Sufism – once just another variant of Islam, now bankrolled by Britain and the US as a ‘moderate’ form of the religion that could help counter extremism in Pakistan. But what is Sufism? Where did it come from? And what role does it play today? In the first of a two-part series on Sufism, Qalandar Bux Memon argues that modern Sufi leaders have become part of Pakistan’s corrupt ruling elite, favoured by the West not for their ‘moderation’ but for their compliance.
It is often assumed that Sufism stands opposed to Wahhabism. Wrong. Sufism and Wahhabism, in fact, share a fatal characteristic – they are religions of the status quo. In Pakistan, Sufism legitimises barbarities of inequality and starvation – ‘do nothing, it’s god’s will’ – while at the same time justifying structures of oppressive power, Pirism and landlordism, rather like Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia. Contemporary Sufism, rather than being a solution to Pakistan’s problems, is the cause.
Only the truth based on fresh revelation brought by Promised Messiah is the solution. Other than Ahmadiyya Islam, every other version of Islam has been corrupted beyond recognition. Whether it is sufism, or any other sect, it has been distorted beyond all rationality.