SherAli Tareen's Defending Muhammad in Modernity is a study of the often referenced (but rarely explored in depth) polemics between the South Asian Muslim movements known as the Deobandis and the Barelvis. Frequently oversimplified as a case of elitist, Shari'a-minded legalists versus populist, devotional Sufis, the Deobandi-Barelvi disputations are far more complex than these facile characterizations. In exploring the broader significance of these intellectual contestations, Tareen shows that scholarship grounded in textual analysis can productively engage critical theory as he not only delves deeply into Arabic, Persian, and Urdu sources (many hitherto unexamined by scholars outside of those languages) but also brings insights from Michel Foucault, Carl Schmitt, Talal Asad, and Ananda Abeysekera into fruitful conversation. Even were this not the case, the fact that this is the first major English-language study to engage fully with one of the defining cultural and theological divisions in South Asian Sunni Islam makes...

You do not currently have access to this content.