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Islamic Thought and Movement in the Subcontinent

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Item Code: NAW074
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Sheikh Jameil Ali
Language: English
ISBN: 9788124604915
Pages: 459
Other Details 9.00 X 5.50 inch
Weight 810 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the Book

The book surveys Islamic thought and movements in the subcontinent in the modern times, emphasising on the thoughts and activities of two leading Islamic thinkers of the twentieth century, Mawlana Mawdudi and Mawlana Nadwi. It discusses the sources of evolution of Islamic thought and the early reformative endeavours. It reveals that their responses to the modern challenges contributed to the revitalisation of Islamic thought in their own perspectives. In the context of revival and reform of Islam, they found their interpretation of Islam as essential for an appreciation of the religion's dynamism and diversity. The book discusses their holistic approach towards Islam as a comprehensive guide for private as well as public life. It explains how they viewed the plight of the Muslim community as something that had to be addressed by sharpening the Muslims’ consciousness of the dynamic characteristics of their faith and its ability to halt the temporary state of decline. For the purpose, Mawdudi focused on the systematic presentation of Islam. It examines his formation of Jamaat-I-Islami and its role in rebuilding the Islamic State of Pakistan. It explains Mawlana Nadwi's tradition and Sufistic approach to religion, showcasing his views and response relating to the Muslim Personal Law Board, Babri Masjid demolition, the Palestine issue and the West. The book will interest Islamic scholars and all those interested in evolution of Islamic philosophy in modern times.

About the Author

Sheikh Jameil Ali is a scholar of Islamic Studies who has been involved in research on aspects of Islamic history, thought and movements. He has authored and presented several papers on the subject in national seminars and conferences.


A great deal of historical literature has been produced on the Muslim period of the subcontinent both by local (Muslim and non-Muslim) scholars and Orientalists, concentrating mostly on the monarchs and their policies. Strangely enough, very meagre works have been written with regard to the contribution of Muslims to the cultural heritage of the subcontinent; rather, it has often been deliberately misrepresented. Similarly there has been scanty literature on the evolution and development of Islamic thoughts in the subcontinent. As a result of the peculiar situation in the subcontinent, where Muslims had to face challenges, Islamic thought developed on a particular pattern. Especially after the collapse of Muslim power in the subcontinent, Muslim scholars had to respond to many issues of varied nature, which the Ummah had not faced so far. These scholars adopted different approaches and methods to tackle the situation. However, their differences were of techniques and not of objectives. There was a common underlying goal to resuscitate Muslim society. Whatever methods they adopted, their endea- sours contributed to the development of Islamic thought.

In the present work an attempt has been made to trace the contribution and influence of some of the important personalities, especially Sayyid Abu A‘la Mawdudi and Sayyid Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, on the thought pattern of Muslim community and their response to the contemporary issues conironted by the Muslims in the subcontinent.

This book was actually written as a Ph.D. thesis for the faculty of Social Science, Shah-I-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of Kashmir. In the first chapter attention is focused on the dynamism of the Islamic thought, its different manifestations and evolution throughout the early stages of development. The second chapter traces the inception, movement and development of Islamic thought, emphasizing the revivalist and reformist endeavours throughout its history in the subcon tinent. The third chapter attempts at the study of Sayyid Abu A‘la Mawdudi’s thought formation and his response to the issues facing Islamic Ummah in general and in the subcontinent in particular. The fourth chapter discusses the role of Sayyid Abu A‘la Mawdudi and his Jama’at-i-Islami in Pakistan. The fifth chapter studies Sayyid Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi’s thought and his response to the challenges faced by Muslims in general and specifically in India. The sixth chapter discusses the role of Sayyid Abul Hassan Ali Nadwi in elevating the conditions of Muslims in India after partition. In the seventh chapter an attempt has been made to compare the paradigms of thought of these two leading Islamic personalities of the subcontinent.

A standardized system of translation has been employed for proper names and technical terms in the principal Islamic languages — Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Some anomalies have, however, been inevitable. Dates have normally been given according to both the Islamic (hijiri) and Christian eras. It has been my constant aim to treat this subject fairly and objectively and an attempt has been made to seek out the facts from original sources. Yet conscious as I am of the inadequate treatment that has been given to many subjects, I earnestly solicit the criticism of readers who are in a better position to correct the deficiencies, which only patient and scholarly investigation can remove.


IN the subcontinent, Islam from its inception has seen many Vicissitudes and has always provided an abundant incentive for reformation. The message of Islam had reached the Indian subcontinent long before the forced incursions of Muslim armies started in the north of India. It was in the south of India that Arab traders after embracing Islam, continued their trade relations with the Western coast of India (Malabar), and thereby were the first Muslims to arrive with the message of Islam. Islam is essentially a missionary religion and every Muslim, whatever their calling in life, acted as Dai, "missionaries of their faith." It should not, therefore, surprise us that Islam was introduced and disseminated peacefully in the Malabar coasts by Arab merchants and traders soon after its advent in Arabia. The process of proselytization and Islamizing of the subcontinent by peaceful means, using soft power (moral suasion) was under way long before AH 93/CE 711 (Muhammad bin Qasim’s conquest of Sind) and AH 603/CE 1206 (establishment of Delhi Sultanate). Nevertheless, in the wake of establishment of Muslim rule, first under Delhi Sultanate and then during Mughal rule, an impressive Muslim culture developed in the subcontinent, influencing every walk of life. Practically Muslims enjoyed dominance over the whole of the Indian peninsula, but whatever lasting success to implant Islam in the subcontinent was achieved, it was mostly the result of the patient missionary endeavours of selfless preachers of Islam, who continued their individualistic missionary activity and moral suasion, before and after the establishment of Muslim rule and quite independently, uninterrupted and independent of the political life of the country.

After the establishment of Muslim rule in the subcontinent, an influx of Ulama and Siifi saints entered this country; set-up mystic centres at a number of places. Within a short span of time the entire subcontinent from Multan to Lakhnuti (Bengal) and from Panipat to Deogir, Sufi saints built their centres of tabligh and started preaching Islam and provided guidance to the Muslims. As a matter of fact, the Sifis played an important role in the development and helped to spread the faith of Islam and won enormous mass following. Consequently, Islamic thought in the subcontinent developed predominantly on Safi pattern. Indeed it brought Islam to the masses and masses to Islam. However, due to imperfect conversion to Islam and through "liberal Sufism" Muslims in the subcontinent were enabled to absorb many religious beliefs and practices that were non-Islamic in origin but deeply rooted in the culture of the people who were converted to Islam. Thus there has been a protracted endeavour by Ulama and mashda’ikh to preserve Islam in its pristine purity and to protect it assiduously from any encroachment of alien customs and beliefs.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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