This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
19th century. For more than fifty years, it dominated the history of that territory, striving to create among the rural pleasantry a genuine Islamic order. Haji Shariat Allah, the founder of the movement, rose to prominence in 1818 only after he began this reformist movement at the age of 38. He was born into a humble family in 1781 at Shamail, a village which later was included into the district of Faridpur. His father was rather poor and died when he was only eight years old. Thereafter he was cared for by his paternal uncle and aunt who, having no male issue treated him with much tenderness and affection. He thus passed his boyhood as a gay and carefree child, having little knowledge of schooling or strict discipline. Once after being reprimanded sternly for some misbehaviour by his uncle, Shariat Allah left home and ran away to Calcutta when he was twelve years old. There he presented himself to a teacher of a Qur’an school who, taking pity on the boy, enrolled him in his classes. Having completed the recitation of the Qur’an, he went to Phurphura for lessons in Arabic and Persian at the recommendation of his teacher. When he had attained proficiency, he attached himself to another uncle where he continued his studied. Sometime later, his uncle decided to visit their native village, Shamail, and taking his wife and nephew with him, he set out in a small sail boat. On the way they encountered a disaster and both his aunt and uncle were drowned. This sudden calamity struck so deep in his mind that he abandoned all intentions to go home and instead went to Calcutta and once more presented himself before his old teacher. The Maulana was so disgusted with the British regime that he decided to emigrate to the holy city of Mecca. The boy begged to accompany him and there received an opportunity in this international centre of Islamic culture to prepare himself for the great role he was destined to play in his later life. Twenty years later in 1818, having fortified himself with Islamic learning, the Haji returned to his home country to preach and teach. Here he found many local superstitions practiced by the common people which appeared to him quite normal before his trip to Mecca, he now realised were grossly unislamic. Contemporary sources reveal that the Muslims of Bengal did not hesitate in ascribing superhuman powers to the Sufis and Pirs such as giving life to the dead, killing anybody at will, being presented at several places at a time and foretelling the future. Because of these miraculous powers, people considered the tomb or shrine of a Pir as a place of pilgrimage. They offered fruits and flowers at their tombs and illuminated them at night. On the last Thursday of Bhadra [a Bengali month] an effigy known as Bera was made of a paper and ornamented with tinsel; it had a prow resembling e female face with the crest and breast of a peacock. The effigy was then put on a raft and set afloat at sunset with much ceremony on the river. In observing Muharram in a noisy and clumsy way, reminiscent of the Hindu festivals of Durga Fuja and Ratha Jaba, there was no difference between Sunni and Shia. The Muslim Bengalis thus steeped themselves in the superstitions and vices of the Hindus. Inflamed with a burning desire to reform the Muslims of Bengal, Haji Shariat Allah tirelessly addressed gatherings, preaching the pure doctrine of Islam indoors and outdoors, not only in his own village but in neighbouring districts as well. The name ‘’Fara’idi’’ was taken from the Arabic root-word, Fardh to designate the obligatory duties if a Muslim. In the Imperial Gazetteer of India, The British governor, William. Hunter wrote: ‘’The spread of the Fara’idi movement in the lifetime of its founder affords sufficient justification for his enthusiasm.’’ The British mistakenly identified as ‘Indian Wahhabis’’. Subsequent investigation proved that label a complete misnomer. The Arabian Wahhabis adhered to the Hanbali School of law while the Fara’idis were strict Hanafis. Another difference between the Fara’idis and the Tariqa Muhammadiya led by Sayyid Ahamd Shahid and Shah Islamil Shahid and the movement of Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab is
