Thijori magazine is a confluence of aesthetics and philosophy in Kannada, a south Indian vernacular language with 45 million speakers. Home to numerous classical philosophers and mystics like Basavanna (1131-1196), Madhvacharya (1199-1278), Qazi Mahmud Behri (1684-1724), and Shishunala Shareefa (1819- 1889).
Coastal Karnataka (or Canara) also finds mentioned in the Maghrebi explorer, Ibn Batuta’s ‘Rihla’. The region is famous for its cultural, political, and philosophical glory. The state of Karnataka has also produced visionary leaders such as Haider Ali, Tippu Sultan, and Krishnadevaraya. The Madrasa founded by Bahmani Prime minister and polymath Mahmud Gawan(1411–1481) is considered to be the first University like education center in South India which contained 3000 manuscripts.
Given such a unique past, Karnataka has been the cradle of Sufi activism, premiering the charismatic and knowledgeable presence of Chishti Sufi master Bande Nawaz Gesu Daraz (1321−1422) in the north and Seyyid Sharif Al Madani in the South.
World-renowned dynasties like the Vijayanagara empire (1336-1565) flourished in Karnataka. Muslim dynasties such as Bahamanis and Adil Shahis, Maysoor have ruled Karnataka for decades and left an idiosyncratic culture that has amalgamated the erstwhile global and local.
The presence of Muslims speaking a variety of languages such as Kannada, Beary, Navayiti, Urdu, Daccani, and Malayalam indicate the cultural capital that Muslims held as a community. Further, a rich intellectual contribution in line with the Persianate and Arabian intellectual traditions can also be found among the scholars of the region to this date. Trade between Lakshadweep, Ceylon, South East Asia, and the Arab world paved the path for a cosmopolitan culture prior to the coming of the colonizer.
Muslims of Karnataka also stand out for their diverse religious expressions and pluralism. The predominance of Malabar Islam with the influence of Shafi’s school of thought in jurisprudence and Ashari creed in faith reflects the southwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent. This is unlike the typical subcontinent Islam where an influence of the Hanafi school and Maturidi creed is predominant. Different Sufi spiritual paths including Chisti, Qadiri, Naqshbandi, Shaduli, Ba’alawi, Suhrawardi, and Akbari flourish in Karnataka. Two of India’s oldest Masjids are also situated in Karnataka.
The Thijori initiative is run by a group of emerging scholars in sociology, anthropology, theology, language, literature, culture, and philosophy. Our attempt is to read everyday life alongside indigenous traditions in a language with a millennium-old past.
We present a virtual platform for the dissemination of ideas and imageries with profound intellectual and analytical rigor keeping in mind both scholarly and mass consumption. Expositions on Islamic scholarly tradition and its embodied past and present constitute the major component of the Thijori project.
Thijori will also explore the socio-cultural, ethical, and aesthetic aspects of spirituality, mysticism, and religion alongside contemporary philosophical and scholarly paradigms. We, at Thijori, welcome original and open-minded contributions made on trends in contemporary academia with a special focus on interdisciplinary approaches.