Love, respect and religious harmony are the essence of sufism which is the key to dealing with social and political intolerance in the country, Atlas Management CEO Habibur Rehman said on Sunday. He was speaking at the closing ceremony of two-day Lahore Sufi Festival.
Lahore Arts Council Executive Director Atta Muhammad said Lahore was not only a city of festivities but also a hub for sufism. He said the festival aimed at disseminating the message of sufism to younger generations.
“It is the message of sufis like Shah Hussain, Madhu Lal, Baba Shah Inayat, Bulleh Shah and Wasif Ali Wasif,” he said. Writer Haseena Moin, too, called for promoting sufis to curtail all forms of violence. Poet Ajmad Islam Amjad said the festival had helped refresh spiritualism. “There is a misconception that sufis preach tolerance to the level of selflessness requiring one to give up one’s self respect and worldly pleasures. That is not true,” Amjad said.
“Sufism is more about shedding one’s ego, valuing humanity and being of service to the creation of God… acts of seclusion and adopting isolation are condemned in sufism.”
A musical performance at the concluding day was cancelled in wake of a bomb blast at Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2016.