Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Delhi Diary – The Power of Faith

The Delhi walla's pretension in writing makes me want to lodge a bullet in his balls - Blogger Nimpipi, the woodchuck chucks
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Maula Mere Maula

Beauty as seen in a sufi shrine.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

One humid Saturday afternoon I was at the dargah of sufi saint Sarmad Shahid. It is in Old Delhi, just outside Jama Masjid’s gate no. 3.

The red-walled shrine was empty, save a few pilgrims. There was a man, with a beard and a skull cap, praying in front of Sarmad's tomb. Just then a young woman appeared in a sari and stood by his side. With the sindoor spread length-wise on the parting of her hair, and a black-beaded mangalsutra wound round her neck, it was clear that she was a Hindu.

The woman had a few agarbattis in her hands. The sari’s pallu was drawn modestly over her head. Her eyes were closed, her lips were moving, and so were the agarbattis in a never-ending circle, just the way Hindus do in their temples.

I do not know what the lady was murmuring to her saint. I’m not even certain if she was familiar with the ethos of Islam, but the sight was beautiful. Here was a Hindu woman, standing beside a Muslim man; both making their own personal prayers. Both had their eyes closed. Neither minded the other's presence. Neither felt 'impure'.

We Delhiwallas are just amazing people.

These two were from different religions, different backgrounds, but for a short time, they came together in a place of spirituality and, rather unintentionally, stirred up a joint communion.

It does not matter if the shrine belonged to a sufi saint, or a Hindu god, or a Sikhu guru. It does not matter if they were not in the pursuit of spirituality, but merely petitioning for personal favors. What matters is that together they showed all that is beautiful in our city, and in our religions.

While there is no argument that all faiths have caused conflicts, cruelties and communal riots, the same religions have, at times, brought out the best from their followers. That is why that Saturday afternoon I thought of Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and laughed.


Monika said...

amazing pic and lovely write up :) u are right religion is capable of bringing the best in us only if we dont follow it frantically to the extent of obess(esion

kAaLa bLoGgEr said...

Ye khuda ki hidaayat hai apko ki aap unka paigaam logo tak pahucha sakein , aur is paigaam ko jo padleh aur samajh le uske liye ye duniya aasaan hai....the pic itself is a message and you are a Channel chosen by god..its a big deal brother!!

Anonymous said...

In Delhi, people are too busy and too educated to fight. They like peace and order. Usually.

Jman said...

what i would like to know, as someone who has never visited Dehli, or indeed India for that matter, would the opposite ever happen?

Would a muslim go to a hindu temple or shrine?

Anonymous said...

You must read Samuel Huntington again.
Or broaden horizons.

Rima Kaur said...

what a beautiful moment to witness!

Putra Bertam said...

This thing will never happen in Malaysia eventhough 10% of Malaysia population is Hindu but we respect to each other only politic make us sick.

heena said...

"We Delhiwallas are just amazing people."
You rock, man! this piece is amazingly subtle and strong at the same time. I hope the message meets its intention.

Anonymous said...

Muslims should learn from Hindus about respecting other faiths.

Ehsan Ali Jahan said...

Alhumdulillah! I only wish more people were as enlightened as as these true children of GOD.

Deep Sea said...

Yes. Maybe. But sometimes it is simply the need for hope which overcomes the other thoughts. Then it is just the desperate grasp towards faith with matters. Any faith. Anything which signifies hope.

Brilliant pictures on your blog.

Deep Sea said...

..oh and I love reading the captions.