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ü Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564---1624)
ü Shah Waliullah (1703---1762)
ü Syed Ahmad Shakeel (1786---1831)
Ø Anjuman Hamayat-i-Islam
Ø Islamia Collage
Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Hazrat Mujadad Alf-Sani):
History itself is an evidence of the fact that whenever Islam came at any danger by any agencies from its enemies or from ideology, it was saved by such personalities, who through their spiritual power not only saved it but gave it a new life. Such is the story of Sheikh Ahmad of Sirhind, popularly known as Mujadad Alf-Sani (reviver of Islam during the second millennium) who was confronted by the same challenges. Islam was under great danger, its future unpredictable, its spirit deteriorated and its teachings misinterpreted. Akbar’s policy of ‘divine faith’ and religious syncretism welcomed the anti-Islamic ideologies; at this hour of turmoil Mujadad Alf-Sani came in front to restore and revive the glory of Islam.
Evils of Muslim Society:
The revival movement of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi crusaded against all evils prevailing in the socio-politico-religious sphere of the community of
Socially, the Muslims community had become a victim to adulteration with socio-religious practices of Hinduism. The enforcement of Din-e-Elahi badly affected the Muslim fundamentalism and their spirits towards Islam.
Politically, the Akbar’s concept of sovereignty such as Zil-e-Elahi made another attack to Islamic concepts of sovereignty of Allah and the practice of prostration before the emperor demoralized the Islamic concept of the supremacy of God.
Spiritually, and ideologically, the Muslims were discomfited and scattered the result of these was:
i) Muslim society was saddening with un-Islamic practices and trends. Under the Hindu influence a firm and widespread belief in Karamat (miracles of saints) had developed in the society which misguided the people.
ii) In Sufism many means of developing magical and supernatural power alien to Islam had been developed. The mysteries and Sufis of those days openly divided the authenticity of Shariah. They even proudly manifested their indifference towards the Sunnah.
iii) Ulamas the theologians ceased to refer to the Quran and Hadith in their commentarial and considered jurisprudence as the only religious knowledge.
iv) Akbar promoted Hinduism by marrying Hindu ladies and by giving high posts to Rajputs and Hindus in his court.
Sheikh Ahmad’s revival efforts:
Ø He sent a number of his disciples in all directions to preach true Islam. He asked them to emphasize on Ittiba-i-Sunnah and the commandments of Shariah in their sermons and preaching. The work was vigorously pursued in
Ø He also began correspondence with the prominent scholars of all Muslim countries in his letters he emphasized and explained the religious doctrines and out great stress on the Ittiba-i-Sunnah.
Ø Sheikh Ahmad was greatly opposed to the concepts of atheism and openly denounced un-Islamic practices. He emphasized on the concepts of Tauheed.
Ø He exposed the fallacy of Din-i-Elahi and came out to curb the influence of its satanic creed.
Ø He declared that the mysticism without Shariah was misleading and denounced those Ulamas who had questioned the authenticity of Shariah.
Ø He labored diligently to settle the differences between the scholars and the mysteries.
Ø He initiated the leading nobles near the emperor into his disciplines and through them exerted and influences to bring about a change in the life of the court. He was able to enlist Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khanam, Khan-i-Azam, Mirza Azia and Mufti Sardar Jahan.
Ø In the time of Jahangir, Sheikh Ahmad was successful to a great extent to extract a solemn undertaking from the Muslims that they would not obey any orders repugnant to Islam.
Ø He persuaded Muslims to adopt simple habits in the light of Islam and Sunnah. He revealed the importance of Namaz and fasting.
Wahdat-ul-Wajid and Whdat-ul-Shahud:
The Philosphy of Wahdat-ul-Wajid was presented by some Sufis of Akbar’s era. They believed that there was no living difference between the man and his creator God and both, individual and God are not separated by each other. They also advocated that every particle of the universe represented the presence of God and therefore, the worship of God’s creatures amounted to worship of God.
Sheikh Ahmad openly negated this Philosphy and declared it as ultra vises to the principles of Islam. He presented his Philosphy of Whdat-ul-Shahud which meant that the creator and creatures were two different and separate entities.
Sheikh Ahmad imprisoned:
Sheikh Ahmad raised voice against the practice of prostration in the court of Jahangir. He was imprisoned in the fort of Gwabor but remained confident. After one year Jahangir feeling resentful, released him and honored him to be his religious advisor. This auspicious rank helped him to mould Emperor’s life according to Shariah. This provided him an opportunity to preach his views.
Sheikh Ahmad and Two Nation Theory:
In order to popularize Islam, a number of Muslim reformers adopted a liberal point of view in their preaching. They however were successful to attract a large number of people towards Islam but at the same time this liberal strategy gave rise to the concept of joint nationalism. This trend proved injuries to the separate and distinct national image of the Muslims.
