Decolonialism from a Sufi perspective favours compassion over anger, love over hatred, healing over confrontation, and forgiveness over retribution. Despite the end of most formal colonial administrations many decades ago, the colonial world-system rooted in Western power has been perpetuated to this day. The process of decolonizing individuals, communities, nations and international power structures is far from over. Yet it is underway. The world-system is sick with inequity, indignity, arrogance and humiliation. The disease runs deep in the hearts and minds of oppressors and oppressed. Everybody is trapped in their race, their class, their proper place. The terrifying and the terrified; all need to heal.
Healing the world-system requires action based on the knowledge of the heart rather than activism based
on rational abstractions like equality, freedom or democracy. Not that these concepts are empty or refer to nothing; they are just inept when unqualified. Freedom of what? From what? For whom? Too often unqualified, these abstractions have become modern idols worshipped by the powerful and powerless alike.
But love needs no qualification. Love is no abstraction. It is a force of knowledge that feeds ideas and actions as the water feeds the soil from which things grow. Without deep heart-knowledge our best ideas betray us and our liberators become oppressors.
Sufism is a heart-science based on divine love. It offers a legitimate epistemic base for Muslims to complete the process of decolonization and engage with non-Muslims in a process of cooperative healing.
Transdisciplinary scholar of Islam and Sufism.