Course Details

HIST 266: History of Islam in South Asia

While Islam in popular thought is often associated solely with the Arab world, in reality eighty percent of the world’s Muslim population is not of Arab ethnicity.  The countries of South Asia--particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh--are collectively home to the largest number of Muslims. After examining the early background of the appearance and growth of Islamic societies and governments, we will explore the rich history of the expansion of Islam into the Indian subcontinent. We will take account of the role of trade and conquest in the early centuries of Islamic expansion and study the development of specifically Indian forms of Islam. The nature and impact of the Indo-Islamic empires will receive our attention, as will the interaction of Muslims with non-Muslim communities in medieval and early modern India. This will be followed by a look at the period of colonial rule, and an analysis of the specific historical contexts that gave rise to specific religious nationalist movements. We will then trace out how, once established, these movements developed according to their changing relationships to national liberation movements, secularism, state administrative systems, global economic shifts, and changing social demands. 
6 credits; HI, IS; Not offered 2021-2022