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IV1lJSLIMS IN INDIA ,
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historian Ziauddin Barani. uncontemplated by' Prophet Muh~mmad. Malay Peninsula and India.~ ome .of making state laws (zawabit).and. In the sixteenth century.mply stating what had become an article of faith with the medieval rulers in India. Whatever I think to be for the good of the state. as the Islamic belt extended to East and West Africa. .~nd refused to be guided by the shariat.stated.64~). writing in the fourteenth century had to concede in his Fatawa-i-jahandari that the king should have the power. even if in extreme cases they had to override the Shariat. according to contemporary standards.A~p¢cts of S MUSHIRUL HASAN the Problems of Muslim Social Reform Muslims through the centuries have demonstrated a re. 632-634) and Umar (A:D.Abu Bakr (A. Byzantine and Indian.Ferishta observed that "the government of the modern world. He was si. -the emergency.to adjust the social and religious structure of Islam to Indian -. Similar .\.: markable capacity of adjustment and adaptation even when faced with ancient. In. the Islamic ordinance had to be . The Turks.orsuitable for.v.. the Afghans and the Mughais in India resolutely retained their racialand tribal identities and yet made efforts ..effectively divorced religion /from politi~s. these countries. This was evident after the conquest of Iraq and Egypt duHng the caliphate of . Indonesia. is not possible in accordance with the$hariat'':. . adapted to conditions. that I decree".conditions. Alauddin : Khal}i categorically .D. and in particular . advanced civilizations like the Sassanid. of Hindustan. "I do not know whether this is lawful or unlawful. the . The '.' adjustments had to take place elsewhere too. 634:.i. Some of them .

!c.~p.>J:... ac:~iveopposition ..intro?uce reforms' in their communi ty.ey cbuld have done so. In' order to underst'ind >fhe rl?asqp..n.r!~ .gh of . .6f:~~~V~~?·the development of a tolel'ant.underlie theformulation of the religious.setback.e••..<. commercial and" civil codes...h~ve. Even today when m~y of the Islamic countries have accepte~the. !Jlu~~f. ." ' -. (London 1968)..1 '.wh}cp. problem.TheQuran sanctioned polygamy.': arid op. introduction' of penal. See '·.ppI~tf. alienated many non-Musli~ sections of Indian society which only hastened the collapse of the Mughal Empire.. 1o(le. Shah Waliullah' of Delhi set the revivalist' tone. Chiragh Ali .. a~ 'ijie _"M~sbw. ' "~odels.~l : po~~r. "I . .sbehind t~i~ opp()siti9i}~an attempt has been ili~de i.ces.t81}e~:: .ganisa. orthbd~xy gained ascendancy. they could not have possibly sustained their rule in India for over five c~p.:ma~y ~u..sof change starte~.J.n fhe~con~dj.BuI18t(on oj the School oj'Oiient~1 St&d{es(1?55).eflJOiY~Jjl.' 'But. . ~ tPr. The la_w succession gives an arbitary share to specified relatives.' 'in which reforms iare considered. ':s~atic religion" as long. .t4e status 'of womeri..~._. SOCIAL ¥EFORM . : ".puncan.to jhe . The failure 'of Sir Syed.~~erence to asserting the purity of Islam throughout India. ":fri~st.~ . regenerate the spirit behind the social and political or. been . against the .M~perretjR~Ugipn. by Sir Syed. > " .and Ameer Ali to completely check the. Ameer Ali. This metho'"dof approach wouldinvolve an analysis of the concepts and atiltu-. . . ascendancy. For details see iN.