Peter Sanders was born in London in 1946. He started his professional career as a photographer in the mid-1960s, photographing the biggest stars in the music business, including Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, the Rolling Stones and others. Towards the end of the 1970s, Sanders‘ attention turned inward, his spiritual quest led him to India and then finally to the Muslim world, where the spiritual beauty of Islam left an indelible impression on him. When he returned to England, he adopted Islam and was given the name Abd al-Adheem. In 1971 he was given the unique opportunity to photograph the Haiten rites or the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. These recordings appeared in Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, among other major journals,

For Peter Sanders, belief and photography were both involved in his spiritual development. It was his attempt to grasp the essence of reality that led him to Islam and to the door of the Kaaba with the camera in hand. From capturing the music industry’s most famous idols to the holiest places in the Islamic world, Peter Sander’s journey involves more than just changing the focus of his camera lenses.

“After taking pictures of almost every famous person in the music industry, I got bored and started to do spiritual things. I just wanted something else, so I decided to go to India. I packed and went to look for a teacher. I finally found one who was basically Hindu, but embodied much of what we consider to be „Muslim characteristics“. I studied with him for about six months and when I came back to England some of my friends had become Muslims. Then there were other friends there who had slipped pretty hard on drugs and alcohol. It was like God was saying to me: ‚Which direction do you want to go?‘

“I didn’t know much about Islam, but I had dreams and various other things happened to me. Then I made a decision to become a Muslim without knowing much about it. I was 24 years old at the time and within three months of becoming a Muslim I decided to go to Ha.. I didn’t have the money, but I made the intention. My older Muslim teacher at the time was also going to do it, and I knew I wanted to go too. Someone gave me a ticket and I went. I was at the Kaaba when I learned that my teacher had died on the way. ”

At that time, 1971, photos of the Haǧǧ were quite rare. Peter Sanders had been given special permission to photograph the holy sites; a decision that still amazes him. “It was unique for a westerner to take pictures of the Haǧǧ. I had to rush from one office to the next in Jeddah and Mecca, and finally I found a man who was authorized to give me permission. Many people did not want to take responsibility at that time, they were generally not keen on photographs, especially not from a convert. But this man was in a position to allow me and he did it out of pure trust. ”

For Peter Sanders, photography is essential to capture the essence of Islam. When describing his efforts, he recalls the words of a poet in Urdu: ‚To see the reality of Medina you need more than just eyesight; you need vision. ‚ As if trying to own this vision wasn’t enough, Peter Sanders tries to convey it to others. He has spent the past thirty years documenting the remaining traditional Islamic societies that are rapidly disappearing from the earth. One of his ongoing projects, which was to try to capture dying traditions, was to put together a photo album of the greatest scholars and saints of our time. The two volumes for which he hopes to raise the capital to publish them

Being able to escape includes pictures of people who were photographed for the first time and some of them have died in the past months and years.


About Peter Sanders [1]

Peter Sanders is internationally recognized as one of the leading photographers in the Islamic world.

The photographer began his career in the mid-1960s, captured London’s groundbreaking rock and roll scene, and today captured legendary music icons in a collection that is considered classic by collectors.

Towards the end of the 1970s, Sanders‘ attention changed inward, causing him to begin a spiritual quest that took him to India and then ended up in the Muslim world. All the while, the photographer has captured his surroundings in pictures, creating a striking and uneven report of the last remnants of traditional Islamic societies in transition. Sanders‘ own deep commitment and love of traditional Islamic culture has brought him into close contact with people and places that few photographers have been able to reach.
„My photography has always been an extension of my life,“ he said. “Photography is a wonderful process – a gift from God – that allowed me to learn a lot about myself and the world around me. It’s like trying to hunt for a moment, trying to hold a beautiful bird in flight. ” „The photographs are extremely beautiful,“ says the Japanese art critic Tsuyoshi Kawasoe.

„You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of Peter Sander’s work,“ said American writer Michael Sugich. “He is the only photographer working today who works systematically and with great dedication to the task, who has covered large areas of the Islamic world as an insider. Because of his deep understanding of culture and his impeccable spiritual courtesy, he was able to photograph places and people to which no Western photographer would be able to access. He has left an indelible, poetic and captivating account of an extraordinary time and a rich and fascinating culture. ”

It was also quoted as saying, „He captures the spiritual beauty of creation himself.“
Sanders‘ photographs have appeared in many international publications, including Time Magazine, Paris Match, The Observer, The Sunday Times Magazine, Aramco World and London-based pan-Arab news magazine Al Majalla, which published his work as a cover story.

His familiar photographs of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina are in great demand.

Peter Sanders Photography Limited includes travel, location and studio photography, a photographic collection of over 120,000 slides, as well as the production of fine art prints.
This year his first photographic book ‚In The Shade of The Tree‘ will be published. Another three are in production, including one about the Muslims in China.

Peter Sanders‘ books
In the Shade of the Tree: A photographic odyssey through the Muslim world.

[1] (http://www.petersanders.co.uk)


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/peter-sanders-fotograf-uk