A Bloodied History of Sufism Part 1 | How Arabs arrived in India, what is the bloody history of Sufism

Categories : India

Sufi means those who are immersed in themselves. They remember Allah as their lover. Songs and music are banned in Islam. But Sufis please their God only by singing and dancing. The arrival of Islam in India is generally regarded as a peaceful and mostly non-violent process.

You must have heard this song of Amir Khusro “Chhaap tilak sab chhini, mose naina milai ke”. Sufi festivals are organized not only at tombs but also in big cities. In which this song is sung. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru has written about Amir Khusro in his book Discovery of India on page number 245 that I do not know any other example where the songs written 700 years ago are still safe in the memory of the people and without changing the words, Appeals are maintained. But do you know the meaning of this Chhap Tilak song? Devotees of Braj apply Ashtchaap i.e. Sri sign, Tilak at 8 places on the body. The meaning of this Qawwali is that my Peer ‘The Abdar Nizamuddin’ who was also a relative of Khusro saw me and took away my mark and tilak, that means converted me to a Muslim. It is a poetry of Islamic expansion. Similarly, another song Raini Chadhi Rasool Ki So Rang Maula Ke Haath. The one whose clothes are colored, the riches run away. The meaning of the song is that the fate of those who leave Hinduism and come to the shelter of Rasool i.e. Allah opens up. Similarly ‘O Maa aaj rang hai, Mueenuddin ke ghar, Ghaseetuddin ke ghar rang hai’ means people are being converted to Islam at his house. This is extreme communal poetry. Which is the nature of Islam. Islam which is often glorified a lot.In today’s series we are going to tell you those things about Sufism which are hidden from Indians.

Sufis propitiate their God only by singing and dancing

Sufi means those who are immersed in themselves. They remember Allah as their lover. Songs and music are banned in Islam. But Sufis please their God only by singing and dancing. The arrival of Islam in India is generally regarded as a peaceful and mostly non-violent process, whereby various Sufi saints from different parts of West Asia reached and settled in India. His interactions with the local people and other reluctant disciples relate the story of the mixed outlook of other influential people who helped spread Islam in the region. Benedict Anderson noted that when the printing business took hold in Europe in the 1500s, a major objective of publishers was to make money. So they published books in Latin language because the rich class was well versed in this language. Hence the readership was limited to those who could read Latin.

The Chachnama gives details on the advent of Islam in India.

Similarly, one of the greatest works on the history of the subcontinent is the ‘Chachnama’ which is a compilation of historical events. It provides details on the arrival of Islam in India. It describes the history of the Chach dynasty and the conquest of Sindh by the Arabs. This book is also called ‘Fathnama Sindh’ and ‘Tarikh al-Hind Was-Sindh’. The book was written in Arabic during the 8th century, translated into Persian by Ali Kufi in 1226. According to Mannan Ahmad Asif, author of “A Book of Conquest”, early historians and post-colonial scholars such as HT Lambrick, Peter Hardy and Yohannan Friedman characterized the content of the book in such a way that the notion of Chachnama became the broad consensus of the region Mannan also states that Romila Thapar, Gyanendra Pandey, Uma Chakraborty, Richard Eaton, Cynthia Talbot and Shahid Amin are some of the prominent figures who in all likelihood used reduced depictions of the Chachnama, in addition to some other significant ones.

How did the Arabs arrive in India?

The arrival of Arabs in India began before the introduction of Islam in Arabia. It emerged as the first Islamic state in the early 7th century. Muslim polity made its presence felt in Sindh in the 8th century. But before this there were many Arab families who were settled in Aden, Muscat, Diu and Thana. However, there are no major examples of conversion of Hindus and other religions to Islam in the early days. It can be said that at that time the religion was in its infancy and did not have the machinery to spread its message. Various Muslim scholars, travelers and traders who visited India during the early centuries of Islam were not able to impress the local people with their faith.

payment of jizya

Raja Chach’s legacy carried forward by his son Raja Dahir in Sindh, Multam and Uch was challenged by Hajjaj bin Yusuf, who sent his young lieutenant Muhammad bin Qasim to spread the conquest of Islam in India. Islamic rule came to India for the first time in 712, when Qasim defeated Raja Dahir and imprisoned his daughters. Qasim died in prison after being arrested on the orders of Hajjaj bin Yusuf. An important aspect of the conversion of non-Muslims to Islam in many areas is said to be the effect of paying Jizya and the economic affairs of these people. There are different views on whether Muhammad bin Qasim imposed Jizya on non-Muslims during his tenure or not and what was its overall effect. However it was not until much later in the 13th century that there was strong evidence of the payment of Jizya and the even more crushing custom of paying Asr and Kharaj. The jizya was intended to humiliate non-Muslims and remind them of their place in society as dhimmis, but according to M A Khan, it was still light on the pocket.

This strategy played an important role in the spread of Islam

The peasants were virtually bonded slaves to the government, as 50-75 per cent of the produce was taken away in taxes. The condition was so bad that Hindus were fleeing the populated areas and hiding in the forests to avoid the king’s tax collecting army. During this time, it became easier for non-Muslims to convert to Islam and escape the economic burden. This strategy worked to a large extent in the spread of Islam, as shared by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, who ruled in the mid-15th century. He writes in his memoir Fatuhat-i-Firoz Shahi:

“I exhorted my infidel subjects to embrace the religion of the Prophet and I declared that everyone who recited the creed and became a Muslim should be exempted from the Jizya, or poll-tax. This was widely reported but fell upon the ears of the people, and a large number of Hindus submitted themselves and were admitted to the honor of Islam. Thus day after day they came forth from all sides, and embracing the faith, were freed from Jizya. went, and were given gifts and honors.”

Aurangzeb implemented a number of regressive strategies on non-Muslims and was actively responsible for forced conversions in his era. Many of his tactics were from the economically disadvantaged. He ordered the expulsion of all Hindus working in the royal court, therefore giving them the option of converting to Islam to save their livelihood. He also offered money to non-Muslims to convert to Islam, which ranged up to 100 rupees. 4 for men and Rs.2 for women. This was equal to one month’s salary at that time. In the next section, we will tell you how Sufism helped the invaders to lead the bloodshed in India. Till then give permission. See you in the next part of the motherland.