Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pakistan's mystical Islam thrives

The mystical form of Islam espoused by Sufi saints for hundreds of years continues to thrive in Pakistan despite opposition from religious hardliners and the authorities. As the sun sets on a Thursday evening, hundreds of working class people descend on a shrine to the eighth-century mystic, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, in Karachi. The shrine is located on a hill in the upmarket Clifton district of Pakistan's financial capital, flanked by swanky shopping malls and the posh residential area of Defence. In the grounds below the shrine gather electricians, plumbers, construction workers, vagabonds, transvestites, prostitutes. Encircled by a cheering crowd, men take turns in a weightlifting competition. Sufism has historically provided Islam with an alternative to orthodoxy and has won it most of its converts. Sufi saints created mass appeal through their merging with pre-existing faiths of the region and their ability to align themselves with popular interests.


At August 16, 2005 5:37 PM, Blogger erp said...


I don't know how to send you an article I think you might find interesting, so I'm posting it here in comments section of your blog. Hard-hitting articles on Islam

I apologize in advance if this is contrary to protocol.

At August 17, 2005 3:24 AM, Blogger Mike H. said...

Cue the Whirling Dervishes.

At August 17, 2005 6:13 AM, Blogger ik said...

Heres something about Sufis (somone else wrote this - so no credit to me)

sufism is brought in whenever Muslims want to downplay their jihadi roots and make Islam more palatable to outsiders. The fact is that sufis were used as the velvet glove to the ummah's spearhead into India. So-called sufis like Amir Khusrau are given a benign secular gloss today, but in reality he wrote glowing couplets in praise of the destruction of temples like Somnath and the mass beheading of Hindu prisoners. When you dig deep into Muslim taqiyah it always turns out opposite of what it purports to be.

For more on Amir Khusrau, doyen of sufi-lovers, see Sita Ram Goel's seminal work on the evidence for the Islamic destruction of Hindu temples: http://voi.org/books/htemples2/ch7.htm


..Amîr Khusrû, was born at Delhi in 1253. His father occupied high positions in the reigns of Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) and his successors. His mother was the daughter of another dignitary under Sultãn Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn Balban (AD 1266-1286). He himself became a companion of Balban’s son, Prince Muhammad, and stayed at Multãn till the prince was killed in a battle with the Mongols. Reputed to be the dearest disciple of Shykh Nizãmu’d-Dîn Auliyã‘, he became the lick-spittle of whoever came out victorious in the contest for the throne at Delhi. He became a court poet of Balban’s successor, Sultãn Kaiqubãd (AD 1288-1290) and wrote his Qirãnu’s S‘ãdaîn in the Sultãn’s praise in AD 1289. Next, he joined Sultãn Jalãlu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296) as a court poet after the latter murdered Kaiqubãd. He wrote in 1291 the Miftãhu‘l-Futûh which describes Jalãlu’d-Dîn’s victories.

“When he advanced from the capital of Karra, the Hindûs, in alarm, descended into the earth like ants. He departed towards the garden of Behãr to dye that soil with blood as red as tulip. ”

“Some others proved sharper than steel in breaking the temples of the infidels. Wherever these temples were bent in prayers, they were made to do prostration.”

“So the temple of Somnath was made to bow towards the Holy Mecca; and as the temple lowered its head and jumped into the sea, you may say that the building first said its prayers and then had a bath… It seemed as if the tongue of the Imperial sword explained the meaning of the text: ‘So he (Abraham) broke them (the idols) into pieces except the chief of them, that haply they may return to it.’ Such a pagan country, the Mecca of the infidels, now became the Medina of Islam. The followers of Abraham now acted as guides in place of the Brahman leaders. The robust-hearted true believers rigorously broke all idols and temples wherever they found them. Owing to the war, ‘takbir,’ and ‘shahadat’ was heard on every side; even the idols by their breaking affirmed the existence of God. In this ancient land of infidelity the call to prayers rose so high that it was heard in Baghdad and Madain (Ctesiphon) while the ‘Ala’ proclamation (Khutba) resounded in the dome of Abraham and over the water of Zamzam… The sword of Islam purified the land as the Sun purifies the earth.”

“The trees were cut with axes and felled, notwithstanding their groans; and the Hindus, who worship trees, could not at that time come to the rescue of their idols, so that every cursed tree which was in that capital of idolatry was cut down to the roots…”

“He then determined on razing the beautiful temple to the ground – ‘you might say that it was the Paradise of Shaddãd which, after being lost, those hellites had found, and that it was the golden Lanka of Rãm,’ – ‘the roof was covered with rubies and emeralds’, - ‘in short, it was the holy place of the Hindûs, which the Malik dug up from its foundations with the greatest care… and heads of the Brahmans and idolaters danced from their necks and fell to the ground at their feet,’ and blood flowed in torrents.”

“They pursued the enemy to the gates and set everything on fire. They burnt down all those gardens and groves. That paradise of idol-worshippers became like hell. The fire-worshippers of Bud were in alarm and flocked round their idols…”

Peaceful sufism in action .... "heads of the Brahmans and idolaters danced from their necks and fell to the ground at their feet".

The problem is that when the foundation is completely rotten no amount of "enhancements" can solve the problem. Also the Sufis are the ones who made Islam palatable to the Hindus by adding Hindu elements to Islam and led to large numbers of Hindus converting to Islam


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