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Coffee A Shared Legacy of Muslim Culture
Western historians and commentators generally trace the beginnings of globalization to the second half of the 20th century. However, globalization is neither a very recent nor an absolutely unique phenomenon. The distinguished economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues that globalization’s history spans several centuries and that the active agents of globalization have sometimes been located quite far from the West. He points out that around 1000 AD, some of the most important technological inventions and innovations such as the clock, magnetic compass, paper, printing, gunpowder and the wheelbarrow were invented by the Chinese and subsequently spread across the world, including Europe.
Three points about the genesis and antecedents of globalization are note-worthy. First, one needs to look at globalization not as an isolated phenomenon that emerged in the West in recent times, but as the outcome of historical, social and cultural processes that took place in many non-Western contexts and that preceded contemporary globalization by many centuries. In other words, we should look at globalization from the perspective of social and cultural history and as the product of a process of cumulative progress and development. Second, a distinction needs to be drawn between contemporary globalization and proto-globalization or incipient globalization. Third, the current discourse on globalization, which is manifestly Eurocentric or West-centric, needs to be deconstructed and decentred.
Some historians, like A. G. Hopkins and Christopher Bayly, have used the term proto-globalization to describe the phase of increasing trade links and cultural exchanges that characterized the period from 1600 to 1800, which preceded modern globalization. It may be pointed out that the span of proto-globalization or incipient globalization needs to be extended beyond the 17th century. Proto-globalization or incipient globalization should not be looked upon as merely an earlier phase of globalization, but as an important precursor or forerunner of globalization which significantly impacted processes and linkages that have become a hallmark of contemporary globalization.
We have one of the oldest and India's first masjid called the Cheraman Jama Masjid exists at Kodungaloor in Kerala. As inscribed on the masjid's stone-plate, (where this writer has been after the historic Tsunami in 2004), it was built about 1400 years ago in 9 Hijra or 629 CE). Kodungaloor was the capital of the kings of Kerala, and in 622-628 CE (Hijra 2 to 9) the ruler was a great savant, by the name of Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma. In those days, the seniormost of the rulers of Kerala was called as Cheraman Perumal.
“This madrasa is not merely an educational institution but a fort for protecting Muslims’ religious and civilizational treasures,” said Shaikhul Hind Mahmoodul Hasan regarding Darul Uloom at Deoband. Mahmoodul Hasan [1851-1920] was the first student of Darul Uloom Deoband and later to become a prominent force in the Deoband movement.
But it is not true that Darul Uloom Deoband was the first of its kind. People like Shaikh Ahmad Sirhandi, Shah Waliullah, Shah Ismail Shahid or institutions like Farangi Mahal of Lucknow and Makhdoom’s Madrasa at Ponnani, Malabar served the cause of Islam in India but none had success like Darul Uloom.
Darul Uloom Deoband was a response to the British hegemony over India by a section of ulema but instead of retreating back to their cocoon this was a forward-thinking step by people without political patronage. Realizing that it is not possible to beat British by armed conflicts, some ulema who had studied British system of governance and education went about creating an educational system that will take the best of the British system but keep the Islamic spirit alive.
In this special documentary feature film, Habib Umar bin Hafiz travels to Spain, visiting Muslim communities in Madrid and Granada. Accompanied by journalist and commentator Fuad Nahdi and Muslims from the Spain, Yemen and the UK, From Tarim to Granada chronicles a remarkable journey.
This is the story of new communities and ancient legacies. Of enduring faith and the burden of history. Of renewing the connection between East and West. Of finding a new convivencia for our times.
Historical sources identify these galley slaves as “Turks” and “Moors.” But the galley slaves probably included Moriscos as well. The Moriscos were former Spanish and Portuguese Muslims (Moors) who had been forcefully converted to Christianity after the fall of Muslim Spain and often ran afoul of the Spanish Inquisition and were condemned to the galleys. As the article shows, Drake definitely had this large contingent of newly liberated Muslims with him when his ships came to the Roanoke colony in 1586. We know that many of the “Turks” were repatriated to the Ottoman Empire, which had friendly diplomatic relations with England at the time. What became of the hundreds of other former Muslim galley slaves remains an intriguing mystery. It is possible that some of them stayed or were left behind and became the ancestors of the Melungeons, Lumbees, and other enigmatic indigenous American populations who trace their origins to the Roanoke colony and have long claimed to have “Portuguese” and “Moorish” roots.