Thomas Walker Arnold

British orientalist (1864-1930)

Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (19 April 1864–9 June 1930) was a British orientalist and historian of Islamic art. He taught at Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, later Aligarh Muslim University, and Government College University, Lahore.

Thomas Walker Arnold


  • [In many cases] there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam.
    • Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 86 also quoted in Ram Swarup, Hindu View of Christianity and Islam (1992)
  • "The tomb of alae ‘Masud is said to occupy the site of a former temple of the sun, and the mosque of Shaykh Saddu at Amroha was also originally a temple. The Panj Pir are undoubtedly reminiscent of the Pandavas, the five hero brothers of the Mahabharatta, and it is significant that the shrine of Sakhi Sarwar (in the Dera Ghazi Khan District) contains, besides the tomb of the saint and his wife, a shrine dedicated to Babu Nanak, and a temple to Vishnu, and that Hindus believe that Shah Madar is an incarnation of Lakshman, the brother of the God Rama.’
    • ‘Saints and Martyrs (Muhammadan)’, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. II, p. 72. Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 86.

The Preaching of Islam: a History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith (1913)Edit

The Preaching of Islam: a History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith, Constable & Robinson Ltd, 1913.
  • In the hours of its political degradation, Islam has achieved some of its most brilliant spiritual conquests: on two great historical occasions, infidel barbarians have set their feet on the necks of the followers of the Prophet, - the Saljūq Turks in the eleventh and the Mongols in the thirteenth century,- and in each case the conquerors have accepted the religion of the conquered. Unaided also by the temporal power, Muslim missionaries have carried their faith into Central Africa, China and the East India Islands.
    • p. 2.
  • [T]he jizyah was levied on the able-bodied males, in lieu of the military service they would have been called upon to perform had they been Musalmans; and it is very noticeable that when any Christian people served in the Muslim army, they were exempted from the payment of this tax. Such was the case with the tribe of al-Jurājima, a Christian tribe in the neighborhood of Antioch who made peace with the Muslims, promising to be their allies and fight on their side in battle, on condition that they should not be called upon to pay jizyah and should receive their proper share of the booty.
    • pp. 61-62
  • Muslim Spain had written one of the brightest pages in the history of mediæval Europe. Her influence had passed through Provence into the other countries of Europe, bringing into birth a new poetry and a new culture, and it was from her that Christian scholars received what of Greek philosophy and science they had to stimulate their mental activity up to the time of the Renaissance.
    • p. 131

Quotes about ArnoldEdit

  • It was from this and much other material that Arnold reached his conclusion that vast number of Indian Muslims are descendent of converts in whose conversion force played no part and in which only the teaching and persuasion of peaceful missionaries were at work.
    • Hardy P (1979) Modern European and Muslim Explanations of Conversion to Islam in South Asia: A Preliminary Survey, In N. Levtzion ed., p. 85

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