This article explores the reception of discourses about land and property in Islamic jurisprudence in colonial Bengal. I argue that Hanafi fiqh provided a sophisticated conceptual repertoire for framing claims to property that agrarian political actors in Muslim Bengal drew upon. Yet the dominant framework for understanding property claims in postclassical jurisprudence was ill-fitted to claims of the kind that agrarian movements in colonial Bengal were articulating. As a result, twentieth-century agrarian movements in the region spoke the language of fiqh, but nonetheless inhabited the ideological landscape of a much broader twentieth-century world of political aspirations and norms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science