On becoming an Indian Muslim: French essays on aspects of syncretism

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Oxford University Press, 2003 - History - 355 pages
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This selection of fifteen essays by modern French intellectuals in translation is a sequel to Garcin de Tassy's Muslim Festivals in India (first published in the 1830s) and translated by M. Waseem (OUP, 1995). The focus of this collection is religious syncretism: how at the popular level,when Islam first came to India, may un-Islamic elements derived from Hinduism (some even at variance with Islam's normative and canonical aspects) came to be accepted as part of the practice of Islam on the subcontinent. Relying on literary and other texts as well as field studies, well-known Frenchscholars-such as Louis Massignon, Jules Bloch, Jean Filliozat, Charlotte Vaudeville, Francoise Mallison, Denis Matringe, Marc Gaborieau, and Dominique-Sila Khan among others - trace the various ways in which Islam found popular support at the grass-roots level in India. The essays focus on thesignificant contributions of the Indian mystic Kabir, Sufism, Dara Shikoh, Jayasi, Pir Shams, Waris Shah, Ghazi Miyan, 'Ramdeo'Pir, the Bhartrhari Jogis of Gorakhpur and Mahatama Gandhi. The concluding essay is by the translator himself and focuses on the followers of the Agha Khan, otherwise knownas the Ismaili Khojas. M. Waseem's translations of all the essays is clear and precise, and his substantive Introduction outlines the gradual amalgamation of different religious elements during the spread of Islam as described by these French intellectuals.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Hinduism and Islamic Mysticism 1922
49
The Arabic Version
63
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