SHAH WALI ULLAH (1703-1762)
" The intellectual history of the Muslim India reveals that nobody stands as great as Imam-ul-Hind - Shah Wali Ullah. He left deep imprints upon the future course of history and every great Muslim theologian had to seek guidance from his political and Islamic thoughts."
Shah Wali Ullah, born in Delhi, in 1703, received early education from the Mudrassah run by his (sufi) father Shah Abdur Rahim Religious education in Qur'an, hadith, meditation, talqeen and Ilmul Kalam by the age of 15 years and taught at Madrassah-i-Rahimya, later went to Medina got teaching from renowned scholar Sheikh Abu Tahir bin Ibrahim.


SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CHAOS OF THE MUSLIM INDIA:-
After the demise of Aurangzeb the Mughal Empire crumbled and anarchy paved the way for disintegration that led to running of the very fabric of the Muslim society and decline of the Muslim Dynasty was eminent. In these conditions Shah Wali Ullah had to perform the role of the saviour in Muslim India.



The Muslim relapsed in the following vices:
  1. Innovations in Islam distortion of the original injunctions of Islam.
  2. Differences among various sects Shia and Sunni conflict
  3. General attitude of escapism
  4. deterioration in the character of ruling elite
  5. Distorted mysticism
  6. Emergent political and economic classes (Marathas, Rajput and Sikhs)
  7. Prevalent anarchy led to decentralization regional Ameers and Subedars grew more powerful than the king.
Keeping in view the above mentioned problems as faced by the Muslims of India he sought the remedy in following the Islamic injunction, reinterpretation of the religious knowledge and widespread education of the common Muslim. He dreamt for the Muslim renaissance for which he called Ahmed shah Abdali to help the beleaguered Muslims of India and to restore the vitality of the Muslim rule.

HIS POLITICAL RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL SERVICES:
He appealed to the Muslim Amirs and rulers to bury their differences and stand against the un-Islamic emergent powers and work for the restoration of old glory. He further stressed the statecraft towards the building of a sound, socially just and health society.
He stressed for the new reinterpretation of islam for that he translated Quran into Persian langauge, which was a lingua france at that time so that Muslims could well understan the Quranic injuctions. He wrote Hijjat-ul-Bilagha in which he laid down the principles of Ijtihad. He reflected the balanced view of Islam on the following three principles:
a: continuity with the past
b: open mindedness and
c: sense of responsibility.
He revealed in his teachings that glory of a civilization rests with the core substance of 'adalah'.
He exhorted the muslim to free themselves from the blind acceptance of 'Fiqah' such as Hanfi, Shafi, Malaki and Hunbli. Shah Wali Ullah called for a socio-economic and spiritual reformation within the Muslim society guided by cardinal principles of Islam.
He laid the foundation of mass education of the Muslims. he stressed on the Muslim to acquire the religious as well as temporal knowledge. He encouraged the female segment of the Muslim society to get education.

AN APPRAISAL:
Imam-ul-Hind Shah Wali Ullah tried to synthesize the two streams of liberalism and religious extremism of Akbar and Mujadid-alf-Thani simultaneously. His Ilm-ul-Kalam paved the way for a progressive and a tolerant Muslim society. Though his political dreams could not be materialized but did lead to a separate Muslim entity.