Lived Islam in South Asia : Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict

Edited by Imtiaz Ahmad and Helmut Reifeld, Social Science Press, 2004, xxvi, 308 p, ISBN : 8187358157, $0.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Lived Islam in South Asia : Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict/edited by Imtiaz Ahmad and Helmut Reifeld

Contents: Preface. Introduction/Imtiaz Ahmad. I. Concepts and interpretations: 1. Mapping Muslims: categories of evolutionary difference and interaction in South Asia/Peter Gottschalk. 2. Beyond ethnicity? Being Hindu and Muslim in South Asia/Shail Mayaram. 3. Can Hindus and Muslims coexist?/Jackie Assayag. II. Lived Islam and its Historical Context: 4. The Rishi tradition and the construction of Kashmiriyat/Mohammad Ishaq Khan. 5. Debating religious practice in cyberspace: lived Islam and antinomian identities in a Kashmiri Muslim community/Aparna Rao. 6. Lived Islam in Nepal/Sudhindra Sharma. III. Conflict and accommodation: 7. The Sunni-Shia conflict in Jhang (Pakistan)/Mariam Abou-Zahab. 8. Languages as a marker of religious difference/Asha Rani. 9. Shared Hindu-Muslim shrines in Karnataka: challenges to liminality/Yoginder Sikand. 10. Devotional practices among Shia women in South India/Diane D'Souza. IV. The presence of Sufism: 11. Liminality and legality: a contemporary debate among the Imamshahis of Gujarat/Dominique-Sila Khan. 12. Ritual communication: The case of the Sidi in Gujarat/Helene Basu. 13. The Islamic mystic tradition in India: The Madari Sufi brotherhood/Ute Falasch. 14. Jailani: A Sufi Shrine in Sri Lanka/Dennis B. McGilvray. List of contributors. Index.

"Lived Islam in South Asia : Adaptation, Accommodation and Conflict is an extremely timely and important publication. Fourteen interesting papers, based on intensive fieldwork in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India, explore a highly controversial subject. They touch on the everyday religious lives of the Muslims in these countries.

The book argues that Islam cannot be understood through the works of theologians alone, for whom it is a formal, uniform and rigid system of beliefs and practices. Popular Islam, or Islam as it is practised by millions of Muslims in South Asia, has an empirical validity and is a dynamic process of adjustment and accommodation as well as conflict with other religions, with which it coexists. As one of the editors to the volume, Imtiaz Ahmad says in the introduction. 'There are many Islam's.

The book is divided into four parts. Part I. Concepts and interpretations, consists of three papers which bring coherence and meaning to the confusion of everyday life, with the help of concepts and ideas. Three papers in Part II: Lived Islam and its historical context, explore the distinctive developments of Islam in Kashmir and Nepal. Part III. Conflicts and accommodation has four papers which analyse various aspects of both religious conflicts and accommodation. While violent conflicts take place between the Islamic sects of the Sunnis and Shias, harmonious relations between Muslims and Hindus, united by common worship at Muslim shrines in Karnataka is an empirical fact. Common worship also unites the extremely marginalized Shia women in Hyderabad to women of other religions. The presence of Sufism consists of four papers three of which describe how marginalized people, both Hindus and Muslims, find acceptance in Sufism. The last paper describes the tension between the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Muslims in Sri Lanka." (jacket)

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