Modern developments inside Islam
Muslims wanted to accommodate Islam in the constantly changing political
and social realities.
After the Mongol onslaught and the abolition of the Abbasid caliphate in
1258 had largely destroyed the inherited political forms, there arose a
Hanbalite persuasion, Ibn Taimiyya (1328) turned against the non-Islamic
accretions to popular Sufism and the veneration of saints.
Ibn Taimiyya accepted only Quran and hadith as sources of the law and
claimed the right for himself the right of ijtihad.
Due to his attitude, he was sent to prison several times and yet he was a role
model for many Muslims who wanted new interpretation of Islam in the
modern era (eighteen and nineteenth century).
Many reformers including Mohammed ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab were known as
Wahhabi’s. However, Abdul wahab’s partisans called themselves
“muwahhidun” meaning “those of who proclaim divine unity”.
They succeeded in conquering Mecca and Medina in 1803-1806 with the help
of Arab family Al Sa’ud.
Abolished all traces of saint worships and tombs.
After WWI, when the Saud Family rose to power, the Wahhabis gained new
strength and their doctrine spread all over the whole area what was then
called Saudi Arabia.
Around the same time as ‘Abdul Wahhab, Indian theologians too studied in
mecca. Among them was
Shah waliullah of Delhi
Tried to introduce north Indian Muslims into true meaning of the
Quran, which was only possible by translating the Quran into Persian
the language of educated classes in India as well as Urdu.
Mir Dard (1785):
Represented the tariqa muhammadiyya, “the Muhammad Path”.
The tariqa muhammadiyya is a mystically interiorized fundamentalist
movement which half a century later inspired both the name and
ideals of a group of Indian Muslim freedom fighters
The name of the tariqa points to the central role of the rophet in the
life and theology of its adherent.
Two most important groups of this kind were
1. Tajaniyya based in Algiers and Sudan and the kingdom of Sokoto,
which was led by the leader, named Osman dan Fodio. This helped
spread islam in the west Africa
2. Sunasiyya was mainly in North and Central Africa.
During Eighteen century:
European power grew stronger in Islamic world especially in India. Shah waliullah was not aware of the danger that threatened Delhi (city in
India) , while he was busy securing the neighboring countries especially Iran
to fight the rising Sikhs and Mahrattas in central India and the Punjab.
The expanding British rule created lots of difficulties for Muslims.
They created new laws that contradicted Islamic law.
An important part of auqaf (pious) land was taxed
Their personal income was used to keep up with building of mosques and
colleges. The taxation led to frustration for the Muslims.
Due to this, one of the sons of Shah Waliullah declared the part of India under
British administration as dar a-harb meaning “war country” i.e. non-Muslims.
In 1835, the British substituted English for Persian as the official language
because of which the Muslims refrained their children from going to British
missionary schools and therefore excluded themselves.
Because of this, many Muslims lacked modern western educational that was
required for working as a government servant.
In other parts of the Muslim world as in India Muslims were regarded as rebellions
against any new ruler.
It was the target in 1798 of napoleon’s expedition that led to first scholarly
investigation of the country and its civilization, beginning with pharaoic
This helped to open the way for young Muslims to be acquainted with French
But unfortunately, financial policy again allowed Britain to exert the greatest
political influence upon the country, which was also important for the
passage to India.
Political trouble flared up and the Lebanese areas were divided on the basis
of religious majorities. This is seen until today.
The French had occupied most of the land and the Italians took possession of
Cyrenaica, much against the resistance of Sanusiyya. The Ottoman Empire
lost parts of it