~9. iiThis question niight:~pp~ar·rhetOI'ical. parti~Ji~hy . . tNDl~ SOME ASPECTS OF MUSLIM.2.t~ntl)oints em~rge from the above diil..pJl~Y'~ gf'8ct~~Jy.t~P$. Iqbal..19 . and "The' .~coqperati'?A of every':e{~~~~. a :vastnon-MqsliIl)"maj9rity dominating' the scene 'in order to fully appreciate the reaction of a section of the coIiiinunity to the question of social reforms. 1 ~~" \'. mS~ltUt10nsof Islam and the nature and character of the i~as qf. from ihis course..: }h.It W?uld.. : <Thel«1iscbn~enbwiththe Muslimpersonal iaw is expressed more frequently in relation to the law of marriage and divorce and the law. ~ar~'i.'epresents the culmination: of Sheikh' Ahmed's teachings on.' 'He -left a profound influence on theMuslim·comhlU~ity ".\'O:3:2. The best course the: 'spl. MUSLIMS .a group of people whochetlshed the dream of reviving Muslirn. aitd'social s .age a~<l. 1. ~".. Even it' fue" sultarisofDelht ~ad desired to ~strict f~llow theSluffiat it isdbubtrul' wM:'ther tJl.proQle.dIVqrce.based ' on ".r!l~el}~.t.India.~efonns in' the Muslim community.this day.freedom·ortelativeJreedom of bequesthave aided. traditionalism of Sheikh Ahmad SirhindiandShah ..f~ ~ Jndi~~a: 'not.Li:n that it h~s not changed.od: Secondly. Maulana Hali. and 'thus.'l~.Sy~iaii'IJavhf~ersbnal St~di:s".~... ."ReG~ntPc~elop~~n~.represented. Law and the Stat» i~ lndid.pap~:rtq·exa.~.hinders development which.1.". representt~g' It does the word ofG. Aurangzeb'sfailure to realize the -futilhyi'of 'any strict adherence to the Shariat. It will be no exaggeration to say thatAurangieb's 'reign J. However. Maul~na Azadand.at and an uncompromising hostilitytowards the Hindus andBhias. ~hallge jn Islam even ~hql1.~t is rherefore necessary to specify the 'areas .~.5~.to be bequeathed.pos'edall attempts to ..allows only· a fraction -of the estate .n.af~er the downfall of the Mugllal . arid theJorces of liberalism 'sufl'ereaa.' t:'p. - • . The answer is supposed ~ to-be very obvious..cu~sioh .~ ~llirp. . His 'desire to .Sciholarshavemade striking points in vigorous clashes c. World 1950.o'fthep~~tii~ti~r.: . "..:.. reviving the Shari.. .Sirhindi.2 .. inheritance. Law" in :The Muslim. If. . The currents of changein Islam wereconstant.is There~ to Riform ? . 'of . necessary.~pqf.. . 532. ' .'YR...pe~.:Andwpn...ebgmus P.~pdian Muslims have vehemently ~.:with oneanother.l!line the.' a je' "! ~~ )fhat .. regulates-the elasses of persons to whom bequests can in any case be made... the' docttjne:~ad a : disastrous effect: Itproduc~d.'.'ea.~latt~~l?t~. uprooted Muslim governi~g class. But opinions have been far from generally :--. p..micideasQn.rij.' ~1i~s~re~~ire(l. He not only checked the liberal forces unleashed by the policies of Akbar but .:r.provided great impetus to'th~ reactionary and revivallst te~chings"of Sheikh Ahmad . _'The. tion of the orthodox caliphs appealed to the ulema· and the . in:.reform in the nineteenth :and twentieth century.'as:'lonf as the Muslims formed the governing class.of bla.m is also studied in its perspective With."~ff~" ':. ~~ l~ .backgrouhd .S~~ria. the Muslims had deviated.~ls{ tQ.hmsm~intl. becauseth~ybelo'nged to a minority in. and continues to .eutrf:.pewrong tos~y tl:w~:. . ':'.. But with the collapse of their politicalnionopoly and cultural domination.i~troduce ... dynasty.?~ su«cession_.~lnthis..a:greed.2.Waliullah becomes understandable in 'this background.

