Mar 24, 2016 The recently concluded World Sufi Forum was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's magnum opus vis-a-vis the Muslim community. Spread ov
Mar 24, 2016
The recently concluded World Sufi Forum was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magnum opus vis-a-vis the Muslim community. Spread over four days, the conference had community leaders from across the country and abroad. It was a Sufi show of strength and none other than the PM of the country was throwing his weight behind them. He floored the murshid and mureed alike with his knowledge of the Asma-e-Husna or the 99 names of Allah, none of which, he claimed, is violent. But the conference was also a manifestation of a grave concern: that a sizeable section of Muslims would be alienated, while the others, who sought to ride the wave of “love” and “tolerance”, be embraced. At least, for the time being.
In Hyderabad, cracks appeared a month before the forum began. A visibly concerned All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, in an oblique reference, charged probable attendees of doing the community a “great disservice” even as he claimed that the government at the Centre was “unfriendly to the Muslims”.
It is no secret that Maulana Rahmani, a distinguished figure in scholarly circles, runs the Deobandi-leaning Islamic seminary Al Mahad al Aali al Islami in Pahadisharif. His concerns reflect those of a great number of Muslims who fear that the World Sufi Forum, notwithstanding its important resolution against terrorism passed on the last day, would widen the gulf between Deobandis and Sufis. The Sufis or Barelwis gravitating to the Centre as a ‘power centre’ would make the other Muslim group vulnerable. And, what if even a fraction of the innumerable followers of elite mashaikheen vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections in 2017 and later in 2019? If so, it would set a precedent that would not suit the larger interests of the Muslim community.