Dr.Usha Sanyal ; Introducing the Ahle Sunnat Movement of South Asia




Tel.:  (704) 544-3337 , Email: ushasanyal3@gmail.com 




Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Wingate University

Part time Lecturer,  Queens University of Charlotte

Ph.D.  History (1990) Columbia University  Awarded with Distinction. 

Dissertation: “In the Path of the Prophet: Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and the Ahl-e Sunnat wa Jamaat Movement in British India, c. 1870-1921”

Committee Chair: Prof. William R. Roff.


M Phil. History, Columbia University

South Asia and Southeast Asia

 MA in Southeast Asian Studies, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK

 BA (Honors)  in  Sociology, minor in Economics, Delhi University, India


 Ahl-i Sunnat or “Barelwi” Madrasas in South Asia.

 “Traditionalist” reformist women, especially those of the Ahl-i Sunnat or Barelwi movement, through the study of the “Sunni Bihishti Zewar” and related texts.

 Connections between the sufi elements of Shah Wali Allah’s thought and the Ahl-i Sunnat movement.


 Ahmad Riza Khan: In the Path of the Prophet. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2005.

 Devotional Islam and Politics in British India: Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and His Movement, 1870-1920. 2nd edition. New York and Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999.


  •   “Ahl-e Sunnat Madrasas: The Madrasa Manzar-e Islam, Bareilly, and Jamia Ashrafiyya, Mubarakpur.” In Jamal Malik ed., Madrasas in South Asia. Routledge, forthcoming 2008.
  •  “Sufi Ritual Practice among the Barkatiyya Sayyids of U.P.: Nuri Miyan’s Life and Urs, Late Nineteenth – Early Twentieth Centuries.” In Barbara D. Metcalf, ed., Islam in South Asia in Practice. Series ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Princeton University Press, forthcoming.
  •  “Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi.” Encyclopedia of Islam, 3rd edition. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007.

  •  “Tourists, Pilgrims and Saints:The Shrine of Mu`in al-Din Chishti of Ajmer”  In Carol Henderson and Maxine Weisgrau, eds., Raj Rhapsodies: Tourism, Heritage and the Seduction of History. Ashgate Publishing Ltd., U.K., 2007.
  •        “Barelwis.” In Jane D. McAuliffe, ed., Encyclopedia of the Quran, vol. 1, pp. 201-203. Leiden:E. J. Brill, 2002.
  •  “The [Re-]Construction of South Asian Muslim Identity in Queens, New York.” In Carla Petievich, ed., The Expanding Landscape: South Asians and the Diaspora, pp. 141-152. New Delhi: Manohar, 1999.
  •        “Generational Changes in the Leadership of the Ahl-e Sunnat Movement in North India during the Twentieth Century.” Modern Asian Studies 32, 3 (1998): 635-656.
  •  “Are Wahhabis Kafirs? Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and His Sword of the Haramayn.” In Muhammad Khalid Masud, Brinkley Messick, and David S. Powers, eds., Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and Their Fatwas, pp. 204-213. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1996.
  •        “Barelwis.”  In John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, vol. 1, pp. 200-203.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  •  “Pir, Shaikh, and Prophet: The Personalization of Religious Authority in Ahmad Riza Khan’s Life.”  In Contributions to Indian Sociology 28, 1 (1994): 35-66. (Also published in T. N. Madan, ed., Muslim Communities of South Asia: Culture, Society, and Power, pp. 405-428. New Delhi: Manohar, 1995.)

 The book, “Devotional Islam and Politics in British India: Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and His Movement, 1870-1920” is currently out of print. Efforts are under way to get it republished in India. An Urdu translation is also planned.

 The book,  “Ahmad Riza Khan: In the Path of the Prophet” is part of a series of short books on Muslim leaders and thinkers worldwide, called “Makers of the Muslim World.” The series editor is Patricia Crone. This is available on Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk in hardcover.

 Most of the articles are in books that are available from Amazon.com or from oup.com/us




One comment

  1. madam, please send your postal address.
    zuhur ud din khan
    maktaba rizvia, 2/24 sodhiwal colony, multan road, lahore, pakistan

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