The Bengal Delta pp Cite as. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the famous nineteenth-century Bengali polemicist, contended that the Bengalis lacked the physical as well as the mental stamina necessary to rise up against British colonial power in India. But he also argued that even if the Bengalis were weak and unfit, they could still emerge politically successful by employing inner strength of mind, or bahubal, which consisted of the qualities of initiative, unity, courage and perseverance. As Ranajit Guha has shown, the vigorous anti-colonial movement of the bhadralok in the early twentieth century reflected the fact that the Bengali nation had at last acquired the quality of bahubal. The restoration of peasant agency tells that the peasantry already possessed the chemistry of bahubal for which Bankim was waiting in the emerging nationalist frame. This was poignantly represented in the Faraizi movement, which forms the subject matter of this chapter.
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He is known for founding the Faraizi movement. Shariatpur District is named after him. Haji Shariatullah was a prominent Islamic scholar and reformer of the Indian sub-continent during the British rule in South-Asia. He was born to Abdul Jalil Talukdar, a farmer by profession, in His family Talukdars were not well off and were classified into the lower socio-economic class of the Indian hierarchy system.
The exact date or time of his birth and the name of his mother has not been mentioned by any peer reviewed historical text, but the place of his birth has been reported as Shamali, Madaripur sub-district of Faridpur district in the province of Bengal.
He was eight years old when his father died. Following that, Haji Shariatullah's uncle Azim al-Din nurtured him in a very loving manner. In Calcutta , he met a Quran teacher named Maulana a title given to an Islamic scholar Basharat Ali around the same time who allowed him to become a part of his Quran classes.
Maulana had a crucial impact on the direction of his life and encouraged him to learn Arabic and Persian languages, something that would later allow him to develop a comprehensive understanding of Quran. It took him two years to become proficient in these languages. Following the learning of these languages, he headed towards Murshidabad to meet another uncle of his named Ashiq Miyan, a Murshidabad District court official.
He continued to enhance his proficiency in the two languages during the twelve months he spent with his uncle. Upon his uncle and aunt's decision to visit their native village, Haji Shariatullah decided to pay his birthplace a visit as well.
As a matter of fact, he had not visited his Uncle Azim al-Din ever since he ran away at the age of twelve. Unfortunately, the small sail boat that they were in on their way to Shamali broke down when it ran into a vigorous storm. As a result, their sail boat Haji's uncle and aunt drowned to death, but he himself was somehow lucky enough to survive the catastrophic event. However, he was so disturbed by this shocking and disturbing calamity that he changed his plan and headed back to Calcutta in order to meet his Quran teacher Maulana Basharat Ali.
By that time, the Maulana had become so concerned by the British rule that he had made the decision to emigrate to Saudi Arabia , the home to Mecca and Medina which are considered as the two most holy sites according to Islamic beliefs. Upon Haji Shariatullah insistence, Maulana allowed Haji to be a part of his emigration journey to Saudi Arabia in the year Haji Shariatullah's first stay in Mecca lasted till the year and significantly enhanced his familiarity with Islam and impassioned him even more to enhance his knowledge and understanding about Islam.
The time he spent in Saudi Arabia can be divided into three distinct phases. With the help and guidance of Sumbal, Haji Shariatullah studied religious sciences and Sufism.
Sumbal also introduced him to Qadiriyah order of Sufism. In the third phase, Haji Shariatullah asked his respected teacher Tahir Sumbal to grant him the permission to go and study the subtilities of Islam along with philosophy Hikmat at the University of al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt. There he found that many of practices that the Muslims were indulging in practices that were either superstitious or influenced by Hindu beliefs.
It was considered to be such an unexpected change that when he first visited his uncle Azim al-Din's house, no one was able to identify him. Unfortunately, his uncle died soon after his arrival and reportedly requested him to take care of his family as he had no male heir. He then said the Maghrib prayer's adhan Islamic way of calling Muslims to worship Allah and to his surprise no one showed for the prayer. He was also unable to attend his uncle's funeral due to the disagreements he had with the local villagers on the w ay the funeral had to be conducted.
At this point, to him the Islamic community in Bengal and India as a whole appeared to have been corrupted and immensely un-Islamic. These series of events encouraged him to play his role in guiding the local population of Muslims to what he believed to be the true path of Islam. His struggle of enlightening later came to be known as Faraizi Movement. Surprisingly, he faced a lot of opposition from the elite of Muslims in Bengal who also tried to entrap him into legal matters.
