Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi’s Movement for Revival of Islam

Shaykh Ahmad Sirhandi (1564-1624) popularly known as Mujadid Alf Thani was an Indian Islamic scholar from Punjab and belonged to Naqshbandi Sufi order. He worked in rejuvenating Islam and highly criticised the heterodoxies prevalent in the time of Emperor Akbar.

In the era of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi, Muslim society was ridden with un-Islamic practices and beliefs. His preaching and revival was a reaction to the secular policies of Mughal emperor Akbar. He denounced Akbar’s policy of Sull-I-kull (mixing of religions) and Akbar’s reign as one where “the sun of guidance was hidden behind the veil of error.” Sirhindi believed that “what is outside the path shown by the prophet (Sharia) is forbidden.” He wrote, “Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices. The kafirs (i.e. the Hindus) may probably agree to pay jiziya but they shall never concede to cow-sacrifice.”

Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi undertook the job of purifying Muslim society of un-Islamic tendencies by sending a number of his disciples in all directions to preach true Islam. The work was vigorously pursued in India and other neighbouring Muslim countries. However, Yohanan Friedmann has argued that there is no evidence that Sirhindi or his disciples spread “anti-Hindu sentiments wherever they went.”

He adopted an effective method of persuasion by writing letters to the leading nobles of the royal court.

He exposed the fallacy of Din-e-Ilahi and came out with full vigour the influence of that satanic creed.

He worked hard to restore the original teachings of Islam and emphasized on the concept of “Tauheed”.