The Responses of Sayyid Ahmad Khan to William Muir’s Works on Islam

Rev. C. G. Pfander’s Mizan al-Haqq deals with the questions of divine revelation, the role of the prophets, the doctrines of Christ’s divinity and salvation through his crucifixion.
William Muir’s approach in his work The Life of Mohamet was semi-polimical as well as historiographical (Aziz Ahmad 1970:260) [1]

In some aspects, Mizam al-Haqq (Pfander) is similar to that of Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Tabyin al-Kalam. Both works are concerned with the discussion of Christology, divine revelation, and the position of the prophets, but Tabyin al-Kalam goes further by duscussing also the Old Testament. Both Mizan al-Haqq and Tabyin al-Kalam were published in order to face polemical theological challenges from Muslims and Christians respectively. [2]

According to Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Muir’s writings on the Life of the Prophet Mahomet were mainly based on al-Waqidi’s materials. Since Sayyid Ahmad Khan considered al-Waqidi as “the worst author of all, and of the least credit, and all Mohammedan doctors and divines have declared him not to be, in the least degree, of any authority, and as being the least entitled to credit” (Syed Ahmad Khan, 1981:xiv), therefore, he thought taht Muir’s work on the life of the Prophet needed to be replied to. [3]

[1] Ahmad Sunawari Long, Jaffary Awang, Kamaruddin Salleh, Islam: Past, Present and Future, International Seminar on Islamic Thoughts Proceedings, 7-9 December 2004, Department of Theology and Philosophy, Faculty of Islamic Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

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