Saturday, December 24, 2011

Muslim Religious Movements in India

Muslim religious movements in India


SHEIK AHMAD SIRHINDI (1564–1624) was an Indian Islamic scholar from Punjab, a Hanafi jurist, and a prominent member of the Naqshbandī Sufi order. He is described as Mujaddid Alf Thānī, meaning the "reviver of the second millennium", for his work in rejuvenating Islam and opposing the heterodoxies prevalent in the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He is said to have had considerable and longlasting influence in India and to have given "to Indian Islam the rigid and conservative stamp it bears today."
Most of the Naqshbandī suborders today, such as the Mujaddidī, Khālidī, Saifī, Tāhirī, Qasimiya and Haqqānī sub-orders, trace their spiritual lineage through Sirhindi, often referring to themselves as "Naqshbandī-Mujaddidī".
Sirhindi's shrine, known as Rauza Sharif is located in Sirhind, India.


Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi was born after midnight, on 14 Shawwal 971 H. in the village of Sirhind. From an ashraf family claiming descent from caliph Umar, he received most of his early education from his father, Shaykh 'Abd al-Ahad and memorised the Qur'an. He was then sent to Sialkot, at present in Pakistan, where he learned logic, philosophy and theology and read some advanced texts of tafsīr and hadīth before he returned home. Sirhindi also made rapid progress in the Suhrawardī, the Qadirī, and the Chistī turūq, and was given permission to initiate and train followers at the age of 17. He eventually joined the Naqshbandī order through the Sufi missionary Shaykh Muhammad al-Baqī, and became a leading master of this order. His deputies traversed the length and breadth of the Mughal Empire in order to popularize the order and eventually won some favour with the Mughal court.

Movement for Revival of Islam

Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi's preaching and revival was a reaction to the anti-islamic policies of Mughal emperor Akbar. He denounced Akbar's policy of sull-i kul (mixing all religions into one), and Akbar's reign as one where "the sun of guidance was hidden behind the veil of error." Sirhindi believed that "what is outside the path shown by the prophet (Sharia) is forbidden." He wrote, "Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs may probably agree to pay jiziya but they shall never concede to cow-sacrifice."However, Yohanan Friedmann has argued that there is no evidence that Sirhindi or his disciples spread "anti-Hindu sentiments wherever they went." 

Importance of Sharia v. Sufism

According to Simon Digby, "modern hagiographical literature emphasizes [Sirhindi's] reiterated profession of strict Islamic orthodoxy, his exaltation of the sharia and exhortations towards its observance." On the other hand, Yohanan Friedmann questions how committed Sirhindi was to sharia, commenting: "it is noteworthy that while Sirhindi never wearies of describing the minutest details of Sufi experience, his exhortations to comply with the shariah remain general to an extreme."  Friedmann also claims "Sirhindi was primarily a Sufi interested first and foremost in questions of mysticism."

Oneness of being (wahdat al-wujūd)

Sirhindi strongly opposed the mystical doctrine known as wahdat al-wujūd ('unity of being') or tawhīd-i wujūdi, a concept which emphasizes that in reality all things exist within God. Nonetheless, he did not hold a particularly unfavorable view of the sufi mystic and theoretician Muhyī 'l-Dīn ibn Arabī, who is often presented as the originator and most complete propounder of this philosophy. Sirhindi writes:
I wonder that Shaykh Muhyī 'l-Dīn appears in vision to be one of those with whom God is pleased, while most of his ideas which differ from the doctrines of the People of truth appear to be wrong and mistaken. It seems that since they are due to error in kashf, he has been forgiven... I consider him as one of those with whom God is well-pleased; on the other hand, I believe that all his ideas in which he opposes (the people of truth) are wrong and harmful.
In refuting the monistic position of wahdat al-wujūd, he instead advanced the notion of wahdat ash-shuhūd (oneness of appearance). According to this doctrine, the experience of unity between God and creation is purely subjective and occurs only in the mind of the Sufi who has reached the state of fana' fi Allah (to forget about everything except Almighty Allahu taala).


Most famous of his works are a collection of 536 letters, collectively entitled Collected Letters or Maktubat, to the Mughal rulers and other contemporaries. It consists of three volumes. An elaborate printing of the book was accomplished in 1973 in Nazimabad, Karachi, Pakistan. It was reproduced by offset process in Istanbul, Turkey. A copy of the Persian version exists in the library of the Columbia University. Maktubat was rendered into the Arabic language by Muhammad Murad Qazanî, and the Arabic version was printed in two volumes in the printhouse called Miriyya and located in the city of Makkah. A copy of the Arabic version occupies number 53 in the municipality library in Bayezid, Istanbul. It was reproduced by offset process in 1963, in Istanbul. A number of the books written by Ahmad Sirhindi were reprinted in Karachi. Of those books, Ithbât-un-nubuwwa was reproduced by offset process in Istanbul in 1974. The marginal notes on the book, which is in Arabic, provide a biography of Ahmad Sirhindi.This Holly Book Translate Bangle language by Hazrat Shah Mohammad Muti Ahamed Aftabi Dinajpuri(R.)


 Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi (February 21, 1703 – August 20, 1762) was an Islamic scholar and reformer. He was born during the reign of Aurangzeb. He worked for the revival of Muslim rule and intellectual learning in South Asia, during a time of waning Muslim power. He despised the divisions and deviations within Islam and its practice in India and hoped to "purify" the religion and unify all Indian Muslims under the "banner of truth". He is also thought to have anticipated a number of progressive, social, economic, and political ideas of the modern era such as social reform, equal rights, labour protection, welfare entitlement of all to food, clothing, housing, etc.


Shah Waliullah is a descendent of the Quraish tribe of Arabia and his genealogy can be traced to the second khalifa of Islam, Umar on his paternal side. His father, Shah Abdur Rahim, named his son 'Qutbuddin Ahmad'. He was dubbed as 'Shah Waliullah' because waliullah means "friend of God" and he was a pious individual. He was from the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah and was an adherent of Hanafi jurisprudence. His complete name was Shah Waliullah Qutbuddin Ahmad and he was born in Phulat, a town in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India on February 21, 1703.


Shah Waliullah received his education at Madrasa Rahimiyya. His father was his teacher and source of spiritual guidance.He was a man of letters. He commenced his studies at the age of five and completed the recitation and memorization of the Qur'an by the age of seven. Thereafter, he commenced primary lessons in Persian and Arabic, which were completed in a year. Then, he studied the grammar and syntax of Persian and Arabic. He completed his studies in philosophy and theology at the age of fifteen and then commenced his studies in mantiq, fiqh, hadith, tibb, algebra, mathematics, kalaam, spirituality, mysticism, oratory and metaphysics under his father. Thereafter, he was inducted into the tradition of bay'at by his father and, by the age of seventeen, he was permitted to provide spiritual guidance to and reform his fellow Muslims.
On the death of his father when he was hardly seventeen years old, he became a mudarris (teacher) at Madrasa Rahimiyya. He held this position for twelve years. Then, in 1731, Shah Waliullah performed Hajj. He reached Makkah on May 21 and performed Hajj, after which he proceeded to Medina. There, he attended Shaikh Abu Tahir Muhammad bin Ibrahim Kurdi Madani's discourses on hadith. Shah Waliullah studied Sihah Sitta, Mu'atta Imam Malik, Masnad Da'armi, and Imam Muhammad's Al A'saar under him. Thereafter, he returned to Makkah, performed another Hajj, studied Al-Muwatta Imam Malik for a second time under Shaikh Wafadullah Maliki Makki, and attended the discourses of Shaikh Tajuddin Hanafi Qala'i Makki on Sihah Sitta. Then, he was permitted to teach all of the kitabs of hadith by Shaikh Tajuddin.
Thereafter, Shah Waliullah returned to India. His journey back to India lasted six months and he reached Delhi on January 1, 1733.

Achievements and Services

After he had performed second hajj, he returned to Delhi, he started his work in earnest. This was in a period when Muslims in India were passing through the most critical phase of their history and their entire social, political, economic and spiritual fabric was torn to pieces. On his arrival in Delhi, he started to train his pupils in diverse branches of Islam and entrusted them with the mission of enlightening people with the true nature of Islam. He embarked upon the task of authoring standard works on Islam and was able to complete a number of works on Islam.
Shah Waliullah rose to be an eminent scholar of Islamic studies. He was a prominent intellectual figure whose mission was to reform the Muslims he saw as misguided. His activities were not confined to spiritual and intellectual spheres only. He lived in troubled times and witnessed a number of rulers occupying the throne of Delhi. With his keen political insight, he observed the deterioration of Muslim rule in India and wrote to a number of political dignitaries to attempt to bolster the political life of Muslims in India. He established several branches of Madrasa Rahimiyya in Delhi in order to effectively disseminate his knowledge.

Literary career

Shah Waliullah was a prolific writer as well. In the realm of Islam, he produced a number of memorable literary works and, within a period of thirty years, he wrote a total of fifty-one works of merit, twenty-eight in Arabic and twenty-three in Persian. Some of these are still unsurpassed in the domain of Islamic literature. His most valuable service to Islam was that he codified the vast store of Islam under separate heads. Both in thought and prediction, his works occupy an outstanding position.
His works can be classified into six categories. The first deals with the Qur'an. It includes his translation of the Qur'an into Persian. According to him, the object of studying the Qur'an is to reform human nature and correct wrong beliefs and injurious actions. The second category deals with hadith, in which he has left behind several works such as commentaries on Al-Muwatta Imam Malik in both Arabic and Persian. Shah Waliullah also wrote a number of works and pamphlets on hadith. The third category deals with fiqh or Islamic jurisprudence, which includes lnsaaf fi Bayaan-e-Sahoobul Ikhtilaf, a brief yet informative history of Islamic jurisprudence over the five centuries before his life. The fourth category deals with mysticism. The fifth category pertains to his works on Muslim philosophy and kalaam. He also wrote a pamphlet on the principles of ijtihad (independent interpretation) and taqlid (conformity). In his principles of ijtihad, he clarifies whether it is obligatory for a Muslim to adhere to one of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence or whether he can exercise his own judgment. Shah Waliullah's greatest work is Hujjatullahil Baligha, which deals with such aspects of Islam that are common among all of the Muslim countries. The sixth category deals with his works on the problems between Shias and Sunnis. His theories pertaining to economics and socialism are of revolutionary nature. The miserable condition of Indian Muslims inspired him to improve their character, raise their morale, and inculcate a feeling of selflessness and love for their fellows in them. He overhauled the educational system and separated faith from unlawful invented traditions and unnecessary and unwanted suspicions regarding Islam. He presented what he considered pure and pristine Islam to people.(1976)

