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In: Hadhrami Traders, Scholars and Statesmen in the Indian Ocean, 1750s-1960s
Author: Omar Khalidi

Abstract

Ethnic Arab communities in medieval India originate mainly from the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf. Among these Arabs, the ones that gained widespread fame within India and abroad were the Sayyids of Hadhramaut, descendants of Prophet Muhammad, through his daughter Fatima. Many of these Hadhrami Sayyids achieved rapid upward social mobility in India through their ascribed status as the Prophet's descendants, as exemplars of good Muslims, and as preachers and teachers of Islam in a non-Muslim environment. However, migration to India at the dawn of the modern era heralded changes in their traditional status and occupation. The sources of this article are primary works in Arabic, Persian and, Urdu, supplemented with interviews and field observations.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science
In: Oriente Moderno
This volume covers the long neglected history of Hadhramaut (southern Arabia) during the modern colonial era, together with the history of Hadhrami "colonies" in the Malay world, southern India, the Red Sea, and East Africa.
After an introduction placing Hadhramis in the context of other diasporas, there are sections on local and international politics, social stratification and integration, religious and social reform, and economic dynamics. The conclusion brings the story to the present day and outlines a research agenda.
Many aspects of Indian Ocean history are illuminated by this book, notably the role of non-Western merchants in the spread of capitalism, Islamisation and the controversies which raged within Islam, British and Ottoman strategic concerns, social antagonisms in southern Arabia, and the cosmopolitan character of coastal societies.