Indian History ip between a spiritual master and his disciple (piri-muridi) becomes important when one witnesses day after day the large numbers of Muslims and non-Muslims flocking to spiritual masters (pirs) stationed at the various dargahs of India.
This work discovers that piri-muridi aims at making the disciple see God in all things while very often allowing him to enjoy worldly success. This is achieved through a lengthy socialization process that spans a period of time ranging from twelve years to a lifetime. This socialization process is very painful, and some disciples (murids) run away. Most, however, remain bound to their pir, by their vow of allegiance to him, the pir's friendliness, sympathy, material, magical and psychological assistance, and, when that is not enough, fear of his magical power.
During this period the murid learns to fall in love with the pir whom he strives to see as the representative of God, by observing, serving, and seeing the pir's hand in everything that befalls him, and frequently recalling and concentrating on a mental image of the pir while believing that his actions are prompted by the pir. Having thus attained union with the pir, he one day suddenly realizes that the pir is just a curtain or veil that hides something else- that which he has truly loved all the time in the image of the pir is God himself.
The Book is a mine of empirical information collected in the Nizamuddin dargah, showing how a set of beliefs contained in constantly narrated stories and experiences are used to forge, structure, maintain and further the relationship between the pir and his murid. It will be of interest to scholars of Islam, Indian History and sociology, Sufi thought and the place of Religion in the modern world.
Desiderio Pinto, S.J., had taught at Vidyajyoti, Institute of Religious Studies, Delhi, and Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth, Pune. Presently he is at College de la Sainte Famille, Cairo.
1. The Origins of Piri-Muridi : Three Accounts
2. Piri-Muridi in Works of Sufism
3. Studies on Piri-Muridi
4. God and Religion as Treated in Sociology
Section I :
1. God, Man, and the Universe in Sufi (or Muslim Mystical) Theology (or Typology)
2. The Mystical Social System (Values and Norms)
God as a Social Actor
Man as a Social Actor
Section II : PIRI-MURIDI IN THE NIZAMUDDIN DARGAH :
1. The Pir in the Nizamuddin Dargah
2. Definitions of the Pir
3. Characteristics of the Pir
4. Duties of the Pir
5. Adab for the Pir
6. The Pir's Power
7. The Pir's Conception of Himself
8. Kinds of Pirs
9. The Murid in the Nizamuddin Dargah
10. Definition of the Murid
11. Types of Murids
12. Reasons for Becoming a Murid
13. Characteristics of the Murid
15. Piri-Muridi in the Nizamuddin Dargah
16. Definitions of Piri-Muridi
17. Stages in Piri-Muridi
18. The First Stage : Choosing a Pir
19. The Second Stage : Bai'a
20. The Third Stage
21. The Fourth Stage
22. The Final Stage