In praise of Shahul Hamid historicizing an Islamic Tamil hagiographical tradition, 1650-1950 / Samira Junaid.

Junaid, Samira , author.
[Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] : University of Pennsylvania ; Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2019.
1 online resource (287 pages)
Contained In:
Dissertations Abstracts International 81-09A.

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Local subjects:
South Asian studies. (search)
Islam. (search)
South Asia Regional Studies -- Penn dissertations. (search)
Penn dissertations -- South Asia Regional Studies. (search)
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
This dissertation analyzes the emergence and development of a Islamic Tamil venerative tradition surrounding the figure of Shahul Hamid and the site of the Nagore dargah, the most important Sufi shrine in South India, over the course of the sixteenth to twentieth centuries. Based on an examination of history of Islamic Tamil literary production, it identifies the growing prominence of Shahul Hamid within the pantheon of figures venerated by the Muslims of South India. However, with the meagre attention having been paid by scholars of Tamil literature and historians being wont to engage with their seemingly fantastical content, the popularity and significance of this literary hagiographical corpus remains unexamined. Indeed, second only to the Prophet Muhammad and 'chief among the sufis' Abdul Qadir Jilani, Shahul Hamid thus enjoys the distinction of being chief among the Sufis of South India. His life and works, re-constructed in the form of stories of miraculous deeds, or karamat, attributed to him, thus, came to be the subject of numerous literary works composed in virtually the entire array of 'major' and 'minor' genres of Tamil verse, song and prose. Using a portmanteau perspective informed by such scholarly 'sub-fields' as literary history, intellectual history, Islamic cosmology, and Sufi soteriology, I attempt to read these texts, simultaneously, as historically situated, literary works, that play an important role in the articulation of Sufi's spiritual power and authority, his baraka and wilayat. What these texts offer, thus, is a window into complex and multilayered cultural construction of Sufi's spiritual, social and political stature, that confounds expectations of a legitimatory narrative seeking to 'localize' Islam in an 'alien' Tamil context.
Source: Dissertations Abstracts International, Volume: 81-09, Section: A.
Advisors: Ali, Daud; Soneji, Davesh; Committee members: Ramya Sreenivasan.
Department: South Asia Regional Studies.
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 2019.
Local notes:
School code: 0175
University of Pennsylvania. South Asia Regional Studies Department. degree granting institution.
Ali, Daud, degree supervisor.
Soneji, Devesh, degree supervisor.
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