People of the Prophet's Way and the Community. Also known as Barelvis and Barelwis. Founded in northern India in 1880s, based on the writings of Mawlana Ahmad Reza Khan Barelwi. Believe themselves South Asia's heirs and representatives of the earliest Muslim community. Triggered by the failure of the Indian revolt of 1857 and the subsequent formal colonization of India by the British, which led to the final dissolution of the Mughal Empire. Emerged as part of the religious debate among Islamic legal scholars as to how Muslim identity and action should be used to redeem India. Emphasizes primacy of Islamic law over adherence to Sufi practices and personal devotion to the Prophet Muhammad. Since partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, has addressed leading political issues for Muslims. Largely rural phenomenon when begun, but currently popular among urban, educated Pakistanis and Indians.
See also India, Islam in; Pakistan, Islam in