t? . 4.I. The Muslim orthodoxy ha~e totally opposed all talk reform.' 3.ue5t. Mohammedanism. and cannot be changed. Narahar Kurundkar.im~ee ·6ffolir. in the words of one of the most penetrating of modern students of the subject. . 1970. 'this' is a clear recognition of the superiority 'of man 'over woman. H.men was' confined religious leadership..J.rrsts. June 3. Ameer Ali.to a ." ll~iatW"have .. TheQuran says: "Men stand superior to women in that God hath preferred the one over the other. "The Muslim Problem in Indian Politics". But the Muslim intelligentsia. . the over-riding authority of the Sharia. ~. '~.. the sanction of the Quran. p. ou sllail'-' tnarrfdnlY'oiie" j y :toaSserttha." !'. They also have. and it is no exaggeration to see in it.' the epitome 'of the true Islamic spirit. authority of the Shariat.K."! ..B. "9 .A.R. 1969. '5.A."11 7. 1970. A.3 7):.' There is yet another section which is all in favour of reforms. entitled "The Sharia.The religious philosophies of the Muslim Falsifa was conditioned by their recognition of the. 'the 'Qurariic prescription amciirited ' in reality .'l{'s~Ys..A. 1949). P. Zafar Imam. ' 9."3 However.. Baig. They interpret the refusal of Muslims to modernize their community as an expression of their fundamentally 'separatist character".. Soze..(Cambridge University Press. Rosenthal.!itb. Moreover..~t SOME ASPECTS OF MUSLIM SOCIAL REFORM .'l(qu~~h. a larger share of inheritance. 33. 1967.~ A.lO. t 221 quoted 'the sh~sequen:t lines whiCh deClare. .'5.veering towards the position of denying common andequa! citizenship to .pol~g. This has given rise to a general' feeling ofdisil'lusionment amongst the Hindu educated class. The Spirit of Islam (London.~.val Islam . Gibbs. 244. the giving of evidence in the law courts. 11.' illUf i'fyou 'cannot aealequlta~ly: ~~(fu'stiy*. .d Criticism and Some Myths. expression of Islamic thought.non-Hindus. of vital importance.1949.t~'al\'absolute justice in Qf:FeeIing"iSitnpossible.j'yoii.' in his. in National Herald.ranicprescnption. September 21. July 1970: .) It is to be further noted that only to . ."! Ids argued that to "persuade Muslims to substitute man-made laws for the universal and faultless laws given by God is. Abid Hussain. As a reaction to this attitude. This resulted in a "limitation in the character.R. 1939). Its demand is to radically alter the basic social structure of Indian societys. want to march in step with their fellow Indians. '.a waste of time. ' 'rt . Their metaphysical> standpoint is not one of independence but isconditioned by the Shariat of Islam.R. Gibbs wrote in . which is admittedly very small. the most decisive. 6. but does not find the existing political. r. "The Dialectic of"Communalism. National Herald. the essential kernel of Islam.prohi~ition. Mohammedinism(London. has generally not reacted-to this question. "Uninforme." (Qui-an.ith ~11. "Emancipation: The Two Extremes".. June 2. Shah." 'Radical Humtlt. E. in Radiance. in a chapter.~'. '. 1970. S. It is felt by a section of Muslims that reforms in Muslim Personal Law are necessary if Muslims are to be rehabilitated and. 106.The significance of the above arguments cannot be understood without examining the place of Shariat in the social and religious life of the Muslim community.qu~lity and range of their speculation imposed by. Karim Shaikh. the husband has the power to' divorce his wife unilaterally by pronouncing the word ·talal). .' the Sharia) permeated almost every branch of Islamic literature.list.. 1970. social and economic structure conducive to the growth of a reform movement. pilgrimage rites.:'. The:Objections to -Reforms of Law "To changed the Muslim Personal Law on these points' which are based on specific injunctions' of the Quran. M.'. it is warned that "~e Hindu '~~r<:. " 'c". the duties of the holy war and worship in the mosque on Friday. 53-21. 1262h p." Herald. 4.*ive}".Political Thought in Medi.. June. 125.ili~y(rri~rty!tw'o. 'of. 'Q. _ It (that is.' matters Q@mm~nity is." Seminar. "Enlightened Communalism. Theirmain argument is that Muslim Personal has. Muslims have 'round it convenient to have more than'one wife. Janaury. or the Hadith is unimaglnable. Professor KA.·~tIt. . in spite of the iQU.

