Barbara D. Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860-1900 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982). This is Chapter 1, pp. 16-45. The book has now been republished by *OUP India*, and its first chapter is made available here by the kind permission of OUP India and of the author.
Scan by FWP, with no editing. Diacritics lost from footnotes.

The 'Ulama in Transition: The Eighteenth Century

*Farangi Mahall* -- *Shah Waliyu'llah*

What about the 'ulama'? They, too, have emerged. There is a tendency, from which some of us at least have found ourselves suffering, to take this concept for granted; to suppose that there are 'ulama' in Islam and that this is somehow "natural," that they have always been there. Not so. ...They emerge in Islamic history in consolidated form a good deal later than is usually supposed, and develop in the Muslim history of India as a formal and constituted class a very great deal later--and perhaps even, in certain significant senses, only in the modern period.  --Wilfred Cantwell Smith/1/

THE role of the religious leader in Islam is at once loosely defined and centrally important. There is no tradition of priesthood in Islam--no caste or family that has special power, no sacrament that sets some men apart from their fellows, no monasticism. Indeed, it has not been uncommon for people regarded as religious leaders to merge with the general population, often filling other occupational roles in society as well. As Shah Waliyu'llah (1703-1762) explained, those who have religious knowledge, whether they acquire it by means of revelation or wisdom or visions, are recognized by others as having gifts of leadership and signs of grace, and are therefore obeyed--for this is the central requirement of Islam--in doing what is commanded and eschewing what is forbidden./2/ Muslims may be predisposed to accord this authority to men descended from the Prophet or from some saintly lineage, or to those holding some [17] judicial or educational bureaucratic post. But the true basis of authority--always waiting in the wings if not front stage--has been the standard of personal knowledge and its pious embodiment expected of men who are at once exemplars to their fellows and communal representatives to Muslims and to others.

There were of course, people who had such knowledge from the beginning of Islam, starting with the Companions of the Prophet. But it was only after the decline of the 'Abbasid Empire in the tenth century, when power was often wielded by new converts to the faith, that explicit classes of religious leaders emerged. There were, generally speaking, two kinds of religious specialists: the Sufis, who engaged in meditative disciplines and sought direct knowledge of religious truths; and the 'ulama, who knew the scholarly traditions of the faith and, above all, the injunctions of the Law. These categories usually overlapped, and a man was known as Sufi or 'alim on the basis of which of the two kinds of interdependent knowledge he emphasized.

Both 'ulama and Sufis acted at times as foci for revolutionary movements, but more often gave their support to any ruler who maintained order and provided a stable framework for the continuation of Muslim social and religious life./3/ Such allegiance, however guarded, was often troublesome, for Muslims have cherished the ideal of organizing all aspects of life in accordance with the same religious values. The shari'at or Law embodied a comprehensive way of life. Nonetheless, compromise was regarded as inevitable. To their followers, the religious leadership could then act as guides and guardians of the traditions of the community whatever the qualities of the political leadership. To the rulers, they served as spokesmen for local interests./4/ The 'ulama were typically linked to landholders, traders, and other influential people by class and marriage, [18] and acted as legal officials for small communities. When they held formal appointments, they were influential but often suspect, dismissed as the 'ulama-yi zahir, the externalist 'ulama who cared only for form and letter, or even as the 'ulama-yi su, the evil 'ulama. Some Sufis, too, were condemned for subordinating religious values to those of political interests. The pious among them sought to be personally true to their faith and argued the necessity of compromise in order to influence political aspects of life.

In the eastern provinces of the Islamic world, the Sufis often emerged as local intermediaries with newly conquered and converted peoples, whereas 'ulama appeared as officials for legal and charitable matters at the court. This was the case in India. In the early centuries of Muslim rule (that is, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries A.D.), the Sufis were the dominant religious figures--teaching, writing, and mediating between their followers and the government and between rival claimants to political power. In Mughal India (1526-1739), however, their role was somewhat eclipsed and the role of the 'ulama was more dominant. In that period, religious authorities of all kinds dealt with a state that wielded effective and long-lasting power.

The sixteenth century saw the creation of a new political stability in the Muslim world, stability unprecedented in its scope and duration. Three great empires--the Ottoman, the Safavid, and the Mughal--all agrarian-based and structurally similar, were then to rule from the Balkans to Bengal for over two hundred years. In each empire the role of the 'ulama expanded as the respective bureaucracies expanded./5/ The power of the 'ulama was, to be sure, severely circumscribed, for as in other periods of centralized imperial rule, the 'ulama tended in fact to become members of the bureaucracy of the state. Still it was they who were responsible for the education of the entire nobility; who staffed the various levels of the judiciary; and who oversaw the whole charitable establishment of the empire. [19] Leading members of the 'ulama ranged from those who acted as prayer leader at a town mosque to the most influential of courtiers. The intellectuals among them were sought out as adornments to the various entourages of the nobility.

A career as 'alim in this period was seen as a route to prestige, or, at least, to respectability. Then, as later, anyone who acquired education could expect the same recognition as that given to scions of learned families. Education was informal, fees or gifts loosely defined, and a patriarchal relation between teacher and student the norm. A boy might study from members of his or a neighboring family; then, if he proved apt and inclined, go from city to city, staying with relatives or pious people, and study with scholars known for expertise in various specialties. A boy who chose to follow a religious career would not only learn Persian, the language of the court and of letters, but would also study Arabic. Academic disciplines studied through the medium of Arabic were divided into two broad categories: manqulat, the "transcribed" or "copied" subjects of Qur'an and the hadis or sayings of the Prophet; and ma'qulat, the rational sciences, or those which were the product of man's own thought and study. These latter subjects ranged from Arabic grammar and rhetoric to logic, mathematics, philosophy, and theology , to--above all--books of legal commentaries and jurisprudence. As a student completed each book he would receive a certificate from his teacher testifying to his accomplishment. His knowledge was judged by the number of books he had read and the scholars under whom he had studied./6/ The Indian 'ulama in the Mughal period specialized in the rational sciences, many of whose exponents had come to India from scholarly centers in Transoxiana. However, from the time of 'Abdu'l-Haqq Dihlawi (1551-1642) and the establishment of close ties to scholars in the Hijaz, Delhi was known as an important center for the study of hadis as well./7/ The core of the curriculum in India as elsewhere, how- [20] ever, was the study of works on the Law or fiqh. Commentaries on the Qur'an and collections of hadis were studied only as supplements to it. By the Law, Sunni scholars--far more numerous in India than the Shi'ah--meant the four schools of Law that had evolved in the ninth century, each accepted as equally valid and legitimate. These schools, subsequently known by the names of their founders as the Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali, respectively, aIl agreed on basic matters of belief and worship, but differed on a wide variety of minor points. Each, moreover, had a somewhat different approach to the Law, so that one could describe the Maliki, for example, as being closest to the hadis and the Hanafi as the most flexible in adopting customary practices. Generally speaking, each school was associated with a particular geographic area, the Hanafi being dominant in India./8/ Students studied commentaries and compilations of decisions based on the works of Abu Hanifa (d. 767) and, like legal specialists throughout the Muslim world, ceased to consult the Qur'an and hadis in legal matters, and did not even know the writings of the founder of the law school himself. The most important legal work in India was thus a twelfth-century Central Asian text, the Hidayat of Burhanu'd-Din Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali Marghinani./9/

