chapter  14
23 Pages

Islam in India

Although the Indian subcontinent was not divided into the separate nations ofIndia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh until the twentieth century, this partition was prefigured already in the eleventh century when Islamic civilization found a permanent home in India. Both Islam and Hinduism were deeply conservative and each represented a highly developed culture-cultures that were worlds apart. The ideological differences between them were exaggerated by the fact that the ruling Muslims regarded Hindus as inferior to themselves and Hindus considered Muslims to be sources of spiritual pollution. Although Hindu and Sufi saints were able to inspire and influence each other, for the orthodox on both sides, the relationship was primarily one of confrontation. Each side felt forced to preserve its own traditions and to resist yielding to “foreign” influence.