By Varsha Sharma & Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi for TimesHeadline.com
We felt fortunate enough to have been in the blissful company of an inspiring Sufi master from Malaysia, Shaikh Ismail bin Qasim and his mystically inclined team—a band of young brothers and sisters deeply imbued in humanitarian values.
During the journey, the Shaikh taught us the true and deepest essence of Sufism, encapsulated in these words: “Sufism is the heart of humanity”.
This broader notion is the bedrock of Tawheed (oneness of lord) upon which all mystical Islamic principles are based. This is the most important of the five pillars of Islam and the easiest way to build close personal relationship with God in order to attain eternal salvation. And, ultimately, this is the essence of Islam.
Shaikh Dr Ismail bin Qasim said that Muslim should believe in the Almighty as a friend who is, at the same time, the supreme lord. Islam actually means “peaceful submission” to the Almighty’s commands in every form of worship, not only in the ritual prayers. In short, we must strongly believe in our actions and words that everything that exist in this universe submits to His will. He is the one, he is the unique, and he is the Self-sustainer. He has been Omnipresent since time immemorial, and will be so forever.
During the visit, we felt divine power of such pious souls who spread their message of peace and love by preaching the true version of Islam and reciting the spiritual songs like naat shareef and qawalli. Shaikh also delivered speeches there on the essence of Shahada. Many people gathered there and some were weeping by listening to Shaikh’s heartening and moving sermons and his mystical teachings on the Shahada.
After listing to Shaikh’s spiritual discourse that touched one and sundry beyond the distinctions of faith and creed, one of my Hindu friends came to me and said: “my faith has found a resting peace”.
Above all this blissful learning experience, we visited prominent shrines of Jammu & Kashmir like the Dargah of Ghulam Shah Badshah in Rajauri. Remarkably, attributed to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah is a University that has come into existence by an Act of the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly known as the Jammu & Kashmir Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University.
The motto of the university is “Iqra bismi Rabbik alladi Khalaq” which means, “Read in the name of God who has created all that exists”. It reflects the vision and idealism for which the university stands. The objective identified for the university in the Act is to impart quality education and undertake research in basic and job oriented fields.
When back in Delhi, we visited Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya with the entire team of spiritual friends from Malaysia. We sought blessings of the Almighty at the Dargah of Mahbub-e-ilahi who is counted as one of the most renowned Sufi saints in India. So, this has been an inherent spiritual experience throughout the journey. We hope the narration of this experience inspires readers of timesheadline.com beyond their religious and social limitations.
In the course of the various conversations, we had the conviction to say that the noble cause of Rehmatul lil Aalameen (Blessings to All mankind) will spread with great momentum in India too, as in Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and other parts of the peace-loving Sufi practitioners. Promoting better understanding and cultivating stronger bonds amongst people of various faith traditions, Rehmatul lil Aalameen seeks to strengthen inter-faith understanding not only in its birthplace—Malaysia—but also in various parts of the world through its humanitarian works.
The Rahmatan Lil Alamin was set up the Malaysian people to radiate compassion and blessings to poor, needy and victims of disasters regardless of the faith, race or creed. It aims to promote and support worldwide activities that project the spirit of humanity. It supports capacity building of community leaders, youth leaders and volunteers through skills upgrading and training.
The J&K people along with the Chief Minister wished that the spiritual delegation from Malaysia carried forward the true message of Islam, which is peace, and called for promotion of such interactions that bring to the fore the values and virtues of Islam to help restore peace in our hearts, he said, adding that the meeting ended with a prayer for peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir.
(This write-up is based on an informal interview with Varsha Sharma & Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, who recently visited the J&K along with the Rehmatul lil Aalameen volunteers from Malaysia)