Speakers laud Ukrainian’s contributions to Sufism

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – Speakers from Pakistan, Turkey and Ukraine on Monday applauded the contributions of Ahatanhel Krymsky to Sufism and promoting interfaith and intercultural studies.

Speaking at a webinar titled “Ukraine’s Early Harbinger of Multiculturalism" organized by Islamabad-based think tank the Muslim Institute and the embassy of Ukraine in Islamabad, speakers observed that mutual cooperation is the need of the time to enhance academic research in the contemporary world for peace and prosperity, according to a statement issued by the Muslim Institute.

“Scholars like Ahatanhel Krymsky have made great contributions in promoting interfaith and intercultural studies,” said Ukraine’s ambassador to Pakistan Markian Chuchuk.

Being a humanist, Krymsky became a bridge between East and West, especially the West and Muslims, and his works on Muslim languages and the Crimean Tatars are much appreciated among the scholars even after one and a half centuries.

Krymsky (1871-1942) was an eminent Orientalist and Ukrainian philologist who laid the foundation of many institutes on oriental studies, including the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

The speakers also highlighted that Krymsky’s work on Sufism is a valuable contribution to the literature on the subject.

“Renowned Sufis like Mevlana Rumi in Turkey and Haḍrat Sultan Bahoo in the subcontinent conveyed the same message of love and coexistence,” said Sahibzada Sultan Ahmed Ali, chairman of the Muslim Institute.

"The Sufis’ message is intended for every type of people without any discrimination of color, race, creed and language," he said

Ali added that the message of such great personalities is based on humanity and guides human beings towards mutual harmony and dignity. Krymsky’s works on Sufism serve the great purpose of introducing Ukrainian people to the core message of Islam.

"Sufism remained his special focus along with Ottoman culture,” Ali said

Yulia Fil from the Institute of Oriental Studies in Ukraine said: “Krymsky has works on aesthetic aspects of Sufi poets, especially Mevlana Rumi. Ahatanhel Krymsky was a phenomenal linguist, having an expertise in 34 languages.”

Prof. Hakan Kırımlı from Bilkent University in Ankara said: “He not only understood the complexities in Arabic, Persian and Turkish texts but also successfully translated these works. Krymsky served as a bridge builder between different civilizations.”

"By embracing the diversity of different cultures and languages, we can lay the foundation of multiculturalism, peace and harmony. Krymsky’s work nurtured the fruitful diversity of cultures."

Speakers further said that Krymsky laid the foundation of modern Ukrainian culture and his works on Tatar Muslims opened new horizons for multiculturalism.

Alexander Bogomolov, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies in Ukraine, Maj. Gen. (R) Zahid Mubashir Sheikh, Bagdagul Mussa from Jordan University, Prof. Olena Romanova, Olena Bordilovska from the embassy of Ukraine in Islamabad and Mohammad Hamza Iftikhar, a research associate at the Muslim Institute, also spoke on the occasion