Declaration (World Sufi Forum)
Honorable Heads of the State, Spiritual Luminaries, Distinguished Scholars & all Citizens of India!
The World Sufi Forum, which is an unparalleled historical event in the independent India, invited peace-loving Sufi divines, Ulama, thinkers, heads of states and legal experts in its four day-long mega Sufi event.
This is the first occasion in Indian history where around 150 Shrines and Madarsas and over hundred of respected leaders from Universities, media houses and journalism are came all together.
The All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board deeply feels proud to thank all its representatives because we are successfully concluding this historical event ushering in a new era of peace, humanity, love and spirituality. We are deeply grateful to Allah for the peaceful accomplishment of this global event.
Going by history, this is an eternal fact that Islam in India owes much of its existence to Sufi Mashaikh, Saints and Dervishes. In the 13th century, Khuwaja Ghareeb Nawaz came to India and his arrival in India is regarded a great milestone in the path of love, equality, spirituality and peaceful Dawah work.
Hazrat Khuwaja Ghareeb Nawaz (r.a) pioneered the composite culture in India which still remains well-spirited, widely accepted and appreciated by the Indian majority. After Khuwaja Ghareeb Nawaz, Khuwaja Qutbuddin Bhaktiyar Kaki, Baba Farid, Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya, Makhdum Sayed Ashraf Jahangir Simnani and Ameer Khusro took this cause of peace ahead. They devotedly taught and promoted love, peace, Sufism and spirituality. However, the reality that the shrines of these saints are still attracting people from all community regardless of their religions and sects even after 800 years, and even in the current situation of hatred and malice, is self-evident. More and more people are constantly endowed with blessings of Sufi inspiration and spirituality.
In the backdrop of this, Sufi World Forum declares that evils of terrorism and extremism and of materialism and opportunism can only be wiped out from the world through the restoration of Sufism, propagation of its peaceful massage of humanity and complete cessation of extremist thoughts and hardcore philosophies.
With the commencement of the 19th century, many new-born anti-Sufism movements and efforts began to defame Sufis, thus giving rise to extremism among people. On the pretext of Qur’an and Islam, the ideology of Kharjiites which basically emerged in the time of Hazrat Ali (r.a), was propagated among people. In this duration, Sufi Ulama and Mashaikh remained confined to their conclaves in the shrines and hospices. As a result, particular fractions of people started adopting extremism, hatred, takfirism and killing. Today, this is playing havoc in Muslim world and Middle East in particular.
There is no denying the fact that the Muslims have been reduced to this situation due to external factors. We, however, need to understand that our only responsibility as the followers of Sufism is not just to spread peace within us but also try to transform the world into an abode of peace. We, thus, declare with all Sufis and Sufi Shrines that we will participate in all movements and efforts of peace.
The Most Gracious and the Most Compassionate Allah sent Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) as “mercy to all”. The Prophet (saw) always made treaties of peace with other nations. Inspired by the Prophetic ideals, we have to come forward and restore the peaceful Sunnah and Seerah (noble life and character) of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Thus, we earnestly appeal to all Muslim youth to embrace the conduct of love and humanity taught by Prophet Mohammad PBUH. They should walk in the footsteps of Sufis as well.
According to Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, “our actions should reflect generosity abundantly like rain and humility like soil”. Muslim youth should not to be misguided by anybody. We are pained to see that through attractive recitation of Qur’an, Muslim youths are being distanced from it. So they need to understand this conspiracy.
Islam does not allow incitement to rebellion, suppression, defiance, rebellion, commotion and disturbance on the earth at any cost. Prophet PBUH says: “extremists and transgressors are doomed and destructed”. Those who indulged in this kind of attempts ended up with destruction and thus tarnished the image of Islam. Muslim youth should not forget the fact that an overwhelming majority of the world loves Sufism and Sufis even today. It is only a fraction of extremists and anti-Sufis which is shattering peace in every nook and corner of the world. We, therefore, need to come out of our deep slumber so as to disconcert their efforts and make the representation of Muslims possible on political, social, educational and humanitarian front.
All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board was established in 2005. From that time onwards, this board has been working on propagation of Sufi based on love, equality and establishing peace and nonviolent, representation of Muslims.
“World Sufi Forum” is the first biggest event ever conducted by the All India Ulama & Mashaikh board. The board extends its deepest love to the fellow Indians and makes sincere appeal to Indians regarding all religions and faiths in India that we want to spread and publicize love and disappoint those creating revulsion and mayhem among Indians. Only our collective efforts can make this land of saints and dervish paradise of peace.
