In this article, I argue that by creating the dhamāl seven centuries ago, Lāl Shahbāz Qalandar (13th century), a saint of the Qalandarī Sufi order, demonstrated auctoritas. In this way, he shaped the singularity of his saintly figure and gave himself a perennial existence. By reiterating his aesthetic gesture, the practitioners of the dhamāl recognize his authority, making it endure in Sehwan (and beyond). This article shows how this town works daily to perpetuate the dhamāl as a “rite of institution” that lawfully transgress the limits imposed by the social order and orthopraxis Islam. Through the description and analysis of dhamāls, I will show that its practitioners work to legitimize their authority and that the recognition of this by Sehwani society is linked to how they dance, respecting or not of the implicit rules of the Qalandarī.
Much of the literature on “Islamic gardens” focuses on artistic and architectural features or religious symbolism attributed to the influence of Islamic beliefs and civilization. This study seeks to expand the scope of intellectual inquiry beyond traditional motifs and recurrent features to investigate the potential influence of Islamic ethical values on creating gardens. Following a brief overview of the history of “Islamic gardens” and a short survey of Qurʾānic terms denoting earthly and paradisiacal gardens, this research highlights theological and ethical principles derived from four Qurʾānic narratives featuring earthly gardens, natural landscapes and non-human creation. These principles are, then, incorporated into a holistic ethical framework for creating gardens that harmonizes theocentric, anthropocentric, and ecocentric priorities. This framework prioritizes faithfulness to God while upholding both serving humanity and safeguarding natural habitats and ecosystems as ethical imperatives and mutually reinforcing investments with spiritual consequences in this life and the hereafter. This study also presents several garden models (particularly botanic gardens and community gardens) considered suitable for adopting and applying the proposed tripartite framework. The last section of this study explores how Islamic institutions, including mosques and charitable organizations, can utilize the tripartite framework to create gardens and green spaces that contribute to fulfilling a range of spiritual, social and environmental objectives.