The 7th edition of 2-day International Sufi Conference, to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, commenced at the Punjabi University in Patiala. Iranian ambassador in India, Dr Ali Chageni, attended the inaugural session of the event that is being organised by the varsity’s Baba Farid Centre for Sufi Studies.
“Sufism is much more than just wearing a Pashmina robe. It is the purity of heart and soul. Even though technology has tried to replace spirituality, but there’s a hope that spirituality and culture can be brought together through dialogue,” Chageni said. He added that Sufism and Sikh are similar as “both lead to union of individual with God.”
On the sidelines of the event, the Iranian ambassador said that the matter of lockdown in Kashmir is an internal matter of India. “The matter should be resolved through negotiations and in a peaceful way,” he said.
In his presidential address, vice-chancellor Prof BS Ghuman talked about the “deep-rooted connection between Baba Farid and Sikhism.” On Guru Nanak, Ghuman said, “He is the pioneer of inter-religious dialogue.”
Professor Emeritus, Akhtarul Wasey, president of the Maulana Azad University in Jodhpur, said, “Guru Nanak’s impact on the contemporary society cannot be denied.” On the recent language row, he said, “Language is a medium of dialogue and should not be used to create controversy. During the times of Baba Farid, Persian was the official language, and yet Baba Farid chose to preach in Punjabi.” He revered the efforts and works of Guru Nanak in the field of religion and spirituality. “It is Guru Nanak who kept alive the teachings of Baba Farid,” he said.
Founder director of the Sufi centre at the varsity, Prof Nashir Naqvi, established Sufism as “the thought of love, peace and harmony, which acts as a bridge between different cultures and religions across the globe.”
Dr Khwaja Syed Nizamuddin, chief caretaker of the Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi, said that one should follow the path of truthfulness even if he/she ends up laying down their life in doing so. In-charge of the Sufi centre, Mohammed Habib, welcomed the dignitaries and elaborated on the works and plans of the centre.