Special Reports

Jamiat Ulama-e Hind calls for unity with Sufis

It has been decades-long rivalry between the two factions of Sunni Islam, Deobandis and Sufis, but this time a Deobandi organization, the Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH) called for unity with Sufis. On the land of Sufis at Ajmer, on 13 November, JUH held its 33rd general session despite some local opposition and hurdles.

JUH leaders, who believe worshipping at graves in Sufi shrines is not Islamic, visited the Sufi shrine and gave a strong message of unity among the different factions of Muslims.

Maulana Mahmood Madni, the JUH general secretary, said, “We have organised Jamiat conclave here on the land of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti to cherish his message of unity, brotherhood and oneness. Let’s keep our differences to ourselves and join the same platform.”

Madni asked the Muslim community to unite against the move of the government to interfere in the Shariat, referring to Triple Talaq and Uniform Civil Code. He added, “We are asking the community to endeavour to come closer to the weaker sections of the society including Dalits and Tribals.”

A prominent Barelvi leader present at Jamiat conclave, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, said, “Remaining steadfast on our creeds, we should unite. We have gone to Deoband and now we invite JUH to come to Bareilly Shareef.”

However, reactions of some Sufi organizations were not so forthcoming. A Sufi scholar from Ajmer accepted the call of unity. Syed Wahid Angarahshah, secretary of Anjuman Syedzadgan of Dargah Ajmer, said, “Burying the differences is a much needed step for the unification of the Muslims of India. Now, we can have deliberations on issues, problems and solutions which are common to all of us.”   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2016 on page no. 13

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