By Usha Sanyal
Introduces the mythical chief of the nice 20th-century Sunni circulate.
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Additional info for Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World)
870), with that of Muslim (d. 875) the next most reliable. The focus of the hadith literature is the Prophet, and all the Indian Muslim reform movements of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were united in their strong emphasis on the personality and biography of the Prophet. This made him an example one could hope to emulate. This characteristic unites all the reform movements, despite their great diversity in other ways. While the political dominance of the British in India,and their debates about the intrinsic value or lack thereof of “Oriental” learning, were a powerful impetus for reform among Indian Muslims, there was also another source which came from the Islamic world itself, namely, the Wahhabi movement in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Arabia.
In the eighteenth century the third son, Mulla Nizam ud-Din, devised a new madrasa curriculum which came to be known as the Dars-i Nizami. Madrasas all over India gradually adopted this syllabus. The madrasa at Farangi Mahall became a center for learning on a par with the Madrasa-i Rahimiyya. Unlike the latter, the Farangi Mahall madrasa focused on ma‘qulat or rational studies. Francis Robinson, who has made an exhaustive study of the Farangi Mahall ‘ulama, shows in detail the differences between the curricula followed by the two madrasas.
But he held that it did not change one’s predetermined destiny. The concept of intercession and mediation between man and God were thus also denied. Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s reformist ideas were intimately connected with the political context of late nineteenth-century British India. He came from a family which had been associated with Mughal rule, and he keenly felt the loss of that rule. In his view, Muslims had lost out to the British because they had failed to keep up with the scientific progress of the West and had allowed their practice of the faith to lapse as well.
Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World) by Usha Sanyal