history of Muslim revivalism cannot be gone into meaningfully here.
It will suffice to draw a distinction between Islamic revivalism and
fundamentalism. The two are not interchangeable synonyms, though
they are often so treated. They are too very distinct phenomena,
belonging to two different periods in history. Revivalism followed
the beginning of the decline of the three great Muslim empires -
Ottoman in Turkey, Safavid in Iran and the Mughal in India.
Political and economic factors had a great deal to do with the
decline, though consensus emerged in each case that it was the
result of a lapse on the part of Muslims from true Islam and that it
could be reversed if Muslims were to return to it.
As Yousef M. Choueiri puts it in
Islamic Fundamentalism: "Islamic revivalism was a reaction
against the gradual contraction of internal and external trade,
brought about by the mercantile activities of European
nations....Slaves, gold, spices, tea and textiles were the major
bone of contention between various central Islamic governments and
the sea borne empires of Europe." 8