Muslims have been present in South Asia for 14 centuries. Nearly 40% of the people of this vast land mass follow the religion of Islam, and Muslim contribution to the cultural heritage of the sub-continent has been extensive. This textbook provides both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as the general reader, with a comprehensive account of the history of Islam in India, encompassing political, socio-economic, cultural and intellectual aspects.

Using a chronological framework, the book discusses the main events in each period between c. 600 CE and the present day, along with the key social and cultural themes. It discusses a range of topics, including:

  • How power was secured, and how was it exercised
  • The crisis of confidence caused by the arrival of the West in the sub-continent
  • How the Indo-Islamic synthesis in various facets of life and culture came about

Excerpts at the end of each chapter allow for further discussion, and detailed maps alongside the text help visualise the changes through each time period. Introducing the reader to the issues concerning the Islamic past of South Asia, the book is a useful text for students and scholars of South Asian History and Religious Studies.

chapter 1|16 pages


chapter 6|26 pages

The Mughal Ascendancy

Akbar and his Successors (1556–1689)

chapter 10|24 pages

Unity or Separatism?

Muslim dilemma at the end of the Raj (1924–1947/8)

chapter 11|26 pages


New Challenges in a Fractured Subcontinent (1947–2011)