Past and Present Status of Islamic Studies in the Indian Subcontinent
Indian scholars have always occupied an important place in our intellectual landscape due to their contributions to the Hanafite School of fiqh, hadith, and the history of Islam. Shiblî Nu'mânî, Muhammed Iqbal, Abu'l-Kalâm Âzâd, Mavdûdî and Muhammad Hamidullah have all kept our ties to the Indian subcontinent alive. Yet, our knowledge of the cultural and intellectual life of the region remained at a relatively low level. At the beginning, Islamic studies in the region had been pursued in the classical Madrasa tradition, but later on, with the rise of the British hegemony, Western-style education and research institutions came to dominance. Islamic studies, then, survived in this new framework, but with many differentiations and new problems. Just like the Muslims in Andulus, Muslims in India had to live as a minority group under a Christian rule, and had to struggle for cultural-intellectual existence. However, far from submitting to assimilation, Muslims in India became much more productive in their intellectual efforts and much more creative in their scholarly work. This article aims at presenting an analysis of the rich literature of Islamic studies, scholarly institutions, and representative figures in the Indian subcontinent.
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