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Excursus Historiography And Sources

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Chapter Summary

Much has been written on historiography and sources, on memory permeating events selectively, and amnesia consciously deciding and unconsciously overlooking events. One finds master narratives of an Islamic history as against divergent 'sect histories'. Thus narration of the history of Islam in xyz is not an innocent process. Normative Islamic historical thinking was informed by the idea that history would serve religion and law, a tendency with powerful after-effects. The Persian context brought in the Sassanian tradition of epic writing with a dramatic resolution" which was - in contrast to Arabic history writing - not bound by religion. In the wake of the de-centralisation of Mughal rule, new forms and genres emerged such as institutionalised literary criticism, memoirs, biography and autobiography. In Pakistan history and historiography developed a national identity and consciousness although the new nation, after the Partition, had to work without many materials left remaining in Indian Archives.

Keywords: Arabic history; Indian; Islamic history; Mughal rule; Pakistan; Persian



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