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  1. The secularist lens may project a selective view of medieval history, but facts speak otherwise
  2. MacLean, Derryl - Department of History - Simon Fraser University
  3. Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking and Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia
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Both Muslims and non-Muslims are involved in production as well as consumption. The art in Without Boundary rarely refers directly to personal religious beliefs, but a sense of spirituality does appear, not necessarily anchored in any one creed" Daftari , Hodgson provides insight into the cosmopolitan aesthetic of several artists, eliding Muslim to non-Muslim elements and influences, all featured in Without Boundary. Poet: Forough Farrokhzad; and no. Poet: Tahereh Saffarzadeh:. Neshat had left Iran in , then returned 16 years later in Both the above images, like others she has produced, feature women embodying contradictions, at once visual and lyrical, reflected in gestures but also in poetry.

The first is untitled, yet it features both a religious invocation on the outer palm, and then inscription on the fingers from poet Forough Farrokhzad. The woman may be trying to speak or entreating her viewer to remain silent. The contradictions abound here, as they do in the second image, titled Speechless.

Part of a series called Women of Allah , begun in , it projects a woman who wears a gun barrel in place of earrings, her face veiled not with cloth but with script: "a eulogy to martyrdom in the name of Islam, quoted from the writings of another woman poet, Tahereh Saffarzadeh" Daftari , Islamicate tones pervade, unnamed but still evident.

Islam is the Religion of Indian Origin.🇮🇳

In Daftari. In Pleasure Pillars , Sikander "embraces heterogeneity. Like the German painter, Sigmar Polke, whom she admires and whose work she studied, Sikander attempts to layer paint with narrative in order to destabilize fixed meanings and create new vistas Daftari , 14— In short, Sikander, like Neshat, provides multiple hybrid traces, connecting diverse traditions but always with a central political aesthetic intent: to connect poetry with nature and use both to reinforce a liberatory message for all persons, but especially women, whether Persian or Greek, Muslim or pagan.

It is, in short, an Islamicate manifesto in visual garb. In the examples that follow, cosmopolitan, far from being a marker of upper class or royal status, defines an Islamicate aesthetic that evokes and performs protest, nowhere more so than with the overthrow of the Pahlavi Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran —. Two senior scholars of Iran produced a magnificent coffee-table book in Staging a Revolution , by Peter Chelkowski and Hamid Dabashi, surveys the aesthetic practices of Iranian revolutionaries during the preceding two decades.

Making the shahada a calligraphic protest Arabo-Persian but also Polish, modeled after Solidarity logo in Poland. In Chelkowski and Dabashi. Here in protest, they illustrate the durable flexibility of Persianate-modern and Islamicate themes:. Persianate-modern, or Islamicate. The link is also architectural, recurrently to the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, [3] the Star of David depicted as barbed wire incarcerating history and geography yet also open to liberation at the bottom through a solitary palm tree:.

The secularist lens may project a selective view of medieval history, but facts speak otherwise

Dome of the Rock barb-wired with the Star of David: architectural, geographic, and symbolic, at once incarcerating and liberatory. There are, to be sure, the dedicated few who do support and expand the notion of Persianate. The Association for the Study of Persianate Societies, founded in , has held biennial meetings since and published a journal since , both of which promote its aims, namely, to explore and analyze "the culture and civilization of the geographical area where Persian has historically been the dominant language or a major cultural force, encompassing Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, as well as the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and parts of the former Ottoman Empire.

A recent example is Nauman Naqvi, an American-trained Pakistani anthropologist. In "Acts of Ascesis, Scenes of Poesis" Naqvi , he analyzes the Pakistani poet—painter Sadequain, foregrounding Islamicate elements, albeit in densely argued endnotes, such as the following:. A very moving testimony in this regard is that of the Tunisian thinker, Abdelwahab Meddeb: "The legacy of Islam consists in the profusion and intensity of its body of spiritual texts. This legacy owes as much to the ardor and intensity of its poetic and lyrical sayings as to the exalted tenor of its speculations.

There are, however, other signs of new life for these now old, if also seldom invoked, categories. I would like to close by illustrating two explicit trajectories of Islamicate aesthetics: 1 in the future work of a young Bengali-American art historian, and 2 in the analysis of a legendary Yemeni-Indian-Qatari artist. What is crucial here, as elsewhere, is the defining function of hyphens: they make connections that are often occluded, erasing history, confusing precedents, deflecting memories and, above all, dimming vistas of the future.

Already marked as cosmopolitan are two artists, one as "Bengali-American," the other as "Yemeni-Indian-Qatari.

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MacLean, Derryl - Department of History - Simon Fraser University

The first, a Bengali-American, is Sugata Ray. In this brief clip, there is no mention of Islamicate, yet the "Muslim" object comes from Jaipur, the same Hindu temples of Jaipur that were analyzed by Catherine Asher in her contribution to Beyond Turk and Hindu Gilmartin and Lawrence Can one say that it is perhaps more than mere coincidence that Ray is a PhD graduate from Minnesota where one of his teachers was Catherine Asher? This lapse in genealogical attribution during the Shangri-La lecture will be remedied, fortunately, in a future project from this creative art historian.

