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They presented letters from as early as from the Aga Khan's father to the Khoja jamat in order to demonstrate that the Khojas had paid remittances to the Aga Khan and his ancestors. The poem, part of the Ismaili devotional hymns known as the ginans , is the work of Pir Sadruddin , the founder of the Khojas.

In reaching his decision, Arnould attempted to answer five distinct yet related questions: first, who are the Sunni and Shia Muslims in relation to one another; second, who are the Shia Ismailis; third, who is the Aga Khan; fourth, who are the Khojas in general and what is their relationship to the Aga Khan; and fifth, what is the relationship between the dissident Khojas and the Aga Khan? Yet, Arnould favored the Shia interpretation of the issue of succession, and wrote positively of Shia history in general.

Second, Arnould wrote at length about persecution against the Ismailis; the concept of taqyiyya, or concealment of religious opinion and identity; and the history of the Assassins and the relationship of Hasan-i Sabbah and the Aga Khan.

The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India - Teena Purohit - Google книги

Third, Arnould asserted that while documentary gaps existed in the Aga Khan's claim to hereditary succession, he nevertheless agreed that the Aga Khan was a descendant, through Ali, of the Prophet Muhammad. Finally, Arnould turned to the questions of the Aga Khan's relationship to the Khoja community. First, Arnould ruled, the overwhelming majority of the Bombay Khojas had welcomed the Aga Khan and pledged allegiance to him, and that the Khojas had long made payments to him and his ancestors.

Second, he said his decision hung on which form of Islam the Khojas had been converted to four hundred years previously.


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Arnould noted that Pir Sadruddin was an Ismaili missionary sent by one of the Aga Khan's ancestors, and accepted the defense's argument that Dasavatar was both a Khoja and an Ismaili text. Arnould's judgment had the effect of ending serious challenges to the Aga Khan's rule.

The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India

During the long imamate of Sultan Muhammad Shah to , the Nizari Ismailis emerged as one of the most prominent Muslim groups in India. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Judgment Delivered Nov.

Teena Purohit's The Aga Khan Case straddles several disciplinary boundaries, including history, textual analysis, religious studies, and anthropology. Her ambition is to examine change in religious tradition through legal and historical textual analysis. She traces the transformation of the Khoja Satpanth true path from an Indic "dissonant" Islam at the beginning of the nineteenth century to a modern, reformist, and sectarian or what she calls "identitarian" Islam in the middle years of the twentieth century.

The legal representation of the Khoja religion as sectarian Islam is contrasted with a textual analysis of the several ginans lit. The exegesis of Khoja identity, as manifest in law and in text, is read against the story of the early nineteenth-century religious preacher named Sahajanand Swami and his Shikshapatri religious text containing the teachings as commandments in chapter 4.


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She describes Sahajanand's association with the Satpanth shrine of Pirana in Gujarat, India and the disappearance of this association in the colonial establishment of the Swaminarayan "sect," a reformist community within Hinduism that was established during the late nineteenth century. The final phase of identitarian Islam is described in the policies and work of the third Aga Khan in the last chapter, where she locates the manipulation of secular categories in the making of a sectarian or identitarian Islam in public life, while coinciding with the messianic Shi'i Satpanth in the inner domain of Khoja religious life.

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Purohit applies Sudipto Kaviraj's enormously productive model of change in Indian society that moves from from fuzzy to enumerated communities. Kaviraj , drawing on several historical discussions of the colonial period, has suggested a trajectory of change that led from a "fuzzy" status to an "enumerated" existence of local groups including religious, caste, and linguistic communities.

Purohit employs this transformational trajectory to explain changes in Khoja religious identity from Satpanth as a fuzzy community to Ismaili as an enumerated sectarian one.