KHARTOUM (Sudanow)- For over 25 years Bashir Mohamad Bashir (known as the silent Sheikh) has stopped verbal communication. Instead, he communicates with others in writing.
A graduate and post graduate of the prestigious French Sorbonne University, Sheikh Bashir refuses to reveal his philosophy behind this choice.
After graduation from the Sorbonne University with honors and a masters degree in economics, Sheikh Bashir returned to his home country, Sudan. Then he opted for religious practicing and resided in the religious compound of the late Sufi preacher Abdelrahim Albure’e in the Zareeba village of Northern Kordofan District (midwest). The compound embodies a mosque and Koran boarding schools that have been a magnet for thousands of Koran learners from within and outside Sudan for centuries now.
Sheikh Bashir, sane and always beaming with smiles, interacts with people, paper and pen in hand. He answers questions, conducts dialogues, takes part in symposia, conferences and TV talk shows, all in writing, without uttering a single word.
A TV footage shows him answering questions by presenter Babiker Haneen in a popular religious programme.
Equally, Sheikh Basher does not eat much. He is just contented with a few tiny mouthfuls at mealtimes. He says he had trained himself to eat less and keep silent in what he also calls “fasting from talk;”
In addition to his formal secular education in the Sorbonne University, Sheikh Bashir is a learned religious scholar with a multitude of followers and students, with whom he also communicates in writing.
He says he had stayed in the company of Sheikh Albure’e during 1977-1996. “That period had formed my perceptions about a lot of values, including my option for final silence,” he said.
Sheikh Bashir is married and has offsprings.
He was born in the village of Umseraiha of the rural Rahad District in Northern Kordofan also, where he finished his early education before joining the university.
He hails from a religious family. His grandfather had learned the Koran by heart.
Sheikh Bashir’s 1977 masters degree thesis in the Sorbonne University was entitled: “Economy and International Repercussions in the 21st Century.”
In his research Sheikh Bashir had concluded that the international economy would be torn between the options for capitalism and socialism.
At that time his research was considered so progressive, as it forecasted things in a century which was still far away, in the view of some political and economic commentators.
In France, Sheikh Bashir also studied French, Spanish and Hebrew.
In the Zareeba religious compound (publicly known as the city of knowledge and light), Sheikh Bashir underwent a big intellectual shift. He learned quite a lot in religious sciences and Sufi practices and revelations.
Sheikh Bashir normally takes part in social events like weddings and funerals. He has built a religious compound of his own in his home village, Umseraiha.
He reads quite a lot, watches TV channels and listens to the radio. "But my best amusement is to listen to recitations from the Koran and poetry that praises The Prophet Mohammad (peace be on Him)”.
On his philosophy about silence he writes: “The beginning of silence takes place at the finish line of talk!.”
However, his general experience with silence remains obscure, which he considers “a special secret of mine.”
“If the Almighty wants good for a certain human being, He keeps him silent,” he said (in writing also!)
And Also: “Silence uncaps the fountains of wisdom in the soul.”
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