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History General

Perspectives on Mughal India

Rulers, Historians, 'Ulama and Sufis

by (author) Sajida Sultana Alvi

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2012
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2012
    List Price

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This collection aims to demonstrate that rigorous historical analysis should lead to a better understanding of socio-political developments in their respective historical contexts. Beginning with an overview of the expansion of Islam in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, it goes on to discover the pearls of wisdom on the art of governance through a perceptive study of historical works and didactic literature, and Islamic "Mirrors for Princes." It then introduces the reader to the spiritual life of the Naqshbandi Sufis and provides glimpses of their lives, as they lived. Against the backdrop of political crises and social disorder during the later period of Mughal rule, it adeptly portrays the role of Naqshbandi Sufis and 'ulama' in spearheading the revitalization and genuine understanding of the practices of Islam. The ascendancy of Shi'ism in Emperor Jahangir's administration (1606-1627), is amply demonstrated in an account of the rise of Baqir Najm-i Sani, a Shi'i emigre from Iran to India - a man of sword and pen - who rose to become a powerful noble in Jahangir's administration (1605-1627). Over hundred years later, as the Mughal Empire declined, sectarian squabbles between Shi'is and Sunnis are succinctly captured in an analysis of the discourses of Naqshbandi Sufis and Sunni 'ulama's.

About the author

Sajida Sultana Alvi is Professor of Indo-Islamic History and holder of the Chair in Urdu Language and Culture at McGill University.

Sajida Sultana Alvi's profile page

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