By Zulfiqar Shah
01 December, 2016
Contemporary civilization: Bridging theology with theosophy, sufism and secularism - Just think that God himself, the prophets and religious masters are addressing the communication and urban revolutionised world with Metropolitans, primary, secondary and tertiary cities, towns, and the globally connected countryside. How exactly would they be finding in a Metropolitan deviling boy and country side girl using communication revolution and enjoying the connectivity with the worldmates and globemates.
Contemporary civilisation of us is destined to end with the unity amongst us all with no doubt some differences that include development, polity, statehood, economy and culture. The connectivity of spiritual manifestations with the physical, material and humanly one, express itself into all forms of a social world outwardly and a inter being inwardly. This is called Zuhud (religious practices for spiritual elevations) in theology, Juhud (social or individual struggle with reference to religions or ideology) and social actions.
In theosophy, this is a simplistic action and approach which create a wave of integration between one social and spiritual expression as well act; however a sufi adds a musical rhythm between inner with the outer that gives him an attached-detachment with society.
No doubt, a point comes where a sufi jumps towards climax of spirituality where Juhud and Zuhudtransforms Wujid (climax for spiritual influence by the existence, the truth or the being) with the his oneness with God, the Absolute Being; this comes however in a trans based on a process with the sufi practices in almost all kinds across the continents especially Sindh, and South Asian, Middle Eastern, Western and the rest in Africa and Asia. Exceptions however exist everywhere in all spheres of human existence.
Zuhud, Juhud and Wujud are Middle Easters terms, which have their accurate terminologies in Sindh and Balochistan, South Asian, Western, Chines-Korean, African, Latin Americans and Eurasians, have new transformations in the contemporary world that include the religious influences in the post-structural as well as reformist, if any; and the influences by our contemporary civilization which primarily is based, led and rewritten by the urbanization.
Urbanisation today is not limited to the large and largest cities; the barriers of populousness, metropolitenhood, and multi-culturalism are crossing the limits of structural urbanization, and have entered into rural society through the communication revelation. This revolution is called contemporary civilization, and has transformed our world like a classical Raga is infusion and can easily be called rock fusion.
Liberation of mind, for example, has always remained the fundamental of every religion, theosophical movement and sufi paths. It has expressions according to the space, since liberation of mind is usually an act to alleviate beyond the Time. Therefore, faithful, theosophists, and sufis artificially detach from the immediate space which is called Tiag in Sindhi and almost in some other parts of South Asia. This is an attempt of meditative saturation, which basically equates the Time in the space, and the time inside.
Which, if philosophical term, a state of being where subjectivity attaches and equates with objectivity -- thus it’s becomes a phenomenon beyond the old discussions between subjective idealism and objective subjectivism. It is state of existence, where subjectivity and objectivity detaches from the consciousness of space and creates harmony between Time within oneself and beyond. At very this point, theoretical philosophies, becomes manifested into the practical outlook in a single entity, when a human becomes in control of the relations between Time Beyond and Time Inside, in one’s ownself.
And, space becomes relative, a detached-attachment or a existing reality that is detached in one’s own perceptions and thoughts. In social terms, if someone in his thought at least, if not in actions in totality, transforms beyond exaggerated self, unnecessary bondages of family, clan, cast, ethnicity, nation (until nations, languages and nation-states exist), conservative in ideologies and religions, irrelevant spiritual norms, certain social norms, and the cronism in economy, and traditional in development as well as stagnant in polity is not liberated mind.
Liberation in its all manifestations, is only possible when a human, an existence, transients beyond these. Process for the liberation of mind is the path in itself. The liberation in Islam from the conservatively limiting everything to Islam, is “Lakum Deenakum, Wali-e Deen” which essentially means faith is one’s liberty to be associated with. It says, in socio-politically terms, according to Islam, religion is personal matter.
