and Sajad to graves? Does not Talal has the right to beleieve that All this is kufr, unislamic? After having said that 1. Should every one ask Talal what to do in religion? 2. Don't these people have the right to perform whatever ritual they feel like? 3. Do all these people be massacred / killed OR made to follow Talal beliefs 3. Why Talal is upset on others beliefs while he himself follow a religion which majority of the world population does not believe.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:21pm
What you wrote is a quote able quote. ..there are people whose expression of joy, piety and love to God is a bit different than yours... Well said
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:45pm
He didn't survive. He lived by the sword and he died by the sword.
Yawar Oct 25, 2012 07:27am
Both informative and insightful. NFP you have been writing amazing stuff on the pages of Dawn, I think time has arrived you to write a book or at least compile all these pieces.
Usman Oct 25, 2012 10:47am
A question for NFP: The majority of Muslims in Southeast Asia, e.g., in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, adhere to a branch of Islam which is closer to the Deobandi sect (or perhaps even more 'puritanical') rather than the Barelvi one; and yet they are more peaceful and non-violent than many of the people in our country. If a more puritanical version of the faith is to be blamed for everything you mentioned in your article, then why aren't more mosques and worshippers being blown up in those countries? The fact is, our people are just intolerant towards everything different, whether it be religious beliefs, political views, etc. Maybe it has something to do with our psyche. But it has nothing to do with any religious sect, as such.
Majority Oct 25, 2012 06:57am
A very interesting and informative analysis
Asad Oct 25, 2012 01:20pm
@m.khan Dear, killing innocent people is unislamic, and so are the things that happen at shrines.
umer Oct 25, 2012 06:58am
Pirs are as oppressive if not more as the Mullahs
Labad Oct 25, 2012 11:12am
When you blindly follow your mullahs, that is idolatry too.
manulegend Oct 25, 2012 12:09pm
Dude, this kind of circular argument might work in an asylum. 1. You say a muslim would never bomb mosques.. 2. Who blows up mosques is not a muslim. 3. The bomber's masters openly declare they are doing it for the Sharia and they are the true muslims. 4. You deny saying those masters are on payroll of non-muslims. 5. they blow another place and tell they want Sharia in entire country. 6 you keep saying they cant be muslims and if they are, they are just doing it for the Sharia law,isnt that a true muslim wants? ..... Just make up your mind bro... either They are muslims or you got a denial problem...
ANAND Oct 25, 2012 09:25am
Sab tere siwa kafir, Aakhir is ka matlab kya ; Sar phira dey insaan ka, Aisa khabt-e-mazhab kya.....
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:47pm
We understand that, but why destroy the shrines or take beauty and joy out of other peoples' lives?
Tez Oct 25, 2012 07:03am
It is out of Islam to worship at majority of these shrines. Thus we should be very careful in worship places which can turn into idol ism, as this is against islam. According to most scholars, tombs in front of the masjid are out of the masjid. In that instance, there is nothing wrong in performing salah in such a masjid. The intention is not to prostrate before the tomb.
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:16am
Visit any shrine on the day of "urs" and you will see what I meant by "dancing in shrines".......
Abbas Oct 25, 2012 07:22am
It was the best article by you on sufi islam of pakistan.....
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:07pm
That is where trouble lies, "" True practicing Muslim" is one who believe and worship like me. All others are stupid, ignorant, non Muslims, unislamic, totally wrong, against teaching of true religion......therefore they are cursed and should not be allowed to follow ritual what they believe as correct.
Imran A. Oct 25, 2012 03:12pm
According to your comment, what happens at shrines is unislamic. That is a Taliban comment.
yawar Oct 25, 2012 08:49am
Oh,so this is "shirk," but blowing up mosques and shrines in the name of God is Jihad, right? Shame.
Tauqeer Oct 25, 2012 08:10am
I agree. It is shameful how Sindh, that is the home to so many shrines and famous for Sufism, is being allowed to be infiltrated by those who want to hand it over to self-righteous and self-claimed defenders of 'true Islam.' Sindh in this context must not fall, like Punjab and KP have.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 11:38am
Indonesians are no longer tolerant, brutal killing and harassment, destruction of worship place, of AHMADI in particular and Shias and Christians in general is the same as in Pakistan. Similar government legislature , similar mob action, similar state silence. You are right they are like deobandis
kamaljit Singh Oct 25, 2012 06:07pm
One again Nadeem has put the history in relation to the present circumstances. I visit Mosques, Temples , Gurdwaras, Churches ,Bahii temples. They are are peaceful until they are used to influence one's political views . Or to make you behave or believe in a certain way. If you can read and understand a language you need not some body understand it ,.When the intermediator gives a colored version of the teachings , the problem starts.
AHA Oct 25, 2012 11:05am
Excellent point.
