Dr. Iqbal, the poet of the East, has characterized the celebrated Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb as tarkashi maa raa khudangi akhareen (the last arrow in the quiver of Muslim power in India). The anti-Islamic forces which had raised their head during the reign of the irreligious Emperor Akbar and later found their champions in Jahangir and Dara Shikoh, were, to a great extent, checked by Aurangzeb, the most honest, conscientious and able Muslim monarch that ascended the throne of Delhi.
With his passing away in 1707 started the political chaos which later culminated in the disintegration of the Muslim power in the subcontinent. This political disintegration which was the result of spiritual confusion encompassed the socio-economic spheres also. Aurangzeb's successors were too weak and incapable of facing the rebellious forces emerging on all hands. At such a critical period of Muslim history was born Shah Waliullah, one of the greatest religious thinkers produced by Muslim India who contributed immensely to the reintegration of the structure of Islam.
Brief Life Sketch:
Shah Waliullah was born in 1703 AD four years before the death of Aurangzeb on 14 Shawwal 1114 H.E. in the town of Phulat in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. Shah Waliullah received his early education from his illustrious father, who was his teacher as well as his spiritual guide. Being a precocious child with a retentive memory he committed the Holy Quran to memory at an early age of 7 years. On the death of his father in 1131 AH when he was hardly 17 years old, he started teaching in his father's `Madrassa-i-Rahimiya' and carried on the work for 12 years when he left for Arabia for higher studies. He was a brilliant scholar; during fourteen months' stay in Makkah and Madina, he came into contact with the outstanding teachers of Hejaz. His favourite teacher was Sheikh Abu Tahir bin Ibrahim of Madina, from whom he obtained his Sanad (Degree) in Hadith. On...