Liberation of existence from the world, according to religions beginning their journey with Vedism (Sindh) to Sanathanism (Hinduism), Buddhism, Jainism, Tao and Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and path of Sikhism, and rebirth is cosmology which is not limited to the theology, it also has sufism and philosophical expression. Contemporarily, life, its liberation and rebirth, has been challenged as well as proved humanely through the experience of cloning.
According to Krishna Murti when a soul departs from bodily existence, and another bodily organism is ready to enter in the formal existence in the any part of universe, the departing soul, in the matrix of time and space, transforms into the upcoming being with certain more characteristics, is called the rebirth.
Therefore, question of liberation is associated with the issue of rebirth in theology, which in theosophy, philosophy and sufism have an entirely cosmological view. In the words of Hassan Dars, an icon of contemporary Sindhi poetry “He jisim hik wago aa, Panhinjo assan khe patal” (physical being is a worldly attire).
Sindhi expression, even today, connects with Vedian (Sindh), Hinduism, Confucianism, Tao, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, the paths of Sikhism, philosophy of at least liberation of being of Marxism and Jean Paul Sartre, and in Southern Pakistan (Sindh, Balochistan and the fringes of Siraiki) Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai, Sachal, Sami, spiritual treatise of Sain G. M. Syed, Shiekh Ayaz, Ustad Bhukhari, AshuLal, and sufi saints.
Important question is that when cloned Dolly gets rebirth, how the genetically engendering can deny the philosophy and notion of liberation and rebirth?
Hazrat Mohammad (Holy Prophet - PBUH) and his blood lineage including Hazrat Ali Allaih Salalm (A.S.) were offspring of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S. (Abaraham). Durud, a hymn, which ritually in Islam has to be chanted in association with prayers and otherwise, is associated with the offspring of Hazrat Ibrahim that include Holy Prophet and his blood lineage having role for forwarding the massage of Islam in accordance with the Islam. This also includes those human mediums of non-Prophetic institution, since the institution of Prophethood was concluded with the last Prophet Mohammad PBUH, which for the guideline of humanity in accordance with the contemporary times of their own, various disciplines, wisdom, and reforms among the human beings including faithful.
He, the Supreme Being, has sent the books through the Prophets, and also sent the massage based on responsibility after the end of Prophethood. He, also has left the last book for the faithful in Islam, and the institution of Ejtehad, a similar medium of guideline for the faithful, and has infinite and diversified medium to keep on guiding humanity. No doubt, He is God of all generations, genders, eras, epoch, and periods, and of the existence in the universe.
Khudi (self), a Persian word which basically is a category and expression, is rooted in the word Khuda (God). This is where God and Person become one in a very much common expression and perception. God himself or herself, the very much mentioning of God is a limit of human in its very much linguistic expression and social realities of thinking in terms of gender.
Human have not encompassed these dictates of their social evolution based on power influence of man on the rest genders inclusive of transgender aspects contemporarily, which is a little beyond patriarchy. Therefore, the expression of Khuda and Khudi or Self (exists in all languages, probably) is beyond the limits of gender in terms of human, because when God and Person becomes one in Godly or Personally perspectives/aspects, the real state of existence becomes unfolded, and if blended with the all connotations of social and spiritual expressions, the point comes where difference between theology, theosophy, Sufism and secularism cease to exist. Therefore, Zaat (Self) is a combined form of God and his connotations (Safat).
When, the connotations of God are separated from Zaat (self) they become characteristics (Safat) in humanly terms. Linguistically, word Person, Personal, and Personally are a mirage of human to see the things beyond the barriers of gender, human in the social and in the term of planet. It is a linguistic connectivity with the universe, and vice versa. If Dr. Allama Iqbal’s poetry is seen in this perspective, from this Sindhi-Baloch author, “Khudi ko karbuland itna, khuda khud bandey se poochey, bata teri raza kiya he”. (Elevate your Self enough, that God may consider approval of person’s own vision).
