Islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will set up a Centre of Excellence on Sufism, an official said. HEC has included a project on Sufism in its Public Sector Development Program (PSD), the official said on Saturday.

HEC and National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) organized ‘An Evening with Rumi’ to feature Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s concept of divine love and mark the launching ceremony of ‘Bishnau’, a book by Dr Aziz Ali Najam, Provost, SPD, NUMS here at the Commission Secretariat.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC was the chief guest on the occasion while Lt Gen Syed Muhammad Imran Majeed, Vice Chancellor NUMS was the guest of honor. Both the dignitaries formally launched the book.

The ceremony was attended by Dr Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Sherali S Jononov, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Pakistan, renowned literary figure Iftikhar Arif, Lt Gen Asif Sukhera, Surgeon General, and a large number of faculty members and students.

Addressing the ceremony, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said, “I am glad that HEC is hosting the launch of the first publication from NUMS. The evening with Rumi is an illuminating and enriching experience taking us back into Rumi’s world.”

He informed the audience that HEC has included a project on Sufism in its Public Sector Development Program and it plans to set up a Centre of Excellence on Sufism. He also announced to hold a conference on Persian at the Commission Secretariat soon.  The chairman said that Maulana Rumi’s contribution is truly a golden chapter of the illustrious Muslim heritage.

“Rumi’s mystic poetry has no match in the world history. His thoughts unfold the mysteries of the spiritual world and divine love. Rumi’s call that the divine love must manifest itself in the love for humanity without discrimination in any form is a beacon of light in the evil darkness of hatred.”

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said, “We are proud of Dr Najam’s work, as it is the real impact that HEC always talks about.” He announced to send copies of the book to all the 188 public and private sector universities of Pakistan.

He said HEC is committed to the upbringing of universities with appropriate support and facilitation, adding that the Commission continuously strives to find new and emerging avenues to help universities promote their activities in all possible means within its purview.

Briefing audience on the book, Dr Najam said Bishnau is an introduction to Maulana Rumi’s extraordinary life and his profound work in the form of Masnavi.

“The colorful illustrations remind us of Rumi’s times and also help us interpreting his thoughts,” he said, adding that Rumi was the best-selling poet in 1990s in the United States.

“The Masnavi is a sacred text that invites one to drown in it.”

He maintained that UNESCO, in acknowledgment of Rumi’s legacy, declared 2007 as the Year of Rumi. He said the commentary made in the book, both in English and Urdu, with original Persian text makes Rumi more accessible to many, particularly youth.




rahul basharat