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Ashraf denounces violence in name of Islam

New Delhi: A prominent Muslim religious leader has denounced all acts of violence in the name of Islam and said one should understand that `jihad` or the holy war is a defence against one`s own problems.

"Jihad is defence, not offence. Do jihad against your own problems," said Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Ashraf, General Secretary of All India Ulama and Mashikh Board.

"In our society, people are segregated into different classes based on their religion, caste, name and place. A place like India where language changes virtually every 50 kms, it`s imperative that people live in harmony and appreciate the diversity," he said.

Speaking at a seminar on Sufism and Indian Islam here on Monday, Ashraf said, "The notion of heaven and hell doesn`t affect a Sufi practitioner because fear and greed are trivial for a Sufi."

Khawaja Ekramuddin, Associate Professor at JNU`s Centre of Indian Languages, said Sufi saints gave a message of humanity to the world and played a major role in nation building.

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