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Guest Sulemaan

Assalaamalaikum,

 

A country of over a billion people, of all colors and creeds, from the snowy mountains of Kashmir to the hot beaches of Trivandrum; from the narrow lanes of Old Delhi to the suburbs of Bombay; fromt he crowded street of Calcutta to the hill stations of Mysore. India is the most diversified country in the world, often referred to as a continent within a continent. A country which boasts of high literacy rates despite its population, but also has the majority of its population below the poverty line. A mix of cultures, gives it a rich and colorful identity, marred by recurring communal riots that have plagued the country since its Independence on August 15, 1947.

 

Ancient History -

 

It's history starts from the ancient Indus Valley civilizations of Mohenjodaro and Harrappa (2500-1500 BC). It is largely agreed by historians that a great horde of invaders from central Asia, called the 'Aryans' came to northern plains and drove away the original inhabitant down south. Thus were made the 'Kingdoms of the North' and the 'Kingdoms of the South'. It was the Mauryan King, Ashoka who conquered and united the country into one huge kingdom. The symbols of his rule are the iron pillars through the country which still stand defying a thousand years of exposure to air and water - a proof to the advanced knowledge of the people in metallurgy. This age saw many advancements in the fields of Astronomy, Mathematics and Medicine. However, the social conditions were at their worst. The society was divided into four different castes.

 

Brahmins (the priest class), Shatriyas (the warrior class), Vaishyas (the farmer class), Shudras (the working class. This is no mere classification - it is a hierarchial order where the topmost is class enjoys the highest respect and the lowest class i.e. the Shudras are considered impure and unworthy of any respect whatsoever. The caste system or casteism as it is known was a part of the Vedic religion brought by the Aryans. And it was because of this casteism and its ill effects on the society that gave birth to many new religous movements within Hinduism.

 

Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and many other forms of Hinduism were as a direct result of the social inequalities in the Hindu society. Buddha's real name was Siddharth, he was a Hindu prince before he left his family and luxurious life and became a mystic. Buddhism drew the immediate attention of the lower classes and recieved royal patronage when Asoka became a Buddhist. Ashoka's conversion was the turning point in the history of Buddhism. It was he who sent Buddhist preachers to South East Asia, China, Central Asia, and the island kingdom of Lanka (Sri Lanka). However, it is ironic that today, Buddhist hardly a sizeable population in the country of their origin. This is mainly due to the absorbing nature of Hinduism. When the Hindus realized that they are losing out to Buddhism, the immediately included Buddha and Mahavira (founder of Jainism) in their host of Gods. This could be one of the reasons, or another could be ehtnic cleaning. Since there is no evidence or record of of the latter, we might as well accept the former.

 

The reason I am giving you the background of religious history of India is to prepare for the coming of the Muslims.

 

To Be continued...

Edited by dot

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Guest Sulemaan

Assalaamalaikum,

 

India has close to 300 million Muslims, Maashallah!

 

Anyway, as the story continues...

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Guest Sulemaan

PART II - The Coming of Islam

 

Islam first came to India through Arab traders in the South (the State of Kerala) as early as the 6th and 7th Century AD. In the north it was the teenage prodigy, Mohammed Bin Qasim who conquered Sindh (presently in Pakistan) in the 711 AD. However, due to internal problems in the Islamic State, no Muslim army came back to India for another three hundred years.

 

It was in 1000 AD, the Afghan King Mahmud of Ghaznavi invaded India. Mahmud's invasions where purely targetted at the temples. He is known in the Islamic history as the 'destroyer of idols'. He accused by Hindu historians of committing great crimes against the Hindu populace, but the Muslim historians maintain that he did nothing more than destroy and took the riches of the temples. He was followed by another Afghan, Muhammad of Ghor. Unlike his predessor, Mohammed came to India for one single purpose of conquering it. He initially met a defeat at the hands of the Rajput King Prithvi Raj Chauhan, but regrouped and led a second army. The war was fought fiercely, but the Muslims won and Mohammed Ghori became the first Muslim ruler of India.

