Reconsidering Islam in a South Asian Context


Despite late reconsideration, a dominant paradigm rooted in Orientalist essentialisations of Islam as statically ‘legalistic’ and Muslims as uniformly ‘transgressive’ when local customs are engaged, continues to distort perspectives of South Asia's past and present. This has led to misrepresentations of pre-colonial Muslim norms and undue emphasis on colonial reforms alone when charting the course to post-coloniality. This book presents and challenges staple perspectives with a comprehensive reinterpretation of doctrinal sources, literary expressions and colonial records spanning the period from the reign of the 'Great Mughals' to end of the 'British Raj' (1526-1947). The result is an alternative vision of this transformative period in South Asian history, and an original paradigm of Islamic doctrine and Muslim practice applicable more broadly.
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Biographical Note

M. Reza Pirbhai, Ph.D. (2004) in History, University of Toronto, is Assistant Professor of South Asian History at Louisiana State University. This is his first book. Previous publications include articles on Islam, Hinduism and culture in Modern South Asia.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Translation and Transliteration Note Maps Chronology Introduction Part I—Foundations: Islam and the Mughals Chapter One: The Categories of Doctrinal Islam Chapter Two: Indicism, Intoxication and Sobriety among the ‘Great Mughals’ Part II—Transformations: Islam and Colonialism Chapter Three: Codification and a ‘New’ Sober Path Chapter Four: Anglicisation and the ‘Old Islam’ Chapter Five: Objectification and a ‘New’ Intoxicated Way Chapter Six: Nationalism and the ‘New Islam’ Bibliography Glossary Index


All those interested in Islamic intellectual and institutional history, Muslim sectarianism and inter-faith relations, colonialism and the development of contemporary South Asian societies and cultures.