Following the initial failure of the Faraizi Movement, he decided to return to Makkah. It is believed that the trip took place somewhere between year and Haji Shariatullah believed that his efforts of purifying Islam had met failure because he had not formally requested permission from his teacher Tahir al-Sumbal Makki for moving ahead with this step in his life.
This is clearly indicative of the impact that his teacher and spiritual leader Tahir al-Sumbal Makki had on his life, and the high degree of respect that Haji treated his mentors with. It is also reported but has never been confirmed that a turning point in his struggles for purifying Islam was a dream that he had of Muhammad during his second stay in Saudi Arabia.
According to the unconfirmed accounts, Muhammad encouraged him to purify Islam in his homeland. As a result, he returned to Bengal in with much more enthusiasm and passion to guide the Muslim of Bengal than during his prior visit.
This is probably one of the reasons why Faraizi Movement became popular and well known during after the year even though it was founded in An example of Hindu traditions would be regularly visiting temples of people who are placed in high social or religious standing or planting a Banana tree when a woman from menstruates for the very first time. Haji Shariatullah wanted the Muslims to truly focus on the teachings of Quran in a very strict and orthodox manner.
He devoted the later portion of his life in effectively spreading the message of Faraizi Movement. The beliefs of Haji Shariatullah had a significant overlap with those of Wahhabism and continue to be very popular to date.
Shariatullah founded the Faraizi movement which was a religious reform movement in the 19th century for Bengali Muslims.
The name Faraizi itself is reflective of the aspirations and the goals the movement intended on achieving. The term was taken from the Arabic word Fard , which means standing for compulsory duties ordained by Allah. Haji Shariatullah started the Faraizi Movement with an intent to purify Islam and to fight for the rights of Muslims under the British rule. Shariatullah instructed his followers to assimilate every religious duty required by the Quran as well as by the Sunnah , while remaining firmly in the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence.
The Faraizi Movement later became a socio-economic issue, when some of the elite Muslim and Hindu Zamindars tried to entrap Haji Shariatullah into legal matters upon their disagreement with the ways he was proceeding with his beliefs, especially regarding his disagreement to paying non-Islamic taxes and slaughtering of cows.
The Faraizi movement began to circulate with astonishing speed in the districts of Dhaka , Faridpur , Madaripur , Barisal , Mymensingh and Comilla. Some Muslims, on the other hand, particularly the landlords of Dhaka, hence, reacted sharply against him and this caused a riot in Noyabari, Dhaka District.
Gradually incidents caused by the Faraizi movement could be witnessed in various parts of Bengal. The outraged landlords built up a propaganda campaign with the British officials, incriminating the Faraizis with mutinous mood.
In , these Hindu landlords accused Shariatullah of attempting to build up a monarchy of his own, similar in lines to Titu Mir. They also brought several lawsuits against the Faraizis, in which they benefitted dynamic cooperation of the European indigo planters. Shariatullah was placed under the detention of the police in more than one instance, for purportedly inciting agrarian turbulences in Faridpur.
Shariatullah remains one of the most celebrated and prominent Muslim reformers to date, especially amongst the category of those who pertain to the history of Islamic leaders in the Indian sub-continent. Details about Faraizi Movement can be found in common school textbooks as well as in Islamic historical books. After the death of Haji Shariatullah in , leadership of the Faraizi movement passed to his only son, Muhsinuddin Ahmad popularly known as Dudu Miyan.
Bangladesh issued a postage stamp commemorating him on 10 March From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Bengali Islamic reformer in British India now Bangladesh. Dacca , British India now in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi Bengali Indo-Islamic Mughal. Hanafi Shafi'i. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh Second ed. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society.
Islam and Democratization in Asia. Amherst, New York: Cambria Press. University of North Carolina Press. On the death of Haji Shariatullah in his only son Muhsinuddin Ahmad alias Dudu Miyan was acclaimed the head of the Faraizi movement. Muslim Ummah of North America. Archived from the original on 22 February Retrieved 22 February Bangladesh Post Office Online. Bangladesh Post Office. Archived from the original on 13 March Retrieved 31 May Roads and Highways Department.
Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Articles with hCards. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.
Haji Shariatullah was born in Banderlakola, Faridpur district, in He was the son of an ordinary farmer. After getting his early education from his village, he went to Arabia to perform Hajj at an early age of 18 years. He stayed there from to and got his religious education. He learnt Arabic and Persian from his teacher, Maulana Basharat. During his stay in Arabia he came into close contact with Wahabism started by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab.
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