Barelvi

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Barelvi[1][2][3][4] (Urdu: بَریلوِی‎, Barēlwī, Urdu pronunciation: [bəreːlʋi]) is a Sunni revivalist movement following the Hanafi[5][6] school of jurisprudence, with over 200 million followers in South Asia and in parts of Europe, America and Africa.[7][8][9] It is a broad Sufi-oriented movement that encompasses a variety of Sufi orders, including the Chistis, Qadiris, Soharwardis and Naqshbandis.[10] The movement was developed under the leadership of Sufi scholar Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (1856–1921) around 1870-1890, in opposition to contemporary revivalist Deobandi and Ahl-i Hadith movements.[11][12]

Unlike the revivalists who wanted to return Islam to (what they believe to be) the "historical past" or "as idealised in the holy texts", Barelvi sought to preserve Islam "as it had evolved into the present".[11][12] The movement emphasizes personal devotion to God, adherence to Sharia, and Sufi practices such as veneration of saints,[13][14][15] and especially "active veneration" of the Islamic prophet Muhammad "as the most exalted of all beings".[16][11] They considered themselves to be "true" Sunni Muslims or simply Sunni,[17][18] and called themselves the Ahl-e-Sunnat wa Jama'at, the classical name for the Sunni community.[18][19]

Etymology[edit]

The name of the movement derives from the north Indian town of Bareilly, the hometown of its founder and main leader Ahmed Raza Khan (1856–1921).[20][21][22][23][24][25][26] Although Barelvi is the commonly used term, the movement is also known by the title of Ahle Sunnat wa Jama'at (Urdu: اہل سنت وجماعت‎, "People of the Prophet's Way and the Community")[27][18] the classical name for the Sunni community, a reference to their self-perception as mainstream Sunnis rather than a distinct sect.[28][29][19][30] To its followers, the movement is the Ahle Sunnat wal Jama'at, or "People of the traditions and the community," and they refer to themselves as Sunnis. This terminology is used to lay exclusive claim to be the only legitimate form of Sunni Islam in South Asia, in opposition to the Deobandi, Ahl-i Hadith, Salafis and Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama followers.[30][31][32] Ahmad Raza Khan and his supporters never used the term 'Barelvi' to identify themselves or their movement;[15] they saw themselves as Sunni Muslims defending traditional Sunni beliefs from deviations.[15] Only later was the term 'Barelvi' used. [24] [33]

History[edit]

According to the Oxford Reference, the Ahl-e-Sunnat movement was "triggered" by the failure of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, followed by "formal colonization of India" by the British, and end of the Muslim Mughal Empire; and "emerged" as part of "the religious debate among Islamic legal scholars as to how Muslim identity and action should be used to redeem India".[27] Anil Maheshwari describes the Ahl-e-Sunnat movement as taking shape in Bareilly during the 1870s and 1880s, under the leadership of Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi (1856-1921), and influenced by 1) British colonial rule, and 2) "the rise of reformist-cum-revivalist movements among the ulema and the revivalist Sufism".[11] It has been described "by supporters and opponents" as a "reaction" to two other (revivalist) groups -- Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith groups (together, the three rival groups had the greatest impact of any religious movement on the masses of Muslims in South Asia during this time)[11] -- and formed to prove, support and defend the traditional mystic practices of South Asia.[34]

In terms of background and location, "the core group of Barelvi ulema were Rohilla Pathans from the cities of Bareilly and Badaun. Support came primarily from the small towns and rural areas of the United Provinces, Punjab and Patna in Bihar," according to Anil Maheshwari.[11]

Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi spent his lifetime writing fatwas (judicial opinion) and later established Islamic schools in 1904 with the Manzar-e-Islam in the Bareilly and other madrasas in Pilibhit and Lahore cities.[35][36][31][37][38][39][40][41]

It drew inspiration from the Sufi doctrines of Shah Abdur Rahim (1644-1719) founder of Madrasah-i Rahimiyah and father of Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, Shah Abdul Aziz Muhaddith Dehlavi (1746 –1824) and Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi (1796 – 1861) founder of Khairabad School.[42]

Naqi Ali Khan (1830-1880), an Islamic scholar and teacher of Ahmed Raza Khan Qadri, argued against the ideas of Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi (d. 1831), who was a founder of Wahabism in India.[43] Naqi Ali Khan declared Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi, a ‘Wahabi’ due to his support for Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab's ideology. In his writings, Naqi `Ali defended Muhammad against what he considered the belittling of his powers by Sayyid Ahmad Barelwi and his associate Muhammad Isma`il Dihlawi.[36] Similarly, founder of Khairabad school, Allama Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi in 1825 in his book 'Tahqîqul-Fatâwâ' and Fazle-Rasûl Badayûnî in his book 'Saiful-Jabbâr' issued Fatwas against the founders of Ahle Hadith and Deobandi sect [44][45]

The movement views themselves as Sunni or Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat [27] and according to it main leaders of the movement including Imam Ahmad Riza Khan, did not invent new sect but defended traditional Sunni Islam. According to Ahle Sunnat scholars, Deobandis have created a news sect.[29]

Propagation against Shuddhi (Arya Samaj conversion) Movement[edit]

Hindu Arya Samaj, through its founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati[46] initiated converting Muslims in to Hinduism specially in North India, and Punjab in early 1900s. They became active in Bharatpur State and among the neo-Muslim Malkanas, in Etawah, Kanpur, Shahajahnpur, Hardoi, Meerut and Mainpuri in the western United Provinces, exhorting them to return to what they called their 'ancestral religion'. As a result, the movement became controversial and antagonized the Muslims populace [47] To counter this movement Indian Muslims started Islamic Dawa work among the Muslim population and challenged the Arya Samaj leaders for debates. Mufti Naeemuddin Moradabadi, Mustafa Raza Khan Qadri and Hamid Raza Khan along with a team of Ahle Sunnat scholars through Jama'at Raza-e-Mustafa worked in north Indian towns and villages against the Shuddhi movement.[48][49] [50] The Jama'at Raza-e-Mustafa prevented around four hundred thousand conversions to Hinduism in eastern U.P and Rajasthan during its activities under anti-Shuddhi movement.[51] In 1917, Mufti Naeem-ud-Deen Muradabadi organized the historical Jama'at Raza-e-Mustafa conference at Jamia Naeemia Moradabad U.P, with a mission to curb, and if possible reverse, the tide of re-conversions threatening the Muslim community in the wake of the Shuddhi movement.[52][53]

