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The epic poem Padm'vat, written in 1540 by the Indian Muslim poet Muhammad J'yasî, has often been read through the lens of contemporary Hindu and Muslim identity. But Thomas de Bruijn rejects the projection of modern notions of national and religious culture onto the poem, and instead looks to J'yasî's own time to find insight into the work. The Ruby in the Dustcarefully analyzes the images and metaphors within the poem and links them to historical discourses on religion and politics. An important rereading of J'yasî's seminal work, this book provides not only a meticulous literary study of Padm'vat, but also a powerful look at the cultural climate of early modern Islam in India.