 Faraizi Movement [1830-57]

The first half of the 19th century witnessed a movement known as Faraizi Movement in East Bengal. The founder of this movement was Haji Shariatullah. At this time the condition of the Bengali Muslims in the Sub-continent was very miserable. The British policy of distrust and oppression towards the Muslims rendered them economically and educationally crippled; and the oppression of the Zamindars made their lives unbearable.
Haji Shariatullah went to Mecca on the Pilgrimage. He returned to his country after 20 years and started his reform movement known as the Faraizi movement. His movement basically targeted the most depressed class of the Muslims. He asked them to give up un-Islamic customs and practices and to act upon the commandments of the religion called Faraiz or duties. Hence his followers came to be known as Faraizi. He forbade Tazia on the occasion of Muharram and singing and dancing at the time of wedding ceremonies. His movement was also directed against the oppression of the Zamindars. He declared the country Dar-ul-Harab, as Eid and Friday prayers could not be offered there.

The movement infused new life into the lives of the Muslims of Bengal. It wrought great agitation among them, especially the peasants who were imbued with his doctrines. Thus, he sowed the seeds of independence in Bengal. He died in 1840.

His son Muhammad Mohsin, known as Dadhu Mian, succeeded Haji Shariatullah. Dadhu Mian popularized and strengthened the movement by organizing it in a systematic way. He acquired great influence amongst the Muslim peasants and craftsmen of Bakerganj, Dhaka, Faridpur and Pabna districts. He appointed Khalifahs who kept him informed about everything in their jurisdiction. Dadhu Mian vehemently opposed the taxes imposed by the landlords on Muslim peasants for the decoration of the image of Durgah.
He asked his followers to settle in lands managed by the government. During the revolt of 1857, he was put under arrest for organizing the peasants of Faridpur districts against the British government. He died in 1860.


Early life

Titu Mir, real name Syed Mir Nisar Ali, was born on 27 January 1782 (14 Magh 1182 according to the Bangla calendar), in a small village named Chandpur, in the Thana area of the North 24 Parganas district (currently in West Bengal, India). His father was Syed Mir Hassan Ali and his mother’s name was Abida Ruqayya Khatun.
Titu Mir’s education began in his village school, after which he moved to a local Madrassa, a traditional Muslim school. By the time he was 18 years of age, Titu Mir had become a Hafiz of the Qur'an, that is, he memorized the Qur'an by heart, and a scholar of the Hadith or Muslim traditions. He was also accomplished with the Bengali, Arabic, and Persian. During this time he came under the influence of several Wahhabi seers, who preached a mixture of militant Islam and anti-colonial thought and saw both religious and political reform as in Bengal of that time.

Independence activist

In 1822, Titu Mir went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Haj enjoined upon all Muslims, and on his return he commenced organizing the Muslim peasants of his native village against the landlords or Zamindars and the British colonialists. He also affected the 'tahband' a tube shaped garment worn around the waist, in preference to the dhoti, seen as more overtly Hindu.
Titu Mir opposed a number of discriminatory measures in force at that time which included taxes on the wearing of beards and on mosques. The rift between Titu Mir and his followers on one side, and the local Zamindars supported by the British rulers on the other side, continued to widen, and armed conflict broke out at several places. Titu Mir had himself belonged to a "peyada" or martial family and himself had served under a Zamindar as a 'lathial or 'lethel' (paik), a fighter with the quarterstaff or lathi, (which in Bengal is made of bamboo, not wood) and he was actively training his men in hand to hand combat and the use of the lathi. This weapon in skilled hands is deadly against anything except projectile weapons. He thus started military training inside the Mosques and Madrassahs. They started physically attacking the Zamindars and their followers and organized several armed dacoities so as to finance their movement. Since his Army was mostly made up of poor peasants , they had no horses as cavalry. So they also started to steal horses from the stables of the Zamindars and from the British Police Stations. This provoked the British Government to send an Army expedition of 7,000 Sepoys so as to bring them under control.
The followers of Titu Mir, believed to have grown to 15,000 by that time, readied themselves for prolonged armed conflict, and they built a fort of bamboo at Narikelbaria, near the town of Barasat. This was surrounded by a high double curtain wall of bamboo stakes filled in with mud cladding and sun-baked.
Titu Mir declared independence from the British, and regions comprising the current districts of 24 Parganas, Nadia and Faridpur came under his control. The private armies of the Zamindars and the forces of the British met with a series of defeats at the hands of his men as a result of his strike-and-retreat guerrilla tactics.
Finally, the British forces, armed with cannon and muskets, mounted a concerted attacks on 14 November 1831, on Titu Mir and his followers. Armed with nothing more than the bamboo quarterstaffs and Lathis and a few swords and spears, Titu Mir and his forces could not withstand the might of modern weapons, and were overwhelmed. The bamboo castle was destroyed, and Titu Mir was killed along with several of his followers. The commanding officer of the British forces noted his opponent's bravery in despatches, and also commented on the strength and resilience of bamboo as a material for fortification, since he had had to pound it with artillery for a surprisingly long time before it gave way.
 Titumir died of his wounds on November 19, 1831.