All India Sunni Conference[edit]

In 1925, Barelvi Muslims established a body of Islamic scholars and Sufis called the All India Sunni Conference in the wake of Congress led secular Indian nationalism and the changing geo-political situation of India. Islamic scholars and popular leaders Jamaat Ali Shah, Naeem-ud-Deen Muradabadi, Mustafa Raza Khan Qadri, Amjad Ali Aazmi, Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni, Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi and Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah were the main leaders.[54][55] In 1925, its first Conference was attended by three hundred Ulema and Mashaikh. AISC focus was on Unity, brotherhood, preaching and protection of Islamic faith with a stress on need for acquiring modern education for Muslims.[56][54] The Second Conference was held in Badaun U.P in October 1935 under the Presidency of Jamaat Ali Shah.It discussed Shaheed Ganj Mosque Movement. and openly opposed Ibn Saud’s policies in Arabia, the Conference demanded to respect the Holy and sacred places of the Muslims.[56][54] The third Conference held on 27–30 April 1946 at Benaras discussed the disturbed condition of the country and possible solution for the Muslims in the wake of demand for Pakistan.[56][54][57]

Several Barelvi scholars supported the All-India Muslim League and Pakistan's demand claiming that Congress aimed at establishing Hindu state and arguing, that Muslims need to have their own country.[58] Few Barelvi scholars opposed the partition of India and the League's demand to be seen as the only representative of Indian Muslims.[59]

In the aftermath of the 1948 Partition, they formed an association to represent the movement in Pakistan, called Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP). Like ulema of the Deobandi and Ahl-i Hadith movements, Barelvi ulema have advocated application of sharia law across the country.[60]

As a reaction to the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims, a conglomerate of forty Barelvi parties called for a boycott of Western goods, while at the same time condemning violence which had taken place in protest against the film.[61]

Conflicts with Deobandi and Wahhabi[edit]

Barelvi group was founded in reaction to revivalist movements, particularly the Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith,[11] but for most of its history the conflicts were confined to "books, public debates, and juridical rulings".[29] or "polemics and fatwa bazi.[62] These differences of doctrine could be bitter, as when Deobandis and Barelvis engaged in a "fatwa war" in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, takfiring each other. In 1906, "Ahmed Riza issued a fatwa accusing leading figures at Deoband -- including the founders of the madrassah ... of being leaders of kafir" and Wahabis. Deobandis replied with a fatwa asserting that they, Deobandis, were the only true Hanafi Sunnis.[63] Other Barlevi have attacked Deobandis and Ahl-e-Hadith as "'Gustakh-e-Rasool' (the one who blasphemes against the Prophet)", according to Mumtaz Ahmad.[62]

Ali Riaz writes that in Pakistan, relations between the major sects of Sunni Islam remained "relatively amicable until 1979" when the Islamization policy of the Zia ul-Haq government "unleashed the forces of sectarianism".[64] During the 1990s and 2000s, sporadic physical conflict stemming from disputes between Barelvis and Deobandis over control of Pakistani mosques.[65] The conflict came to a head in May 2001, when sectarian riots broke out after the assassination of Sunni Tehreek leader Saleem Qadri.[66]

But in 2006, a terror campaign began against the group by Deobandi extremists.[29] In April 2006, 57 people, including the entire leadership of two prominent Barelvi outfits, the Sunni Tehreek and Jamaat Ahle Sunnat were killed in a bomb attack on a Barelvi gathering celebrating Muhammad's birthday in Pakistan's largest city and business hub Karachi.[67][68] On 12 June 2009, Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi, a prominent cleric of the Barelvi sect and outspoken critic of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was killed in a suicide bombing.[69] Between 2005 and 2010, hundreds of Barelvi sect members have been killed in more than 70 suicide attacks at different religious shrines.[70] Militants believed to be affiliated with the Taliban and Sipah-e-Sahaba attacked Barelvis celebrating Mawlid in Faisalabad and Dera Ismail Khan on 27 February 2010, sparking tensions between the groups.[71] Sunni Tehreek activists attempted to seize a Karachi mosque in April 2007, opening fire on the mosque and its worshipers; one person was killed and three were injured.[72]

While these attacks have happened within Pakistan, in recent decades there have been "similarly divisive results in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and within South Asian Muslim communities across North America, the British Isles and continental Europe, East Africa, South Africa, and beyond—indeed, wherever the rivalry has spread".[73]

Beliefs[edit]

Like other Sunni Muslims, Barelvis base their beliefs on the Quran and Sunnah and believe in monotheism and the prophethood of Muhammad. Like the other major Sunni movement in South Asia, the Deobandi, Barelvis follow the Hanafi school of Islamic law.[5] Although they may follow any one of the Ashari and Maturidi schools of Islamic theology in addition to optionally choosing from one of the Sufi orders or tariqas, most Barelvis in South Asia follow the Maturidi school of theology, and the Qadiri or Chishti Sufi orders.[citation needed]

According to the Oxford Reference, Barelvis "emphasizes primacy" of Islamic law "over adherence to Sufi practices".[27] Several beliefs and practices differentiate the Barelvi movement from other Sunni groups, particularly Deobandis and Wahhabis, including beliefs in the intercession of Muhammad, the knowledge of Muhammad, the "Nur Muhammadiyya" (Light of Muhammad), and whether Muhammad views and witnesses actions of people.[74][75][76][77] Anil Maheshwari writes that unlike revivalists who wanted to return Islam to the "historical past" or "as idealised in the holy texts", Barelvi sought to "preserve Islam ... as it had evolved into the present".[6]

