By Nile Green

As a thriving port urban, nineteenth-century Bombay attracted migrants from throughout India and past. Nile Green's Bombay Islam strains the binds among industrialization, imperialism, and the creation of faith to teach how Muslim migration from the oceanic and continental hinterlands of Bombay during this interval fueled call for for quite a lot of spiritual providers, as Christian missionaries competed with Muslim spiritual marketers for a stake within the new marketplace. Enabled by way of a colonial coverage of non-intervention in non secular affairs, and powered through steam commute and vernacular printing, Bombay's Islamic productions have been exported so far as South Africa and Iran. Connecting histories of faith, labour, and globalization, the booklet examines the position of normal humans - mill fingers and retailers - in shaping the call for that drove the industry. through drawing on hagiographies, travelogues, doctrinal works, and poems in Persian, Urdu, and Arabic, Bombay Islam unravels a vernacular modernity that observed humans from around the Indian Ocean drawn into Bombay's commercial economic system of attraction.

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Extra info for Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915

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In India in particular, we must not underestimate the radicalism of the idea that a man of gentle birth should plunge himself on a daily basis into the company of the lowliest in society; not merely the country folk (who in both India and Britain acted with the deference of those who knew their place), but the unruly labourers of the city. In India as in Britain, this radical idea lit the fuse for the explosion of indigenous missionary firms – Christian, Muslim, Hindu – that so characterized the second half of the nineteenth century.

This was Ghula4m Muhammad Munshı,3 who earned his living through official appointments teaching Hindustani Urdu to British civil servants. 55 In some ways, the joint Urdu–English medium schools that Ghula4m Muhammad founded were less a gesture towards vernacularization than an attempt to promote a common language among the city’s linguistically divided Muslims. 3 But, as we will see in the Urdu-spreading efforts of the customary firms examined in later chapters, Modernist firms such as the Anjuman-e Isla4m held no monopoly over the growing production of Urdu, which had cosmopolitan and enchanted dimensions no less than its better-known nationalist and Reformist trajectories.

For as some of the wealthiest men in the city, the ideas and institutions promoted by the Parsi merchant elite had widespread effect. 42 As with the Christian missions, the productions of the new Parsi associations were similarly powered by the new technology of vernacular and, in this case, also illustrated printing. 43 In the wake of the Christian missions, a range of Hindu Reformist associations also contributed to Bombay’s new forms of religious production. 45 In line with the theology of the Christian missionary firms by which they were influenced, the indigenous Reform associations were 34 Bombay Islam characteristically ‘Protestant’ in expression, promoting such causes as religious rationalism and modern education while suppressing the ‘superstitious’ mediation of customary rituals and holy men not legitimized in the scriptures.

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