Friday, March 5, 2009
Jaipur: An eight-day Sufi festival, organised by the Chisthy Foundation in Mehfil Khana at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, reached its zenith on its last day with a whirling' performed by the followers of a Sufi order from Turkey.
The performance, based on the mystic tunes of devotional Qawwali, left the devotees spellbound.
The Sufi messages of peace and harmony are being propagated through an exhibition of paintings called 'Sufi art festival' organised by Syed Salman Chishty, a Sufi scholar and a managing trustee of the Foundation. He has displayed his collection of 40 photographs on the theme of Sufism along with 100 paintings which revolves around Sufi values.
Jana Anand, a Hindu Sufi artist who is suffering from multiple sclerosis, has exibited her collection of paintings titled 99 names of Allah' in the festival. The unique feature of this exhibition is the representation of the teachings of Sufis in calligraphy, along with their meanings illustrated in a painting in the background. She did her paintings by fingers, palms, sponges and markers.
Another participant who drew the attention of devotees was Syed Najmul Hasan Chishty. He had beautifully portrayed the poetry of sufi saint from Turkey, Mevlana Rumi, in his paintings. He had also captivated the trauma of the devotees after the bomb blasts in the shrine of Khwaja. It shows the scattered Iftari plates with blood stains on the dargah compound along with the sufi message of peace and brotherhood.
About one lakh [100'000] zayreen' have seen the paintings and appreciated the initiative taken by Chisthy Foundation.
"The basic theme I got from this exhibition is that love and harmony is the right attitude towards religion," said Rajnesh Singh, a government officer from Maharastra. "The message I got from this art is that meditation cannot be complete without taking others with us," he said.
"I got invitation from Kolkata to organise an exhibition there," said Salman Chisthy. He had even got an invitation from Agra and Nagpur.
This was the first time Sufi art was opened for the common man.
"I brought foreign tourists from Pushkar when they asked me about Sufi festival. They found it a different view of Islam," said Deepak Singh, a tourist guide.
[Pictures: 1) Beautiful Dargah Shariff painting on display. 2) Brother Salman Chishty (left) taking account of the proceedings. 3) Calligraphy on display. Photos from http://www.chishtyfoundation.org/SufiPics.htm . Click the link for more photos.].