Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras. Jonah Blank. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, vii. MULLAHS ON THE MAINFRAME THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS CHICAGO AND LONDON I I ISLAM AND MODERNITY AMONG DOWNLOAD PDF. Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras. Bohras of India5 by Mian Bhai Mullah Abdul Husain of Rangoon, a.
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Mullahs on the Mainframe is an ethnography in the old style and well worth reading for how it triangulates surveys, history, biography, interviews, and. The book Mullahs on the Mainframe: Islam and Modernity among the Daudi Bohras, Jonah Blank is published by University of Chicago Press. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Michel Boivin and others published Jonah Blank, Mullahs on the Mainframe. Islam and Modernity among the.
The book is divided into two main parts. Part 1 deals with ethnographic material and is divided into five chapters.
The first chapter traces the historical roots of the faith from early Shi'ism through early Ismailism and the establishment of the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt to the origins of the community in India through Yemen in the eleventh century and the various schisms within the community into Daudi, Sulemani, Jaffari, etc. The spiritual history of the community and their religious organization has been written about previously and this chapter offers little new information or insight.
What are instructive and novel are the next four chapters. The second chapter focuses on the life cycle rituals of the Daudi Bohras from birth to death of which perhaps the most important is mithaq or the oath of allegiance to the da'i. The oath sets the tone of what is expected of every Daudi Bohra, namely complete obedience to the sect's spiritual head in religious and temporal matters. It is the controversy surrounding the content and meaning of the oath that has resulted in much of the power struggle within the community.
The next chapter describes the important annual religious rites of the Daudi Bohras. These rituals not only set the rhythm of Bohra life throughout the year but also provide valuable insight into the spiritual heritage they share with other Muslims, simultaneously making space for three sacral identities: a pan-Islamic, a pan Shi'a and a unique sectarian identity. The primary ritual is waaz, a formal occasion presided over by the d'ai himself or his agent.
The characteristic aspect of the waaz is a sermon. These rituals are presided over by the clergy and are mixed-sex in nature, although women are relegated to the margins. The author's main source for the description of these rituals is his personal observation combined with instruction from members of the religious establishment.
The result is a limited male elite viewpoint, which overlooks the rich fabric of rituals performed almost exclusively by ordinary women in the domestic sphere without any presence of the clergy class or men.
The last two chapters describe the kinship terminology and organization and the status of Bohra women. The centerpiece is the remarkable rise in the status of women not only in the last fifty years but well before India's independence.
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The s saw the acceptance of secular education besides the vernacular, the s witnessed the relaxation of purdah rules and in the s higher education for women was officially approved. The final chapter in part 1 of the book gives a peek into the life of the OEroyals or Qasr-e-Ali which Blank translates as children and grandchildren of the fifty-first da'i Syedna Taher Saifuddin, along with their spouses and descendants.
Many ordinary Bohras see only one side of the da'i and his family. This chapter serves the function of taking away some of the mystique surrounding the OEroyals. Part 2 of the book, titled "Analysis," also has five chapters.
The pervasive, central authority of the da'i extending in both religious and temporal matters is unique only to the Bohras and the Agha Khanis a sister Ismaili sect on the Indian sub-continent. This sets them apart from other Muslim sects and groups, which remain by and large leaderless.
This centralization of power has enabled the head cleric to promote its own discriminatory brand of modernization and invigorate selective traditions at the same time. The four chapters deal with the variety of ways this two-point program has been accomplished and the final chapter deals with the dissident movement within the sect.
The spiritual hegemony of the da'i is exercised by enforcing a strict dress code for both men and women, collecting a variety of taxes and tithes deemed Islamic and issuing of certificates of orthopraxy.
For women this has meant the revival of purdah practice in a modern guise called rida, which is a two-piece colorful synthetic garment with baubles and embroidery.
The certificate colors green, yellow and red reflect the degree of obedience by the holder to the strictures promulgated by the high priest.
Many of these traditions have been revitalized by adoption of modern information and communication technologies by the cleric class. But paradoxically, these technologies and the globalization of the sect threaten the very boundaries the spiritual head is trying to enforce.
The focus on harnessing of technologies to fulfill traditional purposes and the readiness with which the common Bohras and the cleric class have adopted computer use as constituting modernity of a sect is problematic. The second half of this section of the book deals with Western education and the whole-hearted manner in which the clerics and the ordinary people have embraced it.
The education of future clerics at the main seminary in Surat city and cleric-managed madrasas cum schools train ordinary pupils in Bohra cultural and religious norms as well as Western scientific pedagogy, preparing them for a spiritual life and the material world. The hegemony of the spiritual head of the community has not gone unquestioned. You can SIT; impose a nuclear-encoded end. Would you be to be to the pdf?
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The book has made a small beginning in this direction; what is awaited is a more systematic documentation of the social, economic and cultural lives of ordinary people. Eight years afterward, the new caliph had Hasan poisoned. Increased production or sensitivity to androgens commonly leads to hirsutism male-patterned hair growth , acne, or alopecia thinning or loss of scalp hair. The new century may see a shift in balance from the predominant focus on the Middle East to South Asia, which has the highest un-researched concentration of Muslims.