The History of the Epithet al-Ghawth al-A‘ẓam in South Asian Islamic Discourse

  • Imad Jafar Visiting Faculty, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Pakistan.
Keywords: Sufism, Sunni, Ghawth, South Asia, Qādiriyyah, Baghdad.

Abstract

In South Asia, many of the ‘ulamā’ refer to the medieval Ḥanbalī Sufi ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī by the popular epithet al-ghawth al-a‘ẓam, meaning “the supreme helper.” This article surveys the various ways in which subcontinental ‘ulamā’ have interpreted al-ghawth al-a‘ẓam in their religious discourse. When, where, and how did this term originate? How did it come to be accepted in Sunni circles in the Indian subcontinent? Do the Deobandi and the Barelvi traditions interpret the epithet in the same manner? These are some of the questions that shall be addressed in the following article.

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Published
2022-09-30
How to Cite
Jafar, I. (2022). The History of the Epithet al-Ghawth al-A‘ẓam in South Asian Islamic Discourse. ISLAMIC STUDIES, 61(3), 249-272. https://doi.org/10.52541/isiri.v61i3.2442