By Gregory C. Kozlowski

Dr Kozlowski's vital examine pioneers a clean method of the learn of a serious Muslim establishment: the endowments or awqaf which just about all over the Islamic international supply help for mosques, faculties and shrines. The wealthier Muslims who determine endowments necessarily have an eye fixed on social, political and financial stipulations and feature frequently used awqaf as a part of an attempt to maintain their wealth and impression, specifically during times of switch and uncertainty. The publication makes a speciality of using endowments through Muslims affliction the dislocations brought on by the imposition of British rule in India and examines intimately the social and political implications of the debate over endowments that came about within the imperial courts and councils. The author's observations and insights may be utilized to many classes and locations within the Muslim global and his novel technique will allure all these drawn to the research of Islam.

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Extra info for Muslim Endowments and Society in British India

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Not instantly remake the social and economic landscape. Indians experienced their impact in an uneven fashion, at different rates in dif­ ferent places, but in itself that irregularity may have been a source of un­ certainty and anxiety. Especially during the early years of British rule, the character of the administration contributed to a lack of consistency. British officials were usually ignorant of all the complexities of the situation, literally, on the ground. They had to depend on local agents who did not always meet their standards of honesty or efficiency.

At present, about 100 ,000 are registered with the Indian government. 1 If reports from officials, custodians and founders are cor­ rect, the effect of those laws passed over the past fifty years is to discour­ age the creation of awqaf. Therefore, many of those currently existing date from the British period. Though exceedingly vague, a safe guess is that several tens of thousands of endowments were founded during the British period. For this study we selected a total of forty endowments. Availability of information in legal archives was the primary reason for selection.

The British began to define land tenure, to establish norms for deciding who did or who should own land. In this way, they created new opportunities at the same time that they closed others. The first British attempt to settle the question of land ownership occurred in the Bengal province. An experiment with tax farming proved disastrous, so in 1 793 the British government set up what was known as the "Permanent Settlement". Inspired partly by the theories of the French physiocrats and partly by the Whiggish views of the Governor General, Lord Cornwallis, officials decided to make a few individuals responsible for the payment of revenue.

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