- Sufism in India
I was forced to write this article on Sufism because the RSS and BJP duo have been spreading wrong information about the intolerance of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti towards Hinduism. No! Moinuddin Chisti was never a part of any conspiracy.
The Sufi movement was a reform movement within Islam.
The Sufis came to India with the Turks in the 12th century CE.
Over the years they absorbed Buddhist and Hindu influences and were respected greatly by both Hindus and Muslims.
Like the Buddhist saints, the Sufis established several monistic organisations called Shilsilas.
Two of these organisations : The Shurawardis and the Chisti became popular in India. The founder of the Sufi movement in India was Moinuddin Chisti. His Dargah at Ajmer is an important pilgrimage
for both Hindus and Muslims.
Bahanuddin Zhakania was the founder
of the Shurawardi shilshila in India.
Apart from these two Shilsilas of the Sufis, there were few others like the Qudiri order, Firdausia order and the
The Sufis became popular due to their ‘humanism’ , ‘synthesis’ and ‘love for the poor’. The Sufi khankas were centres of moral life and centres for composition of devotional songs called ‘Qawwali’.
The Ulemas were associated with the government and were well off.
The Sufis were poor. They failed to cope with the orthodox Ulemas because Sufism preached synthesis.
The Sufis were accused of
being un-Islamic by the Ulemas.
Now let me talk about the teachings of Sufism :
1) There is only one God and all people are his children.
2) All human beings are equal.
3) Different religions are different paths leading to one God.
4) Fasts and rituals are not necessary to reach God because love and devotion are enough.
5) There is no need of converting to another religion.
6) One should come closer to God by devotional music.
The liberal ideas and rational principles of Sufism had great impact on the people.
It encouraged ‘religious tolerance ‘ ,
promoted the idea of ‘universal brotherhood’ and
brought the Hindus and Muslims closer to one another.
The RSS dwells by distorting history. Don’t fall into the trap. A little bit of knowledge and rationality always helps.
Knowledge always lets people distinguish between what is true and what is fake. Distorting history is not only wrong but leads to dangerous consequences at times.