Hindu-Muslim Polemics in Colonial India: A Study of Thanā Allah Amritsari (1868 -1948 C.E.)
The nineteenth century was a time of tremendous change for Islamic intellectual traditions in British India in an era of colonialism, the decline of traditional authority, and the transformations of modernity. It was the period when the basis of Islam was attacked many times and efforts were made to create misconceptions in its teachings. In spite of these challenges, Muslim scholars, theologians, and intellectuals proved to be particularly creative in this period, laying the foundations for the rethinking and reconfiguration of Islamic intellectual traditions in a modern context. Thanā Allah Amritsari was one of the great scholars of subcontinent who spent his whole life in shielding the cause of Islam with his tongue and pen. He frequently held debates both oral and written with different religious groups, both Muslims and non-Muslims. He challenged the Christians, Ārya Samājists, Qadyanis, Sufi brotherhoods and the Shi’a scholars alike. When the Hindu creed attached Islam and its pristine doctrines in its new form of Ārya Samāj, he not only defended Islam with his tongue and pen but also exposed the reality of Hindu creed and analysed critically the literature produced by its proponents. This paper discusses in detail the method of polemical discourse of Thana Allah Amritsari with Ārya Samāj and its proponents. The paper provides an analysis of important books of Thanā Allah Amritsari written in response to Hinduism in general and Ārya Samāj in particular.
Key words: Thanā Allah Amritsari, Ārya Samāj, Hinduism, Islam, India.
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