Impact of Islam on South Asian Society


Impactof Islam on South Asian Society

Whatimpact did Islam on south Asian society? How was this impact similarto or different from that of Islam from unit 2?

Islamspread in South Asia during the decline of Abbasid, this is when theLords of India failed to reconcile their differences paving way forinvasions and lack of repulsion caused incursions in thesub-continent. Spread of Islam also was facilitated by the Islamicpreachers and traders that came to the sub-continent. By the comingof the Muslims in the Sub-continent, the South Asian peopleencountered religious systems which were very different from whatthey had been used to, Hinduism, which was by all means tolerant,open and not as rigid as Islam was. They also experiencedcivilization influx from the foreigners (Book).

Mahmudof Ghazni was a political and Muslim leader who turned his attentionto the fertile lands of India. He was mostly known for his fightagainst the Hindus, however he did not fight those who werenon-Muslims and at the same time did not oppose his military. In thisregard, his creation of an Islamic state in India played a major rolein the spread of Islam in India. Mahmud destroyed all the temples inhis bid to expand his empire and also destroyed the libraries in abid to clean up heretical literature (Module Unit 11)

Spanishcrusades included pushing of the Muslim borders to the south untiltheir final destination at Granada did not only lead to Christian’svictory but it also resulted to expansion of the Muslim and Jewishpopulations. They dominated Spain and took up the professionalclasses like doctors, scholars and lawyers. (Module unit 11)

Islamin Africa spread from the North and from the east both through theSahara desert and the Indian Ocean respectively. Indian Ocean wasthe major communication route between Asia and Africa, particularlyEgypt was the first victim of Islam, right after Christianity wasovertaken by Islam. It was mostly through the Arabic traders andmerchants. (Module Unit 2)

TheUnit on Byzantium and Islam, there were many conquests by the Arabs,Muslims then fled to North Africa escaping the Arabian invasion. Ittook a long time for the Islam to spread in sub Saharan Africahowever it spread very fast in the Northern Africa. This was mostlybecause of the Merchants who came through the Sahara desert. Justlike Islam spreading in the South Asia, merchants did not only cometo trade but also to exchange cultural and religious ideas.(Moduleunit 2)

Inthis regard, Islam practices spread very fast because the Muslimstended to keep their culture and making additions into theirpractices as well. Just like in South Asia, African leaders wereappealed by the Islam practices mostly because it did notdifferentiate between political and religious authority. This madethe African Kingship stronger and especially for those who convertedto the Islam religion. (module unit 11)

Arab’sspring of success and spread had many consequences in the NorthernAfrica and South Asia for social and religious lives of the peoplethey met on the natives land. There was some sort of compatibilitybetween Islam, and development which in turn brought about religioustolerance. In this regard, there are less or no differences on theIslam impact on the South Asian society with that of African societybecause both societies share the same experiences. (Module unit 2)

Inhis view, David Robinson is not of the opinion that Islam roots tookplace in Africa this contradicts many suggestions that Islam wasfirst experienced in Africa. Robinson explains about Islamisation andAfricanization which depicts how the Islam religion and practicesadvanced in Africa. In his view the slave trade history did not onlyaffect the African Muslims as victims but it affected them as agentsas well. (Book).