Chapter

Islam in Secular India

Mushr Ul-Haq

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Islam in Secular India

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After graduation (lim) from Nadwat al-Ulema, Lucknow, Mushr ul-Haq earned his B.A. (Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi) and M.A. (Muslim University, Aligarh) in Islamic and Arabic studies. In 1967, he received a Ph.D. in Islamic studies from McGill University. He has been a member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Simla and is presently Chairman of the Department of Arabic Studies, Jamia Millia University.

In this piece written in 1972, the author notes that before the partition of India, Muslims endorsed the secular nature of the state because of the protection such a state gave to them as a minority community. They were, however, instructed by the Muslim ulema (clergy) to reject secularism as a philosophy. Since partition, many Pakistani intellectuals have stated that their faith can coexist with secularism, but the masses, under the leadership of the ulema, cannot accept this view because in their perspective Islam is a complete way of life. Secularismdefined as putting ones worldly affairs beyond the scope of religious principlesis unacceptable to the majority. If, however, secularism is defined more restrictively as the principle that the state treats all religions equally, then the majority will, in ul-Haqs view, see this to be in keeping with tradition, presumably because of such tenets as that expressed in Qurn 2: 256 la ikrah fi al-din (there is no coercion in matters of religion).

Chapter.  1432 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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