The following article, “Briefly Analyze and Discuss the Contributions of Shah Waliullah.“, is written by Khalid Nazir, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
- ✓The start of the 18th century can be attributed to the decline of Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent.
- ✓Shahwali Ullah decided to take the initiative to protect Muslim rule, culture, and religion.
2- The then situation
- ✓After the death of Aurangzaib Alamgir, the Muslims were under constant threat because of the hate of Marhattas and Sikhs.
3- Contributions of Shahwali Ullah for the Muslims
- ✓Social contributions
- Eradicated sectarianism from society
- Struggled against the prevalent innovations (Bida’at) in Islam
- Worked to get rid of inter-religion marriage practices
- Discouraged the accumulation of wealth and promoted the institution of Zakat
- ✓Political contributions
- Struggled to protect Muslim rule
- Wrote letters to Ahmed Shah Abdali to counter Marhatta’s increasing influence in the subcontinent
- Generated the idea of the Two Nation Theory
- ✓Religious contributions
- Encouraged the use of Islamic practices
- Promoted the concept of Jihad
- Emphasized the importance of Ijtihad
- Created a balance between different Muslim sects
- ✓Literary contributions
- Translation of the Holy Quran in Persian
- Wrote many books to eradicate sectarianism and promote Ijtihad
4- Critical analysis5- Conclusion
Answer to the Question
The start of the 18th century can be attributed to the decline of Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent. The then situation of Muslims was continuously declining to the extent that they started to fear for their survival and identity. Fortunately, Shahwali Ullah, a prominent Islamic scholar of Delhi, decided to take matters into his own hands to protect Muslim rule, culture, and religion. He believed that the religious decline was the reason behind the social, political, and economic devastation of the Muslims and that former splendour could only be restored by applying Islamic teachings in every sphere of life. For this purpose, he started many efforts, like Ijtihad, to counter rampant sectarianism. Moreover, he translated the Holy Quran into Persian to nip Islam’s prevalent innovations in the bud. He also united different sects of Muslims to create harmony in society. Furthermore, he secured the status of Muslims as the dominant power by writing letters to Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan and making the Afghani ruler come to the subcontinent to safeguard Muslim rule there. He also made contributions to the literature and published many of his works. This answer highlights the incredible social, political, and religious services of Shah Wali Ullah.
The then situation
After the death of Aurangzaib Alamgir, the Mughal Empire was a mere husk of a once glorious Empire. A series of incompetent rulers made the Empire vulnerable to the invasion, and different groups started rebelling against the Empire. At that time, Marhattas were gaining power against the Mughals. The incompetent Mughal emperors of that time could not stop the Marhattas, and in no time, they were occupying nearly half of the subcontinent. Moreover, the Sikh uprising was also started by then, giving a tough time to Muslim rulers. The British East India Company also strengthened its foothold in India by that time. Making the situation even worse, traitors among Muslims were also present. Most strong governors took advantage of their position and separated their areas from the Empire.
Contributions of Shahwali Ullah
Socially, he made exceptional contributions; through his reforms, he aligned society towards success. At that time, Muslims had totally forgotten their authentic teaching and actively practised many innovations in their daily lives that were against the spirit of Islam. To eliminate the non-Islamic practices from the daily lives of the Muslims, he took several steps. First, he worked hard to remove sectarianism from society by eliminating hostility between Shia and Sunni sects of Islam and making them unite on common grounds. He wrote many books, such as Izalat al Khafa, to end these groups’ misunderstandings. Second, due to the Hindus, the concept of dowry was on the rise among the Muslims. He made them realize that these practices are not allowed in Islam and discouraged them. Third, inter-religious marriages between Hindus and Muslims were increasingly becoming a norm of society. To eliminate this innovation in Islam, Shah Wali Ullah declared a ban on inter-religious marriage practice. Additionally, he completely opposed the accumulation of wealth. He believed that the Islamic system of Zakat was the best remedy for this evil and encouraged Muslims to practise it. Hence, the contributions of Shahwali Ullah in the social sector helped Muslims a lot in protecting their identity.
