The following article is written by Manal Shakeel Ahmed, 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 him 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 Howfivfor 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.
Shaikh Ahmed al-Farooqi Sirhindi, the great reformer, set upon himself a task to revive Islam and purify Muslim society from Un-Islamic practices. His sustainable efforts purified Islam of the accretions of Hindu pantheism as well as the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wujud. Thus, he restored and revived the glory of Islam.
Historical background: Evils of Muslim society:
- Unorthodox policies of Akbar and the mischievousness of Ulema-i-Su
- Promotion of Sulh i Kul and Deen-i-Elahi
- Practising un-Islamic customs and traditions
- lack of preferring Quran and Hadith
- Encouragement of inter-religious marriages
- Stopped payment of Jizya
- Restored Islamic doctrine promulgated by Shariah and Sunnah
- The exposed fallacy of Din-e-Elahi
- Denounced Wahdat-ul-Wujud
- Encouraged Wahdat-ul-Shahud
- Promoted the notion of the Two-Nation Nation Theory
- Countered the concept of joint nationalism
- Restored the lost identity of the Muslims
- Re-imposed Jizya on non-Muslims
- Protected Muslim society from social evils
- Prohibited inter-religious marriages
- Restored Islamic rituals
Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi protected the Muslims of the Sub-Continent from religious, social, and political annihilation. Undoubtedly, he earned the title of Mujadid Alf–Thani, the reformer of the second millennium, for his selfless efforts to purify Islam from Akbar’s amalgamation of Deen-i-Elahi and widely prevalent philosophy of that time, Wahadat-ul–Wujud. He came on the horizon as a saviour to prevent the Muslim society from degenerating, due to practice and adoption of the customs of other religions, especially Hinduism. Further, he rationally answered the Akbar’s policies which created chaos and anarchy in Sub-Continent. Nevertheless, Akbar–due to his peace-loving nature and receiving political benefits–married Hindu ladies, abolished Jizya, and gave high ranks to Non-Muslims in his court. Along with that, he proclaimed Din-i-Elahi–a mixture of Zoroastrian, Jaiani, Hindu, Buddhist religion, and Islam theory of Tauheed. Chiefly, the Din was introduced as a result of the open war of words between Ulema and Mashaikhs at Ibadat–Khana of Akbar. Under these circumstances, Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi brought religious, social, and political reforms to save the Muslim society from dogmatism and secular beliefs of unorthodox mystics. He initiated a process of social change; he implemented Islamic Shariah and Sunnah in their true sense. Furthermore, he denounced Wahdat-ul-Wujud and presented his counter philosophy called Wahdat-ul-Shahud. On the other hand, he wrote a large number of letters namely Makhtubat-e-Imam-i-Rabbani to Government personalities emphasizing the need for the true teaching of Islam. Hence, in this way, he became successful in neutralizing the work of Akbar and Ulema-i-Su and affecting a change in the mentality of his successor toward orthodox Islam. This answer comprehensively discusses the evils that prevailed in the Sub-Continent during Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi’s time and the way he countered these evils.
“He the guardian of the estate of millah in India
Whom Allah awakened at the right time”Allama Iqbal
The plight of the Muslims of the Sub-Continent was due to the unorthodox policies of Akbar and the mischievousness of Ulema-i-Su. Nonetheless, Akbar in the beginning was a religious man, but certain events, such as marriage with Hindu ladies, the presence of Ulema and Mashaikhs–who used to call each other Kafir and Heretic at Ibadat-Khana, completely changed his view towards Islam. Therefore, to find a middle ground between Islam and other religions, especially Hinduism, he came out with his proclamation of Divine Faith of Din-i-Elahi and policy of Sulkh-i-Kul (peace with all religions). In fact, he went so far that he abolished the Jizya tax on Non-Muslims and gave them high ranks in his court. On the other side, during that time, Ulema-i-Su were also busy tearing the fabric of Islam. They used every slackness, irregularity, and obstruction to hinder the growth and expansion of Islam.
“In previous regime all types of darkness and disturbances were only because of the avarice of the Ulama-i-Su.”
