Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 537 Spring 2021

Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 537 Spring 2021

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Course: Ideological Foundation of Pakistan (537)
Semester: Spring, 2021

Q.1   Discuss the contribution of Muslim Rulers to the development of society and state in India? Critically examine Tara Chand’s Analysis.

Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent began in the course of a gradual Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent, beginnning mainly after the conquest of Sindh and Multan led by Muhammad bin Qasim. Following the perfunctory rule by the Ghaznavids in Punjab, Sultan Muhammad of Ghor is generally credited with laying the foundation of Muslim rule in the India.

From the late 12th century onwards, Turko-Mongol Muslim empires began to establish themselves throughout the subcontinent including the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire, who adopted local culture and intermarried with natives. Various other Muslim kingdoms, which ruled most of South Asia during the mid-14th to late 18th centuries, including the Bahmani SultanateDeccan Sultanates, and Gujarat Sultanate were native in origin. Sharia was used as the primary basis for the legal system in the Delhi Sultanate, most notably during the rule of Firuz Shah Tughlaq and Alauddin Khilji, who repelled the Mongol invasions of India. While rulers such as Akbar adopted a secular legal system and enforced religious neutrality.

Muslim rule in India saw a major shift in the cultural, linguistic, and religious makeup of the subcontinent. Persian and Arabic vocabulary began to enter local languages, giving way to modern Punjabi, Bengali, and Gujarati, while creating new languages including Urdu and Deccani, used as official languages under Muslim dynasties, and Hindi. This period also saw the birth of Hindustani musicQawwali and the further development of dance forms such as Kathak. Religions such as Sikhism and Din-e-Ilahi were born out of a fusion of Hindu and Muslim religious traditions as well.

The height of Islamic rule was marked during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, during which the Fatawa Alamgiri was compiled, which briefly served as the legal system of Mughal India.[11] Additional Islamic policies were re-introduced in South India by the Mysore King Tipu Sultan.

The eventual end of the period of Muslim rule of modern India is mainly marked with the beginning of British rule, although its aspects persisted in Hyderabad StateJunagadh StateJammu and Kashmit State and other minor princely states until the mid of the 20th century. Today’s modern BangladeshMaldives and Pakistan remain the only Muslim majority nations in the Indian subcontinent.

The foundation of Muslim rule in India was laid by Shabab-ud-Din Ghori towards the close of the 12th century A.D. However, long before that Muslims had started making attempts to enter India.

The first such attempt was made in the middle of the 7th century A.D. which however, proved a failure in 711-713 A.D. the Arabs under Muhammad- bin-Qasim, nephew of the Governor of Basra attacked India and conquered Sindh and Multan.

However, the Arabs could not retain control over this region for long as the Arabs were unskilled in the art of Government, they left administration of these areas completely in the hands of the natives. This occupation of Sindh by the Muslims came to an end with the death of Muhammad-bin Qasim.

The next attempt to capture India was made by the Turks of Ghazni. Subuktgin and his son Mahmud (995—1030) attacked Punjab which was then ruled by the Shahi dynasty. Subuktgin defeated the Shahi ruler Jaipal and deprived him of his trans Indus territory. The rest of the territories of Jaipal were wrested by his son Mahmud.

Mahmud in all conducted seventeen raids against northern India and carried away huge booty. Though these invasions of Mahmud were barren of any political results, yet they exposed the political and military weaknesses of India to the Muslim world.

The credit for laying firm foundation of the Muslim rule in India goes to Shahab ud Din Ghori. Shahab-ud-Din Ghori seized the throne of Ghazni in 1173. After consolidating his position, he turned his attention towards the fertile plains of India.

During the next ten years he conquered a number of areas like Multan, Uchh and Lahore. He even defeated the Rajput ruler, Prithviraj of Delhi at the battle of Tarain in 1192. After this he conquered Ajmer, Kanauj and Banaras.

After the death of Shahab-ud-Din Ghori, his Viceroy Kutub- ud-Din Aibak set up Slave dynasty in India. Kutub-ud-Din ruled India for four years and greatly extended the conquests made by Mohammad Ghori with the assistance of Mohammad Bakhtiyar Khilji. He brought the whole of northern India under his control.

The other important rulers of Slave Dynasty who consolidated and extended the Empire were Iltutmiah and Balban. Altutmish not only saved the dismemberment of the Muslim Empire by curbing various revolts by the Governors of Bengal and Bihar but also conquered Malwa and Sindh.