There, Sugata Ray promises: "engagement with the artistic cultures in medieval South and Central Asia in order to reconfigure the cosmopolitan aesthetics of the Islamicate through geospatial registers. Yet it is not just in the past but also in the present that one needs to recuperate and apply the qualifier "Islamicate," above all, to art that emerges from the Afro-Eurasian oikumene, often with a tilt toward Euro-American influence. No stronger case could be made for these "hybrid trace s rather than pure presence or absence of Islam," as defined by Srinivas Aravamudan, than with the late Indian-Qatari painter, M.


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Husain, an Islamicate cosmopolitan mining contemporary idioms from the Indian Ocean. In a volume she edited, David Gilmartin, with Barbara Metcalf, have indicated how multiple civilizational frames are present in this iconic image of Husain. And the place of maritime reconnection for Husain is his ancestral home of Yemen, with memories also of Ethiopia. The Bilal-Obama connection was inspired by the U.

Beyond Turk and Hindu: Rethinking and Religious Identities in Islamicate South Asia

Husain stayed up late to listen to the results in Doha. He was so elated that he could not sleep at age 93 , and so he busied himself with painting Bilal, one of the first converts to Islam— an Ethiopian. Bilal was, of course, not Muhammad; he was only the leader of ritual prayer, not of the entire Muslim community. It also marks him as an Islamicate cosmopolitan, at once non-religious yet touched by the tones of Islam in his art, as in his life.

What links Islamicate to Persianate to cosmopolitan? The ubiquitous hyphen.


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  6. The range of data presented above moves across continents and oceans, spaces and ages, yet it has a single, recurrent goal: to clarify the connections that indicate an embedded cosmopolitanism throughout parts of Asia—East and West, Central and South, as well as the Indian Ocean. Far from random or incidental, they are recurrent and evocative. To understand their significance, they must be located within an historical frame that is at once political and aesthetic, resolutely Islamic yet materially rather than creedally defined, often Persianate, and always Islamicate.

    Despite their frequent absence in popular as also academic analyses of Islamicate culture, multiple locations and experiences, memories and genealogies must be foregrounded in art as in architecture, in street posters as well as in museums. The hyphen pervades; the hyphen endures. Aravamudan, Srinivas. Arjomand, Said Amir, ed. Barry, Michael A. Paris: Flammarion.

    Monastic ‘Governmentality’: Revisiting ‘Community’ and ‘Communalism’ in South Asia

    Chelkowski, Peter, and Hamid Dabashi. Daftari, Fereshteh, ed. Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking. New York: Museum of Modern Art. Ernst, Judith. Lawrence, Gilmartin, David, and Bruce B. Lawrence, eds. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Golombek, Lisa. Hodgson, Marshall G. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Istanbul: Sakip Sabanci Muzesi. Kadoi, Yuka. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Lawrence, Bruce B. Minisaale, Gregory.

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    Images of Thought: Visuality in Islamic India — Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. They shared common references and they could inhabit the same universe. Claiming to be above sectarian divisions—even superior to them in a sense—they were open-minded and inclusive.

    Lowe, ed. Bharthwal, Pitambardatta ed. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose: pp. Jacobsen ed. Ernst, Carl W. Gilmartin, David; Lawrence, Bruce B. Shapiro eds. Goswamy, B. Horovitz, J. Tauris Publishers. Lorenzen, David N. Mubed , Zulfaqar tr. Offredi, Mariola Lo yoga di Gorakh. Pinch, William R. Rizvi, S. Stewart, Tony K. Lawrence eds. Temple, Richard C. McLeod eds. Many thanks to the participants and referees for their comments and suggestions. For a synthetic overview, see Bouillier and Mallinson ; there is also a bibliographical survey in Bouillier Many sacred figures of north India are endowed with a dual—or even more complex—identity.

    Barthwal in about It is also likely that they have been somewhat altered in the process of transmission from manuscript to manuscript.

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    See also the manuscript variants in Offredi ed. He has published many books and pamphlets in Hindi and has recently developed a network of personal disciples in Russia. It also includes a version of the Mohammad Bodh containing a few slightly different verses, but does not outline the circumstances calling for the Bodh to be recited. In square brackets I will mostly give the Urdu word as written in the main text, and my commentary when I find it useful. In a ground-breaking book published in French in , Yusuf Husain included some excerpts from this text, which is quite different in style.

    In square brackets, the word given in the text and, if needed, my explanation. There is no other God than God. The sentence is unclear. In Muslim India, dead bodies are buried with the head to the north and the face turned to the west towards Mecca. How can he attain paradise, when he kills a chicken every evening?

    What is the use of prostrating oneself in the mosque? They are buried in a sitting position, whereas Muslims are buried stretched out, and Hindus are cremated. These data supposedly cover the whole of India. See also Ghosh Many thanks to Shashank Chaturvedi for giving me access to his PhD thesis. He has food prepared for him every morning, which may include a substitute for blood sacrifice.

    A journal promoting comparative and fieldwork-based research on society, culture and politics in South Asia. South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal. Contents - Previous document. Free-Standing Articles. Full text PDF Send by e-mail. For a synthetic overview, see Bouillier and M Many sacr In square brackets, There is no other God than G In Muslim India, dead bodies are buried with How can he attai What is the use o They are buried in a sitting pos He has food prepared for him every morn Top of page.

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