Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 6 (ANI): Religious experts and intellectuals prayed for peace and brotherhood at an international conference on Sufism and Brotherhood held at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar.
The Voice for Peace and Justice, a well-known NGO in Kashmir, hosted the conference. The participants condemned extremism and prayed for peace and brotherhood. The conference was organised for the benefit of the global community.
The conference which was planned for the benefit of the entire world community sought to re-establish ties between Kashmiri and Indian culture and the wider world through Sufi spiritual teachings.
Sufis, academics, theologians, policymakers, experts on international issues and Islamic scholars from more than 16 countries, including Germany, Turkey, France, Tanzania, Maldives, Switzerland, Sri Lanka Bangladesh and Nepal joined their Indian counterparts during the event.
The scholars of Hinduism, Sikhism and other religions from different states also attended the Conference.
The resurrection of Sufism in Kashmir was emphasized during the conference as the only mean of imposing peace in the Valley which has been a flashpoint for strife and violence for decades.
Speaking to AN, Farooq Ganderbal, organizer of the conference, said, "Our guests from 16 countries are participating here. This is the first time an International Sufism Conference is being held on the land of Kashmir. In this conference, we have called religious scholars, not only from Islam but from the Sikh community, Buddhist community and Hindu community. We have called those Kashmiri Pandits also who are an integral part of Kashmir."He said that this conference is the harbinger of peace and brotherhood.
"Among us, we want to wash away the stain of (radicalism) from Kashmir through this conference. My friend and scholar from Bangladesh would take away this message from here that there is no radicalism in Kashmir. Kashmir is the same land of Sufism as it was earlier," he said.
Ganderbal further said that the extremist Islamists made a concerted effort to destroy Kashmir's well-established and core culture of inter-communal peace, communal harmony, and brotherhood It is a pleasure for us to conduct this kind of conference in Kashmir.
Nasir-ul-Islam, Grand Mufti, Jammu and Kashmir, said, "The main objective of Sufism is to uphold brotherhood and bring peace, harmony and connectivity among the people from different religious communities."President of Voice for Peace and Justice in his lecture, Syed Tayabul Bashar, a Sufi scholar from Bangladesh stressed the importance of spreading the message of love and brotherhood to future generations with vested interests to further their own selfish goals.
"Sufism in one word means peace. Anything which is related to Sufism is peace, harmony and humbleness. Its peace for everyone irrespective of race, religion and culture," he added.
The conference's primary guest Turkish Sufi master Esref Efendi praised the voice for peace and justice organization for holding the conference in Kashmir valley the traditional home of the Sufis in his remarks.
Sheikh Esref Efendi, Global Peace Ambassador from Turkey, said, "All humans belong to one and all humans are brothers and sisters."Sayeed Javed Ali Naqashbandi, Director of Darbar Ahli Sunnet, said, "The message that comes out from Sufism is that the person who gives up humanity becomes a terrorist. Sufism instils the feeling of humanity in a person. Sufism teaches us to live in harmony and peace, one must be in service of their fellow being, give food and clothing to the needy and provide help to the helpless."Shehreyar Dar, senior vice president of Voice for Peace and Justice, in welcoming the guests of International repute said that the extremist Islamists worked hard to ruin the very basic and old tradition of coexistence of various communities, communal harmony, and the brotherhood for which Kashmir was known. It is a pleasure for us to conduct this kind of conference in Kashmir.
The conference, according to the deputy vice-chancellor of the Islamic University of the Republic of the Maldives, who spoke at the event, gave a message to the world that respect for humanity is important in the modern world and that all people should live in harmony and with respect for one another.
In his speech, Syed Tayabul Bashar, a Sufi leader from the People's Republic of Bangladesh, stated, "It was my first visit to Kashmir, and I am impressed that people in Kashmir are so welcoming, he said that there is a greater need today to save humanity and that this message should be passed on to future generations.""As Muslims, we vehemently oppose the radical and extremist elements that seek to disparage our faith by experimenting with extremism for their personal interests. Following these teachings, one can find a solution to the issues and sufferings of today's magical era. The message of sufism is one of peace, security, love, tolerance, and service," he added.