Politically, his foresight and wisdom created a political enlivening of Muslims, and despite being an Islamic scholar, he emerged as a political leader of Muslims. He worked tirelessly for the protection of Muslim rule. He foresighted that if Sikhs and Marhattas are not tackled properly, they will ruin the identity of Muslims. For this reason, he started motivating the Indian Muslims. Moreover, he did not rely on the incompetent Mughal rulers. Instead, he wrote letters to the heads of different Muslim states and made them aware of the situation of the subcontinent. At his request, Ahmad Shah Abdali came from Afghanistan and crushed the rising power of Marhattas, which was a great victory for Muslims. Later, Shahwali Ullah established the base of the Two-Nation theory by making Muslims realize that they were a completely different nation than Hindus, Sikhs and other countries. He played a pivotal role in making Muslims learn about their authentic culture and heritage. Furthermore, he proposed that a system should be created in which all the matters should be carried out according to the teachings of Islam. In short, the political contributions of Shahwali Ullah saved the Muslims from destruction.
Religiously, being an Islamic scholar, Shahwali Ullah always worked for the consolidation of Islam. He believed that Muslims should not only read the Quran but also understand it, and he always opposed the concept of blind following and promoted logical understanding of concepts. Moreover, he urged Muslim rulers to follow in Prophet Muhammad’s (S.A.W) footsteps and lead a simple life. He brought elasticity to Islam by introducing liberal concepts. Furthermore, he promoted the concept of Jihad and demanded that soldiers should be taught about the real Jihad and they should practise it in wars. In addition, he strongly supported the need for Ijtehad and believed that the solution to the newly confronted problems lies in the practice of Ijtehad. He was the mujtahid of that time and found Islamic solutions to many problems. Besides this, he also worked to create a balance between different sects. He studied all the Muslim fiqh and wrote Al Insaf fi Bayan Sbab al Ikhtilaf, highlighting the common points among sects. Thus, his excellent religious services will always shine bright in the history of Muslims.
Literarily, he did wonders with the help of his writings by presenting a new modern version of Islam. He wrote around one hundred books in Urdu and Persian, which opened a new era of literature for the subcontinent. First, one of his remarkable contributions is translating the Holy Quran into Persian. He translated it so that people could understand it correctly. For this, he received a lot of criticism, but he remained steadfast in his endeavours. Also, he wrote a book called “Hujjaa Allah al Baligha”, in which he mentioned the factors responsible for the downfall of Muslims. Moreover, he wrote “Fuyyuz Al Harmain”; in this book, he described his dream in which he was told about his charge. Likewise, he published another book named “Khilafat al khulafa”. The main idea behind this book was to end the misunderstanding between Shia and Sunnis. He made them realize that they are creatures of the same God, and they have very small differences in their belief, but they have a lot of things in common. In summary, literature published by Shahwali Ullah proved to be a turning point in the history of Muslims.
In a pragmatic diagnosis, after evaluating the contributions of Shahwali Ullah, it is not wrong to say that he made unforgettable efforts to protect Muslims’ survival. His guidance, not limited to the religious field, proved very beneficial as he saved them from the brunt of Marhattas. In addition, His idea of the understanding of the Holy Quran gave a new life to the belief of Indian Muslims, who used to blindly follow the statements made by Ulema. He urged them to only accept a thing after verifying its logical reasoning and references from the Holy Quran, which was new to them. In short, the God-gifted wisdom of Shahwali Ullah reduced the chances of Muslims’ destruction to a great extent.
In a nutshell, Shahwali Ullah is among those personalities whose services protected the identity of Muslims in the subcontinent, as he worked enthusiastically and tirelessly for the social revival of Muslims. He tried to solve the social problems confronted by Muslims through his writings and advice. Also, he remarkably managed the issue of Marhattas and saved Muslims from the Marhattas by writing letters to Ahmed Shah Abdali. Besides this, He was the first to translate the Holy Quran into Persian to help people understand it correctly and try to apply it in daily life. He made the Muslims realize their separate existence and saved them from their ideological death by avoiding their amalgamation in Hindu society.
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