Impacts Of Islam In India
The Social, Cultural, Political And Religious Contact
Islam had acquired firm footholds in Indo-Subcontinent long before the arrival of Muslims along with Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712 AD. Muslim Arab merchants along with trade activities had spread the light of Islam in coastal areas of India however the religion was properly and in an organized manner introduced in 712 AD after the conquest of Debaul, today’s Karachi.
The introduction of Islam altogether changed the social structure of society. Some of the major impacts of Islam have been highlighted below.
Social Impacts Of Islam On India
The social impacts of Islam includes but not limited to
1. Negate Class Division: As we know Hinduism has a strong belief in class division. It divided society into four classes in which Shudders are considered as the lowest class of society. Islam not only negated this unethical class division but also showed equality of human beings in real terms. When the downtrodden class of Hindu society saw the equal respect and treatment of those New Muslims who were once considered as filthy in society due to their lower class status, they began to embrace Islam in large number.
2. Introduction Of Veil: Before the introduction of Islam there was no proper system of veil (veil) in society. In Hindu society by that time women of the lower caste were not allowed to cover their breast and if any women wanted to do so, she had to pay a tax called Breast Tax. Islam on the other hand not only introduced a strict system of Purdah (veil) but also made it compulsory for all women irrespective of their caste, color and creed.
Influence Of Islam On Indian Culture
Generally Islam influenced the art, architecture, language and literature of the Subcontinent to a greater extent. Some of the major cultural impacts of Islam in Indo-Subcontinent are given below.
1. Forbade Unethical Culture And Traditions: Before the arrival of Islam the society of Indo-Subcontinent was filled with many unethical social and cultural traditions. Islam strongly discouraged these traditions and favored the adoption of simple cultural practices.
2. Introduction Of New Form Of Buildings: With many new traditions Muslims along with their arrival in India also introduced two new types of buildings, Mosque (Masjid) and Tomb of which Indians were unfamiliar.
3. Introduction Of New Languages And Birth Of Urdu: With the arrival of Muslims many new languages such as Arabic, Persian and Turkish became part of the society and the amalgamation of these languages along with local languages gave birth to Urdu, one of the eloquent languages of Subcontinent.
4. Culture Of Calligraphy And Painting: The art of calligraphy and painting was also introduced by Muslims in united India for the first time which reached to its zenith especially during Mughals rule in Indo-Subcontinent.
Economic Impacts Of Islam On India
Islam also introduced many changes in the economic spheres of the Subcontinent. Islam strongly forbad the culture of interest based transactions in the society and promote the culture of interest free trade activities in the society. It also introduced many new methods and techniques for measurement and calculation.
Political Effects Of Islam On Hindu Society
Some of the major political effects of Islam on Hindu society are given below.
1. System Of Federation: Before the arrival of Muslims in India, the society of Subcontinent was divided into many small state based units. Each state was ruled by a chief and there was no concept of the creation of a bigger united federating unit. Islam introduced the system of federation and united most of the small states under one federating unit.
2. Sense Of Nationalism: With lack of federation there was no sense of nationalism among the Indians by that time. Islam by uniting small states created a sense of strong nationalism among the Indians.
3. Development Of Political Institutions: Many different political posts and institutions were also introduced into Hindu society for the first time by Islam of which Hindus were unfamiliar.
Religious Impacts Of Islam On Hindu Society
Not only society, culture and politics but Islam also affected the religious teachings of Hinduism. Some of the major religious impacts of Islam on Hindu society are given below.
1. Simple teachings: Due to both the teaching of simplicity in life and the simplicity of its teachings itself, a large number of Hindus who were fed-up due to the unethical and expensive religious customs of Hinduism attracted towards Islam.
2. Unity: Many people embraced Islam merely because of its simple concept about the existence and unity of God. Whereas in Hinduism there were thousands of gods Islam was emphasizing on believing in only one true God that is Allah Almighty.
3. Equality And Brotherhood: Whereas Hindu society on the basis of religious teachings was divided into four social casts in which one group had every opportunities while the other group was not only the downtrodden class but was also considered filthy, Islam introduced the concept of equality and brotherhood in the society that not only attracted people’s attention but also influenced Hindu’s religious teachings as well.
Islam due to its teachings of equality, brotherhood and simplicity effectively appealed the downtrodden class in large number and it changed the social, political, cultural and economic structure of Hindu society forever.