Muslim nationalism in South Asia | Wikipedia audio article

Muslim nationalism in South Asia | Wikipedia audio article


Muslim nationalism in South Asia is the political
and cultural expression of nationalism, founded upon the religious tenets and identity of
Islam, of the Muslims of South Asia.==Historical foundations==
During the Delhi Sultanate era, the Muslim kingdoms were among powerful military groups
in India, and an Islamic society that descended from the Middle East and Central Asia and
from areas which became modern day Afghanistan spread the religion amongst Indians.==Ideological foundations==
The first organized expressions began with Muslim scholars and reformers like Syed Ahmed
Khan, Syed Ameer Ali and the Aga Khan who had an influential major hand in the Indian
independence movement. Expression of Muslim separatism and nationhood
emerged from modern Islam’s pre-eminent poet and philosopher, Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal
and political activists like Choudhary Rahmat Ali.==In politics==Some prominent Muslims politically sought
a base for themselves, separate from Hindus and other Indian nationalists, who espoused
the Indian National Congress. Muslim scholars, religious leaders and politicians
founded the All India Muslim League in 1906. Muslims comprised 25% to 30% of pre-independence
India’s collective population. Some Muslim leaders felt that their cultural
and economic contributions to India’s heritage and life merited a significant role for Muslims
in a future independent India’s governance and politics. A movement led by Allama Iqbal and ultimately
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who originally fought for Muslim rights within India, later felt
a separate homeland must be obtained for India’s Muslims in order to achieve prosperity. They espoused the Two-Nation Theory, that
India was in fact home to the Muslim and Hindu nations, who were distinct in every way. Another section of Muslim society, led by
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari and Maulana Azad felt that participation
in the Indian Independence Movement and the Indian National Congress was a patriotic duty
of all Muslims.==Independence of Pakistan==Muhammad Ali Jinnah led the Muslim League’s
call for Pakistan. As time went on, communal tensions rose and
so partition won increasing support among many Muslims in Muslim-majority areas of the
British India.On 14 August 1947, Pakistan was created out of the Muslim majority provinces
of British India, Sindh, the west of Punjab, Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province,
and in formerly in the east with Bengal. Communal violence broke out and millions of
people were forced to flee their homes and many lost their lives. Hindus and Sikhs fled from Pakistan to India
and Muslims fled from India to Pakistan. However, because Muslim communities existed
throughout the South Asia, independence actually left tens of millions of Muslims within the
boundaries of the secular Indian state. Currently, approximately 14.2% of the population
of India is Muslim. The Muslim League idea of a Muslim Nationalism
encompassing all the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent seemed to lose out to ethnic
nationalism in 1971, when East Pakistan, a Bengali dominated province, fought with support
and the subsequent war with India helped them win their independence from Pakistan, and
became the independent country of Bangladesh.==Pakistani nationalism==Pakistani nationalism refers to the political,
cultural, linguistic, historical, religious and geographical expression of patriotism
by the people of Pakistan, of pride in the history, culture, identity, heritage and religious
identity of Pakistan, and visions for its future. Pakistan nationalism is the direct outcome
of Muslim nationalism, which emerged in India in the 19th century. Its intellectual pioneer was Sir Syed Ahmad
Khan. Unlike the secular nationalism of other countries,
Pakistani nationalism and the religion of Islam are not mutually exclusive and religion
is a part of the Pakistani nationalist narrative. During the late years of British rule and
leading up to independence, it had three distinct supporters: Idealists, such as majority of Muslim students
and intellectuals, inspired by the Aligarh Movement and Allama Iqbal, driven by a fear
of being engulfed in “false secularism” that would assimilate their beliefs, culture and
heritage and Islamic ideology into a common system that defied Islamic civic tenets and
ideals while hoping to create a state where their higher education, reformist Islamist
ideology and wealth would keep them in power over the other Muslims of India. Realists, driven by political inflexibility
demonstrated by the Indian National Congress, feared a systematic disenfranchisement of
Muslims. This also included many members of the Parsi,
and Nizari Ismaili communities. Traditionalists, primarily lower Orthodoxy
(Barelvi), that feared the dominative power of the upper Orthodoxy (Deoband) and saw Pakistan
as a safe haven to prevent their domination by State-controlled propaganda. Although many upper Orthodoxy (such as Shabbir
Ahmad Usmani and Ashraf Ali Thanwi) also supported the state in the interests of an Islamic Republic.==Muslim nationalism in India==
According to official government statistics, Hindu-majority India has almost 14% Muslim
population spread across all states with significant concentrations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana,
Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. It is the second-largest home to Muslims after
Indonesia and the third-largest home to Shia Muslims. Since independence, there has been a great
deal of conflict within the various Muslim communities as to how to best function within
the complex political and cultural mosaic that defines Indian politics in India today. All in all, Muslim perseverance in sustaining
their continued advancement along with Government efforts to focus on Pakistan as the primary
problem for Indian Muslims in achieving true minority rights has created a sometimes extreme
support for Indian nationalism, giving the Indian State much-needed credibility in projecting
a strong secular image throughout the rest of the world. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a leading Indian
Islamic organization has propounded a theological basis for Indian Muslims’ nationalistic philosophy. Their thesis is that Muslims and non-Muslims
have entered upon a mutual contract in India since independence, to establish a secular
state. The Constitution of India represents this
contract. This is known in Urdu as a mu’ahadah. Accordingly, as the Muslim community’s elected
representatives supported and swore allegiance to this mu’ahadah so the specific duty of
Muslims is to keep loyalty to the Constitution. This mu’ahadah is similar to a previous similar
contract signed between the Muslims and the Jews in Medina.==South Asian Muslim leaders==
ReformersSyed Ahmed Khan, Maulana Mohammad Ali, Maulana Shaukat Ali, Begum of Bhopal Freedom Fighters (primarily against the British)Badruddin
Tyabji, Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari, Maulana Azad, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Abbas
Tyabji, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Maulana Mehmud Hasan, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Pakistan MovementMuhammad Ali Jinnah, Allama
Iqbal, Liaquat Ali Khan, Abdur Rab Nishtar, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, A.K. Fazlul Huq, Begum Jahanara Shahnawaz, Syed
Ahmed Khan. ReligiousQazi Syed Rafi Mohammad, Maulana
Syed Maudoodi, Ahmad Raza Khan, Mohammad Abdul Ghafoor Hazarvi.==See also==Arrow of a Blue-Skinned God by Jonah Blank
Patel: A Life by Rajmohan Gandhi India and Pakistan in War and Peace by J.N. Dixit==References==

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