Uphold Islamic Tradition Of Peace In Kashmir: Clerics24 April 2011
Srinagar: An international conference of Islamic scholars here Sunday laid emphasis on the need for unity, cohesion and preservation of the Sufi traditions among the local Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir. First of its kind in Kashmir after separatist violence started here in 1990s, the conference was organised by a local group called ‘Karwaan-e-Islami’ which supports the propagation of peace, tolerance and Sufism among the local Muslims. More than 10,000 local Muslims attended the conference. Karwaan-e-Islami’s Amir (chief) Maulana Haami said that with the full support of people from all shades of life, their ‘tehreek’ (movement) is progressing to achieve the objectives of universal brotherhood, peace and unity among people of all faiths by spreading the teachings of the Prophet of Islam. Tajikistan’s ambassador in India Syed Ahmad Beigh Sayeedi, who also attended the conference, said: ‘Such conferences prove helpful in spreading the message of ‘Aulia Kirams’ (scholars, saints and Sufis) in the real sense.’ He said Tajikistan is organizing a conference on Islamic scholar and cleric Mir Syed Ali Hamdani – credited with having brought Islam to Kashmir in the 14th century – and said that the shrines of Hamdani and others at Khatlan province of Tajikistan have been renovated and maintained in a befitting manner in his country. He invited the people to visit these shrines. Other Islamic scholars who also spoke at the conference included Al-Sheikh Shah Al Hamid Shafaee (Cairo) and Maulana Abdul Gafoor Ibrahimi (Saudi Arabia). Many local clerics at the conference laid stress on the history and the great traditions of Islam in Kashmir whose tolerant, Sufi approach to purity and penance had allowed a wonderful symbiosis between followers of different faiths here. The speakers voiced concern at the government’s inaction towards the establishment of the Sheikh-ul-Alam University here whose creation had already been announced by the authorities. Sheikh-ul-Alam, the 15th century patron saint of Kashmir, was fondly called ‘Nund Rishi (sage)’ by both local Muslims and Hindus. It is due to thos reverence for the saints and Sufis that the Valley has historically been known as the ‘Rish vaar’ (Abode of sages and Sufis).