Sufi Poets of Pakistan

The Envoys of Peace and Love
Farrukh Zaman
4 Team Members


The International Sufi Council is now an official partner for the 'Sufi Poets of Pakistan' documentary campaign.

Our Story

Pakistan is a relatively new country but an ancient land. It is home to some of the world’s earliest civilizations of Gandhara, Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. Pakistan has been one of the greatest confluences of cultural strands, a laboratory of racial inter-mixing of co-existing languages and dialects. This country represents a fascinating coalescence of cultures: vibrant, regenerative, adaptive and innovative. It is a vivid and dynamic example of unity in diversity. The Sufi poets of the Indus valley played a glorious role in the evolution of the composite culture of Pakistan with love as the axial principle of life – love of God and love of mankind as the means of the mystic vision and the unitive state. The rural masses of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa know and sing the verses of the Sufi poets, Shah Abdul Latif, Bulleh Shah, Shah Hussain and Rehman Baba among others. The verses of these great Sufi poets are steeped in love, compassion and tolerance and are the warp and woof of the world view of the people of Pakistan.
The shrines of the Sufi poets are scattered all over the land of Pakistan, steeped in a beautiful history, and a grand literary and philosophical tradition. People flock to them and sing the immortal words which have brought solace to them for centuries. These Sufi poets caused a sense of ecstasy among the devotees through music and dance for their spiritual satisfaction at their shrines. Whether one goes to the shrines of Sachal Sarmast in Sindh, visits the mela-e-chiraghan (festival of lights) in the end of March in Lahore, or goes to the other side of the Indus – one hears the beautiful words written by the Sufi poets ages ago. These Sufis believed in the idea of poverty and tawakkul (absolute trust in God) of which detachment from the world was a corollary. They promoted the teachings of love (ishq) and the idea that intuitive, gnostic apprehension of reality was the aim of the mystic rather than formal, rational knowledge. As Bulleh Shah says:

“Ilmon bas kareen o yaar,
Ikko Alif terey darkar”
(Let us put a stop to knowledge, o friend
Only one Alif is required for salvation.)

The vehicle of this Sufism was poetry which was sung in the villages and towns of the subcontinent. The meanings of the words of the Sufi poets transcend all borders and caste and creed, from illiterate villagers to scholars and behind the philosophy of the poetry everyone finds meaning and light. The importance of Sufism has long been underlined for resolving conflict and ushering in peace. The Sufi message of fana (annihilation) of the ego, before the final annihilation of the self and forgiveness can make peace sustainable. In this way, Sufism promises to bring in warm peace since its philosophy advocates avoidance of confrontation, through dialogue and respect for the other.
In partnership with 'World Punjabi Congress' and with the official partnership and support of 'International Sufi Council', we the production team of 'Fz Media' and 'PaperMachines Films', have set out to spread this message of the Sufi poets across the lands of Pakistan to all over the world. With this conviction, we have started a journey to capture these great Sufi poets all across the 4 provinces of Pakistan in a feature documentary in English language in High Definition in their true essence and wisdom. We want to highlight the captivating rhythm, the beauty of word play and introduce people to the major themes of the Sufi works. We want to offer an incisive insight in the various shades of Sufism in Pakistan and how they are interpreted through the lens of practitioners and in their role as the envoys of peace and love. This documentary would detail the life and works of the great Sufi poets of Pakistan on the followers and the impact of the mystical Sufi side of Islam in Pakistan on the world through a message of love and tolerance for all humanity.

The Impact

The main idea behind the production of this documentary is to popularize the Sufi message of a culture of tolerance, peace and progressive ideas. Our effort is to release this documentary across the world through channel and institutions committed to the dissemination of the Sufi message. Our commitment is in portraying the vibrant and peace loving Sufi culture of Pakistan around the world. Pakistan, unfortunately, is for some time known for the wrong reasons, whereas this country is a progressive, democratic and liberal nation. These great Sufi poets have played a historical role in combating the forces of fundamentalism and religious bigotry. Pakistan is presently faced with such travails and a message of peace, tolerance and love propagated through the media is of utmost importance. The Sufi poets have been a great influence on the people of Pakistan and disseminated the message of peace of love. They are like bright starts who have been shining since centuries and illuminating this country with lofty messages of tolerance and brotherhood As well as a spiritual leaning, the Sufi of poets of Pakistan also set examples for worldly affairs. Bulleh Shah of Punjab was a fearless Sufi poet who confronted the existent establishment and spoke for the equality of religion, caste and race. Similarly, Waris Shah wrote the famous folk tale ‘Heer’, came up very forcefully for the rights of women and debunked the male chauvinism and feudalism throughout this poetry. We intend to bring out the message of Sufi poets from all the 4 provinces of Pakistan for the international viewing so that we would portray the rich cultural heritage of our country and bring out the true image of a peace-loving, tolerant and culturally rich nation.

What We Need & What You Get

We are looking for $20,000 to cover the following costs:

As we have to travel the length and breadth of all Pakistan's four provinces, travel expenses is a primary factor. We want to share the stories of individuals at the shrines of the Sufi poets and need the funding for lodging and expenses during travel for the production crew of 6 people.

Equipment and Crew
The hiring of an experienced and professional crew who can do justice to the powerful images. The project would require audio and lighting equipment, and most importantly the rental of an HD video camera and also including miscellaneous equipments like HD tapes, storage devices and microphones.

Post-Production and Marketing
We require a significant amount of funding for the post-production and marketing realm. We are going to be showing the documentary in select venues as well as sending it to festivals around the world and 35mm prints and venue shows will need to be funded. As the most critical part is the reach of the documentary, we will need a considerable amount of funding so we can effectively share the finished product. The funding will go towards advertising of the film, DVD creation and finding a suitable distribution partner and medium. We are currently seeking co-production and distribution partners. The more financial backing we receive, the more we can put in to improve the production quality of the documentary. A large marketing funding will help this documentary reach a wider audience, and we appreciate all the financial support we can get, and hope that this journey will find many contributors and friends along the way. We are steadfast in our mission to create a wonderful montage of images that shows the world the culturally rich, peace-loving and spiritually beautiful side of Pakistan through the poetic message of these great Sufi poets. 

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raised in 2 months
15% funded
No time left
$20,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 16, 2012
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  • $10USD
    Whirling Dervish

    Donate and get our eternal gratitude.

    2 claimed
  • $50USD
    Share the Love

    Our deepest gratitude and a Thank You on the film’s Facebook page.

    8 claimed
  • $100USD
    Autographed DVD

    Receive a signed copy of our final product, signed by the core production team and the director.

    5 claimed
  • $200USD
    Autographed DVD+Credit in Film

    Receive a signed copy of our final product, signed by the core production team and the director, plus your name in the credits under "Thank You".

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  • $500USD
    A Mystic’s Touch

    A finished DVD copy of the film signed by a legendary music artist of Sufi music in Pakistan, plus your name in the credits under "Thank You".

    1 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Dance of Ecstasy

    A finished DVD copy of the film signed by a legendary music artist of Sufi music in Pakistan, a name in the credits under "Thank You", plus a compilation audio CD of the Sufi music of these great Sufi Poets.

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  • $5,000USD
    Producer Credit

    The above listed perk, plus a credit as Producer. Plus an IMDB credit as producer for the documentary.

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