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International Interfaith Conference on Mysticism: East and West A Search for Meaningful Religious Experience Hyderabad January 2012 KEYNOTE Dr Syed Zafar.

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Presentation on theme: "International Interfaith Conference on Mysticism: East and West A Search for Meaningful Religious Experience Hyderabad January 2012 KEYNOTE Dr Syed Zafar."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Interfaith Conference on Mysticism: East and West A Search for Meaningful Religious Experience Hyderabad January 2012 KEYNOTE Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood President Interfaith Coalition for Peace

2 Mysticism Initiation" to spiritual truths and experiences in pursuit of Communion with or Consciousness Awareness of the Ultimate Reality, Divinity, Spiritual Truth or God through direct experience, intuition, instinct or insight. Usually centers on practices intended to nurture those experiences.

3 Explores the Awakening, Purification and Illumination of the Self; Discusses voices and visions; and Delves into Manifestations from Ecstasy and Rapture to the Dark Night of the Soul. Evelyn Underhill British Author

4 The Holy Spirit resides in each of us, good and evil alike

5 I HAVE BREATHED IN HIM (THE HUMAN BEING) MY SPIRIT Wa nafkhal feehi mir-roohee ! 32.8

6 The manifestations of Khudi spell Prophethood The solitudes of Khudi spell Godhood Khudi = Selfhood

7 Devotion Contemplation Yoga Namaz (Daily Meraj)

8 Budhism Attainment of Nirvana, connection to ultimate reality

9 Christianity Spiritual Enlightenment Spiritual Vision Love of God, Union with God (Theosis)

10 Hinduism Liberation from cycles of Karma, Experience of ultimate reality (Samadhi), Innate Knowledge (Sahaja and Svabhav)

11 Islam Imbibing Gods qualities in self

12 Jainism Liberation from cycles of Karma

13 Judaism Abnegation of the ego (Ein Sof)

14 Sikhism Liberation from cycles of Karma

15 Arthur Schopenhauer 18 th C German Philosopher We see all religions at their highest point end in mysticism and mysteries, that is to say, in darkness and veiled obscurity. These really indicate merely a blank spot for knowledge, The point where all knowledge necessarily ceases. Hence for thought this can be expressed only by negations, but for sense-perception it is indicated by symbolical signs, in temples by dim light and silence, In Brahmanism even by the required suspension of all thought and perception for the purpose of entering into the deepest communion with one's own self, by mentally uttering the mysterious Om.

16 Mystic Experience A (purportedly) super sense- perceptual or sub sense-perceptual experience granting acquaintance of realities or states of affairs that are of a kind not accessible by way of sense perception, somatosensory modalities, or standard introspection.

17 Attributes Ineffability Paradoxicality Perennialism

18 Sufism Inner mystic dimension

19 A science through which one can know how to travel into the Presence of the Divine, purify one's inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits. A science whose objective is the preparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God

20 Reaction against excessive worldliness Spanned several continents and cultures over a millennium

21 Modern Sufis often perform Zikr after the conclusion of prayers

22 Safā means "purity Another origin Sūf means wool, referring to the simple cloaks the early ascetics wore

23 Ahl a-uffah (People of the bench) who were a group of impoverished companions of Prophet Muhammad who held regular gatherings of zikr Greek word sofia meaning wisdom

24 To enter the way of Sufism, the seeker begins by finding a teacher, as the connection to the teacher is considered necessary for the growth of the pupil. The teacher, to be genuine, must have received the authorization to teach from another Master of the Way, in an unbroken succession (silsilah) leading back to Sufism's origin with Muhammad

25 Transmission of the divine light from the teacher's heart to the heart of the student Bahauddin Naqshband Bukhari who gave his name to the Naqshbandi Order, served his first teacher for 20 years. The extreme arduousness of his spiritual preparation is illustrated by his service, as directed by his teacher, to the weak and needy members of his community in a state of complete humility and tolerance for many years.

26 The Meylevi Order instructed its pupils to serve in the kitchens of a hospice for the poor for 1,001 days prior to being accepted for spiritual teaching

27 Rabia Basri was a Sufi known for her love and passion for God, expressed through her poetry. Bayazid Bastami was among the first theorists of Sufism

28 Devotional styles and traditions reflect the perspectives of different masters and the accumulated cultural wisdom of the orders. All of these concerned themselves with the understanding of Subtle Knowledge (gnosis), Education of the heart to purify it of baser instincts, Love of God, and approaching God through a well-described hierarchy of enduring spiritual stations (maqâmât) and more transient spiritual states (ahwâl).