"A major part of the theological literature" of the founder of Barelvi, Ahmad Reza Khan "was directed at proving that the mystical practices of the Barelwis as spiritual mentors and guides (pir) were in consonance with Islamic law or prophetic tradition", according to Ali Riaz.[78]

Intercession of Muhammad[edit]

A fundamental belief of those within the Barelvi movement is that Muhammad helps people in this life and in the afterlife.[77] According to this doctrine, God helps through Muhammad (Tawassul). Sunni Muslims of the Barelvi movement commonly call upon Muhammad using statements such as ‘’Ya Rasool Allah’’ with the belief that any ability that Muhammad has to help others is from God, who helps through Muhammad. The help received from Muhammad is therefore considered God's help.[77] Sunni Muslims of the Barelvi movement believe that Muhammad is a Rahmah (mercy) to all creation as mentioned in the Quran 21:107.[77] Muhammad therefore is a means by which God expresses his attribute, Ar-Rahman, to creation.[77] Proponents of this belief look to the Quran 4:64 as a proof that God prefers to help through Muhammad.

They also believe that in the afterlife, on the day of judgement, Muhammad will intercede on the behalf of his followers and God will forgive his nation of sins and allow them to enter heaven.[77]

The belief of Muhammad providing support and help is a common theme within classical Sufi literature. An example of this can be found in Fariduddin Attar’s book The Conference of the Birds in which he details the story of a Shaykh, named Sam’an, who travels to Rome where he falls deeply in love with a Christian woman.[79] The woman after seeing his state commands him to do acts forbidden in Islam to prove himself to her and the Shaykh begins to drift away from Islam.[79] Concerned disciples and friends of the Shaykh decide to go to Makkah to pray for the Shaykh and make many supplications for him. One of them has a vision of Muhammad who says: ‘’I have loosed the chains which bound your sheikh - your prayer is answered, go.‘’[79] They return to Rome to find that Shaykh Sam'an has returned to Islam and that the Christian woman whom he loved had also become a Muslim.

The belief of Muhammad interceding is found in various hadith:

A Bedouin of the desert visited the Prophet’s tomb and greeted the Prophet, addressing him directly as if he were alive. “Peace upon you, Messenger of God!” Then he said, “I heard the word of God ‘If, when they had wronged themselves . . .,’ I came to you seeking pardon for my mistakes, longing for your intercession with our Lord!” The Bedouin then recited a poem in praise of the Prophet and departed. The person who witnessed the story says that he fell asleep, and in a dream he saw the Prophet saying to him, “O ‘Utbi, rejoin our brother the Bedouin and announce [to] him the good news that God has pardoned him!”[80][81][82]

Light of Muhammad (Nur Muhammadiyya)[edit]

A central doctrine of this movement is that Muhammad is both human and (Noor) light.[75] Muhammad's physical birth was preceded by his existence as a light which predates creation. The primordial reality of Muhammad existed before creation, and God created for the sake of Muhammad.[83] Adherents of this doctrine believe that the word Nur (light) in the Quran5:15 refers to Muhammad.

Sahl al-Tustari, the ninth-century Sunni Quran commentator, describes the creation of Muhammad's primordial light in his tafsir.[84] Mansur Al-Hallaj (al-Tustari's student) affirms this doctrine in his book, Ta Sin Al-Siraj:[85][84]

That is, in the beginning when God, Glorified and Exalted is He, created him as a light within a column of light (nūran fī ʿamūd al-nūr), a million years before creation, with the essential characteristics of faith (ṭabāʾiʿ al-īmān), in a witnessing of the unseen within the unseen (mushāhadat al-ghayb bi’l-ghayb). He stood before Him in servanthood (ʿubūdiyya), by the lote tree of the Ultimate Boundary [53:14], this being a tree at which the knowledge of every person reaches its limit.

When there shrouded the lote tree that which shrouded [it]. This means: "that which shrouded" the lote tree (ay mā yaghshā al-shajara) was from the light of Muḥammad as he worshipped. It could be likened to golden moths, which God sets in motion towards Him from the wonders of His secrets. All this is in order to increase him [Muḥammad] in firmness (thabāt) for the influx [of graces] (mawārid) which he received [from above].

According to Stūdīyā Islāmīkā, all Sufi orders are united in the belief in the light of Muhammad.[86]

Prophet views and witnesses (Hazir o Nazir) actions of people[edit]

Another central doctrine of this movement is that Prophet Muhammad views and witnesses (Hazir o Nazir) actions of people.[76] The doctrine appears in the works predating this movement, such as Sayyid Uthman Bukhari's (d. ca. 1687) Jawahir al-Quliya (Jewels of the Friends of God), describing how Sufis may experience the presence of Muhammad.[87] Proponents of this doctrine assert that the term Shahid (witness) in the Quran (33:45, 4:41) refers to this ability of Muhammad, and cite hadiths to support it.[88]

This concept was interpreted by Shah Abdul Aziz in Tafsir Azizi in these words: The Prophet is observing everybody, knows their good and bad deeds, and knows the strength of faith (Imaan) of every individual Muslim and what has hindered his spiritual progress.[89]

Hafiz Ibn Kathir says: “You are witness of the oneness of Allah Almighty and that there is no God except Allah. You will bear evidence about the actions and deed of whole mankind on the day of judgment. (Tafseer Ibne Katheer, Vol. 3, Page 497).[89]

Muhammad's Knowledge of the Unseen (Ilm-e-Ghaib)[edit]

A fundamental Barelvi belief is that Prophet Muhammad has knowledge of the unseen, which is granted him by Allah (ata'e) and is not equal to God's knowledge.[74] This relates to the concept of Ummi as mentioned in the Quran (7:157). This movement does not interpret this word as "unlettered" or "illiterate", but "untaught". Muhammad learns not from humankind, but from Allah; his knowledge is universal, encompassing the seen and unseen realms. This belief predates this movement, and is found in Sunni books such as Rumi's Fihi Ma Fihi:[90]

Mohammed is not called "unlettered" [Ummi] because he was incapable of writing or reading. He is called "unlettered" [Ummi] because with him writing and wisdom were innate, not taught. He who inscribes characters on the face of the moon, is such a man not able to write? And what is there in all the world that he does not know, seeing that all people learn from him? What can the partial intellect know that the Universal Intellect [Muhammad] does not possess?

