Early Settlement and Growth of Muslim Population in India Essay

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Early Settlement and Growth of Muslim Population in India

As a result of the conquest of Sind, several Arab Muslim families, mostly from Iraq, settled in Sind and Multan. This was perhaps the first settlement of the Muslims in north-western India and the beginning of their contract with the Hindus in this area.

However, the Muslims who settle in the south were merchants, sailors and travelers and their relation with the Indians was friendly and peaceful. Thus the two contacts were different – one was commercial and peaceful and the other was military and conflictive.

Muslims population in India grew due to three causes:

  • conquest,
  • immigration and
  • conversion.

The inter-marriage of Muslims settlers with the indigenous women promoted close social relations. The off-spring of such marriages and the converted Hindus – formed the Indian Muslim community. The Hindu rulers of the south were so tolerant that they had permitted the Muslims to preach and propagate Islam.

Slowly and gradually learned Muslims, Sufi saints, scholars, poets, painters, architects, scientists, artisans and craftsmen began to migrate to India. Most of them hailed from Persia, Afghanistan, West Asia, Central Asia and East Africa. This migration reached the high water mark during the Mughal period because the emigrants were assured of immediate employment at the capital. These non-Indian Muslims formed a cultured literate class of the Indian society. Except in the case of Afghanistan this migration was slow and on a small scale and there was no large-scale colonization of India by the Muslims.

The Muslims rulers of India and the emigrants left their country for ever and made India their permanent home like the Dravidians and the Aryans before them. They had genuine love for India and respect for its people. The general body of the Indian Muslims identified themselves completely with India and the Turko-Afghan Muslims became an important and integral part of the north Indian society.

The educated foreign Muslim lives in towns and urban area and they were mostly soldiers, administrators and state officials or revenue collectors. The settlement of the Muslims in India gave impetus to the process of urbanization of the country due to the very nature of the social system of Islam. The urban centers developed by the Muslims in India again opened avenues for mass contacts between Hindus and Muslims.

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