New Age Islam
Wed Oct 05 2022, 09:39 AM

Islamic Society ( 15 Oct 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Indian Sufi-oriented Clerics Brainstorm Ways to Preserve the Cultural Heritage of Indian Muslims

By New Age Islam Special Correspondent

16 October, 2014

Amidst the Wahhabi destruction of cultural and historical sites and spiritual heritage of Muslim countries, a number of Sufi-minded Indian Muslim clerics gathered at the Sufi shrine of Mehrauli Sharif, Delhi and held a meeting to discuss their concerns. They aim to preserve the Sufi heritage in India. Regrettably, the Wahhabi-controlled Waqf board in India is making every possible effort to strengthen the Wahhabi/Salafi grip over the Sufi shrines and heritage sites. Obviously, it is being done at the behest of influential Wahhabi/Salafi individuals and institutions in all the Waqf properties, mosques and monuments with the ulterior motive of destroying harmonious Sufi culture that has been the main source of composite culture for Indian Muslims.

In this meet, Sufi-minded Indian Muslim clerics urged that the management of all Sufi Sunni assets, mosques, monuments and other places of religious and cultural importance be entrusted to such Indian Muslims who have veneration and reverence for the Sufi saints and their shrines and not to those who follow the dictates of gulf monarchies in Muslim affairs in India.

They primarily discussed the role of Delhi Waqf Board which, they said, has been trying to propagate a virulent and obnoxious intolerant ideology in India with active utilisation of tools of governance in Delhi, the capital of India. They critically analysed the  role of management committee of the Dargah (shrine) of the great Sufi saint Hazrat  Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (r.a), who was the dearest disciple and spiritual successor of the great Indian Muslim mystic Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz Moinuddin Chishti (r.a). The management committee is alleged to have been behaving in a manner antithetical to the beliefs and behaviours of the Sufi followers.

The Sufi-minded Imam of Masjid Dargah Hazrat Qutub Pak, Maulana Ishtiyaq Ahmad, stated that the Delhi Waqf Board has imposed on the Dargah a management committee which purposefully misbehaves with the Sufi shrine pilgrims, tries to discourage them, works to create mismanagement and even disrespects the Dargah on occasions. As a result, the maintenance of the historical Sufi heritage is completely ignored. “For the management has been in hands of the people who have no connection with this 1000-year-old Indian mystical Islamic tradition which draws strength from the Islamic doctrine of intercession” says Imam of Masjid Dargah Hazrat Qutub Pak, Maulana Ishtiyaq Ahmad.

Another Sufi-minded Islamic cleric Maulana Ghulam Rasool complained that the public donations collected at the Dargah are spent on projects other than promoting Sufi culture. “And this is being done with the sole purpose of alienating new generations of Indian Muslims from the rich Sufi traditions of tolerance and co-existence” he averred.

Syed Babar Ashraf, General Secretary All India Ulema & Mashaikh Board dwelt upon the actual state of affairs and detailed the penetration of the Wahhabis/Salafis led and fed by gulf petro dollars and gas money, into the administration, bureaucracy and political class with an aim to misguide the government about the Indian Muslim affairs.

He further said that “under an international Wahhabi conspiracy, gulf countries, rich in oil and gas power, have created a lobby in Indian society to carry out their agenda of eliminating the culture of veneration and reverence for the historical mosques, cultural monuments, heritage sites and places of spiritual and historical importance. All these are being targeted with connivance and tacit consent of the union and state governments since independence”, he said.

Syed Babar Ashraf added that “NAWADCO and Waqf Amendment Bill were also meant to serve the gulf agenda of discrediting Indian Islamic ethos in an attempt to destroy the Sufi culture that has so far kept Indian Muslims away from internal or global Jihadism”. He added saying that “most of the Sufi assets have been grabbed by Wahhabi elements and the rest are being legally transferred to Wahhabis for propagation of their virulent agenda”.

Founder and rector of Jamia Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (a Sufi Islamic seminary in Delhi), Maulana Maqbool Ahmad Salik Misbahi, was of the opinion that “the mischievous policy of imposing practitioners of an infamous, obnoxious and intolerant ideology on tolerant Indian Muslims has long been adopted by the Waqf board, which was supposed to manage and protect Sufi-endowed assets”.

Maulana Asrar Ahmad Qadri added that “as a conspiracy to grab Waqf properties, which are traditionally Sufi assets, an amendment was passed from the parliament as a result of active engagements of Wahhabi/Salafi political activists. Ironically, they were felicitated by the eminent Wahhabi individuals and heads of Wahhabi institutions soon after the passage of the bill in Parliament”.

The speakers were unanimous in the opinion that Muslim endowments and Waqf properties are being offered to the radical Wahhabi/Salafi elements that are promoted and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in their constant and rigorous attempts in India to promote the ideology which has created ISIS, Taliban, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and other radical terror outfits throughout the world. The extreme forces working under the patronage of ruling classes in India are to provide fodder to the fighting forces all over the world in the name of Islam. This is high time government of India took an uncompromising stand on growing influence of extreme forces within the Waqf boards. The government of India should not give space to the radical forces which are detrimental to the security of the nation and the Muslim community as well. It was demanded that the agreement between NAWADCO and NBCC ensures that character of Sufi assets is maintained at all costs and nothing is done on these Waqf lands that defies the wishes of the endowers.