Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World - Vol. 2

Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World - Vol. 2

Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World - Vol. 2

Al-Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World - Vol. 2

Synopsis

Volume IIn this volume, André Wink analyzes the beginning of the process of momentous and long-term change that came with the Islamization of the regions that the Arabs called al-Hind India and large parts of its Indianized hinterland. In the seventh to eleventh centuries, the expansion of Islam had a largely commercial impact on al-Hind. In the peripheral states of the Indian subcontinent, fluid resources, intensive raiding and trading activity, as well as social and political fluidity and openness produced a dynamic impetus that was absent in the densely settled agricultural heartland. Shifts of power occurred, in combination with massive transfers of wealth across multiple centers along the periphery of al-Hind. These multiple centers mediated between the world of mobile wealth on the Islamic-Sino-Tibetan frontier (which extended into Southeast Asia) and the world of sedentary agriculture, epitomized by brahmanical temple Hinduism in and around Kanauj in the heartland. The growth and development of a world economy in and around the Indian Ocean with India at its center and the Middle East and China as its two dynamic poles was effected by continued economic, social, and cultural integration into ever wider and more complex patterns under the aegis of Islam. Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam 7th-11th centuries is also available in hardback (isbn 90 04 09249 8)Volume IIDuring the early medieval Islamic expansion in the seventh to eleventh centuries, al-Hind (India and its Indianized hinterland) was characterized by two organizational modes: the long-distance trade and mobile wealth of the peripheral frontier states, and the settled agriculture of the heartland. These two different types of social, economic, and political organization were successfully fused during the eleventh to thirteenth centuries, and India became the hub of world trade. During this period, the Middle East declined in importance, Central Asia was unified under the Mongols, and Islam expanded far into the Indian subcontinent. Instead of being devastated by the Mongols, who were prevented from penetrating beyond the western periphery of al-Hind by the absence of sufficient good pasture land, the agricultural plains of North India were brought under Turko-Islamic rule in a gradual manner in a conquest effected by professional armies and not accompanied by any large-scale nomadic invasions. The result of the conquest was, in short, the revitalization of the economy of settled agriculture through the dynamic impetus of forced monetization and the expansion of political dominion. Islamic conquest and trade laid the foundation for a new type of Indo-Islamic society in which the organizational forms of the frontier and of sedentary agriculture merged in a way that was uniquely successful in the late medieval world at large, setting the Indo-Islamic world apart from the Middle East and China in the same centuries. The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest, 11th-13th Centuries is also available in hardback (ISBN 90 04 10236 1)

Excerpt

This book has been long in the making. Inevitably I incurred numerous debts with individuals and institutions across the world. I began my research on the thirteenth century in the Netherlands, as a Huygens fellow of the Nederlandse Stichting voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (N.W.O.) in 1984–1989, and, in 1985, as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge. Most of the book however was ‘made in the U.S.A.’, in Madison, after I joined the History Department of the University of Wisconsin. To my colleagues and students at the UW I cannot but express my deepest gratitude for the constant interest they have expressed in my work. In addition, I owe a special debt to the Research Committee of the Graduate School for providing research money, travelgrants, summer support over a number of years, as well as a semester’s leave of absence. Most helpful was also the award of a Vilas Associateship for the years 1992 and 1993, and a residency fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at Madison in the Fall Semester of 1993. Other institutions where I spent time include the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where I am indebted to its director William Graham for an affiliation in the Fall of 1991; the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, where I was able to conduct seminars in Dec. 1992- Jan. 1993 at the invitation of Marc Gaborieau, Claude Markovits and Alexander Popovic; the Rockefeller Foundation which provided a residency scholarship at the Villa Serbelloni in August 1993; and the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C., where the book was completed during a residential fellowship in 1995–96

Most of the chapters of this book were presented in earlier forms at meetings, lectures or conferences: in Paris at the EHESS, at the annual South Asia conferences in Madison, at the history departments of the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University, at ARIT in Istanbul, at the Southern Asia Institute at Columbia University, and at meetings of the Association . . .

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