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Observations on the Mussulmauns of India Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society   By:

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Observations on the Mussulmauns of India Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society by Mrs. Meer Hasan Ali offers a unique and insightful glimpse into the lives of the Muslim community in India during the early 19th century. In this detailed account, Mrs. Ali shares her first-hand experiences and observations, shedding light on various aspects of their culture, social behaviors, and religious beliefs.

One of the notable strengths of this book is the depth of Mrs. Ali's understanding and empathy towards the people she lived amongst. Her twelve-year residence within the Muslim society allowed her to immerse herself fully, making her observations more authentic and trustworthy. Moreover, her ability to articulate her experiences in a highly descriptive manner enriches the narrative, making the reader feel a sense of being present alongside her.

The book provides an in-depth exploration of the customs and traditions of the Muslim community, painting a vivid picture of their daily lives. Mrs. Ali delves into topics such as marriage, family structure, and social hierarchies, offering valuable insights into the intricacies of their society. She also delves extensively into the religious practices and beliefs of the Muslim population, providing a comprehensive overview of their rituals and their theological understanding.

One significant aspect that emerges from Mrs. Ali's observations is her focus on debunking misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding the Muslim community. Rather than allowing biases to cloud her perspective, she strives to present an accurate portrayal of the people she encountered. Her intention to bridge cultural gaps and foster understanding is commendable, especially considering the era in which she wrote.

However, it is important to acknowledge that the book is a product of its time and reflects the colonial context in which it was written. Mrs. Ali's viewpoint aligns with the colonial lens prevalent during that period, often viewing the Muslim community through a lens of exoticism or exotic otherness. While her intentions may be genuine, some readers might find certain passages to contain orientalist ideas.

Despite these limitations, Observations on the Mussulmauns of India remains an invaluable resource for academics, historians, and those interested in understanding the complexities of Indian Muslim society during the early 19th century. Mrs. Ali's narrative style, coupled with her determination to provide an accurate portrayal, elevates the book beyond a mere travelogue.

Overall, Observations on the Mussulmauns of India is an important historical account that offers a fascinating insight into the lives, customs, and religious beliefs of the Indian Muslim community. Mrs. Meer Hasan Ali's extensive firsthand experiences and observational skills make this book a significant contribution to the understanding of Indian history and culture, despite its limitations.

First Page:

OBSERVATIONS ON THE MUSSULMAUNS OF INDIA

Descriptive of Their Manners, Customs, Habits and Religious Opinions Made During a Twelve Years' Residence in Their Immediate Society

by

MRS. MEER HASSAN ALI

Second Edition, Edited with Notes and an Introduction by W. Crooke

1917

WITH SENTIMENTS OF GRATITUDE AND PROFOUND RESPECT THE FOLLOWING PAGES ARE HUMBLY DEDICATED, WITH PERMISSION,

TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS AUGUSTA;

BY HER ROYAL HIGHNESS'S MOST OBEDIENT, FAITHFULLY ATTACHED, AND VERY HUMBLE SERVANT,

B. MEER HASSAN ALI.

[1832.]

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

In the present reprint the text of the original edition of this work has been reproduced without change, even the curious transliterations of the vernacular words and phrases having been preserved. The correct forms of these, so far as they have been ascertained, have been given in the Notes and in the Index Glossary. I have added an Introduction containing an account of the authoress based on the scanty information available, and I have compiled some notes illustrating questions connected with Islam and Musalman usages. I have not thought it necessary to give detailed references in the notes, but a list of the works which have been used will be found at the end of the text. As in other volumes of this series, the diacritical marks indicating the varieties of the sound of certain letters in the Arabic and Devanagari alphabets have not been given: they are unnecessary for the scholar and serve only to embarrass the general reader... Continue reading book >>




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