Linguistically word Personality in the above perspectives, if seen with reference to Dr. Iqbal’s ‘Khudi’ one can reach the separation of Self from God, where Dr. Iqbal proves to be a little tilted towards Shuhudism - an approach that detach God from person in the vision towards social affairs, apart from the Personal one. That can be said appropriately whilst Dr. Iqbal, when wrote ‘Gorakh Dhandha’ while having Hujat -- a Self’s contact with the Absolute Self -- with God, he was a little tilted towards Wahdatul Wujud - the Sufi-existentialism.
The diverse approaches in South Asia, have though manifestations in the politics, and the state expressions, however Sindhi Sufi Existentialist world view spread across Sindh, Balochistan and Siraiki, has really been offering the Path to our contemporary civilization, in terms of contemporary global civilization, by connecting the missing links of legacy in the urbanization of Indus civilization, through the medium of Sindhi Sufi world view based on Sindh journey from Veda through Bhagwat Gita, Bible, Kuran, and the message by Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai, Sachal, and Sami.
Indus civilisation no doubt met with Yellow river civilization in Far East. It was Britain that created a new nation by human engineering in the history by blending Indusians with aboriginal Indonesians, which is now Indusian (Indian) Nation -- or Indonesia. Suikarno Putri, which means Daughter of Suikarno in a few languages of Indus civilization, is leader of Indonesia. It connects, colonial Delhi of Britain undivided India with Dili of Britain Indonesia.
We Sindhis have legitimate concerns and connectivity regarding democratic movements spread from Sindh to Indonesia. Karachi thanks Kathmandu, the Nepali people, for observing two days Bandh (strike) against the judicial murder of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Karachi, the Capital of Sindh culturally can be called Sindhi-Baloch. For Sindh, like Nepal, Kathamndu means a Market of Wood.
Sain Nawab Kher Bux Muri, in himself was a unity between Sindh and Balochistan, like Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, Saradar Attaullah Khan Mengal, and Sardar Mehmood Khan Achakzai, and like Nawab Raisani. He also was a unity among the people spread across the borders of Sindh and Balochistan in Afghanistan, Iran and in other countries.
It required to be expressed that when Moen Jo Daro met with Europe through Minor Asia or Phoenicia in terms of shedding culture through trade, Sindh and Sindhu are the real foundations of globalism, if not globalisation, and of the contemporary civilization. Let us once have a glance at Rig Veda, and Holy Indus, and its Capital in Sindh-Balochistan, and Siraiki of today, to really meet the challenges of twentieth century we face in twenty-first century, and the development of the upcoming decades.
Let the paganism and barbarianism of our own times, should not dictate out collective narrative and the decision making in the polity, interdependency and contemporary global civilization. Sain G.M. Syyed, said Sindh offers unity between and among diversity of religions. His Holiness Pope visited prisons in 2015 to see Muslim prisoners and left landmark impacts on world society. It was, in certain perspective, beginning of contemporary civilizations with reference to a new era. His Holiness initiatives for world peace; and with reference to salvation of humanity are milestone.
Sindh toady offers, a global unity and connectivity between and among the diversity in the cultures, and in the making of our own contemporary human civilization.
Linguistically, And Culturally Globalised
Neither languages, nor nations are pure. We together are inter-woven. This is the second foundation for the contemporary globalisation. Anglicans are colonized in North America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe. Spanish, French, Portuguese-Dutch are colonized in South America, North America, Africa, and Asia; linguistic Salv connectivity East Europe and Asia, Indo-European linguistic connectivity of Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Africa; Sindhi, linguistically and ethnically are colonized in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Our historical colonisation is in Europe, especially in Eastern Europe, Italy, Greece, France, and Germany by Sinti (Sindhi) or called Roma people, especially when Sindhi migrated to Europe and first stayed in Rome centuries ago; in Middle East in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Siriya and Jordon; in Sistan-Balochistan in Iran, and Afghanistan, in Eurasia particularly in Russia; and in Far-East. This Sindhi colonization belongs to the era when Sindh, Balochistan, and Siraiki southern Punjab of today were Sindh - a country.
