The following article is written by Noreen Sattar, 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. Besides, the knowledge, case studies, quotes, and examples have been taught to her by Miss Irum Arif, the country’s top CSS and PMS Pakistan Affairs coach. For years, Miss Irum Arif, also Sir Kazim’s student, has been known for her teaching methodology and how she helps her students understand questions asked in the exam. Therefore, to help thousands of CSS and PMS aspirants, who visit Cssprepforum and Howfiv for better preparation, we have uploaded this article so they can understand how to crack a topic or a question, how to write relevantly, what is coherence, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
Introduction of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, popularly known as Mujaddid Alf Thani, played an impactful role in the history of the Subcontinent by reviving the true spirit of Islam. In fact, it was his teachings that impacted the successors of King Akbar towards the application of Shariah in the Mughal court and society. For the successful implementation of his reform movement he wrote letters to the nobles of the court, clarified the misconceptions regarding mysticism and the concept of Wahdat ul Wujood, and forbade the Ulemas from doing any innovation in the religion. As a result of his contributions, the history of the subcontinent changed to a large extent. For instance, King Jahangir and King Aurangzeb eradicated the Un-Islamic practices from the Mughal court and implemented the laws of Islam in their empire. Hence, it can be said that Sheikh Ahmad’s contributions paved the way for the revival of Islam among the Muslims of Subcontinent and left a great impact on their history.
- Itibat e Sunnah
- Emphasis on prayer and fasting
- The opposition of Din e Ilahi
- Social reform through the purgation of Muslim society
- Reformation of nobles through letters for giving up heretical customs and practices.(Rahim Khan e Khana, Khan e Azam and Mufti Sardar Jehan)
- Two Nation Theory
India at the arrival of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi:- (Need for a Reformer)
At the time of the Mughal era, Islam was at stake as Muslims were practising Hindu customs. Mughal Emperor Akbar’s controversial policies, such as Deen-e-ilahi and Sula-i-Kul were in force. Slaughtering of cows was banned and non-Islamic rituals were common. The philosophy of Wahadat-ul-Wujud was misused and worship of the Emperor has been started. Ulma was working for wealth. Shaikh has labelled this age as “the age of Islamic poverty”. Hence, it was the need of time that there should appear a Mujaddid who might revive the true spirit of Islam in the Sub-continent.
Influence of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhind’s Movement
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi started his movement to regenerate Islam in the sub-continent. The influence of his reform movement is as under;
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s contribution to Islamic thought
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi was not only a religious Scholar and mystic but also a reformist leader and his teaching are purely based on Sunnah.
Innovation (Bid’at) in Deen Contrary to the Sunnah
According to Sirhindi, innovation (Bid’at) in Islam is against the teachings of Islam. He has categorically opposed the division of (Bid’at) innovation into al-Hasana and al-Siyyah (The good and bad) unlike other Scholars. Due to this division of innovation in religion confusion has been created in the concept of Bid’at. He considered it extremely harmful to obey such a monarch who believes in any kind of innovation in the religion. According to him, it is a virtue to promote Sunnah instead of innovation in the religion. He further states that the person who revives one Sunnah of the Prophet will get a reward equal to a hundred martyrs.
He has cited verses of the Holy Quran and the Sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) regarding the issue of Bid’at as:
“Today I have perfected the religion for you and have completed my favor upon you.”(Quran)
“He who invents something false which has no linkage with the religion of Islam is forbidden.”(Hadith)
Through the above-mentioned Hadith and verses, sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi has given clarity to his point of view.
Emphasis on Prayer and Fasting
During Akbar’s era, people were far away from prayer and fasting Sheikh made efforts to bring people to perform all religious activities. Revival of emphasis on Sunnah as a Source of guidance: He said that the only true source of guidance is Sunnah. He prohibited people from following Ulma-i-Su”
As you know better that in previous regime all types of darkness and disturbances were only because of the avarice of the Ulma-i-Su.”Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi
Criticism of Wahdat-ul-Wujood
Sirhindi condemned the attitude of Muslims Scholars who were responsible to help Akbar in the formation of a new religion, especially those Sufis who were impressed by such doctrine of unityism (Wahdat-ul-Wujood). This philosophy, according to Sirhindi, harmed the essence of Islam because it was totally against the Islamic dogmas. He criticized the practice of bowing down before Akbar.
