With the execution of the Abbasid caliph in Al-Musta'sim in 1258, Sunni authority and legitimacy in Baghdad began to disintegrate, and the recently established Delhi Sultanate became a new focus for the development of Muslim societies amidst a global shift in Islamic authority. Here Blain Auer investigates the ways three historians living in India during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Minhaj Siraj Juzjani, Ziya' al-Din Barani and al-Din Siraj 'Afif, narrated the religious values of Muslim sovereigns through the process of history writing. Aiding the project of empire building, these historians and intellectuals drew up an idea of an Islamic heritage that invented and reinterpreted conceptions of a historically rooted Muslim authority. With fresh insights on the intersections between religion, politics and historiography, this book will be indispensable for all those interested in Islamic studies, history, religion, politics and South Asia.
Blain H. Auer is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Western Michigan University, Michigan. He specializes in Islam in the context of premodern South Asia. In particular, he studies the representations of Islamic authority exhibited through the use of the Qur'an, Hadith, exegesis and history writing produced during the Delhi Sultanate. A second area of research focuses on modern ritual, pilgrimage and relics connected with the burial places of the special dead in Islam.
List of Abbreviations ix Illustrations and Maps xi Acknowledgments xiii Preface xvii 1. Delhi at the Center of Islamic Authority 1 2. Pre-Islamic Prophetic Paradigms in Delhi Sultanate Historiography 25 3. Muhammad's Example as the Perfect Ruler 47 4. Images of the Friends of God in the Lives of Sultans 78 5. Caliphal Authority and Representation in the Delhi Sultanate 105 6. Shari'ah and Justice 136 Conclusion 158 Notes 163 Bibliography 203 Index