Education and the subsequent application of the Law were not necessarily a matter of parroting received answers. The study of the Hidayat, for example, was a substantial undertaking, and its successful application could be a challenging enterprise. The work consisted of fifty-seven books covering such diverse aspects of life and belief as the basic religious duties, purification and cleanliness, apostasy, marriage and divorce, slavery, criminal offenses, peace and security, taxes, the status of non-Muslims, the treasury, re- [21]bellion, partnerships and trusts, commercial transactions, gifts, wages, preemption, mortgage, and the administration of justice. Each chapter included divergent opinions of various scholars, an indication of the inclination of the majority, and a statement of the author's own preference. The student did not need to accept the author's opinion, but could consult the sources mentioned in the text and weigh the opinions of the learned himself./10/

Those who completed scholarly training in Mughal India usually sought out official positions or grants and endowments offered by kings and aristocrats. The Mughal 'ulama did not, however, form a precisely defined and powerful estate, as did their counterparts among the Ottomans. There a man who completed his studies sought enrollment as an officially recognized candidate for office. If subsequently admitted to a post, he moved through a graded series of teaching positions and thence into the similarly graded ranks of the religious bureaucracy made up of mosque functionaries, teachers, jurisconsults, and judges. Such men were enrolled as 'ulama in official ledgers, exempted from taxation, and even exempted from confiscation of their personal estates at death. Their leading families became, one scholar has judged, "the nearest thing to a hereditary aristocracy in Ottoman history."/11/ If less powerful, the Mughal 'ulama may well also have been more independent. There was among them a strong tradition of moral detachment, and in every reign there were resignations over policies deemed irreligious. There were, moreover, semi-independent centers of scholarly activity. Nevertheless, most 'ulama felt that the significant arena for their work was among the powerful.

An 'alim would, moreover, associate himself with the state not only in order to have a successful career, but also [22]to further his religious ideas and interpretations. This is clear, for example, in the career of the eminent religious leader Shaikh Ahmad Sarhindi (1564-1624). Born into a scholarly family in the Punjab, he traveled to the capital, where he frequented the court and cultivated relations with prominent nobles, some of whom became his disciples. He conducted an extensive correspondence not only with his disciples and students but with political leaders, including the emperor. Summoned to the court of Jahangir (r.1605-1627), his views proved offensive to the king, and he was jailed for a year. Later he again found favor and was the recipient of royal patronage. His goal was to gain an audience for his intellectual and religious interpretations, and to do so he adopted the strategy of lending his prestige and dignity to the support of patrons who, in turn, furthered his concerns. One can imagine this pattern repeated at all levels of the government. It held true for Sufi shaikhs--as, indeed, Ahmad Sarhindi was--as well as for the 'ulama./12/

There were tensions in the balance between religious and political authorities. But religious leaders who found particular policies offensive had little choice but to chafe or resign, then to live on endowments or the earnings of some humble occupation./13/ A ruler, in contrast, could tip the balance ever more in his favor by patronizing only the compliant religious leaders or by asserting his own claim to a religious role. Akbar (r.1556-1605) and Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707), although viewed by historians as archetypal opposites, both tried to enhance the royal position at the expense of the 'ulama. Indeed, leading 'ulama resigned from the court of each. Akbar, the eclectic, initially claimed scholarly preeminence among the 'ulama, and later went on to assert himself both as an enlightened imam with immanent spiritual authority and as the most advanced Sufi of his age, a spiritual guide himself to members of the [23] court./14/ Aurangzeb, known for his dedication to the religious Law, seems to have emphasized the perfect ordering of his own moral life as example and as cause of order in the political life of the kingdom. That he had little interest in sharing authority with the 'ulama is indicated by his definitive compilation of judicial decisions in the Fatawa-yi 'Alamgiri, for, as the court historian wrote: "When the work, with God's pleasure, is completed, it will be for all the world the standard exposition of the law, and render everyone independent of Moslem doctors."/15/ Thus there appears to have been little scope for independent influence on the part of the religious leadership.

Yet even under the Mughals, Muslims regarded religious leaders as having authority that did not depend on whatever official position or favor they might have, but rather on their closeness to God himself. A courtier or a king who was the disciple of a Sufi shaikh owed him an unquestioning allegiance far more compelling than that he owed anyone else. The shaikh was understood to have been preordained for a special role in spiritual guidance; the king--whatever theories might be developed--was to be respected only as long as he was considered strong. Not only the shaikh but the 'alim as well earned respect if he were skilled and pious. This autonomous moral authority of the religious leadership was of great importance despite the more obvious strength of the officials of the state. It was to be apparent in the eighteenth century, when Mughal authority began to weaken and the relation between political and religious authority began to change.

With the death of Aurangzeb, the last "Great Mogul," in 1707, the break-up of the empire began. By mid-century, as shown in Map 1, the successor states of Bengal, Oudh, Punjab, and the Nizam's territories of Hyderabad were es- [24] map [25] tablished, as well as the new kingdoms carved out by the Marathas, Sikhs, Rohillas, and Jats. Although the imperial line continued at the center, it was subject to the rivalries of innumerable contenders for influence. From outside Delhi came the devastating invasion of the Persian Nadir Shah (r.1736-1747) in 1739. As the poetry of the times reveals, no single event shook the inhabitants of north India more than did that first invasion. The event was perceived as a catastrophe, not only to Delhi but to civilization as a whole./16/ It was to be followed by the successive attacks of the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali (r.1747-1773) in 1748, 1757, and 1760. Later historians have pointed to imperial overexpansion and consequent proliferation of mansabdari ranks as central to the decline of the empire./17/ For people alive then the disastrous events seemed nothing less than a divine judgment.

In general, the religious leadership profited from the decline in central authority in the eighteenth century. This was true not only of the 'ulama but also of the Sufi pirs of the medieval shrines who had continued to form the religious leadership in the areas of Sind and the Punjab, in particular. There the pirs, like their counterparts elsewhere in the Muslim world, mediated among their followers and between them and political authorities and--above all--between the believer and God. Not necessarily pious themselves, they derived their authority from the barakat or charisma inherent in the tomb and lineage of their saintly forebear./18/ Although Mughal overlordship extended to both these provinces, the bureaucracy was less effective, and local leaders had maintained substantial influence. In both [26] areas the pirs, like other intermediary powers throughout the old empire, asserted themselves against regional political authorities who no longer had the backing of the imperial government./19/ At the same time, in each area movements of revitalization endowed the pirs with religious charisma of their own in addition to the authority derived from the shrine itself.

