The volume under review, a fine-tuned and reworked doctoral thesis, is a critical narrative of the interpretation of everyday and ritual life of a Muslim shrine known as Hussain Tekri. Carla Bellamy took a plunge into this rather adventurous journey with passion driven by irrepressible intellectual curiosity.
This book is definitely a much-needed contribution to the study of the political philosophy of Allama Iqbal the poet. Iqbal Singh Sevea expends significant intellectual energy on the analysis of Iqbal’s well-known antipathy to the ideology of nationalism and the nation-state.
None of the ideas/ideologies of the modern age have aroused so much passion and emotion as has ‘nation-statism’. Despite the fact that it has caused unprecedented human tragedy in the form of genocide, displacement, dispossession, destructions and devastations; and despite the claims of its demise in the face of globalization, the nation-state continues to remain a dominant socio-political frame within which human beings organize themselves.
I must admit to having agreed to review this book with a high degree of trepidation. How could a single volume hope to cover in 658 pages, so vast an area with all its dimensions, conflict and, most of all the variety and the depth of its impact on civilizations across the world? And yet, by this singular work Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California at Berkeley, has, in a book more compact, placed himself in the recording of Islamic history on a pedestal equivalent to Gibbon’s for that of Rome.