Muslim Society in Subcontinent

The Muslim scholars played a vital role in organizing the Muslim society in India. The period of rulers of Delhi comprises on the ruling period of Ghaznavids, Ghoris, Ghayasuddin Balban, Alauddin Khilji and Sadaat period. When the Muslim Society was established, the scholars from the Muslim states of Central Asia entered India in a large number. These scholars of Islam played a decisive role in making Lahore and Multan in Punjab, Deebal and Mansoora in Sindh and Ajmer and Delhi in Northern India the centers of Islamic culture and civilization in India. Qazi Abu Mohammad Mansoori, Abu Mashir Sindhi and Rija Sindhi, rendering the Islamic services, became very famous in this regard.

Sheikh Ismail, initiating preaching of Islam first time in Punjab, played a crucial part in stabilizing Muslim society in India. Abu Hassan Lahori stressed upon the teaching of Hadiths but the history-maker was Ali Hajveri Data Ganj Buksh who was born in 1009 and died in 1070. Raziuddin Hassan Sifani was the expert of knowledge of Hadiths and his famous work Mashariqul-Anwar remained as an authority on knowledge of Hadiths for a long time. He appointed Qazi Minhajuddin Siraj as the court justice who showed absolute realism and established everlasting examples of Islamic mode of justice. His book Tabqat-e-Nasri is also a source of fame for Minhajuddin.

The greatest literary personality of Ghayasuddin Balban period was Maulana Burhanuddin alki who wrote Mashariqul Anwar and Fiqah-e-Hidaya which became an important base for Islamic instructions in India.

Maulana Mugheesuddin Bayanvi was not only the court man of King Alauddin Khilji but was also the court justice. He defended Hindus by saying that receiving Jazia (tribute) from Hindus is not just.

The academic works were performed by Sheikh Ali Mahaimi; a follower of the Philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wajood (i.e. God is one) include Tabseer-ur-Rehman (i.e. the interpretation of Holy Quran in Arabic) and the interpretations of famous books by Shahabuddin and Sheikh Ibn-e-Arabi. These books were included in the syllabus of religious institution.

Services of Ulema During Mughal Period

The scholars of Islam, during Mughal period, were divided into two groups, First the Scholars of Haq (rectitude) who kept themselves busy in worshiping God and the second Scholars of Soo (opportunities who interpreted religious teaching according to likings of the Kings. Emperor Akbar, for Hindus-Muslim merger, did not hesitate to marry a Hindu princess Jodha Bai who did not accept Islam to her last breath. He introduced a new religion Deen-e-Elahi in 1581. Under this new religion he declared himself the messenger of Allah on earth (i.e. Kufr)

Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Sani (1564-1624) opposed Kufr severly. Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi, who was popularly known as Mujaddid (Renovator of Islam) had traced his descent from Caliph Umar, rejected the heterodoxies of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar. He tried to influence the courtiers of Akbar and continued his tirade against the Hindus. Sheikh Ahmed Sarhindi wrote a Risala (Magazine) Asbat-e-Nauwwat to oppose Deen-e-Elahi. During the period of Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627) the respect of Scholars of Islam was restored and Deen-e-Elahi was abondoned. The period of Aurangzeb Alamgir (1659-1760) was a glorious period for the establishment of and stability of Muslim society in South India. Islam nourished successfully because Aurangzeb himself was the strict follower of Shariyah. He teamed up with Sheikh Nizamuddin Burhanpuri and other scholars and produced an authentic book Fatwa-e-Alamgir compiled on Islamic Laws.

After the death of Auragzeb in 1707 Muslim society began to decline. To reinforce Islamic Society, Shah Wali Ullah (1703-1762) rendered his services and wrote many books on Fiqah and Tasawuf and translated Holy Quran in Persian. Shah Wali Ullah another Islamic mystic of the Sufi tradition of Sunnism who claimed his lineage from Quraish tribe of Prophet Mohammad and of Umar. The famous work of Shah Wali Ullah ‘Tafhimaat’ (i.e. the understandings) created deep influences on education and syllabus of education. Further, he invited Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah ruler Ahmed Shah Wali Ullah with the help of Ahmed Shah Abdali restored the position of Muslim society. According to Shah Wali Ullah the mark of the perfect implementation of the Sharia was the performance of Jihad. Wali Ullah’s son Abdul Aziz (1746-1823) carried forward the legacy of his father and as a result India faced violent communal disorder for decades. Aziz’s disciple Saiyid Ahmed of Rai Bareli under the deep influence of the jihadi spirit of the faith propounded by Wali Ullah and Sunni extremism of Maulana Wahab of Saudi Arabia launched jihad against the Non-Islamic power of the Sikh Kingdom of Ranjit Singh with a view to restore Dar-ul-Islam (A land, where Islam is having political power)

Haji Shariat Ullah (1768-1840) started his Faraizi Movement in Bengal because the Muslims started loosing the grip of Islam. Hindus started indulging Muslim towards Shirk (i.e. to claim someone equivalent to Allah). This movement spread the message that all Muslims should keep their acts confine to Shariyah and the Faraiz-e-Islam (i.e. the duties of Islam). Titu Mir (1782-1831) also started his movement in Bengal against the cruel acts of Hindus landlords against Muslim tenants.

Services of Ulema During Colonialism

The movement for Islamic fundamentalism got a severe jolt with the failure of the Sepoy mutiny in 1857, when the Muslim radicals lost all hopes to restore Islamic power in India. The Islamic clerics however, kept the movement alive through institutional Islamic movement and founded Islamic institutions like Darul-Uloom, Deoband (1866), Anjuman Himayat-e-Islam, Lahore (1884), Sind Madressah-tul-Islam, Karachi (1885), Nadwatul-Ulema, Lucknow (1898), Madressah Manzar-ul-Islam, Barely (1904), Islamia College, Peshawar (1913) and Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi (1920.

Muslim Ulemas like Maulana Mohammad Qasim, Maulana Rasheed Ahmed Gungohi, Sheikh-ul-Hind Maulana Mehmood Hassan, Maulana Ubaid-ullah Sindhi, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Maulvi Charagh Ali, Mohsin-ul-Mulk, Maulvi Mehdi Ali Khan, Waqar-ul-Mulk, Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain, Altaf Hussain Hali, Maulana Shibli Naumani, Syed Suleman Nadwi, Maulana Abd-ul-Islam Nadwi, Maulana Abu-al-Hassan Ali Nadwi, Maulana Ahmed Raza Barelvi and Maulana Hamid Raza Barelvi struggled for the renaissance of Muslim Society during the period of Britain Colonalism. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan while taking inspiration Shah Wali Ullah’s concept of tactical moderation of Islam formulated the two-nation theory which formed the basis for the demand for a separate Muslim land of Pakistan.

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