Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised Islam for its message of peace and harmony and described Sufism as one of its greatest contributions.
He said this while addressing a global audience on the opening day of the World Sufi Forum in New Delhi on Thursday.
Terrorism dominated the discussion at the three-day event in which Sufi scholars from around the world are taking part.
“Of the 99 names of Allah , none stand for force and violence and the first two names denote compassionate and merciful. Allah is Rahman and Raheem…Those who spread terror in the name of religion are anti-religious,” Modi said.
“When the spiritual love of Sufism, not the violent force of terrorism, flows across the border, this region will be the paradise on earth that Amir Khusrau spoke about,” Modi added, referring to the 13th century Sufi poet.
Here are the top 10 quotes from PM Modi’s speech:
1.Of the 99 names of Allah, none stand for force and violence and the first two names denote compassionate and merciful. Allah is Rahman and Raheem…Those who spread terror in the name of religion are anti-religious.
2. When the spiritual love of Sufism, not the violent force of terrorism, flows across the border, this region will be the paradise on earth that Amir Khusrau spoke about.
3. Sufism became the face of Islam in India, even as it remained deeply rooted in the Holy Quran, and Hadis. Sufism blossomed in India’s openness and pluralism. It engaged with her spiritual tradition, and evolved its own Indian ethos. And, it helped shape a distinct Islamic heritage of India.
4. It is this spirit of Sufism, the love for their country and the pride in their nation that define the Muslims in India. They are steeped in the democratic tradition of India, confident of their place in the country and invested in the future of their nation; And, above all, they are shaped by the values of the Islamic heritage of India. It upholds the highest ideals of Islam and has always rejected the forces of terrorism and extremism.
5. As a nation, we stood against colonialism and in our struggle for freedom. At the dawn of independence some chose to go away. The tallest of our leaders, such as Maulana Azad, and important spiritual leaders, such as Maulana Hussain Madani, and millions and millions of ordinary citizens, rejected the idea of division on the basis of religion.
6. Terrorism divides and destroys us. Indeed, when terrorism and extremism have become the most destructive force of our times, the message of Sufism has global relevance.
7. Terrorism uses diverse motivations and causes, none of which can be justified. Terrorists distort a religion whose cause they profess to support. They kill and destroy more in their own land and among their own people than they do elsewhere.
8. The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion. It cannot be. It is a struggle between the values of humanism and the forces of inhumanity.
9. We must reject any link between terrorism and religion. Those who spread terror in the name of religion are anti-religious.
10. We need just not constitutional provisions or legal safeguards, but also social values to build an inclusive and peaceful society, in which everyone belongs, secure about his rights and confident of her future.