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Sadia Dehlvi

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Sadia Dehlvi
Sadia Dehlavi.jpg
Born 1957
Nationality Indian
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 and Urdu, Hindi and English newspapers and magazines.[2] She is known to be devotee of Khwaja Gharib Nawaz of Ajmer and Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi. She is popularly known for criticizing 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. 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 cultural hub of Delhi, today it houses Bahujan Samaj Party headquarters, (since 2002).[3] Her surname 'Dehlvi" (Dehlavi) means someone from Delhi reflecting her family's long association with this old city.[4]

For over thirty years 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 Dehlvi published a book on Sufism entitled Sufism: The heart of Islam published by HarperCollins Publishers, India.[5] Her second book, The Sufi Courtyard: Dargahs of Delhi, detailing Delhi's Sufi history was also published by HarperCollins, India and released in February 2012.

She edited Bano an Urdu women's journal for the Shama Group, a renowned name in Urdu publishing which published Shama an Urdu literary and film monthly. It eventually closed in 1987.[6]

Dehlvi was a close friend and confidante of the late author Khushwant Singh. Singh's book Not a Nice Man to Know was dedicated to her. He wrote, "To Sadia Dehlvi, who gave me more affection and notoriety than I deserve." Singh's book, Men and Women in my Life includes 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 stereotypical portrayal of a Muslim family. Dehlvi co-produced and scripted the series, also playing one of the main roles.

Personal life[edit]

She married a Pakistani citizen, Reza Pervaiz, in 1990. She then stayed in Karachi for while, where the couple had a son, Armaan in 1992.April 8, 2002.[7][8]

Book on Sufism[edit]

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..." [9][10]


Dehlvi has taken a conservative stance [1] in the recent controversy over Taslima Nasreen.



As Actress:

  • 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


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Sufism, The Heart of Islam by Sadia Dehlvi ,Chapter of Tariqa , Harpercollins, 2009. ISBN 81-7223-797-9.
  2. ^ Profile Doha Network.
  3. ^ Maya’s elephant house rises in the rubble of Delhi’s cultural hub The Indian Express, 1 May 2009.
  4. ^ ""Delhi's Muslim Culture is Dying" - Interview with Sadia Dehlvi". the The Delhi Walla. Retrieved May 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Sadia Dehlvi". WISE. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  6. ^ Kumar, Surendra; Pradeep Kumar Kapur (2008). India of My Dreams. Academic Foundation. p. Page 213. ISBN 81-7188-689-2. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  7. ^ Delhi’s Able Daughter: Sadia Dehlvi by Raza Rumi. 24 February 2007.
  8. ^ ‘I am not looking for social approval’[permanent dead link] The Indian Express, 10 May 2002.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Sufism...
  12. ^ Vedambooks

External links[edit]