~l1iA~~in$tsJ. was a futilee~¢rcise: which only helped in perpetuadnF M~slimbackwardness. They expressed ri6 willinghe~ll.e). ' )'.ion'to the pathetic state of the inlnd:. as explained by 'SirAlfredLYall..]V.rfound. in the sixteenth century.-worlddlsappearedaad those fields got destroyed.4gr. .M~~limp9~ture~ The Muslims sa\V" in r. a generous .. pealiMdthe futility of.-.·riatiQmilistnofB.. Poets like Akb~r AUah'abadi expressed' themsel~es in.ipPi ~.gconstit~~i(m!lJ tights.' The Muslims were.t-. .' which.e1i as the foundation upon which the structure of the Shariat was ~rectedby l~ter generations.fl1Ileste~pl'~ss.9~~~~' rv. It is-therefor~n6t s. a . 'Being the final revelation.urp_risihg th'~t Islamiclaw is thought of.4rnzll p. p.'..!~e~~f Indian POlttICS.' Nevel' before l~dia "had'suok a:.Ye.n Jant0Ilg Muslims. -.~hers. -..~ster~ education.pl'ea.t:Mslimll. The regulationll\htt'heQur~ri . eyes and see-where youareP4 .'! '" ._P~c. tragedy that .Ltnis concept of the Shariat poses serious problems for the Muslim community in the contemporary.18 Evidendy.to . 'Mauia~'a-IhtisairiuFHaq{qu0te'd:iil''J.Z_~~~a!:n.g~\i.-:.'" '-'. .Til~k ')a. -the -. t~e like many Hiri~ii~ .....E.theirdownfall. '.serv.. .'. >".. -r.arevivalist tone I. This fear can be traced from the events which marked.{j~f!lU~ i~IiWih}{UYJr:·!J. ~. _-.tbre past glory of Islam and contrasting it.:. . MaulanaH'ali in his'-Musaddas .\\r.I ~ \ 13.a~quire W.Gibbs.--.changed and unchangeable. youstillex:pectingplant~ to grow i~ the fields whereycureldersscwed the seeds? It is long since that . Qneimportant 'l. .'-. besides spr~adi:rig IWestern.. 11hC'" . 'It-.op.' a 'result.your. ._ .led: by Sir Syed. . realization soon g2!-veway toa seriS'~\of "hu~iliation and fnistr~tion'.C!-F~ii}'f1·tifJMlfslti)'i. They soon began to suspect 'that the 'Hindus 'and the British-were jointly responsible for . fjfXR8'Stzl!rf~'U ~ ·~'1i.i . 14.The re~PnS were . :Hfrl'i{:"". .d r. not as product of human intelllgence and adaptation to social needs andideals.a .i ».-. "Our antagoni~I)1'.~. Muslim orthodoxy 'findsit convenient to mobilise opinion against any interpretation aimed at introducing reforms in Muslim Person~i Law. -. (Bombay: Sornaiya Publications. • .reno..many. world of social' transition. They realized the importance of safeguarding their interests 1"!througp. the Muslims. "r' .th~ Mqvement didnot reachits logical ·-ctilmination.) . :Mu~.i~s . _- gfeAt ·Ji'ln~~c\.tbJ):.P These regulations <a-~e authoritative and final for all occasions and for all epochs between the time of revelation and d'ooiUsday. ." <t..' .community. . Now open Ii • .vtasonwas.. :-~. "'" " .~ir Syed.f~lost 'th~irrtumericalmajority in' the higher subordinate ranksiof ':the civil and military service"..rational interpretation of Islam.qJt:~. wrote Russell to The Times -"is(ar stl'9ngerthan that between.. H. with the "superficialities of modern civilization.~q.8... "P 12._ This.'hMovtrtlent. lives? And are...!tHotight'aWoiif-r~iigt6ffi'i§ ltnti Quran... However.attitude' and willingly B employed them for the junior administrative 'pests. Built a defence mechanism to proteb~ tllQili c111tur~l.' .l. In the p.. us and the worshippers of Shiva and Vishnu.is the word of God. to the follo'Yers of Muhammad".' .: Hali.4f ~~ SOME ASPECTS 'OJ? MUSLIM SOCIAL REFORM .1i~'" . 