LAHORE - Director Iqbal Academy Muhammad Suheyl Umar delivered a lecture 'Repair and redeem: Iqbals re-statement of Sufi thought here at the LUMS on Friday, and addressed the similarities between Iqbal and the traditionalist schools on different issues as an illustration of the shared vision of two interpretative communities, that is, Iqbal and the traditionalist vis-a-vis Sufism. He was of the view that there was a widespread misunderstanding that Iqbal was hostile, or at least ambivalent, toward Sufism and, on a different plane, Allamas perspective is at least antipodes of the traditionalist writers. Suheyl Umar advocated with arguments that Iqbal was not hostile to Sufism. Suheyl Umar initiated his lecture by quoting Allama Iqbals letter in which the latter had stated, 'No doubt, the very phenomenon of Sufism is a foreign thing implanted on the body of Islam and nurtured by the intellectual ambiance of the Persianate culture. To this, Suheyl Umar added that the objections imparted an impression that Iqbal regarded Sufism as an accretion and a foreign introduction in Islam, which would be a blatant contradiction of what Iqbal wrote on numerous occasions later. To prove that the target of Iqbals criticism has to be identified as the intellectual position of a school of thought, and not Sufism as such, Suheyl quoted another letter, which Iqbal wrote to Kishan Parshad Shad in 1920. The Allama wrote, 'Two years ago I voiced some of my differences with Sufism on a doctrinal issues and that was a long standing debate among the Sufis. It was nothing new. Unfortunately, some people who are unaware of their own history misconstrued it as hostility to Sufism. Suheyl was of the considered opinion that Iqbals statements and writing in this regard must be contextualised in the overall debate that surrounded the first edition of Asrar-i-Khudi apart from the issue of Hafiz and the Persian poets, which brought the large question of the origins of Sufism into the arena. To Suheyl, Iqbals criticism of Sufism was a part of a much larger phenomenon existing with in the framework of Sufism - the self-critique of Sufism that had always risen to address and redress the manifestations of deviations in matter of Sufi Doctrine and Method and the general trend of falling away from standards of excellence created by the forces of decadence influencing Sufism. 'It was not a critique of a hostile outsider. Rather it was in the long illustrious tradition of Sufi self-critique that dates back to very early Islamic history. In this sense, when Iqbal criticised some personalities or practices connected with Sufism its true nature was that of a benevolent concern for the welfare for his own 'interpretive community that is Sufism. For him (Iqbal), Sufism was a system of repair, a means of repairing the ills of modernity, and by his criticism he was pointing out the problems within that system of repair. Iqbals criticism of Sufism remains with in the bosom of Sufism of which he himself was a great champion, said Suheyl, adding, that ample evidence could be seen in his poetry and prose writings. While asserting that it would be futile searching a general condemnation of Sufism in Iqbals works, Suheyl again quoted letter (1920) written by the Allama to Kishan Parshad Shad, in which the great poet said, 'I was initiated in the Qadiriyyah order and now I intend to have a tajdeed (renewal of initiation). I have heard that there is a holy man in Nagpur. Would you kindly take the trouble to inquire about him so that I can undertake the journey? I plan to write a history of Sufism. It is not an attack on Sufism, rather looking after its wellbeing. Suheyl mentioned 10th century Sufi Al-Fushanji, who said, 'Today Sufism is a name without a reality, but formerly it was a reality without a name. In the next century, Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh ( Sayyed Ali Hajveri) maintained, 'In the time of the Companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and their successors this name did not exist, but the reality thereof was in everyone; now the name exists, but not the reality. Later, after clearing misconception about Iqbals hostility about Sufism, Suheyl Umar proceeded to focus on the subject that for Iqbal, Sufism was a system of repair, a means of repairing the ills of modernity. To prove his point, he discussed in details writers and poets, and drew comparisons among all.