By Usha Sanyal
Introduces the mythical chief of the good 20th-century Sunni circulate.
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Extra resources for Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World)
However, Sayyid Ahmad did not condemn sufism per se, only its perceived excesses. In addition, he also promoted practices which he deemed Islamic, such as the remarriage of widows (the uppercaste Hindu prohibition on the remarriage of widows had no scriptural sanction in the Qur’an). He even helped to bring about the remarriage of women he knew. The second phase of Sayyid Ahmad’s career was overtly political, for he decided in the early 1820s to wage a jihad against the new non-Muslim rulers of India (first the Sikhs in Panjab, then the British).
Another goal of the new school was madrasa reform. In order to infus[e] the ranks of the ‘ulama with fresh vigor, and ... broaden the scope of their activities and their role in the Muslim community ... it was deemed imperative to reform the prevalent styles of learning. ” (Zaman, 2002: 69) The founders hoped that all Indian madrasas would follow its lead and adopt the curriculum that they proposed to put together. ”The study of “exegesis [of the Qur’an], hadith, history, and Arabic literature” was to be emphasized, while that of logic and philosophy – the hallmark of the Dars-i Nizami syllabus they were trying to reform – was downplayed (Zaman, 2002: 71–72).
His education was traditional (study of the Qur’an, Arabic, and other subjects), but acquired at home, not at a madrasa. Unlike most of the other Muslim movements discussed in this book, the Ahmadis can date the beginning of their movement precisely, for in March 1889 Ghulam Ahmad held a ceremony of sufi initiation (bay‘a) at which he accepted his first disciples in the city of Ludhiana, Panjab. From 1891 onward, the group held annual meetings each December “to enable every Ahmadi to increase his religious knowledge by listening to speeches, ...
Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World) by Usha Sanyal