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The first Sufi

4 30 0

On any given day, one can see hordes of people flocking to dargahs in the subcontinent. What is it that attracts them to Sufism?

In a world that is becoming more and more materialistic and aspirational by the day, material desires are mounting and the inability to realise them leads to frustration. Do people flock to dargahs, ashrams and even retreats seeking the fulfilment of desires, or does Sufism offer something more?

As someone who does visit dargahs, I would like to examine the relevance of Sufism in our time.

Like many others, I too started going to dargahs to seek the intercessions of the saints buried in the shrines called Auliya (plural for friends of God) - and who better to intercede for me than God's friend?

Over a period of time, it was a sense of calm and peace I got there that made me return to the sufis each time. I became more spiritual than religious for I felt that religion without spirituality was limited to just simple rituals.

Paying obeisance at the temple or mosque or church gets us nowhere unless we look deep within and discover our spiritual side. It just hardens our hearts and this excess makes us rigid, burdening those around us with inconvenience and grief.

That is why Sufism is important today. It is the mystical or spiritual aspect of Islam.

Since childhood I have heard a famous anecdote about Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad:

Once, as Ali was about to embark on a journey, a man came running to him and said, "O Ali what is the........

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