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Anjuman, jami‘at, and association: what Sayyid organizations tell us about associational forms among Muslim caste groups


Levesque, Julien (2023). Anjuman, jami‘at, and association: what Sayyid organizations tell us about associational forms among Muslim caste groups. Contemporary South Asia:1-15.

Abstract

In the early decades of the twentieth century in colonial India, the development of education, the expansion of electoral politics, and the decennial censuses led many caste communities, or ‘caste groups’, to organize collectively in search of internal solidarity and public assertion. Informed by the notions of service and reform, Muslims participated in this new associationism. Among them, the Sayyids – a privileged status group that claims descent from Prophet Muhammad – also formed their organizations. This article compares three Sayyid organizations in India and Pakistan, with two principal aims. First, it brings out the implicit notions of inclusion and exclusion that inform the functioning of the organizations as they seek community preservation. Second, it draws broader conclusions about associational forms available to South Asian Muslims when they act collectively on the basis of a shared social status or caste. The article concludes by delineating three ‘organizational models’ that Muslim caste groups can draw upon – the anjuman, the jami‘at, and the association. Overall, this article illustrates how Muslims frame practices of social distinction in an Islamic language of equality, piety, or service.

Abstract

In the early decades of the twentieth century in colonial India, the development of education, the expansion of electoral politics, and the decennial censuses led many caste communities, or ‘caste groups’, to organize collectively in search of internal solidarity and public assertion. Informed by the notions of service and reform, Muslims participated in this new associationism. Among them, the Sayyids – a privileged status group that claims descent from Prophet Muhammad – also formed their organizations. This article compares three Sayyid organizations in India and Pakistan, with two principal aims. First, it brings out the implicit notions of inclusion and exclusion that inform the functioning of the organizations as they seek community preservation. Second, it draws broader conclusions about associational forms available to South Asian Muslims when they act collectively on the basis of a shared social status or caste. The article concludes by delineating three ‘organizational models’ that Muslim caste groups can draw upon – the anjuman, the jami‘at, and the association. Overall, this article illustrates how Muslims frame practices of social distinction in an Islamic language of equality, piety, or service.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy
290 Other religions
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Geography, Planning and Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Development
Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Organizational models, caste associations, status claims, community preservation, Sayyids
Language:English
Date:31 July 2023
Deposited On:27 Aug 2023 11:29
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:39
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0958-4935
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/09584935.2023.2240719