Author: S S Gill
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143065807
‘Certain precepts of Islam have been exploited to promote exclusivity or justify violence. These precepts may have once been relevant in specific historical contexts, but have frozen into religious dogmas over time at the hands of blinkered interpreters.’
In this erudite book, S.S. Gill tries to correct common misconceptions among non-Muslims about Islam, especially in India, and offers new ways of engagement between Muslims and those who subscribe to other faiths.
The author examines the concept of umma, the global community of Muslims, and the place of the Muslims of India in it, and traces the history of the religion in India and its spread in different parts of the country. He argues that many followers of Islam in India and the world appear to have turned away from the values of plurality and creativity which once marked the golden age of Islam. Gill attempts to understand Islamic fundamentalism in the context of how the West, by exercising its hegemony, has largely succeeded in polarizing the world into 'us and them'. The book also includes profiles of four prominent reformers-Altaf Hussain Hali, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Muhammad Iqbal and Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan-who have contributed greatly to the cause of Islam and the Muslims of India.
Extensively researched and lucidly written, Islam and the Muslims of India attempts to make sense of the problems that have been created by a too literal interpretation of the word of god by a select few who wield wide influence in the community. It makes the vital point that a failure to interpret the word in its specific historical context will only exacerbate the divides between Islam and the other religions that must share space with it.
‘Islam in seventh-century Arabia was different from what it is today and in today’s world Islam is not the same in India, Pakistan or Iran. It is a living faith, it changes all the time.’
2. The spread of Islam in India
3. Diversity in the Muslim Community
4. Four Muslim Reformers
5. The Hindu – Muslim Divide
6. Muslims in Politics: Before Partition
7. Muslims in Politics: After Partition
8. Education and Employment in the Muslim Community
9. Composite Culture and Secularism
10. The Rise of a New Muslim Middle Class
11. History, Faith and Dogma
12. The Modernity Conundrum
13. Looking Ahead