One of the main features of the ideology and teachings of the emerging religious extremist groups is that they have a very negative view of culture and enlightenment, and especially of mysticism and gnosis, and do not recognize it at all. In particular, the leaders and theorists of the Takfiri Salafi sect have always condemned Islamic mysticism and mystical literature and works, and have issued firm rulings on it. According to them, following Sufism is a kind of 'bid'ah', expressing love for God and following the elders of the sect, which is one of the main pillars of Sufism, is a kind of 'shirk' in the Muslim ideology and worship.

There are many opinions about the ruling of Sufism from the point of view of Islamic Shari'ah, and about the real value of scientific and literary works of mysticism, and it is a very specialized subject. But what is more important for us here is the practical effect of the introduction of this hatred of mysticism into the religious and social environment of modern Tajikistan for our country and our people? In this regard, we should pay attention to the following three points:

The first point: Sufism and the mystical worldview have been deeply rooted in the religious thinking of the Tajik people for centuries and still function as a modern culture among the people. Today, the Tajik people look at religion mainly from a mystical point of view, and the place of values, symbols and leaders of Sufism in its religious culture is very important. Even the leader of the Hanafi school, Imam Abu Hanifa, is known among Tajiks as a “Kufi Sufi”.

The elders of the sect and the leaders of Sufism, such as Khoja Bahauddin Naqshband, Abdulqadir Geloni, Sayyid Ali Hamadoni, Khoja Ahrori Vali, Mavlono Yaqubi Charkhi, Mawlawi Jununi and others, are the heroes of the faith of the people and muslims have much respect to them. Belief in God, his spiritual upbringing and purification in the way of the Truth, the status of an elder and a spiritual leader, etc. are very strong in the religious culture and religious beliefs. In describing this fact, it is enough to mention the famous folk verse "Do not go without an old man, even if you are a modern Sikandar." 

Therefore, an attack on this established system of people's beliefs will lead to a deep intellectual and religious conflict in society and will have unfortunate consequences. Especially in the conditions of ideological and social instability of the society, the beginning of this fragile debate of all the people's beliefs is to the detriment of national unity and social stability.

Second point: But another more serious issue is the current place of gnosis and mysticism, the greats of this trend and the scientific and literary heritage of mysticism in the structure of the Tajik national identity. The essence of the problem is that over the centuries, classical Persian and Tajik writers and thinkers, many of whom are great mystics, have found an important and symbolic place in the national culture of the Tajiks and in the minds of the Tajik people. The Tajik people have studied and preserved some of their religious and national values ​​through the literary and mystical works of such personalities as Attar, Sanoi, Mawlavi, Saadi, Hafiz, Jomi, Bedil, Soib and Iqbal and others.

On the other hand, the state of Tajikistan always considers the personality and works of these great mystics as a solid foundation of national culture and their name and works as pillars of the Tajik national identity. As a result, our self-awareness, national pride and national identity are built on the names and thoughts of these personalities, without which it is impossible to imagine the modern identity of Tajiks. Even today, if a Tajik is asked to name a few great people of his culture and civilization, most of them name Sino, Ferdowsi, Mawlawi, Saadi, Hafiz, Jami, Bedil, etc., most of them are great men of gnosis and mysticism. Here, too, we are not talking about the truth and correctness of this issue, but about its reality. 

So, if this hateful extremist view of Sufism enters Tajikistan and mystical figures are declared “heretics” and “polytheists” and their works are considered “heresy” and “misguidance”, what will change in the cultural and spiritual atmosphere of our society? The answer to this question is clear: 

First of all, if the people do not have enough access to the basic religious teachings, and if the symbols, values, personalities and beliefs of the people are suddenly declared invalid and worthless, then we will suddenly have a people who are devoid of faith and confused. Such a state of disarray creates a serious basis for mass religious fundamentalism and extremism in the country, which leads to our national suicide as a nation.

