Dairy Science Park, connecting Rumi, Iqbal, Tolerance and UNSDGs


Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

“Listen with ears  of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love”. This is a quote of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. His poems have been popular in many regions of the world and impacted Persian, Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Azerbaijani, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu literature, as well as the literature of some other Turkic, Iranian, and Indo-Aryan languages including Chagatai, Pashto, and Bengali. He has been described at the most popular poet and the best selling poet in the United States.

Born in Balkh, Afghanistan on September 16, 1207, Rumi inherited his position as the head of an Islamic school at the age of 25 years. One of Baha’ ud-Din’s students, Sayyed Burhan ud-Din Muhaqqiq Termazi, continued to train Rumi in the Shariah as well as the Tariqa, especially that of Rumi’s father. For nine years, Rumi practiced Sufism as a disciple of Burhan ud-Din until the latter died in 1240 or 1241. Rumi’s public life then began: he became an Islamic Jurist, issuing fatwas and giving sermons in the mosques of Konya. He also served as a Molvi (Islamic teacher) and taught his adherents in the madrassa. During this period, Rumi also travelled to Damascus and is said to have spent four years there.

It was his meeting with the dervish Shams-e Tabrizi on 15 November 1244 that completely changed his life. From an accomplished teacher and jurist, Rumi was transformed into an ascetic. On the night of 5 December 1248, as Rumi and Shams were talking, Shams was called to the back door. He went out, never to be seen again. Rumi’s love for, and his bereavement at the death of, Shams found their expression in an outpouring of lyric poems, Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. He himself went out searching for Shams and journeyed again to Damascus. Hussam-e Chalabi, assumed the role of Rumi’s companion and implored Rumi to write more. Rumi spent the next 12 years of his life in Anatolia dictating the six volumes of this masterwork, the Masnavi, to Hussam. In December 1273, Rumi fell ill and died on the 17th of December in Konya.

Mehdi Amin Rizwin mentioned a basic difference of interpretation of religions between the jurists (foqahâ) and the sages (hokamâ), including the gnostics in the Islamic tradition (‛âref).  The article then argues that Rumi rejected the epistemological foundation of the claim that one can know the absolute Truth through feqh, or any other means, thus opening  the path for the relativity of knowledge and understanding of religious truth.   The article shows how the Masnavi and Divan-e Shams criticize the epistemological reliability of the senses, as well as the notion that truth can be known by authority, or by pure reason and philosophy (though he does not thereby reject rationalism).

Rumi seems to privilege the intuition and spiritual attainment as more morally reliable modes of knowing than philosophy, theology, nor law – though even this remains limited.  The logical conclusion of these epistemological limitations is that only the Absolute knows the Absolute absolutely, and individual human beings possess only a relative understanding of the Absolute Truth, and must therefore exercise tolerance, respect, understanding, inclusiveness and epistemological humility. Mevlana advocates for mutual co-existence among the people as below:

“Come, come, let us appreciate each other, know the value of each other.”

Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Allama Muhammad Iqbal, (November 9, 1877 – April 21, 1938), widely known as Muhammad Iqbal, was a poet, philosopher, and politician, as well as an academic, barrister and scholar in British India who is widely regarded as having inspired the Pakistan Movement. He is called the “Spiritual Father of Pakistan” and produced literary work in both the Urdu and Persian languages.

Iqbal has been admired as a great Muslim philosophical thinker of modern times. He acknowledges Rumi as his guide without reservation, as reported by International Iqbal Society. No  thinker except Rumi has acquired the title of the Pir (guide) from Iqbal. He has whole heartedly paid him tribute and respect nearly in all his books. This tribute arouses much curiosity when it is paid by Iqbal, an eminent poet-philosopher with numinous vision and outstanding scholarship. The most important factor which impressed Iqbal to acknowledge Rumi as his guide was Rumi’s interpretation of the Quran and his profound love for the Holy Book and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

“The light of the Quran is hidden in his (Rumi’s) breast, the cup of Jam fades in the presence of his mirror”.

Said Rumi: Before they can repopulate any ancient ruin, do you not know that first of all they must destroy the foundation?

“The principle of the ego-sustaining deed is respect for the ego in myself as well as in others,” said Iqbal. He was a great believer in for bearance and tolerance as described by Professor Emerita Riffat Hassan, an internationally acclaimed religious scholar and activist. E. M. Forster points out about Iqbal, “whatever his opinions, he was no fanatic, and he refers to Hindus and Christians with courtesy and respect.

Iqbal’s Perfect Person, says Professor Bausani, has something to teach us: “First: that tolerance and all those so-called virtues of modern man are not in contradiction to the simple strong faith in the transcendental. ‘Wherever you turn’ – to use a Koranic sentence – ‘There the countenance of God stands.’ Second: Man who is merely an impotent being completed by Him who is ‘nearer to him than his jugular vein’ becomes omnipotent and creator of new spiritual worlds. Third: to achieve this, a preliminary act of submission is necessary: in Dante’s philosophy it is repentance, in Iqbal’s a declaration of slavery – but slavery of God and only of God. Of that God whose glory permeates through all the Universe.

