Q: Why did Shah Wali Ullah wish to revive Islam in Sub-continent?
Shah Waliullah was inclined towards Islam due to his family background. He belonged to a religious family and he was qualified from Madrase e Rahimia and Arabia, therefore it was but natural that he was inclined towards Islam. Mughal Empire was declining and Muslims were disunited. They were divided into sects and fighting on trivial matters. They were also under the attack from Marathas and Sikhs. In these conditions Muslim culture and civilization was in serious danger, which, Shah Waliullah wanted to save.
He wanted to develop religious understanding among Muslims. Shah Waliullah felt that the major reason of the decline of Muslims is their ignorance of the Quran, the Sunnah and the understanding of Islam. For this purpose, he translated the Quran in Persian so that the noble class of Muslims should understand its meaning. He also wrote fifty-one books both in Arabic and in Persian and clarified many misunderstandings about Islam. He also felt that Muslims were divided into sects like Shia and Sunny. He emphasized that the fundamentals of Islam are common among all Muslims; hence, there is no need to fight with each other.
He did not want non-Muslims dominating Muslims in India. Due to the weak political condition of the Mughals and the Muslims, Shah Waliullah felt that Marathas may occupy Delhi any time and they would eliminate Muslim culture by force. For this reason, he wrote letters to Muslim nobles and to Ahmed Shah Abdali of Persia and emphasized them to be united and fight against Marathas. To some extent, his influence worked and Ahmed Shah defeated Marathas in Panipat and crushed their power.
Q: Why did Syed Ahmad Shaheed Bralvi wish to revive Islam in sub-continent?
As a man of action, Syed Ahmad was an ideal person to act as leader to work Against the British power in India and to try to ensure that the Muslims were ruled By fellow Muslims. He believed that the freedom of the Muslims could only come Because of armed struggle against the foreign and non-Muslim forces, which were oppressing them. Syed Ahmad believed that there was a need to end the evils that had corrupted Islamic society. Consequently, even when he served as an army officer he surrounded himself with the men of great piety who were prepared to reject worldly Wealth and work for improving the moral and intellectual lives of Muslims. The British had ensured that the Mughal emperors had little real power and the Sikhs were dominant in the Punjab. Sir Syed founded the Jihad Movement, which Called for armed struggle to overthrow non-Muslim oppression and restore Muslim Power. He believed that once this was done Islam could be rejuvenated and rescued From beliefs and customs contrary to Islamic beliefs which had crept into everyday Life.
Q: Was the work of Syed Ahmad Shaheed Bralvi the most important factor in the revival of Islam in subcontinent in 1700 – 1850?
Q: SWU was the main religious thinker to revive Islam in India until 1850.
Q: SWU was the man person in the revival of Islam in 18th and 19th century.
· The work of Syed Ahmad had been the very important factor in the revival of Islam because of many reasons. Syed Ahmad Barelvi Shaheed was born in 1786. He was greatly impressed by the preaching and thoughts of Shah Waliullah. Therefore, Syed Ahmad Shaheed started preaching true Islam (as Shah Waliullah did). However, he was of the opinion that there should be a political power behind the preaching for the revival of Islam and Muslim power in India. He founded the Jihad Movement for the restoration and revival of Muslim power in India. His main objective was the establishment of an Islamic state on proper Islamic principles. In addition, the aim of the Jihad Movement was to liberate the Muslims of the Punjab and N.W.F.P from the Sikh rule.