29 Manuals English translation Kashf al-Mahjûb of Hajveri and Risâla of Qushayri

30 Al-Ghazalis Treatises Revival of Religious Sciences and Alchemy of Happiness

31 Between the 13th and 16th c. A lodge known as a KHANQAH would be endowed through a pious foundation in perpetuity to provide a gathering place for Sufi adepts, as well as lodging for itinerant seekers of knowledge. The same system of endowments could also be used to pay for a complex of buildings, such as that surrounding the Süleymaniya Mosque in Istanbul, including a lodge for Sufi seekers, a hospice with kitchens where these seekers could serve the poor and/or complete a period of initiation, a library, and other structures

32 Current Sufi orders include Ba 'AlawiyyaBa 'Alawiyya, Chishti, Naqshbandi, Nimatullahi, Oveyssi, Qadiria Boutshishia, Qadiriyyah, Qalandariyya, Sarwari Qadiri, Shadhliyya and Suhrawardiyya.Chishti NaqshbandiNimatullahi QadiriyyahQalandariyya Sarwari QadiriShadhliyya Suhrawardiyya

33 Sufism is also popular in African countries such as Morocco and Senegal Algerian Sufi master Emir Abd al-QadirAbd al-Qadir Amadou BambaAmadou Bamba and Hajj Umar Tall in sub- Saharan Africa Sheikh Mansur Ushurma and Imam Shamil in the Caucasus regionUmar TallSheikh Mansur Imam Shamil

34 René Guénon, the French scholar, became a sufi in the early twentieth century

35 Doctrine of "subtle centers" or centers of subtle cognition (known as Lataif-e-Sitta) Addresses the matter of the awakening of spiritual intuition in ways that some consider similar to certain models of chakra in Hinduism. In general, these subtle centers or latâ'if are thought of as faculties that are to be purified sequentially in order to bring the seeker's wayfaring to completion.

36 Jafar al-Sadiq (both an imam in the Shia tradition and a respected scholar and link in chains of Sufi transmission) Held that human beings are dominated by a lower self called the nafs, a spiritual intuition called the qalb or spiritual heart, and a spirit or soul called rooh. These interact in various ways, producing spiritual types of the tyrant (dominated by nafs), person of faith and moderation (dominated by the spiritual heart), and the person lost in love for God (dominated by the ruh).

37 Robert Frager A Sufi Teacher Trained psychologist, born in the United States, wrote extensively on Sufism and psychology

38 A Sufi gathering engaged in Zikr

39 Some Sufis draw inspiration from this Tradition of the Prophet Says God: When I love My servant, I am his hearing through which he hears, his sight through which he sees, his hand through which he grasps, and his foot through which he walks.

40 The seeker must also, turn away from sins, love of this world, the love of company and renown, obedience to satanic impulse, and the promptings of the lower self. The seeker must also be trained to prevent the corruption of those good deeds which have accrued to his or her credit by overcoming the traps of ostentation, pride, arrogance, envy, and long hopes (meaning the hope for a long life allowing us to mend our ways later, rather than immediately, here and now).

41 Largely seen as Symbol of Tolerance and Humanism Non-dogmatic and Flexible

42 Golden Chain of Naqshbandi Order

43 Tomb of Baba Ghulam Farid Mithan Kot

44 Grave of Ma Yuanzhang Sufi Grand Master in China

45 Wali Tomb Sudan

46 Rumi Museum Turkey

47 Rumi (1207-1273) brought about a paradigm shift in the Mystic Focus

48 The poetry of Rumi, the Immortal Reed Player of Konia has been compiled, translated, interpreted, appreciated and propagated by E. G. Browne R. A. Nicholson and A. J. Arberry

49 Ascension (Meraj) During the conversation between God and the Prophet The Prophet sought Gods Blessings for not only himself but for all those who are pious (who do good deeds)

50 Rumis new mystic dimension Mans obligatory perseverance to help out the needy and consider this service as divine intoxication In Christianity this dimension is known as Praxis

51 Rumis mystic creativity was echoed and propagated by Dr Sir Mohammad Iqbal Poet Philosopher of India in early 20 th c.

