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Eve of first Hijri Millennial and Epochal Change: : Millenarian Movements and Religious Syncretism in the Indian Subcontinent

Abstract

The first Hijra millennial that coincided the sixteenth century of the Christian era was marked by many religious movements in the Indian Subcontinent as well as other part of Islamic world. These movements were based on the idea of an epochal change. This paper is an attempt to underline the various thought currents based on such millennial approach. It highlights the key features of these movements i.e. the leading figures, the ideas about epochal shift and their teachings. The paper also analyzes the tenets of these various movements and traces the origin of some of their beliefs. It further highlights that how these teachings were not only influenced by the ideas of other religions but also had a syncretistic tendency and combined the ideas from various religions into their tenets. Finally it concludes that due to the cultural and religious interaction between various religions and the epochal concerned these movements presented an outlook that was essentially a shift from traditional Islamic thought but also syncretistic in one way or the other. The research is mailny based on historical analysis of the contemporary sources as well as the modern historical works on the subject.

Keywords

Millenarianism, syncretism, Hurufism, Nuqtawi, Zikrism, Din e Ilahi

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