Islamic Reform and Colonial Discourse on Modernity in India: by Jose Abraham

By Jose Abraham

In Kerala, Vakkom Moulavi encouraged Muslims to embody modernity, specifically smooth schooling, so as to achieve greatest gain. during this procedure, he initiated a number of non secular reforms. even if, he held rather ambivalent attitudes in the direction of individualism, materialism and secularization, protecting Islam opposed to the assaults of Christian missionaries.

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Muhammad Kunju Moulavi (1890–1964), the brotherin-law of Vakkom Moulavi, took over Muslim and published it as a weekly journal from Alleppey. 102 A L-I SL A M In order to propagate his ideas among women and the general Muslim public, Vakkom Moulavi decided to launch another journal in the Arabie-Malayalam script. To this end he bought a litho press in 1916, despite his financial difficulties at the time, and established it in Vakkom. 104 Muhammad Kannu described the dramatic event as follows: One day, N.

We deeply regret delaying this magazine which we thought of bringing out one year ago. It was because of the heavy losses and difficulties that the Swadeshabhimani press and the newspaper, which were also managed by the owner of this journal, suffered during the last one year that the publication of Muslim magazine was delayed. 91 According to N. A. Kareem, Vakkom Moulavi divided his sphere of activities into two: religious reform and social engagement. 92 This explains why Vakkom Moulavi 34 I s l a m ic R e f or m a n d C ol on i a l D i s c ou r s e i n I n di a simultaneously launched two different publications, Swadeshabhimani and Muslim, which represented the two sides of his socio-religious reform movement.

The Agency of the Colonized K. N. Ganesh argued that the artificial boundary between “tradition” and “modernity” is not helpful to understand the religious reform movement in Kerala. He rejects the idea that modernization was the 18 I s l a m ic R e f or m a n d C ol on i a l D i s c ou r s e i n I n di a end result of society’s departure from tradition in the race to embrace modernity. ” Partha Chatterjee’s analysis of the Indian nationalist movement is highly significant for an understanding of the question of the agency of nationalists such as Vakkom Moulavi.

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