Islam and Sufism in South Asia
Dynamics of the Chishtī Sufi Order
In his Lovers of God: Sufism and the Politics of Islam in Medieval India, Raziuddin Aquil studied the role of Sufis in preaching Islam in medieval South Asia. He saw the preaching of Islam in South Asia as a gradual process. Many Sufi orders preached Islam in South Asia from medieval times. Among these Sufi orders, the Chishtī order caught the attention of many scholars of Islamics. Carl W. Ernst and Bruce B. Lawrence also penned a highly acclaimed work Sufi Martyrs of Love: Chishti Sufism in South Asia and Beyond. While Aquil detailed various practices of the Chishtī order and Chishtī saints’ role in various socio-political events that took place in the Delhi Sultanate, Ernst and Lawrence elaborated on the origin, development, practices, and concepts of the Chishtī order. Unlike Aquil, Ernst and Lawrence continued describing the history of the Chishtī order up to the twenty-first century. The purpose of this review essay is to compare and assess these two works with the help of primary and secondary sources.
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Aquil, Raziuddin. Lovers of God: Sufism and the Politics of Islam in Medieval India. London: Routledge, 2020.
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