Sufis and the People of Delhi

Sufis and the People of Delhi

in Interview
Published on: 13 October 2017

Sohail Hashmi

Sohail Hashmi is a writer, film-maker and has been conducting heritage walks for children and adults since 2000. He has written on Delhi's languages, food, water bodies and monuments. He works with Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt Limited and is founding Trustee of SAHMAT.

Kuldeep Patowary and Shounak Ghosh (interviewers) are doing PhDs in history from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and from Vanderbilt University, USA.

Kuldeep Patowary and Shounak Ghosh discuss Sufism and its history with Sohail Hashmi in an interview recorded in Delhi in January 2017

An interview with Sohail Hashmi on the history of Sufi settlements in Delhi, describing how people were drawn to Sufism because it was inclusive, adopted the language of the people, and laid stress on serving fellow beings rather than on ritual. Sufis were venerated for having superhuman abilities and vision, and celebrated for keeping their distance from worldly power. We may also observe a degree of democracy in Sufi institutions, and syncretic elements in their poetry and ritual performance, that make their legacy meaningful for us today.