In Sind, the Sufi shaikhs were among the largest landholders of the area and had long acted as local intermediaries to political powers. The decline of the empire saw them ever more dominant. With that dominance came an outburst of religious creativity capped by the work of the Sufi poet Shah 'Abdu'l-Latif Bhita'i (1689-1752). His poetry transmuted the meaning of local legends and folk tales by putting them into the framework of the high, particularly Persian, poetic tradition in which love for the Divine and love for the human beloved serve as metaphors for each other./20/ In the Punjab the poetry of Bulhe Shah (d.1752) and Waris Shah (fl.1790) used local materials in exactly the same fashion./21/ The eighteenth century was a period of great cultural vitality at the regional level, the result in part of the stimulus provided by shifts in social structure, the patronage of the new regional powers, and the creative contact between courtly and local traditions as personnel drifted from the capital to the new courts./22/

 [27] In the Punjab, as in Sind, the Sufi leadership seems to have enhanced its position as local notables, and acted not only as foci for the religious aspirations of their followers but as a worldly leadership as well. There the eighteenth century saw a revitalization of the Nizamiyyah branch of the Chishti Sufi order as a major response to the decay of the imperial institutions. Disciples of the Delhi pir, Shah Kalimu'llah Jahanabadi (d.1729), effectively preached the necessity of an adherence to the basic requirements of the religious law, denying that the intercession of the saints of the shrines was sufficient for leading a truly religious life./23/ This emphasis on the teaching of basic doctrines and requirements of the faith was to be shared by the popularly based 'ulama of the subsequent century, as both groups left off discussion of the theological and philosophical issues that had been the staple of earlier religious leaders. The pirs, however, as locally based aristocrats, continued to work through political leaders. The preeminent Chishti of the eighteenth century in the Punjab, for example, Khwajah Nur Muhammad (d.1790), was known to have great influence over Baha'u'l-Haqq, the ruler of Bahawalpur. He himself played a political role, taking the field against the Sikhs at the end of the century, and inspiring the local Muslim population to join him in resistance. With imperial power in decay, the pirs not only filled a political void but--at least in the case of the Chishtis--acted to preserve the religious tradition as well.

The religious revitalization evident among the pirs in Sind and the Punjab was no less apparent in the imperial heartland. There the most prominent influence, affecting Sufis and 'ulama alike, came from the Naqshbandi order, which had been introduced into India primarily through the teaching of Khwajah Baqi Bi'llah (1563-1603), whose disciples had included Shaikh Ahmad Sarhindi and 'Abdu'l- [28] Haqq Dihlawi. In the eighteenth century there were prominent Naqshbandi leaders across north India. In Sind, for example, learned Naqshbandis in Thatta wrote commentaries on the Qur'an and hadis, and opposed local customs such as that of ecstatic dancing among the tombs of the saints on Makli Hill./24/ In Delhi itself, the leading mystics of the day were all Naqshbandi, among them Mirza Mazhar Jan-i Janan (1700-1780), Mir Dard (1721-1785), and the man who was at once the greatest 'alim and a leading Sufi, Shah Waliyu'llah. In Delhi, too, vernacular poetry was a vehicle for expressing religious feeling, and poets infused Urdu with Persian meters and metaphors in order to make it a medium fit for poetic expression./25/ Jan-i Janan and Dard were among the Sufi masters distinguished as poets. The Naqshbandi order, increasingly influential, was to shape the views of many 'ulama toward sobriety in spiritual experience and rigorous adherence to the religious Law./26/

The basic response of the 'ulama to the decline in central authority appears to have been quite different from that of the pirs. The 'ulama had no local base like that of the wealthy shrines, and sought first to restore the old balance [29] between themselves and the political leaders. (In the nineteenth century, when it was evident that no such balance was possible, they sought--as we shall see--to establish themselves as popularly based religious guides.) There was an urgency in the efforts of the leading 'ulama in the eighteenth century, for while stability had been created in some of the new regional systems, no such stability existed in the heartland of the empire. The 'ulama--and other thinkers as well--judged moral and religious failure to be the cause of the evident political and social failure of the times. Many therefore urged greater attention to the Law and singled out pervasive Shi'i influence as a notable problem. Above all, the 'ulama wanted to fulfill their responsibility of guarding the intellectual heritage of the faith, even without the court as protector. This impulse was evident in the protection and development of the learned tradition at Farangi Mahall in Lucknow, and in the synthetic and encyclopedic work of the great thinker, Shah Waliyu'llah.

Farangi Mahall

At the turn of the eighteenth century a family of men famed for their religious learning and long supported by the Mughal court, settled in Lucknow./27/ Its patriarch, Mulla Qutbu'd-Din (d. 1691/2), had retained close ties with the Delhi court and, with his sons, had participated in the collection of the Fatawa-yi 'Alamgiri. When Qutbu'd-Din was killed in a land dispute with a family of rival shaikhs,/28/ the [30] emperor punished his opponents and generously compensated his sons, two of whom had accompanied him on his campaign to the Deccan. His award included land in Bahraich district of Oudh, given as jagir; and the quarter of Lucknow where a French adventurer had once built a mansion known as Farangi Mahall, given in revenue-free tenure. It was to be by the name of Farangi Mahall that the family was subsequently known.

The shift to Lucknow was significant, for, as we have noted, as the century progressed the locus of artistic and intellectual vitality was to be increasingly in the regional kingdoms. In Lucknow, the Nawwab, although a Shi'i, patronized the school because it offered training for bureaucrats. He required newly arrived Iranis to present a certificate from Farangi Mahall before they could receive court patronage. Preparing qazis and muftis, the legal officials required by Muslim courts, was the specialty of Farangi Mahall, which now filled a void left by the disruption of scholarly centers in the capital.

The scholarly efforts of these 'ulama, however, went far beyond the simple training of officials. The career of one of the most famous of the family in the eighteenth century, Maulana 'Abdu'l-'Ali (1731-1810), suggests the scope of their scholarship. After he had completed his studies, Abdu'l-'Ali took service under a succession of different princes. But despite official responsibilities and frequent shifts from place to place, he demonstrated a prodigious scholarly capacity. Committed to the metaphysical doctrine of wahdatu'l-wujud, he wrote commentaries on the Fusus of Ibnu'l-'Arabi (1165-1240) and on the Masnawi of Jalalu'd-Din Rumi (d.1273). His main fields of scholarship, however, were jurisprudence, theology, and philosophy. He wrote in excellent classical Arabic and Persian. A recent scholar has judged his works to be "according to the fashion of his time, commentaries, glosses, and super-glosses on [31] most of the usual text-books." But his contempories called him "Bahru'l-'Ulum," the "Ocean of the Sciences," and "Maliku'l-'Ulama," the "chief of the 'ulama," and judged his contributions to be of great value and significance./29/

The most important measure of the intellectual contribution of the Farangi Mahalli 'ulama was their systematization of a new curriculum which, with modifications, has dominated religious teaching in South Asia to the present. The Farangi Mahallis, under the direction of a son of Qutb Sahib, Mulla Nizamu'd-Din (d.1748), expanded the existing corpus of works typically studied to include a number of books on each of the various subjects of ma'qulat: Arabic grammar, logic, philosophy, mathematics, rhetoric, fiqh, and theology. Qur'an and hadis were only marginally studied, the former through two commentaries, the latter through one abridgment./30/ This emphasis was to be reversed, as discussed below, by other groups of 'ulama, but even they were influenced by the scholarly standard set by this school. The Farangi Mahallis were respected for their desire to guard and foster the intellectual tradition in a period of political instability. This concern was widely shared by the 'ulama, as evidenced by the extent to which the new syllabus, subsequently known as the dars-i nizami, was adopted. Students came to Farangi Mahall from a wide geographic area, and they carried this syllabus with them to their homes. When, for example, the Madrasah-yi 'Aliyah in Calcutta was established under British auspices in 1780, its first principal was a graduate "who instituted the nizami curriculum there."/31/ To the extent that an important dimension of the modern transformation of the 'ulama rested in closer ties among themselves, this contribution of Farangi Mahall was an important one.

The Farangi Mahallis also fostered the tradition of combining scholarly and mystic learning. Like other religious [32] people in this period, they increasingly came to be initiated in more than one mystic order, and greatly valued mystic experience. Sufi bonds strengthened the family, for members would often be bound by common fealty to a pir, in the early eighteenth century to Sayyidu's-Sadat 'Abdu'r-Razzaq Banswi; and family ties were often reinforced by the passing of ijazat, the permission to make one's own disciples, from one generation to another. It is significant that the Farangi Mahallis did not eschew Sufi experience. As we have seen, the Punjabi Chishtis in the same period came to be known for their teaching of the Law, the subject par excellence of the 'ulama. Increasingly in post-Mughal India, the pattern of religious leadership was to become one in which the institutional distinction of 'alim and Sufi mystic was substantially blurred.

The school's policy of preparing family members and students for careers in princely service was increasingly fraught with difficulties. Nonetheless, the family clung to that style of religious occupation. Wherever there was a prince, the Farangi Mahallis sought positions under him. Thus in the mid-eighteenth century one family member was appointed as qazi in Delhi. 'Abdu'l-'Ali, whose scholarship was described above, journeyed from prince to prince, from Shahjahanpur to Rampur to Buhar to Madras and finally to the Carnatic, where the Nawwab, who was from Gopamau in Oudh, granted him both a large stipend and a madrasah in perpetuity. Another member of the family was patronized by Hafiz Rahmat Khan (1708-1774), the ruler of Rohilkhand; then, as conditions deteriorated, he fled first to Delhi, then to Rampur./32/ One family member was appointed mufti by the government of Oudh--only the first of many of the family to hold that post. Three members of the family joined princely armies. The travels, the varieties of employment, the violent deaths of at least one member in each of the first four generations of the family--all this suggests the difficulties facing the family in maintaining the pattern of dependence on princes.

[33] Still, this pattern continued without change well into the nineteenth century. In each generation there would be some to uphold the family tradition of teaching and serious scholarship. There would also be pious mystics, one of whom in each generation held the imamship of the Farangi Mahall mosque. Hazrat Muhammad 'Abdu'l-Wali was one such 'alim, a man who had thousands of disciples in the period before 1857. But most of the family, in any generation, would seek a livelihood in official employment. After completing their education they would turn to princes or the British government as a source of jobs and support. Their motive was in part financial, for many who lacked jobs lived very impecuniously; but they were also simply following the pattern of occupation that had continued from Mughal days.

The princes encouraged this arrangement. The Muslim courts of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century prided themselves on their cultural attainments, among which religious learning held an important place. In Rohilkhand a Pathan kingdom flourished; at its height under Hafizu'l-Mulk as many as five thousand scholars were said to be supported by the ruler and other patrons. Hafizu'l-Mulk himself presided over a board of the learned who supervised education, and he honored those who completed their studies with lavish court ceremonial. But Hafizu'l-Mulk's kingdom, like that of many princes, did not last long.

The Farangi Mahalli 'ulama, however, even though demand for their skills declined and the availability of princely patronage was increasingly scarce, did not consciously seek a more independent position for themselves by addressing a more widely based audience. Rather they continued to focus, as had the 'ulama of Mughal days, on abstruse and technical kinds of scholarship. They did not as a group have the interest in popular reform characteristic of some other 'ulama. This was evident in their continued emphasis on ma'qulat and in the fact that they taught Shi'i as well as Sunni students, cooperating as they did with the Oudh court. The Farangi Mahallis thus represented in attenuated form the style of religious leadership that had flourished [34] [[Figure I. A group of scholars at Farangi Mahall today]] under the Mughals. Yet in their independent efforts to maintain a high intellectual standard for the 'ulama, their success in drawing students from a wide area, and their integration of the bookish and mystic traditions, they exemplified increasingly important characteristics of the 'ulama in the post-Mughal period. It was, above all, their erudition that won them respect and support from Muslims anxious to guard their intellectual heritage. When the Farangi Mahallis found themselves, willy-nilly, without a role at Muslim courts, that distinction remained./33/

[35]  Shah Waliyu'llah

Like the Farangi Mahallis, Shah Waliyu'llah hoped for a restoration of stable Muslim rule in which the 'ulama would play an important role./34/ Unlike them, he explicitly analyzed the basis of the arrangement between ruler and 'ulama and argued the necessity of their complementary functions and the need for proper balance between the two. The importance of appropriate political leadership was as self-evident to him as was the importance of religious leadership. He understood history to follow an evolutionary pattern in which society progressed through increasingly complex and encompassing stages from primitive to urban to monarchical and finally to universal orders. In the final stage, a caliph would supervise Muslim monarchs who would appoint officials to enforce the religious Law and foster, to the extent possible, an Islamic organization of society. For Shah Waliyu'llah, his era marked a regression, for not only was there no khilafat but there was not even a stable monarchical order. Going beyond analysis to active involvement, he wrote in turn to Nizamu'l-Mulk (r.1724-1748) of the successor state of Hyderabad, to Najib-u'd-Daulah (d.1790) of Rohilkhand, and even to Ahmad Shah Abdali of Afghanistan, inviting each in turn to take on the required role. In the course of his letters he offered the leaders of the day advice on statecraft and policy, urging them to cease indolence, suppress rebellions, and set the revenues aright by limiting jagir holdings and increas- [36]ing the amount of land under direct control./35/ His efforts proved vain, but he thus enunciated the pervasive ideal of enlightened Muslim leadership guided by responsible 'ulama.

In that ideal, the "outer caliphate," the zahiri khilafat, would be responsible for securing order and stability, whereas the "inner caliphate," the batini khilafat of the religious leaders, would guide the ruler and instruct the community. Even in a flawed political order, however, Shah Waliyu'llah sought an important role for the religious leadership, the kind of role he himself exemplified in advising rulers, guiding the community, and safeguarding the intellectual heritage. The more independent stance he advocated for the 'ulama contrasted with that of the Farangi Mahalli 'ulama. His own family had chafed at the subordinate role the Delhi court was willing to accord the leading 'ulama. His father, Shaikh 'Abdu'r-Rahim (1644-1718), had been called on to assist in the collection of the Fatawa-yi 'Alamgiri, but he had disliked courtly life and had withdrawn to found a college, the Madrasah-yi Rahimiyyah. Shah Waliyu'llah succeeded his father as director of that school and devoted his life wholly to study and teaching.

It was his success in mastering the intellectual tradition that gave him his influence. In this Shah Waliyu'llah's contribution was no less great than that of the Farangi Mahalli 'ulama. His success, however, rested neither in curricular and institutional innovation nor in the compilation of mere commentaries, but in a major individual effort at intellectual synthesis and systematization, an unprecedented tatbiq of the whole range of Islamic knowledge. Troubled by the disorder he saw around him, perhaps even sensing that he was at the end of an age, he sought to stem the tide of decline by consolidating and clarifying the entire body of the Islamic tradition. Knowledge of the truth would bring Muslims to religious obedience that would end the divisions and deviations he so greatly deplored. He felt himself [37] uniquely endowed by divine gifts for a task, as he understood it, never before attempted./36/ His Hujjatu'llahu'l-Balighah is a monument to his efforts to elucidate and enshrine the glorious intellectual tradition of the faith.

Shah Waliyu'llah's work was characterized by an insistence on the necessity of the study of hadis, a study that had been peripheral for most of the 'ulama. Inspired by Shaikh Abu't-Tahir ibn Ibrahim and other scholars during his stay in the Hijaz, he made hadis his major academic interest to the point that he is, in fact, typically known by the title of scholar of hadis, muhaddis. His work and the work of his family in this field placed the seal on India's reputation in hadis and decisively set the emphasis for many 'ulama who were to follow.

Shah Waliyu'llah argued that unquestioning adherence to late compilations of legal decisions was an inadequate guide to religious truth. He blamed this dominant approach to the Law, known as taqlid, for laxity in religious matters and for differences among the law schools. Were learned Muslims to study revelation, they could unite in obedience to authentic teachings. He argued that the "door to ijtihad," in the classical phrase, was not closed, and that those skilled in the traditional sciences had the right and indeed the responsibility to consult original sources./37/ He did not deny the high worth of the writings of the imams of the law schools, but rather believed they should be used in the light of hadis. An 'alim, he argued, should know the judgments of all the law schools and consult them eclectically, using whichever accorded best with hadis. The Muwatta of Imam Malik (d.795), he suggested, best corresponded with the hadis, and disagreements between the Hanafi and Shafi'i schools could be reconciled by consulting it. The hadis, he maintained, provided an absolute standard, and he sought to demonstrate in his writings how seeming conflicts among the hadis could invariably be rec- [38]onciled if they were properly understood, and if only hadis of unquestioned authenticity were accepted. He made the same point about the Qur'an, arguing cogently in his Qur'anic commentary its consistency and clarity. He urged acceptance of the obvious meaning of verses and tried to demonstrate that very few if any had been abrogated by later revelation. His espousal of jurisprudential eclecticism combined with consultation of Qur'an and hadis clearly enhanced the responsibility of the 'ulama for interpreting the Law to their followers.

Shah Waliyu'llah explicitly denied the value of study of ma'qulat, regarding those subjects as mere intellectual exercises and a source of confusion./38/ The value, by contrast, of manqulat in bringing people closer to the central teachings of Islam was apparent. He wanted both the sources and his interpretations of them readily available to the whole educated class, not only to the 'ulama. To this end he translated the Qur'an from Arabic into Persian, the cultural and political lingua franca of the day. This was one of his earliest endeavors and a mark of his independence of character, for it earned him only criticism from the official 'ulama./39/ He was convinced of the importance of this effort, and in his Fathu'r-Rahman he urged people to study the Qur'an directly, not even using a commentary and--again insisting on the central role of the religious leadership--to consult a teacher if in doubt./40/

Shah Waliyu'llah, however, did not invite all Muslims or even all educated Muslims to engage in ijtihad. In matters of the Law, as in other aspects of the faith, he sustained the pervasive Islamic orientation that certain interpretations of the faith could only be understood by the religious elite, the khass, and should not even be discussed with the 'amm, who could easily slip into error. Hence, on the matter [39] of the Law he felt that most 'ulama and believers should adhere to the Hanafi school of law, and that only the few should pursue the reinvigoration of the faith he espoused. Indeed, a divine revelation had indicated that Hanafi law should be followed in India./41/ This prudent discrimination also characterized his work on sufism.

One of the central issues in Indian sufism, one that had engaged intellectual circles at least since the seventeenth century, was that of wahdatu'l-wujud, literally Unity of Being, but commonly defined as ontological or existential monism or even as pantheism./42/ The wujudi position had been formulated by the thirteenth-century Spanish mystic Ibnu'l- 'Arabi and had reached India through the writings of nearly contemporary Persian poets. The issue derived from the attempt to define the basic relationship between man and God. In this view, the better to affirm the singleness of God, creation is denied anything but an illusory empirical existence. This existence, the mystic argued, had to obliterate itself (fana) in the Existence that alone subsists (baqa). For such identity to be possible, the human spirit has to be a direct emanation from the Divine. Opponents have claimed that this view in fact denies tauhid, the unity and transcendence of God, and encourages the believer to be lax in matters of the Law.

In India, opposition to this theory was associated with the early Naqshbandis, above all with Shaikh Ahmad Sarhindi, who asserted that the experience of wahdatu'l-wujud did not represent all understanding of the ultimate nature of reality, but rather was merely a perception of unity that was superseded by perceptions associated with yet higher stages of spiritual advancement. His position, associated [40] with the phrase wahdatu'sh-shuhud, Unity of Witness or phenomenological monism, has usually been understood to refer to this capacity to understand the unreality of Unity of Being, and the higher understanding of the transcendence of God./43/

Shah Waliyu'llah tried in work after work to resolve the controversy on this issue. His arguments, shared by his contemporary Naqshbandi, Mirza Mazhar Jan-i Janan, altered the previously dominant view of their order./44/ Others, one might note--particularly Khwajah Mir Nasir 'Andalib, his son Khwaja Mir Dard, and Ghulam Yahya--all continued to adhere to the views of Shaikh Ahmad. But Shah Waliyu'llah argued that the wujudi position was in fact legitimate, and that if properly understood confirmed the shuhudi position./45/ The whole universe is pervaded by a common existence, he argued, an existence both immanent and transcendent, but beyond that existence is the Original Existence of God. His understanding of this problem in no way affected his commitment to the Law. Yet he knew that others could be misled, and he therefore argued discretion in discussing such subtle matters. His father held the wujudi position unreservedly, but refused to discuss the issue publicly./46/ In part because of Shah Waliyu'llah's interpretation, the wujudi position, a complex and important strand in Sufi thought, has since been dominant in India.

A final issue in Shah Waliyu'llah's writings that attracted interest both in his time and after was his attitude toward the Shi'ah. The Shi'ah, who venerated the Prophet's son- in-law 'Ali, his family, and the imams who inherited his spiritual power, were thought to be little less than polytheist./47/ Hence to some Sunnis, a particular provocation to [41] Divine displeasure in the eighteenth century was the ascendancy of the Shi'ah, which culminated in the attempts of the Emperor Bahadur Shah (r.1707-1712) to introduce Shi'i practices at the imperial court. Two of the most important successor states, Oudh and Bengal, were explicitly Shi'i. The Lucknow court of Oudh, whose independence can be dated from 1722, was a center of Shi'i culture, fostered by the nobility and stimulated by an influx of Iranians. Under its influence there were notable conversions to Shi'ism even beyond the boundaries of Oudh, including that of the Sayyids of Amrohah and the Nawwabs of Rampur./48/ The Lucknow court patronized Shi'i mujtahids such as the distinguished Dildar 'Ali Khan (1753-1819), who had studied in Iran and was known for his debates with Sunni 'ulama. The court also patronized Shi'i madrasahs, among them at least two new ones founded under the nawwabs./49/ In Hyderabad, even though the Nizam himself was Sunni, there was a marked increase of Shi'i nobles in the eighteenth century, among them courtiers who had left places such as Mysore, Madras, and Oudh, which were affected by the presence of the British./50/ Some Sunnis have held the turning to Shi'i doctrine to be a response to decline, "when man depends on things created instead of on the Creator."/51/ Such Shi'i practices as the mourning assemblies and processions of Muharram were made the particular target of Sunnis seeking a scrupulous adherence to the Law. The aged Mirza Mazhar Jan-i Janan focused on opposition to Shi'i practices in his pronouncements, and met his death [42] in 1780 at the knife of a Shi'i assassin./52/ In this atmosphere, Shah Waliyu'llah again sought unity and reconciliation. He was personally devoted to the veneration of 'Ali./53/ However, like other Sunnis, he insisted that the succession of the first four caliphs was legitimate, thus disagreeing with the Shi'ah who maintained that 'Ali and his family should have followed the Prophet. He did take the original position that the first three caliphates were not all superior to that of the fourth, 'Ali's, but rather judged only the first two, when there was unity and peace among Muslims, to be superior./54/ But he was not notably successful in persuading Shi'ah and Sunni either to accept this view or to be reconciled because of it.

The Sunnis at least remember his personality as tolerant and generous in spirit. The descriptions of later 'ulama perhaps obscure his real personality in favor of the ideal of religious leadership in Indian Islam, which emphasized patience and forebearance, tolerance of others' foibles, and inclination to compromise. But he himself no doubt aspired to that ideal, and in many instances did exemplify it. His acceptance of the division of society into the khass and 'amm, for example, was not considered conspiratorial or opportunist but wise and prudent. A man of understanding would speak to others in accordance with their capacity for understanding. This was intrinsic to the breadth religion ought to have.

He also exemplified the ideal pattern of religious leader by being both saint and 'alim. As 'alim he produced a prodigious body of scholarship, thanks in part to his regular habits, self-control, and great discipline./55/ But, as his title waliyu'llah (the friend of God) reveals, he was also a saint. Indeed it had been revealed to his mother at the tomb of the great Chishti saint Khwajah Qutbu'd-Din Bakhtiyar (d.1236) that her future offspring would be the qutbu'l-aqtab, [43] the saint of the age, the pivot around whom the world revolves. His saintly attainments were such that he himself was accorded many visions, most notably one in Mecca that instructed him to undertake his work of religious renewal./56/ His work was a celebration of Islam, for he held that every injunction of the faith was of profit and value to man, invariably conducive to some worldly or spiritual interest./57/ He exulted in his foreordained role of clarifying and systematizing the faith, for he believed himself to be a fatih, the inaugurator of a new era. He claimed to have created a synthesis beyond even that of al-Ghazali (d.1111), uniting not only reason ('aql) and tradition (naql) but the gnosis (ma'rifat) of the Sufi as well./58/

Shah Waliyu'llah expected his work to be continued by his quartet of able sons and, indeed, a dream of the Prophet assured him on his deathbed it would be./59/ A fundamental orientation of his work, however, had been the hope that Muslim political leadership would be restored, with the 'ulama carrying on their collaborative role of teaching and advising the ruler of the state. His successors found that hope to be vain, and rather acted as the "internal caliphs" to the extent that it was possible in a situation of alien rule. In so doing, they were indebted to Shah Waliyu'llah for a manifold legacy: a sense of their importance as leaders; a commitment to the study of hadis and Law; a model in personality and attainments; and a desire for unity based on religious obedience.

Shah Waliyu'llah and the Farangi Mahallis were not alone in defining a new pattern for the 'ulama. By the time of Shah Waliyu'llah's death in 1762, a pattern had been set for the activity of the 'ulama. In the late eighteenth century, many had found employment in the new regional kingdoms, and there, as well as in Delhi, found patronage [44] and stimulation for a new commitment to their historic role of preserving the cultural heritage of the community in times of political uncertainty. There was then a new self-consciousness about the role and responsibility of the 'ulama. One significant measure of this was the beginning of a new genre of writing in India, that of biographical dictionaries that explicitly took as their purview the 'ulama. Heretofore in India, with apparently only one exception, dictionaries of religious leaders were devoted to Sufis alone./60/ To be sure, many Sufis were in fact scholars as well, just as many of those later listed as 'ulama were Sufi shaikhs. What is important is that in the later period the institution of the 'ulama was to be the more significant one for organizing religious leadership.

Foremost among the eighteenth-century biographers of the 'ulama was Mir Ghulam 'Ali Azad of Bilgram in Oudh (1704-1786). A contemporary of Shah Waliyu'llah, he, too, performed the pilgrimage and studied hadis in the Hijaz. He subsequently spent almost half a century settled in Aurangabad, part of the independent territory of the Nizam, writing on hadis, literature, history, biography, and poetry. He wrote two biographical dictionaries of the 'ulama, a general one and one limited to the scholars of Bilgram. He also prepared a compendium of references to India culled from Qur'anic commentaries and hadis, indicating perhaps that he felt not only a new self-consciousness about the role of the 'ulama, but also a new awareness of geographic [45] identity inspired by his experience in the Hijaz./61/ Such speculation aside, Azad's career, like the careers of the early Farangi Mahallis and of Shah Waliyu'llah, indicates clearly that in religious scholarship many 'ulama had found a role deeply valued by Muslims of their day./62/


1. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, "The 'Ulama.' in Indian Politics," in C. H. Philips, ed., Politics and Society in India (London, 1963), p. 42. [ back ]
2. From the Hujjatu'lllihu'l-Balighah, quoted in Muhammad Mujeeb, The Indian Muslims (London, 1967), p. 279. [ back ]
3. See Peter Hardy, "The Muslim Ruler in India," in William Theodore de Bary, ed., Sources of Indian Tradition {New York, 1958), pp. 463ff. [ back ]
4. See Ira M. Lapidus, Muslim Cities in the Late Middle Ages {Cambridge, 1967), for a detailed study of the role of the 'ulama in Muslim social and political life. [ back ]
5. Marshall G. S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam, Ill, The Gunpowder Empires and Modern Times (Chicago, 1974) discusses at length the structures of these three empires. [ back ]
6. Mujeeb, Indian Muslims, pp. 204-205. [ back ]
7. Aziz Ahmad, An Intellectual History of Islamic India (Edinburgh, 1969), p. 8 suggests that this new interest was in part the result of the sea opening to the Hijaz, in part "the challenge of Akbar's eclecticism." [ back ]
8. Mujeeb, Indian Muslims, p. 58. [ back ]
9. The work was translated from Arabic into Persian and thence to English by Charles Hamilton in the late eighteenth century. He left out, however, the whole section on 'ibadat except for those portions related to zakat. In 1870 Standish Grove Grady prepared an edition of Hamilton's translation, omitting further such topics as the role of the qazi, irrelevant in British India. This edition has been recently reprinted as The Hedaya or Guide; A Commentary on the Mussulman Laws (Lahore, 1963). [ back ]
10. Mujeeb, Indian Muslims, p. 405. [ back ]
11. Richard L. Chambers, "The Ottoman Ulema and the Tanzimat," in Nikki R. Keddie, ed., Scholars, Saints, and Sufis: Muslim Religious Institutions since 1500 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1972), p. 34. In addition to the Chambers article, see also Richard Repp, "Some Observations on the Development of the Ottoman Learned Hierarchy ," pp. 17-32 in the same volume. [ back ]
12. For an excellent study of Sarhindi's thought, see Yohanan Friedmann, Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (Montreal, 1971). [ back ]
13. For a discussion of the forms of support given the 'ulama, see Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India (London, 1963), chapter VIII. [ back ]
14. See Hodgson, Venture of Islam, III, 75-80 for an analysis of the political theories advanced during Akbar's reign. See also the selections in de Bary, Sources of Indian Tradition, I, chapters XVI and XVII, for the divergent political theories of Mughal thinkers. [ back ]
15. Bakhtawar Khan, "Mir-at-i-'Alam," in H. M. Elliott and John Dow- son, The History of India as Told by Its Own Historians (Allahabad, 1964 reprint), VII, 160. [ back ]
16. Ralph Russell and Khurshidullslam, Three MughaIPoets: Mir, Sauda, Mir Hasan (London, 1968), pp. 15-22. [ back ]
17. See Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court: 1700-40 (Aligarh, 1959). [ back ]
18. J. Spencer Trimingham, The Sufi Orders in Islam (Oxford, 1971) presents an analysis of the routinization of charisma in these shrines and the consequent stability and popular influence this afforded. See also David Gilmartin, .'Tribe, Land, and Religion in the Punjab: Muslim Politics and the Making of Pakistan" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1979) for an excellent discussion of the shrine-based Punjabi pirs. [ back ]
19. For a study of this process in Bengal, see Philip Calkins, "The Formation of a Regionally Oriented Ruling Group in Bengal, 1700-1740," Journal of Asian Studies, 29 (August 1970),777-806. [ back ]
20. H. T. Sorley, Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit (Karachi, 1966) includes both an essay about the poet and his times and translations of his poetry. Annemarie Schimmel, Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth-Century Muslim India (Leiden, 1976) is a detailed study of the poetry and religious thought of Mir Dard ("Pain") and Shah. Abdu'l- Latif ("Grace"). [ back ]
21. For translations of the Punjabi poetry, see Lajwanti Raffia Krishna, Panjabi Sufi Poets (London and Calcutta, 1938). The entire Hir Ranjha of Waris Shah, the most popular poem in the language, has been translated into English by Charles Frederick Usborne, available in an edition edited by Mumtaz Hasan (Karachi, 1966). [ back ]
22. Richard B. Barnett, North India Between Empires: Awadh, the Mughals, and the British, 1720-1801 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1980) discusses the extent to which competition among the nobility in a protected state took the form of cultural competition. [ back ]
23. See K. A. Nizami, "Cishtiyya," in the Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed. (Leiden, 1954-) (hereafter EI2), II. See also: M. Zameerudin Siddiqi, "The Resurgence of the Chishti Silsilah in the Punjab during the Eighteenth Century ," in Indian Historical Congress, Proceedings of the Thirty- Second Session (Jabalpur, 1970), 1,408-12. [ back ]
24. Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill, N .C., 1975), p. 397. [ back ]
25. The flowering of Urdu poetry in the eighteenth century has been well studied in Russell and Islam, Three Mughal Poets. See also the general histories of Urdu: Ram Babu Saxena, History of Urdu Literature (Allahabad, 1940); Muhammad Sadiq, A History of Urdu Literature (London, 1964); and Annemarie Schimmel, Classical Urdu Literature from the Beginning to Iqbal (Wiesbaden, 1975). Two opposing theories about the change from Persian to Urdu are in: Aziz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment (London, 1964), pp. 252-53, where the author anachronistically attributes the change to a concern for the preservation of a minority culture, seeing it as an "instinctive escape from the fear of submergence into the Hindu cultural milieu"; and Fritz Lehman, "Urdu Literature and Mughal Decline," paper delivered at the 82nd meeting of the American Historical Association, Toronto, December 29, 1967, where the change is described as a statement of "lndianness," "a desire to speak not to an international but to an Indian Muslim community." Neither explanation seems to me as significant as the fundamental shift to a regional focus for political and cultural expression. [ back ]
26. For a bibliography of works relating to the Naqshbandi order, see Hamid Algar, "Biographical Notes on the Naqshbandi Tariqat," in George F. Hourani, ed., Essays on Islamic Philosophy and Science (Albany, 1975), pp. 254-59. [ back ]
27. The material in this section is primarily abstracted from the biographical compendium by Muhammad 'Inayatu'llah Ansari, Tazkirah- yi 'Ulama-yi Farangi Mahall (Lucknow, n.d.). I am very grateful to Francis Robinson for informative comments on Farangi Mahall (in a personal communication, June 12, 1978). He notes that the family was supported at least from the sixteenth century, when Akbar made a generous madad- i ma'ash grant to Mulla Hafiz, Qutbu'd-Din's great-great-grandfather. [ back ]
28. The term shaikh in India is used for a Sufi master and, as here, for those regarded as descendants of the companions of the Prophet. The shaikhs were part of the ashraf, the well-born or respectable of Indian Muslim society, whose definition seems to have taken form in the eighteenth century. The ashraf were divided into four ranked grades, each claiming non-Indian descent: the sayyids, the descendants of the Prophet; the shaikhs, the descendants of his companions; the Mughals, who entered India with the Timurid rulers; and the Pathans or Afghans, who came both as rulers and settlers. [ back ]
29. Muhammad Shafi', "Bahr ul-'Ulum," E12, II. [ back ]
30. Mujeeb, Indian Muslims, pp. 406-408, lists the books included in the dars-i nizami. [ back ]
31. For this and other examples of students who came to Farangi Mahall from Bengal, see 'Abdu's-Sattar, Tarikh-i Madrasah-yi 'Aliyah (Dacca, 1959). [ back ]
32. Syed Altar Ali Barelvi, Life of Hafiz Rahmat Khan (Karachi, 1966), p.268. [ back ]
33. Shaikh Muhammad Ikram, Rud-i Kausar (Lahore, 1968), pp. 603-10, criticizes their activities as totally out of touch with the needs of the Muslim community. Maulana 'Abdu'l-Halim Sharar, Guzashtah Lakhna'u ya Mashriq ke Tamaddun ka Akhiri Namunah (Lucknow, n.d.), pp. 25-26, 93, 119-22, the account of a litterateur at the beginning of this century, offers a far more positive appraisal. This book has recently been translated by E. S. Harcourt and Fakhir Hussain under the title, Lucknow: The Last Phase of an Oriental Culture {London, 1975). For Farangi Mahall see especially pp. 74-76. [ back ]
34. Shah Waliyu'llah--like the Farangi Mahallis--still awaits a definitive study. One of the most useful books available on Shah Waliyu'llah is G. N. Jalbani, Teachings of Shah Waliyullah of Delhi (2nd ed., Lahore, 1973). It organizes material about him by academic subject: Qur'an, hadis, fiqh, tasawwuf, etc., and attempts to present faithfully Shah Waliyu'llah's own views. For details of his life, see Aziz Ahmad, Studies, pp. 201-209; Muhammad Ikram, Rud-i Kauar, pp. 527-68; Masood Ghaznavi, "Shah Wali Ullah Dehlavi: His Political and Social Thought" (an unpublished paper); and S.A.A. Rizvi, "The Breakdown of Traditional Society," in The Cambridge History of Islam {Cambridge, 1970), 11,67-96. [ back ]
35. Khaliq Ahmad Nizami, Shah Waliyu'llah Dihlawi ke Siyasi Maktubat (Delhi, 1969); Hafeez Malik, Moslem Nationalism in India and Pakistan (Washington, D.C., 1963), pp. 135-39. [ back ]
36. Fazlur Rahman, "The Thinker of Crisis: Shah Waliy-ullah," Pakistan Quarterly, 6:2 {1956), 44. [ back ]
37. On this subject see Mohammad Daud Rahbar, "Shah Wali Ullah and Ijtihad," The Muslim World, 45 {October 1955), 357. [ back ]
38. Mawlavi M. Hidayat Husain, "The Persian Autobiography of Shah Wali-ullah bin. Abd al-Rahim al-Dihlavi: Its English Translation and a List of His Works," Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 8 (1912), 167. [ back ]
39. Mujeeb, Indian Muslims, p. 277. [ back ]
40. Jalbani, Waliyullah, p. 7. [ back ]
41. Professor Masood Ghaznavi has, in a personal communication, pointed to this kashf recorded in the Fuyuzu'l-Haramain, and has suggested that this position in particular is suggestive of the comprehensiveness of Shah Waliyu'llah's tatbiq. [ back ]
42. These are the terms, respectively. of Aziz Ahmad, Studies, p. 187; L. Gardet, "Allah," EI2, I; and K. A. Nizami, "Hind," EI2, III. Each of these authors presents a worthwhile perspective on this complex subject. For a lucid and compelling insight into the wujudi philosophy, see the writings of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, particularly Sufi Essays (London, 1972). [ back ]
43. Friedmann, Sirhindi, pp. 59-68. [ back ]
44. Nizami, .'Hind," EI2, III. [ back ]
45. De Bary, Sources of Indian Tradition, 1,454.  [ back ]
46. Muhammad Ikra.m, Rud-i Kausar, p. 536. [ back ]
47. For descriptions of Shi'i customs, particularly in the successor state of Oudh, see Mrs. Meer Hasan Ali, Observations on the Mussulmans of India (London, 1832), an account of an English woman who married into a respectable Shi'i family of Lucknow; and Sharar, Guzishtah Lakhnau. For an account of the Shi'ah in the Deccan, see Ja'far Sharif, Islam in India or the Qanun-i-Islam, translated by G. A. Herklots and edited by William Crooke (reprint, Delhi, 1972). Also see John Norman Hollister , The Shi'a of India {London, 1953), and Murray T. Titus, Islam in India and Pakirtan (Calcutta, 1959). [ back ]
48. Muhammad Ayyub Qadiri, Maulana Muhammad Ahsan Nanautawi (Karachi, 1966), p. 6; and Sayyid Manazir Ahsan Gilani, Sawanih-i Qasimi {Deoband, 1955), 1,67. [ back ]
49. Sayyid Tufail Ahmad Manglauri, Musalmanon-ka Raushan Mustaqbil (Delhi, 1945), p. 138. [ back ]
50. Karen Leonard, "The Hyderabad Politcal System and Its Participants," Journal of Asian Studies, 30:3 {1971),581. [ back ]
51. Manazir Ahsan Gilani, Sawanih-i Qasimi, I, 60. [ back ]
52. Zuhuru'l Hasan Kasoli, ed., Arwah-i Salasah (Saharanpur, 1950), pp. 22-23. [ back ]
53. Muhammad Ikram, Rud-i Kausar, p. 57. [ back ]
54. Zuhuru'l Hasan Kasoli, ed., Arwah-i Salasah, pp. 16-17. [ back ]
55. Muhammad Ikram, Rud-i Kausar, p. 550. [ back ]
56. Zuhuru'l Hasan Kasoli, ed., Arwah-i Salasah, pp. 18-19. [ back ]
57. Muhammad lkram, Rud-i Kausar, p. 570. [ back ]
58. Dr. A. J. Halepota, Philosophy of Shah Waliullah (Lahore, n.d.), pp. 5-6. [ back ]
59. Zuhuru'l Hasan Kasoli, ed., Arwah-i Salasah, p. 19. [ back ]
60. The exception is that of' Abdu'l-Haqq Muhaddis. The general point about the paucity of early biographical dictionaries of the 'ulama is made in two introductions to one of the major dictionaries of the nineteenth century, Tazkirah-yi 'Ulama'-yi Hind of Rahman 'Ali, translated into Urdu by Muhammad Ayyub Qadiri (Karachi, 1964). Maulana Muhammad 'Abdu'r-Rashid Nu'mani, in his introduction (pp. 30-34), suggests that scholars of hadis are typically interested in biography as well, pre- sumably because their study necessitates examination of the lives of transmitters of the traditions in order to decide if they were reliable. The introduction by Dr. Sayyid Mu'inu'l-Haqq (pp. 35-66) mentions one other eighteenth-century biographical dictionary (included in a general history), Farhatu'n-Nazirin by Muhammad Aslam, written in 1770. [ back ]
61. A. S. Bazmee Ansari, "Azad Bilgrami," EJ2, 11. See also his article "Fadl-i Imam" EI2, 11. Fazl-i Imam Khairabadi {d. 1829), the first sadru's-sudur under the East India Company in Delhi, is also notable as one of the first biographers of the 'ulama. His Tarajim ul-Fuzala' comprises biographical notices of the leading scholars of Oudh. The text with translation has been published by the Pakistan Historical Society, edited by Mufti Intizamullah Shihabi {Karachi, 1965). [ back ]
62. For a list of outstanding scholars of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, see Mohiuddin Ahmad, Saiyid Ahmad Shahid: His Life and Mission {Lucknow, 1975), pp. 14-16. [ back ]

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