Cover: A Book of Conquest: The <i>Chachnama</i> and Muslim Origins in South Asia, from Harvard University PressCover: A Book of Conquest in HARDCOVER

A Book of Conquest

The Chachnama and Muslim Origins in South Asia

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$49.00 • £42.95 • €44.95

ISBN 9780674660113

Publication Date: 09/19/2016


272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

8 halftones, 1 map


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Ahmed’s re-reading will no doubt provoke scholars in both Pakistan and India. It cuts against the grain of the way the Chachnama has been discussed and taught for centuries. Though its rigorously argued style may not help win the readership it deserves outside academia, the book comes at a pivotal time.—Kanishk Tharoor, The Hindu Business Line

A thorough and detailed study of the early-thirteenth-century Persian narrative Chachnama, by Muhammad Ali Kufi of Uch. Asif’s reading of the narrative seeks to dislodge earlier—particularly colonial and nationalist—interpretations that labeled the Chachnama a book of conquest… By reading the Chachnama as a whole and within its context, Asif convincingly argues that it is a political tract focused on the ethics of political and social relationships and accommodating sacral and other differences.—Chitralekha Zutshi, American Historical Review

This is an innovative, refreshing, and provocative intellectual history that makes a major intervention in debates surrounding the question of Islam’s ‘advent’ in the South Asian subcontinent. In A Book of Conquest, Manan Ahmed Asif aims at dismantling the dominant origin myth that portrays Islam’s encounter with India as a conquest.—Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University

A Book of Conquest is an important study that joins a growing conversation about precolonial India, moving beyond both colonial and nationalist tropes concerning the place and origins of Muslims in Indian society. Manan Ahmed Asif’s radical re-reading of the Chachnama aims to correct portrayals of the Muslims of India as descendants of foreign conquerors.—Richard Eaton, University of Arizona

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