Rethinking, Reconfiguring and Popularizing Islamic Tradition: Religious Thoughts of a Contemporary Indian Shi'ite Scholar

Zamir, Syed Rizwan, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Sachedina, Abdulaziz, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Ochs, Peter, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Al-Rahim, Ahmed, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia
Barnett, Richard, Department of History, University of Virginia

Ayatullah ‘Ali>Naqi}>Naqvi>(1905 - 1988) is arguably the single most important religious figure of the twentieth century Indian Shi'ite Islam. Emerging out of a very well - known family of traditional scholars and the seminaries of India and Iraq, his religious and intellectual career lasted several decades during which he remained prolific and continuously preached from the pulpit. During his life he wrote and spoke about a host of subjects: the reason - revelation divide, a defense of Islam from attacks on its core beliefs and practices, Qur'anic exegesis, theology, defense of Shi'ite theology and religious practices from sectarian polemics, Islamic history, Islamic political and social thought, explanation of the Various rulings of Islamic law, and the theme of Karbala and the martyrdom of H1{1sayn. Conscious of his role as the most learned juridical authority (zriatja ‘ .2] - t.2q1l't1) to whom the community would turn in times of crisis, for ‘Ali>Naqvi> in his life the greatest crisis facing the community was that of irreligiosty, of people losing confidence and conviction in the worth of religion for human civilization. The present study argues that ‘Ali>Naqvi5s diverse intellectual endeavors were guided by a conscious and well - thought out unity of vision and purpose: efforts to restore to religion of Islam its privileged status within the Indian Shi'ite and the broader Muslim community. An overview of the intellectual career and religious thought of ‘Ali>Naqvi> this study examines his efforts to preserve and revive Islam for his community.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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