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Chishti Sufis in the Sultanate of Delhi, 1190-1400: From Restrained Indifference to Calculated Defiance

Tanvir Anjum (Author)

The relationship of the Chishtī Sufi s with the political authorities has been quite controversial. After the introduction of the Chishtī Silsilah in India in the last decade of the twelfth century by Khwajah Mu‘in al-Din Chishtī of Ajmer, the adherents of the Silsilah made it a definite policy to keep a distance from the rulers by not accepting state services; rejecting land grants and titles from the rulers; and by not visiting the royal court, or welcoming the Sultans to their khanqahs. By doing so, they carved out a space for independent action and practice of Chishtī principles, free from the interference of the state. However, this space was contested both by the rulers and some of the ulama or religious scholars on varied counts. In subsequent decades, the space was preserved and expanded by the Chishtīs while the state attempted to encroach on it; endeavours which the Chishtīs severely resisted. Later, in response to state manoeuvring and containment of the space, the Chishtī Shaykhs defended and considerably realigned it, whereas their lineal descendants negotiated it with the rulers for their own benefit.

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About the author

Tanvir Anjum

Born in 1973 in Lahore, Tanvir Anjum was educated at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, and later Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, from where she received her Masters (1996), M.Phil. (1998), and PhD (2006) degrees. She joined the faculty of the Department of History, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad in 1999 as lecturer. Presently, she is Assistant Professor in the same department. Her areas of specialization/interest include Sufism and the State in pre-modern India, and the intellectual history of the Muslims in South Asia; as well as privatization in Pakistan. She has also presented papers in a number of international and national conferences/workshops. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007–08) at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, USA, and the Charles Wallace Fellowship (2001) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. She also won the Kodikara Research Award by the Regional Center for Strategic Studies, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on her monograph Nature and Dynamics of Conflicts over Privatization of Potable Water (2002). Currently, she is undertaking a research project on Sufism as an Expression of Civil Society in Pre-modern South Asia, which is part of her post-doctoral research project at UNC.

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Bibliographic information

Title Chishti Sufis in the Sultanate of Delhi, 1190-1400: From Restrained Indifference to Calculated Defiance
Author Tanvir Anjum
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2011
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199060092
length xv+433p., Map; 24cm.