By Usha Sanyal
Introduces the mythical chief of the nice 20th-century Sunni circulation.
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Introduces the mythical chief of the good 20th-century Sunni circulate.
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Extra resources for Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World)
But there could be no sense of equality between the British and Aligarh’s Muslims: “however skilled in Western culture some Indians might become, the pall of arrogant racism, inherent in the colonial situation, meant that full acceptance of Indians as equals never happened” (Metcalf, 1982: 334). Sayyid Ahmad Khan had to concede defeat on the religious front as well. So controversial a figure was he on account of his reformist ideas that the Muslims of Aligarh and elsewhere were initially reluctant to support his new institution.
As a result, women began to declare themselves apostates from Islam, since apostasy automatically terminated a marriage. In the 1930s, Maulana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (d. 1943), a famous Deobandi scholar (‘alim), tried to solve this problem by arguing that apostasy had no effect on the marriage contract, while at the same time proposing both that the conditions under which marriages could be dissolved should be made less stringent and that in the absence of a qadi, ‘ulama or other “righteous Muslims” acting together could dissolve a marriage in his stead.
Like the Ahl-e Hadith, he denied the legitimacy of the four Sunni law schools, looking to the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet for guidance. On the power of personal prayer (dua) to change one’s ultimate fate, he believed that God “is pleased with such prayer and accepts it as He accepts any other form of service. Performance of this prayer brings about in man’s heart patience and firmness” (Troll, 1978: 182). But he held that it did not change one’s predetermined destiny. The concept of intercession and mediation between man and God were thus also denied.
Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World) by Usha Sanyal