Institute of Indo-Persian Studies holds conference on Sufism in Herat.
India and Afghanistan share a long history of cultural and civilizational bond. These bonds, especially the period after Taliban, have opened an altogether a new chapter in the socio-economic and political relations of the two countries. Educational aids, investment in long term projects and setting up of infrastructures viz. Afghan Parliament, the construction of friendship bridge ‘Salma’ in the living valley of Harirood, erection of the longest flag of Afghanistan on a hill in Kabul, coupled with strong sociocultural relations are some of the symbols of the proud and colorful relations between the two countries. Likewise, Islamic mysticism and its various forms have a deep rooted impact on the development of comprehensive culture of the two countries. One of the mystical linkages bringing the two countries closer is the Chishti Order of Mysticism. Chisht is one of the districts of the Heraat province from where the Chishti Order of Sufism originated and developed and has a number of followers worldwide. This Sufistic order has been developed in Ajmer by Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and after him by Nizamuddin Auliya in India. The Chishti order is one of the most important and effective Sufi orders which has played a crucial role in socio-political history of Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent and has followers in both the countries. “The Sufism of Chishti order from Herat to Ajmer” is a mystical and cultural conference being organized by New andishan Cultural-Social Organization of Herat and Institute of Indo-Persian Studies with the assistance from India-Afghanistan foundation.
Every year a lot of people from Afghanistan visit the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti and similarly the followers of this order also long for visiting Chisht, the birth place of these mystics. This mystical and spiritual relation is so strong that it has not lost its sheen over times. In fact this spiritual relation has been binding the people of the two countries together. Salma River Dam in Chisht district built by India has given a new facelift to this region and has brought with it hopes, ideals and prosperity to the people of Afghanistan for which we shall always be indebted to the Indian government and its people. Today, the district of Chisht in Herat, the Chishti Order and Salama Bridge are some of the multi-dimensional facets of IndoAfghan relations. The efforts of the Cultural Counsellors of the countries are highly commendable in this regard. We deem it necessary to express my sincerest gratitude to India-Afghanistan foundation, Indian Consulate in Herat and the Governor of Herat, Ministry of Information and Culture, the Foreign Ministery, the Literary Society of Herat and the local administration of Herat.
Afzall Ali shah