1st Edition

Sufism in Eighteenth-Century India Muḥammad Nāṣir ʿAndalīb’s Lament of the Nightingale and Ṭarīqa-yi Khāliṣ Muḥammadiyya

By Neda Saghaee Copyright 2023
    280 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Sufism in Eighteenth-Century India focuses on one particular treasure from surviving Persian manuscripts in India, Nāla-yi ʿAndalīb, written by Muḥammad Nāṣir ʿAndalīb (d. 1759), a Naqshbandī Mujaddidī mystical thinker. It explores the convergence and interrelation of the text with its context to find how ʿAndalīb revisits the central role of the Prophet as the main protagonist in his allegorical love story with great attention to the circumstances of the Muslim community during the eighteenth century.

    The present volume elucidates ʿAndalīb’s Sufism calling for a return to the pristine form of Islam and the idealization of the first Muslim community. It considers his Ṭarīqa-yi Khāliṣ Muḥammadiyya as a derivation of the Ṭarīqa-yi Muḥammadiyya, which had an important role in promoting Islam. The book attempts to clarify and systematize all of the concepts which ʿAndalīb employs within the framework of the Khāliṣ Muḥammadiyya, such as the state of the nāṣir and the Khāliṣ Muḥammadī. It addresses controversial topics in religion, such as the struggles between Shiʿa and Sunni Muslims, and the controversies between Shuhūdīs and Wujūdīs. It illuminates two key personalities, Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq and ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, and two types of relationships, the maʿiyya and ʿayniyya, with the spirituality of the Prophet.

    The book will be of interest to scholars and students interested in Islamic studies, Islamic mysticism, the intellectual history of Muslims in South Asia, the history of the Mughal Empire, Persian literature, studies of manuscripts, Islamic philosophy, comparative studies of religions, social studies, anthropology, and debates concerning the eighteenth century, such as the transition from pre-colonialism to colonialism and the origins of modernity in Islam.

    List of Figures  List of Tables  Acknowledgements  Notes on Transliteration and Abbreviations  Introduction  1. Muḥammad Nāṣir ʿAndalīb’s Life and Works  2. Narratives: Doorways into ʿAndalīb’s Mystical World  3. Muḥammad Nāṣir ʿAndalīb’s Ṭarīqa-yi Khāliṣ Muḥammadiyya  Epilogue  Appendices  Appendix 1. Summarized Table of Contents of Nāla-yi ʿAndalīb  Appendix 2. Detailed Table of Contents of Nāla-yi ʿAndalīb  Index


    Neda Saghaee received her PhD degree from the University of Erfurt. She specializes in cultural studies, comparative studies of religions, Sufism, Persian literature, and old manuscripts. Her research aims to recognize the impact of mystical and theological discourses, in classical and modern contexts, on personal life, society, culture, and politics by employing multidisciplinary methods.

    'Muḥammad Nāṣir ʿAndalīb was a major Sufi thinker of eighteenth-century India. This is the first thorough study of his contribution. It is done with such scholarship and depth that no one considering Sufism in the eighteenth-century, or in the reform movements of the period in general, should ignore it.'

    Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

    'This is the first major academic work on the Nāla-yi ‘Andalīb, a fascinating yet understudied Sufi text from eighteenth-century India. Through her impressive research in the manuscripts and acute analysis of the text, Dr Saghaee has made an important contribution to the study of Persianate Sufism and modern Islamic intellectual history more generally.'

    Fitzroy Morrissey, University of Oxford, UK