Full Text

Barelvi


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


Extract

[ xix ] (Alternative spelling: Brelwi.) A school of thought within Indian I slam that arose as a reaction to D eobandi reform. It gains its name from the town of Bareilly, the home of Ahmad Raza Khan (1856–1921). He championed the defence of the popular Islam of the villages and argued for the validity of pirs (Persian for S haikh ; see also W ali ) and shrine-based religious practice. Barelvis are renowned for their love of the Prophet and the doctrine of the ‘light of M uhammad ’ ( nur-i-Muhammadi ), said to be derived from God's own light and to have existed from the beginning of creation. The Prophet is believed to be present in all places, particularly at maulid celebrations ( see ‘I d ). Opponents of the Barelvis accuse them of treating Muhammad like a deity. The pirs , who are often sayyids (see ‘A li , ‘A lids ), are considered to be possessors of baraka (blessing) derived from the Prophet. Their followers have mainly been drawn from the poor, illiterate strata of society. The pirs are called upon to treat all types of physical and mental illness, often in the form of exorcism from J inn possession. Followers of Ahmad Raza Khan are represented in the West, for example in the Raza Academy, Stockport, England, which publishes The Islamic Times. However, ‘Barelvi’ has come to be used more as a blanket term for Muslims from the villages of the subcontinent, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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