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The global migration of Sufi Islam to South Asia and beyond

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Chapter Summary

The relations between religion and globalization are complex from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Religious traditions and movements had to face the challenge of ‘localizing’ themselves in different places and regions well before the contemporary period. This chapter elaborates on this very general insight through an analysis of the historical emergence of Islam, within that of Sufi Islam, and within that of South Asian Sufi Islam, focusing on the specific case of the Chishti Order. It shows the transnational origins of Sufism, its particularization in specific orders and those orders in specific regions, using primarily the example of the Chishti Order in South Asia. The chapter also examines how the contemporary globalization of Sufism with a focus on the Chishti Order is in some ways repeating the translocal and localizing patterns of the past. It demonstrates historically unique adaptations to respond to the different dynamics of present-day globalization.

Keywords: Chishti Order; global migration; globalization; religious traditions; South Asia; Sufi Islam



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