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HIST 1059
Prasannan Parthasarathi

ISLAM AND GLOBAL MODERNITIES HS 059 Fall 2011 Prasannan Parthasarathi MIDTERM EXAM STUDY GUIDE In Class Identifications On the exam you will be asked to write a six to eight sentence identification of three quotes and three images from the following list. In your answer attach a date if possible to the quote or image and explain its significance for understanding the history of the Islamic world, c.1400 to c.1700. Part A: Quotes 1. “I bow down to the rising sun in the east, and also to the shrine of Vrindavan, together with Lord Krishna, the Eternal Lover of sweet Radha. I next do reverence to the milky rivers and the ocean, dashing against the two shores, with sandy shoals in the middle. In all the four directions, I tender my respectful compliments to all the four sects of the Muslims. I bow down to the Mother Isamati and also to the great Pir [Sufi Master] at Nawapara.” Answer: -Rooting of Islam in Bengal by Eaton -17 or 18 century -Process of merging the Islamic conceptions of divine and human authorities among groups under their own socioeconomic influence -Quote exemplifies the process by which Islamic superhuman agencies became accepted in local Bengali cosmologies alongside divinities already embedded therein -Bengali literature expanding in order to accommodate new superhuman beings introduced by Muslims -lines of one of the folk ballads passed on orally by generations -ballad begins with traditional Bengali indigenous deities and unravels to Muslim superhuman exogenous deities -the religious culture of the area in which this was sung included a broad spectrum of superhuman agencies -illustrates how easily Islamic superhuman figures could be included in what appears to have been a fluid expandable cosmology -the poem shows the tenacity of Bengali emphasis on divine power as manifested in female agency (examples given the quote), the other hand it shows that themes wholly foreign to the delta had also infiltrated the religious universe of the Bengali countryside -rooting of Islam in Bengal is represented by this quote, shows their influence on religion -many men who played decisive roles in disseminating Islamic ideas in Bengal were steeped Sufi metaphysics based on the emphasis the light and the prophet Muhammad and creation of world 2. “The diaspora manifested in the persons of these merchants the Mughal empire’s stature as a regionally dominant economic power.” Answer: -Indian Wothd Economy by Dale -Early 17 Century -the dispersion of Indian businessmen in several major Iranian cities during the later Safavid period is an astonishing and unexplained episode of Iranian economic history -increased settlement of these Indians in Iran has also remained an unexplained aspect because during this period, Mughal emperors ruled the northern half of the South Asian subcontinent -fundamental significance for the economy or Iran and India -many of these merchants brought more Indians who worked as retail, wholesale merchants, and commodity brokers and financiers -they constituted an influential but rarely noticed trade diaspora that encompassed the Uzbek khanates of western Turkistan or Turan -diaspora extended its mercantile activities to include the Russian Caspian port of Astrakhan, the Volga basin and, for a brief period Moscow -represented far more than a transitory episode for Safavid Iran and an important moment in Mughul Safavid economic relations -quote shows the climactic moment of an important phase in Eurasian economic history -Iran Turan and Russia -reflected an asymmetrical economic relationship in which Indians marketed agricultural products, textile manufactures, and their own financial expertise throughout a broad region where they enjoyed a competitive advantage in both goods and services 3. “What is History? . . . an unending dialogue between the present and the past.” Answer: -What Is History? By Carr -1961 -idea here is that knowledge of the past has come down through one or more human minds who processed them and formulated their point of view -therefore there is no objective truths dude to the various views -when we attempt to answer “what is history?” we consciously or unconsciously reflect our own position of time and form part of our answer to the broader question which is what view we take of the society in which we live -the historian is engaged on a continuous process of molding his facts to his interpretations to his facts -as he tries to understand, the interpretation and the selection and ordering of facts undergo subtle and perhaps partly unconscious changes through the reciprocal actions of one or the other -this action also involves interpretation between the past and the present -historian and facts are necessary, they cannot live without each other -this quote pertains to the historian in that history is a continuous process of interaction between the historian and his facts which is an unending dialogue between… 4. “I summoned him to come to court as fast as possible, gave him the title of raja . . . An imperial decree was also issued saying that if he performed satisfactorily and showed loyalty, he was to be given free rein in his territory.” Answer: -Jahangirnama -refers to the defeat of Suraj Mal -1618-1620 -idea here is that whenever a royal family was in power, they appoint loyal trustworthy people -if one was disloyal, they were overthrown and their land was destroyed -in this case, it refers to the defeat of Suraj Mal because he was rebellious and disloyal raja -therefore, unlike the rest of this reading, the speaker (Jahangirnama) assigns imperial forces to overthrow Suraj Mal -he had a brother Jagat Singh whom he didn’t get along with who lived a miserable life because his brother disregarded his life -as a result, the speaker, part of the court, summoned him and awarded him riches and raised his rank -the idea here is loyalty, if you express signs of dignity and loyalty, and you were close to the royal family, you were almost guaranteed to be awarded with riches 5. “Indeed it was during the later Middle Period that Sunni orthodoxy embraced Sufism wholeheartedly and transformed it into a powerful force for the further expansion of Islam.” Answer: -ThthAdvthtures of Ibn Battuta by Ross E Dunn written in 1989 -13 14 century -details the background of his education because he was introduced to Sufism -sufism was addressing popular desires for an Islamic faith of warmth, emotion, and personal hope, needs that outward performance of Qur’anic duties could not alone supply -two ideas was at the heart of the sufi movement-one was that the individual muslim is capable of achieving direct and personal communion with God and the other was that the path to God could be found through the intermediary of a saintly master or shaykh -this quote shows how he immersed himself in mystical teachings, rituals, and special prayers and strove to inculcate high spiritual qualities in everyday life -although we are unsure, his travels is itself evidence that he grew up in a social climate rich in mystical beliefs and that they were tightly interwoven with his formal, spiritual education -his education influenced all of his travels -was never a committed disciple, stayed a lay sufi to go to mystical gatherings and seek aesthetic comtemplation 6. “Special hi
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