By Muhammad Qasim Zaman
Ashraf `Ali Thanawi (1863-1943) was once probably the most trendy non secular students in Islamic background. writer of over 1000 books on diversified features of Islam, his paintings sought to protect the Islamic scholarly culture and to articulate its authority in an age of momentous non secular and political switch. during this authoritative biography, Muhammad Qasim Zaman deals a entire and hugely available account of Thanawi's multifaceted occupation and idea, while additionally offering a worthy advent to Islam in sleek South Asia.
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Additional resources for Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia (Makers of the Muslim World)
And still others, probably the greater proportion, concerned the disciples’ spiritual well-being and development. Disciples were required to write to him regularly; and so they did, recounting their experiences and travails on the mystic path, asking him to interpret their dreams, seeking moral and religious counsel. Responding to these letters was, by all accounts, an important part of Thanawi’s daily routine at the Khanaqah. It was also a crucial facet of his role as a Sufi master. qxd 8/8/2007 1:59 PM Page 29 LIFE 29 THE KHANAQAH’S SCHOLARS Life at the Khanaqah revolved around Thanawi, but many of the regular visitors as well as long-term residents were part of a rich intellectual culture he had helped foster.
When, in the early 1930s, Thanawi wrote his Consummate Stratagem for the Powerless Wife to address the severe problems Muslim women had come to face in matters of divorce in colonial India (see chapter 3), it was with Shafi‘’s assistance that he did so. Shortly before his death, Thanawi had commissioned both Shafi‘ and Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani, together with another Deobandi scholar, to write a new commentary focusing on Qur’anic passages deemed to have a specifically legal content. This multi-volume work was later completed and published in Pakistan (‘Uthmani et al.
Watt 1998, 24). Another crisis came later, in 1095, when Ghazali was a noted professor at a madrasa in Baghdad. His very success as a religious scholar and teacher now seemed to him a facet of his worldliness, of a desire for fame rather than for the pleasure of God. He had already become convinced that the path of the Sufis was the surest way to knowledge. This crisis continued for several months, making him physically ill and unable to teach, and eventually leading him to abandon Baghdad for many years of travel and reclusive living (Ghazali 1969, 35–39;Watt 1998, 56–63).