Mushirul Hasan

in A Moral Reckoning

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780195691979
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081691 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


The British Orientalist H. A. R. Gibb (1895–1971) once commented on the atomism, discreteness, and intensity of the Arab imagination, as well as its aversion to rationalism. However, his conception of the ‘Arab imagination’ is problematic since the reformist and traditionalist strands are so mingled that any period in history must be considered and judged in its entirety. This is best illustrated by how many Muslim intellectuals in nineteenth-century India (Nazir Ahmad, Mohammad Zakaullah and Sayyid Ahmad Khan, among others) expressed their deep-seated convictions. These intellectuals did not attempt to establish the Mughal glory of the past to evoke amongst Muslims a parochial consciousness. Instead, they argued that true Islam teaches family virtues, true equality, and the application of reason. This concluding chapter examines issues that have implications for those who wish to know what advocates of pluralism in nineteenth-century India were saying, and why their appeal diminished in the 1920s and 1930s.

Keywords: Nineteenth century Delhi; pluralism; Arab imagination; Muslim intellectuals; Muslim parochial consciousness; Mughal glory

Chapter.  6919 words. 

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.