Abstract

Abstract:

By way of retracing the 1935 Shahidganj mosque dispute, this article explores how Indian Muslims transformed their vision of community from one seeking moral legitimacy within colonial law to a vision geared towards political action outside of the colonial legal order. This represented a radical departure from Muslim politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century where liberalism—while circulating around ideas of mysticism and moral community - remained largely the domain of polite petititoning. By piecing together the legal micro-history of the Shahidganj mosque dispute and by mapping native responses to colonial law, I show how Indian Muslims, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, located and shaped their political identity by moving beyond colonial prescriptions of legal pacts based on interests.

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