No one can read this insightful monograph without recognizing the Indian Ocean as a major not a minor, a central not a peripheral, theatre of Islamicate civilization. Monsoon Islam deserves, and should attract, a wide readership in Asian history and comparative history but also civilizational studies broadly conceived.
Bruce B. Lawrence, Duke University and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University, Istanbul
With meticulous attention to both the material and discursive dimensions of medieval Muslim settlement in Malabar, Sebastian R. Prange combines manuscript, architectural and epigraphic evidence of India’s role in the twinned maritime traffic of goods and gods. This book marks an important milestone for the study of Islam in the Indian Ocean and India alike.
Nile Green, University of California, Los Angeles
Moving deftly between the port and the sea, the mosque and the palace, Sebastian R. Prange has produced the best study of trade, religion and sovereignty on the Malabar coast in the pre-modern era since Ashin Das Gupta’s classic monograph on the subject. Monsoon Islam provides a nuanced understanding of a much misunderstood faith – one that was gently shaped by the Indian Ocean environment inhabited by merchants and mystics.
Sugata Bose, Harvard University
With a refreshing sense of excitement, this book retraces the history, and ransacks popular misperceptions, of how Muslims from South India made and remade Islamic doctrine and ideology. This richly insightful study is a treasure for Indian Ocean Studies in general and South Asian history in particular.
Pius Malekandathil, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Monsoon Islam gives us a world in motion, one of pepper and patronage, Sufis and shari`a, pirates and warriors, that flourished between and in the trading ports of the medieval Indian Ocean. This engaging study shows us Islamic cultural forms from law to architecture taking new shape particularly in the eventful world of coastal Malabar. The book is a pleasure to read.
Barbara D. Metcalf, University of California, Davis