Nobody in Bengal ever appealed more to the hearts of the people than Shariat Allah with his blameless and exemplary life. Faced with such an effective movement for Islamic revival. Numerous false charges were brought against Dudu Mian and he was arrested several times. his field of work lay in the realm of practical action. Among the Ulema. The history of the Fara’idi proves that the Muslims of Bengal have powerful and enduring ties . Haji Shariat Allah soon encountered sever opposition among the conservative Ulema who wanted only to preserve the existing order. it has lost all its social and religious effectiveness. his fiercest opponents were the class of Hindu zamindars or landowners who harassed and oppressed the Muslim peasantry in numerous ways and the English indingo planters.that the former believed in Taqlid or unquestioning adherence to the madhab Abu Hanifa while the former two movements for renaiscent Islam were firm advocates of Ijtihad in matters of jurisprudence. and maligns them as ‘’reactionaries’’. the Hindu zamindars and the British indingo planters presented the Fara’idi ruthlessly through officially condoned acts of violence and terror. Under him the Fara’idi became organised into a strongly knit and powerful society. Bu the real reason Maualan Karamat Ali opposed the Fara’idi was due to their uncompromising attitude towards British rule. virtually a state within a state. the movement continued to expand until Dudu Mian’s death in 1862. having little contact with British rule except for the payment of taxes. The successors to the Fara’idi did mot prove equal to the calibre and ability of Haji Shariat Allah and Dudu Mian so that this lack of strong leadership and the vigorous attacks of the rigidly conservative Ulema brought about the disintegration of the movement. soft and sympathetic heart roused the apathetic and careless Bengali peasantry to new enthusiasm for the faith. He even went so far as to call upon the Muslims of India to unite with the British to crush the Fara’idi. In his report. Haji Shariat Allah was endowed with a string but pleasing personality. The court files and police records were full of accounts of his activities. Though it has survived until the present. succeeded him at his death in 1838 as the head of the movement. Popular accounts are replete with his adventurous exploits against the oppressive Hindu zamindars and the British indingo planters. He was of middle. The attractiveness of his manner and sincere. the weavers and oil-grinders who found in him a champion for the improvement of their lot. ‘’fanatics’’ and ‘’trouble-makers’’. According ot contemporary popular accounts. of fair complexion and wore a long and handsome beard. A sociological differences is that the Fara’idis were exclusively rural while the base of Tariqa Muhammadiya and the Arabian Wahhabis were primarily urban. Despite this harassment. In character and temperament. He disputed with them endlessly on minor points of fiqh and involved himself in much argument over trivial points as is the habit of the more narrow-minded of the Ulema. he was strikingly different from his father and not endowed with for scholarship. He ruled that any call for Jihad against the Government in Dar ul Islam was unlawful and should be regarded as rebellion and sedition. the most insistent opponent of the Fara’idi was Maulana Karanat Ali. heretics and ridiculing them as the ‘’Kharijis of Bengal’’. The Maulana the issued a fatwa condemning the Fara’idi and declaring India as part of Dar ul-Islam since a large number of Muslims lived there and Islamic rites were still observed. His energetic career exhilarated his friends and followers and struck terror in the hearts of his adversaries. OUR INDIAN MUSSALMANS: ARE THEY BOUND IN CONCIENCE TO REBEL AGANST THE QUEEN? William Hunter considers them as the worst enemy of the British Government in India. He always covered his head with a voluminous turban. Muhsin ud-din alias Dudu Mian the only son of Haji Shariat Allah. However. He carried on fierce propaganda against them representing them as innovators. his appearance was beautiful and awe-striking. Most of his followers thus consisted of those in humble occupation such as the famers. His followers were sometimes subjected to barbarous tortures.
