November 12, 2011
My dear Sandeep,
It was a spectacular peace concert last evening! Your renditions of your own Urdu poetry literally transported one and all to a strange magical world of peace and tranquility.And Shafqat was,to say the least,absolutely fantastic! I was able to savour the beauty and majesty of most of gems Shafqat and you unfolded to us lesser beings living in a world passing through tumultous times. I am highly emboldened to share with you the fact that I am deeply immersed in Sufi music. Sufi music symbolises the unbreakable union with the Beloved, with God. Music is the vehicle to reach the heart and attain a state of grace or enlightenment, a stateless state of the inner knowledge. Sufism is, in its essence, the way of love. Love is considered to be a spiritual alchemy by means of which the baser qualities of a human being are transformed into higher ones. In this respect it suffices to say that the legendry Sufi poet and philosopher Hazrat Nizamuddin Awlia (better known as Mehboob-e-Elahi, the beloved of Allah and whose name was uttered last evening several times over) believed that the spiritual status of a beloved is much higher than that of a lover.His philosophy is metamorphosed in the following poem which displays the greatness of a loving heart and a deeply sympathetic soul :
"In Allah's garden you gather roses,
Being drunk with divine mysteries: Hazrat Mehboob-e-Elahi -- the beloved of Allah,
O, how I long for the attar of your company.
Come running to the end of Your street,
Tears are washing and washing my cheek.
Union with You -- what else can I seek?
My soul I surrender as Your name I repeat.”