Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World has 16 ratings and 1 review. Celeste said: Ruby Lal writes against received histories of the harem, whi. Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World. B. Civilization. Cambridge: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRES. The book under review is a significant and vital. Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World. Ruby Lal explores domestic life and the place of women in the Mughal court of the sixteenth century.

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Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World

The book also embodies some provocative thoughts. Turning the pages over, we come across women-specific information. More recent scholars have come up with studies that underline the fluidity of the state. Instead she discusses diverse ways by which women gained a central role at various junctures, such as intercessions or the provision of counsel.

Written lucidly, the book opens up a new paradigm which will stimulate further researches into a neglected domain where gender relations can be tapped.

Strixus marked it as to-read May 25, Danielle marked it as to-read Jan 30, Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest: Babur had invoked his ancestral connections to legitimize his rule.

In such a big venture as the hajj, an admixture of trading and political enterprises cannot be ruled out.

Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World – Ruby Lal – Google Books

Under such circumstances, the places associated with Akbar, largely his harem, drew respect and, thereby, seclusion. Vishwanath Kashikar rated it liked it Jul 21, No trivia or quizzes yet. As the succeeding centuries would domesticihy, the ships bound to Mecca were loaded with merchandise for the vendors of that city.


The Idea of Idolatry and the Emergence of Islam: Zach rated it liked it May 10, Nikki marked it as to-read Oct 19, Tripti marked it as to-read Nov 24, Other books in this series. Mayank marked it as to-read Jun 11, The Mystics of al-Andalus: Combining Ottoma Ruby Lal explores domestic life and the place of women in the Mughal court of the sixteenth century.

Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World by Ruby Lal

Camille Hall rated it liked it Nov 02, Her research focuses on issues of gender relations in Islamic societies in the pre-colonial world. Various invocations, analysed in the book, convey the sense that Akbar and his dwellings were in close proximity to the Prophet and the holy sites associated with him. The hajj episode, for example, emphasizes, among others things, the agency and autonomy of the women who undertook the journey.

The intersection of the interests of men and women undermines any conception of a separate and independent domestic sphere. Vidushi Gupta rated it did not like it Oct 21, Pre-modern India is but rarely discussed by scholars as an integral part of a greater medieval world The mothers were crucial to the empire, but unnamed in the annals. She shows that even when the harem comes to Ruby Lal writes against received histories of “the harem,” which portray it as a timeless, universal, den of eroticism entirely separate from the public world of politics.

Review quote ‘Arguably this is the most important book to appear on Mughal history for a generation Challenging traditional, orientalist interpretations of the haram that have portrayed a domestic world of seclusion and sexual exploitation, she reveals a complex society where noble men and women negotiated their everyday life and public-political affairs.

These experiments involved the creation of the harem. The Second Ottoman Empire: Although not within the thematic purview of this book, a peep into the local harem, that is the Rajput antahpura, would have added to the understanding of the evolution of the Mughal harem and the members constituting it.


Jan-Peter Hartung’s scholarly introduction to the book binds these diverse articles into a complete unit and his empathetic approach in wold and analysing the Islamic education in various countries, leaves a positive imprint on the heart of the reader. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. Samia Khan rated it really liked it Jul 17, Looking for beautiful books?

Guns for the Sultan: Empire and Power in the Reign of Suleyman: Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization: All three empires inherited Central Asian political traditions, but adopted different techniques to consolidate of their rule.

Women who inhabited the world of the early Mughals are truly brought to life in the context of wider historical processes. It is now, too, that one begins to find a neatly compartmentalized space.

By taking up issues such as the intersection of the political interests of women and men, the book emphasizes the superfluity of such distinctions, and contends for the dynamism and contestation of the Mughal harem.

Instead, Lal demonstrates that the decisions of the Mughal emperor, and thereby the policy of the Mughal state, were formed by the politics and complexities of the royal household.

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