The editorial team of the Sindhi Studies Group is pleased to present to you the sixth issue of the MIFS newsletter. You will find various information (interview, fieldwork report,excerpt from Sindhi poetry, book reviews, agenda, etc.) pertaining to Sufism, Sindh, Pakistan. You can download it here as a pdf file.
This issue opens up with an interview of Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University. Professor Asani is a leading scholar in the field of Sindhi Sufi poetry, as well as in other literary traditions of South Asia such as the rich corpus of Ismaili ginâns. During the interview, he provided us with clues to better understand this neglected field of research that is Sindhi literature and poetry.
Then follows the report of our latest field trip in Sehwan which was completed in December 2010, during the month of Muharram. The third collective fieldwork session conducted by the MIFS team took place in November-December 2010. Four members of our team went to Sehwan Sharif during the month of Muharram and recorded the event through various research angles such as the reading of processional itineraries and the performance of rituals, the study of competition between local elites and the integrative nature of Muharram processions. A detailed report is available in this issue.
In the third part of the present issue, we continue to introduce Sindhi poetry through excerpts by Miyun Shah Inat (c. 1623-1712). In a special book review, Delphine Ortis presents a book recently published by Alexandre Papas on three qalandars who originated from Central Asia. The author provides important historical data that helps drawing a comparative approach between the Qalandariyya of Central Asia and of South Asia.
Michel Boivin & Rémy Delage