This book addresses some of the fiercely contested issues about religion and politics in medieval India, especially with regard to the crucial presence of Sufis who styled themselves as friends and lovers of God. Enjoying widespread veneration even in situations of hostility with regard to Islam and Muslims in general, Sufis are central to an understanding of religious interactions and community relations historically.
The chapters included in the book can be read as stand-alone pieces focussing on some of the most fascinating as well as contentious themes in medieval Indian history – subjects and issues which are otherwise either left untouched by historians because of their sensitive nature from the point of view of modern day secularism or abused by interested parties in their communal propaganda. When read as a monograph, the volume as a whole attempts to combat all kinds of intellectual absurdities, which mar our understating of the place of Islam in medieval Indian history, especially the significant presence of Sufis who were devoted to the love of God and service to humanity.
Historiographically important issues which are also topical in these times of interdependence of religion and politics – the latter exploiting religion for legitimacy and justification of violence, and religion needing political support for expansion and imposition on the gullible – have been dealt in detail, neither bounded by a particular ideology nor by identity politics with its separate blinkers.
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Some Historiographical Concerns 1. Dispatching Kafirs to Hell?: The Making of Islam in Medieval India 2. Mahfil-i-Sama/Qawwali: Celebrations and Contestations 3. Hunuz Dilli Dur Ast: Sufi Karamat, Legitimacy and Authority 4. From Dar-ul-Harb to Dar-ul-Islam: Miraculous Conversion and Islamization 5. The Study of Islam and Indian History: An Urdu-Muslim Perspective Epilogue: Politics of History in the Public Domain
Raziuddin Aquil is Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Delhi. He has published widely on religious practices, literary cultures and historical traditions in medieval and early modern India.