The Muhammad Avatāra

Salvation History, Translation, and the Making of Bengali Islam

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ISBN:

9780197620762

Publication date:

27/01/2022

Hardback

456 pages

We sell our titles through other companies
Disclaimer :You will be redirected to a third party website.The sole responsibility of supplies, condition of the product, availability of stock, date of delivery, mode of payment will be as promised by the said third party only. Prices and specifications may vary from the OUP India site.

ISBN:

9780197620762

Publication date:

27/01/2022

Hardback

456 pages

Ayesha A. Irani

In The Muhammad Avatara, Ayesha Irani offers an examination of the Nabivamsa, the first epic work on the Prophet Muhammad written in Bangla. This little-studied seventeenth-century text, written by Saiyad Sultan, is a literary milestone in the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural history of Islam, and marks a significant contribution not only to Bangla's rich literary corpus, but also to our understanding of Islam's localization in Indic culture in the early modern period.

Rights:  World Rights

Ayesha A. Irani

Description

In The Muhammad Avatara, Ayesha Irani offers an examination of the Nabivamsa, the first epic work on the Prophet Muhammad written in Bangla. This little-studied seventeenth-century text, written by Saiyad Sultan, is a literary milestone in the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural history of Islam, and marks a significant contribution not only to Bangla's rich literary corpus, but also to our understanding of Islam's localization in Indic culture in the early modern period. That Sufis such as Saiyad Sultan played a central role in Islam's spread in Bengal has been demonstrated primarily through examination of medieval Persian literary, ethnographic, and historical sources, as well as colonial-era data. Islamic Bangla texts themselves, which emerged from the sixteenth century, remain scarcely studied outside the Bangladeshi academy, and almost entirely untranslated. Yet these premodern works, which articulate Islamic ideas in a regional language, represent a literary watershed and underscore the efforts of rebel writers across South Asia, many of whom were Sufis, to defy the linguistic cordon of the Muslim elite and the hegemony of Arabic and Persian as languages of Islamic discourse. Irani explores how an Arabian prophet and his religion came to inhabit the seventeenth-century Bengali landscape, and the role that pir-authors, such as Saiyad Sultan, played in the rooting of Islam in Bengal's easternmost regions. This text-critical study lays bare the sophisticated strategies of translation used by a prominent early modern Muslim Bengali intellectual to invite others to his faith.

About the author:

Ayesha A. Irani is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Ayesha A. Irani

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration and Other Conventions
A Map of Medieval Bengal and Arakan

1. The Prophet of Light and Love: Nūr Muhammad in Bengal's Mirror
A Historical Overview of Caṭṭagrāma
Islamic Bangla Literature and Islamization
Literary Portraits of the Author
Inscribing Islam in the Bengali Religious Landscape
Nūr Muhammad as the Ontological Principle of Light and Love
The Islamic Cosmogony of Om̐
Later Developments in Islamic Bengali Cosmogonical Discourse
Cosmogony, Translation, and Conversion
2. Text, Author, and Authority: The Nabīvaṃśa and the Making of Islamic Community
Genre and Performance
The Structure of the Nabīvaṃśa's Salvation History
The Critical Edition of the Nabīvaṃśa vis-à-vis the Manuscript Tradition
Author and Authority in the Making of Islamic Community
3. Translation and the Historiographic Process: The Work of a Text in the Making of Bengali Islam
The Terms of Translation
Translation as Qurʾānic Exegesis
The Representation and Transculturation of Musalmāni and Hinduāni Traditions
Translation as Entextualizing Conversion
A Hermeneutic Model of Muslim Missionary Translation
Frontier Literature
4. A New Prophetology for Bengal: PurāṇaKorān Salvation History
An Indo- Islamic Salvation History for Bengal
The Original Couple, Māric- Mārijāt or Śiva- Pārvatī
The Purāṇic Predecessors of Ādam
The Account of Ādam, the First Man
Righteous Śiś and Islam's Triumph over Hinduāni Adharma
Evil Iblis as Primal Guru of the Hinduāni Clans
Translation as Renewal, Subversion, and Manipulation
5. Hari the Fallen Prophet: An Avatāra's Descent into Disgrace
In the Shadow of Gauṛīya Vaiṣṇavism
Recasting the Acts of Kr̥ṣṇa
The Polemics of the Tale of Kr̥ṣṇa
An Islamic Reappraisal of Vaiṣṇava Theology
Messianic Intersections of the Avatāra and Nabī
Missionary Translation as Creative Iconoclasm
6. Ascension and Ascendancy: Constructing the Prophet for Bengal
The Nabīvaṃśa's Ascension Narrative in the Perso- Turkic Miʿrāj Tradition
The Prophet as God's Beloved
The Prophet as Perfect Phakir
The Prophet as Intercessor
The Historiographer and Legitimation
Conclusion: Historiography, Translation, and Conversion

