What Was The Contribution Of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi To Sub-Continent Muslims?

What Was The Contribution Of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi To Sub-Continent Muslims?

The following article is written by Fariha Shehzadi, 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 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.


Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi, also known as Mujadid Alf Sani, left a remarkable impact on the history of the then Muslims of India. He not only revived the true spirit of Islam in the society but also brought the Muslims out of the looming darkness of un-Islamic practices and domination of the Hindu religion. He preached the importance of spiritual values in man’s life by reviving people’s interest in the Shariat i.e. the laws of Islam. For example, he brought a lot of reforms including the Reformation in Sufism, the concept of Wahdat ul Shahood, Muslim Nationalism, Implementation of Islamic principles, and religious reformation to bring back the then Muslims on the right track. He criticized the concept of the Deen-e-Ilahi and the Bhakti movements, which were anti-Islamic. As a result of his sustainable efforts, un-Islamic practices got eradicated from the Indian Subcontinent and the history of the Muslims received a new dimension. Thus, the mission of the Mujaddid which filled a large space in the religious and political history of the Muslim community of the seventeenth century was undoubtedly a success.

Influence of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi:

a. Criticism on Din e Ilahi:

Though many ulama, Sufis and scholars flourished there and even enjoyed Akbar’s closeness and intimacy, none of them is reported to have openly come in his opposition. But Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi reacted against his religious experiment and ideology. Sources say that he was dissatisfied with the then religious condition. The circumstances led him to great anxiety and distress. Therefore, his reaction to Akbar’s thoughts and activities was most powerful and he openly criticized his attitude towards Islam and Muslims. As Holy Prophet (SAW) said;

He who invents something false which has no linkage with the religion of Islam is forbidden”.


b. Countering the Bhakti Movement:

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi, at various places in his Maktubat-i-Imam-i Rabbani, raised his voice against the increasing revivalist Hindu forces and cautioned his co-religionists (Muslims) to be alert and careful of their aims and intentions. Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi said,

“The work of these wicked persons (kafirs) is nothing to laugh at Islam and Muslims. If they get opportunity, they make us abandon Islam or kill all of us or make us kafirs again.”

c. Criticism on Ulamas:

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhind said that most of the ulama of that time had given rise to innovations in the religion, and forgotten the way of Sunnah. The love of worldly things and desire for wealth and dignities had so badly demoralized and dispirited these ulama that they could easily be agreed to issue any type of verdict, fatwa, to please Emperor Akbar whose court was the main centre of their substantial activities. He looked upon the rulers 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 Sheikh declared,

“The King being on the right path means that the world is on the right path; his waywardness is the waywardness of the whole world.”

d. Criticism on the Fabricated concept of Wahdat al Wajood:

Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi attacked Ibn-i-Arabi’s Wahadat-ul-Wujud (Unity of Being) by declaring it one of the main causes of weakening the distinctive features of faiths and creating an atmosphere of the moral holiday. His Wahdat-ush-Shuhud insists that the criterion of a true mystic experience is in accordance with the tenets of Islam and that all allusions to a state of intoxication are not trustworthy. It tells that Allah cannot be known through mystic experiences. To know Him perfect one will have to totally based on Revelation or the Quran and the Hadith.

e. Revival of Religious Practices:

Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi dealt with Jahangir and propagated Islam to his royal audience. He did his best for the revival of Islam and its actual practices which were misguided by the Ulamas accompanying Akbar. Laws of Shariyah were again implemented; namaz and fasting were emphasized.

Impacts of Sheikh Ahmed Sirhindi’s Reforms:

a. Impact on Mughal Emperor Jahangir and People around him:

It was a great achievement of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi to bring back the Shariat into society. He wrote a large number of letters to Government personalities emphasizing the need for the true teaching of Islam. Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi eradicated the evils of this class of society and through letters strongly stressed upon those to follow the direction of the Holy Prophet. The Sheikh was given an audience as emperor and there he placed the following demands before him:

  • Prostration (Sajidah) before the emperor should be abolished
  • The permission to slaughter cows should be given;
  • The religious innovations should be ceased
  • The office of the Qadi and the department of the Ihtisabshould be restored
  • The mosques in need of repair should be renovated and those which had been demolished should be rebuilt.

b. Impact on Mughal Court:

During his stay in the court of Jahangir, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi founded the unique opportunity to preach to King and the people around him. In many sessions, he had with Jahangir, he read out the Quran to him, explained its messages, discussed the principles of faith and explained the rules of the Shari’ah. The Emperor and the people of the Mughal court were fully influenced by the teaching of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi and broad-minded Emperors and people of the Mughal court became orthodox Muslims.

c. Impact on Religious Teachings in Society:

Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi thought that the main channel of mischief was the ‘Ulama-i-Su (worldly-minded ‘Ulamas), who had taken to Fiqh (jurisprudence) as the whole of religious teachings.

d. Impact on Later Mughal Emperor:

The objectives of re-establishing the supremacy of Islam in the sub-continent, initiated by Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi were continued by his sons and other emperors. The Mughal king Shah Jahan played a great role to save Islam in an age which was becoming secular. Aurangzeb, under the influence of Sirhindi, issued 1659 many ordinances ‘to restore the rules of orthodox Islam in the administration and to bring the lives of the people according to the teaching of the Quran. Jizya was re-imposed 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.

Critical Analysis:

In a critical analysis, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi has influenced the history of Muslims of India by denying the concept of Wahdat al Wajood, criticizing the Din e Ilahi, writing letters to the nobles of Akbar, reviving the actual religious practices of Islam, preaching Islam in proper way according to Quran and Sunnah, influencing the Muslims to regain their religious values and making them realize about their distinct religion. Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi’s role and reforms are of immense importance for the revival of Islam and re-establishment of the Mughal Emperor in his era and his role cannot be denied.


In a nutshell, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi was not only a great scholar but also a social reformer. He played a vital role to establish a society based on the teaching of the Quran and Sunnah. He contributed significantly towards the protection of Muslims of India from un-Islamic values and Hindu thoughts. The Mughal emperor Akbar introduced new religion called “Din-I-Ilaihi”. The whole society was at the edge of darkness. It was a great achievement of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi to bring back the Shariat into society. He wrote a large number of letters to Government personalities emphasizing the need for true teachings of Islam. He eradicated the evils of this class of society, and through letters strongly stressed upon those to follow the direction of the Holy Prophet (SAW).

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