World Sufi Forum 2016

The World Sufi Forum was held in New Delhi from 17-20 March 2016. The Forum succeeded in sending to the international community a message of peace, tolerance and harmonious coexistence at a time when the world is once again witnessing a surge in violence.

First World Sufi Forum2 in India was organized by All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), a group of Sufis functioning as a non-political entity.
The world has been suffering from extremism, terrorism and violence not only at the individual or group levels, but several states have also waged wars against different nations in different regions, creating widespread discontent and anger. The world is now grappling with a dreaded terror group called the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). Religion-based extremism and terrorism is taking the world backward.
India has been a leading light from the East and it has provided spiritual leadership to the global community for millennia; hence, the emergence of the unique concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam [world is one family] in Vedic era and then the concept of Wahdat-e-Adyan [unity of religions] and Akbar’s Deen-e-Ilahi. Indian civilization has evolved through centuries and it represents a synthesis of all major thought processes that the world has so far experienced.
The Sufi thoughts were popularly accepted by the Indian masses as these traditions have similarities with India’s Bhakti traditions. The Sufi ideas consist of tolerance, respect and service to humanity and welfare of the last person of the society. India has been an abode of great Sufi traditions – a land where Sufis arrived from all over the world and spread the message of peace and humanity without any consideration of faith, colour, caste and region and transcended language barriers. Some Sufi traditions used music and singing as a medium to express the love for humanity.
The Sufi Forum held in Delhi has been a spiritual intervention from India for the benefit of the global community. It attempted to reconnect Indian culture with the international community through the spiritual message Indian Sufis were known for.
Recommendations and resolutions made by the World Sufi Forum propose including:
  • Sufi literature and practices in schools and Madrasas
  • establishing Sufi centres in New Delhi and regional Sufi centres in all capital cities to promote Sufi literature, Sufi culture and music
  • Establishing a university and Sufi studies chairs in different universities was also recommended
  • Since most of Sufi literature is in Persian and Urdu language, they also advised that these languages be promoted.
The World Sufi Forum provided an inclusive platform to diverse views to speak on terrorism and extremism and build greater consensus to address the challenges.
Note: It can be added in essay/question on terrorism, extremism and increasing intolerance. It can also be used in portraying Soft power of India



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