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Colonialism and the Call to Jihad in British India

Colonialism and the Call to Jihad in British India

First Edition
Critical Acclaim

August 2015 | 232 pages | SAGE India

A historical narrative that examines the role of ulema and their use of the concept of jihad during India’s struggle for independence.

Colonialism and the Call to Jihad in British India examines the role of Muslim religious leaders or Ulema’s  in India’s freedom struggle. And it does so by visiting the life and times of seven main protagonists- the 19th century cleric Sayyid Ahmad Barelvi, the mystic revolutionary Maulvi Ahmadullah Shah, Maulana Mahmoodul Hasan( the founding father of the Silk Conspiracy and later of Jamia Millia Movement), Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi, Barkatullah Khan and Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani. All eulogized the idea of ‘Jihad’ but used it to fight and lead the freedom struggle against the British. It examines the roots of the Walliullahi movement which led to the Deoband movement in the second half of the 19thcentury in North India. It also highlights the 20thcentury Silk letter movement in which Muslim Ulema worked in tandem with the Hindu and Sikh Nationalists led Ghadar Party which was active not just in India but also in Europe and the USA. The book is a timely reminder of a shared Hindu-Muslim unity during our freedom struggle and helps us understand the commonly misunderstood notion of Jihad in the Indian context. The book in the end puts onus on the prevailing political system to ensure that India does not fall victim to sectarian violence and religious intolerance.


List of Photographs
Introduction: Forgotten Pages from Indian History
The Empire and 19th-century Jihad
The Maulvi of Faizabad and the Battle for Lucknow
The Deoband Connection: Revolt and Revivalism
Deoband and the Roots of the Khilafat Movement
The Silk Conspiracy Case, 1914–1916
The Ulema and the Partition of India
Conclusion: Colonialism and Jihad in the 21st Century

This book focuses on the call for jihad against the British by the Islamic clergy (mullahs) in the 19th and 20th centuries…a relatively neglected field, largely ignored by mainstream scholars of Indian nationalism. This study contains a lot of useful information about mobilization under mullahs during the Revolt of 1857, the Khilafat Movement and Partition.

Business Standard, 31 December 2015

[the book] brings together research and biography from various sources which introduce us to the overlooked and forgotten personalities who contributed to the tradition and devoted their lives to resisting British colonial rule.

The Asian Age, 24 January 2016 and Deccan Chronicle, 28 January 2016

[The book] aims to undo the misconceptions that have risen with regard to the concept of Jihad within the Islamic discourse…. Offers concise histories of many different Muslim leaders in the struggle against the British regime, a narrative which has been admittedly forgotten from many history books. 

The Book Review, March 2016

“[The author] seeks to correct palpable lapses in historiography, of present academic scholarship highlighting several critical omissions seeking as he does to redress the transmission of fabricated interpretations: his, is an indispensable endeavour and necessitates discussion….What [his] narrative makes explicit is how Utilitarian philosophy seeks to separate, inventing distinctions to produce a dichotomous’ ideal type’, a facet which remains unacknowledged by historians/ social scientist  theorists of the Indian Subcontinent….[He] has certainly corrected the incomplete knowledge, encouraging fresh, rigorous academic scholarship for social scientists.”

Kashmir Observer, October 1, 2016

“Brings together research and biography from various sources which introduce us to the overlooked and forgotten personalities who contributed to the tradition and devoted their lives to resisting British colonial rule”

The Asian Age

Tariq Hasan

Tariq Hasan is an Aligarh-based journalist, who began his career in journalism (1975) as a correspondent for The Pioneer (Lucknow). He has worked with The Times of India for more than two decades, and prior to this with The Patriot (New Delhi). He is presently associated with the Press Trust of India (PTI) and has been reporting on the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for more than a quarter of century now.Hasan has written extensively on Muslim issues. His critically acclaimed book, The Aligarh Movement and the Making of Indian Muslim Mind (2005), was well received all over the Indian subcontinent.Hasan has served as the president of India... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789351502616