Iqbal condemned racism and called it to be discouraged in all forms as it is in opposition to one of the fundamentals of Islamic polity – namely, the equality and brotherhood or sisterhood of humankind. Iqbal considers “ nasab-parasti” to be one of the reasons for the downfall of the Muslims.

For the Dairy Science Park, the following guidelines of Iqbal may be taken into consideration as these fits into its birth in Egypt, exploration of livestock resources in the war hit region; the centuries old production and marketing practices, service delivery; and future vision:

Open your eyes and look above, Look at the streak of dawn.

To be afraid of the new ways, to insist on old ones; This is the only difficult stage in the life of nations.

If you are among the living, fashion your own world; Life is the secret of Adam, the essence of the words Be and it was.

May the Muslims unite in watching over the Shrine; from the banks of the Nile to the deserts of Kashghar.

Said Rumi: Before they can repopulate any ancient ruin; do you not know that first of all they must destroy the foundation?




The cohesion of the Radiant Community is the salvation of the East; but the people of Asia are so far ignorant of this principle.

Promoting Tolerance and War on Terror

Earnst-Ulrich Petersmann of the European University Institute called for complimentary Global Compact, between the UN and UN specialized agencies as well as worldwide public organizations. The universally recognized human rights need to be integrated into laws and practices of these intergovernmental organizations. The globalization of human rights and economic integration laws offers mutually beneficial synergies protection and enjoyment of human rights depending upon economic resources, reducing discrimination and enabling a welfare-increasing division of labor. Economic, legal and political integration are a function of human rights protecting personal autonomy, legal and social security, peaceful change, individual savings, investment, production and mutually beneficial transaction across frontiers.

Human rights should be recognized in global integration laws as empowering citizens, constitutionally limiting national and international regulatory powers and as requiring governments to protect and promote human rights in all policy areas across the national frontiers. Human rights promote the effectiveness of international organizations. The war of everybody against everybody is transformed into peaceful cooperation based on equal legal rights. Diversity of individual values need to be protected and majorities have to be prevented from imposing their values upon minorities, human markets and markets. It will promote peaceful coexistence, tolerance and scientific progress.

Under clause 36 of the Declaration of Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations, the heads of the States/Governments and Higher Representatives pledged to foster inter-cultural understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and an ethic of global ‘citizenship and shared responsibility. They acknowledged the natural and cultural diversity of the world and recognized that all cultures and civilizations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development. The historic land of the Pashtuns across both sides of the Durand Line in Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been the site of international conflicts since the recorded history of Alexander the Great, the British Empire, the Soviet Invasion and the US-led War on Terror. Across the border, three million Afghan refugees have settled in Pakistan. The military operations carried out in the tribal agencies and FATA regions, have resulted in internally displaced persons, leaving behind a huge number of sheep, goats and cattle unattended. This has led to loss of indigenous genetic resources and loss of livelihood support to the people; promoting terrorism further, instead of combating it. Dairy Science Park recommends rehabilitation of these livestock resources, development of livestock-based entrepreneurship and establishment of processing and marketing backup to these units, with special focus on biorisk management; with the final goal of brining a stable peace in the region.

Sustainable Development Agenda of UN

The Heads of State and Government and High Representatives, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 25-27 September 2015 as the Organization celebrates its seventieth anniversary, decided on new global Sustainable Development Goals, bringing the document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development”.

This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which were announced demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

Alongside continuing development priorities such as poverty eradication, health, education and food security and nutrition, it sets out a wide range of economic, social and environmental objectives. It also promises more peaceful and inclusive societies. It also, crucially, defines means of implementation. Reflecting the integrated approach that were decided on, there are deep interconnections and many cross-cutting elements across the new Goals and targets. Goal 2 call for ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture.
They envisaged a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive.

They envisaged a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and  universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. A world where commitments could be reaffirmed regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and where there is improved hygiene; and where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious. The Declaration called for strengthening the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks. Goal 3 called for ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages.

The Declaration mentioned that this is the time of immense challenges to sustainable development. Billions of our citizens continue to live in poverty and are denied a life of dignity. There are rising inequalities within and among countries. Unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, is a major concern. Global health threats, more frequent and intense natural disasters, spiraling conflict, violent extremism, terrorism and related humanitarian crises and forced displacement of people threaten to reverse much of the development progress made in recent decades. Goal 8 called for promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Dairy Science Park

The Dairy Science Park has been utilized as a platform to coordinate the activities focused at industrialization of livestock and poultry sector for generating self-employment for the youth and hygienic food production for local consumption and export in northwestern Pakistan and the adjoining regions of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and China.

