Thomas Walker Arnold

British orientalist

Sir Thomas Walker Arnold (19 April 1864–9 June 1930) was a British orientalist and historian of Islamic art who taught at Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College.


  • Muslim Spain had written one of the brightest pages in the history of Medieval 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 here that Christian scholars received what of Greek philosophy and science they had to stimulate their mental activity up to the time of the Renaissance.
    • The preaching of Islam: a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith, 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
  • Another lofty claim of mythic proportion being perpetuated about conversion to Islam is that a heterodox variety of Muslims, namely the Sufis, had propagated Islam through peaceful missionary activity. British historian Thomas Arnold (1864–1930)—desperate to alter the centuries-old European discourse of Islam as a violent faith—initiated this propaganda in the 1890s, which has been embraced by numerous Muslim and non-Muslim historians and scholars... The major reference, on which Arnold based his conclusion that peaceful conversion by Sufis played major role in conversion to Islam, was a generic reference in the 1884 Bombay Gazetteer that Sufi saint Ma’bari Khandayat (Pir Ma’bari) came to the Deccan in about 1305 as a missionary and converted a large number of Jains to Islam. This document gives no specifics on the means Pir Ma’bari employed in his conversion; the same applies to other claims (these claims are often unsubstantiated and legendary in nature) cited above. However, older documentation on Pir Ma’bari by Muslim chroniclers, as studied by historian Richard Eaton, reveals the measures Pir Ma’bari had applied in converting the infidels. According to Muhammad Ibrahim Zubairi’s Rauzat al-Auliya (1825–26), Pir Ma’bari Khandayat came to the Deccan as a holy warrior...
    • Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery. Chapter IV

External linksEdit

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