The Conversion Experience in Sufism

Prof. Akbar Hyder
Assistant Professor of Asian Studies
University of Texas

In this lecture Akbar Hyder first defines the identity of mystical Islam within the context of larger Islam and then discusses mystical attitudes towards conversion and other religions in general. Hyder uses the verses of Rumi to demonstrate both the mystics’ love of God and the privileged place of verse and music within mystical Islam. In his discussion of conversion, Hyder argues that mystical Islam is characterized by a tolerant and accommodating stance towards other religions. He ends his lecture playing a Sufi prayer sung in Hindi in order to demonstrate the confluence of the two religions.