7. In Search of God, In Search of Humanity: Vilayet-e-Mutlaka of Hazrat Delaor Husayn Maizbhandari
Sarwar Alam [+]
University of Arkansas
The ideological basis of the establishment of Pakistan, an “imagined community” to paraphrase Benedict Anderson, was Islam. It was the politics of “othering,” as mediated by religion, that inevitably caused the partition of India in 1947. “Islam is in danger” (“Islam khatre mein hein”) was adopted later as a slogan by the political elites as well as the ulama to defy the voice of oppositions or create inter- and intra-communal conflicts in Pakistan during the 1950s and 1960s. The tension among the communities still exists in the South Asian region. I have argued in this chapter that some Sufi masters tried to minimize this tension trough social activism and writings. Drawing upon Ibn al-‘Arabi and Maulana Rumi’s religious pluralism and humanity, the Vilayet-e-Mutlaka (1960) of Hazrat Delaor Husayn Maizbhandari (d. 1982) shows how Sufism may transcend parochialism and create an atmosphere of tolerance and interfaith dialogue.