Sarmad (Persian)

  • Saleem Kidwai


Sarmad (eternal, inebriated) was born a Jew in Kashan, around 1590.2 He became a trader and acquired knowledge of mystic traditions and of Arabic and Persian poetry. Before he arrived in the port city of Thatta in 1632, he had converted to Islam. In Thatta he met a Hindu boy named Abhai Chand. The attraction was mutual and soon after meeting him, Sarmad abandoned his trade and became a naked faqir.3


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  1. 1.
    Poems translated from Nawab Ali Saulat, ed., Rubiyat Sarmad Mahmud (Delhi: Shahjahani Press, 1921).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Biographical details from M. G. Gupta, Sarmad the Saint (Agra: M. G. Publishers, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. I. A. Ezekiel, Sarmad, the Jewish Saint of India (Beas, Punjab: Radha Soami Satsang, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Other naked faqirs were Shaikh Badhni and a eunuch named Rahat (M. Mujib, The Indian Muslims, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1967), 157–59.Google Scholar

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© Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai 2000

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  • Saleem Kidwai

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