 

Mohammed Ghori was followed by a line of Afghan dynasties that ruled the north and central India. The Khiljis, the Tughlaks, the Sayyeds and the Lodhis. The Lodhis, also known as the 'Last Sultans' ruled India for about a hundred years spanning three generations. The first Sultan was Bahul Lodhi, he was succeeded by his son Sikandar, who is the most well known of the Sultans. He was succeeded by his son Ibrahim who was defeated by the Mughal King Babur in the First Battle of Panipat (1526 AD). This marked the start of the Mughal dynasty, which saw the golden age in the medievil history of India. The Mughals ruled for 300 years spanning nine generations, but their rule was briefly intervened by yet another Afghan, Sher Shah Suri. Humayun, the son of Babur was defeated by Sher Shah in 1539 AD, and could only reclaim the throne after the death of the Afghan King, who died undefeated in 1545 AD. Sher Shah's rule lasted for a short period of time, but left a lasting impression on the country. His was known for his administrative skills and he is said to have contributed a great deal to the development of the country. He made proper roadways (the first highways) that connected his kingdom and built small but significant monuments.

 

To Be Continued...

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Guest Sulemaan

Part III - The Mughal Rule

 

Mughals are so called because of their descent from Taimur or Tamerlane, the descendent of Ghengiz Khan the Mongol.

 

The Mughal rule is undoubtably the most significant part of Indian history. For in this rule of over 300 years, we find Islam at its lowest during the reign of Akbar and at its highest during the reign of Aurengzeb.

 

After reclaiming his throne, Humayun was succeeded by Akbar 1556 AD. Akbar who was then only 13 years old was declared 'Padshah' or Emperor. He was under the guidance of Bairam Khan with whose help he extended his father's empire. Akbar is hailed as the greatest Mughal ruler by Western and Indian historians, however, Muslims consider him as the worst ruler and a heretic because of his deviation from Islam. Akbar went to the extent that he created his own religion and named it 'Din-e-Elahi'.

 

Akbar was succeeded by his son Jehangir in 1605 AD. Jehangir ruled for a short period and died in 1628 AD. Jehangir was succeeded by Shah Jahan who fought his brothers for the throne. However in 1658, his third son, Aurangzeb fought his brothers and ascended the throne during the lifetime of his father.

 

Aurangzeb - (1618 - 1707): His empire was the largest and his reign the longest. He is the most celebrated of all Muslim rulers of India, but was successfully painted in the dark by the Western Historians. Mainly due to his devotion to the cause of Islam. He was a strictly orthodox Muslim and was the first Mughal ruler to introduce the Shariah law in his Empire. However, unlike his predecessors, Aurangzeb showed more kindness to his poor subjects, Muslim and non-Muslim. The Jiziyah, the Islamic tax on non-Muslims was reduced for poor Hindus. The Hindus were given equal opportunity in the government administration and military. Many authentic history books mention Aurangzeb's just rule. His long rule did not see many architectural wonders like that of his fore fathers, except the Badshahi Masjid (presently in Pakistan), which is said to be the largest Masjid of its time.

 

As a person Aurangzeb is described as a very pious leader who earned his livelihood from writing copies of the Quran. His greatest contribution to the cause of Islam in India was his uniting the Muslims under one banner and shunning all forms of deviated sects and divisions that had crept up. He successfully defeated the Shia Kingdoms of the south and established the Shariah there, just before his death.

 

The death of Auranzeb was also the death of the glory days for the Mughal empire. His successors where not strong enough to manage the huge empire and it fell into internal strife, thus paving the road for its invasion again.

 

To Be Continued...

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Part IV - The Impact of Islam

 

As stated earlier, Islam had a quiet start on the southern coast of India, but it reached the heart of the nation through conquering armies. However, this does not mean that Islam was brought by the sword as the age-old cry of Western orientalist - a theory that is now universally unacceptable. The Muslims ruled India for over 800 years; if they had forced the conversions, today there would not have been a single Hindu in India. The fact is that almost every Muslim ruler was lenient to the native Indians, this is proven by the fact that thousands of ancient temples exist in what was once a Muslim empire. All these stand a witness to the fact that Muslim rulers, by and large, did not force conversion nor oppress their non-Muslim subjects.

 

The idea of forced conversion actually comes from here - When the Muslims use to execute war criminals or enemy soldiers, they would offer them one last chance - conversion to Islam. According to Islamic Law, as soon as one converts to Islam, all his sins are washed away hence a he is free of any crime committed, up to that point. A lot of people would save their lives in this way.

