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Monday, Oct 03, 2022

‘In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India’: Book by Rana Safvi delves into roots of Sufism

Touted to be a compelling treatise weaving together fact and popular legend, publishing house Hachette India on Tuesday said that the book delves into the "fascinating roots of Sufism, with its emphasis on 'ihsan', 'iman' and 'akhlaq', and the impact it continues to have on people from all communities".

Writer, scholar and translator Rana Safvi. (Photo: Rana Safvi/ Instagram)

Acclaimed writer, scholar and translator Rana Safvi’s new book, In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India, explores the idea of Sufism, its roots and how it affects people across communities.

Touted to be a compelling treatise weaving together fact and popular legend, publishing house Hachette India on Tuesday said that the book delves into the “fascinating roots of Sufism, with its emphasis on ‘ihsan’, ‘iman’ and ‘akhlaq’, and the impact it continues to have on people from all communities”.

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Sufism, called the mystical dimension of Islam, is known for its inclusive nature, as well as its ethics of love and compassion, its devotional music, art, and architecture.

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In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India, became as much a personal as an academic quest, and it took me six years of research and visits to dargahs to complete. I can only hope that this journey made me a better person and will be transformational for the readers of the book,” said Safvi, the author of the bestselling Delhi trilogy — Where Stones Speak, The Forgotten Cities of Delhi and Shahjahanabad: The Living City of Old Delhi — in a statement.

Besides textual sources, Safvi also relied on her visits to shrines across the country, and the conversations she had with devotees and pirs, Sufi spiritual guides, alike.

The book, as per the publishers, evokes in vivid detail the sacred atmosphere that Safvi encountered – the reverent crowds, the strains of qawwali and the fragrance of incense, as well as highlights the undeniable yet often forgotten contributions of women in Sufism.

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“The resulting text is at once modern and a tribute to the rich and textured past,” wrote the publishers in their description of the book.

Safvi’s last release Tears of the Begums, also published by Hachette India, is the English translation of Khwaja Hasan Nizami’s Urdu book Begumat ke Aansoo which chronicles the turning of the wheel of fortune in the aftermath of India’s first war of independence.

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First published on: 22-09-2022 at 02:19:54 pm
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