Sufism Verses Extremism in Sindh

In the history of sub-continent, the Sindh province has always remained the center of educational excellence, scholarship, reach civilization and ancient cultural heritage. During my affiliation with different organisations, I have been to almost all parts of Pakistan but I have never ever seen this much religious tolerance as i have observed in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Wherever i went to field visits and socialize a bit with local communities in different parts of Pakistan, they used to ask one question first after asking my name; that is whether i am a Sunni, Shia or non-Muslim. But Sindh is the sole place where people are more interested in cast and creed than my religious affiliation. As such, their second questions happen to be about my cast and creed not about my sect. I still remember that only one time someone asked about my religious affiliation in Kandhkot Northern Sindh.

I have observed that the reason behind all this religious tolerance in Sindh is just because of two main reasons: The first reason is relatively absense of religious seminaries and the second reason is the great influence and teaching of Sufi Saint like Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, Abdullah Shah Ghazi and others saints and mystic personalities who have been preaching for humanitarian principle, pluralistic values and unity in diversity throughout Sindh.
With Madam Abida Perveen-one of the Sufi Singer of Sind
Dated 30 Dec, 2011
On 30th Dec, 2011, after meeting with one of a famous sufi singer of Sindh Madam Abida Parveen in Sewan Sharif Sindh, when I visited the shrine of Jhulay Lal, a famous Sufi saint, whom both Hindus and Muslims revere equally, I was stunned to see a Hindu temple and a Muslim shrine-like building built on the same premises.

How was it possible that people hailing from two diametrically opposite creeds came and prayed in the same building? And, no communal feud ensued?

But that is Sindh; a timeless land with a history of religious tolerance, nurtured by the poetry and teachings of its Sufi saints and mystics. In today's Pakistan where religious extremist and terrorist are on the rampage, the beautiful instances of peaceful coexistence can only be seen in areas of Sindh where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows in respect of each others beliefs and traditions.

But during recent years some cases of force conversionreligious intolerance along with suicide bombings on religious centers and places of worship have been reported especially from Rural Sindh. This phenomenon has gradually started to ravage this unique fabric of Indus civilizations, Sindhi society and its unique culture which is considered to be one of the richest and most distinctive across the world.

Therefore, it is high time for all the concern residents and citizens of Sindh to take good care of it and play our due role to protect ancient tradition and unique civilization of Indus valley's which is all about peaceful coexistence, respect for humanitarian principle, pluralistic values and unity in diversity. Religious extremism anywhere in Sindh is threat to Sufism everywhere in Pakistan as religious extremism and Sufism are mutually exclusive. Therefore, it is suggested to keep an eye on the hatemongers, religious extremist and non-state actors who are slowly penetrating in every nook and corner of Sindh to poison our society with their anti-social and hate mongering tactics and hate preaches. It is equally important to understand the power of unity among different cast and creeds of Sindh. It has been observed that feudal lords, chieftains and vested interest groups have divided innocent people of Sindh on the basis of cast and creeds besides destroying educational institutions of your children to rule over them during the years ahead as well. Therefore, it is high time to protect the bright legacy of Sindh by protecting and restoring your cultural heritage & traditions besides shunning your cast and creed related petty differences to protect the very future of your children and their children in the years to come. 

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