 

One should note the huge difference between the two. In forced conversion, a person is first given the choice of the religion or would be killed only because he declined the religion. In this case however, the person is already on a death role, he is either a war criminal, a spy or an enemy soldier who is about to be executed, but is given a last chance of freedom in the form of Islam.

 

There are obvious reasons why Islam spread and made a permanent home in this huge landscape. As mentioned before, the Hindu society was suffering from many social ills. The casteism was fast turning into the exploitation of lower castes by higher ones. Prostitution was rampant to the extent that prostitutes were given honourable position in the society. There were other rituals like 'sati' where the widow of a deceased had to burn herself in her husband's funeral pire. All these important factors in the spread of Islam in India.

 

Again, as it is typical of the Hindu society, it had adapted many features of the Islamic society, like dressing, food, and even the purdah (segregation of sexes), art, architecture, etc. So there remained people who were loyal to Hinduism, but their mannerism was more Muslim. This adaptation coupled with the many reform movements within Hinduism guaranteed its survival. In time, it was the Muslims who were begining feel the impact of the Hindu society.

 

To be continued...

Edited by Sulemaan

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One thing what many mite find suprising is that even though Bollywood movies r all abt love affiars, sexes meeting up and partying....etc.

 

The majority of population is against it. One can find moral values being lost in the cities but rural ppl r still very conservative.

 

On valentines day, Bollywood and businesses try to promote the event but many Hindus protest & cause lot of havoc in order to disrupt valentines day (even in cities like Bombay) Most Hindus have the same family values we muslims have.. i guess it's bcoz of the Muslim leaders of the past.

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Assalamu alaikum

 

I would like to know who else is from India apart from bros Sulemaan and monsoor

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Assalamu alaikum

 

I would like to know who else is from India apart from bros Sulemaan and monsoor

as salam alikum,

meee !! iam 4rm india. :D

maslama

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as salaam alikum,

:D brother sulemaan for the information.!

maslama

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Guest amani

:D

 

me me me

i have indian blood :P

 

wow do i sound excited :D ?

 

lolz dont ask me anything though..because i dont know :P

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Assalaamalaikum,

 

India has close to 300 million Muslims, Maashallah!

 

Anyway, as the story continues...

asalam alikum,

 

are you serious? I read somewhere about 160 million.

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As-salam-alaikum,

 

19% to 21% I believe, recent religious statistics shook everyone. Muslim population is increasing very rapidly and I believe in 100-200 years we will outnumber the Hindu Majority.

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:D

 

I am from India but now live in US........... correct statistics are muslims are 14%.

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Part V - Europeans Discover India

 

Vasco Da Gama, a Porteguese nobleman, established the first trade-route between India and Europe in 1498. His first voyage was mostly for trade, but his second (in 1502) was almost an expedition which saw full use of force and killing of many Indians (mostly Muslims). The porgteguese were a great naval power and established many sea ports around India, like Goa, Bombay, Hugli, etc. However, the mainland was still far from their reach. They every eventually etched out by their rivals France and Britain. 1

 

The Porteguese were followed by the Dutch, the British and the French, but it was the Britishers who through a combination of diplomacy and force managed to bring the entire sub-continent under their rule.

 

The East India Company -

 

In 1615 King James I of England sent Sir Thomas Roe as his ambassador to the court of Jahangir, and secured permission for the company to set up factories. Thus factories were set up at Ahmedabad, Broach and Agra.

 

