Instructor in Asian Studies Usman Hamid presented a talk titled “Enshrining Devotion to the Prophet in Mughal India,” at the Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Religion held in San Diego on Nov. 23. The paper was part of a panel organized by Hamid called “Cultivating Devotion to the Prophet in Pre-Modern South Asia,” focused on the history of Muslim devotion to the Prophet Muhammad in Mughal India.
Based on the premise that devotion to the Prophet Muhammad is a historically contingent process, the panel examined the practices and poetics of cultivating love for the Prophet and literary conventions, institutions, and material culture that shaped this devotion. In his paper, Hamid examined how devotion to the Prophet Muhammad was cultivated from the perspective of religious materiality. In it, he examined how relics and the shrines in which they these devotional objects were installed, became to be vehicles for the creation of a locally experienced Islam.