Secondly, if, according to this extremist theory, the people of Tajikistan are taught today that the great men of your culture and literature, such as Attar, Mawlawi, Sanoi, Saadi, Hafiz, Jami, Bedil and Iqbal, are all “heretics” or “infidels” and their literary and mystical works are misleading. It is “blasphemy” and then our entire system of national identity will collapse. Then our people will be completely devoid of values, spirituality and identity, which will destroy the whole system of our millennial culture, literature, spirituality and upbringing, and will create a state of cultural savagery. If the theory of religious extremism spreads, our future generation will destroy all historical and cultural heritage, all scientific and spiritual creations, all world-famous works of classical Persian and Tajik literature, all the masterpieces of the national moral and educational system and all national pride and values. will do!

Is it possible for a person to reach such a state of cultural emptiness? Here is a vivid example of this horror: In the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Imam Ghazali's personality and legacy were discussed at a meeting with a young university professor who had returned to Egypt a year ago after graduating from the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia. During the conversation, I asked him what Imam Ghazzali's religious beliefs were. The young teacher was quick to reply, "Ghazzali was an infidel and therefore his beliefs and views do not matter to us." Due to the fact that in the Egyptian religious system, muftis are sometimes elected from the Hanafi school and sometimes from the Shafi'i school, I asked the teacher for information which religion the current mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Ali Juma, represents? He replied calmly, "He is not a Muslim, he is a Sufi."

This theory became his belief, and he evaluated the entire Islamic mystical culture of the past, the entire Islamic literature, and all the great sages from this point of view. This young teacher did not even consider the famous Al-Azhar University to be an Islamic university due to the inclusion of some classes in the history of gnosis and mysticism in his curriculum, with all its millennial history and with all its services, works, sheikhs, programs and classes. If we imagine this situation in the society of Tajikistan, it will be a great tragedy for the people, whose religious, national and moral identity is based on Islamic mystical values.

So another and very serious danger of modern religious extremism for our state, people and culture is that even if it spreads peacefully, it will lead to an ideological vacuum and a severe identity crisis, and ultimately to the death of the Tajik people. cultural and spiritual life of our nation. Recognition of the great threat posed by extremist groups to the cultural life of our nation must unite every educated Tajik, especially the country's science, culture and intelligentsia, in a serious struggle against this dark and ignorant force.

Third point: Of course, in the history of their existence, some Sufi sects have sometimes deviated from the original goal of Sufism, which was the purity of the soul and the practical knowledge of God, and have resorted to deviations. Some of them instilled isolation, making people inactive and distracted. In some branches of mysticism, the worship of the status of old men and their graves became so extreme that it became a form of polytheism.

For example, even in Central Asia, the followers of Khoja Ahmadi Yasavi declared that a visit to the tomb of their elder in the city of Turkestan was a “pilgrimage”. In Bukhara, some beggars became addicted to opium and poppy and lived on kalandari (actually begging), which can be referred to Sadriddin Aini's Memoirs. And, of course, such cases are an extremism.

As it is known, this type of Sufism is strongly condemned by the great mystics. If we consider Mavlono Rumi as one of the leaders of Sufism, his works, especially “Masnavii ma'navi”, are full of criticism of false Sufis. Therefore, criticism of the deviant actions of the Sufis is not a new issue in our culture, and it was started, first of all, by the real sages and the true Sufis.

However, in the meantime, it is necessary to distinguish between scientific, religious and intellectual figures, who have played an important role in the history of Islamic and national civilization. Because gnosis and mysticism in its healthy form is one of the most important intellectual and experimental trends in our history, and from the point of view of civilization and culture, it has led to the creation of the best intellectual, literary and artistic works. Therefore, it would be unfair to make such an easy judgment about the hard work, experience and results of thousands of years of Islamic mysticism and gnosis. Therefore, the correct position is that the deviations and heresies of certain sects of the Sufis should be condemned in their place, but the original gnosis and mysticism and the world-renowned gnosis of our ancestors should be recognized and appreciated. (From the book of leading scientists H. KHOLIKNAZAR and A. RAHNAMO "What is the danger of extremist thinking and religious extremist groups ?, Dushanbe-2016")

Department of Education

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