Guardians of a sacred heritage
Siting at the main door of Jhulelal/ShaikhTahir’s tomb, his Muslim devotee gestures to the Muslim women to put a scarf on their heads before entering the temple of Jhulelal as a mark of respect to the saint and on other side is a Hindu caretaker of the temple, asking Hindu women to prostrate before the shrine. When I ask him which religion he belongs to, it turns out he carries dual identities. He smiles at my question and remarks that he belongs to both religions. Both kinds of the devotees, Muslim as well as Hindu, are carrying forward the centuries old shared heritage of Sindh – a hallmark of Sindhi society. The development and emergence of shared spiritual spaces should be seen in the context of events that took place in Sindh from the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries.