Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

The Monarch as Saint: A Connected History of Safavid Iran and Mughal India

Wed, November 14, 2012 | Student Activity Center 1.106

3:00 PM

A lecture by A. Azfar Moin, Assistant Professor of History, Southern Methodist University

Jalal al-Din Muhammad Akbar, the Mughal emperor of India, was embroiled in controversy when, in 1582, he celebrated the end of the first Islamic millennium and began to enroll his courtiers and soldiers as spiritual disciples. Akbar was accused of attempting to replace Islam with a new religion, the so-called “Din-i Ilahi.”

This talk offers a new interpretation of this episode, and of the development of Mughal sacred kingship, by placing it in historical relation with the Sufi and messianic foundations of Safavid Iran.

A. Azfar Moin is Assistant Professor in the Clements Department of History at Southern Methodist University. His research focuses on early modern South Asia and the Islamic world. Professor Moin received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2010 and currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship from the Social Science Research Council. His book, The Millennial Sovereign: Sacred Kingship and Sainthood in Islam, was recently published by Columbia University Press in the series “South Asia Across the Disciplines.”

Sponsored by: South Asia Institute, Department of Religious Studies, Department of History, Institute for Historical Studies

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