International Conference on Sufism held in Kashmir

International Conference on Sufism held in Kashmir
GK Photo

Srinagar, Jan 6: At the Kashmir International Conference Center, Jammu and Kashmir hosted the first-ever international conference on sufism, which was attended by religious experts from around the globe and intellectuals from every nook and corner. Voice for Peace and Justice, a prominent NGO, organised the conference.

The conference was organised for the benefit of global community. It attempted to reconnect Kashmiri & Indian culture with the international community through the spiritual message Indian Sufis are known for. The conference was well attended by people from all walks of life from Sufis to academia, theologists, policymakers, international experts and Islamic scholars from more than nine countries including Germany , Turkey , France, Turkey, Tanzania , Maldives , Sri Lanka , Bangladesh and Nepal. The scholars of Hinduism, Sikhism and other religions from different states also attended the conference.

The conference placed an emphasis on the revival of sufism in Kashmir as it is the only way forward for peace in Valley. Kashmir had been a hotspot for conflict and violence for decades. Extremist Islamists worked hard to ruin the very basic and old tradition of coexistence of various communities, communal harmony, and the brotherhood for which Kashmir was known.

It is a pleasure for us to conduct this kind of conference in Kashmir, said Shehreyar Dar, senior vice president of Voice for Peace and Justice,  while welcoming the guests of the international repute.

The conference, according to the deputy vice chancellor of the Islamic University of the Republic of the Maldives, who spoke at the event, gave a message to the world that respect for humanity is important in the modern world and that all people should live in harmony and with respect for one another.

In his speech,  Syed Tayabul Bashar, a Sufi leader from the Republic of Bangladesh, stated It was “my first visit to Kashmir, and I am impressed that people in Kashmir are so welcoming.”

He said that there is a greater need today to save humanity and that this message should be passed on to future generations. “As Muslims, we vehemently oppose the radical and extremist elements that seek to disparage our faith by experimenting with extremism for their personal interests. Following these teachings, one can find a solution to the issues and sufferings of today's magical era. The message of sufism is one of peace, security, love, tolerance, and service,” he added.

Grand Muft of Nepal, Mufti Mohamad Usman Sufi, said, "The self-serving evil forces with vested interests push extremism to divide and to cause communal unrest in order to fulfil their selfish ambitions." But because interfaith conversation establishes inter-religious contacts and gives individuals of different religions a forum to share their beliefs, dispel misconceptions, and advance inter-religious understanding, it prevents conflicts between religious groups".

Sufism, according to the grand mufti of Dar Al- Salam, Tanzania, Shekh Al-Alhad Moosa Salim, “is the sole path to future peace, communal harmony, and brotherhood. The divisive forces of today are attempting to sow discord among the communities, but we must band together in order to create a global village and disseminate a message of harmony, peace, and love.”

In his speech, the Grand Mufti of J&K, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, thanked all the dignitaries from around the world for coming to Kashmir for the conference and praised Voice for Peace and Justice's efforts and said the organization must continue organising such kind of conferences to foster intercultural understanding and respect for the religious beliefs of all the communities. He stated, "My heart aches for every single target killing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir." He appealed for Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir in order to restore the prosperous era of inter communal harmony.

The head of the Karwani-Islami International, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, stated that “India has been the home of mystics of all faiths, including the Rishis, Sufis, and Saints of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.” “In actuality, unity in variety is the fundamental tenet of Indian culture and spirituality.”

He requested people to practise patience, temperance, and fraternity and love among themselves as well as to develop mutual understanding.

In his address, the event's chief guest, Turkish Sufi Master Sheikh Esraf Efendi, commended the Voice for Peace and Justice Organization for hosting such an international conference in Kashmir, the Sufi homeland. He claimed that India is a multilingual, multicultural, and multi religious melting pot where various faiths, languages, and languages all coexist.

“India creates a land that accepts and integrates all. In order to avoid fanaticism, which causes confusion, he continued, interfaith interaction is important. Fanaticism is encouraged by self-serving, malevolent powers with vested interests that want to split society apart and sow discord among the people. However, interfaith conversation offers a forum for believers from all faiths to interact, clear up any confusion, advance interreligious understanding, and forge new relationships. He encouraged people of many religious backgrounds to collaborate in order to advance peace, communal harmony, and fraternity and thereby make the world a better place to live. Every single person has been created by Allah, who has control over their fate. As such, we humans have no right to disparage, harm, or kill anyone. Instead, we are obligated to treat everyone equally and to respect all religions”.

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