Grand Mufti of Nepal, Mufti Mohamad Usman Sufi, said, "The self-serving evil forces with vested interests push extremism to divide and to cause communal unrest in order to fulfil their selfish ambitions." But because interfaith conversation establishes interreligious contacts and gives individuals of different religions a forum to share their beliefs, dispel misconceptions, and advance interreligious understanding, it prevents conflicts between religious groups".
Sufism, according to the grand mufti of Dar Al-Salam, Tanzania, Shekh Al-Alhad Moosa Salim, is the sole path to future peace, communal harmony, and brotherhood.
"The divisive forces of today are attempting to sow discord among the communities, but we must band together in order to create a global village and disseminate a message of harmony, peace, and love," he said.
In his speech, the Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, MUFTI Nasir-ul-Islam, thanked all the dignitaries from around the world for coming to Kashmir for the conference and praised Voice for Peace and Justice's efforts and said the organization must continue organising such kind of conferences to foster intercultural understanding and respect for the religious beliefs of all the communities.
He further said, "My heart aches for every single target killing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir."He appealed for Kashmiri Pandits to return to Kashmir in order to restore the prosperous era of inter-communal harmony.
The head of the Karwani-Islami International, Maulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, stated that India has been the home of mystics of all faiths, including the Rishis, Sufis, and Saints of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
He said in actuality, unity in variety is the fundamental tenet of Indian culture and spirituality.
He requested people to practise patience, temperance, and fraternity and love among themselves as well as to develop mutual understanding.
In his address, the event's chief guest, Turkish Sufi Master Sheikh Esraf Efendi, commended the Voice for Peace and Justice Organization for hosting such an international conference in Kashmir, the Sufi homeland. He claimed that India is a multilingual, multicultural, and multireligious melting pot where various faiths, languages, and languages all coexist. India creates a land that accepts and integrates all. In order to avoid fanaticism, which causes confusion, he continued, interfaith interaction is important.
He encouraged people of many religious backgrounds to collaborate in order to advance peace, communal harmony, and fraternity and thereby make the world a better place to live.
Among the experts and dignitaries who took part in the event were Abdul Shaqir Bermpohl from France, Ibrahim Schultze from Germany, Syed Tayabul Bashar from Bangladesh, Abdul Azeez Mohammed Nazardeen from Srilanka, Mufti Mohammad Usman Grand Mufti Napel, Saudullah Ali from Maldives, Shekh Al-Had Moosa Salim Grand Mufti of Tanzania, Ahmad Cline from Switzerland, Ghulam Rasool from Delhi, Dr Tawseef Ahmad,Director Sayed Hassan Mantaqi research academy, Prof Manzoor Ahmad Tantary , Prof Fayaz Ahmad Nika , Shia Leader Syed Nazeer Hussain , Mohammad Sadiq from UT of Ladakh, Mohammad Jabreel from Bihar, Shia Leader Hujatul Islam Aga Syed Abid Hussain , Prof Shahid Rasool, Prof Bashir Ahmad , Satinder Singh Secretary Gurdwara Parbandhaq Committee, Satish Mahaldar President Jammu and Kashmir Peace Forum, Prof Mohammad Afzal from Uttar Pradesh, Syed Qameriudin from Ajmer Sharef Rajistan, Rouf-ul-Rasool Naqashibandi from Nazimudin Delhi, Ajaz Kawoosi, General Secretary of Voice for Peace and Justice, Zeeshan Farooq Dar, President Utthaan Mission Trust, Samiyaz Sofi, Ghulam Nabi Dar, Sheikh Javid Naqishbandi Parton All India Tanzeem-ul-Ama-e- Islam Delhi and Prof Mushtaq Ahmad Dar. (ANI)