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Chillah courtyard plays host to launch of book on dargahs

That Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya was against any kind of state powers and preached the message of Sufism — which is that of peace,love and harmony

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 27, 2012 2:14:45 am

That Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (Delhi’s iconic 14th century Sufi saint) was against any kind of state powers and preached the message of Sufism — which is that of peace,love and harmony… That he was anti-establishment and was never himself the head of a state,but still a government unto himself…

This is how Sadia Dehlvi justified the absence of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for the launch of her second book The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi on Monday. “No doubt,politicians are never to be trusted. The Chief Minister told me she was caught up with work as it was the last day for filing of nominations for the MCD polls,” Dehlvi said.

Beyond the initial hiccup,however,the book launch was a success for several reasons. One being the venue itself — the lesser-known courtyard of the Chillah and Khanqah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya — a place,Dehlvi says,from where she began writing her book. “ It is also the place where Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya lived and began his mission of Sufism from,” she said.

“I feel very lucky that I got permission to launch my book on the dargahs of Delhi from this place where Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya lived. I started writing my book from this very courtyard — with the most beautiful and peaceful neighbourhood — the lesser-known,but most important,centre in Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya life,where he lived,meditated and died,” Dehlvi said.

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In the absence of the Chief Minister,the book was launched by Syed Altamash Nizami and Farid Ahmed Nizami from the Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah. The launch was followed by a Sufiana Kalam — a qawwali rendition by Dhruv Sangari and his group.

Like Chillah and Khanqah of Nizamuddin,The Sufi Courtyard journeys through the famous and lesser-known dargahs of Delhi. From the first Sufi centre established in Mehrauli by Khwaja Qutub Bakhtiar Kaki — during the early days of the Delhi Sultanate — to the late 19th century Sufi retreats,the book explores the spiritual,cultural and historical legacy of Delhi Sufis. Dehlvi has attempted to recreate the ethos of Delhi to give an unusual perspective on the multiple influences which went into shaping the country’s Sufi traditions.

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