Historically, Islam's Normative Vision of Society and piety was mediated to the masses in Large part by Sufi shaikhs, heirs to Islam's rich mystical tradition. Although Anthropologists have examined the social roles played by Sufis in some contemporary societies, few historians have done the same for earlier periods, in any part of the Islamic world.
Richard M. Eaton's The Sufis of Bijapur is an attempt to fill this gap by scrutinizing the social Careers of Sufis of a single city-state, the Deccani Kingdom of Bijapur, from the early fourteenth to the late seventeenth centuries. The aim is two-fold: first, to identify the dominant social roles played by Sufis of Bijapur; and second, to explain why certain kinds of Sufis appeared when they did. The book thus blends Cultural History with social Biography during a critical period of Deccani history.