In this volume, André Wink analyzes the beginning of the process of momentous and long-term change that came with the Islamization of the regions that the Arabs called al-Hind—India and large parts of its Indianized hinterland. In the seventh to eleventh centuries, the expansion of Islam had a largely commercial impact on al-Hind. In the peripheral states of the Indian subcontinent, fluid resources, intensive raiding and trading activity, as well as social and political fluidity and openness produced a dynamic impetus that was absent in the densely settled agricultural heartland. Shifts of power occurred, in combination with massive transfers of wealth across multiple centers along the periphery of al-Hind. These multiple centers mediated between the world of mobile wealth on the Islamic-Sino-Tibetan frontier (which extended into Southeast Asia) and the world of sedentary agriculture, epitomized by brahmanical temple Hinduism in and around Kanauj in the heartland. The growth and development of a world economy in and around the Indian Ocean—with India at its center and the Middle East and China as its two dynamic poles—was effected by continued economic, social, and cultural integration into ever wider and more complex patterns under the aegis of Islam.
Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam 7th-11th centuries is also available in hardback (isbn 90 04 09249 8)
During the early medieval Islamic expansion in the seventh to eleventh centuries, al-Hind (India and its Indianized hinterland) was characterized by two organizational modes: the long-distance trade and mobile wealth of the peripheral frontier states, and the settled agriculture of the heartland. These two different types of social, economic, and political organization were successfully fused during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, and India became the hub of world trade. During this period, the Middle East declined in importance, Central Asia was unified under the Mongols, and Islam expanded far into the Indian subcontinent. Instead of being devastated by the Mongols, who were prevented from penetrating beyond the western periphery of al-Hind by the absence of sufficient good pasture land, the agricultural plains of North India were brought under Turko-Islamic rule in a gradual manner in a conquest effected by professional armies and not accompanied by any large-scale nomadic invasions. The result of the conquest was, in short, the revitalization of the economy of settled agriculture through the dynamic impetus of forced monetization and the expansion of political dominion. Islamic conquest and trade laid the foundation for a new type of Indo-Islamic society in which the organizational forms of the frontier and of sedentary agriculture merged in a way that was uniquely successful in the late medieval world at large, setting the Indo-Islamic world apart from the Middle East and China in the same centuries.
The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries is also available in hardback (ISBN 90 04 10236 1)
Please contact our sales team for more information on prices and licensing.