· At that time (beginning of 19thcentury), Punjab and N.W.F.P were under the Sikh rule of Ranjit Singh. Muslims were facing great difficulty in following their religion in this area. Therefore, Syed Ahmad chose Punjab and N.W.F.P for his activities. He also expected help from the Afghan and Pathan tribes of N.W.F.P. Syed Ahmad established his headquarters at Nowshera. His first encounters against the Sikh forces took place at Akora in which the Mujahidin were successful. The jihad movement ended in 1831, but it was a brave and determined movement effort for the revival of Islam and Muslim power. Syed Ahmad’s example continued to inspire the future Muslim generations. The work of Syed Ahmad was important but the work of another two reformers was also very important for a number of reasons:
· Shah Waliullah was one of the first Muslim thinkers to state the decline of Mughal Empire and the vulnerable position of the Muslims was due to the neglect of the principles of Islam. Shah Waliullah worked hard to ensure that he was a role model for other Muslims. His deep understanding about the Quran, Hadith, Fiqah, and Tasawuf made him a highly knowledgeable scholar at an early age. Since he believed that, an emphasis on Quranic teachings was vital to Muslims so Shah Waliullah translated the Holy Quran into Persian, which was the language of educated Muslims at that time. He also wrote 51 books to explain the principles of Islam. He wrote an account about the first for Caliphs of Islam in a way in which it was acceptable to both Shias and Sunnis. He hoped that this would help to heal the divisions between them. His writings brought him great fame and prestige and enabled him to have influence in other areas too. For example: in economics, he emphasized the need for social justice and for peasants and artisans to be truly valued for their contribution to the economy.
· He advised the Muslims to give up extravagance and wasteful expenditure on marriages, deaths, births, and other occasions. Wealthy Muslims were asked to look after the poor and the needy. Shah Waliullah wrote letters to the rulers of Muslim states asking them to unite and rise against non-Muslim forces. He invited the Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali to deal with Marathas who were threatening Muslims in Delhi and Punjab. Ahmad Shah Abdali defeated the Marathas in the battle of Panipat in 1761 so they were never able to rise again. Shah Waliullah explained the importance of JEHAD to the Muslims. He gave the concept of social justice and advised the Muslims that due importance and value should be given to peasants and artisans.
· Haji Shariat Ullah’s contribution towards religion was also very important. Haji Shariat Ullah started the faraizi movement to restore the pride of the Muslims and to remove what he thought were the Hindu practices had crept into their worship. The faraizi movement was important because it gave encouragement to the Muslims at the time when they were demoralized by the oppression they suffered from the Hindus and the British. It brought about a spiritual revival, which led to a revival in the Islamic religion in East Bengal. Hindu influences were removed from the Islamic practices. It also had an important political and economic impact. The Bengal peasants became united against the harsh treatment they received. They became aware of their rights and the political unity began to grow amongst them.
Conclusion: All the three personalities work very hard for the revival of Islam but among them the work of SWU was the most important because of his translation of Quran in Persian language.
Q: What were the aims of Syed Ahmad Tehrik-e-Jihad movement? To what extent did his teachings continue to influence Muslims of the Sub-Continent after his death in 1831? [7-14]
· Syed Ahmad Barelvi Shaheed was born in 1786. He was greatly impressed by the preaching and thoughts of Shah Waliullah. He joined the private army of Nawab Amir Khan of Tonk state where he learnt the art of war. He also learnt about the European weaponry including the art of artillery. Syed Ahmad Shaheed started preaching true Islam (as Shah Waliullah did). However, he was of the opinion that there should be a political power behind the preaching for the revival of Islam and Muslim power in India. He founded the Jihad Movement for the restoration and revival of Muslim power in India. His main objective was the establishment of an Islamic state on proper Islamic principles. In addition, the aim of the Jihad Movement was to liberate the Muslims of the Punjab and N.W.F.P from the Sikh rule.
· At that time (beginning of 19thcentury), Punjab and N.W.F.P were under the Sikh rule of Ranjit Singh. Muslims were facing great difficulty in following their religion in this area. Therefore, Syed Ahmad chose Punjab and N.W.F.P for his activities. He also expected help from the Afghan and Pathan tribes of N.W.F.P. Syed Ahmad established his headquarters at Nowshera. His first encounters against the Sikh forces took place at Akora in which the Mujahidin were successful. The Pathan tribes joined him and the number of Mujahidin forces swelled up to 80,000. However, he decided to shift his headquarters to Balakot in order to liberate Kashmir and Hazara. In the mean time, the Sikh army attacked Balakot suddenly. The Mujahidin fought bravely. Nearly 600 Mujahidin were killed including, Syed Ahmad and Shah Ismail. The jihad movement ended in 1831, but it was a brave and determined movement effort for the revival of Islam and Muslim power. Syed Ahmad had no personal ambition, nor was the purpose to put a certain ruler on the throne. The aim was to liberate Muslim population from tyranny and oppression. Syed Ahmad’s Example continued to inspire the future Muslim generations. His ultimate aim was to create an Islamic state or a homeland for Muslims in the Sub-Continent. In this Sense Jihad, movement was a precursor of the later Muslim nationalist in the Sub-Continent.
