Muslim Debates on Jihad in British India

Omar Khalidi

in Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755042
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950508 | DOI:
Muslim Debates on Jihad in British India

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The failure of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 led many Indian Muslim thinkers to reexamine the sources for Islamic jurisprudence. A group of intellectuals led by Sayyid Ahmad Khan of Aligarh presented Islam in a manner compatible with modern ideas and rational sciences originating in Europe. In trying to present such a view of Islam to British colonial authorities, missionaries, and the intelligentsia, Sayyid Ahmad Khan and his colleagues were compelled to question the conventional understanding of jihad, among other issues. Prominent among those who reexamined the sources for Islamic jurisprudence with particular reference to jihad was Chiragh ‘Ali (1844–95), a civil servant and influential author. Abu al-A‘la Mawdudi (1903–79) presented a view of jihad in his seminal work al-Jihad fi al-Islam that is significantly different from that of Chiragh ‘Ali. This chapter examines the factors determining their differing approaches to jihad, who their respective audiences were, and legacies they bequeath to the contemporary Muslim debate on war and peace.

Keywords: Chiragh ‘Ali; Abu al-A‘la Mawdudi; jihad; Sepoy mutiny; Sayyid Ahmad Khan; Islamic jurisprudence

Chapter.  9027 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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