Shah Waliullah was a great Muslim thinker and scholar of the 18th century during the declining years of the Mughal Empire. There was a political disorder in the sub-continent in those days. He was greatly impressed by the rotten political, social, and religious conditions of the sub-continent.
He supported the movements for Islamic Independence in India and threw light on the Islamic economy, politics, philosophy, and psychology in his famous books Khair-ul-Kasur and Hujjatul-Baliga.
Hazrat Shah Waliullah was born in a pious family of Dehli on 21st February 1703. His real name was Qutabuddin He was born four years before the death of Aurangzaib.
His father was Shah Abdur Rahim. He was a pious man. He had a profound knowledge of Islam.
He got his early education mainly from his father, Shah Abdur Rahim. He memorized the Holy Quran at the mere age of 7 years. He also learned Tafsir, Hadees, and spiritual discipline from his father. He also studied Sahih-Bukhari and used to give company to his father while reciting the Holy Quran.
He acquired the knowledge of Jurisprudence(Fiqh). He also had a great knowledge of Hadith and Usul-e-Fiqh.
Contributions of Shah Waliullah
The contributions of Shah Waliullah to sociological theory are the following.
1. Theory of origin of society
2. Economic Services
3. Social Philosophy
4. Political Philosophy
1. Theory of the origin of Society
Hazrat Shah Waliullah said that this society did not come into existence automatically, rather it has adopted this modern shape gradually with the passage of time.
According to his view, Adam’s family first became a dwelling, then a village, then a town, then a state, and then it became a vast Kingdom. Afterward, these kingdoms were divided into states again due to differences in their kingdoms.
He gave the concept of collective life. According to him, the collective life has the following motives.
- Self-defense and security
- Security of race or generation
- Social Integration and mental cooperation
2. Economic Services
Shah Waliullah was a great economist in addition to a social, religious, and political reformer. He said that the economy plays an important role in the life of human beings.
How to strengthen the economy?
Shah Waliullah proposed the following points in order to strengthen the economy.
- There must be an economic equilibrium in the society
- There must be equal distribution of the wealth
- Heavy taxes should not be imposed on the masses
- He criticized the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few people
How a society can Prosper?
Hazrat Shah Waliullah told that a state can prosper if it lowers the amount of taxes imposed on the masses. He gave some economic principles in this regard.
- The people who work for the prosperity of the nation must have some share in the wealth of the nation.
- Economic prosperity depends upon the extent of hard work of its laborers who are actually the backbone of the economy.
- He advised Mughals to perform their duties consciously and not to accumulate wealth
- An economic system where the laborers, artists, and peasants are unable to enjoy the basic rights of their living, is very much dangerous for the development of the country.
3. Social Philosophy of Shah Waliullah
Shah Waliullah was a social reformer as well. While addressing the public, he once said:
“We are strangers as our ancestors were strangers to Indian Penisula. The Arabic Lineage are the things of pride for us as they keep us closer to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). We must adopt the rites and customs of Arabia. We must not adopt the habits of Hindus and the rites of Non-Muslims.”
He advised the Muslims to leave all the customs and rites of non-muslims. He abolished all anti-Islamic customs and traditions. He was against the fixation of high amounts of Haq Mehr. He prohibited the Muslims from mourning for more than three days at someone’s death.
In order to enhance awareness among the Muslims, he commented on the power of Hindus, Marathas, Sikhs, and the British in these words;
“At this time, total control is in the hands of Hindus. All the wealth and happiness is collected in their homes while all the miseries are reserved for the Muslims. May Allah forgive me, if the situation goes on the same pattern.”
4. Political Philosophy of Shah Waliullah
Shah Waliullah was a great political thinker. He, through his political insight, foretold that the downfall of the Muslims was started with the death of Aurangzaib.
By critically analyzing the concepts and beliefs of Shah Waliullah, we came to know that;
- He regarded the Muslims as a separate community from Hindus.
- He wanted to install an Islamic system in India.
- He wanted to eliminate Kufar from the whole world.
- He wanted that the Muslims must practice their religion in the right way as it should be.
The noble flag of Islam kept flying over the whole of India due to the dedicated and sincere efforts of Shah Waliullah and his noble family.
The British Government tried to convert Muslims into Hindus but failed only due to the dedicated efforts of Shah Waliullah.