This event has now been moved to the Great Hall.

Baba Farid (1173–1266) was a Sufi mystic and poet hailing from the Multan region of Punjab, now part of Pakistan. He pioneered the use of the Punjabi language for literary purposes by writing his mystical poetry – known as Sufiana Kalam – in Punjabi, rather than Persian as was the norm of the day. Revered by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs alike, his ethos was considered so integral to Sikhism that many of his verses feature in the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the faith’s most sacred scripture.

Join us in a special event that discusses his life, explores the meaning and context of the poetry featured in the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, and considers the spiritual essence of Baba Farid’s contribution to Sikh literary canon. The discussion will be followed by a traditional kirtan poetry recitation.


Navtej Sarna

Navtej Sarna is a novelist and short story writer whose non-fiction works include ‘The Book of Nanak’ and translations of Guru Gobind Singh’s ‘Zafarnama’. He is also the author of ‘Indians at Herod’s Gate’, which finds him wandering through the timeless narrow lanes of Old Jerusalem, visited eight hundred years ago by Baba Farid who meditated there for forty days in an underground room.

Later, an Indian Hospice was born through a waqf endowment around that room and has welcomed Indian pilgrims and soldiers to Jerusalem ever since. For close to a century, through the tumultuous years of the British Mandate, the Second World War, the birth of Israel and the ensuing decades of conflict, the Hospice has been looked after by the Ansari family who hail originally from Saharanpur. ‘Indians at Herod’s Gate’ sifts through fact and fable to tease out their unique story.

A member of the Indian Foreign Service since 1980, Navtej Sarna is currently based in London as India’s High Commissioner to the UK.

Pritpal Singh

Pritpal Singh is the Sikh Faith Advisor to the University of Bradford. Having been raised within the Sikh scholarly ‘nirmala’ tradition and having read Philosophy at the London School of Economics, Pritpal carries out priestly duties across Sikh Temples – Gurdwaras – in Bradford and Leeds, following in the footsteps of the last three generations of his family.

Kirpal Singh Panesar

Regarded a rising star in the UK today, Kirpal has won wide acclaim for his skilled performances using the Tar-Shehnai and the Dilruba, two traditional and unique Indian string instruments.

About The Author

Jeevan Deol

Jeevan Deol is a historian, author and public educator. He has taught global and Indian history, Indian literature, Indian religions and jihadi ideology at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and London. He comments on international relations, politics and culture in newspapers and broadcast media in the UK, Canada, the USA and India