How Islam Spread in the Subcontinent
“Islamic takeover” has happened in India, and the Western World is now finding out what exactly this “loss” is about. What is happening right here in India? Why is this happening to the great civilization of India and the vast Hindu nation? Why is there so much hate in the name of religion in India? This is the big question that is being posed in the minds of people all over the world right now, and it is being debated by those who know the answers. In this article, we will discuss how the Islamic takeover in India is affecting all aspects of society, as well as on a worldwide basis.
First of all, let me give you a quick history of the evolution of Islam in India. India was under Muslim control for centuries before India became a secular country, and during that time, the Muslim population spread across the length and breadth of India spreading into numerous areas of the country. The invaders took as much land as they could along with cattle and property. When the British finally came to put an end to the violent struggle, they didn’t just end the violence, but instead declared martial law so that the Muslims in India would not be able to worship or propagate their religion.
This ignited a fierce resistance movement that lasted for decades. When the government lifted martial law in the late 30s, the tide started turning again towards the Hindus. The fundamentalists refused to accept the new government rules and began a reign of terror against non-Hindus. As the years passed, the subcontinent of India has been host to many religious and political battles. The issue of how Islam spread in the sub-continent has been deliberated upon throughout the ages, and many have written extensively on this topic.
There are many theories on how Islam is spread in the sub-continent. One of the most prominent theories is that converts from Islam to other religions such as Christianity and Hinduism were very few. As a result, the religion was adopted slowly and was practiced locally among a restricted following. Another theory on how Islam is spread in the sub-continent is that converts from Hinduism to Islam were also very few in number. As a result, all the converts were usually either of local Indian origin or of overseas origin, while spreading the practice of Islam to a limited extent.
In the wake of all these events, the phenomenon of conversion between religions was very rare in the subcontinent. The conversion from Hinduism to Islam was quite common in South Asia, especially in states like Assam, West Bengal, and Tripura. While in some parts of the subcontinent, there have been cases of conversion between Islam and Christianity, a lack of documentation makes it difficult to evaluate the possibility of conversion between faiths. On the other hand, in many other parts of the subcontinent, there has been a significant growth of Islamic consciousness. The presence of a proliferation of Salafist preachers in the form of Islamic centers and madrasas has also given a significant boost to this religious movement.
Considering the absence of clear documentary evidence on the question of how Islam spread in the sub-continent, several theories have been put forward. According to the first and foremost theory, Islamic spread in the subcontinent can be attributed to the influence of Muslim missionaries who were sent by the British Empire to spread the religion in India. These missionaries brought with them their beliefs and practices. Though the practice of Islamic practice was already prevalent in the region before the arrival of the British, it gained momentum only after the end of the empire. Even today, there are pockets of Islamic resistance to Westernization, which is also evident in the social organization of the people living in the border regions of the Indian subcontinent.
The second theory on how Islamic consciousness is spreading in the subcontinent is through immigration. The increasing number of waves of immigrants coming from mainly Muslim countries into mostly Christian regions of the West has had a dramatic effect on the outlook and practices of the people there. Though Islam is not a religion that is widely practiced throughout the world, the religion does hold a strong presence in the minds of the people due to its social norms and customs. The prevalence of Islamic elements in the lives of the people in the border regions of the Indian subcontinent is also because there is a thriving Diaspora community that emigrated from the Muslim-dominated areas to the predominantly Hindu regions. Though the numbers of these immigrants have declined in the recent past, their impact on the lives of the local people is yet to seep behind the veils of denial.
How Islam spread in the subcontinent is a long ongoing debate that is yet to yield satisfactory results. The main reason why the issue has never been resolved despite so many attempts is the insensitivity of the prevailing government policy towards the issue. Though the government has spoken about the issue in the parliament and introduced a few legislations to curb the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, the Muslim community is still hardly able to accept the government’s initiatives as they feel it to be unjustified and excessive. Only time will tell if the government will be successful in containing the phenomenon of how Islamic consciousness before it spreads its wings to all parts of India and eventually the world as a major religion.