‘My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.’ – Rumi

The still point at the centre of Sufism concerns itself with nothing less than the purest experience of love, life and God. Led to this point and back again, the greatest Sufi poets have experienced a depth of feeling that has informed some of the most haunting, beautiful and profound verse ever written.

Poetry by Rumi, Attar and Hafez continues to inspire contemporary artists and writers in all languages and across borders. Nodding to this powerful force of inspiration, this very special evening features modern poetry from Medina Tenour, John Siddique and Paul Abdul Wadud Sutherland, whose own mystical writing chimes within the tradition of the Sufi poets.

There will also be a performance from poet and playwright Avaes Mohammed, presenting original English-language poetry in response to works by poets such as Bulleh Shah and Amir Khusro, set to live musical accompaniment from sound artist Jaydev Mistry. The afternoon culminates with a devotional performance by Rumi’s Circle which includes whirling dervishes, whose motions are a form of dhikr (remembrance of God), alongside recitation of Rumi’s poetry.

The event will be moderated by journalist Abdul-Rehman Malik.

About The Authors

John Siddique

John Siddique has dedicated his life to honouring the authentic in our human experience. He is the author of a number of books ranging from poetry and memoir to non-fiction. His teachings and writings have featured in Time Magazine, The Guardian, Granta, on CNN and the BBC. Signposts of The Spiritual Journey is his eighth book.

Paul Abdul Wadud Sutherland

British-Canadian poet/writer Paul Abdul Wadud Sutherland is the founder of literary arts journal ‘Dream Catcher’. He became a Sufi in 2004 and has written ten poetry collections including ‘Journeying’ (2012), ‘Poems on the Life of the Prophet Muhammad’ (2014), and ‘A Sufi Novice in Shaykh Efiend’s Realm’ (2015). A collection of new and selected poems is due in 2016.

Avaes Mohammad

Writer and performer Avaes Mohammad regularly engages with themes of science, the socio-political and spirituality. With an upbringing that reverberated with words from the Sufi Saints of South Asia as much as the Dub Poets of Jamaica, his influences have left a permanent hue from which he experiences the sacred and profane alike.


Medina Tenour Whiteman

Medina Tenour Whiteman was born in Spain to American-English Sufi Muslim converts and raised in the UK. Her stories, poems and essays have been published widely and her first collection of poems, ‘Love is a Traveller and We Are Its Path’ was published in February 2016.

About The Poet

Abdul-Rehman Malik

Abdul-Rehman Malik is a journalist, educator and organiser. He contributes to national and international publications and is a regular panelist on the BBC World Service’s Weekend World Today show; his ‘Pause for Thought’ radio column also airs regularly on BBC Radio 2. He works with young people in exploring Muslim identity through drama and is a speaker on faith issues.