anguished.166] It is only through great men and their strong leadership that we will see the Islamic revival. Shariatullah came back with a burning sparkle of the same revivalist fire. He was born in 1781 in a petty Talukdar family at the village Shamail under the then Madaripur sub-division of greater Faridpur district. While going to the holy Makkah in 1799 at the age of 18. devoutly educated in religious learning and Arabic literature. Secondly. The combined perpetration of violence and extortion turned the people into serfs and slaves of the type of Medieval Europe. Shariatullah returned home in 1818. His father was Abdul Jalil Talukdar. Murshidabad. loot and plunder of the English East India Company. the violent social change was termed by the contemporary annual report of the English Police Commissioner as a 'loathsome revolution'. He may be characterised as an Islamic revivalist. akin to the contemporary Arabian Wahhabism.with Islam and its heritage and can still become a great force for Islamic renaissance once dynamic. schooled under the supervision of the great Islamic theologians of the time at Makkah with unbroken scholarships for nearly two decades. He then received education from famous Madrassa of Furfura. The district of Shariatpur is named after him. Haji Shariatullah started his reform movement. which came to be known as the Faraizi. he laid extraordinary . but it touched upon various other aspects of the society. unprotected people bemoaning at the suppression and repression of the British occupier indigo planters who lorded over them. After his primary education he went to Calcutta and got admitted to Barashat Alia Madrasa. He emphasized on holding correct faith in the Tawhid (Unity of Allah) and on the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) as well as on abstaining strictly from associating any false gods and goddesses with Him (shirk). took under their monopoly control river ports and markets all over the country. The planters had by the side of them an equally outlandish corporation of Hindu Marwary zaminders who purchased large-scale zamindari estates under the terms and conditions of the permanent settlement of 1793. a social reformer. remained throbbing and afresh. which he tried to introduce in Bangladesh. A third group of agents. In 1818. he left behind a demurred. He lost his father at the age of 8 years and was brought-up by his uncle Azimuddin. The movement he started came to be popularly known as the Faraizi Movement. popularly called gomastas of the private businesses of the officers of the East India Company. He emigrated to Makkah in 1799. honest. Barisal and Comilla districts during the lifetime of the Haji. spread far and wide and became popular also in the neighbouring areas of greater Dhaka. The revolutionary religious spirit of Islamic revivalism that set the Arab's heart boiling. who were also mainly Marwaris and their Bengali associates. These traits were symptomatic of the devastating malaise which had taken hold of the people of Bengal who were then smarting under the unhampered misrule. [Maryam Jameelah: Islam in theory and practice p. a populist peasant leader and a freedom fighter. He met Abdul Wahhab and was greatly influenced by his thoughts. returned to Bangladesh in 1818 and started an Islamic revivalist reform movement. His reform movement was basically religious. capable and selfless leadership arises among them. Let’s put the Shuna [gold] back into the Desh [land/country]! Haji Shariatullah was an eminent Islamic reformer and brave freedom fighter of Bangladesh. thrown over. His stay at Arabia from 1799 to 1818 coincided with the rise of the Mawahhidun revolution miscalled Wahhabism of Arabia.
Besides. he emphasized on the unity and brotherhood of the Muslims and equality of mankind. payment of poverty alleviation religious taxes (zakat). he declared that zamindars created under the Permanent Settlement had no right on the agricultural crops produced by the tillers of the land. usage and polytheistic accretions that had crept into the Muslim society by contagion of the practices of the non-Muslim neighbours. He vehemently condemned numerous un-Islamic customs. he condemned caste discrimination.al. such as five times daily prayers (salat). In the socio-economic field. when he died and was succeeded by his son Dudu Mian . which are Faraiz (compulsory duties) and hence the movement was known as Faraizi. but also not to pay any crop-levy imposed on them by the zamindars. They shrewdly combined their patronising forces with the conservative Muslim peasantry and also took into their arms the forces of the Indigo Planters and their combined forces of opposition gradually came to a loggerhead about the year 1840. fasting in the mouth of Ramadan (saum) and performance of Hajj. which had contaminated the Muslim society.emphasis on performing the compulsory religious duties of Islam. he declared British India as a Dar. by which he meant all necessary and mandatory duties. Following the classical doctrines of the Muslim legal experts as noted down in Hedaya. This policy aroused the opposition of the newly created Hindu landlords against his movement. following the injunctions of the Quran to the effect that there is nothing due to man except the fruits of his own strivings. besides the legal revenues fixed by the rent-roll of the government. He instructed his followers not to participate in the Puja festivities of the polytheistic Hindu neighbours.harb (an state of war) and called the Muslims to fight for freedom against the occupation power.