Likewise, Balban, as a Minister of Altutmish rushed the rebellions of Hindu kings and Muslim governors. He also successfully repulsed attacks of the Mongols. Later on as a king, Balban not only re-organised the administrative machinery but also raised strong protection against Mongol raids in the north-western frontiers.

After the Slave Dynasty, Jalal-ud-Din Khilji founded the new Khilji Dynasty. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Ala-ud Din Khilji. Under him the kingdom of Delhi reached its zenith. He greatly extended his Empire both in the north as well as in the south. In fact, it was the first Muslim Empire which covered practically the whole of India.

However, this Empire did not survive for long and declined after his death. In fact, during the last years of his time Ala-ud-Din Khilji saw this wieldy fabric tumbling. But it certainly goes to the credit of Ala-ud-Din Khilji that he subjugated Rajput kingdoms of Mewar, Ranthambhor, Gujarat, etc., and also annexed kingdoms of Devgiri, Warangal and Madura in the south.

He also abolished the feudal system of administration and centralised the entire administration in the hands of the king. He introduced far reaching military and economic reforms. But probably the most important contribution of Ala-ud- Din Khilji was that he, “expounded the theory that the king was responsible for the good government of the country and as such he should not be bound by the verdict of the Muslim Ulemas”.

In short, we can say that under the Khilji’s not only the territorial expansion of the Empire took place but certain new administrative principles were also enunciated.

After the assignation of the last ruler of Khilji Dynasty, Ghazi Malik ascended the throne under the title of Gias-ud-Din Tughlaq and founded a new Dynasty known as Tughlaq Dynasty. Soon after assuming power, he tried to champion the cause of Muslims. He was not contented with the acknowledgement of his suzerainty by the Hindu monarchs of the South and therefore adopted the policy of conquest and annexation.

He annexed the kingdom of Devgiri, Warangil and Dwarasamudra thus we find that under the Tughlaqs, the Empire extended to the whole of India. Tughlaq rule’s divided the country into 23 provinces for the efficient administration of the vast territory. However, this solidarity did not last long.

Another prominent ruler of this dynasty was Mohammad Tughlak. He was a distinguished scholar and a man of ideas. He prepared several schemes of conquest and introduced numerous administrative reforms. These schemes have been described by the scholars as visionary and their failure is attributed to the impractica­ble nature of these schemes.

However, Dr. Ishwari Prasad is of the opinion that his schemes were noble but he failed to execute them properly. The civil administration provided by Mohammad Tughlaq bears the stamp of his individuality spirit of tolerance and justice.

Mohammad Tughlaq was succeeded by his cousin Firoz Tughlaq. During his time the policy of territorial extension and annexation was given up. He permitted the provinces of Bengal and Sindh to claim their independence. Firoz Tughlaq was a bigoted king and did not treat the Hindus and Shias justly.

How­ever, during his time remarkable improvement was effected in the administrative machinery. As one historian has said, “He was the first Muslim king of India who had accepted the principle that the -duties of a sovereign are not limited only to the protection of person and property of his subjects but that the States must also adopt measures which contribute to their happiness and general welfare.”

He not only revised the entire penal code but also abolished the inhuman punishment. He undertook varijm projects of irrigation, reduced taxes on land, revised the revenue clauses and abolished numerous duties on small trade and profession.

He extended patronage to education by maintaining several schools and colleges. During his times a number of new buildings, towns, mosques and gardens were constructed and laid dawn. He also revived the Jagir and Slave systems.

Despite these measures the Tughlaq Empire did not last long and broke down to pieces after the death of Firoz Tughiaq. After him two rival claimants to the throne contested and there was a period of political instability. At this juncture Timur attacked India and dealt a death below to the tottering Tughlaq Empire.

After the Tughlaqs, Sayyid Khizar Khan ascended the throne of Delhi and founded the Sayyid Dynasty. In all there were four rulers of this Dynasty but their rule was confined to the walls of Delhi alone. They neither assumed the royal style nor struck coins in their own names. During their times repeated rebellions broke out in various parts and these rulers had to exert much of their energy in suppressing these rebellions.

The last ruler of this Dynasty abdicated the throne in 1451 in favour of Bahlol Lodhi, the Gover­nor of Punjab. Bahlol Lodhi founded the Lodhi dynasty. He suppressed the prevailing disorder and established a stable government in the country. He also conquered Jaunpur, Kalpi, Dholpur, Bari and Ala pur and thus tried to revive the glory of the former Delhi Sultanate.

