The Deployment of the Sufi Paradigm



The eighth chapter examines the successive developments of the paradigm, once it has spread beyond the Shah jo risalo. The first devotional text published after the Shah jo risalo is Sami’s work, in 1885. Sami was a Hindu devotee who is said to be a modern interpreter of the Bhakti, the path of devotion in Hinduism. Nonetheless, his poetry is full of Sufi terms, and he shares most of the components of the Sufi paradigm. Later on, another significant expansion of the paradigm occurred with the publication of Sachal Sarmast’s poetry in 1902. With him, the paradigm was renovated and enlarged by incorporating new features. Sachal’s poetry was followed by the publication of Rohal Faqir’s one in 1903. Rohal Faqir also belonged to Northern Sindh, and he was contemporary of Sachal. Many similarities can be found in their poetry, especially regarding the use of Hindu gods as a metaphor. The Sindhi Sufi paradigm expanded well beyond Islam to non-Sufi, non-Muslim, and even non-Sindhi authors, from which they draw inspiration. Non-Sufi poetry was also included in the Sufi paradigm, such as the qisso, a popular narrative usually classified as folklore by the British. This chapter concludes with a discussion on how a renovated Sufi paradigm came about and was exported through print capitalism.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for South Asian StudiesSchool for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS)/National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)ParisFrance

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