Appendix: Distribution of Manuscripts of the NV in Various Bangladeshi Archives

Ayesha A. Irani

Ayesha A. Irani

Ayesha A. Irani

Description

In The Muhammad Avatara, Ayesha Irani offers an examination of the Nabivamsa, the first epic work on the Prophet Muhammad written in Bangla. This little-studied seventeenth-century text, written by Saiyad Sultan, is a literary milestone in the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural history of Islam, and marks a significant contribution not only to Bangla's rich literary corpus, but also to our understanding of Islam's localization in Indic culture in the early modern period. That Sufis such as Saiyad Sultan played a central role in Islam's spread in Bengal has been demonstrated primarily through examination of medieval Persian literary, ethnographic, and historical sources, as well as colonial-era data. Islamic Bangla texts themselves, which emerged from the sixteenth century, remain scarcely studied outside the Bangladeshi academy, and almost entirely untranslated. Yet these premodern works, which articulate Islamic ideas in a regional language, represent a literary watershed and underscore the efforts of rebel writers across South Asia, many of whom were Sufis, to defy the linguistic cordon of the Muslim elite and the hegemony of Arabic and Persian as languages of Islamic discourse. Irani explores how an Arabian prophet and his religion came to inhabit the seventeenth-century Bengali landscape, and the role that pir-authors, such as Saiyad Sultan, played in the rooting of Islam in Bengal's easternmost regions. This text-critical study lays bare the sophisticated strategies of translation used by a prominent early modern Muslim Bengali intellectual to invite others to his faith.

About the author:

Ayesha A. Irani is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston

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Table of contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration and Other Conventions
A Map of Medieval Bengal and Arakan

1. The Prophet of Light and Love: Nūr Muhammad in Bengal's Mirror
A Historical Overview of Caṭṭagrāma
Islamic Bangla Literature and Islamization
Literary Portraits of the Author
Inscribing Islam in the Bengali Religious Landscape
Nūr Muhammad as the Ontological Principle of Light and Love
The Islamic Cosmogony of Om̐
Later Developments in Islamic Bengali Cosmogonical Discourse
Cosmogony, Translation, and Conversion
2. Text, Author, and Authority: The Nabīvaṃśa and the Making of Islamic Community
Genre and Performance
The Structure of the Nabīvaṃśa's Salvation History
The Critical Edition of the Nabīvaṃśa vis-à-vis the Manuscript Tradition
Author and Authority in the Making of Islamic Community
3. Translation and the Historiographic Process: The Work of a Text in the Making of Bengali Islam
The Terms of Translation
Translation as Qurʾānic Exegesis
The Representation and Transculturation of Musalmāni and Hinduāni Traditions
Translation as Entextualizing Conversion
A Hermeneutic Model of Muslim Missionary Translation
Frontier Literature
4. A New Prophetology for Bengal: PurāṇaKorān Salvation History
An Indo- Islamic Salvation History for Bengal
The Original Couple, Māric- Mārijāt or Śiva- Pārvatī
The Purāṇic Predecessors of Ādam
The Account of Ādam, the First Man
Righteous Śiś and Islam's Triumph over Hinduāni Adharma
Evil Iblis as Primal Guru of the Hinduāni Clans
Translation as Renewal, Subversion, and Manipulation
5. Hari the Fallen Prophet: An Avatāra's Descent into Disgrace
In the Shadow of Gauṛīya Vaiṣṇavism
Recasting the Acts of Kr̥ṣṇa
The Polemics of the Tale of Kr̥ṣṇa
An Islamic Reappraisal of Vaiṣṇava Theology
Messianic Intersections of the Avatāra and Nabī
Missionary Translation as Creative Iconoclasm
6. Ascension and Ascendancy: Constructing the Prophet for Bengal
The Nabīvaṃśa's Ascension Narrative in the Perso- Turkic Miʿrāj Tradition
The Prophet as God's Beloved
The Prophet as Perfect Phakir
The Prophet as Intercessor
The Historiographer and Legitimation
Conclusion: Historiography, Translation, and Conversion

Appendix: Distribution of Manuscripts of the NV in Various Bangladeshi Archives

Read More