IMPACTS OF ISLAM ON INDIAN SOCIETY
Sir Aijaz Athar
IMPACT OF ISLAM ON INDIAN SOCIETY
ARRIVAL OF ISLAM IN INDIA
Muhammad bin Qasim in A.D. 712. After the foundation of Muslim rule in India, Islam spread far and wide and brought about a great change in the social a religious outlook of the people. Muhammad Bin Qasim, the great Muslim hero and commander, entered India as a conqueror and lived there for three years. He introduced Islamic system and left an indelible impact on Indian society by the example of his character and generosity. Islam, as a faith and system of life, won many followers in sub-continent because of its simple and humanitarian principles.
Before the advent of the Muslims many foreign tribes had come to India, but all of them had been assimilated into Indian society. This however was not possible in case of the Muslims. The basic social and religious ideas of Islam differed so widely from those of Hinduism that Muslim invaders could not be absorbed in Indian society Islam was a well-defined faith and its monotheistic belief and exclusive religious outlook made its absorption into Hinduism impossible.
During their stay in India from 12th century A.D. to 18th century A.D., the Muslims converted a considerable number of native people into Islam. Yet throughout this period the Muslims remained a minority community. However gradually Hindus and Muslims came in close contact with each other in various fields like administration, literature and in religions. History has shown that when two civilizations, however opposed and different, come in close contact for centuries, both are bound to be influenced by each other. This is what has happened in India in the medieval period.
The idea of brotherhood of man, the belief in one God, a total surrender to God, which are the basic principles of Islam made a deep impression on the minds of Indian thinkers and reformers of the period. Finally, as a result of Hindus and Muslims interacting with each other two religious movements developed, namely Sufism among the Muslims and Bhakti among the Hindus.
MAJOR ISLAMIC IMPACTS ON INDIAN SOCIETY
(i) Religious Impact:
Before the coming of Islam to India, the people were divided in several religious factions and an intense struggle was going on between Hinduism and other religions. When Islam was introduced to the people of the sub-continent, it attracted many followers because of its simple and easily understandable principles. The introduction of Islam completely transformed the Indian society into a well knit social fraternity.
Islam came as blessing for the oppressed classed in India whose life had become miserable because of the deep rooted caste system Most of the Indian Muslims converted to Islam were belonged to the lower classes of the Indian society. Besides these Muslims there are also Muslims who belonged to the ruling families of the different Indian kingdoms. Some of these rulers were Hindus who actually belonged to the warrior castes of the Hindu society and adopted Islam.
Islam brought a new way of life for them which they had never experienced before in the Hindu society. The respectable way of life, shown to them under Islam, gave them a feeling of being human beings. Islam infused a different thinking and sentiments among the people of the sub-continent. (ii) Social Impact:
India was divided into several sects and class when Islam reached here. Since Islam propounds that all human beings are equal and accordingly make no discriminations on the basis of caste or creed. Hindus in large numbers adopted Islam voluntarily. However, even the Muslim rulers got many Hindus forcibly converted to Muslim. Islam had its...
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