Now the integrity of nation, its people and of religions and their followers lies in strengthening the messages of humanity, keeping the tradition of composite culture alive, strengthening democracy and national integration along with other universal values of love and unity. If we achieve any breakthrough in preventing extremism, radicalism, sectarianism and fanatical and sectarian takfiri narratives, we may not only serve Islam and Muslims but also the nation and the world like.
On the occasion of this highly unprecedented international conference where representatives of Sufism from around the world are present, we request the government and all the Indian brethren to stand united against sectarianism and terrorism. Only then this beloved country can be saved from these devastating menaces. Sectarianism and terrorism that are the different sides of same coin have nothing to do with the Sufism. The World Sufi Forum strongly condemns every form of sectarianism and terrorism for the sake of safety and equality in India.
All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board appeals to the Indian establishment under the banner of “World Sufi Forum” that:
- With full veneration to humanity, we wholeheartedly respect the teachings of Islam, sayings of Sufis and the glorious constitution of India. Not only do we advocate their propagation but also take pledge to actively play our part in strengthening these foundations.
- With the adoration of rich Indian culture, democracy and diverse society, we declare that these characteristics are of much greater value and pride for a rising and invincible India. With much reverence to the composite Indian culture, we pledge to carry on with all our possible efforts to enhance them.
- Standing by our integrated nationality for the sake of Indian integrity, we strongly denounce every force of sectarianism and disassociate ourselves in this regard. Those spewing venom of communal hatred are a big threat to Indian solidarity. Such people regardless of their religion and community should be brought to justice.
- We are faced with the present-day curse of growing sectarianism looming large in the societies of Muslims and others. It results sometimes into brutal and bloodthirsty Massacre of common and innocent Muslims as in Iraq and Syria today in particular. We condemn all such Takfiri ideas and actions.
- Taliban, Al Qaeda, ISIS and all other terrorist organizations, anti-Islam inhuman elements have destroyed the brotherhood of mankind that was once established by the spiritual Sufi fraternity. We condemn the brazen violation of Islam and human rights and strongly appeal to Muslim youth to shun extremist organizations and wrong interpretations of the Quran and Hadith that go against the consensus of the Ummah.
- In the harshest words, we denounce the wanton killing of civilians, destruction of property and wealth, rebellion against the government, accusing Muslims of kufr(Takfirism), demolition of shrines on both local and global levels. We openly condemn all forms of terrorism, in clear and categorical words, whether it is intellectual, social, religious, political and economic or ideological terrorism. We reject all forms of terrorism outright. At the same time, we heartily appreciate all efforts being made for the global peace and unity, whosoever may play the active role in them.
- In the presence of the representatives of all the major Sufi Hospices and Muslim mystics of India, we pledge to uphold a “world peace mission” while affirming the importance and the need of reviving Sufism and spiritual brotherhood of humankind, compassion, acceptance and tolerance and national and global harmony. All this is impossible without promoting the tolerant, spiritual and moderate version of Islam which is the true Islam in the truest sense.
- In the name of revival of Sufism, we support only the form of Sufism which is in full accordance with the prophetic traditions and in complete synergy with the spiritual and saintly righteous Muslims. We never endorse ignorance or illiteracy in the name of Sufism. Anything in the name of Sufism that doesn’t reflect itself in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah is null and void. Therefore, along with the revivalist Sufism, we strive to stress the need for the reformist Sufism.
- We request all the governments of the world and especially the government of India to extend its full cooperation for the revival of Sufism. This fact is evident that the remedy for the elimination of radicalism and extremism ideologies is in the ideology of Sufism only. The spaces where the grip of Sufism faded radicalism emerged in those spaces and the places where Sufism strived and flourished the graph of extremism declined. This proves the fact that in modern times thriving Sufism is tremendously imperative for love, humanity, peace and harmony.
- We appeal to the government of India that for the promotion of Sufism, the Sufi literature is taught and practiced in schools and madrasas. It is very important for the achievement of peace and harmony in this world without which promotion of Sufism is not possible.
- World Sufi forum is adamant to the fact that all the Sufi shrines be brought into mainstream for which several things are very important:
- Sufi circuit:According to which all the Sufi shrines be provided with electricity, roads, shelter for during rain be provided as these Sufi shrines are even today the only source of fulfillment for the helpless. For the travelers and poor people rain sheds, food, water and other essential utility things are vital.