Sindhi colonisation in Modern Age of human history was in Africa, and some above mentioned parts of Asia. A few Sindhi villages and settlements are in Bangladesh; most of these are centuries old and submerged there. Sindhi are submerged in Central Asian Countries, Iran and Afghanistan are Arian. They colonized in Sindh of above mentioned era, northern and central India, and later on in Europe particularly Germany and Austria.
Persian and English have remained official languages of Sindh, this is the linguistic aspect of globalisation by colonialism. Sindhi is official language of Sindh today, along with English.
Iran means Arian land or nation. The political seat of Arians historically has remained Kabul and ethnic Gajar people of Iran. Anglo-Sexans of central Europe especially Germany and adjoining areas, the tribal, invaded, unlike Arians did in Sindh and northern India, and in Europe, invaded England, caused ouster of Englanders towards island of Ireland, which later on become Irish people.
Germanic tribes migrated to Roman Empire as laborer, and according to Arnold J. B. Toynbee, the Germanic tribes destroyed the Roman Empire, which he mentions as ‘external proletariat’.
The slave trade of African towards Europe and northern America was an in volunteer colonization of Negroes there; and in Middle East, however, the volunteer colonization of African in Sindh of above mentioned era and later on, submergence of Arabs and Hebrews (Jews) in Sindh, and in the northern, central, southeastern and southwestern India of today; Arabs in Spain, and eastern Europe especially the Bosnia through invasions; submergence of Mongols in northeastern and central Afghanistan, northern Punjab in Pakistan, northern India and Iraq; Punjabis of Pakistan and India submerged, in association with slighter number Sindhi, Rajasthani and others in Indonesia, and Cambodia. Tamil, Tibetan, and Bhutani had historical and recent submergence with Sri Lanka, India and Nepal.
Ethnic Mongols and slightest submergence of Koreans is also there in China. China, unlike other civilizations and cultures, has historically remained isolated with reference to ethnic, linguistic and cultural globalization. Great Wall of China is the militaristic expression of it.
The slightest submergence of Korean in India; Nepalis, Tibetan and Burmese (Myanmar) as well as south Indian slightest submergence in today’s Sindh together with ethnic merger of all nations within and beyond nation-state ‘nation’ perspective contemporarily are the foundation of linguistic, sub-ethnic and cultural foundations of globalization across the world, combined with the communication revolution with thanks to USA in terms of invention of Internet and computer, and Russia inclusive of previous USSR states for space technology.
Sindh contributed urbanisation, urban planning inclusive of waste management, digit ‘Zero’, Wheal and Weaving of Cotton and silk to the human civilization, Euphrates and Mesopotamia (Iraq) contributed Laws and Constitution; Egypt contributed in Mathematics and Architecture therefore. Maya civilization of South America contributed calendars, and Chinese Yellow River civilization contributed paper for writing and gun powder for firework.
Iran although not a civilization, contributed whine to the world. Sindhi-Baloch fishermen of Karachi, in later era, contributed subsea swimming that can be called subsea journey and is well documented in the poetry of Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai in his male Hero Moriro. His another Hero is Rai Diach. Rest of the themes of his poetry and philosophy has inspiration in the women heroines.
Rumi (Sufi, saint, and poet philosopher) of Turkey is connected with Bhittai of Sindh through Iran and Persian like Khusro of Turkey, who did poetry in Urdu is connected with Nizamuddin Aullia (saint) of India. The only difference is that Bhittai himself is Sufi, poet philosopher and Saint. In Sindh and Balochistan title of ‘Saint’ is practically, philosophically and religiously equal to the order in Christianity.
Simultaneously, Rajasthan, Delhi, Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa, Kashmir, Traai in Nepal, Punjab especially and exclusively in Siraiki southern Punjab, and Bangladesh also accept socially without any mechanism for declaring someone; however excluding Siraiki, and Bangladeshi, rest do not accept ‘sainthood of Sufis’ in religious terms.
