Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiii

The argument of this book rests on a knowledge of names, persons whom the reader will get to know in the pages to follow. The book itself rests on the knowledge and kindness of persons I came to know in the course of its research and writing. ...

Note on Dates, Abbreviations, and Transliteration

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pp. xv-xv

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Preface: Hadrami Society, an Old Diaspora

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pp. xix-xxvi

This book tells a story of a society of persons dispersed (strewn, disseminated, scattered, settled, lost, found, drowned) around the Indian Ocean. The story is one of travel and mobility. We are emboldened in calling these persons a society, in the singular, only because they share stories about themselves and each other, many noble, but not all complimentary. We

Part I. Burial

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1. The Society of the Absent

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pp. 3-26

In a society of migrants, what is important is not where you were born, but where you die. This, if nothing else, makes a diaspora entirely diªerent from a nation, both in concept and in sentiment. Persons belong to nations by virtue of being born into them. Individuals claim entitlement issuing from place of birth. The nation itself takes its name from the act ...

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2. Geography, a Pathway through History

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pp. 27-62

Buried as he is in the port town of Aden, on the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, the Adeni lies between two geographical media: land and water. Buried in 1508, he also lies between two historical periods: the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries. This double location is significant because it marks the point in space and time at which the ...

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3. A Resolute Localism

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pp. 63-91

In the early 1990s, when one entered Tarim, one of the largest towns in the southern Yemeni region of Hadramawt, one had a choice of perhaps two restaurants for lunch, if that. At the edge of town, right by the cemetery and bounded by remnants of the ancient town wall encircling the settlement—the wall had been torn down by socialists dismantling feudal ...

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Conclusion to Part I: Making Tarim a Place of Return

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pp. 92-94

In the historiographic descriptions of chapter 2, it was possible to maintain a narrative of a one-way flow of value arriving with the sayyid descendants of the Prophet in Tarim in the twelfth century, and then outward from Tarim. From Tarim, mobile sayyid migrants bore the gift of revelation, which no return could equal. Their very persons were in a sense ...

Part II. Genealogical Travel

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4. Ecumenical Islam in an Oceanic World

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pp. 97-115

In part I, “Burial,” we saw how Tarim was transformed from a destination to an origin, as the 'Alawī sayyids from Iraq moved in and became domiciled, and their 'Alawī pathway developed and became discursively interlaced with landmarks on the ground. By the mid-nineteenth century, Tarim had become a place of return as well, for persons from across the ...

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5. Hybrid Texts: Genealogy as Light and as Law

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pp. 116-151

The advent of a new world of ecumenical Islam in the Indian Ocean gave rise to new opportunities abroad for Hadramis, who traveled, settled, or were born abroad, and chronicled parts of the diasporic experience in texts. In the main, the authors of such accounts were sayyids, and the resulting volumes, which chain-link back to predecessors, themselves ...

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6. Creole Kinship: Genealogy as Gift

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pp. 152-187

We have seen that genealogy emerged as a genre of writing in the Hadrami diaspora and as a collective representation that could take on different guises. In 'Abd al-Qādir al-'Aydaūs’s The Travelling Light Unveiled, genealogy is embedded in a plural world of places, dates, and persons, on the one hand, yet is somehow autonomous, on the other, beginning with ...

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Conclusion to Part II: Local Cosmopolitans

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pp. 188-191

In this second part of our study, “Genealogical Travel,” we have followed the travels of Hadramis abroad through their texts. These texts focus mainly on the Hadrami sayyids, combining their genealogies with other textual genres such as mysticism, history, and law. As genealogies, they are, at base, collections of names. The Hadrami canon that evolved in ...

Part III. Returns

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7. Return as Pilgrimage

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pp. 195-222

In downtown Singapore, ten minutes’ walk toward the sea from the gleaming, golden skyscrapers of the ministry of finance and the central bank, lies the grave of the Hadrami sayyid Habīb Nūh al-Habshī. The building that houses the grave is shaped more like a Hindu chandi than a Muslim saint’s tomb; it is a rectangular structure rising many dozens ...

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8. Repatriation

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pp. 223-243

We have seen how the imperative of asymmetrical marriages, as set forth in the legalized genealogical vision of al-Shillī and practiced by sayyid communities in Malay port towns, led to the rapid accumulation of descendants under a patrilineal cover in the diaspora. Such persons were creoles whose mothers or grandmothers were Malay, Javanese, Buginese, Indian, ...

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9. The View from the Verandah

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pp. 245-293

The theme of mobility lies at the heart of this book, and we have seen how the Hadrami diasporic canon couched returns in the language of pilgrimage and moralized movement. In earlier centuries, the mobility of Hadramis throughout the Indian Ocean was wide-ranging and untrammeled; the diaspora had a reputation and renown that gave its members ...

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10. Evictions

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pp. 294-320

For over a century, since the 1870s, the rivalries of Great Powers— first the newly industrial European nation-empires, then the Cold War protagonists—have churned the world. Through this period, the unbundling (from the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to the First World War), bundling (from the Second World War to 1989), and re-unbundling (from 1989 to ...

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Concluding Remarks: Names beyond Nations

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pp. 321-328

As we saw at the beginning of this book, the 1994 civil war in Yemen came with a few surprises, notably the appearance of many sayyids in the cabinet of the newly declared secessionist state. After suffering decades of property confiscation, stigmatization, eviction, and exile, Hadrami sayyids had in the late 1980s become visible in the higher echelons of socialist-state ...

Bibliography

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pp. 329-357

Index

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pp. 359-379

Production Notes

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pp. 380-380