THE LIVES OF SAINTS instructions


This is an exercisein reading works of literature dedicated to telling the lives of saints, a genre known as hagiography. For your first assignment you are asked to think about how Muslims memorializedtheir saints at the end of the medieval period. You will read from a translation of a sixteenth century work written by one ‘Abd al-Haqq of Delhi. In his work, he described the lives of the five early Sufi masters who belonged to the same spiritual lineage. You are already familiar with one of them (Nizam al-Din Awliya) from your readings on Amir Khusraw. For your assignment you may refer to Sunil Sharma’s Amir Khusraw for ideas and any additional information.


In preparation for your assignment, follow these steps:

Step 1 Familiarize yourself with the text by carefully reading it over once. At this stage, note of any detail that you would expect in a biography of a holy person.


Step 2 Go through the text again, except this time highlight any motif that appears in multiple biographies. This can be a biographical detail or stylistic.


Step 3 Arrange the similarities by theme. Describe these themes in a sentence or two.


Step 4 Once you have a set of three or four themes, think about what they suggest about the overall image of the Sufi saint? You may now begin to write the essay.


Writing Prompt Based on the five accounts you have read, describe the model image of a saint for Muslims in the late medieval period.



1) How effectively does the writingcommunicate the arguments?

2) Howwell do the examplessupport or illustrate the argument?

3) Howlogical is the structure of the paper?

4) How closely did the assignment follow the guidelines?



  • 1000 words or roughly 4 pages.
  • Use size 12 font
  • Double space throughout
  • Leave 1 inch margins
  • Indent each paragraph
  • Do not leave an extra line between paragraphs Do not cite excessively in this assignment. Give page numbers in brackets after providing a quotes from the reading: (43). If you refer to Sunil Sharma’s Amir Khusraw, provide an in-text reference using the following example: (Sharma 5).


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