Saturday, 10 March 2012

What Is Sufism?

Definition of Sufism is, paradoxically, easy and hard to understand at the same time. One of the most important aspects of Sufi character is being pure at heart and straightforward in mind and action. For those who already have this outlook in life, Sufism is something readily apprehensible. On the other hand, the ones whose thoughts are more rampant than their feelings, may find almost every definition unintelligible, or even meaningless.

However, defining Sufism academically, which obviously robs it of its naive charm and somewhat divine authenticity, is not impossible at all. The definition I have found helpful in this regard is this:

Sufism, or Islamic Mysticism, is a subjective attitude of life which puts more emphasis on the chastisement and purification of the inner self, or the Soul, than the doctrinated religious practises and rituals, whatsoever.

This definition may also help us in figuring out the meaning of sufi. The sufi is a man or woman who believes in the Final Testament brought by Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him), the Messenger of Islam, and tries to adopt his or her life to the Islamic commandments from within rather than from without.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

What is Education?

Education is what provides us with genuine knowledge.
Genuine knowledge is what helps understand and deal with life optimally. Coping with the challenges of life, or dealing with the real life problems optimally means acting properly under specific conditions, which is only possible when we have developed some understanding of the life which we believe true.

In the words of Jean Paul Sartre, we are doomed to be free. We have Free Will.

The Free Will binds us to do only what we feel beneficial, although we might think otherwise sometimes. As a matter of fact, the Free Will, as the term itself suggests, affords little connection with our thoughts, concepts or ideas. It is driven by our animal instincts mainly. It makes us act what we feel like acting, however our thoughts may oppose it. If our mind is wise enough, and often it is, it soon yields to the power of Free Will by beginning to generate ideas that do not clash with our feelings. This state of consistency, or agreement, between thought and feeling is called belief.
So, if we are taught to feel rightly, or rather believe rightly, we shall act appropriately. Education has more to do with refining our emotions than our thoughts. If it modifies, corrects, and develops our mental faculties only, that does not guarantee our acting accordingly. But if it performs the noble function of chastising and purifying our emotions and feelings, it is more than sure that we will act most accurately under any circumstances. It is because Free Will, the power behind action, can be, and mostly is, utilized way better by emotions than intellect. That' why, it is safe to maintain that genuine knowledge is correct information supported by a firm belief upon it. And genuine education is what provides us with genuine knowledge.
If you feel differently from what you think, which can be indexed by juxtaposing your thoughts with your actions, you may be fortunate or unfortunate enough to either become a Nietzsche, or an unknown lunatic in some infamous asylum, irrespectively.