ChAPTER 12 -- Part 5: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of
When a succession of civilizations from Harappa to the brahmanic empire of migrants carried the Islamic faith the Guptas developed in south Asia, foreigners had entered India in waves of nomadic invaders.
There are Muslim bands of people who have been displaced.
Invariably, those who chose to remain were assimilated conquests and conversions into the civilizations they encountered in the lowland areas.
They converted to the Hindu or Buddhist religion, found a place in the caste hierarchy, and adopted the dress, foods, and lifestyles of the farming responses and attempts by some and city-dwel ing peoples of the many regions of the subcontinent.
The ability to absorb peoples followers of both religions came from the strength and flexibility of India's civilization.
The Muslims arrived in the last years of the 7th century.
For the first time, the people of India encountered a large-scale influx of outsiders as sophisticated as their own.
They were confronted by a religious system that was very different from the ones they had nurtured.
Hinduism, the main Indian religion at that time, was open, tolerant, and inclusive of many different forms of religious devotion, from idol worship to meditation in search of union with the spiritual source of all creation.
Islam was committed to the exclusive worship of a single god.
Is this distribution in line with what you would have expected, or is it different?
The popular notion that Islam was to compare the patterns of Islamization in different areas, answer historically a militant religion spread primarily by forcible questions that follow.
Islam proclaimed all believers equal in the sight of God.
The caste hierarchy was supported by Hindu beliefs.
Acceptance of inborn differences between individuals and groups and the widely varying levels of material wealth, status, and religious purity were believed to produce these differences.
The faith of the invaders was more rigid than that of the locals.
The caste-based social system of India was more closed than the society of the Muslim invaders, with their emphasis on mobility and the community of believers.
Growing numbers of Muslim warriors, traders, Sufi mystics, and ordinary farmers and herders entered south Asia and settled there, which led to extensive interaction between invaders and the indigenous peoples.
Conflict, often violent, was the main feature of the Muslim influx.
There was a lot of trade between them.
Peaceful interaction became the norm as time went on.
The region and the Hindu and Muslim mystics tried to find areas of agreement between their faiths.
Tensions remained and occasionally they erupted into communal rioting or warfare between the empire.
The trading network stretched from Italy in the Mediterranean to the South China Sea.
There were raids into the valley in the 8th century.
The Arab Muslim armies invaded and established a succession of dynasties centered on Delhi in north overlords decided to treat both Hindus and central India.
Most of the local officials and notables retained their positions, which helped reconcile them to Muslim rule.
The status and privileges of the brahman castes were respected.
Most of the Arabs lived in cities or special garrison towns.
The peoples of the conquered areas were mostly Hindu or Buddhist.
The impact of Islam on the Indian subcontinent in this period was limited, but the Arab foothold in Sind provided contacts which Indian learning was transmitted to the Muslim heartlands in the Middle East.
Islamic civilization was enriched by the skills and discoveries of another civilization.
The Greeks were the most advanced of the ancient world, but Indian scientific learning was more advanced.
The Abbasids came to power in the 8th century and Hindu mathematicians traveled to Baghdad.
Their works on geometry were translated into Arabic and their instruments for observation were improved.
Hindu scholars had come up with the numer as far back as the 12th century, and Arab scholars began to use it in their work.
The system of numerical notation has been central to two scientific revolutions because of the linkages between civilized centers established by the spread of Islam.
In this chapter, the first in the Middle East was discussed.
The second happened in Europe some centuries later.
It has brought fundamental changes to Europe and the rest of the world from the 16th century to the present.
In addition to science and mathematics, Indian treatises on medicine, music, and other sub jects were translated and studied by Arab scholars.
The well-endowed hospitals in Baghdad were a source of wonder and envy for the Christians.
Indian doctors were able to cure Arab rulers and officials who had been pronounced dead by Greek doctors.
The Indian game of chess became a favorite of both royalty and ordinary townsfolk as Indian musical instruments and melodies made their way into Arab performers.
Indian building styles and artistic motifs were adopted by the conquerors.
Additional Arab colonies were established in other coastal areas, such as Bengal in the east and Malabar to the south.
The staging areas for Islam were provided by these trading enclaves.
The territory of northwestern Pakistan was added to the Muslim foothold on the subcontinent after the initial conquests of Muhammad ibn Qasim's armies.
There are disagreements between the Arabs and their artistic motifs in the blend of Islamic and hindu architectural forms.