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Shah Inayat's philosophy can help counter religious extremism, moot told.

THATTA -- Prominent writers and intellectuals have called for projection of Sufi Shah Inayat's philosophy and ideology to counter religious extremism and communalism in society and demanded establishment of a research institute named after the saint.

They were speaking at a seminar organised by Shah Inayat Literary Forum at Noori Jam Tamachi Hall here on Monday.

Renowned writer and political activist Amanullah Shaikh said that Shah Inayat was a legendary revolutionary who led his disciples against forces of oppression in the 17th century but his impact could still be felt even in the 21st century.

He said that Sindh was a remote province of the vast Mughal Empire during Shah Inayat's time and was geographically divided into Thatta and Bhakkar regions. Since the Mughal Empire was only interested in plundering resources of its tributaries it created conducive conditions for the growth of tribal and feudal lords who along with Thatta's Mughal Subedar Azam Khan helped Delhi's rulers in loot and plunder of the region, he said.

Mr Shaikh said that today some people were trying to confine Sufism within the bounds of Shariat and others mocked Sufism but regularly attended festivals with saffron scarves wrapped around their necks. These people allowed society to sink into dejection by promoting only ecstatic aspect of Sufism. 'If we can bring about political and social change through musical concerts and cultural gatherings, why have we not been able to create an exemplary world so far on the basis of this philosophy,' he asked.

Dr Anas Rajpar said that Sufism was also a line of action as it motivated its followers to struggle against exploitation of poor masses like Shah Inayat who raised the slogan of 'he who tills has right to eat'.

He said that Shah Inayat raised voice against feudalism and rid the oppressed of perpetual subjugation. He raised the status of common man, he said.

Dr Mohammad Ali Manjhi, Akbar Chandio, PPP leader Sadiq Memon, Sufi Sikandar Khushik, Obhayo Khushik, Aziz Keenjhrai and Gul Bibi Shah said that apart from being a spiritual leader Shah Inayat raised voice against cruelty and launched a movement against feudalism which culminated in his martyrdom.

They said that Shah Inayat refused to bow to tyrant rulers and instead adopted the path which was taken by Imam Hussain. The messages of Imam Hussain and Shah Inayat were relevant even this day, they said.

They said that Shah Inayat did not believe in class-based society and tried to secure rights of masses on the basis of equality. Shah Inayat's multidimensional personality should not be confined to a single aspect of spirituality, they said.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 8, 2019
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