Give an account of the life and services of Shah Waliullah. How did he save the Indian Muslims from political annihilation and religious degeneration? | Best for CSS, PMS Current Affairs, Pakistan Affairs, and Essay Papers
Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah worked for Islam’s uplift and the socio-economic and political revitalization of that time. Muslims were the Islamic revivalist in undivided India. Translating the Quran into the Persian language, calling Ahmed Shah Abdali to counter Marathi, and other extra vigilant works won him the honour of “Imam ul Hind.”
- Crippling political, social, and religious conditions of the Muslims following the decline of the Mughal Empire
- Lacking political and religious guidance
- Lacking political sagaciousness
- Translating the Holy Quran into the Persian language
- Eliminating sectarianism tensions between Shia and Sunni
- Highlighting the actual role of Ulma
- Calling Ahmed Shah Abdali to fight against Marathas
- Stressing upon the implementation of Islamic laws
- Ruling according to the set principles of Islam
Answer to the Question
In the eighteenth century, the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent were socially, politically, spiritually, and economically in a sinister condition. The Mughal Empire was also on a decline that further derailed the conditions of the Muslims. Shah Walli Ullah Delvahi, the conquer starter of modern Islam in the subcontinent, came forth to eradicate the problems of the then Muslims. At that time, a constant decline of the Mughal Empire, lawlessness, immorality, corruption, gambling, and above all, parting away from the Quranic teachings darkened the lives of the Muslims. In the meantime, Qutb al-din Ahmed, known as Shah Wali Ullah, regenerated the Islamic teachings into people’s lives by translating the Holy Quran into the Persian language, the language of the time. Moreover, the Muslims were divided into sectarianism fights, and he united them through the teachings of Khulfa e Rushden. He also stressed the true essence of Sufism and dictated Ulema to work according to the principles of Islam.
Additionally, his calling of Ahmed Shah Abdali against the threats of the Marathas saved the Mughal Empire. His political, social, economic, and religious efforts are far-reaching and free of bond. The answer comprehensively discusses the salient features of the religious and political efforts made by Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah to revive Islam and save the Mughal Empire in the subcontinent.
خُودی کو کر بُلند اتنا کہ ہر تقدیر سے پہلے
خُدا بندے سے خُود پوچھے بتا تیری رضا کیا ہے
Shah Wali Ullah regained the lost glory of Islam through his services in British India. The most influential work of Shah Wali Ullah was his translation of the Quran into the Persian language. It helped the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent to learn closely from the Quranic teachings in every field of life. It proved to be very fruitful to resurrect the true Islamic values in the subcontinent. Furthermore, the Muslims were divided into Hanafi, Shafi, Shia, Sunni, etc., sects and were too rigid in their views. He tried his best to gather them, and he guided them according to the lives of Khulfa e Rushden. Moreover, he also bridged the gap between mystics and religious scholars, emphasizing their differences. He also forbade people to avoid blind taqlid (following people) rather than consulting the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). In his outstanding book, Hujjatullah-al-Baligha, he told people how to live their lives according to the codes of the Quran. In addition to them, he arranged the Hadits topic-wise to make it very easy for Muslims to seek guidance. Above all, he again opened the doors of Ijtihad. Thus, he stands atop to revitalize eighteen-century India’s Islamic teachings through his moderate thinking.
“His approach was so liberal as it was difficult to understand which school of thought he belonged.”
Apart from the religious services, Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah was a political thinker of the world, proving himself through practical examples. During his tenure, the Mughal Empire was continuously declining socially, politically, and religiously. The attack of Nadar Shah in 1739 depicted the weak conditions of the empire. The threat of Marathas who were gaining power by invading Punjab needed to be encountered. Critically evaluating the circumstances, Shah Wali Ullah wrote a letter to Ahmed Shah Abdali, an Afghan ruler, asking him for help to counter the Marathas. Ahmed Shah Abdali, upon his request, three years later, attacked the Marathas in the third famous Battle of Panipat in 1761, in which Ahmed Shah Abdali won against them and saved the Muslims from a more considerable danger. Thus, it was Shah Wali Ullah’s intellectual behind the political rehabilitation of the empire. Moreover, he also criticized the lavish lifestyles of the emperor rather than focusing on state matters and making policies for the poor to uplift their socio-economic conditions. Along with this, he also stressed that adopting the Islamic laws by the Muslim rulers to set practical examples for the masses. Therefore, his contributions in the political field are worth remembering.
“Balance and uniformity in the system is a must.”
Undoubtedly, Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah lay the foundation of modern Islam in the subcontinent. During his time, Islamic society was on the verge of destruction after the death of Aurangzeb, the last powerful Mughal emperor. However, he revived the Islamic values in the subcontinent through his farsightedness in religious and worldly matters. Furthermore, his practical work on Islamic values won him the honour of rejuvenator of Islam. Nonetheless, his work for socio-political and economic uplift for the people and the empire is still written in golden words.
“What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”
Conclusively, recuperating Islam in the Indian subcontinent in the eighteenth century was only possible through the selfless struggles of Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah. He emphasized adopting the Islamic values in life and translated the Holy Quran and Hadits to set practical examples to adopt morals easily. He rejuvenated the Islamic values by eliminating differences among different sects and differentiating the works and duties of Ulma and Sufis to define their working boundaries clearly. However, his political services by stopping the growing threat of Marathas, Sikhs, and Hindus also proved fruitful. He also focuses on the country’s economic factors, giving a financial framework for grassroots development. Nevertheless, he wrote fifty-one books to carry the legacy for future generations. Hence, his principles of theology are followed in both: India and Pakistan.
آسماں تیری لحد پر شبنم افشانی کرے
سبزہ نور ستہ اس گھر کی نگہبانی کرے
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