Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Was Shah Waliullah Dehlvi Pioneer Of Socialism?

By Saquib Salim, New Age Islam 27-06-2022 Shah Waliullah Dehlvi An Indian Scholar Of The Quran, Hadith, Logic, And Philosophy Had Proposed Socio-Economic System Much Before The Industrial Revolution Or The Birth Of Marx ----- The book of Shah Walliullah Dehlvi ----- The political and economic discourse of the last two centuries has been dominated by two diametrically opposite schools of thought, viz. Capitalism and Socialism. All other forms of polity and economies can be explained as by-products of one or the other. Socialism is an idea of the distribution of wealth justifiably among the citizens by the state while capitalism advocates a free market economy. It is not the place to divulge into nuances of these two theories. Often it is believed that Karl Marx was the first one to propose the ideas of socialism in the 19th century and his thoughts were developed after a reading of the conditions of industrial workers in Europe. So, essentially socialism, as a theory, can be assumed to be a result of the industrial revolution which occurred in the latter half of the 18th century. All these scholarships on socialism, or communism, have overlooked the fact that an Indian scholar had proposed a similar socio-economic system much before the industrial revolution or the birth of Marx. Shah Waliullah Dehlvi was an Indian scholar of the Quran, Hadith, logic, and philosophy, who lived in the 18th century. He studied Indian culture and civilization closely to understand the social, economic, and political interactions in the light of Islamic scriptures. Waliullah wrote several books to propagate his political and social ideas. He called his mission ‘Fakku Kulli Nizām’ (dissolving and revolutionizing every order), i.e., only political change was not enough rather revolutionizing every order of the society was as important to bring justice to the society. In his book, written in 1731, Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha (Conclusive Arguments of God), Waliullah defined a process of social evolution and argued that civilizations had gradually evolved from primitive to caliphate through different stages. These arguments have quite a lot in common with Marx, who more than a century later, wrote about the need for a complete revolution and ideas of social evolution. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi, an important freedom fighter of India, visited the USSR and studied Marxism to understand it. He concluded that the socio-economic system proposed by Marx was completely in agreement with Waliullah's ideas. Sindhi believed that Waliullah’s thoughts were superior and could be followed in entirety as they provided solutions to more problems than Marx could suggest. Waliullah in his book, Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha (Conclusive Arguments of God) explained the need for a just economic system. Dr Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi of Darul Uloom, Deoband in his paper, Shah Waliullah: The Pioneer Thinker of the Modern World, has explained the socio-economic principles presented by Waliullah. Gathering from different chapters of Ḥujjat Allāh al-Bāligha, Qasmi explained: “He (Shah Waliullah) tried to develop a universal paradigm of the society so he laid down the foundation of economic and social theory which is well balanced and safeguards the economic and social interests of all the sections of humanity at large. The basic cause of wealth is labour. Labourers and farmers are earning faculties. Mutual assistance is the soul of civilization. Until a person is not working for the nation and people, he/she has no share in the wealth of the country. Gambling and profligacy centres should be wiped out as they cannot develop the right system of wealth distribution and cannot guarantee an increase in national wealth. In this way, the wealth is accumulated by a minor fraction of society. The labourers, farmers, and those who do mental labour for the country and nation deserve the wealth of the country the most. Their development and prosperity are synonymous with the development and prosperity of the country. A system that suppresses such faculties is bound to perish. A society that does not compensate labour or levies huge taxations on artisans and farmers is the enemy of the nation and it should be terminated. The consent of a needy labourer is not counted until he is paid for his labour, which is compulsory to pay on the principle of cooperation. Any production or revenue which is not based on the principle of mutual assistance is illegal. The work time should be confined. The labourers should necessarily be given a time in which they can provide themselves with moral and spiritual reformation and can have an ability to think about their future. Trade is a major source of mutual assistance; therefore, it must be functioning based on cooperation only. As it is not allowed for traders to affect the spirit of cooperation by black marketing and undue competition, the government is also prohibited to impede the progress and prosperity of trade by heavy taxation. Any business and trade that confines the circulation of wealth in any particular class of people is dangerous for a country. Such a royal system that intervenes in the right circulation of wealth due to extravagance and squandering deserves to be put to an end as quickly as possible so that the sufferings of the people come to an end and they are given equal rights.” Waliullah was not thinking about those living in palaces and changing crowns among themselves. He was worried about the common Indian and India of his times. His theory of society, economy, and politics was later identified as socialism but his name remained at the margins. It is time that we remember this great thinker who gave these socialist ideas much before the industrial revolution. Source: Was Shah Waliullah Dehlvi Pioneer Of Socialism? URL: https://newageislam.com/books-documents/waliullah-dehlvi-socialism?/d/127341 New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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