Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari (1949-2010) was a Sufi leader who devoted his life to peace in the Middle East. His funeral in Jerusalem in 2010 was attended by Rabbis, Muslim and Druze sheiks, Christian clerics and lay people of diverse faiths as a testament to his ability to reach across divides. He was the head of the mystical Naqshabandi Holy Land Sufi Order and Uzbek Community.
He co-founded Jerusalem Peacemakers, and was a participant in the Interfaith Coordinating Council in Israel. In 2008, he told a reporter that religious leaders have to take a role to work in the community on the grassroots, to help people find that violence will not solve our problem, and that this can be done when we act as a family, remembering that God created us to live here in peace and harmony. For today, take a moment to reflect on his words:
“The stronger one is the one who can absorb the violence and anger from the other and change it to love and understanding. It is not easy; it is a lot of work. But this is the real jihad.”