By Nile Green
As a thriving port urban, nineteenth-century Bombay attracted migrants from throughout India and past. Nile Green's Bombay Islam lines the binds among industrialization, imperialism, and the creation of faith to teach how Muslim migration from the oceanic and continental hinterlands of Bombay during this interval fueled call for for quite a lot of spiritual providers, as Christian missionaries competed with Muslim non secular marketers for a stake within the new industry. Enabled by means of a colonial coverage of non-intervention in non secular affairs, and powered by way of steam commute 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 publication examines the position of standard humans - mill arms and retailers - in shaping the call for that drove the marketplace. by way of 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 info for Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915
6 The game was afoot. Missionaries and Reformists in the Market of Islams 27 While the ABCFM was the earliest of the pluralizing catalysts of competition, the Reverend John Wilson (1804–75), the most influential missionary to work among Bombay’s Muslims, served as a pioneer of the journal publishing that created the public sphere of information on religious products and services that a competitive liberal market required. He established the Oriental Christian Spectator magazine in 1831. 7 As with all of the city’s missionaries, his impact was felt among every community present in Bombay, triggering cumulatively pluralizing responses from Hindus and Parsis as much as Muslims.
In India in particular, we must not underestimate the radicalism of the idea that a man of gentle birth should plunge himself on a daily basis into the company of the lowliest in society; not merely the country folk (who in both India and Britain acted with the deference of those who knew their place), but the unruly labourers of the city. In India as in Britain, this radical idea lit the fuse for the explosion of indigenous missionary firms – Christian, Muslim, Hindu – that so characterized the second half of the nineteenth century.
These were the Christian missionary organizations whose great assault on the religions of Bombay formed the background to the emergence of the first Parsi, Hindu and Muslim Reformist groups in the city. While the Christian missions did not influence every group among the city’s Muslims alike – Bombay’s Iranian Muslims, for example, remained largely unaffected – their importance cannot be overlooked for the earlier part of the century, when the missions were the first substantial importers of unfamiliarly new religious productions to the city’s growing populace.