This study is an investigation of the Sufi reform of the eighteenth century by means of analyzing the original works of a prominent yet understudied Indian Sufi reformer, Khwaja Mir Dard of Delhi (1721–1785). It considers the relevance of Mir Dard’s Ṭarīqa Muḥammadiyya Khāliṣa (Pure Muhammadan Path) against the backdrop of academic debates on the concept of Sufi reform and argues for a multifaceted transformation in early modern Sufism. The book examines four main characteristics of Mir Drad’s thought, namely criticism of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s unity of being, Prophetocentrism, shari‘atizing Sufism, and a worldly approach, and discovers a shift of emphasis away from the interior, intoxication, fatalism and ascent, toward the exterior, awareness, free will and descent. Employing a hybrid of conceptual-semantic and contextual-historical methodologies, it also shows the constructive role played by the longstanding Hindu-Muslim shared tradition in the reformulations of mystical Islam.
Soraya Khodamoradi is a specialist in the field of Islamic Studies with a special focus on Sufism. She studied Religious Studies and Islamic theology and Mysticism in Tehran and received her PhD from the University of Erfurt, Germany. She has worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the “Perso-Indica Project” run by University of Bonn and Sorbonne University and is currently the core member of the project “Prophet Muhammad in the Mirror of His Community”—organized by Ruhr University Bochum and its French partners including CETOBAC.