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History of Indian Scholarship


Course Overview

This course examines the religious and political history of Indian Muslims, with a focus on its prominent leaders, thinkers and institutions. It covers the period from the establishment of the Mughal empire to the era of colonial rule through to the post-colonial context.

Of particular relevance are the religious reform movements that have shaped the way Islamic is experienced by hundreds of millions of people today. During the British rule of India, Islamic theologians and revivalist groups mobilised masses of Muslims with a call to return to the authentic and prophetic way by establishing Islamic institutions such as Deoband and the Tablighi-Jama’at. This course explores the social, political and religious changes that took place through the prism of these religious reform movements.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the complexity of Muslim politics in India in the colonial and post-colonial context
  • Appreciate key developments that took place in India
  • Gain familiarity of prominent Indian scholars and thinkers
  • Understand the development of the various Islamic institutions, groups, and schools in India and appreciate the context in which they arose

Course Reviews


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  1. Excellent introduction


    An insightful intro to the world of Islamic scholarship in India. The history of some of the great Islamic institutions was discussed in great detail along with the ulema who led the way in bringing about such institutions. A must watch video to gain a deeper understanding before embarking on further studies on this subject.

  2. Recommended for all who want to know grasp the diversity of Indian scholarship


    Being born and part of the system, Shaykh Akram demonstrates a brief picture of what Indian scholarship actually was, where it stands now and what it should have been. Though I would love if the discussions were a bit longer and details on some key persons, anyway the time was limited for that. I didn’t most of these information (in fact even didn’t hear the names of these prominent Madrasah) before, even being a resident of the sub-continent. No one can deny the influence and impact of Indian scholarship on the Muslim world and thinking, And this course might be the first step to understand that complex and diverse system.

  3. Great overview!


    Really good overview/summary of Indian scholarship – i wish there was more time to cover modern developments, what led to political movements, and covering the divide in scholarship too via different movements in detail. But very useful and makes me appreciate the sub-continent’s scholarship more than i did prior to sitting this course.

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