Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center

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"Eternal Garden traces the early history of Chishti Sufism in India through rare fourteenth-century textual sources in Persian preserved in Sufi shrines in the medieval town of Khuldabad, a major center of pilgrimage in the Deccan." "These manuscripts reveal the mystical teachings and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by the Shaykh Burhan al-Din Gharib (d. 1337) and his disciples. The texts delineate diverse historiographical approaches to the political history of the medieval period which are in some ways strikingly different from the standard view of early Sufi history that developed in North India. Eternal Garden covers themes ranging from a discussion of Sufism and Islam in India, the political involvement of the early Chishti masters in Khuldabad, to the role of Sufi shrines in Indian politics by the late nineteenth century." "This book demonstrates the role of the Sufi tradition as a formidable resource for the religious and social history of early Indian Islam. It not only addresses issues within the study of Sufism, but also portrays the non-religious character of the Indo-Muslim state. According to the author, some of this work has inappropriately politicized texts to reflect contemporary social issues. With an in-depth textual analysis, he attempts to restore the original political context to the sources under consideration." Updated with a new preface detailing the advances in the study of Sufism, the second edition of this volume will be informative for scholars of Islam, Indology, history, and comparative religion, and also for the lay reader interested in Sufism and its history.
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Editorial Reviews

Drawing on rare Persian manuscripts in Sufi shrines in a center of medieval pilgrimage in southern India, Ernst (religion, Pomona College, Claremont, California) reveals the beliefs and practices of the Chishti Sufi order as taught by the ecstatic Shaykh Burhan al-Din Gharib (d. 1337). On the way, he touches on some major issues in the study of the regions history and religion. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791408841
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1992
  • Series: SUNY Series in Muslim Spirituality in South Asia
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword by Annemarie Schimmel

Preface and Acknowledgments

PART I: Historical Orientation: Sufism and Islam in South Asia

1. Sufism

The Sufi Tradition
Sufism in Islamic Society

2. Historiographies of Islam in India

The Problem of Nationalist Historigraphy
Medieval Islamic Views of India
Medieval Indian Views of Islam

3. Religion and Empire in the Delhi Sultanate

Persian Kingship and the Indo-Muslim State
Non-Muslims and the Sultanate
Sultanate and Caliphate
Sultanate Imperialism and Sufism

4. The Textual Formation of Oral Teachings in the Early Chishti Order

From Oral Teaching to Written Text in Sufism
The Foundation of the Chishti
Malfuzat Literature: Nizam al-Din
The Elaboration of the
Malfuzat Tradition: Chiragh-i Dihli
The Elaboration of the
Malfuzat Tradition: Burhan al-Din Gharib
The Problem of "Inauthentic"

5. The Interpretation of the Sufi Biographical Tradition in India

PART II: Chishti Sufism at Khuldabad

6. From Delhi to the Deccan

The Historiography of Sufism in the Deccan
Sufism and the Turkish Conquest of the Deccan

7. Burhan al-Din Gharib's Establishment and Teaching

The Khalifa of Nizam al-Din
The Sufi Master
Teachings and Practices
The Disciples
Sama': Listening to Music

8. The Indian Environment and the Question of Conversion

PART III: The Khuldabad Sufis in History

9. Political Relations of the Khuldabad Chishtis

10. Political History of the Khuldabad Shrines

The Bahmani Sultans
The Faruqis of Khandesh
The Mughuls and Nizams

11. Khuldabad as a Sacred Center in the Local Context

The Khuldabad-Burhanpur Axis
The Local Saints of Khuldabad

PART IV: ConclusionsPART V: Appendixes

A. A Sufi Bookshelf: The Bibliography of Rukn al-Din Dabir Kashani

B. A Fifteenth-Century Revenue Memorandum

C. Mughul and Deccan Farmans from Khuldabad



Index of Names

Index of Terms and Subjects

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