52 They piloted a wholesome fusion of the physical with the metaphysical

53 Love, Warmth and Music juxtapose with the Heavenly & the Divine

54 When man considers himself to be clay, Gods light dies in his heart. When Moses casts off his Self His hand becomes black and his rod a piece of rope

55 Come out of the monasteries and, while still gripped with the love of God, Proactively persevere to help out those in need, just like Imam Husain did in Karbala. Confining yourself to the monasteries you will be engaged in lamentation of the past with a heavy heart Giving you momentary personal satisfaction..

56 سنے کوئي مري غربت کي داستاں مجھ سے بھلايا قصہ پيمان اوليں ميں نے لگي نہ ميري طبيعت رياض جنت ميں پيا شعور کا جب جام آتشيں ميں نے رہي حقيقت عالم کي جستجو مجھ کو دکھايا اوج خيال فلک نشيں ميں نے ملا مزاج تغير پسند کچھ ايسا کيا قرار نہ زير فلک کہيں ميں نے

57 نکالا کعبے سے پتھر کي مورتوں کو کبھي کبھي بتوں کو بنايا حرم نشيں ميں نے کبھي ميں ذوق تکلم ميں طور پر پہنچا چھپايا نور ازل زير آستيں ميں نے کبھي صليب پہ اپنوں نے مجھ کو لٹکايا کيا فلک کو سفر، چھوڑ کر زميں ميں نے کبھي ميں غار حرا ميں چھپا رہا برسوں ديا جہاں کو کبھي جام آخريں ميں نے

58 پسند کي کبھي يوناں کي سر زميں ميں نے ديار ہند نے جس دم مري صدا نہ سني بسايا خطہء جاپان و ملک چيں ميں نے بنايا ذروں کي ترکيب سے کبھي عالم خلاف معني تعليم اہل ديں ميں نے لہو سے لال کيا سينکڑوں زمينوں کو جہاں ميں چھيڑ کے پيکار عقل و ديں ميں نے سمجھ ميں آئي حقيقت نہ جب ستاروں کي اسي خيال ميں راتيں گزار ديں ميں نے سنايا ہند ميں آ کر سرود رباني

59 ڈرا سکيں نہ کليسا کي مجھ کو تلواريں سکھايا مسئلہ گردش زميں ميں نے کشش کا راز ہويدا کيا زمانے پر لگا کے آئنہ عقل دور بيں ميں نے کيا اسير شعاعوں کو ، برق مضطر کو بنادي غيرت جنت يہ سر زميں ميں نے مگر خبر نہ ملي آہ ! راز ہستي کي کيا خرد سے جہاں کو تہ نگيں ميں نے ہوئي جو چشم مظاہر پرست وا آخر تو پايا خانہء دل ميں اسے مکيں ميں نے

60 O you, listen to my travelogue of painstaking perseverence; I had conveniently forgotten about my original promise. I was no longer enamoured of the garden of paradise, thus I preferred to tread into worldly difficulties. I considered the idea of sitting in the skies as futile and I did my best to understand the reality of the world. Though I've been working on various options, yet I could hardly get full satisfaction anywhere under the sky. Dr Sir Mohammad Iqbals Sarguzasht-e-Aadam Adam's Trevologue

61 Sometimes I expelled the stone idols from the Kabah, though at an earlier moment I had installed these inside the sanctuary. Fired by an urge to talk to God, I once climbed mount Toor, and I also took out the light of spirituality from under my arm. Once I was crucified on the cross by my own kith & kin; then I had to travel from earth to the sky. There was a time when I used to contemplate in The cave of Hira; consequently I presented to the world the ultimate solution. I came to India and sang the Godly sarod; At another occasion I opted for the land of Greece.

62 When the Indian ambiance didn't appropriately respond to my call, I made myself comfortable in the region of China & Japan. I took a turn and switched over from puritanist extreme to interpreting the universe through configuration of particles. Once I committed the blunder of unleashing the controversial debate between religion and science; it spilled blood bath over hundreds of lands. When I couldn't follow the secret of the stars, I used to remain perplexed in the solitude of night. Swords of the church could not discourage me from teaching the world that earth revolves round the sun and not the vice versa.

63 I telescoped the canvas of my wisdom and exposed the secret of earth's gravitational force. I captured the atmospheric waves and dovetailed them with the phenomenon of lightening; thus, I initiated a concept of parallelism between paradise and earth.

64 Nonetheless, alas ! I could not untangle the secret of life. Then I began taking a macro view of the universe.

65 Ultimately, my inner soul won over my delusion; and I found all the answers to my quest right there in the interior of my heart.

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