Wednesday, December 09, 2009 By Maryam
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
At a time when ‘Sufism’ is being promoted as an antidote to religious fundamentalism, Dr. Fatima Hussain’s new book titled ‘The War that Wasn’t; The Sufi and the Sultan’ comes as an answer to all queries regarding ‘Sufi’ school of thought and its power over the masses.
‘Sufism’ played a considerable role in bringing humane teachings of the religion to the forefront during the Middle Ages and it is now considered to be an effective offset to the socio-cultural degradation threatening the very roots of our social values and system.
Dr. Fatima Hussain’s latest book analyses the subtle nuances of the dynamics of ‘Sufi’ power in the social politics of the Delhi Sultanate, and how this power affected the relations between the ‘Sufi’ and the ‘Sultanate’, the two most powerful institutions in medieval sub-continent. Dr Fatima’s book on ‘Sufism’ brings forth a vibrant picture of ‘Sufi’ school of thought in the contemporary world amidst growing concerns regarding the massive threat of religious extremism to global peace.
Dr Fatima Hussain is a profound scholar and teacher of history in Delhi University. Sufism is a topic on which she already has published a number of articles and books. The book contains numerous anecdotes from medieval Persian sources, while dealing with incidents related to these ‘Sufis’. Author’s object in this book has been to examine the broad bases of ‘Sufi’ history in the ‘Sultanate’ period to adduce sufficient evidence to suggest the need for a new approach.
This highly research based work contains vital aspects of the ‘Sufi’ movement, i.e., philosophy and practices of ‘Sufism’, development of ‘Sufism’ in the region, dynamics of ‘Sufi’ power and the multi-dimensional role of the ‘Sufi’ hospices, especially, as an impetus to urban expansion, such as ‘Khanqahs’ during the ‘Sultanate’ period.
Dr. Fatima Hussain is known in South Asian academic circles for her book ‘The Palestine Question: A Historical Perspective.’ ‘Classic,’ of Lahore, and recent publication ‘Sufism & Bhakti Movement; Contemporary Relevance,’ that has been compiled by Dr. Fatima Hussain. Dedicated to Benazir Bhutto, the volume carries papers presented at a seminar held at New Delhi’s Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. Some articles of Pakistani authors, too, have been included in this 351-page book.
From : The News International