- Sufi centre: In different parts and cities of the country Sufi centers should be established. A central Sufi centre should be established in New Delhi and in all capital cities regional Sufi centers be established for the promotion of Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music.
- Sufi corridor:All the shrines should be connected to each other. National and international shrines and the strengthening of ties between different shrines world over and with in India be made possible. All the shrines should be connected with railway and roadways so that national and international tourism is easy. This is important in terms of tourism also and Indian tourism industry will also benefit from such corridors.
- All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board appeals to the government of India for the establishment of a university in the name of the most revered Sufi saint of India Khwaja Gareeb Nawaz named as “Gareeb Nawaz University” where along with other disciplines, Sufism is included as a field of study.
- We also appeal to the government of India that for the promotion of peace and harmony all the famous universities of the country a Sufi chair should be established. Similarly, we appeal that the teachings of Sufism be introduced at all levels of modern and religious education, from primary schooling to higher education.
- 70% of literature of Sufism is in Persian language. It becomes imperative that for the promotion of Sufi culture Persian language should be promoted. We appeal to the government of India to provide separate budgetary allocations for the promotion of Persian language and to establish enduring centre’s for the promotion of Persian language.
- We strongly call for the inclusion of Urdu and Persian in the competitive civil services examination for the wide spread of national integrity, inclusiveness, humanity, love and harmony that would also benefit the Muslims with territorial integration. Government should note that without social and educational development of India’s Muslims, there can be no global progress at all.
- There is a sense of fear in Muslims due to riots. Government should alleviate this fear and Union Ministry of Home Affairs should spell out what steps have been taken with regard to all the small or big incidents and riots that have taken place so far, in different parts of the country.
- Arrangements should be made to impart technical and vocational education and training besides establishing quality centers of standard modern education in all the districts where Muslim population is dense.
- Central Madrasa Board bill should be immediately passed in Parliament incorporating all the amendments that have been suggested by the AIUMB.
- Indian Muslims having faith in Sufi traditions should be given representation according to their fair share in Muslim population of India in Central Waqf Council, State Waqf Boards, Central and State Hajj Committees, Maulana Azad Education Foundation, National Minority Finance Development Corporation, National Human Rights Corporation and all other such bodies.
- AIUMB does not endorse NAWADCO and Waqf Amendment Bill. It is desired that a review on both these legislations is undertaken. For this a committee can be constituted and Sufi Muslims are included in the committee to take a review of both the arrangements.
- We would want the Indian establishment to ensure that a separate Dargah Management Committee is constituted in the Ministry of Minority Welfare. And the entire management of this demanded board is entrusted to the heads of prime Khanqahs of India, instead of handing over to Waqf Board.
- Sufi luminaries, scholars and Mashaikh of India demand that a monitoring committee is constituted in ministries of Human Resources Development, Information and Broadcasting, besides minority affairs to monitor print and electric media so that a vigil eye can be kept on the news and views and editorial content released by the extremist news agencies that may propagate extreme thoughts and radical messages.
- To alleviate educational backwardness of Muslim minority and impart them quality education, it is imperative to seriously consider the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia and all other Muslim minority educational institutions.
- The workforce of farmers in India constitutes 70% of our population. The increasing agricultural crisis is driving farmers to suicide and deprivation. Hence, AIUMB demands that special attention is given to solve the problems of farmers. For this purpose, modern agricultural tools should be imported and special loan waiver schemes can be floated and implemented.
- The last Prophet of Islam Hazrat Mohammad SAW greatly emphasized the protection of women rights in his last sermon (khutbah). Regrettably, even after 1400 years, today the woman folk is still victim of ill-treatment. More particularly, 90% of Muslims deny their women hereditary rights going completely against the clear injunctions of Quran. World Sufi Forum strongly condemns this and appeals to confer on them all their rights. WSF also condemns domestic and social violence against women. The forum also condemns indignity, disgrace and exploitation of women in the name of absolute freedom and liberty.
In conclusion, the WSF reiterates the provisions of this declaration and pledges to protect and support humanity, love, Islamic tolerance, pluralistic culture, democratic values and development of the Indian multicultural society. The All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board [AIUMB] extends deepest thanks and gratitude to all the participants including global Sufi representatives, administrative personnel, Sajjadgan, Ulama and clerics and last but not the least, common masses who build the base of our nation and community.