Monday, July 20, 2009

A Way Forwards

By Sarah Touahri, *Sufis hold global meeting in Marrakech* - Magharebia - USA
Monday, July 13, 2009

The Sidi Chiker World Meetings brought Sufis from 50 countries together in Marrakech on July 10th-12th. Participants discussed the creation of an international Sufi organisation.

One thousand followers of Sufism from 50 countries travelled to Marrakech on July 10th, as part of an event intended to forge links between Sufism in Morocco and its various branches around the world. The Sidi Chiker World Meetings, organised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Habous, ran through Sunday (July 12th).

"We are seeking to draw inspiration from the spiritual values of Sufism and come up with innovative approaches to educating Muslims about various aspects of their lives, in order to foster their religious and spiritual development", said the ministry in a statement.

Participants hailed the Moroccan initiative, which promotes Sufism in what some see as an era of disagreements and misunderstandings. Many Sufis believe their teachings can provide a remedy for problems currently faced by states, such as terrorism and extremism.

Ibrahim Saleh, who comes from Niger, said that Sufism calls on Muslims to rally together and to steer clear of disputes and conflicts. "A meeting like this, which brings together Sufis from all walks of life, makes it possible for us to share points of view so that we can achieve the goals of Sufism," he said.

Nahila Kivana from Pakistan said that it is necessary to project an image of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace at a time when extremism is on the rise.

Hussein Sherif from Jordan said that it is time to revive Sufism so that it can play its role as an ethical path to personal and collective development within Islam.

During the event, it was proposed that a world body representing followers of Sufism be created.
"It would serve as a flexible framework to promote understanding, work, contact, and exchange regarding the activities of brotherhoods around the world," said Moroccan Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq.

He added that the body could begin its work by implementing essential projects such as a comprehensive overhaul of Sufi institutions and the creation of a website to meet their needs.
Morocco offered to host the new institution, as Sufism plays an integral part in its national identity, Toufiq said.

King Mohammed VI wrote an open letter to the participants, saying that Sufism in Morocco shows a balanced view of Islam, advocating love and fraternity.

"In addition to their ability to identify the roots of the problem and propose solutions," the king wrote, "the great perspicacity of the Sufis has helped them to identify a way forwards whenever the interests of our community have been at stake".

Mohamed Jabbour, a professor of Islamic affairs, said that Morocco has a long history with Sufism. "It's both a religious and a political choice at the same time. For centuries, the kings of Morocco have maintained a strong link between the Commandery of the Faithful and Sufi brotherhoods in order to preserve the Sunni faith as well as religious doctrine. Gifts are regularly given to mausoleums to sustain the tradition," he commented.

He also said that it is no accident that international meetings are held in Sidi Chiker, since the site has been a meeting-place for ulemas ever since Islam arrived in Morocco in the seventh century and has been a centre for religious guidance.

International meetings for followers of Sufism have been held every two years in Sidi Chiker since 2004.

2 comments:

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Richard said...

Thank you for bringing so many things together here.

Richard E. Hennessey

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Way Forwards
By Sarah Touahri, *Sufis hold global meeting in Marrakech* - Magharebia - USA
Monday, July 13, 2009

The Sidi Chiker World Meetings brought Sufis from 50 countries together in Marrakech on July 10th-12th. Participants discussed the creation of an international Sufi organisation.

One thousand followers of Sufism from 50 countries travelled to Marrakech on July 10th, as part of an event intended to forge links between Sufism in Morocco and its various branches around the world. The Sidi Chiker World Meetings, organised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Habous, ran through Sunday (July 12th).

"We are seeking to draw inspiration from the spiritual values of Sufism and come up with innovative approaches to educating Muslims about various aspects of their lives, in order to foster their religious and spiritual development", said the ministry in a statement.

Participants hailed the Moroccan initiative, which promotes Sufism in what some see as an era of disagreements and misunderstandings. Many Sufis believe their teachings can provide a remedy for problems currently faced by states, such as terrorism and extremism.

Ibrahim Saleh, who comes from Niger, said that Sufism calls on Muslims to rally together and to steer clear of disputes and conflicts. "A meeting like this, which brings together Sufis from all walks of life, makes it possible for us to share points of view so that we can achieve the goals of Sufism," he said.

Nahila Kivana from Pakistan said that it is necessary to project an image of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace at a time when extremism is on the rise.

Hussein Sherif from Jordan said that it is time to revive Sufism so that it can play its role as an ethical path to personal and collective development within Islam.

During the event, it was proposed that a world body representing followers of Sufism be created.
"It would serve as a flexible framework to promote understanding, work, contact, and exchange regarding the activities of brotherhoods around the world," said Moroccan Minister of Islamic Affairs Ahmed Toufiq.

He added that the body could begin its work by implementing essential projects such as a comprehensive overhaul of Sufi institutions and the creation of a website to meet their needs.
Morocco offered to host the new institution, as Sufism plays an integral part in its national identity, Toufiq said.

King Mohammed VI wrote an open letter to the participants, saying that Sufism in Morocco shows a balanced view of Islam, advocating love and fraternity.

"In addition to their ability to identify the roots of the problem and propose solutions," the king wrote, "the great perspicacity of the Sufis has helped them to identify a way forwards whenever the interests of our community have been at stake".

Mohamed Jabbour, a professor of Islamic affairs, said that Morocco has a long history with Sufism. "It's both a religious and a political choice at the same time. For centuries, the kings of Morocco have maintained a strong link between the Commandery of the Faithful and Sufi brotherhoods in order to preserve the Sunni faith as well as religious doctrine. Gifts are regularly given to mausoleums to sustain the tradition," he commented.

He also said that it is no accident that international meetings are held in Sidi Chiker, since the site has been a meeting-place for ulemas ever since Islam arrived in Morocco in the seventh century and has been a centre for religious guidance.

International meetings for followers of Sufism have been held every two years in Sidi Chiker since 2004.

2 comments:

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Richard said...

Thank you for bringing so many things together here.

Richard E. Hennessey