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Shah Waliullah

Shah Waliullah

  • Shah Walliullah was a great Muslim reformist of 18th century in India. He was a brilliant thinker and scholar with critical insight of political scenario of that time.  He worked for the betterment and true education of Muslims on right Islamic norms.  At that time in the Muslims after ruing India magnificently were going to lose power. The decline of Muslim rule in India had already begun and Muslims were being exploited at every facet of life. In order to bring Muslims of India on right path and help them Shah Walliullah worked really hard. He was born on 21st February 1703 in Delhi and he died in 1762. His father was a famous religious personality at that time his name was Abdur Rahim he was a famous educationist who was running a Madrasah called Madrasah –i-Rahimiyah.  Shah Walliullah got his early education under his well educated father who taught him well and he was also enrolled in Naqshbandiyya Sufi order to enrich his spiritual insight. Soon he got permission to teach at father’s Madrasah, where he continued teaching for next 12 years. In 1730 he got a chance to go to Mecca where he performed pilgrimage and got lucky to get education from the leading Muslim scholars of that time. It was a time when a new thought got roots in his mind that the position and predicament of Muslims at home was overwhelming. That it was a time for Muslims of India to adopt true spirit of Islam, this is because of their religious decline Muslims of India were facing decline in social, political, and economic aspects as well. So he decided to take a lead and started working to show Muslims actual spirit of Islam in rational manner. He contributed literary fields as well like; in 1738 he translated Quran into Persian despite of opposition he faced by orthodox Ulemma. He worked to bring together Shiites and Sunnis and Ulemma and Sufis. He proposed ways like Ijtihad in Islam and denounced blind Taqlid. He believed in grooming of Muslims as a society and educated them to live up as a society in which economic and social justice would prevail. He educated Muslims of India to emancipate Muslim society from economic injustices and social biases. He wrote almost 50 books on various subjects he trained a group of Ulemma to spread the true knowledge of Islam. He opened many branches of his school in Delhi to spread his school of thought. His versatility was his main asset; he worked on every prospected field which could raise the standard of Muslims as a nation or individual entity. He laid the foundations of all political, religious, and intellectual movements which would initiate in Indian sub-continent by Muslims in future. He was an authentic theologian and scholar of Islam; he had great understanding of Quran and Hadith. He also gave many economic theories which gave reasons which became the cause of decline of Muslims.  Politically Shah Walliullah was a vibrant personality.  He ran an indigenous political movement of its kind in India. He tried to unite Muslims as a single entity. His main political agenda was a retain Mughal Empire; he became the cause to invite Ahmad Shah Abdali to India in order to fight Marathas who were undermining Mughal rule at that time. Thought his efforts to maintain Muslim rule in India did not capitalize but it would provide an insight for future political, intellectual and religious movements in India.

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