This article presents a translation from the Sindhi oral tradition of bhagat. It originates in Sindh, Pakistan. Today it is practiced by Hindu narrators in post-Partition India. The song translated in this paper focuses upon Bhagat Kanvar Ram, who contemporary bhagat narrators mention frequently. This essay exemplifies his influence on the bhagat tradition in the areas of inspiration, authority, and performance style. It offers a glimpse of the dynamics of the live performances of oral texts.
The study of Sindhi nationalism has remained overdetermined by the question of the allegiance of Sindhis to the Pakistani state. The movement has not been examined for itself but only from the vantage point of its success or failure. As a result, it has mainly received attention when sudden outbursts of violence seemed to threaten the stability of the state. However, few have attempted to examine what connects disparate events of ethnic violence and opposition to the central state with a broader understanding of what being Sindhi entails. Rather than address questions of failure or success, this article shows that the construction of a nationalist “idea of Sindh” has been a continuous process throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It also illustrates how an aspirational middle-class played a central role in this process. The article focuses on how three generations of Muslim men, who shared similar trajectories yet have unique social characteristics and repertoires of contention, constructed, reinforced, and disseminated the Sindhi nationalist discourse. This process translated into institution-building in the cultural sphere and contributed to the political outlook of a large section of Sindhi politicians on the left of the spectrum.
Since Partition, the Sindhi language in India has frequently been written off by scholars and laypersons alike, citing supposed linguistic corruption, ever-shrinking domains of use, and near-obsolescence in written form. However, census figures have consistently registered an increase in Sindhi speakers in India over the last seven decades. This article argues for a fresh approach to analyzing the journey of Sindhi in post-Partition India to explain this apparent discrepancy. It adopts a language-ecological perspective and evaluates salient grammatical, sociolinguistic, and script-related changes in Indian Sindhi over the last seventy-five years. The article maintains that these changes represent structurally and sociolinguistically plausible adaptations to the language’s ecosystem since Partition. It concludes that, despite a reduction in domains of use, changes in Indian Sindhi, together with an increase in speakers, testify to the language’s survival in India.
Indo-Muslim history is hybrid. The Hindu Bhil and Kohli communities of Khebar, Sindh, are examples of this hybridity. Before Partition in 1947, when socio-cultural ambivalence was widespread, Bhils and Kohlis lived alongside Muslims. After Partition, the situation changed, and these communities suffered socio-economic isolation. Between 1964 and 1979, Bhils and Kohlis in Kebhar experienced three waves of da’wah (i.e., calling people to embrace Islam). In these waves, Ismaili missionaries targeted Patels (i.e., community headmen). In response, this group recognized the 49th Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims as a manifestation of the dasa avatara from Hinduism. This article addresses what factors led to this recognition and how groups cross thresholds between Hinduism and Islam.
In the following article, I aim to provide an insight into the Islamic understanding of death as perceived by a typical Indonesian Muslim family in South Sumatra. The discussion on what it means to die a good death is used as a central theme to introduce the Islamic rituals and practices surrounding death. I pay special attention to the signs observed by the members of the family while accompanying the dying person and examine how these are grounded in the particular religioscape of South Sumatra. The article is written at the crossroad of area studies and Islamic theology.
The aim of the paper is twofold. Firstly, to provide a historical contextualization of Ḥāfiẓ Baṣīr, the author of the Maẓhar al-‘ajā’ib (circa 973/1565), within the Central Asian Sufi tradition based on historical and hagiographical sources from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Secondly, to locate the non-Aḥrārī silsila of the Naqshbandīya in Central Asia passing through Ḥāfiẓ Baṣīr that survived in the region of Khwarazm until the second half of the 18th century.
The Islamic State groups under the New Order in Indonesia were represented by various groups and factions, but they originated from the single movement called Darul Islam (DI) led by Kartosuwiryo in West Java. In 1949, Kartosuwiryo – the imam of Darul Islam – declared the establishment of the Indonesia Islamic State in the village of the Cisampah district of Tasikmalaya, West Java with the sole purpose of rejecting the policy of the Republic of Indonesia to withdraw their troops from West Java. DI itself operated in West Java and expanded its influences in South Sulawesi and Aceh. Even though the Darul Islam rebellion was already crushed totally by the state, many movements linked to DI are still apparent and have operated clandestinely. The groups currently associated with Darul Islam have been suspected of their involvements in terrorist activities in Indonesia. Even people who have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) still have a connection with the Darul Islam’s past rebellion. This article tries to analyze the main factors that caused the re-emergence of Indonesian Islamic State group called Negara Islam Indonesia (NII) and how NII becomes the main entry toward terroristic activities.
In the following article, I propose that there are localized Islamic concepts and practices that can be applied to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of Islam in Indonesia in general, and Islamic dynamics and movements in particular. I focus on two concepts: barokah, divine blessing power, and silaturahmi, keeping family and kinship ties. Both concepts are localized and add an additional nuance to the Islam found in the Indonesian Archipelago. By analyzing examples from my own ethnographic field research, I suggest that barokah and silaturahmi have transformational power attached to them that can change a person’s understanding of Islam. Therefore, they should be taken into account when analyzing Islamic movements and religious change in Indonesia.
This paper offers preliminary notes on Buddhism in modern Muslim exegesis with an emphasis on Tafsir al-Qasimi by Muhammad Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi (1866–1914) and al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qurʾan by Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaʾi (1892–1981). The research adopts a qualitative design using content analysis to collect the data. In this paper two main questions regarding both exegetes will be explored. The first question concerns the sources of both scholars for their information about Buddhism by including the discussion in their exegesis. The second question concerns the methodology they used to discuss Buddhism in the Qurʾan since this has not been done by any classical exegetes nor among the most modern exegetes. Studies have found that the approach of the two exegetes is different from both the classical and modern exegetes because their work also contains resources from the fields of comparative religion and the history of religion to make their work relevant in the current context and reliable to be referred to by any parties. The author concludes that both al-Qasimi and Tabatabaʾi used analysis (taḥlil) in discussing verses related to the position of the Buddha.