Seedoo Oct 25, 2012 01:14pm
The root cause of all these problems is government patronizing one religion over others and even one sect over others. If government can get out of the business of religion, politicians stop using religion for their petty political gains, and the government enforces strict laws that make the playing field level for everyone regardless of his religious affiliations, 90% of our religion related problems will be gone. Time to make these muslim countries more secular and separate religion from the state
kamaljit Singh Oct 25, 2012 06:00pm
Yes I am a sikh and visited many mosques , Sufi shrines , temples , churches . It made me to understand 'The Religion' but not a branded religion. Religion is just think ethically and do your duty and pray , thank God.
gir na Oct 25, 2012 02:09pm
No dear , thing is that we are also facing such things in our country . Shias and Ahmadis are not invided to Muslim personal law board meeting and our gov doesn't mediate due to fear of violence .Some are even saying taking polio vaccines are unislamic. Some are even thinking the principles of SA ,middle east and pak are real islamic principles , but the reality we are seeing is very different and bizzare .
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:29pm
Dancing around campfires, waving swords and calling for others' blood is much better.
rahul Oct 25, 2012 08:06am
sufiism is spiritual, soulful and tolerant...hope brothers in pak move towards spirituality and less towards religion
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:22pm
I idea of Saints was also rejected by Islam.
observer Oct 25, 2012 07:49am
As usual - thought provoking article from NFP. What is so difficult about all schoold of thought co-existing peaefully? Why don't they understand no-interference (live and let live) thing? What is the harm in giving up violence?
Salman Rajan Oct 25, 2012 08:27am
Spirituality knows no limit. For you its in Mosque for others it is in Shrines. History is evident that who has preached the philosophy of peace,Saints or Mullahs ?
Ahtsham Oct 26, 2012 10:58am
It can't be more wrong to say that "Sufism" is "imposing". Maybe, as NFP suggests of current trends, you have some radicalized modern barelvi clerics in mind. Here, NFP has only alluded to the need of reviving the true sufism, the one that is more open-hearted and more accomodating in its soul.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:20pm
Empty is the operative word.
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 07:48am
Bidaa or bidat has no place in Islam. The environment at majority of these shrines encourages people to freely practice rituals that are totally against teachings of our religion. Foreign media show these things as being part of Islamic activities which is totally wrong. Only a true practising muslim who has thorough knowledge on Islam can understand my point.....
Arifq Oct 25, 2012 07:32am
NFP excellent article. General Zia not only opened the gates for Deobandi/Salafist Madaris he also provided the political space for Deobandis which enabled them to increase their clout and help Zia in perpetuating his survival.
observer Oct 25, 2012 11:25am
Gohar, you have made a good point. Our society always lacked tolerance in one way or another. Please realize there are two unforgivable crimes of Zia regime: First, eliminating the first popular politician who had laid the foundation for democracy to be permanent in Pakistan (via 1973 Constitution). Secondly, giving extremism and sectarianism full governmental and army cover to fluorish and using it for narrow political interests. Result is what we see today. Hypothetically, if you take out Zia regime's 11 years out of the equation, I am sure Pakistan you would end up with would be many times better than what we have at present.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 11:53am
Gohar is partially correct, Zia accelerated religious bigotry and atrocities, but we were not saint before that. Who declare Ahmadi Kafir, was it Zia? It was combined decision of the nation and courts upheld it. Although when religious character of Bhutto came under attack in the court, for himself he cried out " I don't need any certificate from any authority that I am a Muslim"
manulegend Oct 25, 2012 11:52am
How is that a problem dear? Just because you cant do it in your prayer hall, you felt the need to control everyone else's mode of expression? All you are asked to do is acknowledge it. Dont have to accept it, profess it, or practice it.. why is it so hard to just acknowledge there are people whose expression of joy, piety, and love to god is a bit different than yours??
Pramod Oct 25, 2012 09:23am
God does not have to do anything about the way you do the worship.If you do it with true spirit then its more than enough. I am a Indian hindu. I have been to many mosques, Dargahs and churchs. but that never thought that it has made me a lesser hindu or non hindu.
Religious Oct 25, 2012 01:40pm
Don't give a bad name to others believe like "biddat"" Otherwise you are correct and 100% correct
AHA Oct 25, 2012 11:04am
Excellent post. Excatly my thoughts as well. I just hope that many more people start thinking like you.
Muhammad Zeeshan Oct 25, 2012 01:35pm
Nadeem this explicit sufism-barelvi/Deobandi approach(often reflected in your articles) can further polarize the society into more radical barelvis or vice-versa. Anything that goes against Sharia in the name of Sufism is not real Sufism. Engineering Sufism to combat any ideology you do not agree to, is not wise.
yawar Oct 25, 2012 08:32am
Dancing in masjids? Whoever mentioned that here? There's quwali and dhamal in and around shrines, but not in masjids. However, I have seen people recite naats in mosques though.