His son, Sikandar Lodhi was another notable ruler of this dynasty. He was a staunch Muslim and followed the policy of persecution of the Hindus. However, he was a great patron of learning and continued to rule till 1517. With his death, the Delhi Empire started crumbling down, and his successor Ibrahim Lodhi was defeated by Babur in 1526 at the historic battle of Panipat.

This marked the end of the Sultanate of Delhi and the beginning of the Mughal rule in India.

Establishment of Mughal Rule:

After defeating Ibrahim Lodhi, Babur, a prince of Farghana, established the Mughal rule in India. Next year, he defeated the famous Rana Sanga at Kanwah. His successor Humayun could not consolidate his hold in northern India and was defeated by the famous Afghan ruler Sher khan.

Sher Khan founded the Suri Dynasty in 1540. He provided a sound system of civil administration and introduced a number of original land reforms, works for public utility. He followed the policy of tolerance and justice and earned reputation as a great ruler. However, his dynasty did not last long because his successors were very weak. This was fully exploited by Humayun to regain his kingdom after 15 years of exile in Persia.

Humayun’s son Akbar put the Mughal rule in India on firm footing. He defeated the great Hemu at the battle of Panipat in 1556. Akbar also annexed territories like Malwa, Gondwana, Gujarat, Ranthambhor, Chittor, Bengal, Kabul, Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan Orissa and Ahmednagar and established his sway over the whole of northern India with the exception of Mewar. Akbar tried to project himself as a national ruler.

He followed a policy of reli­gious tolerance towards Hindus and abolished pilgrim tax and poll taxes. He introduced a number of social reforms and improved the revenue administration. Jahangir who succeeded Akbar followed the policy laid down by his father.

However, during his times the Persian influence greatly increased because of Nur Jahan. Shah Jahan, the next ruler waged successful struggle against the Deccan rulers of Golconda and Bijapur and established Mughal suzerainty over them. Under him also the national character of the state was maintained. His reign also witnessed the construction of some of the marvelous buildings of the Mughal period.

Aurangzeb who ascended the throne after imprisoning Shah Jahan reversed the policy of Akbar and tried to establish an Islamic stale. He adopted an all out anti-Hindu policy and re-imposed various taxes on the Hindus which were abolished by Akbar.

In short, we can say that Aurangzeb destroyed the national State created by Akbar. The successors of Aurangzeb were very weak and the Mughal Empire continued to decline under them. The Mughal Empire came to an end in 1857 when the British deposed Bahadur Shah the last Mughal ruler.          

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 537 Spring 2021

Q.2   Analyze the contribution of Shah Wali Ullah to the revival of Muslim fortunes in India. Illustrate your answer in accordance with the historic events.

Shah Wali Allah wrote in both Arabic and Persian. He published between fifty and seventy works, including five collections of letters and epistles. His writings played a major role in the intellectual and spiritual life of the Muslims in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, a role which continues today. Some of these works have greatly changed the Muslim approach to the study of the Qur’an.

In addition, Shah Wali Allah tried to reshape Islamic metaphysics in greater conformity with the teachings of the Qur’an and the sunna of the Prophet. He adopted a more rational approach to the controversial issues of metaphysics, which led to greater harmony among subsequent Islamic metaphysical thinkers. He was careful to give a balanced criticism of some of the views of his predecessors and contemporaries. His constructive and positive approach to those issues was always considered a sincere attempt at reconciliation.

Shah Wali Allah made the first attempt to reconcile the two (apparently) contradictory doctrines of wahdat al-wujud (unity of being) of Ibn al-‘Arabi and wahdat al-shuhud (unity in conscience) of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi. Shaykh Muhyi al-Din ibn al- ‘Arabi, the advocate of wahdat al-wujud, was of the opinion that being in reality is one and God. All other actual and possible beings in the universe are manifestations and states or modes of his Divine Names and Attributes. By the act of creation through the word kun (be), Ibn al-‘Arabi means the descent of Absolute Existence into the determined beings through various stages. This gradual descent of the Absolute Existence is called tanazzulat al-khamsa (five descents) or ta’ayyunat al-khamsa (five determinations) in Sufi terminology. On the other hand, according to Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi, the exponent of the doctrine of wahdat al-shuhud, God and creation are not identical; rather, the latter is a shadow or reflection of the Divines Name and Attributes when they are reflected in the mirrors of their opposite non-beings (a’dam al-mutaqabila). Shah Wali Allah neatly resolved the conflict, calling these differences ‘verbal controversies’ which have come about because of ambiguous language. If we leave, he says, all the metaphors and similes used for the expression of ideas aside, the apparently opposite views of the two metaphysicians will agree. The positive result of Shah Wali Allah’s reconciliatory efforts was twofold: it brought about harmony between the two opposing groups of metaphysicians, and it also legitimized the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud among the mutakallimun (theologians), who previously had not been ready to accept it.

