By Muhammad Qasim Zaman
Ashraf `Ali Thanawi (1863-1943) was once some of the most famous non secular students in Islamic historical past. writer of over one thousand books on varied features of Islam, his paintings sought to protect the Islamic scholarly culture and to articulate its authority in an age of momentous spiritual and political switch. during this authoritative biography, Muhammad Qasim Zaman deals a finished and hugely available account of Thanawi's multifaceted occupation and concept, when additionally delivering a beneficial advent to Islam in smooth South Asia.
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Additional info for Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia (Makers of the Muslim World)
We do not know if Thanawi had been exposed to a similar variety of approaches to the study of hadith when he was at Deoband. He had more conservative views on ijtihad than Kashmiri, though he had to reconsider some of his legal views later in his career. As for his pedagogy,Thanawi’s own preference was decidedly in favor of teaching in the minimalist style that Gilani describes for Mahmud Hasan (cf. AS, 1: 47). This minimalism had to do only with teaching, however. For Thanawi was later to be the moving spirit behind one of the largest of modern-day hadith commentaries, written by one of his disciples and devoted precisely to demonstrating the concordance of prophetical reports with the norms of the Hanafi school of law about which Mahmud Hasan had been so noticeably reticent.
Gandhi and other Hindu leaders had been invited into mosques to address Muslims, and Muslim volunteers had helped organize Hindu festivals (I, 6:65 [#129]; 8:109 [#144]). Some Muslim leaders professed to have found parallels to Gandhi’s political strategies, notably to his non-cooperation and civil disobedience campaigns, in the early career of the Prophet Muhammad (cf. Zaman 2002, 45). To Thanawi, all this was worse than sheer political opportunism. The point was not that consuming cow-meat was obligatory; it was rather that no one had the right to forbid what Islamic law had permitted, and to do so in deference to non-Muslims was all the more reprehensible (cf.
As suggested by their devotion to Imdad Allah, often seen as the preeminent master of the Chishti Sufi order in the nineteenth century, leading Deobandis were themselves hardly averse to striving on the Sufi path. qxd 8/8/2007 1:59 PM Page 22 22 ASHRAF ‘ALI THANAWI guidance. As it happened, however, his uncle’s influence appears to have exacerbated the sorts of anxieties Thanawi was experiencing on the Sufi path. In 1892–93,Thanawi made his way back to Mecca in an effort to calm these anxieties, this time staying for half a year in the company of Imdad Allah (AS, 1: 179).
Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia (Makers of the Muslim World) by Muhammad Qasim Zaman