28 August, 2012

Piri-Muridi Relationship: A Study of the Nizamuddin Dargah

Piri-Muridi Relationship: A Study of the Nizamuddin Dargah

By- Desiderio Pinto

The relationship 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. taught at Jnana Deepa Vidyapeeth. Presently he is teaching at Vidyajyoti College of Theology and other institutions of theology in Ranchi, Varanasi and Calcutta, and is also librarian at Vidyajyoti.

ISBN 81-7304-111-3 2006 356p. Rs.700/ Pounds 55

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