Q: why did HSU wish to revive islam in subcontinent?
Early eighteenth century was a miserable period for the Bengali Muslims. They were economically, socially and educationally crippled under the British rule. They were also oppressed and tortured by Hindu landlords. Their religious belief had gone weak as Islam was badly influenced by Hinduism. These Muslims had become superstitious and were far from the true ideal of Islam. At the same time there was no hope of political regeneration.
It was in such conditions that Haji Shariat Ullah was born in Faridpur district of Bengal in 1781. He left for Mecca at an early age and stayed there for a very long period. His stay in Hejaz was an opportunity for him to learn the true ideal of Islam. He decided to improve the conditions of poor Muslims by reviving the true spirit of Islam. On his return, he called upon Bengali Muslims to follow the basics of Islam
His first message was to give up un-Islamic practices and to stick to duties towards religion. His followers were called Faraizi by virtue of his emphasis on duties towards religion (Faraiz). He was deadly against relationship between Mystics and their disciples (Pirs and Murids). He asked Muslims to replace this with relationship between Teacher and his Students (Ustaad and Shagird). He banned a number of un-Islamic rituals and urged Muslims to prepare themselves for Jihad. He declared his area “Dar-ul-Harb” where it was impossible for Muslims to perform their religious obligations. His call for Jihad against the oppression of Hindu zamindars made him face further cruelties at the hands of non-Muslims. He was forced to leave Dhaka and he retired to his hometown Faridpur from where he continued with his teachings.
Haji Shariat Ullah’s “Faraizi Movement” was taken over by his son Mohsin-ud-Din Ahmad on his death in 1840. He was born in 1810 and was popularly known as “Dudu Mian”. It was under him that the “Faraizi Movement” was turned into a religious-political movement. He proved that he had a natural talent for leadership by strengthening and popularizing the movement. He divided Bengal into administrative units for an efficient and systematic running of the movement. His deputies known as “Khalifas” were appointed in each of those units. These Khalifas were made responsible for the running of the movement in their respective areas.
Mohsin-ud-Din Ahmad forbade his followers from paying illegitimate taxes to Hindu property owners. They were asked to pay taxes levied only by the government. He persuaded and eventually prepared his followers for an armed struggle to obtain their economic as well as political rights. His ever-increasing popularity and strength was a constant source of anxiety for the British and Hindus alike. They did their utmost to check the progress of Faraizi Movement. Mohsin-ud-Din Ahmad was arrested during the War of Independence of 1857 but was released after the war was over. He died his natural death in 1860.
COMPARISON OF THE MOVEMENTS
Shah Wali Ullah’s movement can surely be termed as the most effective of all the reform movements aimed at the revival of Islam in India. All other reformers of the same and of the latter period took lead and inspiration from Shah Wali Ullah’s reform movement. It was the only movement, which was carried forward as emphatically as its founder ran it. His sons continued with their father’s mission and translated the Holy Quran into Urdu. The credit for it mainly goes to his eldest son, Shah Abdul Aziz, who had very ably replaced his father on his death. Shah Wali Ullah’s pupils after his death spread all over India and remained very instrumental in carrying his mission to Indian Muslims. No other reform movements had as many long-term effects as did this movement. Shah Wali Ullah’s literary works differentiate his services from the works of all other reformers. His socio-economic teachings were a source of guidance and inspiration for posterity for years to come.
Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barelvi’s Jihad Movement in comparison with Shah Wali Ullah’s reform movement seems less important as far as revival of Islam in India is concerned. It was not carried forward by any of the followers of Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barelvi. It lost momentum as soon as the founder himself perished whereas Shah Wali Ullah’s sons had continued with the mission of their father after his death.
