Gujarat Sufis, “Sants” and the Indian Ocean World in Medieval Times

  • Makrand Mehta
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


In the framework of ancient commercial networks of the Indian Ocean, Gujarat and the Arabian Peninsula shared powerful and continuous connections which impacted not only their respective economy, but also their cultures, languages, religions and communities. This paper shows how, from the ninth century onwards, Muslim scholars and mystics from Persia and the Arabian Peninsula landed, along with the traders, at the port towns of Valabhi, Bharuch and Cambay and how they spread their views. Sufi teachings of divine spirituality, cosmic harmony, love and humanity resonated with the believes and aspirations of Gujarat’s trading communities and common people. This brief overview traces the roots of certain early conversions which gave birth to yet important Gujarati business communities such as the Khojas, the Bohras or the Lohanas.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makrand Mehta
    • 1
  1. 1.Gujarat UniversityAhmedabadIndia

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