'Fhe u{(ma. Another objection to reforms stems from the Muslim fear -of the motives of the Hindu community. With the Shariat representing the dictates of the divinewill. H~i wrote: O!. 1973).·educatio.. .. 62. i'\fheAligaI.~n.u:J ..ritish officials adopted'.cheda religipl:Is wa~ against the new ideas from ~heW(!:st. Consequently. . This. Towards the 'Hindus.. }~ri. . " . .eligi911s interests.the. it "contains the final and most perfect solution to all questions confronting the believers.:.).~~~. and -theoii:..m~de_ a..: III Ma~l~na Altaf H~ainHillkquQledi in J~.po~itiveelfl?r_t to !offer . 28. [tIf6 belief that the basis of ali-Mt¥~I4.iragh Ali and Aineer Ali. cit:j'p.uecl group of sch~lars .'IJ. (Princeton University Press. )'ltey'areunquestionably morerdangerous to our' rule.'t' . U •• M6s.'_\ .the.A. .' r. ">~uL '.R.:was -. 1966).uJitics \ alld &ligioll. - . -:This! excited the jealousy of the Muslims. but of-divine inspiration and hence immutable.. _the British decided to _keep the ~M-Uslhl1sunderfoot.of Hindu revivalism in the 19th "ceiitury'whhits afiti.:.J¥ eInppasiZiing.rH'p'."-.the failure of the. g~li1ty' ofconsphing against 'British rule...rocess" they in ..•" As ... and grandfathers passed thei~ i" .'Smith..gi'~~s Lworkedso zealQusly fQr the refqrm of"the Muslim.:_'" '. Shibli.an](im qhandra Chatterjee and . the Mussalmans of' India! Are you still in the same world in which your fa. 1857 revolt.:.' ':_grave threat to their r~l~giQ~sarid cu'itqral h~t~~e~~s.s~C\lril). this exercise anddecided to 'popularize Western education among the Muslims. _:. The handful of MusHm who had taken to English education were branded as kajirs. C9-.: '. .13r ."Soutlt . .emergqn!=e.

. used against reforms ~r~ 'almo'st th~.uments. and yet wanted no freedom for women. Among the.reactionary Muslim political 'lead~rshiP. 1966). .J.v-" It was the failure of the Muslim modernists that they allowed themselvesdo be identified with Westernism. . .entity-6.. ~. '. Majrrzl!u.214. mask for.tra~~d.' 19. perfectly justified. Iqbal did not eonsider Muslim law sacrosanct. -2:-. It is . Arneer Ali and Azad did not give rise toa reform movement. Chiragh Ali. of the reform of Muslim law.intended to encourage Muslims to accept the humanism of -the West'as a true message of Islam.the'janaSangh'ssinister designs t~exte.MUSLIMs IN INDIA -'/:. They failed to formulata their thoughts· systematically and resolve their co~tradictions. It is this apparent contradiction in Iqbal's philosophy which explains his popularity with M~slim orthodoxy.'.. Fazlu: Rahman. A rational and 'scientific 15. not without sig~ificance that the demand for reforms amongst the Muslims is made both by the secular Hindus and the reactionary Hin4u social J(J:ri~~ . of SOME ASPECTS OF MUSLIM SOCIAL REFORM '22'5 :ihterpretatioriofIsla:m'was offered because the Muslims' hait ~reparad 't<. but because the religious and cultural id. Hinda community. Iqhal is one such example..{or theso. The Muslim.' eforms W€Ve emphasized not because they' were R heoess81'Y . .cial~ economic and educational uplift of the Muslim communuy. or show that they are in conformit.