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Book Review


(Allen and Unwin, 75s.)

Review by D.M.M.

Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 2, No. 1. © World Wisdom, Inc.

Muslims now living in the Republic of India have a special need to consider what they are, what are their loyalties and what their future and in The Indian Muslims M. Mujeeb sets out, not so much to answer these and similar questions, but rather to set out the data on the basis of which each must find his or her own answers. It is a scholarly and remarkably objective study and ranges wide from the 8th to the 20th centuries, from Baluchistan to Bengal, from Kashmir to Travancore and from politics and social customs to Sufism and the role of the Shari'ah. It may be deduced that the author is a Sunni Muslim of Northern India, but he treats also of the role of the Shi'ahs, of the Ismailis and of the many sects who consider themselves as Indian Muslims although their beliefs and practices have been more or less strongly modified by Hindu or aboriginal influences.

It cannot be said to make easy reading for a Western reader unless he has made some study of Islam and of India; it assumes familiarity with Indian topography and history; names are often given an unfamiliar spelling; Arabic and Urdu terms are not always explained nor is it invariably indicated whether a date is A.H. or A.D. None the less it is of great interest both as a study of the interaction at various levels between Islam and Hinduism and for its account of the thought and work of influential figures among Indian Muslims of modern times, both those well known in the West like Sir Muhammad Iqbal and Maulana Muhammad `Ali and others hardly known at all in the West.