Bengali Translation of the Quran and the Impact of Print Culture on Muslim Society in the Nineteenth Century

Amit Dey


How the printing technology brought about a change in the transmission of knowledge from sound to sight, how this phenomenon was related to the emergence of an educated middle class or whether it had anything to do with the development of individualism, are some of the relevant questions addressed in the present article. These would be studied in the context of the emergence of Bengali Quran since the late nineteenth century. In the European context, these issues have been addressed more or less adequately. However, the impact of print culture on South Asian Muslim society is an area where there is still much scope for investigation. Particularly Bengal, the homeland of one of the largest Muslim communities in the world, hardly received any attention in this respect. Bengal is important for another reason. Bengal Muslims are the only Muslims in the world, who in spite of being Islamized, have retained both their language and script. These are some of the reasons why Bengal (undivided) should be included in order to carry out any serious research on South Asian Islam


Bengali translation of the Quran; impact of print culture; Bengali Muslim middle class; nineteenth century

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236