It has emerged at the University of Agriculture, Peshawar, engaging the youth in productive economic activities. Medium-sized units are being networked with services providers, markets, and emerging entrepreneurs. The United Nations has accepted Dairy Science Park as partner for implementing Sustainable Development Goals, notified at SDG Action 9671. Activities of DSP have been displayed at http://dairysciencepark.org.pk/.

Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been the sites of  international conflicts. The region is mostly mountainous and arid, rich in natural resources, predominantly livestock like sheep, goats, cattle, buffaloes, and poultry. The total value of livestock heads is Rs.1.09 trillion (US $10 billion). However, the huge resource base can neither provide good economic return to the producers, nor quality food to the consumers. These holdings threaten public health safety. The main reasons behinds this state of affairs
are poor socio-economic status of the farmers, lack of resources and focus on part of the state institutions, and a hostile marketing system. The sector issues were summarized as:

Sectoral Issues

  • Poor practices at farmers’ and industry level and limited scope of education system create hurdles in food safety and entrepreneurship
  • Slaughter houses/poultry butchers delivering meat contaminated with dung, flies, cats and dogs create threats to public health
  • Rising level of unemployment and underutilized/unskilled labor at farms, factories and marketing networks
  • Price capping of livestock products restricts industrialization
  • Utilization of medium sized farms for entrepreneurship, technical, financial, marketing and regulatory support to these units is not included in the Mandate of any government or other agencies
  • Slaughterhouse lacking and Halal Tayyab
  • Poor state of resource utilization
  • The miserable transportation status
  • Private companies selling meat/milk items of unknown quality and Halal status, at inappropriate rates
  • Input suppliers are grabbing the major share of farmers’ produce and deliver low quality inputs
  • Live birds/livestock transportation and marketing in open places and vehicles contaminate the environment and present a dirty picture of the Region and the Muslims
  • Marketing dead/sick animals/birds and their food products with no check on Halal/hygienic status
  • Halal bones are exported at throw away prices and Haram gelatin is imported at very high rates
  • Legal courts ban import of useful products and export of economically viable products

Development Interventions

The Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences consider the Khyber province as a natural resource base, possessing livestock and poultry resources with an estimated value of Rs.1.09 trillion. Meat is an important products and its proper management can overcome the protein deficiency of the nation and produce surpluses for export, not less than US 2.00 billion.

An organized effort has been made at the Faculty under the Dairy Science Park to utilize the livestock resources with optimum efficiency with a focus on industrialization. A biennial series of international workshops has been in progress on Dairy Science Park; successfully holding three conferences at Peshawar, Pakistan during November 2011, 2013 and 2015 and the Fourth International Conference and Industrial Exhibition has been scheduled at Konya, Turkey on November 1-5, 2017. Each workshop was attended by 450+ participants, from academia, government and sector organizations.

Under the DSP the laboratory setup at the Animal Health Department is being utilized for investigating disease problems in the medium sized livestock and poultry herds/flocks. DSP operationalized Univ Feed Mill Senior Minister LG approved DSP Task Force.

Poultry Science Department has introduced new concepts in postgraduate research like maggot meal silk worm meal, meal worm, omega-3 enriched eggs, iron and zinc enriched eggs, quality control through drugresidues,
aflatoxin levels, antibiotic resistance, herbal probiotics as growth promoters, improvement meat quality through dietary antioxidants supplementations, stress management through antioxidants, semen evaluation, breeding through artificial insemination, introduction and evaluation of rabbits for meat production.

The sheep, goats, poultry, dairy and beef animals are being studies for their productivity, products quality and business potential. Carcass yield and quality. Processing of meat, palatability and consumers’ preferences documented. The local livestock and poultry breeds are investigated for productivity and business incubation. The University Cattle Feed Mill has been run under a lease arrangement with a private partner. It has provided a gateway to the University System for applied research and an effective outreach setup for the mediums sized commercial livestock farmers.

Biorisk Management was integrated into DVM curriculum through a series of five training workshops with Sandia National Laboratories USA, involving 8 universities, public and private sectors and accommodating 60 persons-events at Amsterdam, Dubai, Bangkok, Phuket and Colombo.

UN SDGs Action 9671

DSP has been accepted by the United Nations as SDGs Action 9671 for SDG 2, 3 and 8 covering Food Security, Health Safety and Entrepreneurship Development and has been notified SMART on their website. Annual Reports on SDGs achievements have been submitted for 2015, 2016 and 2017 and the UN has declared DSP as SMART initiative, accessible at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=9671.

DSP invites individuals and organizations for partnership to serve the people of the war hit zone of north-western Pakistan and the adjoining Afghanistan’s regions.

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