Shah Wali Allah wrote about thirteen works on metaphysics, which contain his constructive and balanced metaphysical system. One of the most important is al-Khayr al-kathir (The Abundant Good). This work is divided into ten chapters, each called a khizana (treasure). The first four chapters deal with the reality of wujud (being), knowledge of God, the relationship between God and the universe, and human knowledge. From the discussion of human knowledge, Shah Wali Allah turns to the discussion of the reality of prophecy and the prophethood of Muhammad. In the seventh khizana, he deals with the rules and principles of sainthood and mysticism. The eighth and ninth chapters contain details about practical aspects of Islam, the shari’a, as well as the eschatological view of Islam. In the tenth khizana, Shah Wali Allah explains his theological view which, according to him, is in full accord with Ash’arite theology.

Altaf al-quds fi ma’rifat lata’if al-nafs (The Sacred Knowledge) is another metaphysical work concerned with the inner dimensions of human personality. Here Shah Wali Allah deals with the important questions of mystical intuition (kashf) and inspiration (ilham). He examines systematically the reality of both the external and internal perceptive qualities of a human being as the heart, the intellect, the spirit, the self, the secret (al-sirr) and the ego. A separate chapter is devoted to the metaphysical teachings of Shaykh Junaid Baghdadi, wherein he presents a brief historical account of mysticism. The last chapter deals with the subtle question of ‘thoughts and their causes’. Shah Wali Allah specifies various external and internal causes which affect the human mind and produce thoughts.

Sata’at (Manifestations) is a systematic division of wujud (being), representing Shah Wali Allah’s view concerning the tashkik al-wujud (hierarchy or gradation of being). Existence, in relation to determined being, is composed of existence and essence and has many grades, stages and modes. The particular beings in the universe provide the foundation for the claim of the tashkik (gradation) and kathrat (multiplicity) of being. Each grade or stage covers a certain area of determination and each stage is related to the next, not in a way that a material being is connected to another material being, but in ma’nawi (conceptual) manner. He describes the relationship between the various stages of being as like that between the lights of various lamps in a single room. The lights of these lamps are apparently mingled and are one, and are difficult to differentiate from one another; but in reality, they are distinguishable from one another because of the number of the lamps.

A hallmark of Shah Wali Allah was his ability to reconcile opposing points of view to the satisfaction of each side. Standing behind this aspect of his teachings is the unity of the Muslim community or umma. His powerful abilities as a reconciler enabled him to provide common ground and a strong basis for co-operation and harmony between the Sunni and Shi’i.

Shah Wali Allah lived during a time of political and moral decline, chaos and destruction in the Mughul empire. His vantage point near the centre of the Muslim state gave him a clear view of the situation. He did his best to bring stability to the tottering empire and protect the Indian Muslims from disaster. Through his writings, especially his letters, he appealed to the Muslim rulers, nobles and intelligentsia to be aware of the dreadful situation and its possible consequences. His correspondence reveals many factors of Indian politics in the eighteenth century. His detailed letter to Ahmad Shah Abdali, the founder and ruler of Afghanistan, contained a comprehensive picture of the political situation in India. Ahmad Shah Abdali heeded Shah Wali Allah’s call to invade India and restore Muslim power to the country, culminating in the defeat of the Marathas and their allies at the battle of Panipat in 1761. Shah Wali Allah himself left a rich intellectual legacy in the form of literary works, well-trained disciples including his four sons – who also became eminent scholars – and one of the greatest educational institutions of the time.

AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 537 Spring 2021

Q.3   Critically analyze Sir Syed Ahmed Khan’s interest in reconciling the Muslims to the British rule. Discuss in the light of study material.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan is best known for the Aligarh Movement — a systemic movement aimed at reforming the social, political and educational aspects of the Muslim community. He founded the Scientific Society in 1863 to translate major works in the sciences and modern arts into Urdu. He released two journals to this end — The Aligarh Institute Gazette, which was an organ of the Scientific Society, and the Tehzibul Akhlaq, known as the Mohammedan Social Reformer in English.

Khan’s most notable contribution to the field of education is establishing the Madarsatul Uloom in Aligarh in 1875, now known as the Aligarh Muslim University, a premier educational institution of the country. He attempted to model the college on universities such as Oxford and Cambridge. His work on Muslim education was not limited to this alone — he wanted to create a network of educational institutions managed by Muslims and founded the All India Muslim Educational Conference.

In 1886, he set up the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Education Congress, later renamed the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental Educational Conference, to bring together education and culture. He emphasised the need for an autonomous Muslim institution free of any government funding.

On this issue he said, “As long as we depend on Government for wants which are essentially of a domestic nature as education necessarily is, we really expect to get what is simply impossible to obtain. The best educational institutions in Europe are either entirely or next to entirely free from any control of the government.”

An avid historian, he was the first person to publish an archaeological study in an Indian language. As a result, he was also named as an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society. He also collected sculptures and rare artefacts, including those of Hindu deities.

In 1888, three years after the Indian National Congress was founded, Khan delivered a lecture in Meerut on the invitation of the Muslims residing in the area. He was critical of the Congress and talked about how it was essentially a party of Bengali Hindus who could not best represent the viewpoint of a Muslim population. He called for greater representation of Muslims.

“The unfair interference of these people is this — that they have tried to produce a false impression that the Mahomedans of these Provinces agree with their opinions. But we also are inhabitants of this country, and we cannot be ignorant of the real nature of the events that are taking place in our own North-West Provinces and Oudh,” he said.

He further iterated that some Hindus were misled by the party and given false assurances that joining Congress would result in them becoming the dominant group in the nation; he expressed regret at the discord this was sowing between the two communities.

“These proposals of the Congress are extremely inexpedient for the country, which is inhabited by two different nations — who drink from the same well, breathe the air of the same city, and depend on each other for its life. To create animosity between them is good neither for peace, nor for the country, nor for the town.”

Syed Ahmad is widely commemorated across South Asia as a great Muslim social reformer and visionary.[25][54] At the same time, Syed Ahmad sought to politically ally Muslims with the British government. An avowed loyalist of the British Empire, he was nominated as a member of the Civil Service Commission in 1887 by Lord Dufferin. In 1888, he established the United Patriotic Association at Aligarh to promote political co-operation with the British and Muslim participation in the British government.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Bahadur lived the last two decades of his life in Aligarh, regarded widely as the mentor of 19th and 20th century Muslim entrepreneurs. Battling illnesses and old age, Sir Syed died on 27 March 1898. He was buried besides Sir Syed Masjid inside the campus of the Aligarh Muslim University.

The university he founded remains one of India’s most prominent institutions and served as the arsenal of Muslim India. Prominent alumni of Aligarh include Muslim political leaders Maulana Mohammad Ali JouharAbdur Rab NishtarMaulana Shaukat Ali and Maulvi Abdul Haq, who is hailed in Pakistan as Baba-e-Urdu (Father of Urdu). The first two Prime Ministers of PakistanLiaquat Ali Khan and Khawaja Nazimuddin, as well as Indian President Dr. Zakir Hussain, are amongst Aligarh’s most famous graduates. In India, Sir Syed is commemorated as a pioneer who worked for the socio-political upliftment of Indian Muslims.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 537 Spring 2021

Q.4   Why did Sir Syed Ahmed Khan oppose the introduction of the British System of representative Government in India? Explain.

Allama Iqbal believed that, “The real greatness of the man (Sir Syed) consists in the fact that he was the first Indian Muslim who felt the need of a fresh orientation of Islam and worked for it.” While in the words of Jawaharlal Nehru, “Sir Saiyad was an ardent reformer and he wanted to reconcile modern scientific thought with religion by rationalistic interpretations and not by attacking basic belief. He was anxious to push new education. He was in no way communally separatist. Repeatedly he emphasized that religious differences should have no political and national significance”.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was born on Oct 17, 1817, in Delhi, belonged to a  family which held prominent positions in the reign of Mughal emperors, and he, himself, was bestowed with the title of Jawa’d-ul-Daula and Arif-e-Jang by Bahadur Shah Zafar II. But he soon realized the crumbling position of the Mughals and their deviancy from religion, and hence kept at a distance from them.

