Agnimitra wrote:Below is an excerpt from the writings of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, known famously as Imam Rabbani. This should properly dispel any ignorance or denial of discrimination and the prevalence of untouchability in Islamic societies for centuries. Please note - across the Sunni world, Imam Rabbani is considered "mujaddid alf e thaani" in Islam - the second greatest expositor of Islam after Imam Ghazali. Rabbani was born and died in medieval India. Today, from the Gulenist Turks to all of Pakistan, they consider themselves disciples of Rabbani. The grandfather of modern Turkish Islamism, Said Nursi, said he had a vision of Rabbani who gave him gyaan.
One of the citations given is:
Muslim Revivalist Movements In Northern India.
Rizvi,Saiyid Athar Abbas. 1965.
This is Rizvi's Ph.D thesis from Agra University. There is a foreword by Emeritus Prof. Mohammad Habib, Aligarh Muslim University, which I quote here to highlight one specific point.
It is difficult for me to find words to express my appreciation for this extraordinary work. It is an unrivalled study of Indo-Muslim ideology for the two centuries it covers. No medieval or modern work comes to this standard. As compared to our great medieval writers, even Maulana Abdul Haq Muhaddis, Dr. Rizvi has more basic material (printed as well as manuscript, but mostly manuscript) within his reach due to his prolonged labour in its collection and the facilities of the modern age. Also, unlike them, he has freedom from bias and sectarianism, the fear of the Muslim popular opinion; fanaticism of the millat (Muslim Community) does not sit as a nightmare on Dr. Rizvi's mind. His study of the unpublished authorities has been very sound; his attitude is tolerant but critical; and a very complete and (in my humble opinion) correct picture of the religious and mystic movements of the period emerges from the book.
A word of explanation is necessary before I proceed further. Muslim writers and thinkers (both mystics and Mullas) may be divided into two groups. There has been a lower layer that sought a livelihood by serving the government of the day or by pandering to the fanaticism of the multitude. But there has also been a top-layer of persons with broad humanity and freedom from religious fanaticism - Alberuni, Avicenna, Averroes, Ibn Arabi, Shaikh Nizam ud-Din Auliya , Dara Shukoh, etc., about whom Dr. A.A. Rizvi correctly says: "To draw a distinction between believers and kafirs, heaven and hell, reward and punishment was frivolous in their eyes." Dr. A. A. Rizvi promises to be the greatest of this group in our generation.
Notice - unlike the Pakistani and Western liberal "majority are moderate onlee, and the fanatics are just a few percent", Prof. Habib labels the Millat, the multitude as fanatical; and only a small group rise above that to broad humanism and lack of fear of Muslim popular opinion. IMO, this is very important - but it just may be me.