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Barēlwīs

(1,546 words)

Author(s): Sanyal, Usha
A group of religious scholars ( ʿulamāʾ) and their followers, originally of South Asia, who trace their worldview to the teachings of Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barēlwī (d. 1921). The Barēlwīs call themselves the “People of the [Prophet's] sunna (q.v.) and the majority community” ( Ahl-i sunnat wa- jamāʿat) and reject the name “Barēlwī” as derogatory, because of its implication that their beliefs are local and deviant rather than universalistic and mainstream. Nevertheless, the term “Barēlwī” is widely current wherever the movement exists, which today includes not only South Asia but also Britai…

Aḥmad Rizā Khān Barelwī

(3,010 words)

Author(s): Sanyal, Usha
Aḥmad Rizā Khān Barelwī (1856–1921) was a Sunnī Muslim scholar of the Ḥanafī school, born in Bareilly, Rohilkhand, in north India. He was born just a year before the failed Indian revolt led in the name of the aged Mughal ruler, Bahādur Shāh Ẓafar, against East India Company rule. Its failure ushered in Crown rule in 1858 and led in 1877 to the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India. Aḥmad Rizā's life was thus lived out in the context of British colonial rule in India. Barring two pilgrimages to Mecca and some brief visits to cities within India, Aḥmad Rizā lived out h…
Date: 2019-08-29

Barelwīs

(2,646 words)

Author(s): Sanyal, Usha
The Barelwīs are members of a movement that arose in late-nineteenth-century northern India, under the leadership of Mawlānā Aḥmad Riḍā Khān Barelwī (1856–1921; Riḍā is commonly pronounced Rizā, and more colloquially, Razā in South Asia). The name “Barelwī” indicates that Mawlānā Aḥmad Riḍā was from the town of Bareilly, in the region of Rohilkhand in western Uttar Pradesh (the present-day Indian state, known under British rule and until 1950 as the United Provinces). Mawlānā Aḥmad Riḍā and his f…
Date: 2019-08-29