He initiated his practical career by joining East India Company in 1837 as serestadar, managing court affairs, and record-keeping. His educational reforms started when he laid the foundation of a madrassa (Muradabad Panchayaity Madrassah) in Muradabad in 1859, which was one of the first religious academies to incorporate scientific knowledge along with the religious one. Here Hindu and Muslim students were taught Urdu, Persian, and Arabic along with English. The school was run from Hindu and Muslim funding.

After a brief interval of four years, he established another English High school based on the rules of religion in Ghazipur in 1863. His marvelous achievement, while he was posted at Aligarh was the establishment of MAO (Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental) High School in 1875, which was inaugurated by William Muir. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan wanted to upgrade its level to a college, and to attain this end, he speeded up fund-raising. Ultimately, his vision proved fruitful, and the viceroy of India Lord Litton elevated it to the level of a college on Jan 8, 1877.

Religious education along with modern learning was uncompromisingly essential. Students of it were encouraged to take part in healthy discussions avoiding sectarian issues. But this college was unable to impart knowledge to millions of Muslims scattered around the sub-continent; many of whom were those who were unaware of its existence even. The aim of Sir Syed was not merely restricted to establishing a college at Aligarh but at spreading a network of Muslim managed educational institutions throughout the length and breadth of the country. He established the Muhammadan Educational Conference in 1886. Its importance surpassed all other institutions previously established. Great figures such as Maulana Shibli Naumani, Maulana Hali, Maulana Nazeer Ahmad, Nawab Muhsin-ul-Mulk, and others beautified the intellectual atmosphere of this institution and stirred up a flare of enthusiasm among many Muslims.

Sir Syed himself remained active in politics, yet he advised Muslims to keep away from it. He knew the educational backwardness of Muslims and their unawareness of political current. He also urged upon Muslims to remain at distance from Congress, because in his justified opinion, it was a party that was solely devoted to the cause of Hindus and detrimental to Muslims and their ideologies. This paved way for the establishment of the Muslim League later in 1906.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was a man of versatile personality. He rendered memorable contributions in the field of writings. Beginning at the age of 23, he started his career as an author writing religious texts. He was the first Muslim to produce a commentary on the Bible in which he tried to show that Islam was very close to Christianity in certain aspects. His other valuable tracts such as Loyal Muhammadans of India, Tabyin-ul-Kalam, and A Series of Essays on the Life of Muhammad (SAW) and Subjects Subsidiary Therein proved to be a milestone in bridging the difference between the British and the Muslims. Some religious works of him that deserve mention are Ahkam Tu’am Ahl-Kitab, Al-Du’a Wa’l Istajaba, Al-Nazar Fi Ba’z Masa’il Imam Al-Ghazzali, Tafsir-a-Samawat, Tahrir fi Usul al-Tafsir, Tarjama fawa’id al-afkar fi Amal al-farjar, along with such miscellaneous works as On the Use of the Sector (Urdu), Syed-ul-Akbar, Qaul-i-Matin dar Ibtal-i-Harkat i Zamin, Tashil fi Jar-a-Saqil, Ik Nadan Khuda Parast aur Dana dunyadar Ki Kahani, Kalamat-ul-Haqq.

Sir Syed Ahmad Khan breathed his last on March 27, 1898. He is buried right along with the Sir Syed Masjid inside Aligarh University. His funeral was attended not only by thousands of Muslims but British officials as well. He revived the dormant consciousness of Muslims and through his educational and social reforms, he went down in Muslim history as arguably the most influential Indian politician of the 19th century.

After his death, his Muslims and English friends started raising money to fulfill Sir Syed’s dream of making the MAO college in a Muslim university. People loved him because in his life he was like a shady tree to them and after his death, they remembered him and showed their love for him by making efforts for raising the status of the college to the university, which came finally in 1920.           

