Editor : Nadeem Hasnain

Akbar S.Ahmed

Clash or Dialogue of Civilizations?

Ever since Huntington advanced his thesis of ‘clash of civilisations’ the entire intellectual world has been engaged in this intellectual exercise with varying ideological orientations. The present paper deals with this issue from a different perspective. It puts ‘dialogue of civilisations’ on a higher pedestal rather than ‘clash of civilisations’. Oriented towards
South-Asia it examines the importance and relevance of dialogue between India and Pakistan with a Hindu Muslim perspective. This discussion becomes immediately relevant because of the fact that almost one fifth of humanity lives in this region. Moreover, in South-Asia, Islam and Hinduism have met each other in an entirely different cultural background. The composite and syncretic culture of South-Asia bears testimony to this fact.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Akbar S. Ahmed

Ranjit Sau

Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires

First, to the extent conquering territory became part of the imperial ethos in the wake of the theocratic partition of the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, it turned into a factor of instability. In the absence of proportionate economic florescence at home, sustaining the empire with external resources necessitated continuing repeated military campaigns abroad. Under the circumstances, one major defeat in the battlefield on foreign shores could irrevocably throw the system off balance.
Second, by the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire had reached a stage comparable to the Renaissance, then sweeping the European continent. But why did not, then, the empire proceed further towards the next phase, namely, the Enlightenment? This essay acknowledges that the recognition of universal human dignity and freedom was an integral feature of the Enlightenment; people’s freedom had to be achieved through a process of class struggle. Success was, evidently, contingent upon how the agrarian question is settled. The Ottoman military theocracy, animated by the principle that every labour was servile except the profession of arms, offered no space for the classes that could play the historic role.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Ranjit Sau

Taj Hashmi

Popular Islam and Misogyny: A Case Study of Bangladesh

Misogyny is as old as civilisation; the synonymy of misogyny with hate highlights the inherent correlation of misogyny with male fear of women as competitors and rivals in all types of societies- from primitive to peasant to the modern corporate world.
Misogyny is just not an apolitical construct. It is very much a part of political discourse in power perspective to perpetuate male hegemony. So there is no reason to single put Islam or a popular version of faith as misogynous. However, thanks to the subtype interpretations of the Quran (almost exclusively by men), the preponderance of the misogynic mullahs and the regressive Sharia law in most Muslim countries, Islam is synonymously known as a promoter of misogyny in its worst form. The present paper takes a hard look at the misogynic practices in Bangladesh- a South Asian, economically and educationally backward and ‘Muslim’ country at the same time.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Taj Hashmi

M.A. Muqtedar Khan

Islamic Democratic Theory: Between Political Philosophy and Jurisprudence

For nearly a century, Islamic political theorists have been trying to argue that not only is Islam compatible with modernity and democracy, but indeed the advent of Islam was the essential beginning of modern enlightenment. This paper has reflected on the prospects of an Islamic democratic theory in the context of three genres of discourse- theological, jurisprudential and philosophical. It concludes that while theological understanding is necessary but not sufficient, philosophical illumination is the answer but needs much more development and jurisprudence is a challenge rather than an ally of Islamic democratic theory. The goal of the paper is to underscore the importance of political philosophy and theory. The barriers to democracy in the Muslim world are both ideational and material.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by M.A. Muqtedar Khan

Yoginder Sikand

The Tablighi Jama’at and Sufism with Reference to the Meos of Mewat

The twentieth century witnessed the emergence of a number of movements for religious revival, revitalisation and reform among the Muslims all over the world. One of these, probably the largest Islamic movements in the world today, is the Tablighi Jama’at. Although not identified as a specifically Sufi movement as such, the TJ emerged from the reformist Sufi project represented by the renowned Dar ul-‘Ulum Madrasa located in Deoband, a town not far from Delhi. This paper examines the reformist Sufi project of the TJ as it has come to be expressed among the Meos of Mewat. It begins with a brief description of the Meos and the early twentieth century Meo popular religion. It then discusses the intervention of the TJ in Mewat, looking at what this has meant for popular Sufism in the region. It goes on to examine the new form of Islam- reformist, Sharia centred Sufism- that the TJ has sought to introduce in the region, examining ways in which the Meos have sought to incorporate the TJ project in their daily lives.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Yoginder Sikand

