Prof. Carl W. Ernst delivered lecture on Sufism at Aligarh Muslim University

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Professor Carl W. Ernst delivering the lecture organized by  KA Nizami Centre for Quranic StudiesALIGARH August 07- Delivering a lecture on ‘Sufism, Islam and Globalization, one of the world’s leading scholar, Professor Carl W. Ernst, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA said that Sufism is a mystical path based on universal truths that transcend culture, politics and history.

He was delivering a lecture organized by KA Nizami Centre for Qur’anic Studies at the Aligarh Muslim University. He hoped that Sufi communities in the contemporary world can be seen as dynamic movements whose expressions embrace and are intimately influenced by the cultures of the people attracted to these teachings.

Prof. Ernst said that the study of religion is an extremely important field in the United States; it is one of the key ways we deal with diversity. He further said that Sufi music arose to become a world music phenomenon, with a new audience beyond its traditional listeners. Nursrat Fateh Ali Khan, the great Pakistani singer was very popular in western world also.

He said that Sufism was introduced by orientalism in India. Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya and Baba Ganj Shakar placed an important role to promote Sufism.

Prof. Carl Ernst pointed out that Jalaluddin Rumi’s poetry was translated by Deepak Chopra and became very famous for spiritual teachings in US. Wahadat al-Wajud, which literary means the ‘unity of existence’.

Delivering the presidential remarks, AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. General (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah said that Sufism has its roots and Khwaja Moin Uddin Chishti’s Shrine in Ajmer is a symbol of Chishti’s Sufism in India.

He said that Sufism is the most tolerant face of Islam and study of Sufism is a great strategic need of the society.

In his welcome address, Prof Ahtisham A. Nizami, Director KA Nizami Centre for Quranic Studies said that Prof. Carl spent two years at AMU with Prof. KA Nizami after whom the centre for Qur’anic Studies is named.

He said that Prof. Ernst has written extensively on subjects ranging from Islam to the comparative study of religions, from the history of Sufis to contemporary political movements. He and Bruce Lawrance are co-editors of “The Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks” University of North Carolina Press.

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