The Ginans Of The Pirs

807 WordsSep 4, 20164 Pages
In the Ginans, it is common to find usage of terminology and symbolism, which has a Hindu background. This is because the majority of the addressees of the Pirs were Hindus and therefore the Pirs incorporated symbolism, terminology, themes and ideas prevalent within the local milieu. However, the underlying message in these verses is congruent with the teachings of Islam and particularly with the Ismaili Tarīqah. Acculturation, leading to a fusion of Ismaili beliefs and Hindu concepts to form the Ismaili belief system, is undoubtedly a prominent feature of, but certainly not exclusive to, the Ginanic approach of da‘wa (propagation of Faith). Similar traits are evident in other Ismaili traditions. For example, during the Fatimide period, there was a synthesis of Ismaili beliefs with Neoplatonic and Gnostic ideas, while during the Alamūt period there was an assimilation of Ismaili concepts with Sufism. The reason behind this approach is clearly straightforward – to propagate the message of the Ismaili Faith within the framework of the local milieu to acquire optimum results. This approach aptly falls within the scope of the formula for da‘wa, prescribed by the Holy Qur’an: “Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.” The mention of and reference to local symbols, themes and concepts
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