Saints of the Indus
- André Wink
- 24 March 2016
- WHAT's NEW?! Spring Lecture Series
2311 BD Leiden
- Lipsius 228
This paper aims to provide a new interpretation of the rise and development of Islam in the Indus borderlands or what is today Pakistan and Indian Kashmir. It argues that the Islamic transformation of the Indus borderlands did not get under way until their ancestral Hindu-Buddhist culture and religious infrastructure were destroyed during the Mongol conquests. These conquests set off a widespread migration and dispersal of tribal populations of nomadic Mongols, Turks, Afghans, Baluchis, and others that did not subside until the 16 th century, and it is in that context that Islam spread. Islam came to these regions through the institutionalized cult of saints and the shrines built over their tombs, but the saints and their descendants also emerged as power brokers and community builders in a medieval society that had been shattered and found itself in the throes of profound and violent demographic dislocation and upheaval.
About Andre Wink
Andre Wink (PhD Leiden, 1984) is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World, 5 Volumes (1-3: 1989-2004; 4-5: forthcoming) and numerous other publications.