Spirituality to the Rescue: Sufi Perceptions for Enriching and Healing a Broken World

Dr. Sami Rafiq
Sunday, September 24, 2017 -
10:30 to 11:30
held at: 
Federation Hall Columbia Room, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON


Stories and anecdotes derived from nature (in the form of oral literature) have since ancient times played an important role in shaping minds and personalities. The article would look at the Sufi stories and anecdotes translated by Idries Shah and their relevance to a world in a state of moral and emotional collapse as a result of its disposing off spiritual values as irrelevant and useless. Ancient mythical stories from South America or India for example have shown the way to spiritual awakening and enlightenment. The Jataka stories for instance make use of birds and animals to teach moral truths. In Sufi stories too a number of animals, birds and insects serve as analogies to enlighten the soul to rid itself of lower passions in order to bring it closer to the Divine Being.

The article would also see Sufism in the light of the writings of Seyyed Hossain Nasr who feels that a reconnection with God is essential to save the earth from imminent destruction. In fact he sees a close connection between the Earth’s calamities and the spiritual degradation of humanity.

Thus the article would attempt to interpret what it means to seek God on various levels, literal, psychological and spiritual in order to bring healing and harmony to the Earth. It would dwell chiefly on Sufi perceptions for its interpretation but a comparative perspective with spiritual values from other religions would not be ruled out.

Dr. Sami Rafiq is a professor of English at Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India. She is a translator, writer, poet and novelist who celebrates human values.

Sami Rafiq had her education from St. Mary's Convent Naini Tal and Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior. Her undergraduate and graduate studies are from Aligarh Muslim University in India.

She is the founding editor of Cloverleaf: Journal of Education in Evolvement and All Encompassing Spirituality, http://cloverleaf.spiritualeducation.org/.