Sub title: Understanding Islam and Indian History
Author: Raziuddin Aquil
The history of Islam in India has resulted in impassioned debates between scholars— from the secularists to the Hindu right. Arguing that these histories tend to project modern concerns back in time, Raziuddin Aquil conducts a dispassionate investigation of the period between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries, from the heyday of Muslim political domination of large areas of the Subcontinent to the decline of the Mughals, accompanied by the transformations colonialism brought in its wake. Using texts from the medieval and early modern periods, Aquil uncovers connections between a variety of factors— the religious orthodoxy or the ulama; Muslim rulers' attempts to deal with competing religious ideologies; the influence of Sufi traditions; the emergence of Sikhism and its tenuous relationship with Islam; and the development of Urdu as a language of the people. Situating his arguments in the context of contemporary politics involving Hindus and Muslims, Islam and the West, and the long-term struggles within Muslim societies between reason and faith, Aquil contends that some of the issues explored here have come down to us from medieval times while others have been transformed completely into concerns that are purely modern in origin. Penetrating and readable, In the Name of Allah tackles the legacy of Muslim rule in India, and in the process presents Islam as a complex and continually changing tradition.