Syed Ahmad Shaheed (of Rae Bareli) (1786–1831), also called Syed Ahmed Barelvi, was a Muslim activist from Rae Bareli, India. and founder of the "The Way of the Prophet Muhammad" (Tariqah-i Muhhamdiyah), a revolutionary Islamic movement. His supporters designated him an Amir al-Mu'minin ("Commander of the Believers")[citation needed] and he proclaimed a jihad against the Sikhs in the Punjab.
Syed Ahmad was influenced by Shah Abdul Aziz, son of Shah Waliullah and toured Afghanistan and the areas occupied by the Sikhs raising the banner of jihad and rallying the Pashtun tribes to his banner. It was only after Maharaj Ranjit Singh's death in 1839 that the city of Peshawar came under the influence of Syed Ahmads movement, due to unclarity and dispute over the next heir of the Sikh Kingdom.
Syed Ahmad was captured by some locals who opposed his movement, and was killed by the Sikhs along with hundreds of his troops and followers in Balakot, Mansehra District in 1831. His defeat ended the dream of establishing an Islamic state in Peshawar, now Pakistan. His followers upheld the doctrine of tawhid (the oneness of God). They rejected bid'ah (innovation) but unlike Saudi Wahhabis accepted Sufism and features of mystical Islam such as the belief in the intercession of the saints and the strict following of a school of jurisprudence He is thought by some to have anticipated modern Islamists in his waging of jihad and attempt to create an Islamic state with strict enforcement of Islamic law. The Islamic challenge to an expanding Sikh empire gained momentum in late 1826 when Sayyid Ahmad Shah arrived in Peshawar valley. He was accompanied by numerous disciples and supported by a highly developed network of personal friends and partisans spread across northern India organized to recruit and despatch men and financial aid. Sayyid Ahmed was a direct spiritual descendant of the Delhi Sufi scholar Shah Walliullah (1703–1762),through his disciple Shah Abdul Aziz (1746–1824).Sayyid Ahmad successes and failures revealed the various conflicting interests and the contradiction that fragmented the anti-imperialist coalition. His story illustrated how in this era even popular religious idealism could not supersede Peshawar valley elite political networks linked to imperial patronage and able to appeal, across class and power divides, to customary social practices and ethnic ties.
Syed Ahmad believed in religious and social agenda that had come down to him through his spiritual lineage. Seeking a return to an imagined original Islamic purity,he preached adherence to the 'Sharia'(Islamic law) rather than mystical union with God. He rejected the compromises of faith discernible in established 'Ulema'(religious leaders).He defended monotheism (tauhid)and denied innovation(bid'at). Personal reasoning(Ijtihad) was necessary to deal with new and unforeseen events. Importantly, Syed Ahmad was exposed to shah Walliullah's interpretations of the nature of society and relation between religion and state. The Islamic state was to be organized by a 'Khilafat -e- Khasa and a 'Khilafat Amma', the former is conceived as a spiritual super-authority regulating the affairs of the latter,which may be equated with temporal rulers and chiefs. Society was composed of various occupational groups,soldiers,artisans,traders and agriculturalists as well as the 'Ulema'. 'Sufia' and members of aristocracy, whose performance of their duty kept society in equilibrium. This disruption had occurred. Monarchy, as opposed to the early elective tradition of Islam and the cessation of 'Ijtihad' had much to do with prevailing state of affairs.(Ahmad 94:25)
Before the journey to the Peshawar region,Sayyid Ahmad had served in imperial army of Amir Khan of Tonk in Northern India. He had performed the hajj(pilgrimage) to Mecca with many supporters and spent two years organizing popular and material support for his Peshawar campaign. Arriving in Peshawar valley in late 1826, Sayyid Ahmad and one thousand followers made their base in Charsadda village in Hashnagar. In December 1826 Sayyid Ahmad and his followers clashed with Sikh troops at Akora but with no decisive result. The inability of Sayyid Ahmad to shape local Pakhtun villagers into a disciplined and effective military force led to an 1827 decision consistent with his sense of proper relationship between religious and secular leadership. "It was accordingly decided by all those present at the time, faithful followers,sayyids,learned doctors of law,nobles and generality of Muslims that the successful establishment of 'Jihad ' and the dispelling of disbelief and disorder could not be achieved without the election of an 'Imam'".(Ahmad 94:50)
This moment of religiously inspired unity attracted the allegiance of maliks, shareholders and even the governors of Peshawar. But the illusion was soon shattered when,during the next clash with Sikh troops,at the south of Akora,the Peshawar rulers withdraw and Sayyid Ahmad and his followers had to retreat in the hills of north of Peshawar. In their fine details, the events of these years revealed a fragmented Yusufzai and Mandanr support for Sayyid Ahmad's movements. Social concerns,and a combination of pressure and support from Sikh generals and Peshawar governors,forced a range of local decisions while presenting new opportunities. In 1829 at the peak of his local influence, Sayyid Ahmad obtained agreement that the khans and general public would administer their principalities according to the laws of the Shariat and would give up the customary practices.(Nichols 2001:98) The decisive moments for Sayyid Ahmad came in 1830.In addition to the stated social agenda,Sayyid Ahmad also attempted to collect the Islamic tithe(usher) of ten per cent of crop yields. In coercing the reluctant Khans to pay,Sayyid Ahmad antagonized the chief of Hoti, Mardan and who then formed a power alliance with Sultan Muhammad,governor of Peshawar. The union was defeated and the Islamic reformers finally occupied Peshawar. Over several months during 1830 Sayyed Ahmad tried to conciliate established power hierarchies. But before the end of 1830 an organized uprising occurred and the agents of Sayyid Ahmad in Peshawar and in plain villages were murdered and the movement retreated to hills and where finally Sayyid Ahmad was killed in Balakot by Sikh Army in 1831.



