Sacred Footsteps is dedicated to travel, history and culture from a Muslim perspective. We talk to writers, historians, artists and others, about travel as a spiritual practice, and discuss aspects of Muslim culture and history that are often overlooked.
Travelling For Knowledge
Muazzam speaks to Saaleh Baseer and Momodou Taal about their respective journeys as students of knowledge- with Saaleh travelling from California to South Africa, and Momodou from Birmingham, England to Egypt. Both tell us about their respective experiences, motivations and daily lives as students of sacred knowledge, far from home.
Omar, Yasmine and Shahroze discuss the history, evolution and spiritual significance of qawwali. Qawwali incorporates music, poetry and story-telling in to a celebration of Love. The singing of qawwali in Sufi shrines and mausoleums is a practice of samaa, a devotional practice that involves singing, dancing, playing musical instruments, praying, reciting poetry and participating in rituals in order to achieve a higher spiritual state.
Models of Liberation in West Africa
Mustafa Briggs speaks to Professor Rudolph Ware, author of the 'Walking Quran', about models of liberation in West Africa. They talk about the West African approach towards power and religion, and consider the diverse response of the ulama to the challenges presented by the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism. They also discuss how racist colonial policies had the unintended effect of preserving sufism and traditional Islam in the region.
Which Rumi are you Reading?
Zara & Zirrar talk to poet Baraka Blue about the life, work & legacy of Jalal al-Din Rumi. We discuss his most famous work, the Masnavi, which is often referred to as the 'Persian Quran.’ Zirrar & Baraka share their somewhat differing views on the controversy surrounding English translations of his work & the claim that Islam has deliberately been ‘erased’ from his poetry. We consider how Rumi was received in the West & the East, & how his poetry, or perceptions of his poetry differ accordingly.
Travel as 'Mutual Unveiling' | Visiting the 'Wali Songo' Nine Saints of Indonesia
For our first ever crossover episode, Zara speaks to Imran Ali Malik, host of the American Submitter podcast. They discuss the concept of travel as a 'mutual unveiling' and share 'transformative' travel experiences. Imran talks about his time in Guinea Bissau, where tribes were converting to Islam after an elder dreamt of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), and tells us about the Wali Songo, the 'Nine Saints' of Indonesia.
Islam in the Caucasus: Sufi Tariqahs, Imam Shamil and Resistance Through Dhikr
Muazzam is joined by journalist, producer and avid traveller, Salahuddin Mazhary. Salahuddin tells us about the history of Islam in the Caucasus, with a focus on Chechnya and Dagestan. He talks about the Sufi tariqas in the region and the role dhikr played in resisting the Russians. He also tells us about notable figures such as Imam Shamil and Kunta-haji and their legacies.