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Geography, empire and sainthood in the eighteenth-century Muslim Deccan

  • NILE GREEN (a1)

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between the Mughal colonization of the Deccan during the twelfth/eighteenth century and the development of the Sufi traditions of Awrangabad. Concurrent with the defeat of the Deccan sultanates was a process of re-ordering the sacred Muslim landscape of the Deccan into harmony with the cultural and political values of the region's new elites by the importation of Sufi traditions from the north. As a reflection of the wider cultural make-up of the Mughal world, questions of regional, political and ethnic affiliation were articulated by writers whose own remembered homelands lay far from the Deccan. Placing Sufi commemorative texts written in Awrangabad into a wider social and literary context, the article discusses the place of the city's Sufis in the social, political and intellectual life of a short-lived imperial centre. The city's saints are in this way seen as the most semantically rich of all the cultural products of the period.

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This article was researched and written with the financial support of the Ouseley Memorial Scholarship at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies and the Gordon Milburn Junior Research Fellowship at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. I am grateful to David Washbrook for an invitation to present an earlier version of the article at the South Asian History Seminar at St Antony's College, Oxford.

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Geography, empire and sainthood in the eighteenth-century Muslim Deccan

  • NILE GREEN (a1)

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