Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Sufi Saints Photo Workshop | A Thought

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy. All Rights Reserved

Many Western pundits, talking heads and the like believe that Islam is more or less homogeneous and is monolithic...but nothing is further from the truth.

It's not my intention of going into details in this post, but the wide difference between the devotional expression of faith in Srinagar's various Sufi dargahs and at Moin'Uddin Chisti's Ajmer shrine could not have been more dissimilar.

In Srinagar, the devotees were calmer, more introspective, and more contemplative than their brethren during the Urs commemoration of Moin'Uddin's death in Ajmer. The latter expressed devotion to their faith in a very muscular fashion, noisily and did so unashamedly.

Granted, the Ajmer event was a huge religious event, and is hyped to encourage such manifestations of faith...the more the better kind of thing, while in Srinagar there was no special religious event.

It would be interesting to return to Srinagar during the public viewing of the Prophet Mohammed's relic at the Hazratbal shrine. I was told that it rivals the Ajmer Urs in its intensity.

I'm still editing and refining my photo essay of the Moin' Uddin's festival, but it will certainly include my views of the sacred and the profane from the event.