Sheikh Ahmad put end to this concept and negated the Philosphy of Wahdat-ul-Wajood. He labored to keep alive the national and the religious identity of the Muslims. He was a stanch advocate of Muslim separatism and adopted very stern attitude towards Hindus. He wanted Jizia to be re-imposed on Hindu temples.
Mujadad Influence on the history of Muslim
Sheikh Ahmad, the most forceful and original thinker produced by Muslim India before the days of Shah Waliullah and Iqbal, occupies a high place not only in Muslim India but in the entire Muslim world. He was the first man who could be called as a propounded of Muslim Ummah. The swing of balance from heterodoxy was in considerable measure, due to the influence and teaching of Mujadad Alf-Sani. The rein position of ‘Jizya’ on Hindu subjects during the reign of Aurangzeb was a far reaching result of his work.
The movement of Mujadad Alf-Sani restored Shariah and Islam became the symbol of unity. His revival movement opened new avenues towards pan-Islamic. Sheikh Ahmad, according to Iqbal “a call back to prophet hood became the pioneer of religious nationalism. It was under the influence of this movement that the future movements of reforms and revival came to be represented by Shah Waliullah and Syed Ahmad Shakeel which ultimately made their head way to the destination of
The movement of Shah Waliullah was the first of its kind in the sub-continent which aimed mainly to socio-politico-religio and economic reformation of the degenerated Muslims communities.
The departure of Aurangzeb from the scene of Mughal Empire caste a havoc not only for the future of Mughal Empire but also for the future of Islam and Muslims of the India.
Causes of the Muslim decline:
1. Nobles of Humayiun (Iranian).
2. Petticoat government influence.
3. Lack of understanding religion on its proper perspective and time spirit.
4. Emergent of rich class of feudal lords and nobles sank.
5. Reversion from the principles of Khilafat of kingship.
6. Sectarian conflicts.
7. Money obtained from the exchequer by those who do not perform any corresponding duty – people such as Ulamas and soldiers.
8. Heavy taxation of peasants, merchants and workers. The prosperity of a country depends on light taxes.
To address the situation, Shah Waliullah aimed at a moral, social and political regeneration of Muslims in the true spirit of Islam so that ideally equitable social system could be brought in vogue.
I) Crusade against sectarian:
The entire Muslim community was rift from top to bottom the noliles grouped themselves into Turani and Srani parties – which were euphemisms and citizen also were affected. Shah Waliullah tried to wipe out differences based on religious convictions. He wrote Izalat-ul-Khifa and Rhilafat-e-Khulafat to remove misunderstandings between Shiah and Sunnis.
II) Translation of Quran into Persian:
The differences on the minute details of interpretation were magnified into disputes. These controversies on minor issue tended to take the mind of the believers from the fundamentals and instead of uniting them, created division in their ranks. He emphasized on the fundamentals of Islam. He introduced the people once again to the main sources of Islam-e-doctrine and law. In order to make it understand able to all he translated Quran into Persian.
III) Balance between four schools of thought:
He wrote Al Insaf Fi Bayan Sahab Al Ikhtilaf in order to create a balance between the four schools; Hanafi – Hanbali – Shafi and Malike. He was also opposed to limiting the universality of the applications of the injunctions of the Holy Quran.
IV) School for Hadith:
He established a school for study of Hadith. He selected Imam Malik’s ALMAWATA as the most authentic of all collections of Hadith and took steps to popularize its study.
V) Reintroduced Ijtihad:
It had been established by the orthodox circles that after the final codification of Islamic law by the four great jurists, the doors of interpretation were closed for ever. He denounced this principle and adopted Ijtihad richly.
VI) Controversy between Sufis and Ulamas:
Shah Waliullah tried to reconcile the controversy between Sufis and Ulamas about Wahdat-ul-Wajid and Whdat-ul-Shahud.
VII) Social – moral regeneration:
It was not enough to remove doctrinal differences among the Muslims since they were plunged in a moral crisis of grave dimensions. He presented Islam is a rational manner and urged the Muslim masses to mould their lives according to the teachings of Islam.
Shah Waliullah pointed out that economics played a vital role in the social life of human beings. He raised his voice for economic equilibrium, removal of inequalities and equal distribution of wealth. He appealed higher classes to realize their responsibilities towards the nation. He was against heavy taxes and accumulation of wealth.
Importance of Jihad:
He educated the Muslim soldiers on importance of Jihad and asked them to go for Jihad for Islam.
