Sheikh Hamid-ud-din Nagauri, a distinguished disciple of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer, did not permit his disciples to use the categories of kafir and momin as the basis of any social discrimination….. Sheikh Abdul Quddus of Gangoh, a renowned Chishti saint of the sixteenth century, thus admonished his disciples in a letter:
Why this meaningless talk about the believer,
the kafir, the obedient, the sinner,
the rightly guided, the misdirected, the Muslim,
the pious, the infidel, the fire worshipper?
All are like beads in a rosary.
Hazrat Nizamuddin preached that ‘bringing happiness to the human heart was the essence of religion’ and often said, ‘on the day of resurrection amongtst those who will be favoured most by God are the ones who have tended to a broken heart’.
On the state of Urdu, …..this couplet by Khurshid Afsar Bisrani
Ab urdu kya hai, ek kothey ki tawaif hai
Mazaa hare ek leta hai mohabbat kaun karta hai?
Sarmad declared that ‘a temple and mosque were symbols and expressions of the same reality, God, in which notions of faith and unbelief are extinguished for ever.’
Sarmad also reinterpreted Prophet Mohammed’s ascension to heaven, which became the ultimate excuse for the Mughal court and its clergy to declare him an apostate. His statement was radical:
The mullahs say that Mohammed entered the heavens, but Sarmad says that the heavens entered Mohammed.
Dara Shikoh….One of his verses is revealing:
May the world be free from the noise of the mullah
And none should pay any heed to their fatwas.
In the zenana, things went on with the monotonous sameness of Indian life. No one went out anywhere. Only now and then some cousin or aunt or some other relation came to see them. But that was once a month or so or during the festivals. Mostly life stayed like water in a pond with nothing to break the monotony of its static life. Walls stood surrounding them on all sides, shutting the women in from the prying eyes of men, guarding their beauty and virtue with millions of bricks. The world lived and died, things happened, events took place, but all this did not disturb the equanimity of the zenana, which had its world too where the pale and fragile beauties of the hothouse lived secluded from all outside harm, the storms that blow in the world of men. The day came, the evening came and life passed them by.
Ghettos inside, outside, everywhere.