Sana HaroonNov 19, 2021
Mosques of Colonial South Asia
A Social and Legal History of Muslim Worship
I. B. Tauris 2021
In her multilayered and thoroughly researched new book The Mosques of Colonial South Asia: A Social and Legal History of Muslim Worship (I. B. Tauris, 2021), Sana Haroon examines the interaction and intersection of varied legal regimes, devotional practices, and conceptions of sacred space invested in the institution and structure of the mosque in South Asia. This book combinies dense yet markedly accessible archival research with the close reading of a range of texts and legal/political strivings of a range of previously unexplored actors, including prayer leaders, scholars, mosque managers, lawyers, colonial magistrates, and local notables. Through this exercise, Haroon documents in vivid detail the aspirations and ambiguities that drove a variety of claims over the meaning and place of the mosque in South Asian Islam and Muslim identity during the colonial moment fraught with vigorous intra-Muslim and interreligious contestations over this question. Lucidly composed and theoretically invasive, this book is sure to spark important conversations among scholars from a range of academic fields and disciplines.
SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listener feedback is most welcome.