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Islamic History of India

This course has finished

Delivered by: Professor Francis Robinson CBE

Date: Saturday 16th July 2011 Time: 9am – 6pm

Venue: Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX

The courses are open to all but spaces are limited. Entry is through prior registration only. Prayer facilities available and coffee/tea provided during break sessions.


  • £30 – Online payment
  • £30 – CASH on the door

Unless the course is cancelled, there are no refunds for non-attendance

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "I feel a cool breeze from Al-Hind (India)." (Sunan Abu Dawud)

With over 1000 years of Islamic presence in the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), over a third of the Muslim world today is based in this region, and it is also area from which the majority of the Muslims in the UK originate. However, very little structured learning about Islam in India and its contribution to wider Islamic civilisation is readily available in the UK. Moreover, in the light of recent events, some of today’s critical issues, both in the UK and the Indian subcontinent, can be traced back to historical events in the region, and perhaps therein lie some of the solutions. As we progress further into the 21st century, global powers continue to shift eastwards, and India is fast becoming a regional superpower. If there is to be any concrete change or revival within the global Muslim community, the Indian subcontinent is likely to play a very important role.

This introductory course looks at the following areas:

  • Early Islamic contact with India
  • Umayyad conquest of Sind through Muhammad bin Qasim (rh)
  • Abbasid period: Delhi and Deccan Sultanates Mongol era (Timur) and later emergence of the Mughals
  • Rise and fall of the Mughals
  • Relationships with other Islamic states such as Ottomans and Safavids
  • Muslim contribution to culture, art and science in India
  • Relationship of Muslims with Hindus and other religions
  • From the position of leadership to minorities and majorities
  • What the future holds and the lessons that may be learned

Professor Francis Robinson CBE

Professor Francis Robinson CBE, is one of the world’s leading experts and historians on Islam in South Asia. Based at the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College London, where he has served as Senior Vice-Principal, he is currently Professor of South Asian History at the college as well as a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and a visiting professor at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford.

He has been heavily involved in promoting scholarship in relation to Asia and was President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Professor Robinson’s research interests focus on religious change in the Muslim world, particularly in the context of the history of Muslims of South Asia. Amongst his publications are: Atlas of the Muslim World since 1500 (1982); Islam and Muslim History in South Asia (2000); The ‘Ulama of Farangi Mahall and Islamic Culture in South Asia (2001); The Mughals (2007); Islam, South Asia & the West (2007). Professor Robinson is also the editor of The Islamic World in the Age of Western Domination: A New Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 5 (2008).

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