By Usha Sanyal
Introduces the mythical chief of the nice 20th-century Sunni stream.
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Extra info for Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World)
In a land ruled by Muslims (termed dar ul-Islam in Islamic law), interest (sud, or, in Arabic, riba) is prohibited. However, in the troubled circumstances of the early nineteenth century, many Muslims had fallen on hard times and were deeply in debt. If Shah ‘Abd ul-‘Aziz were to judge on the basis of the Islamic sources of law (Qur’an, hadith, and the principles of analogy [qiyas], and community consensus or ijma) that the legal status of British-controlled territory had changed (or, in Islamic terms, that it was dar ul-harb rather than dar ul-Islam), the prohibition on taking and receiving interest could be temporarily suspended.
The influence of this movement on Indian reform movements was felt through the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, through extensive periods of study by a small number of Indian Muslims at Mecca and Medina, and by the general improvement in communications which occurred in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The founder of the Wahhabi movement was Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab (1703–87). His message was an insistence on the unity of God (tawhid), which meant that all forms of superstition (the veneration of saints’ tombs, holy objects, and the like) were contrary to the worship of the one God.
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. Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s reformist ideas were intimately connected with the political context of late nineteenth-century British India. He came from a family which had been associated with Mughal rule, and he keenly felt the loss of that rule. In his view, Muslims had lost out to the British because they had failed to keep up with the scientific progress of the West and had allowed their practice of the faith to lapse as well.
Ahmad Riza Khan (Makers of the Muslim World) by Usha Sanyal