Volume 17, 2018
Value-Implications of Suf Hermeneutics
Sufis have advocated, as well as appropriated, the perennial hermeneutical breakthrough that while a set of exactly true statements referring to the Ultimately Real is impossible of formulation, the scriptural revelations of historical religions symbolize what is ultimately Real in their specific cultural contexts. Such a hermeneutical standpoint of Sufis has profound sociopolitical implications in view of the fact that theological politics of truth has hyperpolarized the entire humankind into perennial warring camps. Sufis, across differences of cultural conditioning, philosophical interpretation, theological exegesis and jurisprudential reconstructions, have been unanimously oriented to moral struggle as well as spiritual transformation owing to their irresistible love of God and their quest for God-realization. Their non-consequentialist commitment to fundamental values of Islam and their unconditional love of God germinated a universalist, perennialist and transcendentalist spiritual quest whose contemporary appropriation by Muslims and assimilation by non-Muslims can pave the way for peace, love, catholicity, pluralism, as well as justice and sustainable development. This pluralistic ethos of Sufis needs to be revisited and re-appropriated. Their emphasis on tolerance, pluralism, liberalism, love and peace needs to be underscored in our times. Their aversion to any kind of ideological dogmatism and theological fanaticism needs to be re-appropriated.