Allah has sent down to you the Book and Wisdom and has taught to you what you did not know, and great is the grace of Allah upon you" [Sura an-Nisa, verse 113].

Imam Jalal udin Al-Suyuti writes: (Taught to you what you did not know) means that Allah Most High has told the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) of Ahkam and Unseen.[91]

Qur'an states: This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou thyself knewest it not, nor did thy folk (know it) before this. Then have patience. Lo! the sequel is for those who ward off (evil).[Surah Hud (11), verse 49] [91]

Qur'an states: Nor will He disclose to you the secrets of the Unseen. "But He chooses of His Apostles [for the purpose].[Sura Aali-Imran, verse 179][92]

Practices[edit]

International Mawlid Conference at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore
  • Public celebration of Muhammad's birthday[93][94]
  • Veneration of pious. This consists of the intervention of an ascending, linked and unbroken chain of holy persons claimed to reach ultimately to Muhammad who Barelvis believe intercede on their behalf with God.[14][95][96]
  • Visiting the tombs of Prophet Muhammad, his companions and pious Muslims, an act they believe is supported by the Quran, Sunnah and the acts of the companions.[97][98][99]
  • Group dhikr: synchronized movements of the body while chanting the names of God. Some groups, notably those in the Sufi Chishti Order, sing Qawwali; others do not use musical instruments.[100][101][97][102][103]
  • Leaving the beard to grow for men; the movement views a man who trims his beard to less than a fist-length as a sinner, and shaving the beard is considered abominable.[104]

Sufi tradition[edit]

Dargah Shareef of Khwaza Moinuddin Chishti

Sufism is a fundamental aspect of this movement, and Khan, its founder, was a member of the Qadri tariqa and pledged bay'ah (allegiance) to Sayyid Shah Al ur-Rasul Marehrawi.[105][106] Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi instructed his followers in Sufi beliefs and practices. Traditional Sufi practices, such as devotion to Muhammad and the veneration of walis, remain an integral part of the movement[107][108] (which defended the Sufi status quo in South Asia.[15] They was at the forefront of defending Sufi doctrines such as the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammad and tawassul.[15]

The wider Barelvi movement was sustained and connected through thousands of Sufi Urs festivals at Dargahs/shrines in south Asia, as well as in the Britain and other parts.[109]

Khan's efforts served to counter both reformers such as the Deobandis, as well as those influenced by them like the Tablighi Jamaat and hardliners like the anti-Sufi Ahl-i Hadith movement, which resulted in the institutionalization of diverse Sufi movements in many countries of the world, though not all Sufis self-identified as Barelvis.[110]

Presence[edit]

The three rival schools of Islamic thought that had the "largest impact" on "the masses" of Muslims in South Asia during British colonization were the Barelvi, Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith, according to Anil Maheshwari.[11] W. Kesler Jackson does not mention Ahl-e-Hadith, but says that while there were "other schools of Islamic thought", the "category" that "the vast majority of South Asian Muslims gravitated toward" were either Barelvi or Deobandi.[111] According to Martin W. Lewis, "mapping the distribution" of adherents to Barelvi, vis-a-vis Deobandi "is all but impossible, as the two movements are spatially intertwined."[5]

India[edit]

Stamp of India - 1995- Ala Hazrat Imam Ahle Sunnat
Cheraman Juma Mosque in Kodungallur Taluk, Thrissur District, Kerala

India Today estimated that over two-thirds of Muslims in India adhere to the Sufi oriented Ahle Sunnat (Barelvi) movement.[112]

Bareilly Sharif Dargah is one of the main centers of the Barelvi movement in south Asia. Millions of People turned to seek guidance in Islamic matters towards this center of Islamic learning. Bareilly city has been heart throb of Sunni Muslims since 1870 when Ahmed Raza Khan established Fatwa committee under the guidance of his father Naqi Ali Khan. Later his son Hamid Raza Khan and Mustafa Raza Khan continued fatwa work.[113]

In mid-1970s during The Emergency (India), Indian Govt. on the advice of Sanjay Gandhi, son of Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi tried to force vasectomy. Huge but unconfirmed numbers of young men were forcibly sterilized. Government officials, even school teachers were given orders to induce a predetermined number of males to endure vasectomy or Nasbandi, as it was called. Indian Muslims were finding to difficult to oppose this harsh Govt. action as the time was of emergency and the powers were totally in the hands of Prime Minister. Mustafa Raza Khan at that time acted without pressure and passed a verdict against vasectomy as un-Islamic. He published his judicial verdict and circulated it all over the India giving a sigh of relief to Muslims but a tension to Indian Govt. The government unsuccessfully tried to get the Fatwa withdrawn and with in two years the Indira Gandhi lost the Parliamentary elections.[114][115][116] For Islamic missionary activities, Sunni Dawat-e-Islami (SDI) is an important Islamic preaching movement in India. It is working in at least 20 countries around the world. Muhammad Shakir Ali Noori founded it in Mumbai city. It has large network of (Dawah workers) preachers in India and in other countries. Sunni Dawat-e-Islami has established many modern and religious educational institutions around India and some in other parts of the world.[117][118][119][120]

At present Ziaul Mustafa Razvi Qadri, Muhammad Madni Ashraf Ashrafi Al-Jilani, Ameen Mian Qaudri, Aboobacker Ahmad, and Mukarram Ahmad are some of the most influential Sunni leaders of India. Jama'at Raza-e-Mustafa, Raza Academy, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama, and All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board are representative bodies.

