Influence Of Islam On Indian Civilization - Medieval Indian History

Influence Of Islam On Indian Civilization

Historians discuss about the reaction of Turkish conquest and spread of Islamic civilization in India.

Synergistic Indian Civilization

Indian civilization is predominantly syncretistic. Indian civilization has shown in the past the ability to adopt the new as its own and give it an Indian character.

Identity Of Islam

When Islam came to India it brought its own ideology, philosophy, social organization. Due to this individuality of Islam, it could not easily assimilate with the prevailing culture of India. Along with Indian Hindu culture, Islam stands with its own characteristics.

Aspect of Indian Civilization Influence of Islam
Religion Spread of Islam in India led to the creation of a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu culture
Language and Literature Arabic and Persian became the languages of literature, and Indian literature was enriched by the inclusion of Islamic literary forms and themes
Art and Architecture Islamic influence led to the development of new architectural styles, such as the Indo-Islamic style, and the fusion of Indian and Islamic decorative motifs and designs
Education and Science Islamic scholarship and scientific knowledge were introduced to India, and Islamic institutions of learning were established, leading to the development of a rich tradition of education and scholarship

Exchange And Exchange Between Hindu And Muslim Cultures

  • (1) Prolonged residence led to the disappearance of initial intolerance and exchange between the two communities. After the Muslim conquerors got over their initial ferocity, they realized the real truth.
  • (2) The Sultans realized that they had to live with the non-Muslim majority of India. The non-Muslims realized that it would not do them any good to separate themselves from the ruling Muslims. As this attitude grows, exchanges between the two civilizations increase.

Hindu And Muslim Culture

As Indian culture was advanced, Islamic culture was no less advanced. Arabo-Persian culture reached its peak when the Turks conquered India. The Turks carried it to India. The gradual integration of these two cultures made Indian culture richer.

Assimilation Process

It is true that there were some orthodox conservatives in both communities who wanted to keep their religion and community within narrow limits. But along with that, mutual understanding continues. This process of assimilation can be observed in art-literature-architecture, social rituals.

Respect For Indian Literature, Religious Thought

Many liberal Muslim rulers showed respect for Indian literature, religious thought. Many Muslim saints preached the principle of religious tolerance. Muslim scholars showed interest in Indian language, literature and science. Many Hindus wrote literature in Persian.

Coordination Policy Of Husain Shahi Dynasty Of Bengal

  • (1) The Muslim Sultan Hussain Shah and Nasrat Shah of Bengal viewed both the Hindu-Muslim communities as equals. Many high officials of these two Sultans were Hindus. Hussain Shah had respect for Sri Chaitanya, the preacher of Vaishnava religion.
  • (2) It was during his period that Vaishnavism spread in Bengal. Hussain Shah and his son arranged for the Mahabharata to be written in Bengali. Satyapir Puja paved the way for Hindu-Muslim unity.

Zainal Abedin's coordination policy in Kashmir
Sultan Zainal Abedin of Kashmir was Akbar of Kashmir. His liberal and tolerant policies paved the way for Hindu-Muslim unity. It was through his efforts that books like Mahabharata, Rajatarangini etc. were translated into Persian and Hindi translations of valuable Persian books were published. He abolished the jizya tax.

India's Ideology Is The Promotion Of Arab Countries

Hinduism, philosophy and Indian lore were known to the Islamic world before the arrival of the Turks in India. Arab tourists came to India and propagated the Indian ideology in Arab countries. Albiruni's work Tahqiq-i-Hind was read by the learned people of West Asia to know about India.

Influence Of Greek And Indian Philosophy

  • (1) Indian Yogis were not unknown in West Asia. Many believe that Islam was influenced by Greek and Indian philosophies early in its development. But it is not possible to say anything definitely about this.
  • (2) According to some scholars, the Sufis adopted early Hindu yoga practices, certain rituals. But there is no doubt that Sufism was basically founded on the principles of Islam.

Bhakti Dharma

  • (1) Sufi saints, dervishes preached the message of religious harmony. Sheikh Nizamuddin Awliya was such a liberal saint. He was respected by all classes, Hindus and Muslims. His dargah became a place of pilgrimage for all classes.
  • (2) Sufi saints lay more emphasis on the underlying doctrines of Islam. This theory is that “Allah” or God is one, everything in the world is part of His mercy. Sufi ideologues emphasized the observance of the core principles of the religion rather than the external behavior of Islam.
  • (3) Sufi saints lived ascetic lives as monks and preached devotion to God as the path to liberation. Sufism is believed to have had a special influence on Hindu devotionalism.

