Relationship between hinduism and islam in india

Hindu–Islamic relations - Wikipedia

relationship between hinduism and islam in india

[[]] AN ASPECT of the cultural life of Islamic India that demands special consideration is The intricate question of the relation of Hindu and Islamic mystical. A critical assessment of the relationships between Hinduism and Islam accounts . ) gives the earliest and most detailed Muslim account of Indian religion. What's the difference between Hinduism and Islam? Hinduism Hinduism on the other hand is religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent in the.

Rather, it was a process that occurred in different degrees, and it involved a variety of social, cultural, political, and economic factors. Indeed, one of the most striking aspects of the history of Islam in South Asia is that it gained the most converts in areas situated beyond the traditional centers of political power and brahmanical religious authority. Today, the largest proportions of Muslims are to be found in the northwest now Pakistan and Kashmir and northeast now Bangladesh ; even Kerala The chief agents for Islamization on the local level were wandering Muslim saints, teachers, and warriors.

In Bengal, communities grew up around saint shrines and mosques built where lands had been newly converted to wet-rice agriculture during the Mughal era. Through local Sufi centers Islam was often introduced and integrated into the socioreligious landscape, establishing points of exchange between the Muslim rulers and the populace, thus integrating people and property into the infrastructure of the kingdom. Such places are identified with supermundane beings who offer their devotees power, healing, fertility, and occasions to participate in ecstatic rites.

Muslim warrior saints have been incorporated as guardian deities into the cults of Hindu hero gods and goddesses, where Muslims as well as Hindus worship them. This is exemplified by Vavar, the battle companion of the popular south Indian deity Ayyappa, and by Muttal Ravutan, guardian of Draupadi shrines in Tamil Nadu. The interpenetration of Hinduism and Islam is further evident in folk epics and religious poetry.

Thus, regional oral epics contain elements from the classical Hindu epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana that have been reshaped as a result of interaction with Muslims.

At assemblies of poets throughout India, Hindus, Muslims, and others recite the compositions of poet saints such as Kabir died c. These are inevitably tragic tales of romantic heroes and heroines destined to remain apart and doomed to die because of differences in caste, class, and religion.

Nonetheless, the songs in which these boundaries are crossed are sung and beloved by people from all walks of life. Through richly symbolic language and imagery qissa are also mystical allegories of the human soul seeking union with God. Hindustani music is another excellent example of the interplay between Hindu and Muslim culture.

One of the greatest innovators of Hindustani classical music is often identified as Tansen d. The musical modes and the code of conduct within the musical lineages, or gharanas, draw on Indian and Perso-Arabic styles. The initiation ceremony of the student into the master's school closely mirrors that of the Hindu guru-sishya initiation. Furthermore, although many of these lineages are principally Muslim in terms of personnel, worship of Hindu deities, especially the goddess Saraswati, and the lighting of lamps and garlanding of musicians are all common practices associated with Hinduism.

The popularity of explicitly Islamic devotional styles such as kafi, ghazal, and qawwal, and of Muslim singers such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Abida Parveen among all audiences indicates a shared aesthetic culture. Finally, in many areas conversion, intermarriage, and shared community life have led to common cultural practices. Often customs and observations of lifecycle events, such as births, marriages, and death, are regionally extremely similar.

The offering of a child's first haircutting or pilgrimage to bless a marriage is performed by all religious communities at local shrines. Dress and eating habits are frequently shared.

Muslim social status usually reflects caste distinctions found among the wider society; and in Malabar, Muslim traders intermarried with Hindu locals to such an extent that they adopted their matrilineal social organization.

Hindu-Muslim Encounters after The Mogul Empire's territory reached its apogee under Aurangzeb, encompassing the Deccan plateau and parts of the South Indian coast. After his death inMogul power rapidly unraveled, paving the way for the British East India Company to transform its commercial power bases into political centers.