Salafism has differences with the status of ‘saint’ from religious point of view in terms of Islamic jurisprudence of their own interpretation in South Asia only limited to some rituals performed by the people. A major difference between Indian as well as northern Punjabis of Pakistan and Sindhi, Balochistani and Siraiki is that Indian and northern Punjab Punjabi Muslims do not allow women in the shrines of Sufi saints.
However, Sufi Salafi, a Sindhi addition in Salafism sub-schools of thought, has relatively more acceptability of Sufi saints with reference to religious aspect. Sufi Salafi term is coined by Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai for that sub-school of thought. This, an addition of Sufi Salafi in Salafism by Sindh will help world to appropriately counter the challenge posed by terrorism in the name of Islam pre-dominantly having Salafi sect, fewer in numbers among the sects of Islam.
Maulana Asadullah Bhutto, pervious Amir (President) of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan - Sindh Chapter and Naib Amir (Vice President) Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan is Sufi salafi. Sindh and Balochistan feel pleasure that the lands have contributed such sons and daughters in the fold of various religion-cum-sect based political parties, who can really connect political, social and theological doctrines of the sect with the challenges of the contemporary world and civilization especially fighting terrorism claimed to be in the name of Islam out of which majority belongs the Salafism.
It is auspicious that Jamaat-e-Islami recognized Indus civilization by hoisting flag of Ajrak, the cultural icon of Indus civilization having Capital in Moen Jo Daro, on Minar-e-Pakistan, the Symbol of Pakistan. Sindh and Balochistan, beyond the diversity of political thoughts and actions, always welcome the acceptance of Indus civilization by any ideology, school of thought, religion, sect or social group.
Wars are fourth tier for the globalisation and contemporary civilisation. Iran and Sparta war was the first inter-continental war that was waged for one hundred years. Sindh sent its Elephant warriors as military support to Iran. Sindh, with Buddhist majority and Hindu rule, sent military in the Iran war against Arab rule based in Baghdad (Iraq). Mohammad bin Qasim did not wedged war on orders by Hajaj bin Yousif because of Islam, but in a bid to revenge Sindh support to Iran.
Emperor Ashoka, born in Patli Putar in Bihar (Patna today), India was Prince of Indus Kingdoms based in previous Division of Hazara of Khyber-Pakhtunkhuwa in Pakistan today, which were submerged by him into united India that is called Akhand Bharat. “Spread of Buddhism” is contribution of Ashoka besides uniting Southasian nations into Empire.
Chankya, who was teacher of statecraft and politics at Taxila University, was teacher of Ashoka, who is claimed by South Indians as well as by Sindhi. His ethnicity is still unknown. Chanakya migrated to Punjab temporarily, after his father migrated to Patna of today. Ashoka was given tough fight by Odisha (Kalinga of that time) state of today’s India.
Invasions by Mongols, Jengez (Changez) Khan and his offspring, of China, Afghanistan, Iraq, Central Asian Countries, Sindh, Balochistan, undivided Punjab, and India of today although devastated and caused war damages to three civilizations Yellow River, Indus, and Mesopotamia. Urdu language is the only contribution of Mongols, who became “Moghul in Afghanistan” after invading Kabul; later on they submerged in Afghanistan, like in Sindh, India and parts of Central Asia.
In Sindh, majority of submerged Moghuls is called Moghul and Agra because they invaded as well as migrated from Afghanistan and India. Those who hailed from Agra in India mostly use Agra in their Zaat and those who hailed from Afghanistan are called Moghuls; however some of the offspring of 1947 Refugees are also known as Moghul; however they do not speak Sindhi.
