15 Oct 2010

'The Battle Cry of the Sufis'

The Sufi tradition is strong in Islam but is under violent assault from 'fundamentalists' the Salif doctrine of al Qaeda and the Taliban aims to rip the heart out of forms of Islam that advocate peace, pluralism and liberation.

Islamphobes are doing their bit to destroy Islam as well.

Sufism is part of our heritage on this planet, something of great beauty and power.

Sufism has a political element, a call for liberation, advocacy of the rights of women and has a strong ecological element.

I have had the pleasure of working with a number of Sufi Muslims in the green movement here in the UK, they have taught me much.

The Song reminds me of Johnny Cash with its line about those who dress in black, the saint who sins.

This Video is from RedPak2000....who tells us that:

'When the Taliban attacked the shrines of Rahman Baba, Data Sahib, and Abdullah Ghazi Shah, slaughtering hundreds who had gathered for alms or to pray, Laal felt obligated to not only defend the progressive aspects of sufi thought but to discover them for ourselves. We see sufi's as the rebels, the revolutionaries of their period.

The entire mode of production of the pre-capitalist period, and village life to this day, was built on the caste system. And this system of zaat and beraderi itself is premised upon marriage within the beraderi, that is, on endogamy. Patriarchy and control of women's sexuality is the basis of the entire edifice.

In a word, the caste system relegates love or ishq to the most contemptible position. But that which was contemptible to the beraderis, became the battle cry of the sufis, Ishq became divine. Thus, Heer Varis Shah begins with the words: "Awal hamd khuda da vird kariyay, ishq kita su jag da mool mian,
Pehlan aap hi rabb ne ishq kita, Te mashooq he nabi rasool mian." How can love be a sin, if the worth of the world is love, if God is the first lover, if Muhammed is the first beloved.

Here is Laal's tribute to one of the earliest rebels in this tradition, Ghulam Fareed of Pakpattan.'


Milady said...

this is lovely. and horrific to see this persecution going on. and of course mirrors many such instances of polarisation in history.

Matthew said...

Thank you very much for this Derek. Further to your meditation on Ishq (Love), here are some verses by the great Sufi poet Rumi:

"The Caravan of the Unseen enters the visible world, but it remains hidden . . .
How should lovely women come to ugly men? The nightingale always comes to the rosebush.
The jasmine grows next to the narcissus, the rose comes to the sweet-mouthed bud.
All of these are symbols - I mean that the other world keeps coming into this world
Like cream hidden in the soul of milk. No-place keeps coming into place.
Like intellect concealed in blood and skin, the Traceless keeps entering into traces.
And from beyond the intellect, beautiful Love comes dragging its skirts, a cup of wine in its hand.
And from beyond Love, that indescribable One who can only be called 'That' keeps coming."

(Diwan verses 30789-96)


Paul said...

Whilst I don't believe that Sufis are entirely free of either Jihadist or Islamic supremacist tendencies. It is quite clear that Sufis (or more correctly the Ahmadiyyah sect) face ongoing violence and discrimination. Particularly in Pakistan, as do non-Muslims (Ahmadiyyah in Pakistan, are not allowed to call themselves Muslim by law). The massacres by the Taliban are disgusting.

When Keir Starmer was a Marxist.

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