Devotional Islam and Politics in British India
Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and His Movement, 1870 1920
New Delhi, 2010
This new edition of Devotional Islam and Politics in British India brings to readers once again Usha Sanyal s nuanced study of the Sunni scholar Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi, his writing and the Ahl-e Sunnat movement. During the formative period of this movement, between the 1880s and 1920, the debates in which the Ahl-e Sunnat ulama engaged with other north Indian ulama pertained mainly to religion. The ulama tried to inculcate in individual Muslims a stricter adherence to the shari a or law to bring about reform or to engage in tajdid (renewal of faith). This effort at renewal was inspired in many instances by the example of the Prophet Muhammad. Their efforts at reform resulted in the opening of schools, the publication of tracts and journals, and the writing of fatwa s (legal rulings) on concrete problems raised by members of the community with the ulama emerging in the process as an important source of authority in the absence of Muslim state power.