By Nile Green
As a thriving port urban, nineteenth-century Bombay attracted migrants from throughout India and past. Nile Green's Bombay Islam strains the binds among industrialization, imperialism, and the construction of faith to teach how Muslim migration from the oceanic and continental hinterlands of Bombay during this interval fueled call for for a variety of spiritual providers, as Christian missionaries competed with Muslim non secular marketers for a stake within the new marketplace. Enabled by means of a colonial coverage of non-intervention in non secular affairs, and powered through steam trip and vernacular printing, Bombay's Islamic productions have been exported so far as South Africa and Iran. Connecting histories of faith, labour, and globalization, the booklet examines the function of standard humans - mill fingers and retailers - in shaping the call for that drove the marketplace. through drawing on hagiographies, travelogues, doctrinal works, and poems in Persian, Urdu, and Arabic, Bombay Islam unravels a vernacular modernity that observed humans from around the Indian Ocean drawn into Bombay's business economic system of appeal.
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Additional resources for Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915
56 The increasing social complexity of a cosmopolitan and class-differentiated capitalist city thus found expression in increasing religious production and diversification rather than standardization. But among the many religious productions that emerged from Bombay’s oceanic shipyard of modernity between 1840 and 1915, the most successful trend to emerge was that of Customary Islam. Despite having roots in the pre-industrial past, the reproductions of custom created by Bombay’s Customary Islamic ‘firms’ spread widely due to their resonance with the working conditions of industrial capitalism and its broken social landscape of individuals uprooted from their ancestral backgrounds.
For in a context of diverse patterns of religious consumption, religious producers increasingly differentiated their persons no less than their products and services as offering rival paths to salvation in the hereafter – or, no less often, in the here and now. As the following chapters show, their miraculous productions and charismatic marketing techniques appealed to the demands of the industrial labourers and expatriate merchants brought to Bombay by the lure of capital. The production and distribution of these new religious products and services also relied on the industrial technologies of steam travel and vernacular printing, technologies which offered new avenues of propaganda and advertisement for holy men and their impresarios.
In large part, Bombay’s Muslim Reformists were also responding to the Christian missionaries, but, within the increasingly pluralistic religious economy of the 1870s, they were also responding to the new religious productions of the Parsi and Hindu middle class. 52 While his father’s response to the missionary critique was primarily intellectual and textual, Tayyibjı’s, 3 a generation later, was practical and institutional, in effect creating a means of religious productivity to mirror the schools and missionary presses of the Christians.
Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915 by Nile Green