Invasion by European Alexander (the Great) of Nile Civilization in Africa (The land of Pharaoh - Egypt and Libya), and of Mesopotamia Asia Middle East; Iran and Sindh that was consisting today’s Sindh, Balochistan, Qandahar, and Siraiki districts of Punjab. Hundreds of years ago, Punjab was having border skirmishes/conflict with Sindh over Siraiki area, which form Siraiki district in today’s Pakistani Punjab, and Pashtun areas of today’s Balochistan. Punjab, having Capital between Taxila and Islamabad at that time, welcomed Alexander, and become volunteer part of Alexander’s Army. Rest of Subcontinent states refused the appeal by Sindh against its invasion.
Arab-Kurd-Turk led Caliphates and Ottoman Empire, known as Fatimid while based in Egypt, was having Jew Prime Minister, and in some other periods of Muslim Empire; however the invasions and wars, and indulgence in crusades, put the foundation of united Europe. Continental unity and politics is the result of Ottoman Empires. Navy is the contribution by Amir Muawiya in Islamic Caliphate. Formalizing diplomacy is another contribution of Caliphates and Ottoman Empires.
Urdu language (Moghol Indian); and words used as title Czar (Russian) and Cesar (Roman) and Qaiser (Iranian) are examples of the linguistic globalisation of wars by Empires. The wars that were between and among the nations of continents have contributed in not only the internationalization but also in globalisation. Julius Csar’s invasion of Egypt of that time, Czar’s invasion of Central Asia, and war with Afghanistan and Finland, introduced Eurasian culture in Central Asia.
Nursing is the globalisation initiative of the First and Second World Wars including the internationalization of the world through League of Nations and later on United Nations. Sindhi who were warring nation and Party to the Second World War were not taken aboard for the process of United Nations. International Monitory Fund (IMF) is the result of the world wars, and ‘India was one of the founding members (in IMF) with monetary share according to some Russian Books, Progress, Moscow. World Bank was the globalisation outcome of the post wars developments. North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) is the beginning of globalisation and of contemporary civilization; and ISAF is the military addition to the contemporary civilization.
Militarisation across the globe has created gender parity and transgender legality. Sindh and Balochistan does not only desire the due shared in their own governance including with reference to security and sovereignty, but also envision an engendered security regime. In Pakistan, the participation of armed forces and services, participation of women, eunuch and religious minorities is a deep concern from the point of view social justice with reference to the state. However, Pakistan Army had one female General.
An addition to not only the war sciences, but also development in the field of art of war as well as militaristic science inventions is also part not only of globalisation but also of the contemporary civilization. Multiculturalism began with early migrations, boosted by internationalisation of wars, and war making, and collective use of space technology by Europeans and thereby joint initiatives by USA, India and Europe is the contemporary civilization and globalisation. Many things that include art of negotiations, deterrence perceptions, peace-keeping by international community and United Nations, the UN's initiative to serve Bosnian Europeans, who are Muslim as well, by undertaking their governance and government, “globalisation and internationalization of medicines” because in larger part of world use US Pharmacy (USP), British Pharmacy (BP) and Indian Pharmacy (IP).
Besides, the trend to collective research, multi-disciplinary research in the field of medicines and later on in space technology at higher level added into creating contemporary civilization based on the primary foundations of multi-culturalism, help creating interdependence, collective initiatives, global laws with reference to outer space and its use, as well as legal connectivity with Universe.
Zulfiqar Shah is a Sindh civil and political rights activist, journalist and writer. Although UNHCR recognized refugee, he is still associated with historical Diyal Das Club located in Hyderabad, Sindh. He is virtually house arrested on the request of Pakistan authorities, with round the clock audio-visual monitoring by Pakistan, USA, and India. The references to the facts and opinions have mentioning and citation apart from those that are established facts. The facts concerning period of colonial Britain are in documents that available for Public in India Office Library, London, UK; as well as Government of India at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata being Britain rule capital and sub-capital in undivided India. A word ‘Personality’ used in the write-up is suggested by a Sindhi from Sindh in Pakistan