Tag Archives: Sufism

Nationalist Mythologies And Nuances Of History

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

In response to my article in Daily Times where I spoke about the menace of Maududism and its sordid history in Pakistan, several sections in India took umbrage to that part of the article in which I wrote about Mahatma Gandhi’s role in bringing Islamic religious clerics into the forefront of political struggle in South Asia.   This is the same section that would rather I had drawn a line linking Islamic extremism to Pakistan’s creation.  I would have done so gladly but that would be tantamount to denying history.

The problem with nationalist histiography is that it is unable to fully grasp or articulate nuanced realities that don’t fit in with the binary of good v. evil.   Indian nationalist mythology is no different.   The naive view amongst those Indian authors taking only a very superficial view of history is that Indian partition was brought about by Muslim religious fanatics and those who opposed it were somehow secular and moderate.  This binary then affects their entire view of history where they seek – quite unconvincingly- to imagine an unbroken link from Akbar to Darashikoh to Maulana Azad as a strand in South Asian Islam committed to Hindu Muslim Unity.    This again bears no semblance to actual history.  Continue reading

Advertisements

32 Comments

Filed under India, Jinnah, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

The scholar, the sufi, and the fanatic

[This was originally published in DAWN’s blog section and then subsequently also included in the much recommended critical PPP/Let us Build Pakistan site. The link for the latter is http://criticalppp.org/lubp/archives/4072 and for the former is http://blog.dawn.com/2009/12/31/the-scholar-the-sufi-and-the-fanatic/.  The critical PPP site is quite refreshing and has taken on both the naysayers as well as been critical of its own party. Even their news reports are more reliable at times than the mainstream media. In reposting the article, critical PPP has accreditted DAWN. – Ali Abbas]

By Nadeem F. Paracha            Dawn 31st Dec, 2009

Roughly speaking, the political and social aspects of Islam in Pakistan can be seen as existing in and emerging from three distinct sets and clusters of thought. These clusters represent the three variations of political and social Islam that have evolved in this country: modern, popular and conservative. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Democracy, India, Islam, Islamism, movements, Pakistan, Partition, Politics, Religion, south asia, state, Sufism

Pakistan’s mystics in sights of Taliban

By CHRIS BRUMMITT – 

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Worshippers still flock to the grave of Rahman Baba, a Muslim mystic revered by millions in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But they now pray at a mound of rubble and twisted steel — all that remains of his tomb since militants bombed it.

The blast in March was the most high-profile in a recent spate of attacks against Pakistan’s homespun, tolerant brand of Islam by hard-liners trying to replace it with the more austere version espoused by the Taliban, al-Qaida and other Sunni extremist groups.

“This hurts deep in my heart,” said Ihasan ul-Haq, as he looked through a rainstorm onto the ruins of the once ornate, whitewashed tomb on the outskirts of Peshawar, a main northwestern town coming under the influence of the extremists. “And to think they do this in the name of Islam.” Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Pakistan, Sufism, Taliban

Zahida Hina: From Sufi-ism to Taliban-ism

Zahida Hina: From Sufi-ism to Taliban-ism

We are posting a piece in Urdu authored by Zahida Hina. Apologies to non-Urdu readers. Thanks to this blog for alerting us to this piece.  RR Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Jalaluddin Rumi and Evolution

mawlana_rumiI have experienced seven hundred and seventy mounds.

I died from minerality and became vegetable;

And from vegetativeness I died and became animal.

I died from animality and became man.

Then why fear disappearance though death?

Next time I shall die Bringing forth wings and feathers like angels;

After that soaring higher than angels-

What you cannot imagine, I shall be that.

Read more here

8 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Imagined Homeland*

By Raza Rumi
It irks me when I hear simplistic platitudes on Pakistani society, state or people. The heterogeneity of Pakistan is by itself an anthropologist’s dream, a planners’ headache and a sociologist’s challenge. Despite the sixty-one years of drumming the uniform nationalism mantra, Pakistan’s regions and their peoples refuse to toe the line sponsored by the official textbook masters. This is why one minute there is a delightful speech on being a Pakistani and the other minute caste, tribe or ethnicity raise their discrete heads and the linear formulae dissolve into thin air.

Recently I was in Karachi and discovered that the drawing room chattering there was vastly different from that of Lahore’s. The immediate urban crises of the Sindhi capital overshadow discussions that the Punjabi heartland loves to indulge in. The war mongering that has been a recent pastime on TV channels and in influential quarters of Lahore, is looked at with suspicion and, dare I say, contempt by many Karachi wallahs. It was refreshing to be reminded that, much in line with South Asian history, Pakistan is a diverse, multifarious place. That this country cannot be boxed easily and therefore appointed labels dissipate easily. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under Iran, Pakistan, Sindh, Society, Sufism, Travel

Forget thy past

In conversation this world as events unfold,
The views and opinion in its arrival and shades
Pour out they the story and its effect and lives
Now an entity of this world, please smile now
“Forget thy past”, they say, you belong to us

Out there in the distance, hidden and gone
In search for a familiar face and gestures
Not to be found in here, as I crawl through
This labyrinth of emotion and separation
Forget thy past, they say, you belong to us Continue reading

Comments Off on Forget thy past

Filed under History, poetry, Writers