Category: Interviews

Archives 89 – The Guide: Interview with a Sufi Shaykh

89-INTERVIEW-SliderInterview by Safoura Nourbakhsh

Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh was the master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order for 55 years before his passing on October 10, 2008. It is still difficult for most of his disciples to talk about him in the past tense. His photographs continue to grace the walls of the khaniqahs,

Carl Ernst Interview

INTERVIEW-2Sufism: History, Politics and Culture

Would Rumi feel shocked or amused by the popularity of his writing in the world?

I Pet Goat, II

For Issue #84 of SUFI we spoke to Louis Lefebvre, artistic director of Heliofant productions, the animation outfit behind the short film I Pet Goat, II which created a viral whirlwind of speculation when it was released online last year.

Blessing Way Singer

A Visit with Navajo Medicine Woman Sheila Goldtooth

at Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Interview by Chara Nelson | Photography by Alex Cowie

Framed against the backdrop of deep golden canyons, red mesas and mountains of pondersosa pines, Navajo Medicine Woman, Sheila Goldtooth, takes the reader back in time in the ancient Navajo Way.   Much of Native Tradition is based on the idea of harmony—with nature and with self. For Navajo healer Goldtooth, a life out of balance can lead to disharmony and manifest in illness. But imbalance can be realigned through the sacred chants and songs of her healing tradition, called the Blessing Way, passed down from her mother’s brother and the generations before him. Goldtooth tends to the women and families of her Arizona community, performing puberty or coming of age ceremonies, but is well known throughout the area for her strength in treating all those who need to be brought back into harmony. Goldtooth was born and raised in Round Rock (Tsénikani), Arizona, north of Canyon de Chelly. She grew up tending sheep and cattle with her uncle and learning about healing herbs from her aunt. Tradition and a closeness to the earth and nature were essential to her upbringing, all part of the path that led her to become a healer.


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Senegal, Sufism and Politics

Sufi Wall Graffiti of Ahmadou Bamba, Dakar, SenegalA CONVERSATION with SEYDOU DIOP

Interviewed by Annie Stopford and Eugene Ulman

The West African nation of Senegal holds a unique position in the global picture of contemporary Sufism. In a nation with a population of almost 13 million people, 94% of the people identify themselves as Muslim and, of those, 95% are affiliated with one of the four major Sufi orders in the country.

Sufi leaders wield enormous influence in all aspects of Senegalese religious, economic and social life. The complex and often controversial role they play in mediating between the government and their own disciples is often viewed as the source of Senegal’s relative political stability. In this interview Seydou Diop, a former Senegalese diplomat, shares his own personal insights and experiences in these matters.

Mr. Diop retired from the diplomatic corps in 2004 and is today a Shaikh of the Nimatullahi Order in Dakar.  The interview begins with some discussion of Mr. Diop’s religious and family background, and ranges over many fascinating subjects, including the differing responses of Sufi leaders to French colonialism, the influence of Sufi leaders on Senegalese politics, Sufism and the role of women, and his personal experience on the Nimatullahi path.

(Photo © Thomas J. Haslam,

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Krishna Das Interview

On Kirtan, what makes music sacred, and his inspiration from Neem Karoli Baba

An Exclusive Interview by Llew Smith and Annie Stopford.


Parvathy Baul


Parvathy Baul is a singer, painter and storyteller from West Bengal. She is both trained in the Baul order and studied visual arts at the Kala Bhavan University at Shantiniketan.