The Grand Mufti of India is the senior and influential religious authority of the Islamic Community of India.[121][122][123][124][125] The incumbent is Shafi Sunni scholar Sheikh Abubakr Ahmad,[126] general secretary of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama,[127][128] who was conferred the title in February 2019 at the Ghareeb Nawaz Peace Conference held at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi, organised by the All India Tanzeem Ulama-e-Islam.[127][129]

Jamia Nizamia, Hyderabad

Samastha Kerala Jamiat-ul-Ulema is leading organisation of south India which was organised in the aftermath of the 1921 Mappila Uprising as a response to the growing Salafi Wahabis movement in Kerala.[130][131][132]

Madrasa Network[edit]

Al Jamiatul Ashrafia, Mubarakpur, Azamgarh

Al Jamiatul Ashrafia, Jamia Naeemia Moradabad,[133] Al-Jame-atul-Islamia, Markazu Saquafathi Sunniyya, and Jamia Nizamia are some of the notable institutions of the movement. Markazu Saquafathi Sunniyya or Jamia Markaz operates more than 50 institutions and many sub-centers across the world.[134] [135][136] Al Jamiatul Ashrafia is considered as main institution of learning in north India with thousands of students across the country. [137] In 2008, the movement through Samastha Kerala Jamiat-ul-Ulema was running over 10,000 Kerala madrasas with around one million students. The Samastha also run a chain of Arabic Colleges, Malayalam and English medium arts-and-science and technology educational institutions in Kerala and out side Kerala.[138]

Pakistan[edit]

Shah Ahmad Noorani Siddiqui, (JUP) Pakistan (second from right) led an international peace delegation to UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar (third from left) for an end to the Iran–Iraq War:(New York, 16 June 1988)

Sufism has strong links to South Asia dating back to the eighth and ninth century and preaches religious tolerance, encourages spiritual over ritualistic practicing of Islam, and encourages diversity. The Ahle Sunnat Barelvi movement has originated from South Asian Sufism itself. The religious and political leaders of this movement were followers of Sufism and lead the masses in to revivalist Sunni movement.[139]

The Heritage Foundation, Time and The Washington Post gave assessments that vast majority of Muslims in Pakistan follow Ahle Sunnat Barelvi movement.[140][141][142][143] Political scientist Rohan Bedi estimated that 60% of Pakistani Muslims follow this movement.[8] The movement form a majority in the most populous state Punjab, Sindh and Azad Kashmir regions of Pakistan.[144] Dawat e Islami International, Tanzeem ul Madaris Ahle Sunnat, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, Sunni Ittehad Council and Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat are some of the leading organisations of Pakistani Sunni Muslims. While Jamia Nizamia Ghousia, Jamia Naeemia Lahore and Dar-ul-Madinah Schools are some of the leading seminaries of this movement.

Finality of Prophet-hood movement[edit]

Ahmad Noorani Siddiqi (1985)

In 1950, scholars of the Barelvi movement initiated a sub-movement named, 'Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatme Nabuwwat' the history of which can be traced back to the 1880s when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian proclaimed himself to be a prophet in Islam. This proclamation of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was against the tenets of Islam and created a schism in the Muslim community.[145] Therefore, with the aim to protect the belief in the finality of prophethood of Prophet Muhammad based on their concept of Khatam an-Nabiyyin. The movement launched countrywide campaigns and protests to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims.[146] Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi Zafar Ali Khan, Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni, Khwaja Qamar ul Din Sialvi, Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah, Ahmad Saeed Kazmi, Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, Pir of Manki Sharif Amin ul-Hasanat, Muhammad Karam Shah al-Azhari, Sardar Ahmad Qadri and Muhammad Hussain Naeemi were the leaders of the movement.[147]

Scholars of various school of thought under the leadership of Shah Ahmad Noorani Siddiqui, who was president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan initiated a successful campaign against the Ahmadis and compelled the National Assembly to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslims. And such a clause was inserted in the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan by Second Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan.[148] After meeting the first agenda, Khatme-Nabuwat started the next phase of their campaign – to bar Ahmadis from using the title of Muslim.[149] The then president General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq passed an ordinance in 1984 amending the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) commonly known as Ordinance XX.[150] Sunni leaders Shaikh ul Quran Allama Ghulam Ali Okarvi, Muhammad Shafee Okarvi, Syed Shujaat Ali Qadri, Iftikharul Hasan Shah and Khalid Hasan Shah were the main leaders of this sub-movement. [151]

Madarsa Network in Pakistan[edit]

Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Ahl-e-Sunnat ASJ education board is the central organisation to register Ahle Sunnat Barelvi Madarsas.[152][153] The board follows Barelvi ideology and is opponent of the Wahabi doctrine.[154]

As per Islam online, around 10,000 madrassas are managed by Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Pakistan.[155] Tahzibul Akhbar in its report on the educational services of Religious institutions has estimated that Tanzeem has 3000 institutions in Khyber Pakhtunwa and 1000 in the area of Hazara.[156]

Muhammad Ramzan, in his report on Madarsas has stated that Tanzeem has most has maximum 5584 Madarsas in Punjab state in comparison to others. 'In Lahore 336, Sheikhupura 336, Gujranwala 633, Rawalpindi 387, Faisalabad 675, Sargodha 461, Multan 944, Sahiwal 458, D.G.Khan 605, Bahawalpur 749 madarsa are affiliated with the Tanzeem'. According to Rizwan, 'the Madarsas of Tanzeem are rarely involved in militancy which is maximum in Deobandis. In population, Barelvis or traditional Sunnis outnumber all other sects combined. They are about 53.4% of total population of the province'.[157]

Persecution[edit]

Barelvis have been targeted and killed by radical Deobandi groups in Pakistan such as the TTP, SSP, LeJ, etc.[158] Suicide attacks, vandalism and destruction of sites considered holy to those in the Barelvi movement have been perpetrated by Deobandi extremist groups. This includes attacks, destruction and vandalism of Data Darbar in Lahore, Abdullah Shah Ghazi's tomb in Karachi, Khal Magasi in Balochistan, and Rahman Baba's tomb in Peshawar.[158] The murder of various Barelvi leaders have also been committed by Deobandi terrorists.[158]