Sir Syed Ahmed Khan flourished from 1817 to 1898. As the founder of Aligarh movement, he is ranked among the greatest Muslim reformers of the 19th century. He came to the rescue of his co-religionists after the War of Independence (1857) when the British unleashed a wave of vengeance against the Muslims. As a result of the atrocities of the British, the Muslims were cut of the mainstream of political, social, economic and educational development. At this critical juncture Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the first Muslim to realize that if the Muslims continued to keep themselves aloof then they would be completely absorbed by the Hindu community.

Conditions Of Muslims After The War Of Independence (1857):

The British considered Muslims to be responsible for the War of Independence. Thus, they subjected them to all sorts of cruelties. Leading Muslim leaders were hanged or sentenced to jail and their properties were confiscated. Moreover, they were denied important government jobs. Resultantly, the ratio of Muslim representation went on dwindling till 1871 when the number of Muslim government servants almost came to a naught. According to William Hunter’s disclosure in his book "The Indian Mussalmans" published in 1871.
"In the three grades of Assistant Government engineers, there were fourteen Hindus and not one Mussalman; among the apprentices, there were four Hindus and two Englishmen and not one Mussalman. Among the Sub-Engineers there were 24 Hindus to one Mussalman. In the office of Accounts there were 50 names of Hindus and not one Mussalman and in the upper subordinate department there were 22 Hindus and again not one Mussalman."
Ashok Mehta, an Indian Socialist Leader, thrown light on the misery of the Muslims after the war in his book entitled "The communal Triangle" in these words, "Not only were the Muslims economically crushed, educationally and socially also their position was deliberately depressed by the government. In 1870, the Muhammadan pleaders presented two memorials to the High Court pointing out that while closed holidays allowed to the Christians were sixty and those to Hindus were fifty-two, only eleven were granted to the Muhammadans."

Sir Syed's Services For The Renaissance Of Muslims:

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the founder of Aligarh Movement which checked the decline of the Muslims in political, social, educational and economic spheres. He devoted his whole life for the renaissance of his co-religionists and succeeded in pulling them out of the depths of ignorance and backwardness. His services can be summed up as under:

i) Sir Syed’s Educational Services
ii) Sir Syed’s Political Services
iii) Sir Syed’s Literary works
iv) Sir Syed’s Social Services

i) Sir Syed’s Educational Services:

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was the first Muslim leader who realized the importance of education for his people. In order to equip Muslim with the ornament of knowledge, he opened many educational institutions and societies which revolutionised the life of the Muslims.

• Two Madrassahs in Muradabad (1858) and Ghaziabad (1862) which imparted education in Persian.
• In 1864, Sir Syed laid the foundation of a Scientific Society which translated English works into Urdu.
• M.A.O High School was founded in 1875.
• In 1877, M.A.O High School was given the status of a college and inaugurated by Viceroy Lord Lytton. Later on, this college became a University in 1920A.D.

Muhammadan Educational Conference:

Sir Syed Ahmed khan established Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886 in order to bring political awareness among the Muslims. The Conference held its annual conferences regularly till 1906 when in its Dhaka session All-India Muslim League was founded.

ii) Political Service:

Sir Syed Ahmed khan rendered meritorious political services in order to defend the rights of the Muslims. His services were as under:

