Monday, June 20, 2011

The Friends of God

Jurgen Wasim Frembgen has assembled an attractive book with full color reproductions of modern Sufi posters from Pakistan. The book shows the wide creative license of the people who created these posters, borrowing freely from the motifs and themes of sub-continent Islam and also the religions of the region, especially Hinduism and Sikhism.

The abundance of posters comes with commentary, and the specific parameters of Sufism in Pakistan are exaplained. Perhaps Fermbegen's greatest achievement in this work is to show how fluid the world of Sufism in the sub-continent is; borrowing from one saint to another, from one religion to another, is the norm and not the exception in these posters.

Perhaps the great flaw of this work is not enough real or revelatory analysis of just what this borrowing means for Pakistani Sufism. But perhaps that is a topic for another work.

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