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Religious Response to Social Change in Afghanistan 1919-29.

King Aman-Allah and the Afghan Ulama

Availability: In stock
Published: 1999
Page #: xxi + 278
Size: 6 x9
ISBN: 1-56859-072-5
plates, appendix, bibliography, glossary, index, notes

 
$45.00

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Quick Overview

King Aman-Allah emerged in 1919 as the hero of Afghan independence and as one of the most dynamic modernizers of the modern Middle East. His ten-year reign (1919-1929) encompassed a period of intense interplay between forces of change and tradition in Afghanistan. This volume focuses on the reaction of the Afghan Muslim clergy to the modernizing policies of King Aman-Allah during the 1920s. It is a case study of conflict between Islam and modernization in the early twentieth century. At the beginning of his reign, Aman-Allah understood the religious forces that could be rallied to support him or activate against him. He tried initially to work with the ulama (religious scholars) by invoking Islamic symbols, such as jihad against the British, with the ulama playing an important function, and by establishing himself as a major proponent of the pan-Islamic movement. Despite his initial popularity with the ulama, conflict emerged as he ventured radical changes in Afghan society. Social reforms, particularly ones pertaining to the status of women, created resentment, inasmuch as they simultaneously threatened tribal autonomy, local customs, and the traditional role of the ulama in the society.

The error that was ultimately fatal to Aman-Allah's regime was his failure to appreciate the pervasive influence of the ulama in all levels of the Afghan society.
Religious Response to Social Change in Afghanistan 1919-29 is the product of many years of research. The bulk of the study is based on indigenous sources. In addition to the legal codes, it draws on official publications of the Afghan government, reports of parliamentary debates, periodicals, newspapers, and Afghan and British archival materials. It also draws on information provided by Afghan and Western historians and on personal interviews.

British-Soviet rivalry and the extended Anglo-Afghan conflict are sub-themes of the book. Both provide useful background information to recent political developments in Afghanistan.

author

Senzil K. Nawid

Senzil Nawid Born in Kabul Afganistan, Dr. Nawid earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona in 1987. The focus of her research is political, social, and cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth century Afghanistan. She also is interested in Afghan women's history, and women's legal rights in Islam and Afghanistan. She has conducted archival and library research in Afghanistan, Great Britain, France, India, Pakistan, Switzerland and the United States. In her work, she uses primary and secondary sources in the following languages: Persian, Pashtu, Urdu, Arabic, French, and German. Her book, “Religious Response to Social Change in Afghanistan: King Aman-Allah and the AfghanUlama, 1919-1929,” was published in 1999. She has contributed chapters to numerous books, as well contributed entries to encyclopedias and other reference books related to Afgan women's history and lives. Her current work in progress is Women, the State, and Revolution in Afghanistan. Field research for this project was conducted under the auspices of the American Institute of Pakistan Studies in Peshawar and Islamabad, where the largest numbers of Afghan refugees reside. Dr Nawid has taught Near Eastern Studies as a guest lecturer and professor at the University of Arizona, The University of Michigan, Duke and NYU. s.nawid@aol.com

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