Using a wealth of historical material and in-depth interviews, the author looks at the development of the institution of the pir, its power base and the mechanics of the system of control into which the pirs were drawn. The overall success of the political system depended on the willingness of the elite to participate and Dr. Ansari argues that it did indeed work in Sind. This enabled the British to govern while allowing the pirs to adapt to colonial rule, and later independence, without serious damage to their interests.
"Overall, scholars will find much in Ansari's work on Sufi saints and state power in Sind to incorporate into larger theoretical frameworks about imperialism or the history of South Asia." Michael H. Fisher, American Historical Review