Chapter

The Secular and the Sacred

Mushirul Hasan

in A Moral Reckoning

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780195691979
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081691 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195691979.003.0002
The Secular and the Sacred

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Sayyid Ahmad argued that the tension between Islamic faith and modern values was a historical accident rather than an inherent feature of Islam. The decline of the Mughal Empire encouraged Islamic intellectual culture in numerous local centres. The Ulama tried to strengthen the bonds of unity among the believers and consolidate their loyalty to an Islamic state. This chapter explores the links between India's local elite and the colonial state that made the administration work and sections of Muslim society respond to political institutions and administrative changes. These issues are central to the contemporary debates about what constitutes the ‘Muslim response’ to the onset of colonialism. In this context, the chapter analyses the diverse views about Britain's rule and their impact on Muslim intellectuals. It also looks at India's cultural and intellectual efflorescence and the expansion of intellectual horizons that gave rise to new ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking.

Keywords: Nineteenth century Delhi; Muslim intellectuals; Islam; Colonialism in India; Muslim elite in nineteenth century Delhi; Sayyid Ahmad; ulama; Muslim elite; political institutions; colonial administrative changes

Chapter.  18040 words.  Illustrated.

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