The Political and the Sufic Wilayat

Raziuddin Aquil

in Sufism, Culture, and Politics

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780195685121
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081325 | DOI:
The Political and the Sufic Wilayat

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The Sufis played an important role in shaping the politics and society of the Afghan dominion. Based on the contemporary and near-contemporary Sufi texts, including the tazkiras (biographical dictionaries), this chapter seeks to take into account the political role of the Sufis. It discusses the kings’ devotion towards the Sufis, who served as legitimizers of the political authority. It notes several examples of the bestowal of kingship by the Sufis and their participation in the military campaigns. It also refers to a changing political scenario, even as the account is linked to the grand narrative on Sufism in medieval India. Though the Sufis generally respected each other’s area of control, their desire for power and prestige in the wilayat brought them in conflict with the rulers. In such cases, the Sufis had the option of migrating to some other territory where their status was recognized or miracles performed to establish their supremacy and authority.

Keywords: Sufis; Afghan dominion; tazkiras; Sufism; wilayat; devotion; legitimizers; kingship

Chapter.  11854 words. 

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