In 1661 the company obtained Bombay from Charles II and converted it to a flourishing centre of trade. By 1687, its was the most well established settlement of the Company on the west coast of India. In 1611 factories were set up on the east coast at Masaulipatam. In 1540 Fancis Day built a fortified factory called Fort St. George beside which the town of Madras flourished. English settlements rose in Orissa and Bengal. In 1633, in the Mahanadi delta of Hariharpur at Balasore in Orissa, factories were set up. In 1650 Gabriel Boughton an employee of the Company obtained a license for trade in Bengal. An English factory was set up in 1651 at Hugli. Various factors besides the lack of a political authority in India encouraged the company to unleash a vigorous policy of trade. The disintegrating Mughal empire had excited the English. At a petty pretext during the rule of Aurangazeb, the British brought a fleet from England and attacked Hugli. Aurangazeb attacked the English settlements and, captured their settlements at Patna, Cassim Bazar, Masaulipatam and Vizagapatanam. The superior English navy avoided the progress of the Mughals and found it wise to conclude peace on the conditions imposed by Aurangzeb. In 1690 Job Charnock established a factory. In 1698 the factory was fortified and called Fort William. The villages of Sutanati, Kalikata and Gobindpore were developed into a single area called Calcutta. In 1717 Emperor Farukhiyar permitted duty free trade. In Gujarat and Madras too they secured concessions. The company at Bombay minted rupees to be circulated in India. 2

 

The Company saw the rise of its fortunes, and its transformation from a trading venture to a ruling enterprise, when one of its military officials, Robert Clive, defeated the forces of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah , at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. A few years later the Company acquired the right to collect revenues on behalf of the Mughal Emperor, but the initial years of its administration were calamitous for the people of Bengal. The Company's servants were largely a rapacious and self-aggrandizing lot, and the plunder of Bengal left the formerly rich province in a state of utter destitution. The famine of 1769-70, which the Company's policies did nothing to alleviate, may have taken the lives of as many as a third of the population. The Company, despite the increase in trade and the revenues coming in from other sources, found itself burdened with massive military expenditures, and its destruction seemed imminent. State intervention put the ailing Company back on its feet, and Lord North's India Bill, also known as the Regulating Act of 1773, provided for greater parliamentary control over the affairs of the Company, besides placing India under the rule of a Governor-General.

 

The first Governor-General of India was Warren Hastings. Under his dispensation, the expansion of British rule in India was pursued vigorously, and the British sought to master indigenous systems of knowledge. Hastings remained in India until 1784 and was succeeded by Cornwallis, who initiated the Permanent Settlement, whereby an agreement in perpetuity was reached with zamindars or landlords for the collection of revenue. For the next fifty years, the British were engaged in attempts to eliminate Indian rivals, and it is under the administration of Wellesley that British territorial expansion was achieved with ruthless efficiency. Major victories were achieved against Tipu Sultan of Mysore and the Marathas, and finally the subjugation and conquest of the Sikhs in a series of Anglo- Sikh Wars led to British occupation over the entirety of India. In some places, the British practiced indirect rule, placing a Resident at the court of the native ruler who was allowed sovereignty in domestic matters. Lord Dalhousie's notorious doctrine of lapse, whereby a native state became part of British India if there was no male heir at the death of the ruler, was one of the principal means by which native states were annexed; but often the annexation, such as that of Awadh [Oudh] in 1856, was justified on the grounds that the native prince was of evil disposition, indifferent to the welfare of his subjects. The annexation of native states, harsh revenue policies, and the plight of the Indian peasantry all contributed to the Rebellion of 1857-57, referred to previously as the Sepoy Mutiny. In 1858 the East India Company was dissolved, despite a valiant defense of its purported achievements by John Stuart Mill, and the administration of India became the responsibility of the Crown. 3

 

To Be Continued...

 

References:

 

1 "http://indtravel/welcome/history6.html"]indtravel/welcome/history6.html[/url]

2 "http://webindia123/history/modern/english_east_india_company.htm"]webindia123/history/modern/...dia_company.htm[/url]

3 "http://sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/History/British/EAco.html"]sscnet.ucla.edu/southasia/Histo...itish/EAco.html[/url]

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Assalaam Alaykum

 

Can you shed some light on two points below:

 

1. muslims role in the independance of India

 

2. I believe that Islam somehow got a bit affected by hinduism.

 

only these two points........Jazakum Allahu Khair

 

Wa Alaykum Assalaam

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India has very funky muslims :D .. vast majority of them are not really following the sunnah!! if you want to know examples: let me know.. there are waay too many.

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Yeah....a lot of thos Bollywood stars r 'muslim'........and all those girls and guys who dance in those stupid videos half naked r a lot of muslims, according to what my indian friend said...

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Assalamualikum,

I am from Hyderabad in A.P.

in India

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:D

 

Would i be right in saying many of the muslims in India are muslims by name only?

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