By Muhammad Qasim Zaman
Ashraf `Ali Thanawi (1863-1943) was once probably the most well known non secular students in Islamic historical past. writer of over one thousand books on diverse points of Islam, his paintings sought to shield the Islamic scholarly culture and to articulate its authority in an age of momentous spiritual and political swap. during this authoritative biography, Muhammad Qasim Zaman bargains a finished and hugely obtainable account of Thanawi's multifaceted profession and idea, when additionally supplying a important creation to Islam in glossy South Asia.
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Extra resources for Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia (Makers of the Muslim World)
A commentary on the entire Mathnawi was produced in this manner, to become what is probably the largest work of its kind in the Urdu language. First published in twenty-four volumes between 1924 and 1933, it was reissued in ten large volumes in 2005 (Thanawi 2005). One regular presence at the Khanaqah was ‘Aziz al-Hasan (d. 1944). Unlike many others of Thanawi’s disciples,‘Aziz al-Hasan was not a formally trained religious scholar. He was a graduate of the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, and a distinguished poet in both Urdu and Persian.
But now the conditions are such that [acquiring proficiency in religious learning] has become an obligation for every single individual. For the protection of religion is an obligation [on everyone] and this cannot be done without adequate knowledge. People have, moreover, come to lack the propensity to follow [others], which also necessitates that they acquire sufficient knowledge of their own. He never wavered, however, in emphasizing the need to consort with the religious elite (ahl Allah) as an equally binding individual obligation, for even the educated are prone to lose their way (I, 2: 266–267).
Thanawi received a steady stream of devotees from all over India. qxd 8/8/2007 1:59 PM Page 26 26 ASHRAF ‘ALI THANAWI visitors, and presided over “public” sittings to which all those present at the Khanaqah were allowed. Such sittings were also the usual occasion for a formal sermon or a discourse on Sufi themes, as well as for answering people’s questions (cf. Daryabadi 1990, 30, 84, 139–140). Those coming to visit the Sufi master were required to fill out a form on arrival; and some were turned away for not having sought Thanawi’s permission before arriving in Thana Bhawan.
Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia (Makers of the Muslim World) by Muhammad Qasim Zaman