Islam as a distinction Religion
He made efforts to distinguish Islam from Hinduism. He made clear that Islam is completely different from Hinduism. All its customs and rituals are unique. He reformed the society by criticizing Din-e-Illahi and preaching the true essence of Islam to political authorities.
Socio-Cultural and Political Impacts
It was a great achievement of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi to bring back the Shariat in society.
Impact on Mughal Emperor Jahangir and people around him
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi wrote a large number of letters to Government personalities emphasizing the need for the true teaching of Islam. He believed that the ruler of a Muslim state should be a true Muslim.
“The Ruler is the sole and people are the body. If the sole goes wrong, the body is bound to go astray.”
He looked upon the ruler as ‘all soul’ and the people as ‘all body’. According to him, if the soul goes wrong, the body is bound to go astray.
“The king being on the right path means that the world is on the right, his waywardness is the waywardness of the whole world.”Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi
The teaching and preaching of Shaikh fully showed its influence on the ministers and high-ranking officers and indirectly Jahangir was also influenced. To the Sarder-i-Jahan his confidence as the highest religious authority, he wrote;
Now that things have changed and the hostility of the people has subsided, it is the duty of the leaders of Islam, the Sardr-i-Islam and the ‘Ulma; that they for the implementation the Shari’ah.
As a result, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s efforts started yielding fruit. Jahangir had been influenced by Sirhindi’s sincerity and devotion to Islam. The Shaikh was given an audience with the emperor and there he placed the following demands for the revival of Islam.
- Prostration (Sajidah) before the emperor should be abolished, permission to slaughter cows should be given,
- Religious innovations should be ceased.
- The office of the Qadi and the department of the Ihtisab should be restored, the mosques in need of repair should be renovated and those which had been demolished should be rebuilt.
The emperor granted his demand and issued a royal decree accordingly. Thus after more than a half century’s struggle for life and death, Islamic teachings were revived and the Muslims heaved a sigh of relief.
Impact on Later Mughal Emperor
The objective of re-establishing the supremacy of Islam in the Sub-continent, initiated by, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi was continued by later emperors. Shah Jahan, in keeping his orthodox Islam has been called by some historians ‘faith defending Emperor’ struggled to purify Islam and bring it in accord with Shariat. Jizya was re-imposed by Aurangzeb on the unbelievers in order to spread Islam and put down the practice of infidelity. Thus the tone of administration changed and the liberalism of the day of Akbar stopped.
Pathway to Two Nation Theory
The reform by Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi provided the base for Two Nation Theory. He differentiated Islam from Hinduism and revived Islam in Sub-continent. The scholars after him followed his teachings and laid the foundation of the two-nation theory in Islam.
The influence of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi on the subsequent religious and political scenario of the Indian Sub-continent has been too great. Mujaddid undoubtedly filled the space in the religious and political history of the Muslim community of the seventeenth century. His thought put an impact on every section of Muslim society whether a Sufi or a theologian, the ruler or the ruled. He regenerated Islam for Indian Muslims and provides the basis for the two-nation theory that becomes the reason for the formation of Pakistan.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal describes him as the guardian of the Muslim nation in India. He writes in his poem Punjab Kay Peerzadun kay naam:
He the guardian of the estate of millah in India Whom Allah awakened at the right timeAllama Muhammad Iqbal
From the above discussion, it is clear that Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi was not only a great Scholar but also a social reformer leader. He played a vital role to establish a society based on the teaching of the Quran and Sunnah. Without his efforts, Islam could not have been revived in United India. He brought Muslim society under the flag of Islam.
Want to read CSS Pakistan Affairs Solved Past Papers and learn how to attempt them to score high? Let’s click on the link below to read them all freely. All past papers’ questions have been attempted by Sir Kazim’s students, who scored the highest in the subject.CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs
Click on any to start reading the essay.
Want to read General Science & Ability Solved Past Papers to learn how to attempt them to score high? Let’s click on the link below to read them all freely. All past papers have been solved by Miss Iqra Ali & Dr Nishat Baloch, Pakistan’s top CSS GSA coach having the highest score of their students.
Articles Might Interest You!
The following are some of the most important articles for CSS and PMS aspirants. Click on any to start reading.