In Allah’s Own Country

Mushirul Hasan

in From Pluralism to Separatism

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780195693232
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081882 | DOI:
  In Allah’s Own Country

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The Kidwais were part of the Islamic service gentry and operated beyond the local boundaries. They transmitted ilm-e deen (knowledge of Islam) through khanqahs, mosques, and madaris and provided a local Muslim as well as a secular leadership. Hindu-Muslim consciousness was heightened by nascent revivalist assertions and the temple-mosque dispute in 1855 at Hanumangarhi in Ayodhya. Nevertheless, pluralism played a key role in Awadh, particularly at the qasba level. Qasba society seldom got polarized along the lines of religion. As a unique entity, the qasba enhanced its solidarity with the help of the gentry’s patronage and the common man’s veneration of Muslim shrines and holy men. The qasbas shaped Lucknow, with the Hindus and Muslims engaging in friendship and cooperation. Wilayat Ali Kidwai and his group moved from the sites of piety and devotion to Rudauli, some parts of which were characterized by anarchy at the time of Awadh’s annexation.

Keywords: Kidwais; Islam; Muslims; Hindus; qasbas; Awadh; Rudauli; Wilayat Ali Kidwai; Lucknow; pluralism

Chapter.  17804 words. 

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