· But the efforts of Sir Syed.of the dhristiak ~lss~~haru~!l. But after 1920. They were too obsessed with the fear of'Hindu domination. valuescfor Western or Hindu cultural commodities."rh~)i.in my opinion. He advocated tll(~concepts of liberty and social justice. Under the influence of the uk.' The demand fot ref~nnsis interpreted as an attempt to destroy "Mus'lim ~c:leiltity" Maulana AS~QMadani views the demand as '~'a . in the liglit of their own experience and the altered conditions of modern life is. In a speech. Hali.to Islam in The Spirit of Islam and A Short History of the Saracens is apologetic. masses remained unaffected. Jime 1. 1. Some of them continued to cherish the 'memories of the Mughal rule with the hope of reviving the Mughal ascendancy•.~AJl!ll1l-4 \Iql~n.. They were convinced that "the modernists would be ready to 'sell' any traditional."15 Ameer Ali's approach . sio. . same that were emphasised before independence.- -.~-i~depen= dence atmosphere of distrust and suspicion in the motiv6s of the.rna and the . .side but are construed to be imti-rationaJ.:. J8.miriate 'th~ Muslimcommunjty from India. ' 'i. Unlike Iqbal.y. he offered a liberal interpretation of the Quran. Muslim social reformers in the twentieth century. SY7dexplained that the most urgent need of the' Muslims of 1\\S days was to "either refute doctrines of modern sciences or undermine their foundations. '. ! .~d. The.leader~p the . ..1970 . It has revlved the pr. they put the blame for their educational and economic backwardness on the Hindus and the British Government.l facefhe' challenge . 1934).z1 '. could mean Hinqu Raj .' r'-!'--~'~ Jr. His teaching are not only on the revivalis't.· Hindus w'~i1lo.!:~. It is. ).: . pp. delivered in Lahore on the ist February 18~4. confidence in the .-:f~r:'_T=~_~" '~.fof t India. '16.18 ~~e Indian Muslims in the post-Partition period have no tradition of reforms in their community. Iqbal. ?lr&. \. The Reconstruction of'Religiou» Thought·in Islbm (London.dov~r it".£ the Muslims had to be preserved from the' Bnitish and the Hindus. Ameer Ali and Azad who continued the liberal social tradition of Sir Syed and Chiragh Ali in the twentieth century.' . There were only a few individuals' like Iqbal.withthe articles ofIslamio faith W The result of this' approach was that the Muslim social refermersexpressed t~emselves in an apologetic tone. The Muslim feeling of insecurity wa'sexaggerated. \ ~ p. 'Instead of making efforts to remove the ills in their community. The inc~easingriu~ber of communa~riots in India hasadd~d a:il~W'dirn. Muhammad Iqbal.c#..a l~ck of. . But the motivation is a reformist one.' qe~(ms.. p. Nawab Viqar-ul-Mulk waened in' fQO'1 that "if the :Bdti~hrule.. Sy.f~~ted·liat' iii(lepe~dtince. the Muslim communuv has demonstrated little enthusiasm for reforms.and thus provided a theoretical basis for the modernists to work for reforms. p.t. however. F~l1)r ~~nman! pp. He believed that "the claim of the present generation of Muslim liberals to reinterpret the fundamental legal 'principles. Maillana Asad Madani in NatIonal Heralii.Il. . "19.iildiah' NdHon'al 'Co~grgWi.Islam (London..50-60. p. Azad was not interested in the problem.ensib:ri to ~h~problem of ~ocial r~form. disappears frotni1ndia.