Kumkum Srivastava

Urdu Poets and the NationalMovement 1857-1947

Poetry is easy to remember, simple to communicate and can become the rallying point of a movement. The colonial phase was one of native subservience, exploitation and oppression. It found iots impact I poetry of all the Indian languages. Urdu poetry, produced during the colonial rule in India, presents a very rich account of people aspiration for freedom, promoting nationalist sentiments and contributing to the mobilisation of people against the alien rule. It also represents the composite Hindu-Muslim culture. This paper takes a look at various strands of nationalism as depicted by the Urdu poetry of the period 1857-1947.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Kumkum Srivastava

S.S.A. Jafri and Abhilasha Srivastava

Spatial Pattern and Concentration of Muslim Household Industry Workers In Uttar Pradesh: A Comparative Analysis

Muslims are the second largest majority in India but after 1947 i.e. partition of the country, their participation rate in organized sector especially in government jobs, has gone down and they had to take refuge in unorganised sector mainly household industry which is least paying. The objective of this paper is to analyse the distribution and concentration of Muslim workers engaged in household industry at the district level in comparison to the non Muslim workers in the same industry.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by S.S.A. Jafri and Abhilasha Srivastava

Azra Abidi

Women’s Empowerment in India and it’s Perception among the Educated Muslim Girls: A Sociological Study

In order to analyse the status, role and other problems of Muslim women we must consider the fact that the rights and obligations are already decided by Islam. Women in Islam begin with several advantages but the feudal values and patriarchy subordinated the Islamic values. This paper deals with the perception of Muslim educated girls regarding their empowerment and their awareness of the Islamic provisions for their upliftment.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Azra Abidi

Firdous Azmat Siddiqi

A Long Journey of Muslim Child-Wife: Age of Consent Bill to Sharda Act: A Case Study of United Provinces

Social reform legislation in India was one of the primary issues in which genderquestions have ben debated in the late nineteenth century. In this series abolition of Sati, Widow Remarriage Act of a1856 and Age of Consent Bill of 1891 were included. This paper takes a look and analyses the debate and protest on the age of consent bill in the erstwhile-united provinces. Through the analyses the role of the Muslim elite has also been exposed vis a vis various reform measures along with the deep rooted tendency of the Muslims to relate every secular issue with religion and the consequent demand for ‘no interference’ in religion. .

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Firdous Azmat Siddiqi


Rationale of Modernization of Madrasa Education in India

Madrasa and Maktab have been very important institutions of Muslim societies in the promotion of education and knowledge. Apprehensive of ‘Hindu intentions’ vis a vis Islam, Muslims set up a large number of Madarsas and Maktab apart from the old ones and lesser number of secular educational institutions. No doubt Madrasas played a very important role in promoting literacy and women’s education at lower levels but could neither provide them livelihood not help in broadening their worldview largely because of their outdated and obscurantist nature. This paper analyses the various issues pertaining to the rationale of modernization of the Madarsas and the rationale behind this agenda.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Fahimuddin

Amir M. Nasrullah

Administrative and Political Philosophy of Nizamul Mulk Tusi

This paper deals with the historical background and administrative and political philosophy of Nizamul Mulk Tusi. He belongs to a school, which combined the Turko-Persian political wisdom with Islamic Ideals. Credit also goes to him for discovering the general laws of socio-political organisation on the basis of human nature and social, economic and spiritual dynamics of group life. The paper also attempts to compare his ideas with those of some other European and Muslim philosophers.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Amir M. Nasrullah

Bandana Singh

Currency System and Means of Exchange During the Mughal Period

In India, currency had been prevalent since long ago but with the advent of the medieval period many changes took place in the Indian currency. During this period there was coordination between the rate of economic development, needs of the society and the administrative system established but the state. This paper deals with the various aspects of economic system especially the currency system and means of exchange during the Mughal period. It also brings forth the fact that as a result of the Mughal economic policy, the economic disparity was reduced. Due to the flow of liquid currency, poverty was greatly reduced. The development of various economic institutions made significant changes in the economic system on the one hand and affected the various aspects of medieval society on the other.

Abstracts: Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2006 by Bandana Singh