Barelvi, unlike Shah Wali Ullah, did not leave behind any institution where his teachings were imparted to younger generations. Simultaneously he had no literary works to his credit that could become source of inspiration and guidance after him. His achievements proved to be momentary as the areas captured by him were soon occupied by the non-Muslims. On the other hand, Shah Wali Ullah had rendered ever-living services for the cause of Islam. A special reference can be made to his translation of the Holy Quran into Persian and valuable literary works.
Shah Wali Ullah’s work was more comprehensive than that of Bareli’s. Shah Wali Ullah’s teachings were not on just religion. He did talk about politics as well as economic activity in a Muslim society. Barelvi appears lagging behind Shah Wali Ullah, as his only area of concern was the re-establishment of Muslim power and that too through Jihad. Unluckily, he could not succeed in achieving his sole aim.
Faraizi Movement in the nineteenth century was another major attempt aimed at the revival of Islam. A great many people were influenced by the teachings of both Haji Shariat Ullah and his son Mohsin-ud-Din Ahmad. They very successfully helped Bengali Muslims set their religious belief right. It was surely through this movement that Islam returned to its original form. It made them conscious of their religious identity and created a spirit in them for the fighting of holy war (Jihad).
However, Haji Shariat Ullah’s Faraizi Movement sounds less important in comparison with other reform movements. It was restricted to just one area of the subcontinent whereas other movements influenced many. It ended with the death of its founders and was not carried forward whereas Shah Wali Ullah’s movement remained a source of inspiration for years to come. Even the armed struggle made by the followers of the Faraizi Movement was not as successful as was by Barelvi. It did not leave behind any institutions and literary works as were left by Shah Wali Ullah.
Q: Was SASB the most important thinker to revive Islam in India by 1850? Give reasons for your answer. (14)
· In 1752 when SWU came to India, he noticed that Muslims were involved in un-Islamic activities, which were not favorable for the Muslim of India. He firstly thought that these all activities are due to not to follow Islamic teachings and Holy Quran was also not be understand by the people of that time so he translated Holy Quran into Persian language for the easiness of the Muslims of Subcontinent.
· He wrote different books according to the teaching of Islam and tried his best to communicate people about Islam and for this purpose he wrote 51 book in which he highlighted the condition of the Muslim society and has a remedy to correct them.
· Marathas were gaining power day by day and thinking to defeat Muslims because Muslims were going toward downfall. Therefore, SWU was very much worried about this. He then wrote a letter to Ahmad Shah Abdali to defeat the Marathas and give Muslims freedom once again.
· By the end of 18th century and start of 19th century, most of the parts of Mughals Empire had been captured by non-Muslims i.se British and Sikhs. SASB wanted restoration of Muslim rule in India and for this purpose, he founded Jihad movement. He decided to liberate the Punjab from the dreadful role of Ranjit Singh. HE made Nowshera his head quarter in 1826 and was able to defeat the Sikhs in a few better but he was defeated in the battle of Balakot in 1831. Although he could not restore the Muslims rule in India but he kindled a flame of freedom in the heart of Muslims who continued their struggle for the independence and were able to establish Pakistan in 1947.
· SASB was made Imam in 1827 when he captured Peshawar in 1830, he establish Islamic Sharia it he occupied area because he believed in the rejuvenation of Islam through among the Muslims. He banned evils to purify the society and through a big chance in the lives of Muslims.
· Similarly by the start of 19th century the Muslims of Bengal ha also goes away from Islam by the living with the non-Muslims. They had accepted their Way .HSU was highly grieved and disturbed
To see the Muslims now they were living the life they laid foundation of Faraizi movement, which laid stress in the performance of duties and a Quran life after Tauba. He advised the Muslims to shun all the superstitions and Islamic customs and practice pure Islamic principles. His efforts brought brunt and many Muslims shaped their lives according to Islam.
· During the days the peasants were living a miserable life the most of the property owners in the Bengal were Hindus who had atrocious treatment with the Muslims. They would usurp the rights and would not give their equal share in the production HSU awoke the Muslims and advised their not to be silent for their rights. He played a vital role in creating awaking and awareness among the poor Muslim peasants for the protection of their rights.