Home Islam Aligarh Muslim University: Course on Sanatan Dharma to replace the works of Islamic authors

Aligarh Muslim University: Course on Sanatan Dharma to replace the works of Islamic authors


Following complaints that the content is objectionable, Aligarh Muslim University removed the writings of 20th-century Islamic authors Abul Ala al-Maududi and Sayyid Qutub from the Department of Islamic Studies curriculum and replaced them with a course on Sanatan Dharma.

About 20 academics recently complained in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the inclusion of the two authors’ work in the curriculum. A senior UMA official confirmed that the decision to reject the work, which protesting experts said promoted extremist political Islam, was taken on Monday.

“We have taken this step to avoid any further unnecessary controversy on this subject as some scholars have criticized the work and complained to the Prime Minister about what they described as objectionable content in the work of the two authors,” said the official told PTI.

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UMA is inclusive with students of all religions attending the institution and that is why the decision was made to introduce the Sanatan Dharma course, spokesperson Umar Salim Peerzada said.

“AMU is an inclusive university with students from all religions coming here. So we started a course of ‘Sanatan Dharma Studies’ in MA Islamic Studies Department,” Peerzada was quoted as saying by ANI.

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Abul Ala al-Maududi (1903-1979) was an Indian Islamic scholar who emigrated to Pakistan shortly after partition. He founded the Jamaat-e-Islami, a Muslim organization in India and Pakistan. His main works include “Tafhim-ul-Quran”.

He graduated from Deoband Seminary in 1926 but fell out with him and his political wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.

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Sayyid Qutub (1906-1966), Egyptian author, was also a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s. He was known for his radical views and was imprisoned for opposing Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser.

Qutub is the author of more than a dozen books, including a commentary on the Quran and “Social Justice in Islam“.

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AMU spokesperson Omar Peerzada said that the work of these authors were part of optional courses and therefore could be dropped without discussing the issue in the Academic Council, as is mandatory if a change must be made to the program.

(With contributions from the agency)

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