Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Is it Taqwa or Loneliness?

By Abdul Manan - Daily Times - Lahore, Pakistan

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shrines, as opposed to popular belief, still seem to be greatly visited by Lahoris, as indicated by the Auqaf Department officials that more than three million people visit shrines every month.

Many moderate-religious scholars and psychiatrists of Lahore seem to think that the activity is aimed to escape from reality.

Devotees, on the other hand, declared it a means to purify, achieve mental satisfaction that arrives from the feeling of fulfilling religious duties and a platform to thank God.

There are 53 shrines and tombs of Sufi Saints in Lahore that fall under the Auqaf Department. The most visited shrine was of Syed Abul Hassan Ali (Data Gunj Baksh) with an average of 1.5 million people every month, said Dr Tahir Raza, director of religious affairs at the Auqaf Department. Other popularly visited shrines are of Baba Shah Jamal, Mian Mir, Bibian Pakdaman, Madhu Lal, Pir Makki, Shahabuddin Punj Pir, Shah Chiragh, Shah Inayat Qadri, Phiro Shaheed, Bagh Ali Shah, Pir Bhola, Syed Musa, Shah Gada, Miran Badsha, Pir Hassan Shah Wali, Abdullah Shah Bukhari, Syed Mahmood Shah and Ghore Shah Saeen.

Islamic scholar and member of Council of Islamic Ideology and executive director of Al Maward Institute in Lahore Allama Javaid Ahmad Ghamidi said the material-oriented lifestyle of the West had penetrated even in the bedrooms of the East because of the media.

He said as a result, people wanted an escape from their superficial lives to explore their spiritual selves; therefore, they sought refuge in mysticism.

He said, “Sufi Saints aimed to spread the message of love, peace, building of interfaith harmony and brotherhood, and to end hatred to enhance humanity, therefore, we should follow the examples set by them.”

Dr Saad Malik, head of the Psychiatry Department of Allama Iqbal Medical University and the Jinnah Hospital, contradicted the spiritual reasoning behind visiting shrines.

He said that back in the day, families were more closely knit. He said if an issue was encountered, the entire clan would sit together to resolve it, hence each family member had the support of the rest of the family.

He said nowadays, the tables had turned with a greater degree of individuality and independence of each family member. He said the change was not a negative one, but on the flip side, people had become more insecure, as every man was for himself. He added that it was the insecurity and the feeling of loneliness that drove people to shrines.

He said it was a psychological issue rather than a spiritual one.

1 comment:

cyclewala said...

It is nice to see Mr. Ghamidi say something positive about Sufism. His website still says that "Sufism has nothing to do with Islam."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Is it Taqwa or Loneliness?
By Abdul Manan - Daily Times - Lahore, Pakistan

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Shrines, as opposed to popular belief, still seem to be greatly visited by Lahoris, as indicated by the Auqaf Department officials that more than three million people visit shrines every month.

Many moderate-religious scholars and psychiatrists of Lahore seem to think that the activity is aimed to escape from reality.

Devotees, on the other hand, declared it a means to purify, achieve mental satisfaction that arrives from the feeling of fulfilling religious duties and a platform to thank God.

There are 53 shrines and tombs of Sufi Saints in Lahore that fall under the Auqaf Department. The most visited shrine was of Syed Abul Hassan Ali (Data Gunj Baksh) with an average of 1.5 million people every month, said Dr Tahir Raza, director of religious affairs at the Auqaf Department. Other popularly visited shrines are of Baba Shah Jamal, Mian Mir, Bibian Pakdaman, Madhu Lal, Pir Makki, Shahabuddin Punj Pir, Shah Chiragh, Shah Inayat Qadri, Phiro Shaheed, Bagh Ali Shah, Pir Bhola, Syed Musa, Shah Gada, Miran Badsha, Pir Hassan Shah Wali, Abdullah Shah Bukhari, Syed Mahmood Shah and Ghore Shah Saeen.

Islamic scholar and member of Council of Islamic Ideology and executive director of Al Maward Institute in Lahore Allama Javaid Ahmad Ghamidi said the material-oriented lifestyle of the West had penetrated even in the bedrooms of the East because of the media.

He said as a result, people wanted an escape from their superficial lives to explore their spiritual selves; therefore, they sought refuge in mysticism.

He said, “Sufi Saints aimed to spread the message of love, peace, building of interfaith harmony and brotherhood, and to end hatred to enhance humanity, therefore, we should follow the examples set by them.”

Dr Saad Malik, head of the Psychiatry Department of Allama Iqbal Medical University and the Jinnah Hospital, contradicted the spiritual reasoning behind visiting shrines.

He said that back in the day, families were more closely knit. He said if an issue was encountered, the entire clan would sit together to resolve it, hence each family member had the support of the rest of the family.

He said nowadays, the tables had turned with a greater degree of individuality and independence of each family member. He said the change was not a negative one, but on the flip side, people had become more insecure, as every man was for himself. He added that it was the insecurity and the feeling of loneliness that drove people to shrines.

He said it was a psychological issue rather than a spiritual one.

1 comment:

cyclewala said...

It is nice to see Mr. Ghamidi say something positive about Sufism. His website still says that "Sufism has nothing to do with Islam."