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Sufism is closer to Hindu philosophy

I read Pran Nevile's book review, "Sufism and Politics" (Spectrum, May 2). Sufism believes that the human soul emanates from God himself and could find its highest aim in achieving a union with God. In this regard, Sufism is nearer to Hindu philosophy.

Sufism considers poetry as the principal vehicle for expression of the mystical thought and feeling and its musical rendering as a means of turning this into an emotional and spiritual experience.

Though in the Holy Koran there is no mention of music as 'halal' (lawful) or 'haram' (unlawful), the legal system of Islam forbids it.

The liberal sufi orders i.e. Chisti and Qadri accept music as a means of attaining a union with God. They approve of "Majlis-i-Sama" for spiritual uplift and reject the "Majlis-i-Tarab", which is for entertainment.

Sama, which literally means listening, in sufi parlance denotes hearing of music in a ritualistic way. Sama being devotional in intent and content helps induce "vajd" (emotional transport/ state of grace), a mystical spiritual stage.

Qawwali is sama in practice. The mystical poetry (qaul) is set to music and enhanced by rhythm as well as repetition so as to suggest "zikr" (remembrance of God's name). It was patronised by Khwaja Nizamuddin Aulia, whose disciple Amir Khusrau developed it to a definite shape and made it popular. Qawwali is performed in Sufi dargahs on ceremonial occasions like "urs" of the sufi saints.


 Itís Moplah

Khushwant Singh's piece, "Messiahs of peace" (Saturday Extra, May 16) makes for interesting regarding. I intend to draw attention to a word "noplah", meaning son-in-law, as mentioned in his write-up. The actual word is "Moplah", not "Noplah".

The word "Moplah" is found in Dwarka Prasad's Hindi-Hindi Dictionary (p. 647, S.Chand & Co. Ltd., 2000). The dictionary mentions "Moplah" as a Muslim caste of Malabar.


Meaty matter

Spectrum is very interesting and informative for readers of all ages. But Pushpesh Pant's Food Talk column for three Sundays ó April 25, May 2 and 9 ó featured only non-vegetarian recipes though these days more and more people are turning vegetarian.

Please publish one vegetarian recipe every time along with the non-vegetarian one or vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes alternatively.

Maj SURJIT SINGH (retd),Bareilly Cantonment



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