The Muslim World in Modern South Asia

Power, Authority, Knowledge

By Francis Robinson

Subjects: India And South Asian Studies, Islam, History Of Religion, Asian Studies, History
Paperback : 9781438483023, 419 pages, July 2021
Hardcover : 9781438483016, 419 pages, January 2021

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents



1. The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance

2. Global History from an Islamic Angle

3. Education in the Muslim World to the End of the Eighteenth Century

4. On How Since 1800 Islamic Societies Have Been Built from Below

5. Crisis of Authority: Crisis of Islam?

6. Strategies of Authority in Muslim South Asia in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

7. Islamic Reform and Modernities in South Asia

8. Iranian Influences on South Asia

9. South Asia and West Asia from the Delhi Sultanate to the Present: Security, Resources and Influence

10. The Memory of Power, Muslim 'Political Importance' and the Muslim League

11. The Modern State: Citizenship, Multiculturalism and Globalisation

12. What Ralph Russell Meant and Means to Me

13. Love on the Roof

14. Hunting the Tiger

15. The Garden of the Eight Paradises

16. Uses for Grass

17. The Muslim Commander Bond

18. Aromatherapy

19. Love of Mahal

20. Cosmopolis of a Shared Worldview

21. In Reverse

22. Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority


Sets out the challenges presented to Muslim societies by Western dominance over the past two hundred years, and explores Muslim responses, particularly in the context of South Asia.


Over the past two hundred years, two great processes have shaped Muslim societies: Western domination and the industrial capitalism that came with it, and the Islamic revival that preceded the Western presence but came to interact significantly with it. In this book, Francis Robinson considers the challenges Western dominance has offered key aspects of Muslim civilization, particularly in the context of South Asia, which in the nineteenth century moved from being a receiver of influences from the rest of the Muslim world to being a transmitter of influences to it.

Robinson also considers aspects of the Muslim revival and how they have come to shape, in various ways, Muslim responses to Western dominance. The role of the transmission of knowledge, both formal and spiritual, in forming Muslim societies is explored, and also the particular role of the transmitters in sustaining the Islamic dimensions of Muslim societies under Western dominance. Attention, too, is paid to the imposition of the modern state and the restriction of cosmopolitan spaces.

Francis Robinson is Professor of the History of South Asia at Royal Holloway, University of London. His many books include Islam and Muslim History in South Asia; The 'Ulama of Farangi Mahall and Islamic Culture in South Asia; and Islam, South Asia, and the West.


"…[a] remarkable collection of essays … They encompass Robinson's decades-long intellectual work on the Muslim community in South Asia and form a vital source of information for any collection." — CHOICE

"…this latest collection of [Robinson's] work will be useful for scholars who hope to understand how Muslims have rebuilt and reimagined their societies in the wake of colonialism and 'Western' economic and political dominance." — H-Net Reviews (H-Empire)