Barelvi clerics claim that there is a bias against them by various Pakistani establishments such as the DHA, who tend to appoint Deobandi Imams for mosques in their housing complexes rather than Barelvi ones. Historical landmarks such as Badshahi Masjid also have Deobandi Imams, which is a fact that has been used as evidence by Barelvi clerics for bias against Barelvis in Pakistan.[159][160] The Milade Mustafa Welfare Society has asserted that the Religious Affairs Department of DHA interferes with Human Resources to ensure that Deobandi Imams are selected for mosques in their housing complex.[160]

Bangladesh[edit]

The Muslims of Bangladesh have traditionally followed Sufism. A sizeable number of Bangladeshi Muslims follow Ahle Sunnat (Barelvi) movement.[9] A majority of Bangladeshi Muslims perceive Sufis as a source of spiritual wisdom and guidance and their Khanqahs and Dargahs as nerve centers of Muslim society[161] and large number of Bangladeshi Muslims identify themselves with a Sufi order, almost half of whom adhere to the Chishti order that became popular during the Mughal times, although the earliest Sufis in Bengal, such as Shah Jalal, belonged to the Suhrawardiyya order, whose global center is still Maner Sharif in Bihar.[162] During the Sultanate period, Sufis emerged[163] and formed khanqahs and dargahs that served as the nerve center of local communities.[161]

In Bangladesh, Sunni organization Dawat-e-Islami led Jamia-tul-Madina has produced scholars who are serving in various parts of Europe.[164]

World Sunni Movement led by Syed Mohammad Saifur Rahman is one of the main organisation of the movement. Beside Bangladesh, WSM is active in various European and Gulf countries.[165][166][167] Bangladesh Islami Front and its students wing Bangladesh Islami Chattra Sena have theologically opposed the Deobandi Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh and Salafist Khelafat Majlish.[168] Jamia Ahmadiyya Sunnia Kamil Madrasa, Qaderia Tayyabiya Alia Kamil Madrasa Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Madrasa-e-Taiyabiya Adudia Sunnia Rangunia, Chittagong, Madrasa at Tayyabiya Islamia Sunnia Fazil Halishahar, Chittagong and Madrasa-e-Taiyabia Hafizia Kalurghat, Chittagong are some of the notable institutions.

United Kingdom[edit]

According to Irfan Al Alawi, 'The Sufism influenced Ahle Sunnat Barelvi in United Kingdom immigrated to Britain earlier than the Deobandis, established the main mosques in Britain. They integrated into UK society and are considered law abiding.'[169] moderate majority,[170] peaceful and pious.[171]

In 2011, the Ahle Sunnat Barelvi movement had most of the British mosques.[172] The majority of people in the United Kingdom of Pakistani and Kashmir origin are descended from immigrants from Barelvi-majority areas.[30]

In Manchester, by 2014, Ahle Sunnat Barelvi was the largest denomination in terms of number of mosques and population.[173] The majority of Birmingham Muslims are adherent to the Ahle Sunnat barelvi movement.[174] The movement in Pakistan has received funding from their counterparts in the UK, in part as a reaction to rival movements in Pakistan also receiving funding from abroad.[175] According to an editorial in the English-language Pakistani newspaper The Daily Times, many of these mosques have been however usurped by Saudi-funded radical organizations.[176]

In 2017, the movement had around 538 mosques in the United Kingdom along with their fellow Sufi organisations which is second largest in terms of number.[177] A "Barelvi Empire" was built by individual charismatic leaders of the Barelvi movement in Bradford from the early 1970s to the 1980s.[178]

Allama Arshadul Qaudri along with Peer Maroof Qadri established World Islamic Mission in 1973 at Makkah and became the leader of WIM in England. He worked in the United Kingdom to strengthen the movement of Ahle Sunna wal Jam'aat. Qadri through this movement shaped spirituality based Islam in Europe.[179]

Qamaruzzaman Azmi who is present General Secretary of World Islamic Mission worked for five decades in several parts of Europe and U.K to establish several mosques and institutions with his support and supervision.[180][181] In Bradford, Azmi help established Islamic Missionary College (IMC) Bradford. In Manchester he established, North Manchester Jamia Mosque and in Birmingham, Ghamkol Shariff Masjid. His continuous Dawah work helped Southerland Mosque become of Barelvi. [182]

International Sunni organization Dawat-e-Islami has at least 38 Centers in the United Kingdom.[183][184][185]

South Africa[edit]

Grey Street Masjid (Grey & Queen Street) Durban, South Africa
Juma Masjid, Port Louis

The Barelvi movement has presence in various cities and town of South Africa where they have build network of Madarsas and Mosques. In South Africa, a debate with Tablighi Jama'at was called the Sunni-Tablighi controversy. The movement is represented by Sunni Jamiatul Ulema (SJU) which was founded in 1979.[186] It was established to address the various social, welfare, educational and spiritual needs of the community and to preserve and to promote the movement's teachings.[187] The Imam Ahmed Raza Academy is a publishing house which publishes books authored by various Barelvi authors. The Academy was established in 1986 by Abdul Hadi Al-Qaadiri Barakaati, a graduate of Manzar-e-Islam.[188][189]

Darul Uloom Aleemiyah Razvia was established in 1983 and on 12 January 1990, and Muhammad Akbar Hazarvi established Darul Uloom Pretoria. [190] Darul Uloom Qadaria Ghareeb Nawaz (New Castle) is one of the leading madrasas of the mission and was founded in 1997 at Lady Smith by Muhammad Aleemuddin.[191] Jamia Imam Ahmed Raza Ahsanul Barkaat was established in 2007. All these institutions have focused more on defending Barelvi beliefs from Deobandis. Debates are common features of these institutions.[192][193] In Durban, Barelvis run Durban's largest mosque, the Juma Mosque (Durban) which is also known as Grey Street mosque.[194] The Barelvi community celebrates Mawlid and observes anniversaries of Sufis in association with various Sufi orders. [195]

