When Data sahib turned malamati - By Dr Mohammad Taqi
Like in Iraq, the al Qaeda-Taliban strategy in Pakistan appears to focus on the existing divisions between the major Islamic sects. The jihadists are attempting to play on the historical religious fault-lines in Pakistani society and trigger internal violence and mayhem
Daily Times, July 8, 2010
“The path of blame has been trodden by some of the sufi sheikhs. Blame has great effect in making the love (for God) sincere. The followers of the Truth (ahle haq) are distinguished by their being the object of vulgar blame (malamat)” — Data Ganj Bakhsh in Kashful Mehjoob.
Professor Reynold Nicholson, in his 1911 translation of the above quoted work, had called the 14th chapter of Kashful Mehjoob (Revelation of the Mystery or Unveiling the Veiled) as the most remarkable one. This is the section where the author Syed Abul Hasan Ali bin Usman bin Ali al-Ghaznavi al-Jullabi al-Hajvery, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh or simply Data sahib, discusses the various sufi (mystic) orders. Incidentally, the sufi order Malamatiyyah (the reviled ones) and their practices are described first.
Data sahib acknowledged the practice of drawing upon oneself the blame and insult of worldly men (duniya) to achieve closeness to the Almighty, only within the confines of God’s prescribed ways. He, thus, discouraged the sufi to purposely draw upon himself blame and contempt, as that too may be pretentious. He wrote that “to seek blame is ostentation and ostentation is mere hypocrisy”. However, Data sahib narrates an episode from his travels where he became the target of hate and ridicule of some, and concludes, “The more they scoffed at me the more glad became my heart, so that the endurance of this burden was the means of delivering me of that difficulty which I had mentioned (earlier).”
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