'love, tolerance, serenity'
Prime Minister emphasizes unity, heritage at Sufism conference
At the International Conference on Sufism in Baghdad, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani spoke on the importance of embracing jurisprudential differences within Islam, stating they should be viewed as “elements of richness and diversity,” not as reasons for division. He praised the conference for highlighting Sufism’s deep roots in Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, which has been a significant center for Sufi scholarship.
“Sufism embodies a conduct rooted in the values of Islam, characterized by messages of love, tolerance, and serenity,” Al-Sudani remarked, highlighting the contrast to messages of hatred and extremism. He acknowledged the historical and spiritual legacy of Sufi masters buried in Baghdad, such as Sheikh Abdul-Qadir Gilani and Junayd of Baghdad, noting their profound impact on religious education and spiritual heritage.
Regarding regional conflicts, Al-Sudani addressed the situation in Gaza, stating, “We are facing a challenging period in the history of our Arab-Islamic region, with the people of Gaza enduring over three months of an unjust war perpetrated by the criminal Zionist occupation forces.” He criticized the lack of action by major powers and emphasized the need for unity in the face of adversity, citing Iraq’s victory over ISIS as a testament to what unity can achieve.
The Prime Minister called for leveraging the “luminous chapters of our history and faith” as points of convergence and solidarity, urging clerics to promote practices that foster unity rather than division.
Sufism, known as Tasawwuf in the Islamic tradition, is a mystical form of Islam that seeks to find divine love and knowledge through direct personal experience of God. It emphasizes inner purification, closeness to the divine, and the cultivation of virtues such as compassion, patience, and gratitude. Baghdad, with its rich Islamic history, has been a pivotal center for Sufi thought and practice, housing the tombs of many Sufi saints and scholars who have significantly contributed to its spiritual heritage.