In Mauritius, the Barelvi movement forms a majority of the population.[196][197] Muhammad Abdul Aleem Siddiqi established the movement in Mauritius. World Islamic Mission, Halqa-e-Qadria Ishaat-e-Islam, and Sunni Razvi Society were founded by Muhammad Ibrahim Siddiqui in 1967, and Jummah Mosque (Mauritius) is also a notable center of the movement.[198] [199]

Europe, United States and Canada[edit]

In United States and Canada the movement has found a strong following among Muslims of South Asian and in some cities it has significant presence. Two notable madrasas are Al-Noor Masjid in Houstn, Texas and Dar al-Ulum Azizia, in Dallas. [200][201] Sunni missionary organization Dawat-e-Islami (D.I) established twelve centers in Greece and seven in Spain which are being used as mosque and madrasas.[202] In Athens, D.I has established four centers.[203]

Relations with other movements[edit]

Since the Barelvi movement was formed in reaction to the reformist Deobandi movement, relations between the two groups have been strained; Barelvi founder Ahmad Raza Khan declared Deobandis infidels and apostates.[204] Relations with other South Asian Muslim movements have been somewhat better. Leaders of the Barelvi and Ahl al-Hadith movements in the Kashmir Valley denied animosity between the groups in mid-2012, saying that Kashmiris can no longer afford sectarian strife after two decades of war.[205]

R. Upadhyay and Rajesh T. Krishnamachari of the India-based South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG) denied that Barelvism and Deobandism are mutually tolerant.[206][207] According to the SAAG analysis, the "Deobandi-Barelvi rivalry is also known to be rooted to their ethnic rivalry."[206]

Conflicts with the Taliban[edit]

Anti Terror Sunni Conference by All India Tanzeem Ulema-e-Islam

The Barelvi movement opposes South Asian Taliban movements, organising rallies and protests in India and Pakistan and condemning what they view as unjustified sectarian violence.[208] The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), an alliance of eight Sunni organizations, launched the Save Pakistan Movement to slow Talibanisation. Calling the Taliban a product of global anti-Islamic conspiracies, SIC leaders accused the Taliban of playing into the hands of the United States to divide Muslims and degrade Islam.[209] Supporting this movement, Pakistani Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi said: "The Sunni Tehreek has decided to activate itself against Talibanisation in the country. A national consensus against terrorism is emerging across the country."[210]

In 2009, Islamic scholar Sarfraz Ahmed Naeemi issued a fatwa denouncing suicide bombings[211] and criticized Taliban leader Sufi Muhammad by saying that he "should wear bangles if he is hiding like a woman". Naeemi added, "Those who commit suicide attacks for attaining paradise will go to hell, as they kill many innocent people", and was later killed by a suicide bomber.[212]

Sectarian violence[edit]

Analysts and journalists have conflicting opinions about the underlying nature of the Barelvi movement. Some describe the movement as moderate and peaceful;[213] others describe it as affected by intolerance and radicalism, similar to other regional Islamic movements.[206][143][214][215][216][217] "Staunch Barelvis" have been criticized for their excessive use of excommunication (takfir) against opponents, creating hatred and violence in the Muslim community.[218]

Stance on blasphemy laws[edit]

Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated on 4 January 2011 by Mumtaz Qadri, a member of the Barelvi group Dawat-e-Islami, due to Taseer's opposition to Pakistan's blasphemy laws.[216][219] Over five hundred Barelvi scholars supported Qadri and a boycott of Taseer's funeral.[206][143][215][217][220] According to Time magazine, Sunni Tehreek rewarded Qadri's family[221][222] and threatened Taseer's family.[216][223][224] Supporters attempted to prevent police from bringing Qadri to an anti-terrorism court.[225] In 2014, a Sunni mosque was built in Islamabad; named after Qadri, it became popular and began raising funds to expand.[226][227][228][229]

According to Safdar Sial of Pak Institute for Peace Studies, traditional narratives of the Barelvis being followers of Sufism, peace-loving and moderate stands negated when it comes blasphemy-related issues.[230] Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, came into being in 1990 to contest take over of the mosques and madrasas of the Barelvi school of thought by Deobandi and Ahle Hadith groups, then there slogan was “Jawaniyan lutaain gai, masjidain bachayein gai [We will sacrifice our lives to protect our mosques]” with anti blasphemy protest newer radical slogan adopted by them is "Tauheen rasalat ki ek saza, sar tan se juda (There’s only one punishment for a blasphemer and that is beheading). [230] According to Zia Ur Rehman's geo.tv news report, Barelvi groups are politically exploiting the issue of blasphemy to exhibit their strength to counter the growing influence of Deobandi and Ahle Hadith groups and started trend of radicalisation, making it difficult to differentiate between them and jihadist groups.[230] According to the Pakistan's law enforcement official, they are sectarian group with background of organised network of criminals mainly involved in extortion cases and targeted killings, turned into a extremist group.[230]



A Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was acquitted of blasphemy in a landmark 2018 Supreme Court decision.[231] The ruling prompted Barelvis led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi to demonstrate in Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan, and clashes with police were reported. Muhammad Afzal Qadri (a TLP leader) said that the three Supreme Court judges "deserve[d] to be killed", and Islamabad's Red Zone was sealed off by police.[232] Rizvi demanded that Bibi be punished for blasphemy under Pakistan's penal code: "Our sit-in will go on until the government accepts our demand".[233] Arrested on 23 November 2018 with other TLP leaders,[234] he was released on bail in May 2019.[235]

Notable scholars[edit]

Notable organizations[edit]

In Pakistan[edit]

In India[edit]

In United Kingdom[edit]

