Faraidi Movement

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Nineteenth-century Bengali movement influenced by the ideas of the Wahhabi movement of Arabia, and led by Hajji Shariatullah (d. 1840). Considered India to be dar al-kufr (region of unbelief) but, rather than declaring jihad against it, initially resorted to the symbolic posture of suspending public rituals such as Friday congregational prayers there, since an Islamic political order was not present. Attempted to implement Meccan standards of belief and practice consistent with orthodoxy and the five pillars of Islam. Emphasized religious obligations and individual practice in the context of British colonial power. Called upon local Muslims to abandon saint worship and Hindu-influenced customs and beliefs. After the death of its founder, took up the cause of Muslim peasantry against Hindu landlords and resorted to military uprisings, which were suppressed in the 1830s with British aid but which added a religious communal element to the social and political antagonisms spreading in the Bengali countryside at the time. Disseminated their teachings in pamphlets written in Bengali, spreading Islamic teachings to a broader portion of the population.

Subjects: Islam.

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