Paper by Dr Hafeez ur Rahaman

Very Good morning! To one and all….Respected His holiness dewan Syed Zainul Abedin spiritual head of Ajmer Dargah ….very respected Gulsha Fawzia Begum..chairperson Global Peace Mission and all the respected delegates present here in this global peace conference

I would like to thank Gulsha Begum for the invitation. Here I would like to share my views regarding ” key to world peace,art,culture and values” as well as “spirituality and practice”…. first of all I would like to start by narrating master quote of Rumi
Tu barai wasl kardan amadi,,, ne barai fasl kardan amadi,,, you have been sent to unite, ,, not to make them divide..
Also renowned urdu poet Jigar moradabadi said,,, unka jo kaam hai wo ahle siyasat jane,,, mera paigham mohabbat hai jahan tak ponhche.
Khwaja Gharib nawaz has said ,,, love for all amd malice for non….
Shaikh Nizamuddin auliya mehboob e ilahi has said that , if a man puts thorn in your way and you also put thorns in his way , there will be thorn every where so lets put flowers in place of thorn . And he loved to recite coupletes of persian poet hzt shaikh Abu syed abul khair has said,,,
He is not my friend , may God be my friend
And he who bears ill -will against me, may his joy increases
He who puts thorns in my way on account of enmity,
May every flower that blossoms in the garden of life be without thorn.

Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to speak few words here with the reference of Rumi a 13 century’s mystic and sufi poet and a global ambassador of peace for mankind.
The striking features of Rumi’s philosophy are humanity, love , compassion , tolerance, empathy, respect and acceptance of the others as they are , openness to others and dialogue. He abhors ‘ ignorance’ the mother of all evils and underlines that education and dialogue are only remedies.

These elements can be discerned from the following discourses:
” A westerner lives in the west. An oriental comes to visit. The westerner is a stranger to the oriental , but who is the real stranger? Is not the oriental a stranger to the entire western world ?
The world was a global village even in his time and he powerfully emphasizes this reality:
” still this whole world is but a house , no more. Whether we go from this room to that room or from this corner to that corner, are we still not in the same house ?”
A kind of deep spiritual message radiates out from Rumi’s writing that has attracted spiritual seekers from almost every religion in the world. Rumi’s doctrine advocates looking at Mulims, Jews, Christians and Hindus etc with the same eye and view them as one and same:

Come , come , whoever you are …..
Come and come yet again…
Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times wanderer, idolater, worshipper of fire….
Ours is not a caravan of despair,
This is the date of hope,
Come , come yet again, come (Rumi)

Rumi has a tremendous impact on the Indian mystics as well. How he explains the mystic principle of ‘ Basic oneness of Human society’ thus:

Bringing solace to human heart is like Hajj-i Akbar.
One heart is better than a thousand Kaabas.
And same line of Sa’adi found as follow;
All human being are like limbs of a body,
For in their origin they are the same

After throwing open the realm of spirit to all without any distinction of religion and race, the sufi saints emphasized the basic unity and oneness of human society. This was the corner stone of their social thought. Deriving their inspiration from a tradition of the Prophet which runs:
All God’s creatures are His family; and he is the most beloved of God who does well to His creatures.
They treated all human being as ‘ children of God on earth’ and strove to bring their hearts closer and inspired them with a deep and abiding feeling of human love and sympathy. Even denominational categories which seperated one community from another were not acceptable to them. Shaikh Abdul Quddus of Gangoh once said;

Why this meaningless talk about the believer, the kafir, the obedient, the sine, the rightly guided, the misdirected, the muslim, the pious, the infidel, the fire worshipper, all are like beads in a rosary.
There was no such thing as Darul harab or darul islam for mystic. All was God’s earth and they believed that,
No man of God feels himself a stranger in east or west .anywhere he goes, all is the land of God.

The culture of tolerance and harmony,

A mind which failed to see any wisdom or truth in any way of life or thought except its own was the greatest obstacle to the growth of social amity, and the sufis or medieval india fought against this exclusivism and prejudice. But their tolerance was not born of any timely purpose, expediency or had roots in the spiritual and moral strength of their convictions. They believe that the true toleration is of that spiritually powerful man who, while guarding the frontiers of his own faith, can appreciate all forms of faith other than his own.
Hzt Amir Khusrau’s verse;

O you who sneer at the idolatry of the Hindu,
Learn also from how worship is done.
Is an expression of this toleration of a spiritually powerful man. When shaikh Nizamuddin auliya remarked on seeing the Hindu worshipping the idols.

Every people have got their path, their religion and their house of worship he not only gave to his followers a lesson in religious toleration but illustrated for all time an ideal of religious co-existance and amity that Indian society had to cherish and strive for.

There are three level of mystic efforts towards unity and harmony, social, linguistic and emotional which Indian mystics have worked for to realise their objective of amity and harmony in human society.

(A) social,
if the social milieu of of the times is kept in view, it would appear that the sufi khanqahs were the only place in medieval india where people professing different religions, enjoying different social status and belonging to different backgrounds met and rubbed shoulders. Their free distribution of food ( langer) to all ; community living in the jmaat khanas where all lived and slept on the ground.
And above all their readiness to listen sympathetically to the problem of every visitor, made them centers of love and effection for the indian people. To the chishti khanqahs , for instance, came the Hindu and the muslims, the Jogis and Qalandars, old and young villagers and towns folk, men and women.
In the khanqahs of Shaikh Farid of Ajodhan, Shaikh Ahmed Khattu of Ahmedabad, Rishi Nuruddin of Kashmir and others, views were exchanged between the sufis and the yogis in atmosphere of goodwill and understanding.

(B) linguistic,
The attitude of the sufi saints towards languages was free from all prejudices.
Amir khusarau who was himself a linguist, used to say that every language has a flavour of its own and so there should be no prejudice against any language. The contribution of sufi saits in the sphere of languages was that

(A) they discouraged linguistic chauvinism , (b) developed the languages of different regions, and (c) evolved a common medium for the commu nication of ideas , known as Hindvi. They helped in the development of the Hindvi, the punjabi, the bengali, the dakhani, the gujrati and other regiinal languages as well. Shaikh Hamiduddin nagauri, baba farid ganje-shakara and hzt Nizamuddin auliya are best example of that.

(C) Emotional and ideological,
While social contact paved the way for communication of ideas, and the developmemt of a common vehicle of expression brought the people closer, the sufis turned their attention towards ideological and emotional integration. I diological integration was a long drwan and slow process and remained confined to a segment of society comprising the higher intellectual class, but emotional integration which could be brought about though mystic songs ( qawwali) , community living in the jamaat khanas and spiritual practices common to sufis, jogis, and meditation person, etc was easier and more fruitful to all.

Thanks once again for giving me opportunity to express my thoughts on global peace in the most sacred Holy place Ajmer sharif.

Warm regards,
Dr Hafeezur Rahman
Founder trustee ,
Sufi Peace Foundation, New Delhi.