• After the War of Independence 1857, sir Syed compiled a pamphlet entitled Rasala-i-Asbab-e-Baghawat-i-Hind, in which he explained to the British that the Muslims were not the only force behind the catastrophe of 1857. He enlisted the following factors which led to the uprising.
a) Misunderstanding of the people about the rulers.
b) Maladministration by the army.
c) Government’s unawareness of the conditions and grievance of the people.
d) Promulgation of regulations which were contrary to the wishes of the people.
• Sir Syed Ahmed khan wrote a commentary on William hunter’s book.
• He is regarded as one of the greatest exponents of Two-Nation theory because after the Hindu-Urdu controversy he was convinced that Hindus were not sincere towards the Muslims. Answering a query of Mr. Shakespeare, Commissioner of Banaras, he remarked." Now I am convinced that both these communities will not join whole-heartedly in anything though, at present, there was no open hostility between the two communities, but on account of the so-called educated people it will increase immensely in future."
• Sir Syed founded a Patriotic Association in order to counter the anti-Muslim propaganda by the Hindus.
• Soon after the establishment of Indian National Congress, he came to realise that it was a purely Hindu organisation. Consequently, he asked the Muslims to desist taking part in its activities.
• He proposed the system of separate electorate for the Muslims in order to protect the political rights of the Muslim Community. He highlighted his views in this regard in a speech in 1883 by saying, "The system of representation by election means the representation of the views and interests of the majority of the population".

iii) Sir Syed’s Literary Works:

Sir Syed Ahmed khan was not only a prominent educationalist but also a capable author. His writings include the following:
• Asarul Sanadid
• Rasala-i-Asbab-e-Baghawat-i-Hind
• Tarikh Sarkashi-e-Bijnaur
• Risalah Ahkam-i-Ta’am-i-Ahle-Kitab
• Tabeen-Ul-Kalam
• Kutbat-e-Ahmadiyah
• Risalah Tehzib-Ul-Akhlaq
• Jame-Jama

iv) Sir Syed’s Social Services:

Sir Syed wanted that Muslims of the Sub-continent should get an honourable position in the Hindu dominated society. For this purpose he not only opened many schools but also established an orphanage at Muradabad to provide refuge to the orphan Muslim children. In fact his whole life revolved round his desire for the betterment of his community.
He took several steps for the revival and betterment of the Muslims. He wrote the most influential magazine Tehzib-ul-Akhlaq in which he outlined the ethical aspects of the Muslims’ life. In this magazine he criticized the conservative way of the Muslims and advised them to adopt new trends of life.
He set himself to the task of protecting the Urdu from being faded away and replaced by English. He worked laboriously for the promotion of Urdu and gave a new tone and colour to the Urdu literature. He founded Anjuman-i-Tarki-i-Urdu which worked for the protection of Urdu. He wrote another magazine as Ahkam-i-Ta’am-i-Ahle-Kitab in which the principles and etiquettes of eating and dinning in Islam were discussed. In this magazine Sir Syed wrote that it was not against Islam to eat with the Christians on the same table. He gave references from the Quran and proved that it was not un-Islamic to eat with a nation who was the bearer of Holy book.

v) Sir Syed’s Religious Services:

Sir Syed rendered many religious services through his movement.

• Essay On Life Of Muhammad (PBUH)
William Muir, a Christian writer, wrote a book, "Life of Muhammad of (PBUH)" and used derogatory remarks against the last prophet of Islam. Sir Syed took frequent notices of his book and wrote essays on the life of (PBUH) named Kutbat-i-Ahmadiyah in which he gave befitting reply to William Muir.

• Tabeen-e-Alkalam:
Sir Syed also wrote a commentary on Bible in a philosophical style and explained the similarities between the Islam and Christianity with solid arguments.

vi) Sir Syed As A Pioneer Of Two-Nation Theory:

Sir Syed was the first Muslim leader of the Sub-continent who used the word nation (quam) for the Muslims. In clear language, he pronounced that the Hindus and the Muslims were two different communities with different interests. After learning bitter lesson from the Hindi-Urdu controversy, he reached the conclusion that both the communities could not work together. His views were evident in his speech delivered in 1886, in which he said, "the system of representation by election means the representation of the views and thoughts of the majority of the population. In a country like India where caste distinctions still exist, where there is no fusion of interests of various races, where religious differences are still violent, where education in the modern sense has not made an equal or proportionate progress among all sections of the population. I am convinced that the introduction of the principles of the election pure or simple by the representation of various interests in the local boards and district councils would be attended with the evils of greater significance than pure economic consideration. The larger community would totally override the interests of the smaller community". According to V.A Smith:
"Sir Syed was not concerned with material things only. His Movement was one of general reforms. It was inspired by the thought that the Muslims of India were separate people and nation who must not be absorbed with Hinduism."

Aligarh Movement:

Aligarh movement means that movement which was inspired by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, his colleagues and Muslim students of M.A.O College (later Aligarh University). The students of Aligarh College fired by the spirit of Muslim nationalism spread throughout the country and became the torch bearer of Two-Nation Theory. Thus, the quest of the Muslims for their national identity took the shape of a movement which resulted in the renaissance of the Muslims in the 19th century. This movement revolutionized the economic, social, and political status of the Muslims. However, Sir Syed was the chief architect of this movement. He worked day and night for the revival of Muslim glory. After the failure of the War of Independence in 1957, the Muslims became the victims of the wrath of the British rulers and they were subjected to an unprecedented systematic process of suppression and elimination. On the other hand the British rulers favoured the Hindus by granting them important government jobs in plenty. Thus the tide was turned on the Muslim community within a short span of time witnessed a steep fall from the high pedestal of the ruling class to a politically neglected and economically depressed minority.

