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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Religions, Culture, Stereotyping: Is he a Hindu or Muslim?


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Saffron is generally associated with the Hinduism these days but it is the traditional colour of Muslim Sufis as well, at least in the Indian sub-continent.

Here is a Muslim Baba in the photograph on the left. I surmise that this is the pose in the state of 'haal' [when a man gets spiritually possessed due to devotion], at the shrine of 17th century Sufi Saint in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Or he may just be a mendicant or wandering Sufi. The shrine of Shah Latif Bari Qadri, known as Bari Imam, during the five-day annual Urs, attracts thousands of devotees from all over the Pakistan and even outside.

Unfortunately, colours have also been associated with religions. I have no photographs of an 'Azaad' sufis, whom I have seen at many hospices and shrines. With their long conical 'topis' and style attracted me from childhood. Lately I haven't seen them.

At an Urs [Sufi saint's anniversary] sometime ago I saw a group of 'Azaads' standing near the 'mehfil-e-Qul'. They would loudly say 'Ya Haq' but before I could get my camera, they had vanished. 

3 comments:

Rama Mohan said...

Nice Postings. Meny muslims living friendly with hindus as well as hindus also great attachement with muslims. In some villages both are respecting and attending each other ro their cultural activities. But political and terrorist groups are trying to create clashes in hindu muslim relations for their advantages.

will be back..

ajit harshe said...

I think sufism and bhakti movement is fast disappearing from this land and giving way to wahabism and crude hinduism of confrontation and jehad. I don't think these babas are seen in good light in Pakistan.

Mohib said...

The devotees of Haji Waris Ali Shah of Dewa Sharif also wear saffron robes.