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Sarandib (P/B) - 3rd Ed
Author Asiff Hussein
ISBN 9559726226
Pages 784
Size 14.5 x 4.5 x 20 cm
Weight 1040
Our Price Rs. 2,000.00
Sarandib – An Ethnological Study of the Muslims of Sri Lanka by Asiff Hussein is a book worth reading by both Muslims and non-Muslims, academics as well as general readers who would like to know all about the country’s Muslims. What is particularly noteworthy about this work is that the author has not only dealt with the ethnicity and culture of the country’s major Muslim group, the Moors, but has also given due attention to the other Muslim groups such as the Malays, Memons and other groups of Indian origin such as the Sammankarar, Faqirs and Osta. As renowned scholar Dr. M. A. M. Shukri observes in a foreword to the work: ‘It is by far the most comprehensive multi-disciplinary study of the country’s Muslim community undertaken to date, encompassing physical anthropology, linguistics, social organization, cultural traditions and religious and folk beliefs’. In the first part of this work which is devoted to the Moor community, he traces in great detail the origins of the Moors, contending that the nucleus of the community has its origins in the early Arab settlers and traders who chose to settle in the country, espousing local Sinhalese and Tamil women. To this end, he has drawn upon anthropological, textual and epigraphic evidence. He has also sought to show that the Moors, descended as they were from Arabs hailing from Iraq, Yemen and other parts of the Arab world were originally an Arabic-speaking people and that it was only after the 13th century with the fall of the Abbasid caliphate to the Mongols that they came to speak Tamil as their home language, largely facilitated by increasing dependence on their Tamil-speaking co-religionists from peninsular India with whom they had established strong commercial links. Hussein has also dealt with the peculiar dialect spoken by the Moors in the South and Western parts of the country known as Sona Tamil as we as with their now largely forgotten literary heritage based on Arabu-Tamil, Tamil written in Arabic script. He then goes on to deal with the settlements of the Moors, showing how such settlements would have originated and the factors that would have influenced settlement patterns.

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