Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun has called on experts to promote commonalities in various religions for the promotion of peace and brotherhood in the world. He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day international conference on Maulana Jallal-ud-Din Rumi and Hazrat Sultan Bahu at Punjab University’s Al Raazi Hall on Tuesday.
The conference was jointly organized by Punjab University Department of Persian, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and The Muslim Institute. Punjab University Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhter, Iranian Counsel General Muhammad Raza Nazri, Director Khana-e-Farhang Iran Ali Akbar Razai Fard, Director Yunus Emre Turkish Culture Centre Lahore Olas Artas, Editor-in-Chief Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture Journal Sardar Ajaib Singh Chattha, Muslim Institute Chairman Sahabzada Sultan Ahmad, Faculty of Oriental Learning Dean Prof Dr Saleem Mazhar, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion.
Addressing the conference, Raja Yasir Humayun said all religions preached humanity and Sufis presented this message in an excellent manner. He said there were similarities in the teachings of Maulana Rumi and Sultan Bahu that taught us to eliminate ego and spread love. He said only if we understood their message, our social evils and personal imperfections would be removed altogether.
Humayun said there was a need to comprehend the message of greats like Rumi and Bahu and act upon it, as only than “we will succeed in life”. He also congratulated PU VC Prof Niaz Ahmad on establishing Baba Guru Nanak Chair and applauded the efforts of the institute.
In his address, Prof Niaz Ahmad said Islam and all other religions promoted peace and high moral values that we need to act upon. He said Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) has said he who has highest ethical values is the best among Muslims. “We must ignore the mistakes of other people and should develop the habit of forgiving others,” he added.
Iranian Counsel General Muhammad Raza Nazri said teachings of Maulana Rumi had deeply influenced different cultures across the globe and hence his ideas were ranked the highest among other thinkers of the Sub-Continent. He said Allama Iqbal drew inspiration from the thoughts of Maulana Rumi, while a part of his thoughts were also influenced by Iranian scholars. He said Iqbal advised the Muslims not to look at the West but urged them to stay united by relying on each other and Iran was following Iqbal’s this ideology.
Olas Artas said Maulana Rumi and Sultan Bahu through their teachings promoted tolerance in the society. Sultan Ahmad said the teachings of Maulana Rumi were relevant to today’s society, even after 800 years. Later, souvenirs were distributed among the participants. The conference will continue till Wednesday.