Apart from his religious services, Shah Waliullah provided leadership to the Muslims in the political field. He came out with his great wisdom and foresight to create political awakening in the Muslims of India. The rise of Marhattas and Sikhs had posed serious problems to the Muslim rulers. The Mughal rulers were no more in a position to with hold the supremacy of the Muslim rule which was gravely jeopardized by the emergence of Marhattas and Sikhs and other non-Muslim forces. Marhattas raided
Shah Waliullah came up to tackle this precarious situation. He had rightly noticed that if the Marhattas were not checked effectively, the political power of Muslims would disappear for ever. He wrote letters to the noble Muslim leaders and informed them of the critical situation hanging on the head of the Mughal rule. He asked for military assistance and was successful in bringing some Muslim leaders sound. He eventually won over Najib-u-Daola and Siraj-u-Daula against Marhattas.
However, the Muslim chiefs were unable to face Marhattas. The resources were inadequately to crush the Marhattas. Shah Waliullah, therefore, looked towards Ahmad Shah Abdali who came in
The movement of political as well as spiritual regeneration did not die with Shah Waliullah. His talented son Shah Abdul Aziz and his worthy disciplines and successors strove for the realization of his mission. The echo of the third battle of Paanipat was heard in the battle of Balakot. Both are the landmarks of the same struggle.
Syed Ahmed Shaheed Barailvi:
The name of Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barailvi caries great importance with regard to the revival of Islam in the history of sub-continent. Syed Ahmad Shaheed picked up the course of the two pronged struggle aimed at the purification of the Muslim society and the destruction of British power in
He was greatly impressed by the teachings of Shah Waliullah and was a stanch disciple of his son Shah Abdul Aziz. From the very beginning he had an inclination towards becoming a soldier. During his services of Nawab Amir Khan of Tonk, he learnt military discipline and strategy which made him a great military commander in the years ahead.
He wrote Sirat-e-Mustakim with the help of his great disciples Shah Ismail Shaheed and Maulana Abdul Hayee. The work is an excellent summary of Philosophies, doctrines and reforms of Shah Waliullah.
Preparation of Jihad against Sikhs:
Syed Ahmad was extremely dismayed to see the decline of the Muslims in their religious and ideological commitments. He earnestly desired to see the restoration of the supremacy of Islam in
In the time of Syed Ahmad,
Syed Ahmad left for
Declaration of war:
Syed Ahmad believed, if
Syed Ahmad reached Noshehra in December, 1826 and established his headquarter. He sent a message to Ranjeet Singh to embrace Islam or to be ready to face the Mujahideen. Ranjeet Singh turned down the offer and expressed a high degree of rage against Muslims and Islam.
Syed Ahmad started Jihad by challenging the Sikh army at Akora on
This Jihad movement got immense popularity. Many Pathan chiefs joined Syed Ahmad Sahib and took an oath of allegiance at the
Syed Ahmad set out for
Enforcement of Shariah:
After occupying Peshawar Syed Ahmad paid attention towards introduction of Shariah. Syed Ahmad was declared Khilifa. The establishment of Islamic government reduced influence of tribal chiefs. He introduced social reforms in November 1831; Syed Ahmad withdrew from
After relinquishing Peshawar Syed Ahmad went to Balakot where they were attacked by huge Sikh army with sophisticated weapons under the commitment of General Shir Singh. Syed Sahib, Shah Ismail and many other laid their lives while fighting. The Jihad movement did not die after Syed Sahib. But it greatly lacked the leadership.
Haji Shariatullah (1787-1840):
The Muslim Sufis spread the light of Islam in
The Muslim revivalism in
Haji Shariatullah left for the Hijaz in 1799 at very youth age of 18. After a long stay of twenty years he returned from
Haji Shariatullah began his reform movement known as Fraizi Movement in the center of
Haji Shariatullah was deadly against the false and superstitious beliefs which have arisen in the Muslim society due to long contact with Hindus. He utterly disliked the expressions of Pir and Murid. He strongly forbade the laying on hands at the time of accepting a person into discipleship which had crept into Muslim society.
His movement brought the Muslim peasantry together against the cruel exploitation by the Hindu Zamindars. His disciples and followers blindly took him as competent and able to pull them out of crisis and despair. He declared Jihad against the infidels as inevitable and termed the sub-continent Daru-ul-Harab where the offering of Friday prayers was unlawful.
The Fraizi movement of Haji Shariatullah injected a great deal of confidence among the Muslim masses. He continued his religious preaching and fight against the non-Islamic forces till his death in 1840.
Haji Shariatullah was succeeded by his son Dadu Miyan, his real name was Mohsinuddin Ahmad. Dadu Miyan became very popular in the districts of
The Hindu Zamindars dreaded hi most and conspired to check the spread of his movement. He was harassed all his life and was put in jail time and again on frivolous charges.
He died in 1862 in
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan - a prophetic revivalist and a man of predicting analysis who emerged at the time when Muslims were under harrow of socio-economico-religio-political circumstances.
