Dr Irfan Zafar Ever wondered what literature is being taught to our students as part of the national curriculum at our seats of learning? William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Emily Dickinson, Ernest Hemingway, Harper Lee, Robert Burns, James Joyce, Washington Irving and Joseph Conrad are just few writers our academia is concentrating on. Ironically, our rich Sufi literature, which stirs the inner mysticaldimension of our existence, has somehow lost its significance in our lives at a time when we need it the most. While the West is incorporating the writings of Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid, Sultan Bahu, Shah Hussain, Waris Shah, Nizamuddin Auliya and Rumi in their academic and research disciplines, we are caught in a quagmire of complexes stemming from our oblivion to the richness of our own cultural and literary heritage. Among the leading institutions across the world teaching Sufi literature include the Department of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina, Persian Sufi Studies at George Washington University, Columbia University, Yale Department of Religious Studies, McGill University, University of California at Santa Barbra, University of Georgia, Carolina-Duke-Emory Institute, University of Texas at Austin and University of Virginia; just to name a few. Major research in this field is done by leading researchers, which include Marcia K. Hermansen (Sufism in the Contemporary West), Gerdien Jonker (Third-Wave Sufism in America), Gisela Webb (Transnational Sufism), David W. Damrel (Seekers on the path: Different ways of being a Sufi in Britain), Ron Geaves (Sufis of the West) and Leonard Lewisohn (The Heritage of Sufism). The books on Sufi literature are now produced more by the Western authors with only very few scholars in Pakistan producing any printable material of any literary value. Major books in the category include Sufis in Western Society by Markus Dressler, Ron Geaves and Gritt Klinkhammer; Essentials of Sufism by Rober Frager, James Fadiman and Houston Smith; Sufism: A Beginners Guide by William C. Chittick; The Transformation of the Heart by Llewellyn Vaughan Lee; What is Sufism? by Martin Lings; Practical Sufism by Phillip Gowins; Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony by Stephen Schwartz; Paths to the Heart by James Cutsinger; and Introduction to Sufi Doctrine by Titus Burckhardt and William C. Chittick. In addition to Sufism, the Western mystical tradition has also been incorporated in the curriculum with works of Dionysius the Areopagite, Meister Eckhart, Jean Van Ruysbroeck, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Traherne, Jacob Boehme, Gerrard Winstanley, Abiezer Coppe and Sister Madonna Kolbenschlag. Apart from our being falling into the depths of ignorance with its roots in our lack of education, the main reason for not being taught Sufism at our institutions stems from the misconception pertaining to the false concept that its teachings go against the preachings of our religious orthodoxy, which believes more on the literal interpretations without realising that Sufism thrives on two areas or bifurcations whereas you have the concept of divorcing yourself from the real world and attaching with God to find enlightenment or by following the other way of attaching yourself, understanding and finally reaching God through its creations and manifestations. Both these approaches lead us to the same path of understanding the real meaning of our existence and helping us find the inner peace. Much of the disillusionment we see around us these days owe its existence to our intellectual backwardness, which in turn finds its roots to what is being taught to us in the name of modern trendy Western literature having much higher sellable price in terms of its acceptance in a society that is crippled by complexes of inferiority. While the West has realised the importance and value of real knowledge, we on the other hand are drowning ourselves into the depths of oblivion with every passing minute. The writer is a social activist. Email: drirfanzafar@gmail.com