In at the Battle of Plassy, the British forces took effective control of much of North India, placing it under the Raj.

relationship between hinduism and islam in india

Though nominal authority still lay in Mogul hands, this ended following the British defeat of a large-scale rebellion of Hindu and Muslim troops in After this power shift, religious movements arose to address the new sociopolitical milieu, which rewarded modernism, secularism, and progressive scientific thought over traditional values.

Reaction to the impact of foreign rule was channeled in many cases through religious movements. Revivalist and reformist groups emerged representing the full range of responses to the new power structures. Some sought to incorporate and integrate Western values, others focused on internal revitalization, and still others mobilized to oppose British rule. Whereas the Mahasabha, RSS, and Arya Samaj strove to purify Hinduism and reestablish an inherently Hindu national identity, the Brahmo Samaj emphasized social reform and education more in line with modern Western concepts.

Hinduism and Islam, A Comparison of Beliefs and Practices

Similarly, Muslim organizations addressed the educational, social, and political interests of the Muslim population. InSir Sayyid Ahmad Khan established Aligarh Muslim University with a westernized secular curriculum, to educate Muslims capable of reviving Islam and addressing the exigencies of modernity.

The Muslim League formed in as a political group working to protect minority Muslim interests in an independent India. Throughout the independence struggle relations between Hindus and Muslims worsened. Many factors contributed to this: But he is equally unsparing in his condemnation of Muslim formalism, and he made no distinction between what was sane and holy in the teachings of Hinduism and Islam.

He was a true seeker after God, and did his best to break the barriers that separated Hindus from Muslims.

Hindu–Islamic relations

What has appealed to the millions of his followers through the ages, however, is his passionate conviction that he had found the pathway to God, a pathway accessible to the lowest as well as the highest. That he has in the course of time become a saint of the Hindus rather than of the Muslims is a reflection of the temper of Hinduism, which finds it easier than Islam to bring new sects and doctrines within its spiritual hegemony.

The second great religious leader whose work shows undoubted Islamic influence is Guru Nanak — The Sikh religion, of which Nanak was the founder, is noted for its militant opposition to Islam, but this is largely a product of historical circumstances in the seventeenth century. Nanak's own aim was to unite both Hindu and Muslim through an appeal to what he considered the great central truths of both.

He acknowledged Kabir as his spiritual teacher, and their teachings are very similar. His debt to Islam is shown in his rigorous insistence on the will and majesty of God, while the underlying structure of his thought, with its tendency to postulate a unity that comprehends all things, suggests his Hindu inheritance.

Accompanied by two companions, one a Muslim and the other a Hindu, he wandered throughout North India and, according to some accounts, to Arabia, preaching his simple gospel. The followers he gained became, in the course of a century, a separate religious community, but the Sikh scriptures, of which Nanak's sayings provide the core, are a reminder of the attempt to bridge the gap between Hinduism and Islam.

Dadu — was the third of the religious leaders through [[]] whose teachings Islamic ideas found wide currency among non-Muslims. While he does not belong chronologically in a survey of the early interaction of Hinduism and Islam, since he lived into the seventeenth century, his membership in a Kabir sect makes a brief consideration of his career useful. Furthermore, his biography shows the same process at work that is seen in the accounts of the life of Kabir.

Dadu is stated by his later followers to have been the son of a Nagar Brahman, but recent researches have shown that he was born in a family of Muslim cotton-carders. This is borne out by his own works and the fact that all the members of his family have Muslim names: His teacher was Shaikh Budhan, a Muslim saint of the Qadri order.


The early Hindu followers of Dadu were not disturbed by the knowledge that he was a Muslim by birth, but later ones were. The legend of his Brahmanical origin made its first appearance in a commentary on the Bhaktamala, written as late as It is said that until recent times documents existed at the monasteries of the followers of Dadu which suggested that he had been a Muslim, but that these were destroyed by the keepers who were unwilling to admit that his origins were not Hindu.

As the Muslims grew more orthodox, they turned away from men such as Kabir and Dadu, while the Hindus accepted them as saints, but forgot their Islamic origins. In order to conform to the requirements of the Hindu bhakti tradition, they have undergone a transformation that at times necessitates a falsification of history.