Darl-Ul-Uloom-I-Deoband OR Deoband Movement


The Aligarh Movement did a lot of work for social, political and economic uplift of the Muslims. It, however, lacked in religious sphere and could not work commendably for religious training of the Muslims. The lack of stress on religious aspect of the Muslims in the Aligarh Movement brought adverse effects on the spread of Islam. For this purpose Ulema started their movement with the establishment of institution to impart religious training.

Establishment Of Darl-Ul-Uloom-i-Deoband:

Maulana Mohammad Qasim Nanautvi started this movement by establishing Darl-UL-Uloom Deoband in the Chattah Mosque, in Deoband (Sharanpur) on 30th May 1866. A managing committee consisting Maulan Mohammad Qasim, Maulana Zulifqar Ali, Maulana Fazul-ur-Rehman and Maulana Muhammad Mahmood was formed to look after the affairs of the madrasah. Maulvi Muhammad was appointed as its first teacher with a monthly salary of fifteen rupees. Haji Muhammad Abid was also the founder member and took great pains in collecting funds for madrasah. Though Deoband Madrassah took its origin in a very humble manner yet through dedicated approach, very soon it developed into one of the leading religious institutions of India.

Reasons Of Establishment Of Deoband Movement:

Main causes of the Deoband Movement were as under:
i) After the 1857 war of Independence the Christian missionaries had started preaching their religion unhindered under the disguised patronage of the government. Under these circumstances, preaching of Islam was the need of the hour.
ii) The Deoband Movement was the corollary of the Muslim desire for renaissance.
iii) The Indian Ulema wanted to give a proper position to the teachings of the Quran and Hadith which enjoyed secondary importance of Darse Nizami. Thus the Syllabus of Deoband comprised of Tafseer, Hadith, and Arabic literature, Fiqah, Ilmul Kalam, Serf-o-Nehv and Tajveed.

Syllabus Of Deoband Madrassah:

i) In the first four years the Holy Quran was memorized.
ii) Then the disciplines of Urdu, Diniyat, Social Studies, geography, Islamic Civilization and Fiqah were Taught to the students for four years.
iii) In the Arabic course the students were taught Arabic literature, Hadith, Logic, Philosophy, fiqah, Tafseer, Ilmul Kalam, Mathematics and Manazara. In addition, the students of Urdu language, Arabic language and Translations were taught in three year Arabic course.
iv) In the five year Persian and Mathematics course, the students of Persian language, History of Islam, Geography, Mathematics and Translation were taught to the students.

Characteristics And Effects Of Deoband Movement:

i) Deoband was the only seat of learning where all the three branches of knowledge i.e. Maqulat, Manqulat and Ilmul Kalam were taught in a balanced proportion.
ii) In addition to the religious subjects the students were also given training in trades like calligraphy, bookbinding and medicine.
iii) Deoband Movement produced many eminent religious scholars, authors and orators like Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni, Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori, Maulana Tajwri Najibabadi and Maulana Mahmud-ul-Hasan and Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi. These scholars successfully checked the growth of Christianity and other secular faiths.
iv) The Ulemas of Deoband rendered great services in protecting/defending Islam against all anti-Islamic forces. This movement also protected religious and national rights of the Muslims.

Nadva-Tul-Ulema Lucknow


Nadva-tul-Ulema Lucknow was established by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor, Maulana Shibli Naumani and Maulana Abdul Haq in 1894. Its establishment was necessitated by the fact that M.A.O Aligarh and Dar-Ul-Uloom Deoband had failed to produce Muslims equipped with Western knowledge and the religious education. M.A.O College Aligarh stressed more upon English language and the modern science subjects whereas Darl-Ul-Uloom Deoband neglected the modern western knowledge altogether. Consequently the graduates of M.A.O College seriously lacked in religious education whereas Darl-Ul-Uloom Deoband produced many Sufis, Ulemas and spiritual leaders. Under these circumstances, Nadva aimed at producing the graduate well versed in both Western knowledge and religious education. Nadva started functioning in 1898 and in the beginning faced financial difficulties which were removed with the progress of time. The nobles of Shah Jehan Pur provided land and then State of Hyderabad in 1900 and Bhopal in 1905 fixed annual grants for this Muslim seat of learning. Later on, the government also sanctioned a monthly grant of 500 rupees for the Nadva.

Objectives of The Nadva:

Nadva had the following objectives.
i) Nadva aimed at the reformation of the Muslims by producing the graduates well equipped with both Western and secular knowledge.
ii) One of its main objectives was the promotion of Islamic knowledge and thought.
iii) Nadva aimed at the reformation of the curriculum of Islamic education.
iv) To end the mutual differences of the Muslim religious scholars.
v) To work for the welfare of the Muslims.
vi) To evaluate Nadva to the status of Muslim seat of learning where students may be imparted the knowledge of the modern science subjects along with educational knowledge.