Since the war of independence the Muslims of India were facing strange circumstances and passing a miserable life. :Although both Hindus and Muslims fought for liberation but the heavy hand of the British fell more on Muslims than on the Hindus”, says Jawaharlal Nehru in his autobiography. The consequences of 1857 war had reduced Muslims to a backward nation – education was their bleakness, politics was an enigma, and religion was an obsession. In this darkest hour of the Muslim national life, the role of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan became multidimensional since he had to provide strength to the Muslims of India from all the frontiers. To him education was the foundation on which to build the super-structure of his religious, social and political ideas. He considered education to be the panacea for all ills of his community.
Sir Syed’s crusade for the Muslim uplift:
The great leader set himself to the gigantic task of alleviating the miserable toll of the Muslims community. His task was by no means an easy one. On one hand he had to convince the British authorities that nobody ever panned the mucking and that at any rate, the Muslims responsibility for the mass butcheries was negligible and on the other hand to dispel the fanatical belief of the Muslims that western education was inimical to their faith.
The educational set back of Muslims was because of the fact that they were inimical to western education. Learning English and acquiring western knowledge went against their pride and they thought that the education saturated with Christianity might corrupt their views.
Sir Syed intellectually fought against all tendencies and attitudes with daring initiative. He provoked a new psyche in their minds and brains. He washed their brains through his speeches, articles and pamphlets. Keeping in view the modern education in his mind, Sir Syed established a scientific society in Ghazipur in 1864. He opened schools in Ghazipur and Muradabad. Scientific society later on developed in
In religious sphere, he stood as a rational Philosopher. He argued that the revealed truth could be understood best through reasons. The revelations of physical success could not be ignored in the understanding of religion. He attempted to rationally interpret the Islamic ideas and concepts through the dictates of modern times. In this way he bridged the gulf between traditional pattern of religious thinking and the modes of present thinking. Thus he engineered an attitude of rapprochement between the traditions and neo-Islamism. Because of his rational ideas he was changed infidel or heathen. Nevertheless his services to the cause of Islam cannot be denied. His detailed reply in the forum of essays to the blasphemous book of William Moor “Life of Muhammad” was a great service to Islam. His essays were translated into Urdu and were published with some additions under the title of Khutbat-i-Ahdia. He wrote exegesis of Quran.
He criticized the blind followers of Islam which had given way to unwise conventions, corrupt customs and evils. He felt the necessity of Ijtihad in every age. He opposed the conventional types of piri-muridi and regarded it as the fountain of many evils.
In the dimension of social life he stood an ardent advocate of simplicity and austerity, honesty and integrity. In the second half of 19th century, Muslims of the sub-continent were suffering from different social evils like illiteracy, disunity, jealousy, greed, pride and worship of past and indifference to present etc. Sir Syed suggested means and ways to do away with these evils.
He advised the Muslims to take agriculture and trade as profession and in order to solve their problem they should use their own wisdom and dispend on themselves. He stressed on the need of a national dress and he was the first who introduced it in
In his celebrated magazine Tehzeeb-ul-Akhlaq he preached the virtues of social drive from western social life. He taught the people to accept what was sound and attractive in European manners and social life. The magazine played a very important role in improving the morality of the Muslims. In the magazine Akhtam-i-Taam-i-Ahle Kitab, Sir Syed discussed the etiquettes of eating and dining in Islam and made it cleat that it was not un-Islamic to eat with a nation – Christians who were the bracers of the Holy Book.
Sir Syed had perceived with his far sightedness that if the existing tension between Muslims and the British continued, Hindus would get advantage of it and as a result Muslims would be lost in the darkness of obscurity for ever. Thus to promote understanding between the rulers and the ruled Sir Syed wrote a bold pamphlet on “the causes of the Indian revolt” whose pith and soul was that ‘the estrangement between government and the gourd let to the Indian military and hence the Muslims were not responsible for the revolt of 1857. In the “Loyal Mohammedans of India”, he described the sincere services of Muslims to the British government and defends them against the charges sedition and disloyalty. He also established “British Indian Association” under the same purpose. He pleaded for the inclusion of the Indians in the legislative council in order to represent the views of their fellow beings.
Sir Syed was the first man who’s prophetic firstly visions the facts of the Two Nation Theory. He said that in
To conclude his political activities gave great strength to Muslims. He advocated the aloofness of the Muslims from politics since they were educationally and economically backward. To him, their involvement in politics should be natured by the time until they have brought them elves up to the level of Hindus in prosperity and modern education
Sir Syed’s contributions to Muslim renaissance in the
Nevertheless his political Philosphy of co-operation with British had serious limitations, his advocacy of uncritical acceptance of western education and thought could not provide a firm foundation for building up a nation with a well defined entity, and his concept of religious truth was narrow and un-philosophical, yet at the time when he advocated these ideas, they were opportune and saved the Muslims from economic educational and Philosophical inertia and from stagnation and even annihilation.
“People say Sir Syed set up a college ,May, he made a nation” (Dr. Moulvi Abdul Haq)