Two poet-saints who are clearly in the Hindu bhakti tradition but show traces of Islamic influence are Namadeva and Tukaram, the great religious figures of the Maratha country.

relationship between hinduism and islam in india

Namadeva, who lived in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, used a number of Persian and Arabic words, suggesting that even at this early time the influence of Islam [[]] was felt by a man, in a remote area of the country, whose only concern seems to have been with religion.

The writings of Tukaram —the greatest of the Marathi poets, contain many obvious references to Islam, such as the following: First among the great names is Allah, never forget to respect it. Allah is verily one, the prophet is verily one. There is neither I nor thou. In honor of the saint he gave his sons the names of Shahji and Sharifji.

Hinduism - Hinduism and Islam |

While a full study of the religious and social ferment of Maharashtra in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries has yet to be made; it seems certain that the new religious life did not take the form of a Hindu revivalism that emphasized the separation of the Hindus from Islam. Antagonism toward Muslims came later, and, as was the case with the Sikhs, had definite antecedents in particular historical events.

The creative spiritual and literary movement provided the basis on which the Maratha nation could be built, and its emergence as the great antagonist of Muslim power in India was based on political, not religious, factors. The evidence from the songs of Namadeva and Tukaram strongly suggests that they were not reacting in any hostile fashion to Islam.

For this reaction one must look to Chaitanya and the Vaishnavite movement in Bengal. Chaitanya — of Bengal represents an aspect of the bhakti movement that is very different from that seen in the lives and teachings of Kabir and his successors.

Chaitanya's concern, unlike that of Kabir, was not with bringing people to an understanding of a God beyond all creeds and formulations; it was to exalt the superiority of Krishna over all other deities. The attitude [[]] of Bengal Vaishnavites toward Islam was the antithesis of the attitude advocated by Kabir and Nanak. Conscious of the appeal being made by Islam, they did not try to reform Hinduism by adopting any of the attractive features of the rival faith.

Instead, they emphasized precisely those features, such as devotion to Krishna, which were most antipathetic to the Islamic spirit. Another difference between Chaitanya's movement and that of Kabir is the attitude toward caste.

Various syntheses between the two religions that emphasize nonsectarianism have arisen in northern India. Yet there were periods when the political ambitions of Islamic rulers took strength from iconoclastic aspects of Muslim teaching and led to the devastation of many major Hindu temple complexes, from Mathura and Varanasi Banaras in the north to Chidambaram, Sriringam, and Madurai in the far south; other temples were converted to mosques.

Episodically, since the 14th century this history has provided rhetorical fuel for Hindu anger against Muslim rulers. The bloody partition of the South Asian subcontinent into India and Pakistan in added a new dimension. The continuing tensions in the Kashmir region have also spawned outbursts of sectarian violence on both sides, including the destruction of some Hindu temples there by militant Muslims.

Yet, although the relationship between Hindus and Muslims within India remains complicated and there are occasional eruptions of tension and violence, in many areas they have been able to coexist peacefully.

Hinduism and Christianity Relations between Hinduism and Christianity have been shaped by unequal balances of political power and cultural influence. Although communities of Christians have lived in southern India since the middle of the 1st millennium, the great expansion of Indian Christianity followed the efforts of missionaries working under the protection of British colonial rule. Their denigration of selected features of Hindu practice—most notably image worshipsutteeand child marriage the first two were also criticized by Muslims —was shared by certain Hindus.

Many Hindus are ready to accept the ethical teachings of the Gospelsparticularly the Sermon on the Mount whose influence on Gandhi is well knownbut reject the theological superstructure. They regard Christian conceptions about love and its social consequences as a kind of bhakti and tend to venerate Jesus as a saintyet many resent the organization, the reliance on authorities, and the exclusiveness of Christianity, considering these as obstacles to harmonious cooperation.

A far more typical sentiment is expressed in the eagerness of Hindus of all social stations, especially the middle class, to send their children to high-quality often English-language schools established and maintained by Christian organizations. Conversion as understood by Christians or Muslims is usually not the aim.