Sufism: A Motivation For Global Peace – OpEd


In the polarized world of today, where mankind seems to be drifting towards violence and chaos, disaster and misfortune seem inevitable. Mankind is divided on the lines of race, colour, faith, sects, language, caste creed and many other differences within or outside of human control. Hatred, zeal and intolerance are the order of the day. Uncertainty grips the common men. Even the intellectuals and men of learning are filled with disappointment and doubts, rendering them inactive and indecisive. This state of affairs has created a sense of despair and distrust among the masses. In such situations it is either religion that offers refuge or a drift towards various forms of escapism to forget and block out grim realities.

Religion, which is supposed to give man relief and a sense of security, has become a set of mere habit, without spirit. With the growing over-emphasis on religious rites and formalism by the orthodox clergy, many youth, intellectuals and the educated are showing signs of silent indifference towards religion. We are facing the multiple challenges, in order to understand the problems of the modern era like growing trends of hostility, insecurity, instability, extremism and terrorism in our societies which have broken the social fabric.

In this situation whom should we look for to bring peace, harmony, tolerance, and non-aggression towards the fellow human beings? The desperate need of the contemporary world is to look those people who believe in the singular spirit of all religions; people who believe that religion may differ in fundamental respect, formal procedures, terminologies and language but are not for each other in their spirit; people who believe that all human beings irrespective of their beliefs; race, colour, and creed are equal since they are created in the image of the Creator. Yes the Sufis believe that God created man in his own image. They believed that God is ‘Love’ so the man created in His image should also be a symbol of love without hatred, bias and enmity. Their ideology does not oppose or reject any other ideology, faith or belief but its main ideal is to accept diversity and remove differences.

It has been clearly viewed that religion is one of the main causes of the conflict between the two or more states. There is no doubt that all the leading religions of the world promote peace and harmony within and outside of there beliefs. No one can deny that extremists or fundamentalist elements are everywhere; they can be in Christians, Hindus, Christians and Muslims or any other faiths. These sorts of elements have created the difficulties within and between the states. We can deal this problem in many different ways but if we deal it in spiritually by following the Sufi or mystic teachings we will get the healthy results; because of the universal philosophy of tolerance. It gives the message of peace and harmony for all the religions of world.

Mysticism/Sufism in any religion considers that man is competent enough of bring together on the agenda of humanity and it has different technique to achieve this object. All the mystic thoughts developed in different religions in vis-à-vis different places and times but with similar feelings. No one deny the there are differences between the great religions on the fundamental viewpoint. The unity on existence of one an only God is the way which can lead us to achieve the universal outlook for solving the problems. So it is the need of time that we must work together for peace and prosperity under the shadow of Sufism.

Sufis have made the efforts to contribution for the unity of our heterogeneous society. They respect every corner of the society members without any discrimination. They endeavor for the equal social order without any dissensions and conflicts. Their phenomenal work of divine mission of love, faith, sympathy and tolerance is the supreme object for the humanity. They do not criticise any other norms and values; nor support the linguistic barriers.

The most significant part of mysticism/Sufism is the motivation for the universal unity of human beings without any discrimination. It shows that how Sufis have love and care for the mankind. Sufism modifies the human behaviour with broad thinking of universality. This expected spiritual understanding goes to beyond to humans for examining global idea of unity and harmony. Sufism promises for progress in human behavior in practical forms to universal level.

The ideas extended by the Sufi experiences summarize the world vision in pragmatic methods by relating the globe as being composed of both good and bad. So the both aspects of life are unavoidably shared in any society of the world. The connection of mankind with the nature or universe is separate, not a joint so the reaction of one society to outside world is the sum of the individual’s reaction. The different forms of Sufism or mystical understandings optimistically involve human psyche and offer practical exercises to the individuals to adapt their gloomy into glow. In such ways the individuals have the chances of considering the world, people and elements of the universal structure, which is recognized on absolute balance and acute harmony. In this regards the multiplicity is a natural order which offers the universe beauty and equilibrium.

The previous spiritual or Sufi movements had formed the deep effects in their period and had done their best by crossing ancient era from time to time. These admired spiritual movements contributed several core principle and practices because of their huge resemblances of belief, faith and loyalty to humankind. Those enormous dedicated movements spread as light across the Europe, North Africa and Asia. The few of them were the famous mysticism and Caroling Religious Fairs of the middle ages Catholic Europe, the Catholic Rosary Devotion to Jesus in the course of Mary, and the famous Eastern Rite Catholic and Orthodox Christian do the regular practice of reciting ‘The Jesus Prayer’.

Afterward, there was an enormous resumption of Rosary devotion to ‘Jesus living in Mary’, led by Saint Louis de Montfort in France, which widened from corner to corner of Europe. A part from the Catholic inspirations guided by Saint Francis and other Christian mystics of the 11th and 12th centuries, at the some stage the Islamic Sufism of Rumi, al Ghazali, Suharwardi and the Women Saint Rabia Basri emerged. The core practice of this doctrine was the prayer of the ninety-nine names of Allah (God). In the other corner of the world, Japan known as the pure land Bhakti Buddhist Saints Ippen, Honen, Nicherin and Shinran ultimately gave boost the stable reiteration of Amitabha Buddha’s. In Judaism religion the bridal mysticism grew in different events in the shape of dedication to Hashem, and the Kabalistic study of peace. There was also a restoration of correlated Jewish mysticism in the 11th and 12 centuries, with the emergence of Hasidic and mediterranean Neo-Platonism Jewish mysticism.

All these movements were in fact related to mysticism, and had an inner or mysterious core of peace. All these mysticism movements inclined to connect the different roots and sectarian branches of the all religions of the world. Consequently from its starting, the mystic mission was distant more than the mere continuance of a sole sectarian root in a specific religion. Neither, it was a merely mission to bring together all the conservative doctrines. Rather, the goal mystic mission was/is not anything than the universal unity of all the human beings, a unity without discrimination.

So in the current scenario, where religions are increasingly becoming the major cause of clash and problem, we require the same untarnished wisdom of Sufism. Hence, the differences in divinity need not be an obstacle today for searching and making good moral human coalitions between the religions of world.

Dr. Imran Ali Sandano

Dr. Imran Ali Sandano is an author of "Sufism and Peace: A Counter Strategy of Extremism" and "Separatist Movement of Balochistan: A Non Traditional Security Threat" books. Currently, he is working as Senior Research Fellow at Nontraditional Security and Peaceful Development Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. His areas of interest are nontraditional security issues, terrorism, and conflict resolution, diplomacy, and Sufism. Dr. Sandano is a regular writer of different newspapers and weekly magazines. He holds PhD degree in Nontraditional Security Management, M.Phil degree in Peace and Conflict Studies, Masters in International Relations. He can be reached at [email protected] Tweeter iiimran110.

2 thoughts on “Sufism: A Motivation For Global Peace – OpEd

  • May 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Sufism has made me a better Christian. Thank you

  • May 17, 2011 at 6:55 am

    “Two reeds drink from one stream.One is hollow,
    the other is sugar-cane.” How can we learn from
    the sages, when the West supports the hollow canes in the Muslim World! Look at the pathetic
    monarchies that suppress clarity of Thought.


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