ChAPTER 12 -- Part 8: Abbasid Decline and the Spread of
A large Muslim community was established after centuries of invasion and migration.
The area had won converts, political control had been established, and strong links had been forged with Muslims in other lands.
Hindus remained the overwhelming majority of the population of the vast and diverse lands south of the Himalayas.
Most Indians showed little inclination to convert to the religion of the Muslim conquerors, unlike the Zoroastrians in Persia or the animistic peoples of north Africa and the Sudan.
After centuries of Muslim political dominance and missionary activity, south Asia remained one of the least converted and integrated of all the areas Muhammad's message had reached.
Southeast Asia had been a middle ground from a world history perspective.
The zone where the Chinese segment of the Euro-Asian trading complex met the Indian Ocean teachings and rituals was generally peaceful.
Goods from China were transferred from east Asian vessels to Arab or Indian ships at ports on the coast of the Malayan peninsula.
In and Buddhist religions long established in Malaya, Java, and these same ports, products from as far west as Rome were loaded into the emptied Chinese ships to be other areas.
In the 7th and 8th centuries, sailors and ships from Sumatra and Malaya became active in the seaborne trade of the region.
Asian products have become important exports to China, India, and the Mediterranean region.
The aromatic woods from the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra and the spices from the far end of the Indonesian archi pelago were luxury items.
The expansion of Islam in southeast Asia was more important than the spread of Buddhism and Hinduism because of these trading links.
The coastal trade of India came to be controlled by Muslims from western India and parts of south India in the 8th century.
Islamic culture began to trickle into island southeast Asia.
Indian traders, Muslim or otherwise, were welcome to trade in the chain of ports controlled Sumatra.
The fall opened up numbers of merchants and sailors from India because of the Buddhist government's resistance to incentive for the traders and sailors of southeast Asian ports to convert to Islam.
Efforts to preach the faith to the coastal peoples increased with the fall of Shrivijaya, as incentives increased up southeastern Asia to Muslim for the establishment of Muslim trading centers.
The spread of Islam throughout island southeast Asia was the work of traders and Islamic mystics.
Peaceful contacts and voluntary conversion were more important than conquest and force in spreading the faith in southeast Asia.
The way for conversion was paved by trading contacts.
The local people were impressed by how much of the known world had already been changed by the new faith of Muslim merchants and sailors.
In India, Muslim ships carried Sufis to various parts of southeast Asia, where they played an important role in conversion.
Several small port centers on the northern coast of Sumatra were the first areas to be won over to Islam.
The religion spread across the Strait of Malacca to Malaya from these ports.
The Portuguese factory had replaced the fallen Shrivijaya.
The most powerful of the islands are in the eastern archipelago and in the southern Philippines.
The trading links were important.
The merchants and ports of India, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean were linked by conversion to Islam.
The spread of Islam was slow in areas where Hindu-Buddhist dynasties were present.
The Sufis exploited the openings for mass conver sions to Islam that were left by the earlier conversion to these Indian religions.
The island of Bali, where Hinduism had taken root at the popular level, was largely impervious to the spread of Islam.
The same was true of most of mainland southeast Asia, where centuries before the coming of Islam, Buddhism had spread from India to win the hearts and minds of both the ruling elites and the peasants.
Islam was often infused with mystical strains and incorporated animist, Hindu, and Buddhist elements because it was spread in many areas by Sufis from South Asia.
The Sufis who spread Islam in southeast Asia were similar to the ones in the Middle East and India.
Sufis traveled to neighboring regions to preach the faith and were believed to have magical powers by those who followed them.
In winning converts, the Sufis were willing to allow the inhabitants of island southeast Asia to keep their pre-Islamic beliefs and practices.
Pre-Islamic customary law was more important in regulating social interaction than Islamic law was.
Women in the Middle East and India had a different position within the family and society.
Small-scale female buyers and sellers dominated trading in local and regional markets.
Despite its tendency to promote male dominance and descent, the female line continued to be traced through western Sumatra after the coming of Islam.
Pre- Muslim religious beliefs and rituals were incorporated into Muslim ceremonies.
The brilliant Javanese puppet shadow plays that were based on the Indian epics of the brahmanic age were refined and became even more central to popular and elite beliefs and practices than they had been in the pre- Muslim era.
The rise, extension, and transformation of civilization in the Afro-Asian world can be traced back to the spread of Islam.
The Muslim peoples would be put at a disadvantage as the Arab trading networks expanded into new areas.
It enriched the lives of nomadic peoples, from the lim divisions left openings for political expansion that the Turks and Mongols of central Asia would eagerly exploit, beginning with the island southeast and the camel herders of the savanna.
The Asian part of the Islamic world moved across India.
As civilized life became more refined, the orthodoxy and intolerance of many of the Ulama increased.
From its great cities as the Muslim belief that the vast Islamic world contained al require and universities and the generated accomplishments in the fine arts, caused Muslim peoples to grow less recep sciences and literature.
Islam pioneered patterns of organization and thinking when their Christian affect the development of human societies in major ways for their rivals were entering a period of unprecedented curiosity.