By Nile Green

A research of the cultural global of the Muslim infantrymen of colonial India within the mid-nineteenth and early 20th centuries.

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Additional info for Islam and the Army in Colonial India : Sepoy Religion in the Service of Empire

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12 Like other Muslim boys of gentle birth in this period, a basic training in the arts of war formed an essential part of his upbringing, a gentlemanly familiarity with sabre and bridle that later no doubt contributed to his ease in the company of cavalrymen and to their ease in his company. The patronal holy man was never entirely dissimilar to his protégés but partook in their skills as they partook in his. 13 He received his initial education under the tutelage of his father in Qazipeth and then, at the age of twelve, was sent to study under a certain Faqīr Allāh Shāh in nearby Warangal.

20 However, Nizām al-dīn’s influence over the first ruler of Hyderabad was disputed elsewhere in the state’s territories. In oral traditions from Traditions of supernatural warfare 21 Balapur to the north of Hyderabad, it was the Naqshbandī holy man Shāh ʿInāyat Allāh (d. 21 The Balapur version may point to an older version of the story than the one associating it with Nizām al-dīn: the Mughal historian Lālā Mansārām’s eighteenth-century chronicle of the deeds of Nizām al-Mulk refers to the ruler’s attachment to a faqīr named Shāh ʿInāyat Mujtabā (Shāh ʿInāyat ‘the Chosen’).

If the ‘trench fatalism’ that the committee interpreted as a turn towards natural religion undermined the official religion of the Anglican Church, it also shows the same impact of institutional contexts on the shaping of religion that we have seen among the sepoys. Life in the army was creating its own peculiarly martial and fatalistic brand of Christianity, which was as malleable to the demands of war in France as Islam was on the other side of the world. ’52 The Tommies were demanding a martial religion of their own, a cult that actually worked on the field of war: they too, perhaps, needed a faqīr.

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