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Photo of Andreas Johansson

Andreas Johansson

Photo of Andreas Johansson

Miniature Qurans in the First World War : Religious Comforts for Indian Muslim Soldiers

Author

  • Kristina Myrvold
  • Andreas Johansson

Summary, in English

During the First World War Muslim soldiers from India made up a significant part of the British forces. Attempts to satisfy the soldiers' religious needs became a British strategy to maintain military discipline among the soldiers in Europe and to avoid public unease and discontent in colonial India. Based on archival material, this article examines how the British tried to identify the religious needs of the Indian soldiers and how letters written by Muslim soldiers emphasized the importance of the Qur'an. The article further explores how the Indian Soldiers' Fund became an important charity which procured and distributed miniature copies of the Qur'an and how prominent persons in India and Europe donated scriptures to Muslim soldiers. Although the soldiers' uses of the miniature scriptures remain uncertain, the books were given iconic functions to represent religion and identities in a time when the British national honour was threatened.

Department/s

  • SASNET

Publishing year

2019

Language

English

Pages

194-221

Publication/Series

Postscripts

Volume

9

Issue

2-3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Equinox Publishing

Topic

  • History of Religions

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1743-8888