The following article is written by Salman Khan, 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. Therefore, to help thousands of CSS and PMS aspirants who visit Cssprepforum and Howfiv for better preparation, Sir Syed Kazim Ali has 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.
Working for the revival of Islam, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, renowned as Mujadid Alif Sani, has immensely influenced the history of Indian Muslims by abolishing the newly amalgamated religion, eradicating the un-Islamic beliefs and practices, and consolidating the scattered Muslims in the light of the Quran and Sunnah. However, in the religious reform movement, he successfully revitalized Islam on its real values and elevated Muslim’s separate identity and spiritual growth socially, politically, and — above all — religiously in the subcontinent’s history.
2. Historical perspective
- Sufism and Un-Islamic practices (Bidat and karamat))
- Jurisprudence based on rational and empiricism laws
- Religious Agitation: Bhakti movement and Din e Illahi
- Misinterpretation of Wahdat -ul-Wujood
3. Religious Influence
- Opposed amalgamated religion Din-e-Illahi
- Revitalized Islam by promoting Quran and Hadith
- Permitted cow slaughter and re-imposed Jizya on non-Muslims
- Justified concept of Wahdat-ul-Shahood against Wahdat-ul-Wujood
4. Social Influence
- Shaped Jurisprudence according to Fiqh and Islamic principles
- Prohibited the concept of Infallible decree (emperors authority in religious matters)
- Abhorred Inter-religious marriages
- Ensured full and fair justice
5. Political Influence
- Transformed Mughal Empire towards Islamic teachings.
- Prohibited Hindus’ involvement in political affairs
- Proposed the concept of Two Nation Theory
- Paved the way for upcoming reformers
6. Critical analysis
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, a reformer of the second millennium, had an impregnable influence on the Muslim’s history. He was the first to raise his voice against Akbar’s concept of Din-e-Illahi, mystic beliefs, and un-Islamic rituals to secure Islamic culture within its real values. Nevertheless, by having a bird’s eye view of the prevailing condition of the Muslims, he observed that Muslims were distracted from the true Islamic beliefs, teachings of the Holy Quran, and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Instead of having faith in Allah, they believed in the miracles of saints, supernatural power, and Akbar’s un-Islamic laws. Such factors, ultimately, became the main concerns behind the downfall of Muslim culture, their spiritual strength, and the Islamic system in the Indian subcontinent. However, to bring Muslims towards Islam, he ensured various reforms, such as formatting jurisprudence according to the Islamic laws and preventing the amalgamation of religions by creating awareness among courtiers, Sufis, and emperors. Moreover, he promoted the Hadith and Sunnah among Muslims through his disciples. With that, he abolished the Sulh-e-Kul (peace with all religions), and justified the concept of Wahdat-ul-Shahood against the misinterpreted concept of Wahadat-ul-Wujood to protect Muslim’s identity in the subcontinent. Henceforth, by providing religious evidence, he successfully convinced the emperor Jahangir to abolish the religion of his father that was purely based on pluralism.
Nothing has devastated Islam the way Akbar’s amalgamation of religion and degraded beliefs of Sufism did. Unfortunately, Muslims remained deficient in the real teachings of Islam by following Sufism of spiritual growth. On the one hand, Ulemas were ceased by the emperor to refer to the Quran and hadith in their commentaries. On the other hand, the concept of Mysticism, Pantheism, Bidat, and Karamat became common trends in Muslim society– diminishing the true Image of Islamic culture. Furthermore, jurisprudence based on un-Islamic laws and misinterpreted philosophy of Wahadat-ul-Wujood was a severe attack on the Muslim integrity. In addition, the Bhakti movement was started by Hindus to promote the concept of common nationalism among all religions. In response to the movement. Akbar introduced the new religion – Din-e-Elahi – based on Hindu-Muslim philosophies. In this way, Islam lost its glory in the subcontinent during the reign of Akbar.
Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi entered the horizon of the Indian subcontinent as a light at a time of darkness. His untiring efforts resulted in the beliefs and teaching of Islam becoming part and parcel of Muslim society. However, in order to eliminate Pluralism, Pantheism and Mysticism from society, he brought Shariah based on Islamic principles in the life of Muslims. Consequently, Shaikh has transformed Muslim beliefs from the miracles of Saint and material possessions to Almighty Allah and his Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He has boosted Muslim’s spiritual strength through Quranic injunctions. Besides, He had presented the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Shahood against Wahadat -ul- Wujood, stating that the creator and his creations are two separate and distinct entities. With that, Muslims came close to the Islamic teachings. In addition to this, he wrote several letters to courtiers and Emperor Jahangir to state the preciosity of the situation. In his letters, he explained that Muslims could only survive by following the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). By presenting religious evidence about the authenticity of Islam, he successfully convinced Jahangir to abolish his father’s religion. Furthermore, he stressed lifting the ban on cow slaughter, imposing back the jizya on Non-Muslims, and prohibiting the concept of Sulh-e-Kul (peace with all religions) to eliminate the traditions of the Hindus in religion. To spread the real spirit of Islam across the subcontinent, he sends his disciples to create awareness amongst Muslims regarding prevailing conditions. Thus, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhind’s role in purifying Islam has not only enacted Muslim’s identity and consciousness close to Islam but also paved the way for the upcoming Mughal emperor — Aurangzeb.
“He the guardian of the estate of Millah whom Allah awakened at right time.”— Allama Iqbal
Apart from his religious contributions, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi ultimately brought a social change in terms of unity and Muslim social integration. He had transformed the jurisprudence from the rational and Empiricism approach to Islamic laws and principles. He emphasized full and fair justice among all the people irrespective of their religious differences. For that, he assured Quran and Fiqh as the main pillars of Islamic jurisprudence. Moreover, to uplift society, Shaikh prohibited Akbar’s concept of the infallible decree that states that the emperor of the time has authority in every religious matter. In this way, he blocked all the ways of religious amalgamation and Muslim disintegration in future. Correspondingly, to eradicate the Un-Islamic social practice, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi has abolished the concept of inter-religious marriages. In last, his dedicated efforts brought unity, justice, brotherhood, and spiritual growth to society.
As far as political influence is concerned, Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi empowered Jahangir with the real spirit of Islam. Along with that, he transformed Mughal Empire into an empire that was purely based on Islamic principles. With that, Jahangir, unlike his father, has prohibited Hindu involvement in any religious or political matter. While preaching Islam against the amalgamated religion, he gave birth to the new political slogan that originated the Two Nation theory. For the first time, he found that Muslims and Hindus were two different entities with opposite philosophies. In addition to this, he stressed the wide and unbridgeable gap between Hindu and Muslim unity. Thus, he created the distinct line between Muslims and Hindus and paved the way for upcoming reformers like Shah Waliullah and Shaikh Ahmad Shaheed.
Undoubtedly, Akbar’s intention behind the amalgamation of religion was a political move rather than a religious one to unite all the religions under his empire. Albeit, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi – at the same time — has remained the most influencing figure in the history of the subcontinent. He protected Islam from Akbar’s implementation of unorthodox policies and the amalgamation of religion to uplift Muslims socially, politically, and religiously. His motives were to abolish un-Islamic practices, abhor mystic belief, and retract Muslims and Emperor Jahangir toward the Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Henceforth, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, along with his dedicated reformist movements, gave birth to the new political concept — The two Nation theory – which later became the base for Pakistan Movement.
Akbar’s newly born religion attacked the Islamic identity in a powerful diagnosis. Along with that, the degraded concept of Sufism, misinterpreted philosophy of Wahadat-ul-Wujood, and Empiricism based Jurisprudence were grave threats to the way of Islam. . However, with his reformist movements, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi has not only opposed the joint religion — Din-e-Illahee — but also awakened Muslims through his disciple by justifying the concept of Wahad-ul-Shahood against Wahadat-ul-Wujood. Moreover, he informed Emperor Jahangir of the issue’s severity through his letters. Finally, his untiring efforts saved the Islamic culture, values, and Muslim identity socially, politically, and religiously in the subcontinent’s history.
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