In Bangladesh[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

India[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

Bangladesh[edit]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hassankhan, Maurits S.; Vahed, Goolam; Roopnarine, Lomarsh (10 November 2016). Indentured Muslims in the Diaspora: Identity and Belonging of Minority Groups in Plural Societies. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-351-98686-1.
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  4. ^ Sumbal, Saadia (29 July 2021). Islam and Religious Change in Pakistan: Sufis and Ulema in 20th Century South Asia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-000-41504-9.
  5. ^ a b c "Deobandi Islam vs. Barelvi Islam in South Asia". Retrieved 30 January 2019. Among South Asian Sunni Muslims, the crucial distinction is that separating Deobandis from Barelvis, both following Hafani law. The Deobandi movement is aligned with Wahhabism and advances an equally harsh, puritanical interpretation of Islam. The Barelvi movement, in contrast, defends a more traditional South Asian version of the faith centered on the practices of Sufi mysticism. In India and especially Pakistan, tensions between the two groups can be intense, sometimes verging on open warfare.
  6. ^ a b Maheshwari, Anil (2021). "6. Ahl-e-Sunnat: Energising Faith in Rough Times". Syncretic Islam. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 7 August 2021. The Barelivi ulema did not emerge out of a desire to transform standards of practice and belief ... They held fast to Hanafi law, broadly interpreted, and to a custom-laden style of Sufism ...
  7. ^ "Barelvi - Oxford Reference". oxfordreference.com. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. ^ a b Bedi, Rohan (April 2006), Have Pakistanis Forgotten Their Sufi Traditions? (PDF), Singapore: International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University, p. 3, archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013
  9. ^ a b "Noted Sufi heads denounce fatwa | Jaipur News - Times of India". The Times of India.
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  12. ^ a b Jackson, W. Kesler (2013). A subcontinent's Sunni schism: The Deobandi-Barelvi dynamic and the creation of modern south Asia. Syracuse University. p. 4. While Deobandi leaders like Muhammad Qasim and Mahmud Hasan were introducing what might arguably have been deemed “new” concepts into Islamic practice (Qasim and Hasan, of course, would have characterized such “new” concepts as those originally upheld and practiced by the Prophet and his companions but subsequently forgotten, ignored, abandoned, or erroneously replaced by the majority of South Asian Muslims), Ahmad Riza Khan crusaded to protect the old. The Barelvis, then, held that their version of Islam—the “true,” “Sunni” version—had existed all along.
  13. ^ John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaah". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  17. ^ Jackson, W. Kesler (2013). A subcontinent's Sunni schism: The Deobandi-Barelvi dynamic and the creation of modern south Asia. Syracuse University. p. 4.
  18. ^ a b c Riaz, Ali (2008). Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. Rutgers University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8135-4345-1. ... Ahl-e-Sunnat wa Jama'at (People of Sunnah and the Community), commonly referred to as Barelvis, ...
  19. ^ a b Maheshwari, Anil (2021). "6. Ahl-e-Sunnat: Energising Faith in Rough Times". Syncretic Islam. Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 7 August 2021. The Barelvis, like the Deobandis, insisted that they were leaders [not??] of separate sects but of the mainstream Sunni Muslims. And so, they called themselves the Ahl-e-Sunnat wa Jama'at, the classical name for the Sunni community. [note, the first sentence makes no sense without "not" inserted after "leaders"].
  20. ^ Illustrated Dictionary of the Muslim World, pg. 113. Marshall Cavendish, 2011. ISBN 9780761479291
  21. ^ Globalisation, Religion & Development, pg. 53. Eds. Farhang Morady and İsmail Şiriner. London: International Journal of Politics and Economics, 2011.
  22. ^ Elizabeth Sirriyeh, Sufis and Anti-Sufis: The Defense, Rethinking and Rejection of Sufism in the Modern World, pg. 49. London: Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-7007-1058-2.
  23. ^ Rowena Robinson, Tremors of Violence: Muslim Survivors of Ethnic Strife in Western India, pg. 191. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2005. ISBN 0761934081
  24. ^ a b Usha Sanyal. Generational Changes in the Leadership of the Ahl-e Sunnat Movement in North India during the Twentieth Century. Modern Asian Studies (1998), Cambridge University Press.
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  28. ^ Riaz, Ali (2008). Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. Rutgers University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8135-4345-1. ...a defining characteristic of the Ahl-e-Sunnat wa Jama'at, as the name suggests, is the claim that it alone truly represents the sunnah (the Prophetic tradition and conduct), and therby the true Sunni Muslim tradition. ...
  29. ^ a b c d Jackson, W. Kesler (2013). A subcontinent's Sunni schism: The Deobandi-Barelvi dynamic and the creation of modern south Asia. Syracuse University. p. 4. (It should be pointed out that Barelvis don't consider themselves as belonging to a sect at all; they are, simply, "Sunni", like "most Muslims" around the world; it is the Deobandis, in their view, who form a breakaway sect.)
  30. ^ a b c C. T. R. Hewer; Allan Anderson (2006). Understanding Islam: The First Ten Steps. Hymns Ancient and Modern Ltd. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-334-04032-3.
  31. ^ a b Riaz, Ali (2008). Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. Rutgers University Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-8135-4345-1. ...were advanced by Imam Ahmad Reza Khan of Bareilly in 1906 as the original form of Islam and as the alternative to the austere path of the Deobandis.
  32. ^ Geaves 2006: 148
  33. ^ http://sunnirazvi.net/topics/sunnis.htm
  34. ^ Riaz, Ali (2008). Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. Rutgers University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8135-4345-1.
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  40. ^ Roy & Sfeir 2007, p. 92 "...as distinct from the reformist construction of Deoband."
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  47. ^ untouchable assertion The Politics of the Urban Poor in Early Twentieth-century India, by Nandini Gooptu. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-521-44366-0. Page 157.
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  53. ^ "tareekh jamat raza e mustafa".
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  63. ^ Riaz, Ali (2008). Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia. Rutgers University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-8135-4345-1. ... The differences of opinion turned into a bitter fight in the late nineteenth and ealyl twentieth centuries, when Deobandis and Barelvis engaged in a fatwa war. In 1906, Ahmed Riza issued a fatwa accusing leading figures at Deoband -- including the founders of the madrassah ... of being leaders of kafir ... They were also termed Wahhabis... The Deobandi's countered ... with one of their own, testifying that the Deobandis were the only Hanafi sunnis ...
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References[edit]

External links[edit]