Syllabus Of the Nadva-tul-Ulema:

In 1904, Maulana Shibli Naumani introduced revolutionary changes in the syllabus of the Nadva-tul-Ulema. Eight years long period was fixed for the education from primary to higher level. Tafseer and Hadith were given importance over Philosophy and Logic and more stress was laid upon the teaching English language and the modern Arabic knowledge. A committee comprising of Maulana Shibli Naumani, Maulana Abdul Hayee and Maulana Abdul Qayum proposed the following syllabus for the Nadva.
i) Modern science subjects were introduced in place of Philosophy and Logic.
ii) Tafseer was granted importance.
iii) Hindi and Sanskrit were included.
iv) Shah Waliullah’s book "Hajjatul Baligah", Imam Ghazali’s book "Iqtisa", Al-Razi’s "Kitab Mualim Fi Asool-ud-Din" and Al-Rushd’s book "Kashful Walatah" were included in the syllabus.

Services Of The Nadva-Tul-Ulema:

Nadva-Tul-Ulema Lucknow rendered invaluable services in the field of education and religion during the first quarter of the 20th century. Some of its services are as under:
i) Nadva modernized the Islamic educational syllabus and brought it in conformity with the contemporary requirements. Thus the Muslim students of Nadva acquired knowledge of modern subjects along with religious education.
ii) The teachers and students of Nadva wrote many important books.
iii) "Darul Musanafeen" Azamgarh was the product of Nadva movement. This institution rendered invaluable services for the promotion of the research work in the Islamic knowledge and literature.
iv) Maulana Shibli Naumani who was the main force behind the Nadva Movement wrote many books and influences the contemporary writers.
v) "Al-Nadva" was the magazine of Nadva. It rendered the writings of the prominent scholars adorned its pages.
vi) Nadva-tul-Ulema Lucknow adopted a moderate syllabus which was the beautiful blend of Aligarh and Deoband syllabus. Thus the syllabus of Nadva possessed the ability to meet the challenges of the modern world



Aligarh Movement and Darl-Ul-Uloom Deoband adorned the Muslims lives with modern and Islamic education. Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam also did the same job but in a different way.

Establishment Of The Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam:

On September 24, 1884 Anjuman was found in the mosque Bakan Khan gate, Lahore. Anjuman-i-Himayat-e-Islam was based on uplifting the Muslim glory and respect by its own means and source without the support of the British government. When this Anjuman was found there were about 250 members of it. Khalifa Hameed-ud-Din was the founder of this Anjuman Abdur Rahim, Dr. Mohammad Din Nazir, Maulvi Charagh Din, Maulvi Ghulam Mohammad, Haji Meer Shams-ud-Din and Khan Najam-ud-din were other active members of the Anjuman-i-Himayat-Islam Lahore. The objectives of the Anjuman were as follows.

Objectives Of The Anjuman:

The renaissance and betterment of the Muslims by its own means was the chief objective of the Anjuman, other were as under:

i) To furnish modern and Islamic education to the Muslims.

ii) Prevention of the propaganda of Christianity.

iii) Establishment of an Islamic Society on sound foundations.

iv) Protection of orphan children and to give them education.

v) Protection and development of the Muslims’ social, political, economic, and educational rights.

Educational Services:

Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam was a pragmatic institution to achieve its objectives; the Anjuman took some practical steps.

In 1884, two schools were established under the administration of this Anjuman. The primary school for girls was also established. In 1925, a girl’s primary school was upgraded to high school. In 1938, Islamia college for women, Cooper road, Lahore was started by the Anjuman.

In boys sector, in 1889, a boy’s school named Madrassa-tul-Musalamin in Sheranwala Gate, Lahore was established. In 1905, Islamia College Railway Road, Lahore for boys was also established by the Anjuman.

Islamia College Civil Line, Lahore, Islamia college Lahore Cantt, Himayat-i-Islamia college, Lahore and Islamia Degree College, Kasur were other institutions really quenched the thirst of education of the students of the Punjab.

Sir Syed, Allama Iqbal, Nawab Mohsin-ul-Malik, Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Justice Shah Din and Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali attended its sessions and supported its activities.

Muthi Bhar Atta Scheme:

Muthi Bhar Atta Scheme was introduced for raising funds for the Anjuman. In every Muslim’s home a small quantity of the flour (Muthi Bhar Atta) was saved to support the Anjuman. After one week, members of the Anjuman accumulated that flour from every house and disposed of it for raising funds.

Political Services

Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam also rendered invaluable political services under the flag of Muslim League. It played a major role in the freedom of the Muslims of the Sub=Continent by arranging its annual meetings which were presided over by the leading Muslim personalities like Sir Syed, Allama Iqbal, Abdul Qadir, Maulana Hali. Later on, the students of Islamia College Railway Road, Lahore played a significant role in Pakistan Movement. They spread throughout the country and propagated the Two-nation theory. In March 1940, these students played a leading role in organizing the annual session of the Muslim league Minto Park, Lahore.

Social And Religious Services

Anjuman established an orphanage and two centres for adult education. Moreover, it published error-free Quran and introduced the Islamic education in its institutions.



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