Jam?iyat-e ?Ulama-e Hind

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Muslim politics saw the era of institutionalization in two new religiopolitical bodies that formed in 1919: All-India Khilafat Committee and Jam˓iyat-e ˓Ulama-e Hind (The Association of Scholars of India, or JUH). The JUH was the first political solidarity foundation of Indian ulema, who saw themselves as religious guides, even in political matters, at the peak of the Indian Muslim agitation for the Ottoman Caliphate. By using the potential of the religious infrastructure, along with new political structures, ulema were mobilized and unified to defend the caliphate. The first meeting in November 1919 in New Delhi demanded that Muslims abide by Islamic tenets, strengthen their relationship with the Islamic world, and foster Muslim-Hindu amity. The holy places of Islam were to be defended, separate shari˓a courts and zakat system were to be established, and the Indian Congress supported. This solidarity traditionalism found its climax in a fatwa for noncooperation and civil disobedience in 1920. Use was made of Islamic repertory—proselytization and forcible conversion were rejected. JUH stood for an independent, multireligious India in which Muslims and Hindus would have their separate institutional structures.

The major contribution of the JUH was the idea of composite nationalism (muttahida qaumiyat), in contrast to the two-nation theory proclaimed by the Muslim League in 1940. This concept of territorial nationalism was unique in Islamic thought, and was put into practice by a nationalist campaign against the creation of Pakistan.

Shortly before the partition of India in 1945, a dissident group was formed, the Jam˓iyat-e ˓Ulama-e Islam (JUI).

After 1947, JUH pursued noncommunalism, stood for social and religious reforms, and supported the secular constitution of the Republic of India. However, it still holds rigid positions concerning Muslim personal law, but the ambivalent image created through the tussle between political pragmatism and religious dogmatism has been improved through its social activities.

See alsoJam˓iyat-e ˓Ulama-e Islam ; South Asia, Islam in .


Agwani, M.S. Islamic Fundamentalism in India. Chandigarh, India: Twenty-First India Society, 1986

Friedmann, Yohanan. "Jam˓yatul ˓Ulama˒-I Hind." In TheOxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Edited by J. L. Esposito, et al. New York and Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1995. Vol. 2, pp. 362–363.

Jamal Malik