The Rise Of Islam And The Bengal Frontier / Edition 1

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In all of the South Asian subcontinent, Bengal was the region most receptive to the Islamic faith. This area today is home to the world's second-largest Muslim ethnic population. How and why did such a large Muslim population emerge there? And how does such a religious conversion take place? Richard Eaton uses archaeological evidence, monuments, narrative histories, poetry, and Mughal administrative documents to trace the long historical encounter between Islamic and
Indic civilizations.

Moving from the year 1204, when Persianized Turks from North
India annexed the former Hindu states of the lower Ganges delta, to 1760, when the British East
India Company rose to political dominance there, Eaton explores these moving frontiers, focusing especially on agrarian growth and religious change.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520205079
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/1996
  • Series: Comparative Studies on Muslim Societies Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard M. Eaton is Professor of History at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and the author of The Sufis of Bijapur (1978).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Note on Translation and Transliteration
1 Before the Turkish Conquest 3
Bengal in Prehistory 3
Easy Indo-Aryan Influence in Bengal 6
The Rise of Early Medieval Hindi Culture 13
The Diffusion of Bengali Hindu Civilization 17
2 The Articulation of Political Authority 22
Perso-Islamic Conceptions of Political Authority, Eleventh-Thirteenth Centuries 23
A Province of the Delhi Sultanate, 1204-1342 32
The Early Bengal Sultanate, 1342-ca. 1400 40
The Rise of Raja Ganesh (ca. 1400-1421) 50
Sultan Jalal al-Din Muhammad (1415-32) and His Political Ideology 56
The Indigenization of Royal Authority, 1433-1538 63
Summary 69
3 Early Sufis of the Delta 71
The Question of Sufis and Frontier Warfare 71
Bengali Sufis and Hindu Thought 77
Sufis of the Capital 82
4 Economy, Society, and Culture 93
The Political Economy of the Sultanate 95
Ashraf and Non-Ashraf Society 97
Hindu Society - Responses to the Conquest 102
Hindu Religion - the Siva-Sakta 103
Hindu Religion - the Vaishnava Complex 109
5 Mass Conversion to Islam: Theories and Protagonists 113
Four Conventional Theories of Islamization in India 113
Theories of Islamization in Bengal 119
The Appearance of a Bengali Muslim Peasantry 129
6 The Rise of Mughal Power 137
The Afghan Age, 1537-1612 137
The Early Mughal Experience in Bengal, 1574-1610 142
The Consolidation of Mughal Authority, 1610-1704 150
7 Mughal Culture and Its Diffusion 159
The Political Basis of Mughal Culture in Bengal 159
The Place of Bengal in Mughal Culture 167
The Place of Islam in Mughal Culture 174
The Administration of Mughal Law - the Villagers' View 179
West Bengal: The Integration of Imperial Authority 183
The Northern Frontier: Resistance to Imperial Authority 186
East Bengal: Conquest and Culture Change 191
8 Islam and the Agrarian Order in the East 194
Riverine Changes and Economic Growth 194
Charismatic Pioneers on the Agrarian Frontier 207
The Religious Gentry in Bakarganj and Dhaka, 1650-1760 219
9 Mosque and Shrine in the Rural Landscape 228
The Mughal State and the Agrarian Order 228
The Rural Mosque in Bengali History 229
The Growth of Mosques and Shrines in Rural Chittagong, 1666-1760 234
The Rise of Chittagong's Religious Gentry 248
The Religious Gentry of Sylhet 258
10 The Rooting of Islam in Bengal 268
Inclusion 270
Identification 275
Displacement 281
Literacy and Islamization 291
Gender and Islamization 297
11 Conclusion 305
Appendix 1: Mint Towns and Inscription Sites under Muslim Rulers, 1204-1760 317
Appendix: 2: Principal Muslim Rulers of Bengal 323
Select Bibliography 327
Index 343
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