Author: Raziuddin Aquil
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 978-0-19-568512-1
Synthesizing current research and using major Persian sources— both printed texts and rare manuscripts— Sufism, Culture, and Politics provides an up to date political history of north India under Afghan rulers in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Focusing on interconnections between religion and politics, it also raises questions of paramount concern to an understanding of Islam in medieval north India.
The book is divided into three sections. The first section explores the Afghan attempts at empire-building under the leadership of Sher Shah Sur. Discussing the incorporation of the Rajputs in the Afghan imperial project, the second part deals with the prevalent ideals and institutions of governance. The last segment investigates the social and political role of the Sufis.
Questioning the over-emphasis on the Sultanate and Mughal periods in Indian history writing, Aquil projects a dynamic view of the Afghan period. He argues that the Afghan rulers were celebrated for their welfare works, personal piety, and madad-i-ma’ash grants to holy men. They also drew upon universal tropes of kingship for the articulation of their power rather than merely depending upon tribal lineages and customs. The author also highlights the role of Sufism in the transformation of the Afghan state formations and their contributions to religious syncretism and cultural synthesis.
The Study of Medieval Indian History
Struggle for Power and Dominance
1. The Making of a Badshah:
Emergence of Sher Shah Sur
2. Mughal-Afghan Interface:
Battles and Mobilization
Political Ideals and Institutions
3. Norms of Governance and Aspects of Administration
4. The Afghans and the Rajputs: Conflicts
Religion, Politics, and Society
5. The Political and the Sufic Wilayat
6. Sufi Traditions and Hindu - Muslim Interactions