Exchange Between Hindu And Muslim Scholars

  • (1) Many Muslim scholars wrote works on Hindu philosophy and theology. They propagated the doctrine of devotionalism in Islam. They were attracted to Hindu astronomy, mathematics, herbalism, botany.
  • (2) Hindu scholars were also attracted to Islamic devotionalism, medicine, astronomy. Firoz Shah Tughlaq translated all the Sanskrit books from the temple of Jalamukhi into Persian and published them as Dalail-e-Firoz Shahi.

Synthesis Of Literature

  • (1) There was a close exchange between the two civilizations in the field of literature. Amir Khusru, a poet of the Sultanate period, was a proponent of the principle of harmony in literature. Although he composed his major works in Persian, his writing style, bhava was distinctly Indian.
  • (2) He Indianized Persian language. Amir Khusrui was the first to adopt the word Hindi in his writings. Amir Khusru was born in Patiali in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh in 1252 AD. He was proud to consider himself an Indian.

Comment by Amir Khosroo

Amir Khusrau said that, “I praise my native land for two reasons, namely, this country is my homeland, which I love; This country is like heaven. The climate of this country is much better than that of Khorasan, and it is surrounded by greenery. Every Brahmin in this country is a scholar like Aristotle. The wise men of this country have left their mark of genius in various fields.”

Synthesis Of Thought And Culture

  • (1) As the Turkish ruling class also started to think of this country as their own country, they loved many things of this country. Thus begins the fusion of thought and culture.
  • (2) The fifteenth century saint Belgrami Ishwar Ek preached this view. Zaban-e-Hindvi or Urdu language originated from combination of Persian, Turkish and Hindi languages. Apart from Persian, Amir Khusru wrote some poems in Hindi as well.

Amir Khusru And Sheikh Nizamuddin

Khusrau was an ardent devotee of the Sufi saint Sheikh Nizamuddin Awliya. He used to attend religious congregational music (sama) organized by Nizamuddin. There is a legend that poet Amir Khusro died on the same day as Nizamuddin Awliya.

Respect For Culture

  • (1) Sanskrit was also respected during the Sultanate period. Many Sanskrit texts, annotations were composed during the Sultanate period. Sanskrit and Persian were the two languages ​​of communication during this period. Zia Naqsabi translated the story of the Sanskrit Panchatantra into Persian as Atinama (1350 AD).
  • (2) Gradually the story of this parrot reached Europe. Sultan Zainal Abedin of Kashmir translated the Mahabharata into Persian. The writing of Mahabharata in Bengal was encouraged during the reign of Sultan Hussain Shah of Bengal.

Hindu-muslim Music Genre

  • (1) In the field of music, a profound fusion of Hindu and Muslim musical genres is seen in the Sultanate period. As India had a high tradition of music, Arabs and Turks also brought their musical traditions to India. They brought musical instruments like Rarab, Sarengi etc. to India. These instruments are now integral accompaniments of Indian classical music.
  • (2) Sultan Hussain Shah Sharqi of Jaunpur showed particular enthusiasm for the combination of both genres of music. This resulted in the emergence of a new raga-ragini in Indian music. During the reign of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the Hindu Sangeet text Raga Darshan was translated into Persian.
  • (3) In the khanqahs of the Sufi clerics there is a deep blending of both genres of devotional music. Amir Khosrow was a music jeweler. He gave Indian form to Central Asian ragas like Eman, Sanam, Ghor etc. He is considered by many to be the inventor of the sitar musical instrument.


The fusion of Hindu-Muslim culture is especially visible in the field of architecture and sculpture. Persian and Saracenic art styles were combined with Hindu and Buddhist art styles. As a result, arches were created in the mosques of Gaur, Pandua in the style of the Chala houses of Bengal. Again, in Hindu temples, the custom of making the top in the form of a dome is common.

(FAQ) Questions About The Influence Of Islam In Indian Civilization

1. Vaishnav religion preached who?

  • Sri Chaitanya.
2. Akbar of Kashmir is called who?
  • Zainal Abedin.
3. Who is the founder of Hussain Shahi dynasty in Bengal?
  • Alauddin Hussain Shah.
4. Who is the inventor of the sitar musical instrument?
  • Amir Khusru.

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