Chigago UnIv~r. . pro. called Hanaji.. p.Two important points emerge from . Some modernists attempt to resolve this conflict by . 20.jma and ijtihad."2o Moreover. Muslims have a suspicion that by introducing reforms in matters of marriage and divorce. Danial Latifi argued that enough amendments in the Muslim law had been made to justify further reforms. "A Uniform Civil Code for India" held in 1969 did not offer any practic~.! suggestions for reform. Of the four schools of law. and law are. theoretically reject ijma.is wrongly interpreted as the 'freedom of judgement'. H. the modernist Muslim suffers from a dilemma. He proposed a standard statutory from 'of contract whose terms shall. Is Reform Possible Amongst Muslims? The contributions made by some prominent Muslims at th~ Internationalist Congress of Orientalists at Delhi in 1964 on "Ohanges in Muslim Personal Law" failed to agree on.D. Modern Trends in Islam. movement' in Islam and advocated the enlargement of the '~60pe and authority of ijma. an approach to the problem. Gibbs. Law. and Hambali after the four jurists of the second and third centuries who are regarded as their founders.ity Press. and it would eventually amount to the "Hinduisation" of their social system: The first argument is rigorously asserted. III a paper read out at the Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies. That the wife shall 'have a half share in the husband's net earnings and"vice versa. it is warned.A. This step was considered necessary in order to stabilize Muslim society and preserve the "internationalist character of Islam". It literally means 'exerting one's self' in the sense of striving to discover the true application of the teachings of the Quran and tradition 'to' a particular situation. he not only questions the authority ora social tradition but appears to be questioning the infallibility of the Quran and the Sunna. (exercise of judgment) to make reforms accepta~le' -tothe Muslims. 19'7.d politicalgrQ'ijps. However. Besides. unles~ expressly stated otherwise. That the wife shall have the right to divorce without going to Court. Secondly. . Obviously. prevail. Since law is an integral part of Islam. and those who believe that any law can be amended by judicial and legislative. Another seminar on. That the husband will not interfere with the wife's vocations in life or keep her in purdah. Such a standard contract: according to Danial Latifi. with. By proposing reforms in the social system. subject to prescribed conditions. Shafi'i. Thus there is an apparent conflict between those who believe that personal law is sacrosanct and cannot be changed. they would lose their identity. the increasing number of commu» nal riots in different parts of the country. the' gate of ~jtihad (Sadd-babalijtihad) was closed never' to be reopened again. 12. tnier alia : (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) That the husband shall nottake asecond wife.the above discussion: First. in principle. That the husband's right to divorce shall be restricted in like manner as the wife's. The theologians confine thevalidity of ijma to the first generation of Muslims only. But the modernists cannot fully rely uponi.SOME ASPECTS OF MUSLIM ~OCiALREFORM AJiI. would be a violation of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution.any attempt to ~ilggest reforms is treated with suspicion and hostility.~Oonsequent1y. Noless important is the fact~at~ thi~ demand has coinclded. relying on ijma (consensus of the community)' and ijiihad.R. cedures. He defined ijtihad as 'the principle of. any legislative change. an important objection to reforms is that social ethics. . in recent years. Maliki. Iqbal accepted ijtihal and ijma "as themost important [egal notion in Islam". social institutions. The same difficulty arises with ijtilzad which . would provide. and it may not go against the plain sense of these teachings. functions' Of the religious system in Islam. . two eminent Muslim intellectuals have offered concrete proposals to introduce reforms in the Muslim Personal. in the 11th century A. the policy of the Ruling Party has been not to hurt the susceptibilities of the Muslim conservative class who are an important element from which the ruling party derives its political support among Muslims .. the Hambali's.