In short, all these events in general and the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wujud and Din-i-Elahi, in particular, vitiated the Islamic teaching. Thence, in effect, Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi came and endeavoured to restore the pure doctrine of Islam. He brought a great revolution in the religious, social, and political lives of the Muslims through his efforts.
Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi endeavoured to restore the pure doctrine of Islamic thought and compel the Muslims to follow Shariah and Sunnah in letter and spirit. He raised his voice against the prevailing evils and ceased religious amalgamation. In this regard, he wrote letters called Makhtubat-i-Imam-i-Rabbani to the nobles and the rulers conveying his ideas. Meanwhile, he exposed the fallacy of Din-e-Elahi and came out to curb its influence. He persuaded the Muslims to adopt simple habits in light of Islam and Sunnah. He revealed the importance of Namaz and fasting; he declared that mysticism without Shariah was misleading. On one hand, he denounced the Akbar’s policy of Din-e-Elahi and the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wujud that kept no difference between man and his creator and promoted the worshipping of God’s creatures amounted to worshipping God. On the other hand, he emphasized the concept of Tauheed and the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Shuhud which meant the creator and creatures were two different and separate entities. As a result of his struggle, all Islamic rituals again became part of society. The great practice of slaughtering cows, ordering Khutbas, and constructing eminent mosques started again due to Shaikh’s reform movement. Thus, these were his religious struggles that purified the religious and practical life of the Muslims.
“For about a century Islam is so oppressed that the infidels are not satisfied with the mere promulgation of the practices of kufr but they even want Islamic norms and practices to be totally abolished, and Islam and Muslim completely rooted out. The situation is serious that if any Muslim follows the path of Islam, he is assassinated”.Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi
Although he was a religious reformer and never took part in politics, his political influence was of great importance. He briefly elaborated on the unbridgeable gap between Islam and Hinduism that -in turn- gave birth to Two Nation Theory. He was of the opinion that the two communities, Hindus and Muslims, could never compromise on their religious practices. At the same time, a number of Muslim reforms gave rise to the concept of joint nationalism– in order to popularize Islam. This trend proved injurious to the separate and distinct national image of the Muslims. Consequently, Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi put end to the concept; he laboured to keep the national and religious identity of the Muslims intact. He was a staunch advocate of Muslim separatism and adopted a very stern attitude towards the Hindus. He, with the help of orthodox Jahangir, re-imposed Jizya on Hindus. Thus, shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi was the first torch bearer of Islam, who inspired other reformers, such as Shah Waliullah, Syed Ahmed Shaheed, etc. in working toward a valued goal of the Two Nation Theory.
“The letters of ‘Mujaddid-i-Alf-i-Thani’ cover a vast field ranging from technology and metaphysics to politics and missionary activities.”Professor Shaikh Abdur Rashid
Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi was not only a great religious scholar but also a social reformer. He contributed significantly to the protection of Muslim society from the looming perils of religious amalgamation. He prohibited the concept of inter-religious marriages– that was the foundation of all social evils. With his spiritual power, the conditions of Muslim society soon became better. The Muslims persuaded- previously inhibited- Islamic rituals and adopted simple habits in light of Islam and Sunnah. As a result, the supremacy of Islam was restored in Subcontinent.
Akbar’s un-Islamic activities led the Muslims towards total destruction. His policy of Deen-i-Elahi and philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Wujud welcomed anti-Islamic ideologies. At that hour of turmoil, Mujadid Alf Sani came in front to restore and revive the glory of Islam through his concept of Two–Nation Theory, the philosophy of Wahdat-ul-Shahud, and revival movements. Indeed, his initiation of the supremacy of Islam was so rational and true that later it was continued by his sons and other emperors like Jahangir, Shah Jahan, etc.
In short, Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi restored Shariah and lost the glory of Islam. He purified the socio-politico-religious sphere of the communities of India in the time of Akbar. He himself bore all difficulties during the reign of Akbar, but he never prostrated before him. He was the first who could be called a Propounder of Muslim Ummah. Due to the influence of his movements, the future movements of reforms and revival came to be presented by Shah Waliullah and Syed Ahmed Shaheed, which ultimately headed the way towards the destination of the Pakistan movement.
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