In response to the growing Middle East crisis, especially that promoted by the Islamic group ISIS, a Muslim body on Sunday (Sept. 8) urged India’s Prime Minister to promote Sufism as a counter to terrorism.
While some the Western countries are urging a military solution perhaps a more peaceful means such as the one suggested above by the Muslim group in India should be considered. It maybe the only bridge that could lead to mutual trust and understanding between the major Islamic sects in the Middle East and bring an end to the growing religious extremism.
Sufism is an Islamic Mystical tradition which is above barriers of religion, caste, creed or region. It teaches love and humanity and non-violence while terrorism teaches hate and violence.
Today’s headlines are filled with the politics of Islam, but there is another side to the world's fastest-growing religion. Sufism is the poetry and mysticism of Islam. This mystical movement from the early ninth century rejects worship motivated by the desire for heavenly reward or the fear of punishment, insisting rather on the love of God as the only valid form of adoration. Sufism has made significant contributions to Islamic civilization in music and philosophy, dance and literature. The Sufi poet Rumi is the bestselling poet in America. But in recent centuries Sufism has been a target for some extremist Islamic movements as well as many modernists. The ‘Garden of Truth’ (2007) presents the beliefs and vision of the mystical heart of Islam, along with a history of Sufi saints and schools of thought.
In a world threatened by religious wars, depleting natural resources, a crumbling ecosystem, and alienation and isolation, what has happened to our humanity? Who are we and what are we doing here? The Sufi path offers a journey toward truth, to a knowledge that transcends our mundane concerns, selfish desires, and fears. In Sufism we find a wisdom that brings peace and a relationship with God that nurtures the best in us and in others.
Noted scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr helps you learn the secret wisdom tradition of Islam and enter what the ancient mystics call the "garden of truth." Here, liberate your mind, experience peace, discover your purpose, fall in love with the Divine, and find your true, best self.
Many Christians will be surprised to discover the similarities between the two religions contained in the following quotes from the great Suffi master Rumi:
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
“What you seek is seeking you.”
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
“Knock, And He'll open the door
Vanish, And He'll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He'll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He'll turn you into everything.”
“Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”
“My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”
“In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
“silence is the language of god,
all else is poor translation.”
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”
“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”