~~r.II[l·iD:iiq_.21' It is not difficult to anticipate the reaction of the Muslim orthodox class to the above proposals for' reform. not through rigid negation oft~e fo~ces . r'.~f-"1~tl}~i!. the BibJe "'-w as .:::" ~. their: separate wa~s..~~lfheJ1U19&~hdl'SMbhwq:t' t:!Qeljois£". 259. namelyi ' :."'" 2~. ThIS distinction has been made in the past. .w..it to be un:deil's~ood .. ' Modernism in India and Pakistan (London.' Billt whereas in 'the West rohe movement of those who. but through its adaptation to these new conditions.:~~ ~~(}J~? -AJ~g~si~?' 'tH~(?~r.'.lechanges Should. fJ. .is bound to be a strong opposition for reasons that have already been explained. e ascerb tained only by reason.. . . (10) (ll) Professor A. and.A.{~)I. Hjtti..i~16n(J'e !:.eat success in Islam such a movement has never emerged. .' ..are deviating from :the traditions of Islam which always favoured indepenp.. ".litera1lyn~ in terttlsiofithespirit behind the words ?ThlS argument iemto a i8ifferenceof opinion between Martin Luther-and Ulrich Zwihgii in 1529~ and they both .Phi1!pR.'. quoted in'. wife.if€~~" "1 '_ . And the fact that Islam has survived the endless vicissitudes of history.oth~ine~es~~ry :br' dgs~fi~ 'P. r.· Pyiee has recently proposed "a simple Ast.'. PhYtSicl\v. in the event of separation. had the right to custody of child) be standardised at 10 years for boys and 15 'for girls. 'l'! (7. (perhaps).ed:J~.M'iul~~a /p' ... so t?at 10 827 he declared it to be state dogma.their social cOnservatism' and their strict adherence to the letter of the law.. Lo~don/l'9ln) ( '21::'A:A:A: Fyze~.:~o~?r?ing\~e urgent need~ of the c?mIDunityl' to be ~~own as • THe· Muslim Personal Law (Miscellaneous PrOVISIO?S) Act!. was supposed to stand for free-thought become a deadly instrument for suppressing thought.thl!ti. will instead of one third as at present.. r:' / .).t'heMuslimsbecaJUse-tl}ldinswers' giV~IiWOp. and readjust~. Quran H. As regards the Quranic sanction behind the SOCIal mstlt~tions of Islam. .Jcl 6. the success of reforms among Muslims 22:.: ".. they .'jW~Stel'n society was faced with a similarsituatiol}'jn " »@&poot· to·. and thereby the liberty of action' would li6'>c'urhi!l.. ~. and those whlc~s are ~pp~lc~bl~ to Muslim and human societies in other times.1I. The dogma of "the creation of t~e -Quran" appealed to the Abbasid Caliph al.Il 'fOc. ~.:iFi" :llr. "Rerotm's bf Muslim: Law. and that alone enabled ~slf1m to pass through many stages of reo~i~ntation. ".t~i~ . the inner meaning of scriptures COUld. (9) .:'of''. "22 • _. (8) That the period of hizana.A.'.judge in ma~ters of belief. ' .". was only the group of thinkers known as Mutazalites who championed reason (a~l) as. main-' tenance -in the event bfdjvotce. particularly where the Mahr is inadequate" enjoined by the.etoo many unJ¥:cessa. be made'Iri the \aw. .ry questions~. That there shall be successionper stirpes to the estate of a propositus for grandchildren by a predeceased child. and those who rejected it were delivered over to the inquisition (mihnah).stood by the spieit behind the words Of the Bible achih'~dgr. But Muslim orthodoxyrhas tobe persuaded to accept the fact that by .'~s. ~ ~fune'c:pinpb:lgori them. (during which the. not put to m!. In the final analysis. -: J.I. conclusively proves that it adapted itself from age to age and epoch to epoch to the changing outer eonditions. Islam persists. That a testator should have the rightto bequeathupt6 one half of his......we~t.by. p. 1967). ment. "Thus by a strange irony of fate did the movement which. "Whosoever does it is an Oc~ober-December. ~: . 1970. . of changing enviroments and new epochs or fresh historical and social impacts.specific to t~e Arab customary law of the time.ent judgement.n-'Y' of.241.' i... That. Mamum. ( 1:". the Prophet is reported to have said. According to them.. . Th~re..'.. a distinction must be made among the Quranic injunctions between those which were . SOME ASPECTS OF MUSLIM'SOCIAL RmFORM iflll: '.): Thaj: the wife shall be secured a reasonable. It. :r.q.Histof» 7Jjth'e A~ab. prqperty . . .nN{}WDl§LJ." H~mil'niit' Re'liiew. S2i'eedA'hmed Ak'l:iat21badi.' 7"' . remission of dower (Mahr) by a wife in favour of her husband shall be presumed to have been done under undue influence unless the circumstances dearly show that it was voluntary..illo.

MUSlims IN INDIA will !depencl. . for example.II' t. 11.Note.Hamid Dalwai's thesis' that Muslim soclety -hal never had' a renaiassance in its entire history. p. the Indian Muslims too need to realize the importance of 'reli!djusting the Islamic social and religious ideas to meet the imperious call of modern life. . 1969). (Bombay. ' Anf attempt iOintreduce'reforms through legislation will only-perpetuate Muslim backwardness and conservatism. in his Muslim Politics in In dill .' on their willing1'¥!ss to accept them.and the necessity of attempting a larger synthesis after the manner of the various progressive movements of Islam. this is a process which is not the dead and immobile one that superficial observers of Islamic history have usually taken . 24.it to be.co~ religionists in many Muslim countries. Like their. .

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