Monday, February 23, 2009
Ajmer: To spread the message of harmony and brotherhood, a Sufi festival is being organized for the first time at the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer from February 24.
The festival will have more that 400 participants showcasing their painting and calligraphy skills based on Islam.
The theme would highlight moderate Islam that does not discriminate one person from another.
Briefing the media about the purpose of the festival, Dr Janmadulla Hussein Chishti, convenor of the festival, said: "It is a dying art. Through calligraphy, painters want to describe Sufism. The art will show how one can love the Almighty."
He added, "Sufi paintings show how a devotee can go into a trance leaving everything behind. It gives out the message of love."
Talking about the venue of the festival, Janmadulla said: "The festival would be organized in mehfil khana of dargah and it would remain open till March 4."
He said that this is the first time in the country when a festival on Sufi art has been organized.
"Since Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti was one of the greatest Sufi followers in the country, we are trying to give the message of love to all the people from here," said Janmadulla.
Meanwhile, Salman Chishti, who took the initiative to re-establish Sufi art in the country said, "Traces of Sufi art are found mostly in Turkey and I am recollecting calligraphy on Sufism. About 400 paintings have been invited in this exhibition."
He said, "The love of the Almighty gives significance to harmony that is above all class, creed and colour. It is an initiation to support moderate Islam throughout the world," said Salman.
"This art form, which was in full swing during the period of Omar Khayyam, when the love of the Almighty was shown with a glass and a jug of wine or a woman and man, is slowly dying. It was a way of showing that the Almighty pours out His love for devotees just like wine is poured out of the jug. Real Sufism went with Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti who came to India from Turkey."
To spread the message of Sufi art, a delegation from Turkey will also arrive here. "We have also invited Sufi painter Jama Anand from Gujarat.
A delegation of the Ashki Jerrahi Order reached Ajmer on Sunday to see the preparation of the Sufi festival. We are also running this organization in America to spread Sufism," said Nabeel Sarwar, a member of the Jerrahi Order.
[Picture: Salman Chishty Phtography. Photo from http://www.chishtyfoundation.org/sufiart.htm].