Author: Barbara D Metcalf
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195666666
This collection of essays written over the last quarter of a century represents a distinguished body of writing on the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. They draw on a lifetime of research and writing on a rich, important and often neglected subject and focus on the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent and the role of Islamic symbols and identities in public life in northern India.
The essays are united in the challenge they offer to the negative stereotypes that are current, for example, that Islam is inevitably politically militant, that Muslim women are particularly oppressed, or that Islam is a static tradition. The essays show the Islamic scholars of India and Pakistan as people engaged with issues of the modern world, pragmatically driven in their socio-political activities and not as blind reactionaries, as they are often described.
In the colonial period and after 1947 in India as well, here has been an absence, for the most part, of anything that could be labeled Islamic politics or movements for an Islamic state. Instead, there is wide evidence of a firm commitment to democratic secularism and a-political spiritual renewal. The emergence of jihad-oriented movements in Afghanistan and Pakistan at the turn of the twenty-first century should not eclipse what have been more enduring and more pervasive patterns of Islamic activity in South Asia.
Nor should they distract from the other activities of the Muslims of the subcontinent like those discussed here, including the education of girls and boys, moral and spiritual guidance on the part of the holy men, the cultivation of Greco-Arabic medicine, poetry, and the production of pilgrimage accounts about Mecca. What remains constant in all of these diverse essays is the focus on individual Muslim lives, which gives this volume the feel of a vibrant oral history.
This collection will be of interest to scholars and students of modern South Asian history, and specifically of modern Islam. General readers interested in learning more about the cultural and political life of the world’s largest Muslim population-that of the Indian subcontinent-will also find this collection absorbing.
NEW ROLES, NEW CONTESTATIONS, FOR THE ULAMA
The Madrasa at Deoband
A Model for Religious Education in Modern India
Two Fatwas on Hajj in British India
The Past in the Present
Instruction, Pleasure, and Blessing in Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya’s Aap Biitii
THE VARIETY OF ISLAMIC CULTURAL AND POLITICAL LIFE TO 1947
Reading and Writing about Muslim
Women in British India
Nationalist Muslims in British India
The Case of Hakim Ajmal Khan
Hakim Ajmal Khan
Rais of Delhi and Muslim Leader
Nationalism, Modernity, and Muslim Identity in India before 1947
ISLAM AND POLITICS POST-1947
Too Little and Too Much
Reflections on Muslims in the History of India
The Case of Pakistan
Islamic Arguments in Contemporary Pakistan
Traditionalist Islamic Activism
Deoband, Tablighis, and Talibs
ISLAM, SOCIETY, AND THE IMAGINATION OF THE SELF
Reflections on Iqbal’s Mosque
The Pilgrimage Remembered
South Asian Accounts of the Hajj
What Happened in Mecca
Mumtaz Mufti’s Labbaik
A Mughal Empress, A French Nabob, A Nationalist Muslim Intellectual