Barelvis

Barelvi (Urdu: بَریلوِی‎) is a term used for the movement following the Sunni Hanafi school of jurisprudence, originating in Bareilly with over 200 million followers in South Asia. The name derives from the north Indian town of Bareilly, the hometown of its founder and main leader Ahmed Raza Khan (1856-1921). Although Barelvi is the commonly used term in the media and academia, the followers of the movement often prefer to be known by the title of Ahle Sunnat wal Jama'at, (Urdu: اہل سنت والجماعت‎) or as Sunnis, a reference to their perception as forming an international majority movement. The movement emphasizes personal devotion to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a synthesis of Sharia with Sufi practices such as veneration of saints. Because of this, they are often called Sufi, although they have little in common with the Sufism of classical Islamic mystics. The movement later identified as Barelvis to differentiate itself from the Deobandi movement, which was influenced by the Wahhabi movement in Arabia.

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