Asad Oct 25, 2012 12:05pm
People should go to mosques instead of going to shrines. As for sufis, none of them preached to turn their grave into a place where people would come and do all sort of unislamic things. Music, dances, songs, kissing the graves and what not.
raika45 Oct 25, 2012 02:00pm
Tell me sahib, you muslims all pray to the same Allah irrespective of your approach to him.You do not say prayers at tombs of of so called saints.Others do.It is is their believe to pay respects to these departed.Don't you go to the graveyard where your's are buried to say nawaz at least once a year? Why don't you muslims accept each others ways of prayer and stop killing each other in the name of your religion?The mayhem in your country by the Taliban is a result of this.Never have I seen a Country or Countries torn apart because of religion except where muslims are present in numbers..
manulegend Oct 25, 2012 12:01pm
Talk4real ... the defenses of the argument are at best clownish.. Just because you dont agree to a ritual doesnt mean its against the religion.. So you Mr. True Practicing Muslim are saying that a quiet, joyfully dancing and peaceful, praying sufis are a threat to the good book and Islam as a whole... how insecure do you have to be to think like that? You are saying Innovation has no place in Islam because the good book didnt mention about it? Look the way you live and tell me how many things and actions that you do and happen around you are actually written in the Book? Those peaceful chanting sufis have a right to say they are muslims... what right do you have to say they are not? Who gave you the authority on who is and is not a muslim.?
Freedom Seeker Oct 25, 2012 09:41am
Nice article.We are turning to be more materialistic and spirituality is leaving us. Sufis focus on inner of a person and less on appearance and visible prayers. Now religion is just to practice not to think and feel. Now spiritual relaxation is replaced by entertainment channels. Religious job is done in mosque and later busy in worldly matters. Now we are more religious society but at same more cruel, inhumane and empty. Religion is visible in appearance and prayers but disappeared from hearts.
Seeb Oct 25, 2012 02:21pm
Everyone who's talking about the sharia needs to read up on what the Sharia actually is. It was made up a 100 years after Muhammad P.B.U.H died, based on thousands of hadeeth that 6 ulema gathered from relatives of acquaintances of the Prophet. That's right, people who knew people who knew the Prophet. Read the Quran if you must, take your own interpretation, but don't throw the word 'Sharia' around willy nilly as if it's actually the word of God. It's not!
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:41am
I like Ghalib's poetry a lot....I absolutely have nothing to do with where he used to visit regularly or what and how he practised in terms of faith or fiqh...What I have tried to point out in my above comment my brother is that: Islam has no place for any kind of bidaa whatsoever, that's it. If you like to practice bidaa, be my guest. I will stick to what I firmly believe in and you stick to your beliefs.
Ahmed Sultan (India) Oct 26, 2012 09:36am
They wont have Let people trying to kill them and make it look like Indian army did.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 12:03pm
"...targeting police and military personnel..." . Wouldn't you consider that a war or a revolt against Pakistan? People don't want to know, that's all.
krishnan Oct 25, 2012 10:21am
i wonder how Kashmiris would be comfortable in today's Pakistan ?
Tauqeer Oct 25, 2012 07:58am
In other words you are suggesting that all those who might disagree with your personal version and understanding of Islam are wrong and that only you have thorough knowledge about Islam? Sir, I consider myself to be a practicing Muslim but disagree with your point of view. But unlike you, I will not label anyone disagreeing with me as a bad Muslim or a heretic. Tolerance, sir, is the true essence of Islam. Judgement only belongs to Allah. And @NFP, a fine piece indeed again. You remain to be an good example of a well-informed and well-read liberal and progressive Muslim.
Talk4real Oct 25, 2012 09:13am
For you my brother: Ya Rub Wo Na Samjhay Hain Na Samjhay Gay Meri Baat Dey Aur Dil Unko Jo Na Dain Mujh Ko Zubaan Aur
Munawar Oct 25, 2012 09:21am
Talk4Real, nice of you to have quoted Ghalib. But did you know Ghalib used to visit shrines regularly? In fact he visited shrines more and hardly did he ever go to a mosque. Truth is, friend, let and let live. Let God decide who's what and who's not.
talk4real Oct 25, 2012 05:45pm
No my brother, blowing up mosques and shrines in the name of God is certainly not jihad
YpLibral Oct 25, 2012 08:42am
100% agree bro! this is strange that these secular and liberals have their own definition of religion.... they have role in authority and they have role in religion... they enjoy driving seat on all matter... Shrines are hub for committing Shirk and idolatry...
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 11:58am
The rise of consumerism and materialism is not unnatural. It has always been with us. . " The human condition is the same, but we live it in greater comfort." Eugene Weber .