Archive for November, 2012

Unique Sufi pilgrimage beckons music lovers across India – Mumbai – DNA

Friday, November 30th, 2012


Published: Friday, Nov 30, 2012, 1:26 IST

By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Ruhaniyat 2012, a sufi and mystic music festival, will open in the city on December 1 at Horniman Circle Garden before going to eight other cities across the country.

With a line-up of international sufi troupes, the festival has always enjoyed a pride of place on the country’s cultural calendar. The 12th edition of the two-day festival is organised by Banyan Tree, a cultural organisation that promotes performing arts.

Calling the festival “a unique musical pilgrimage,” Banyan Tree director Mahesh Babu said, “One feels privileged to be part of this festival which, in many ways, is the call of the soul, enlivening centuries of spiritual wisdom. The way immortal works of great mystics are brought to life by mostly unheard of but immensely talented carriers of living traditions from remote parts of the country can be overwhelming.”

This year, the festival will travel to Raipur and Ahmedabad too, along with Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Bengaluru. “With each passing year, the family keeps growing as we discover more and more talent and bringing them to the Ruhaniyat platform. Such dynamism in the line-up has brought newer audiences too,” added Babu.

This edition will feature some unique art forms like Kapalik Pandvani from Chhattisgarh, Sukhnani Ojhapalli from Assam, Ravanhatta ensemble from Rajasthan and Sindhi Saraiki from Kutch. The festival opens with Mystic Drums by P Nandakumar & Group (Kerala), Sindhi Saraiki by Ismali Para and Group (Kutch), Sufiana Maqam ensemble by Oud, Kanoon, Edakka, Kamaycha by Mohammad Farghaly & Group (Egypt, Kerala and Rajasthan), Kapalik Pandvani by Meena Sahu & Group (Chhattisgarh), Tannoura by Dancing Dervishes (Egypt) and Sufi Qawwali by Sabri Brothers & Group (Jaipur).

The second day will feature Sukhnani Ojhapalli by Dron Bhuyan & Group (Assam), Mystic Ravanhatta ensemble by Sugunaram & Group (Rajasthan), Shabad by Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa (Punjab), Baul songs by Parvathy Baul (West Bengal), Sufi Qawwali by Chand Nizami & Group (Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah, Delhi).

via Unique Sufi pilgrimage beckons music lovers across India – Mumbai – DNA.


Qatar building Quranic Garden

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The Sidra Tree (Ziziphus sp.) in Qatar will be the first tree planted in the new garden.

Dubai: A unique biological garden featuring the plants mentioned in the Holy Quran is being built in Qatar, the host of the upcoming UN climate summit.

The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will take place from November 26 to December 7 this year.

Christened ‘Quranic Botanical Garden’, it is an ongoing project under the umbrella of the global Qatar Foundation Green Project.

The exotic garden coming up in the ‘Education City’ in Doha will serve not only as a place of meditation, but as a research centre for students, apart from educating people about the rich Islamic heritage.

The garden is first of the four components of the Green Projects programme designed to promote conservation and further understanding of the country’s natural resources, Gulf Times reported.

Being first of its kind in Qatar, the Quranic Garden will comprise all the plant species mentioned in the Quran, and those in Sunnah (Deeds of the Prophet) and Hadith (sayings of the Prophet).

It will also exhibit botanical terms mentioned in the Quran, explaining to them the context of modern science.

It will be used to educate people about the importance of conservation and raise awareness about the moral importance of environmental stewardship as well.

“There are so many botanical terms in the Quran, we have to share it with the public,” Fatima Saleh Al-Khulaifi, who works on Green Projects at the Quranic Gardens, said.

UNESCO proposed the idea of this project in 2008. And, the proposal was accepted by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the chairperson of Qatar Foundation, who planted the first tree of the project, a Sidra tree.

The Holy Quran is rich with plant life and its sacred words refer to plants native to the region of the earliest Muslims, including those in desert and Mediterranean climates.

It (Quran) also refers to tropical plants from other regions, such as the banana tree and ginger plant. The proposed garden will also feature plants such as the lentil, sesame, pomegranate, fig and henna, among others.

According to Al-Khulaifi, the garden will be ready to open three years from now.

The first tree (Sidra) planted here, the symbol of Qatar Foundation, is an important part of Qatar heritage. It was the traditional meeting place for scholars and travellers, who would gather to share knowledge under the shade of the Sidra. Its fruit and leaves also have medicinal properties.

via Qatar building Quranic Garden.


Sufi Trail reveals secrets of Islamic mysticism

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Through hikes and rides along the hills of the West Bank, the Sufi Trail is a chance for foreign and local tourists to learn more about the roots of Islamic mysticism. (APTN)

While Sufi shrines and dargahs are being indiscriminantly destroyed by criminals and vandals masquerading as defenders of Islam – In Palestine a group is working through cultural tourism to save this invaluable history.

Sufi Trail reveals secrets of Islamic mysticism

Wednesday, 07 November 2012

The Associated Press West Bank

Perched high on a hilltop, this Sufi shrine was erected in the 16th century to honor the Sufi mystics.And today a group of tourists are gathered to learn more about Sufi mysticism in the Palestinian village of Birzeit, near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Raed Saadeh is briefing visitors before the start of the Sufi Trail.Saadeh is one of the creators of the Sufi Trail and Chairman of “Rozana”, a Birzeit-based association dedicated to the promotion of agro-tourism as well as architectural and cultural preservation in the Palestinian Territories.Sufi Trail participants are a group of a dozen foreigner and local people interested in discovering the Holy Land through a walk off the beaten track.The first stop is at the al-Qatrawani shrine, a 16th-century sanctuary built on top of a previous Byzantine monastery, its history shrouded in mystery: according to “Rozana”, a local tradition says that it was built in honor of a Muslim holy man, Sheikh Ahmad al-Qatrawani, a mystic from the Islamic Sufi order from the village of Qatra near Gaza; a parallel Christian tradition attributes the name al-Qatrawani to Saint Catherine of Alexandria.The two folk legends are intertwined, as it happens in places with millennia-old history: “Catherine, Qatrawani, so another connection to the name, ok?, Qatrawani, Catherine. And it’s also connected to the same myth, that Catherine actually was descended into Mount Sinai and this guy was descended to this location, so there might be also similarities,” Saadeh explains to the group.

Read  more about this via Sufi Trail reveals secrets of Islamic mysticism.