Sufism and sectarian harmony | Pakistan Today

Sufism and sectarian harmony

Today in Pakistan, Balochistan is burning; hundreds of people have lost their lives in terrorist attacks, sectarian violence and target killings. Killing of members of Hazara community, Punjabi settlers and professionals like doctors, lawyers, teachers and security personnel is a matter of routine. The terrorists have been operating covertly under the cover of religious and political individuals. However, it is important to mention here that social contract of Pakistan and its cultural foundations blended with the large heartedness of Sufism are dexterously flexible and deftly persuasive to accommodate the dissenting thoughts and opposing beliefs. In fact majority in Pakistan is imbibed by Islamic teachings as inspired by the Sufi Saints, who are loved, cherished and followed as symbols of Islamic philosophy having an appeal for tolerance and respect for religious beliefs of other communities. Pakistan and Sufism are inter-related, inter-woven and inseparable from each other. Sufis in the subcontinental context are known for providing a common venue for people of all religions and ethnicities. Sufi shrines are still highly popular among Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and people of other faiths. Sufism gave a new lease of life to the Muslims, provided them with a bright vision, opened up fresh vistas for them, and guided them towards unexplored horizons.
Unfortunately, sectarianism has ripped the social fabric of Pakistan. Now people of different sects are losing respect for one another and forget the teachings of Sufism. Sectarianism with the introduction of religious parties and exploitation of religion by various governments to legitimize their rule created hell in this country. Different sects manipulated by external actors, are engaged in alienating the simpleton Muslims from the true spirit of Islam and are weakening the Muslim brotherhood, which is the real basis of Pakistan. No matter how strong the government’s efforts are to manage extremism in the country, it needs cooperation at individual level to attain success.

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  1. Johan Tristan Aslim said:

    As the Halal Monk says in his article on Sufism in Pakistan: "The different ‘types’ of Sufism I have outlined aren’t totally separated compartments, therefore. The artists perform at the rituals of the general public, the general public turns to the gurus for advice and the gurus are in touch with the politicians. There’s overlap and influence on all sides. And exactly because for many people in Pakistan Sufism is in fact the ‘normative Islam’, there is also much overlap with the more puritanical groups. Whenever someone with a certain authority tells the people what is or what isn’t Islam, they’ll listen. Whether the people they listen to claim to be Sufi or not, doesn’t really matter. They listen because they’re Muslim. Steadily therefore, the violence of discrimination and the oppression of a Muslim monoculture creeps further into the Pakistani society, alienating the people even further from their traditional understanding of Islam." (see:

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