Philosophy of all times highlights sustainable development, and ancient philosophy is no exception; especially the philosophy of Sheikh ul Alam (R.A.). The development that meets the needs of present generation without compromising the needs of future generation is very well expressed through the poetry of Sheikh ul-Alam (R.A.).
In a nutshell, his poetry is an expression of sustainability and caution for the present as well as future generations. The contribution of this great scholar of Jammu and Kashmir in making the Indian society inclusive in general and Kashmiri society in particular with due recognition to women and their empowerment.
The contribution of ancient scholars and saints towards women empowerment and gender justice across the globe, and particularly in India, cannot be taken for granted.
There is need for sufficient empirical as well as theoretical research papers to showcase the contribution of great scholars of Jammu and Kashmir like Sheikh ul- Alam; Lal Ded etc. in making the Indian society holistic with due recognition to women and their empowerment.
The philosophy of Sheikh ul Alam takes account of culture, religion, female uplift, security, social status and role of women in Kashmiri and Indian culture. While framing welfare schemes of central & state Governments it is very important to include philosophy of ancient scholars particularly Sheikh ul Alam, benefiting women coupled with accomplishments of women in their ordinary business of life.
The mystical, and spiritual inspiration of Sheikh ul Alam continues to be sensed in the contemporary world in generic form and Kashmiri society in particular form.
It is essential for the present generation to identify and study the important role of Sheikh ul-Alam’s (R.A.) teachings in the uplift of moral values in the people of Kashmir. Through his poetry we come to know that Quran is the ultimate guidance and he who imbibed the Quran comprehensively will surely defeat the Satan and realize inner and outer purity.
Since, now-a-days we find less moral values in our new generation it is very important that our educational institutions at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary, include the philosophy of great religious scholars particularly sufi saints of Kashmir.
Every child should be taught the moral lessons through poetry and literature of great sufi saints. Environment should be valued so that environment in turn values us and the man-environment relationship is maintained.
Tasawwuf or Sufism is an ideological belief system of mysticism in Islam, believing that Sufis know the way to obtain religious knowledge or knowledge of Allah. The term Sufi was coined for those who wore coarse woolen garments known as ‘suf.
Sufism is a means and not an end in itself for the reason that it opens gates of self awareness and the universe as a whole. It basically unlocks the inner spiritual and intuitive capabilities of the believer but at the same time bringing about a pure union with Allah by way of creating a one to one relationship with Allah.
The literature on Sheikh ul-Alam (R.A.) is indeed a great asset for not only the Kashmiri culture but also for the development of Sufism in Kashmir. Therefore, Sufi admirers must embark upon the journey of revisiting Sheikh’s philosophy and poetry in order to become a better human being.
The ultimate aim of studying social sciences is becoming a better human being or better version of ourselves and not minting or chasing money as is normally supposed.
It is well known that economics is a science of material welfare and it examines that part of individual and social actions that are closely associated with material requisites of human being. Optimisation and allocation of resources are the twin fundamental goals of economic activity of mankind.
Sheikh ul-Alam (R.A.) established many goals of economic activity that he assumed were closely linked to one’s religious integrity and accountability. Furthermore, he set those goal lines which are very beneficial to the individual here and hereafter, such as goal of resourcefulness for one’s subsistence, goal of sustainable development for maintaining sustainability and meeting the needs of present generation without any cost to future generation, plantation of trees for the ecological balance or conservation of environment, and factor endowments or resources for the welfare of one’s posterity. Sabr or patience demands religious integrity and accountability. It is not every one’s cup of tea. It requires lot of hard-work on the development of spiritual personality.
Sabr or patience is always a call no matter what. It is a word we every now and then take for granted.
But, patience actually is a key to success. It is a tool or methodology for attaining spiritual heights. According to Sheikh ul Alam, we should always be patient and never protect ourselves from the trials of Almighty Allah.
If we are spiritually sound we can face any hardship and trial. We should never feel sad from his harsh experiments and trials of Allah, rather we should treat them as sweet divine tests. If we go with this philosophy we shall definitely succeed here and hereafter.
Dr. Binish Qadri is Assistant Professor; Department of Economics, Cluster University of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.