Sufi painter Farkhanda Khan Fida says Indian Muslims are the happiest

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 01-04-2024
Sufi painter Farkhanda Khan Fida
Sufi painter Farkhanda Khan Fida


Onika Maheshwari/ New Delhi 

The young painter in her late twenties with a PG degree in fine arts and fire in the Belly met the renowned artist Maqbool Fida Hussain at an art exhibition in Delhi in 1997. She asked him for advice on what she should paint. The self-taught barefoot artist told her that she must paint what she feels from within and what her soul tells her.

With this began the wandering of Farkhanda Khan Fida, who had finished her course at the Aligarh Muslim University, in search of her subject.

Farkhanda Khan started her research to find what interests her. She started reading books on painting, spiritualism, and religion and became a regular at art exhibitions.

Her search ended with her visit to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah in New Delhi. Sufism had melted her heart and opened her awareness. The awakening struck her.

Art exhibition on the ramp organised by Farkhanda Khan

Farkhanda Khan Fida said though all religious places provide peace of mind and positive energy, she felt the Sufi dargahs were places of unity and peace. 

She started painting men and women in flowing robes and she turned into a Sufi painter in no time.

Thus started the journey of one of India’s leading Sufi painters Farkhanda Khan ‘Fida’ into the world of colours. It’s probably to pay tribute to the ‘guru’ who guided her at the right time, that she has attached his name to hers.

“Where there is Sufism there is peace and when you are at peace with yourself, then malice, jealousy, hatred, fights, and conflicts within you vanish,” Farkhanda told this to Awaz-the voice.

Self-portrait by Farkhanda Khan Fida

Born in Kalinjar village of the Banda district of Uttar Pradesh, Farkhanda Khan Fida inherited the taste of painting from her father Mohammad Saeed Khan, an Indian Air Force official, who despite his busy work life found time to paint.

“He worked at night to pursue his hobby and gift it to someone soon,” she says of her father. Her father painted on fabric and the wasted audio records. He often painted Radha-Krishna, Saraswati Mata etc.

As a child, she never thought of becoming a painter. She was schooled in Pune and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and later did her graduation and post-graduation from Aligarh Muslim University. 

She topped her master's in Fine Arts and was awarded a gold medal. She completed her doctorate in Modern Art from Nagpur University, Maharashtra. 

He also taught fine arts at Salwan Public School for some time and during this time she got married.

Farkhanda Khan Fida's works mostly depict dervishes, saints, Saibabas, and Sufis. He also showcased his paintings in famous exhibitions, in which he also displayed her paintings on the ramp and decorated them in art galleries and people also liked his paintings a lot. This includes places like Shri Ram College, ITO Hall, etc.  

Farkhanda Khan with young artists

In 2002, Farkhanda Khan Fida embarked on exhibiting her paintings for sale. Her work was appreciated not only in India but globally. Her paintings have been purchased by people in London, Bahrain, etc. A special painting of Farkhanda Khan Fida was also bought in Bahrain for Rs 5 lakh. 

While sharing her life experience, Farkhanda Khan Fida said that during the Corona period, people have realized that ostentations are short-lived and living meaningfully is more important. “We realized that humans have to live for each other; giving love, kindness, charity, and dedication is necessary. 

Farkhanda Khan Fida says that in the initial days of her career, she was criticized for ‘painting portraits’ since it was forbidden. She chose to ignore it and followed her heart and started making portraits because she believed that there are so many faces in the world and all of them are different. There is no answer to this beautiful creation of God.

Farkhanda Khan Fida did theater with Yasin Khan in Delhi for 5 years and also got the opportunity to work in Mahesh Bhatt sir's play 'Daddy' during this time she also saw the world due to which she experienced that the Muslims of India are the happiest. And is free and has no restrictions of any kind. He can eat whatever he wants, live wherever he wants, speak happily, and live his life comfortably. Farkhanda Khan also told Awaaz that the Muslims of India are on the path of progress and are making strides in the development of the country.

Farkhanda Khan with artists in Africa

Farkhanda Khan is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo and along with Sufi paintings, she also tried to generate awareness about depleting water resources in the world through her paintings.

Farkhanda Khan Fida, who has won many awards for her works, lives in south Delhi with her two grown-up children and businessman husband.

She is active on social media and believes that the youth should work very hard in the prime years of their lives and leave it for a later hour.

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“Especially girls should not be bound by any shackles and raise their voice for what is right.”