How have the Muslims of Bengal developed an identity historically separate from that of the Hindus, and even from the rest of the Muslims of India, evidenced in their lifestyles and their pattern of development? The book focuses attention on the status and development of the Muslims of India, evidenced in their lifestyles and their pattern of development. The book focuses attention on the status and development of the Muslims of Bengal from 1884 to 1912, a period crucial for India witnessing the emergence of the Indian National Congress, the formation of the All India Muslim League, and the partition of the province along communal lines and its annulment. During this period the Muslim awareness of their problems led to the projection of the demands for their social advancement. The author analyses in depth the growth and development of this community in the spheres of education, economic status, and political and social activities and discusses the effects of the partition of Bengal. The extent of the concern of contemporary Muslims is illustrated through a review of the Muslim writings of that period. It is the ‘Muslim’ and ‘Bengali’ character of the Muslim community in Bengal, so carefully delineated in this study that explains the historical and political development of the Muslims of Bengal.
Dr. Sufia Ahmed is a National Professor and former Chairperson and Professor of the Department of Islamic History and Culture at the University of Dhaka. Dr. Ahmed served as a visiting Professor at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey, and also as a Fullbright Visiting Professor at Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Besides attending numerous conferences and seminars and contributing learned papers on gender issues, she represented her country as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1969 and 1979, and to the UNESCO General Conference in 1983.