&K Higher Education Department (HED) and University of Kashmir organised a day-long programme at the Gandhi Bhawan, as part of activities associated with the Iconic Week that celebrates the Sufi traditions and culture of Kashmir. The programme included an academic seminar on Shaikh-ul Aalam titled, “Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) as an Embodiment of Kashmir’s Syncretic Culture” followed by the recitation of “Kalam-i-Shaikh-ul Aalam” and a “Mehfil Sufiyana”in the latter half of the day.
The programme commenced with a welcome address by Prof. G. N. Khaki, Chairman Centre for Shaikh-ul Aalam Studies (CSAS). Prof. Khaki described Shaikh-ul Aalam as a figure of immense significance who inaugurated a new age of communal harmony in Kashmir while promoting the ideas of oneness of mankind and human integration. Prof. Gulshan Majeed, Former Director CCAS, as the Keynote speaker on the occasion, seconded these thoughts affirming that many of Kashmir’s prominent scholars have constantly reinforced Shaikh-ul Aalam’s message of syncretism in their writings. Prof. Shad Ramzan, former Head, Department of Kashmiri, in his address as the Special Guest described Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) as a multi dimensional person, who needs to be read and explored beyond his otherwise circumscribed dimension of a mystic.
Dr. Nisar Ahmad Mir, Registrar Kashmir University, as a Special Guest on the occasion called upon the University fraternity to recognise the importance of Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) as an iconic figure whose life and teachings need to be explored from an interdisciplinary approach.
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Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir, Prof. Talat Ahmad, was the chief guest on the occasion and delivered the presidential address. He described Kashmir as a place whose traditions of tolerance embodied by personalities like Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) were very old. In his opinion, Shaikh-ul Aalam was not only a social reformer but also a naturalist whose thinking process was very advanced for his age.
The inaugural session concluded with Dr. Muhammad Ilham, Faculty member, CSAS presenting the vote of thanks.
During the event, two Journals of Alamdar (2019 and 2020) published by Centre for Shaikh-ul Aalam Studies (CSAS), University of Kashmir were also released.
Eight research papers on various aspects of Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) were presented during the technical session chaired by Prof. Aejaz Mohammad Sheikh, Head, Department of Urdu. The paper presenters included Prof. Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, Dr. Maroof Shah, Prof. Aejaz Mohammad Sheikh, Dr. Muhammad Ilham, Dr.Sabreen Javid, Dr. Fayaz Ahmad and Dr. Saltanat Farooq.
The seminar was attended by a galaxy of scholars, administrators, deans of faculties, heads / directors of the departments / Centres of University of Kashmir, University officials, renowned personalities and research scholars and students of Kashmir University.
The latter part of the day included the recitation of Kalam-i Shaikh-ul Aalam (RA) and Mehfil-e-Sufiyana.