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 537 Autumn 2021

Q.5   Why did Allama Iqbal Consider European nationalism not relevant and suited to the case of Islam? What meaning did Allama Iqbal attributed to the concept tof nationalism in the Islamic concept? Discuss.                                                                                                          

“It seems to me that God is slowly bringing home to us the truth that Islam is neither Nationalism nor Imperialism but a League of Nations which recognizes artificial boundaries and racial distinctions for facility of reference only, and not for restricting the social horizon of its members.”[1]

The fundamental problem confronting Islam today is to determine its attitude vis-a-vis the ideas and institutions associated with the modern, non-Islamic civilization. In a sense the problem is not a novel one. Islam has been confronted with the same problem in one form or the other from the very beginning. In the early period of its history the primitive Arab Muslims, who were the standard-bearers of Islam, came into contact with the Greek and Persian civilizations. But if the problems faced by Islam then and now are similar in essence, they are enormously different in magnitude. For then Islam had the vigour of a nascent civilization, and all the prestige of a triumphant power which had overpowered both the great empires of the times. Hence Islam faced the challenge without losing its poise, its self-confidence, even its sense of superiority. But today the situation is altogether different. Since the sixteenth century Muslim society has remained steeped in stagnation and degeneracy and has drifted downward. On the other hand christendom (the historical rival of Islam) has passed through a process of re-birth and regeneration. It shook itself out of its stupor and made tremendous achievements in all fields of life. In the nineteenth century the superiority of Christian Europe over the Muslim world was no longer a subject of debate. It had already become a solid fact. Consequently Muslim countries lost their independence one after the other, and along with that they began to lose their cultural pride and self-confidence. Christendom, towards which the Muslims had looked down in the past with disdain  — as religiously misguided and culturally backward — began to win their admiration. With this change in outlook the ideas and institutions of the European society began to penetrate into the Muslim world and to enjoy tremendous prestige as a result of their association with the culture of the dominant nations of the world.

One of the ideas of European origin which has had a serious impact upon the Muslim world (in fact, upon the whole of the East) is that of nationalism. One of the most serious challenges to the traditional values of Islamic society has been posed by this idea.

The questions posed by nationalism have serious theoretical as well as practical implications. In countries where Muslims are in majority, some of the problems with which Muslims are faced are: What place should be assigned to “love of the fatherland” in the hierarchy of values by the Muslim inhabitants of various countries? Will it be proper for them to give the same degree of importance to their particular fatherlands and nationalities as assigned by the present-day nationalists? If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, will this not strike at the roots of the Islamic ideal that Islam should be the pivotal point in their private as well as public life? Will the nationalist ideal not require the development of a nationality and culture which is common to both Muslim and non-Muslim inhabitants of the fatherland? Will this ideal not require that those elements which are common in the life of Muslims as well as non-Muslims are stressed, and Islam — which is not the common denominator between all the various religious groups which compose-the nation-be relegated to a secondary position? Will this ideal not reduce Islam to the position of a private affair as has happened in the West? Moreover, if the Muslims accept the modern concept of nationalism, in what way will they be able to meet the claims of Islamic brotherhood, for the Islamic ummah has always been considered by them a universal ummah indivisible on racial, linguistic, territorial or such other considerations?

And if Muslims were to reject the nationalist idea that the only sound principle of political life is loyalty to the fatherland, then in what way will it be ensured that both the Muslim and non-Muslim members of the nation are welded into a common nationality? What is it that will ensure the participation of all, Muslims as well as non-Muslims, in national life?

The problems facing Muslims in countries where they are in minority are no less difficult. They are faced with the problem as to how they can maintain their distinct identity as members of an ideological community without adopting a negative attitude towards the nation and the state?

Of modern Islamic thinkers, Iqbal was perhaps the first to realize the magnitude of this challenge. No other Muslim thinker has shown as profound an awareness of the implications of the nationlist idea to the Islamic society. In his poems, as well as in his prose writings, he turns again and again to this question and seeks to give the Muslims a definite lead.

In the following pages we shall make an attempt to grasp the standpoint of Iqbal on the problems raised by nationalism and assess its significance. In order to appreciate that, our discussion will be preceded by an attempt to explain the concept of nationalism and its implications, and the classical Islamic attitude on the point.


Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. In the past man’s loyalty, has not been due to the nation — state or nationality, but to differing forms of social authority, political organization and ideological cohesion such as tribe or clan, the city-state or the feudal lord, the dynastic state, the church or the religious group.[2] During the Middle Ages there were hardly any traces of nationalism, either in the Islamic world or in Christendom. In those times the object of popular loyalty was not primarily nationality, but religion. In Europe “the object of popular loyalty which, was superior to all others” was Christendom.[3] In the Muslim world a Muslim considered his first loyalty to be due to his faith and to the community of believers and only then to the family or the local group.[4]

This, however, does not mean that nationalities were nonexistent in pre-modern times. Nationalities, in the sense of cultural societies conscious of their distinctness, internally homogeneous and alien from other groups, had existed in the Middle Ages and even before. Similarly, patriotism — the attachment to one’s native soil and to local traditions — had also existed long. What, however, did not exist in the Middle Ages is the “fusion of patriotism and nationality and the predominance of national patriotism over all other human loyalties… which is nationalism.”[5]

This is indeed modern, very modern. In fact it is not until the seventeenth century that we find the first full manifestation of nationalism in England and it is only towards the end of the eighteenth century that nationalism in the modern sense of the term became a generally recognised sentiment in Europe, increasingly moulding all public and private life.[6]

The rise of nationalism in Europe synchronizes with the disintegration of the mediaeval, and the gradual emergence of the modern civilization. The powerful forces, material as well as ideational, which had been released by Renaissance and Reformation had been in operation for many centuries and had enormously affected the structure of European society and culture and had prepared the ground for the acceptance of the nationalist idea. For instance, there had grown up several regional languages in Europe and each one of them had come to possess fairly rich literature. The Christian Church had lost most of its former power and authority. It had split up into several mutually antagonistic churches, and had thus rent asunder the spiritual unity of Christendom. The weakening of feudalism, and later on of monarchy, had increased the active participation of the people in public affairs. Alongwith these changes, new trends of thought like the sovereignty of the people and the doctrine of natural rights were also emerging. Moreover, the economic transformations which were taking place in the pre-modern times had brought into prominence a new economic class, the middle class. Furthermore, there had also occurred a tremendous change in the mentality of the people due to the impact of scientific progress and the emergence of a changing social order under its pressure. The change in the mentality of the people mainly consisted in the refusal of the enlightened sections of the European people to conform blindly to tradition. A number of factors had even weakened the faith of Europeans in Christianity. People had particularly become increasingly weary of the idea that religion should remain the pivotal point in public life. For the memories of religious civil wars, which had ravaged Europe and had led to wholesale massacres, were still fresh in their minds. It is in this milieu that nationality began to acquire an increasing importance in Europe and gradually became the focus of loyalty in the body-politic, and thereby replaced religion as a cohesive force.

Nationalism has naturally passed through various courses of development in various European countries. Hence in certain respects each nationalism is different from all others. There have, however, also grown up certain characteristics which are common to every nationalism. To borrow the words of Carlton Hayes, nationalism is:

“… a condition of mind among members of a nationality, perhaps already possessed of national state, a condition of mind in which loyalty to the ideal or to the fact of one’s national state is superior to all other loyalties and of which pride in one’s nationality and belief in its intrinsic excellence and in its “mission” are integral parts.”[7]

Nationalist ideology has two basic tenets. In the first place, nationalism believes that each nationality should constitute a united, independent and sovereign state. Hence, if a nationality is subjected to the domination of any other nationality, it should become free and independent; and if the nationality is divided into numerous states, these states should merge in a single national state. Thus, the nationalist view has been that nationality should be the basis of statehood. In the second place, nationalism places national loyalty above all other loyalties.[8] It is this feature of nationalism which distinguishes it from mere patriotism, which had existed even in premodern times.

Nineteenth century was the century of the triumph of nationalism. Nationalism remained a very potent force throughout this century and led to tremendous changes in the political map of Europe. Nation-states had come into existence and had caused numerous important changes in the character of political life. Formerly religion had been the most important cohesive force in the life of the community. Nationalism now led to the replacement of the religious by the national tie. Thus, religion receded into a position of secondary importance in public life. For, nationalism had taught the people to participate in the political life of their nation-states as its citizens, as the members of the English or the French or the Italian nation, and not as Jews and Christians or as Catholics and Protestants. The natural corollary of all this was that state ceased to be an institution which could be expected to devote itself primarily to the promotion of the cause of faith, although this was expected of it during the Middle Ages. State came to be concerned exclusively with the achievement of common national “interests and with the nation’s material well-being.

Along with nationalism there developed in Europe the trend of thought which is known as ‘secularism’. The impact of this development was that this-worldly matters were separated from otherworldly matters; the concern for well-being here was separated from the concern for the well-being in the hereafter. The rise of nationalism and secularism have coincided in the history of modern Europe and since then have remained inseparable.


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