Muslim Shrines in India : Their Character, History and Significance

Muslim Shrines in India : Their Character, History and Significance

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Author: Christian W Troll
Editor(s): Christian W Troll
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 327
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0-19-567177-5


In India, the rhythm of Muslim life has always been marked by customs and festivals relating to saints and their tombs; and dargahs, or shrines erected on and around these tombs remain some of the finest specimens of Indo-Muslim architecture.The book details country's major muslim shrines and also looks at pilgrims who are drawn to the dargah-their aspirations, their faith, their general social and religious outlook.

A new introduction written especially for this edition by Marc Gaborieau addresses the developments that have taken place in the research on Muslim shrines since this book was first published.

A number of different approaches to the study of the dargah have been brought together here: documentary, interpretive, and theological. Essays in the first part include an analysis of the social role that early Chishti dargahs played in Indian society; a sketch of an commentary on the historical origins of the oldest and most popular shrine of northern India – that of Salar Mas‘ud of Bahraich; and a discussion on how the shrine of Khwaja Mu‘inuddin Chishti of Ajmer has over the centuries come to house primary source material of great values to the historian of the Mughal period.

The interpretive and theological evaluations in the second and third parts analyse the economic, social and religious reality of Muslim shrines. While economic and cultural facets of pilgrimages to dargahs constitute the topic of several essays, others focus on the pirmurid relationship, Islamic thinking on the cult of saints, Sufism in India, and the position of poetry and music in Islamic culture.

This volume will interest scholars of Islam, Indian history and sociology, and Sufi thought, as well as those interested in learning more about the place of religion and pilgrimage in the modern world.


Introduction to the New Edition-Marc Gaborieau

Preface to the First Edition

List of Contributors


The Early Chishti Dargahs
The Dargah of Sayyid Salar Mas‘ud Ghazi in Bahraich: Legend, Tradition and Reality
A Note on the Dargha of Salar Mas‘ud in Bahraich in the Light of the Standard Historical Sources
Mughal Documents Relating to the Dargah of Khwaja Mu‘inuddin Chishti
Rituals and Customary Practices at the Dargah of Ajmer
The Major Dargahs of Ahmadabad
Perceptions of the Dargahs of Patna


The Mystery of the Nizamuddin Dargah: The Accounts of Pilgrims
Soul of the Soulless: An Analysis of Pir-Murid Relationships in Sufi Discourse
Religion, Money and Status: Competition for Resources at the Shrine of Shah Jamal, Aligarh
The Significance of the Dargah of Hazratbal in the Socio-Religious and Political Life of Kashmiri Muslims


Shah Waliullah and the Dargah
A Nineteenth-Century Indian Wahhabi Tract
Against the Cult of Muslim Saints


Saints and Dargahs in the Indian Subcontinent: A Review
Qawwali and Mahfil-i-Sama
New Light on Bihar’s Eminent Sufi Shaikh Sharafuddin Maneri and His Times
Sufism in Indian History
Some Recent Studies in Muslin Religious Thought