Mahdwi

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Mahdwiya sect developed from Sunni Hanafi as a devout Islamic movement. It was mostly concentrated in Hyderabad Deccan state in South Asia. After the military invasion of Hyderabad Deccan state by India, in 1948, and its incorporation as the state of Andhra Pradesh, many Mahdwis Muslims migrated to Pakistan. Karachi has a sizable number of the Mahdwis. They are now also found around the globe.

This religious movement started by devout Muslim Syed Mohammad Jaunpuri as a reaction to the worldly pursuits of the Muslim elite and the British colonial rule in Islamic lands. His group withdrew from the urban excesses and did Zikr or Dhikr, like other Sufis. The name Zikr comes from the Arabic word 'dhikr' (pronounced 'Zikr' in Farsi (Persian) and Urdu.) that refers to remembrance, usually of Allah. The group was persecuted at times and they moved to rural areas to created religious communes. The Mahdwiya movement slowly lost it's zeal and it's members came back to the cities took on the same (or similar) activities for acquiring and showing off wealth. It must be emphasised that such pursuits are not by the majority of Muslims, or of the Mahdwis. Just an observation that reform movements often end up in deviance from the reformer's aims.

A very important Mehdwi in later years was Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang, who was a trusted lieutenant of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Nawab Bahadur Yar Jang insisted that the Mehdwiya is not a separate sect but a movement within Sunni Hanafi. The Mahdwi sect is slowly being reabsorbed back into Sunni Hanafi.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page last updated: Thursday, February 02, 2006 19:51:21 -0500