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Lecturer: Assistant professor Marius LAZĂR, PhD

Course start date: 10.10.2022

The Indian subcontinent is the region with the largest Muslim population. Although the political, religious, social, cultural and artistic history of Islam in the Indian world is long (since the 8th century) and extremely rich, it is still very little known and researched. In this sense, the central objective of the course is precisely to provide an overview of this complexity, in a double dimension, chronological and geographical.

Course duration: 10.10.2022-01.03.2023

Evaluation date: 02.04.2023

Date of granting of certificates: 01.06.2023

Course fee: 1000 lei

(50% discount for UBB staff)

  • Other learners: 10% for two courses, 15% for three courses, 20% for four courses, 25% for five courses, 30% for six or more courses.
  • Possibility to pay in two instalments (for each semester separately)

General objectives: The Indian subcontinent is the area with the largest Muslim population: around a third (almost 600 million adherents) of the world’s entire Muslim population is concentrated in these countries, primarily in Pakistan (second in the world, with 223 million), India (third in the world, with 200 million) and Bangladesh (fourth in the world, with 153 million). But although the political, religious, social, cultural and artistic history of Islam in the Indian world is extensive (dating back to the 8th century) and extremely rich, it is still poorly known and under-researched. The main objective of the course is aimed precisely at giving an overview of this complexity in a twofold perspective: chronological and geographical.

Course structure:

1. Migration of Islam into the Indian territories (8th-12th centuries)
– Islam in South Asia: overview
– Traders, missionaries and conquerors: early Muslim contacts with India
– The founding of Arab-Muslim states in the Indus Valley: the Habbari dynasty of Sindh (841-1024) and the Emirate of Multan (855-1010)
– The road to India: Mahmud of Ghazna and the Ghaznavid invasions
– The Ghurid Empire and the integration of North India into the Islamic world

2. The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526)
– Mamluk Dynasty (1206-1290)
– Khalji Dynasty (1290-1320)
– Tughlaq Dynasty (1321-1414)
– Sayyid Dynasty (1414-1451)
– Lodi Dynasty (1451-1526)

3. Medieval Muslim states
– The Sindh Dynasties: Soomra (1026-1351), Samma (1351-1524), Arghun (1520-1591), Tarkhan (1554-1591)
– Multan states: Sultanate of Multan (1445-1540), Mirani dynasty (1550-1787).
– North India states: Sultanate of Jaunpur (1394-1479), Sultanate of Gujarat (1407-1573), Sultanate of Malwa (1392-1562), Sur Empire (1540-1556), Sultanate of Bengal (1352-1576), Raees dynasty of Chitral (1320-1570),
– Central India states: Khandesh Sultanate (1382-1601), Bahmani Sultanate (1347-1527), Deccan Sultanates (1489-1687): Bidar, Ahmadnagar, Berar, Bijapur, Golconda

4. The shaping of Islam in India in the Medieval Period
– Genesis of a Muslim society and relations with other Indian communities
– Religious and spiritual life: the central role of Sufi brotherhoods
– Indo-Muslim art and architecture in the pre-Mughal period
5. The Mughal Empire (1) – political history
– Beginnings: Babur and Humayun (1526-1556)
– The peak period (1556-1707) – the ‘the Great Mughals’: Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb
– The decline (1707-1857)

6. Mughal Empire (2) – society and culture
– State institutions and power management
– Society in the Mughal period
– Intellectual and religious life
– Art and architecture: the apogee of Indo-Persian synthesis

7. Post-Mughal Muslim Dynasties
– Fragmentation of the Mughal empire, Hindu political resurrection and British expansion in India
– The dynasties of Sindh: Kalhora (1701-1783), Talpur (1783-1843) and northwest India: the Katoor dynasty of Chitral (1570-1947), the Khanate of Kalat (1666-1955), Bahawalpur state (1727-1947), Khaipur state (1783-1947), Dir state (1626-1969), Las Bela state (1742-1955), Kharan state (1697-1955), Makran state (1898-1955)
– North Indian dynasties: kingdom of Rohilkhand (1721-1774) – Rampur state (1774-1947), Bhopal state (1723-1847), Oudh state (1732-1858), Junagadh state (1730-1948), Nawabii of Bengal (1717-1880)
– Central and South Indian dynasties: Hyderabad State (1724-1949), Carnatic Sultanate (1692-1855)

8. Islam and Muslims in British India
– Political-administrative reorganisation and economic management of Indian territories under direct British rule
– The Sepoy Mutiny (1857-1858) and its aftermath
– Political, socio-economic, military integration of Muslims in the British Raj
– Religious sociology of Indian Islam under British rule

9. Islamic revival movements in the 19th and early 20th centuries
– University of Aligarh
– Deobandi Movement
– Barelwi Movement
– Ahl-i Hadith
– Ahmadiyya
– Tablighi Jamaat
– Khilafat Movement
10. Islam in Pakistan (1)
– The genesis of the state of Pakistan: The Muslim League and the idea of the “Muslim nation”
– The status of Islam in Pakistan’s constitutional, political and legal history
– Islamisation of the Pakistani political and public field: religious parties
– Internal and external politicisation of Islam by the state

11. Islam in Pakistan (2)
– Communal complexity of Pakistani society: ethnicities, denominations, tribes, castes, professional guilds. The significance of blood ties (biradari, qaum)
– Sufism and popular devotion
– Cross-confessional and interfaith conflicts and clashes
– Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan). The rise of the Jihadi movements

12. Islam and Islamism in Kashmir
– Muslim dynasties in Kashmir: Trakhan (780-1821), Maqpon (1190-1840), Sultanate of Kashmir (1339-1586).
– The period of Mughal (1586-1752), Afghan (1752-1819) and Sikh (1820-1846) rule; inclusion in the British Raj – the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (1846-1947)
– Ethnic-cultural, religious, and regional identities and traditions
– Consequences of the separation of Kashmir after 1948: specific political and social trajectories of the two territories
– Nationalist-Islamic dispute in Indian Kashmir. The emergence of Jihad movements and their local and regional impact

13. Forms of Islam in contemporary India
– Demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Religion and the state in India
– Muslim currents and their associative structures
– Political and public participation of the Indian Muslim community
– Interfaith tensions and violence

14. Islam in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka
– East Bengal’s dual ethnic and religious identity
– East Pakistan and the road to independence: the founding of Bangladesh (1971)
– Muslim religious and associative structures
– Islam and the state in Bangladesh


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  • Ali Riaz, Christine Fair (eds.), Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh, Routledge, 2010
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  • Aziz Ahmad, An Intellectual History of Islam in India, Edinburgh University Press, 1969
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