second half of the 19th century. This group considered only the hadis
(Sayings of the Prophet) and the Quran as the only and the ultimate authority
on Islam, and refused to recognise none of the existing four schools of
He founded the sect of Ahl-i-Quran (People of the Quran) in Punjab in the
late 19th century. Its members, also known as the ‘Chakralavis’, considered
only the Quran as the ultimate authority on Islam.
Ahmad Riza Khan
He founded the Barelwi school in Punjab in the late 19th century. Its
members, known as ‘Barelwis’, preached the revival of many old Islamic
practices and vehemently opposed the Deoband school and its preachings.
Parsi Reform Movement
The refugee Zoroastrians from Iran, known as Parsis, are said to have reached
Gujarat in 936 AD. Their temples and dokmas (towers of silence), where the
dead were exposed, were closed to non-Parsis. Over the period the Indian
Parsis retained a limited contact with those followers of Zoroastrianism still
living in Iran, known as the ‘Gabars’. In 1746 the Indian Parsis got divided
into two groups, when a group of them decided to accept the Irani calendar
and came to be known as the ‘Kadmi’ (ancient section) as opposed to the
‘Shahanshahis’ (royalists), who retained the calendar used in Gujarat. This
major division of the community lasted into the 20th century. A second
division was created by the movement of Parsis into Bombay where many of
them became wealthy as merchants, shipbuilders, and commercial brokers.
Besides, the Parsi religion ‘was frequently targeted by the Christian
missionaries. In this background, Naoroji Furdunji edited in the 1840s the
Fam-i-Famshid, a journal aimed at defending the cause of Zoroastrianism. He
also wrote a number of pamphlets and published the book, Tarikha Farthest
(1850), in which he convincingly argued that Zoroaster pre-dated Jesus
Christ. All these events led to the formation of a socio-religious movement
designed to codify the Zoroastrian religion and reshape Parsi social life.
In 1851, a small group of