Law and Muslim Political Thought in Late Colonial North India

Adeel Hussain

Research output: Book/ReportBook


During the 1930s, much of the world was in severe economic and political crises. These upheavals ushered in new ways of thinking about social and political conditions. In some cases, these new ideas transformed entire political systems. Particularly in Europe, these transformations are well chronicled in scholarship. In scholarly writings on India, however, Muslim political thought has gone relatively unnoticed during this eventful decade. Instead, scholarship on Muslim India has so far privileged the early 1920s, where a movement to uphold the caliphate after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire briefly united Hindus and Muslims under Gandhi, and on the Pakistan movement of the 1940s. This book seeks to fill this gap. It maps the evolution of Muslim legal and political thought from roughly 1927 to 1940. By looking at landmark legal decisions in tandem with the political ideas of Muhammad Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founding fathers, this book highlights the more concealed ways in which Indian Muslims began to acquire a political outlook with distinctly separatist aspirations. What makes this period worthy of a separate study is that the legal antagonism between religious communities in the 1930s foreshadowed political conflicts that arose in the run-up to independence in 1947. The presented cases and thinkers reflect the possibilities and limitations of Muslim political thought in colonial India.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780192859778, 9780191953071
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Islamic constitutionalism
  • colonial law
  • liberalism
  • Indian Muslims
  • nationalism
  • communalism


Dive into the research topics of 'Law and Muslim Political Thought in Late Colonial North India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this