Islamic Reform Movements in India at the Beginning of the 20th Century from the Perspective of Protestant Missionaries

Islamic Reform Movements in India at the Beginning of the 20th Century from the Perspective of Protestant Missionaries

Haluk SELVİ , Uğur TOPCU

Abstract

At the beginning of the 20th century in India, living conditions were quite harsh for about 60 million Muslims. With the British taking over the land where they lived in dominant position for centuries, they suffered a great loss of prestige and found themselves in a troubled period both politically and economically. Perceived as principal responsible for the Mutinity in 1857, the Muslim people and ulama were increasingly oppressed by the British. Under these circumstances, a few prominent Muslim scholars who were looking for a way out thought that traditional Islamic approaches could not cure the troubles of Indian Muslims and put forward some ideas to foster reformist ideas in Islam. These discourses outside mof the traditional stereotypes caused various reactions among the Muslims, as well as among some missionaries. In order to understand how these reformist movements that emerged in India were perceived mby missionaries, it would be appropriate to look at the conference papers read at the missionary conferences held in Cairo in 1906 and in Lucknow in India in 1911. Since these conferences are closed-circuit morganizations where missionaries can present their views open-heartedly, there is no doubt about the accuracy and validity of the information provided. The missionaries who made presentations about India at these conferences evaluated the new Islamic approaches in India in their own way. In this article, the comments of Protestant missionaries about the situation of Muslims living in India at the beginning of mthe 20th century are discussed in various aspects.

Keywords: Yeni İslam, Hindistan, Protestan misyonerler, Seyyid Ahmed Han, Hintli Müslümanlar

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