By Sufia M. Uddin

Highlighting the dynamic, pluralistic nature of Islamic civilization, Sufia Uddin examines the advanced heritage of Islamic country formation in Bangladesh, previously the jap a part of the Indian province of Bengal. Uddin specializes in major moments within the region's background from medieval to trendy instances, studying the interaction of language, renowned and scholarly non secular literature, and the colonial adventure as they contributed to the construction of a different Bengali-Islamic identity.During the precolonial period, Bengali, the dominant local language, infused the richly various traditions of the quarter, together with Hinduism, Buddhism, and, finally, the Islamic faith and literature introduced by means of Urdu-speaking Muslim conquerors from North India. Islam was once no longer easily imported into the zone through the ruling elite, Uddin explains, yet used to be included into neighborhood culture over enormous quantities of years of interactions among Bengalis and non-Bengali Muslims. continuously contested and negotiated, the Bengali imaginative and prescient of Islamic orthodoxy and group used to be mirrored in either language and politics, which finally produced a particularly Bengali-Muslim tradition. Uddin argues that this procedure in Bangladesh is consultant of what occurs in different places within the Muslim international and is for that reason an instructive instance of the advanced and fluid family among neighborhood history and the higher Islamic worldwide group, or umma.

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Extra info for Constructing Bangladesh: Religion, Ethnicity, and Language in an Islamic Nation (Islamic Civilization and Muslim Networks)

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The instability of ethnolinguistic and religious nationalisms results from the contestation of visions of community not only from within the nation-state but also, as the book’s final chapter will demonstrate, from transnational influences such as global fundamentalism. We glimpsed some examples of Middle Eastern Islamist assertions of orthodoxy in Introduction · 15 Bosnia and Kosovo. Bangladesh, as we shall see, has not been immune to these influences. Global representations of Islam interact in a number of ways with local practices and interpretations, yielding contesting visions of community and nationhood.

The same logic can be applied to the way knowledge of the great Indian epics is communicated. Most individuals cannot say they have read the Mahabharata, Ramayana, or Bhagavad Gita; nevertheless, their meanings and stories are known to a wider public. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, printed material was disseminated in many of the same ways. Even today in Bangladesh, daily newspapers are displayed on walls of buildings, and groups gather to read and discuss the content of the day’s news.

Participants in the movements have diverse reasons for their different levels of involvement. The Bengali Muslim nineteenth-century reform experience undermined the religious nationalism on which Pakistan would eventually be based. When Muslims gained nationhood as Pakistan in 1947, an ethnic divide between Bengali and Urdu speakers emerged. Bengali Muslims coalesced as a group, primarily identifying with their ethnolinguistic identity, which had been thoroughly affirmed in the nineteenth century through prolific literary productivity that took place in their regional language.

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