Syncretic Islam: Life and Times of Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Apr 18, 2021 - Religion - 272 pages
Syncretic Islam is a fascinating and brilliant study of the religious thought and career of one of the doyens of Muslim traditionalism in South Asia, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi. An Islamic scholar, jurist and an Urdu poet, Ahmad Raza Khan was the founder of the Barelvi movement whose defining feature of thought is the active veneration of the Prophet as the most exalted of all beings. This work overviews and analyses the multiple facets constituting Ahmad Raza Khan's intellectual life and, in extension, the Barelvi school of thought in an eminently accessible manner. It is the story of a remarkable revivalist, born in the North Indian town of Bareilly during British India, who grew up to be hailed by his followers as the mujaddid, or reviver, of Islam in nineteenth-century India.

A Pathan by descent, Hanafi by religious mores, Qadiri by disposition and Barelvi by nativity, Syncretic Islam captures the astounding contribution of Ahmad Raza Khan and attempts to explain his spiritual influence that still binds millions of people in the Indian subcontinent.

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A Note on Transliteration
Birth Family and Home
Hands on Pulse of Politics and Yet
Some Noble Traits
Intellectual Impulse
Energising Faith in Rough Times
Barelvis Bitter Battle for Identity
The Azan Debate
The Crushing Weight of History
Muslim Orthodoxy and Mysticism
Two Other Important Persons with Barelvi Suffix but
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About the author (2021)

Anil Maheshwari served for about five decades in journalism and retired from the Hindustan Times as Special Correspondent. He was posted at Bareilly during 2000–2006, which gave him a better understanding of the Barelvi movement.

Richa Singh is a research scholar at the University of Delhi.

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