|Occupation||activist, columnist, writer|
Sadia Dehlvi (born 1957) is a Delhi-based media person, activist, writer and a columnist with the daily newspaper, the Hindustan Times, and frequently published in Frontline Urdu, Hindi and English newspapers and magazines. She is known to be devotee of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer and Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi.She is popularly known for criticising radical interpretations of Islam and calls for a pluralistic understanding of Islam. .Dehlvi has produced and scripted a number of documentaries and television programs, including Amma and Family (1995), starring Zohra Sehgal, a veteran stage actor.
Sadia Dehlvi was born in Delhi in 1957, to one of the oldest media houses of Delhi, Shama group of Publications, a renowned name in Urdu publication which published 'Shama', a literary and film Urdu monthly, and eventually closed in 1987. Her grandfather was Yusuf Dehlvi and father is Yunus Dehlvi who lived in Shama Ghar on Sardar Patel Road, in New Delhi where she was born, the one time Delhi's cultural hub, today houses Bahujan Samaj Party headquarters, (since 2002). Her surname 'Dehlvi" (Dehlavi) means someone from Delhi reflecting her family's long association with Delhi.
For over thirty years Sadia Dehlvi has engaged in voicing concern on issues regarding heritage, culture, women and Muslim communities. She lives with her teenage son in New Delhi. In April 2009 Sadia Dehlvi authored a book on Sufism called "Sufism: The heart of Islam" published by HarperCollins Publishers, India. Her second book, "The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi", also published by HarperCollins, India has been released in February 2012. It details Delhi’s Sufi history.
Dehlvi is a close friend and confidante of author Khushwant Singh. Singh's book Not a Nice Man to Know was dedicated to "Sadia Dehlvi". He wrote, "To Sadia Dehlvi, who gave me more affection and notoriety than I deserve." Singh's book, Men and Women in my Life carries an entire chapter on her and the cover has her photo. In 1998, Dehlvi produced a television show, "Not a Nice man to Know" with Khushwant Singh interviewing women from various fields.
Dehlvi won acclaim for her television series starring the veteran actress Zohra Sehgal "Amma and Family" that broke the stereotype portrayal of a Muslim family. Dehlvi co-produced and scripted the series, also playing one of the main roles.
Book on Sufism
Dehlvi wrote a book Sufism: The Heart of Islam in which she details Islam's rich Sufi traditions and the importance of the Sufi message of love, tolerance and brotherhood. The book is a personal journey where she argues that Sufism is the preserved spiritual path of Islam. She draws upon a range of Muslim texts and traditions to argue that Sufism is not an innovation, but the continuity of a thought process that links Muslims to their religious predecessors all the way to the Prophet. The book delves on the lives of the Sufis, their literature, and their philosophies that emphasise on the purification of the heart. It highlights major Sufi orders, particularly in the subcontinent and the impact of their teachings on the devotional aspect of Islam. She says,"Growing up in an Irish convent boarding school, I regularly went to church, sang Christmas carols, baked Easter eggs and imbibed Christian values. During annual holidays a maulana, a religious teacher, came home to teach the Quran to all the children. He instilled the fear of God into us, with the result that fear remained the only emotion that the heart felt for the Creator. Somehow, this overwhelming fear kept me connected to Allah, despite often wanting to break away completely..."
- Sufism, The Heart of Islam, Harpercollins, 2009. ISBN 81-7223-797-9.
- Dilli ka Dastarkhwan – chapter in City Improbable : An Anthology of Writings on Delhi/edited by Khushwant Singh. New Delhi, Viking, 2001, xv, 286 p., $22. ISBN 0-670-91235-2.
- Sadia Dehlvi (2012). The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi. Harper Collins. ISBN 93-5029-095-2.
- Zindagi Kitni Khoobsoorat Hai" (2001) TV series
- Amma and Family (1995) TV series
- Not a Nice Man to Know (1998) TV series (associate producer)
- Amma and Family (1995) TV series (writer)
- Winner of Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award Tribune India
- Sadia Dehlvi received the Best Journalist Award in 1989.
- Sadia Dehlvi columns Outlook
- Ideology of Intolerance – article Hindustan Times
- Sadia Dehlvi on Women Sufis of Delhi
- Profile Doha Network.
- Kumar, Surendra; Pradeep Kumar Kapur (2008). India of My Dreams. Academic Foundation. p. Page 213. ISBN 81-7188-689-2. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- Maya’s elephant house rises in the rubble of Delhi’s cultural hub Indian Express, 1 May 2009.
- Delhi’s Able Daughter: Sadia Dehlvi by Raza Rumi. 24 February 2007.
- ‘I am not looking for social approval’ Indian Express, 10 May 2002.