Title

The mysteries of the universe: The tamil muslim intellectualism of M.C. Siddi Lebbe

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2-2018

Abstract

This article analyses M.C. Siddi Lebbe’s (d. 1898) Sufi treatise, Asrarul Alam (Mysteries of the Universe), with attention to the literary networks operating among late nineteenth-century South Asian Muslims. The diversity of Lebbe’s source material and complexity of his argumentation signal his broad engagement with Islamic thought old and new, foreign and local, Arabic and Tamil. Furthermore, Lebbe cast his literary network especially wide, incorporating non-Islamic ideas like theosophy and yoga from Euro- American and Indic sources as foils for the explication of Sufism. This philosophical mosaic in turn sparked debate among Muslim scholars. Asrarul Alam became an impetus for identity definition in a controversy that involved high stakes in translation choices and the unique complexities of works by a trilingual author such as Lebbe.

Publication Name

South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies

Volume Number

41

First Page

51

Last Page

68

Issue Number

1

DOI

10.1080/00856401.2018.1397083

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