This presentation examines how reliquary shrines dedicated to material traces of the Prophet Muhammad, such as clippings of his hair and impressions of his feet preserved in stones, indexed the experience of undertaking the pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina for Muslim devotees in Mughal India. By examining the histories of two shrines in Delhi and Ahmedabad, the presentation highlights the importance of Mughal patronage, Sayyids, and Sufis in cultivating devotion to the Prophet in early modern South Asia.
Usman Hamid is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Hamilton College, where he specializes in the study of Islam in the pre-modern Persianate and Indian Ocean worlds. His current research explores the significance of material culture in cultivating devotion to the Prophet Muhammad in Mughal India. He earned his masters from the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University and his doctorate from the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto.