By Usha Sanyal
Introduces the mythical chief of the nice 20th-century Sunni move.
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Extra info for Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: in the path of the prophet
Thus, the angel Gabriel “stands for the ... inherent possession of prophethood in the Prophet himself and thus stands for the cause of revelation” (Troll, 1978: 181). He was also critical of much of the hadith literature, dismissing it as being inauthentic. 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.
Not only would the curriculum offer an array of Western subjects (the natural sciences, mathematics, literature, and so on), but it would also be residential. Over the years, as David Lelyveld (1978) eloquently demonstrates, the school fostered a strong sense of belonging – even brotherhood – among the students, many of whom had come from outside the immediate geographical area. Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s goal of training a generation of Muslims who would become part of the new government structure was also partially realized, to the extent that three-quarters of school graduates got government positions.
It was deemed imperative to reform the prevalent styles of learning. ” (Zaman, 2002: 69) The founders hoped that all Indian madrasas would follow its lead and adopt the curriculum that they proposed to put together. ”The study of “exegesis [of the Qur’an], hadith, history, and Arabic literature” was to be emphasized, while that of logic and philosophy – the hallmark of the Dars-i Nizami syllabus they were trying to reform – was downplayed (Zaman, 2002: 71–72). 044 10/12/2004 5:11 PM Page 41 THE MUSLIM RESPONSE 41 syllabus had been designed in the eighteenth century.
Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi: in the path of the prophet by Usha Sanyal