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The Colloquy between Muhammad and Saytan: The 18th-century Bangla Iblichnama of Garibulla

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Duration: 0:49:15 | Added: 06 Feb 2018
Tony K Stewart (Vanderbilt) give the 2017 Majewski Lecture.

In 1287 b.s. (=1879/80 c.e.) a short Bangla work was published in Calcutta under the title of Iblichnamar punthi by the highly productive scholar Garibulla, who had composed the text about a century earlier. This somewhat unusual text is a colloquy between the Prophet Muhammad and the fallen Iblich (Ar. Iblis), also called Saytan. The reader is offered humorous, often naughty descriptions of the depraved and licentious acts of Saytan's lackeys, parodies of the standard 'aḥadith literatures regarding proper conduct-everything a good practicing Muslim is not! This fictional inversion of all that is good and proper titillates the reader in its mad escape from the Bakhtinian monologic of theology, history, and law that governs the discourse of the conservative Sunni mainstream. It is the exaggerated negative image of the law as seen from the imagined squalid underbelly of Bengali society.

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