Aqeel Abbas (Author)
Good readership about Muslims in India is often limited to obscure journals and books that are often too academic to receive attention by the general public. Within these limitations Shia Muslims, being that they are a minority in India, receive even lesser attention.
Numerous current works on the topic focus a lot more on North India Shia’s due to the presence of a vibrant culture of scholars and arts as well as Gujarati Bohri Shia’s due to their ubiquitous presence across the world. Yet, the southern states of India have also been home to an equally influential and vigorous tradition of Shia Muslims. This was particularly due to the presence of the Bahmani Sultanate and its five offshoot states which owned a massive amount of wealth that it spent to increase its cultural and architectural roots among others.
Modern day Karnataka which had accommodated these sultanates, therefore, is a state with rich history and monuments as well as substantial pockets of Shia Muslims who keep the various traditions alive. A comprehensive look at the presence of Shia Muslims in Karnataka, therefore, was an important addition to the existing literature.
This was something that author Aqeel Abbas (Engineer & Trader by profession) from Alipur, a Shia majority village in the state of Karnataka tried to address by writing a book titled The Shi’a as a Muslim Minority in Karnataka, India: Shi’as History & Findings”. This book is based on his experiences and research conducted in various Shia majority towns and villages across Karnataka including cities like Bangalore as well.
The book provides historical context to Shia Islam in Karnataka before diving into the various traditions, cultures and monuments present in the state. Moreover, it relies heavily on field visits, oral traditions and interviews with various community leaders in the different locations covered.
Readers would delight in going through the many forgotten and neglected historical remains and tributes paid by the community to the Shia community across Karnataka. Moreover, the book also engages quite actively with the various contributions of the Shia Muslims to the state of Karnataka as well as India as a nation.
It is hoped that this book encourages more people from the Shia community to research more into such topics. Moreover, it also hopes to inspire younger members of the Shia population in Karnataka to invest in Community Universities, Medical Hospitals, colleges, research centres, Islamic culture centre, angel investment funds and organizations and digital Media centresand therefore, become effective resources for their state.