Impact of Islam on Hinduism
Muslims and Islam started reaching India in 7th Century alone. They first reached Malabar as traders. This was during the life time of the prophet.The local Moplas converted themselves and adopted Islam religion. It was a peaceful conversion.
Muslim reached Sindh as invaders in early eighth century. They established their reign in Sindh and could not proceed beyond that for next four hundred years.
There has been certain perception that Adi Shankaracharya started preaching “Advaitwad” and “Ekeshwarwad” under the influence of Islam. This perception has been created by authors viz., Humayun Kabir, Dr Abid Hussain and certain others of their ilk. This is as naïve or misleading as it could be.It takes birth in a premise that “Advaitwad” and “Ekeshwarwad” were unknown to Hinduism before Shankar. Whereas the tradition of “Adwaitwad” is as old as Rig Veda. It is found in the Nasadiya treaty in Rigveda.
This is true that Adi Shankaracharya was born in 8th Century and at that time Hinduism was being practiced as a polytheist religion.Alongwith this is also a fact that Shankars immediate Gurus and neighbourhood were Buddhist. If anything than it was the Buddhist Voidism or Shunyavad the guiding or influencing factor in the concept of Shankarachary’s propounding the theory of “Advaitwad”.
It is an absolutely misconceived perception that Islam had anything to do with the “Advaitwad” of Shankar. The “Advaitwad” of Shankar and the monism of Islam are very different. The “Advaitwad” says there is absence of a SECOND where as Islam believes in Monism.
Yes the Varna Bhed in India did get diluted because of Islamic influence. All our preachers viz.,Tulasi Das had accepted the “ Cast distinction”. The Buddhist and Jain influence had certainly caused dilution in the Varna bhed. Islam also added its own weight behind it. First time Preachers viz., Saint Ramanujam took low cast Hindus and Muslims in their fold and accepted them as their desciples.
There is another aspect to the deliberation. Islam unlike other religions does not have any philosophy behind it. It is a religion of simple do's and donts. It is a religion for ordinary ribal folks and not thinkers or philosophers. It does not allow any research or analytical study. Certainly it is very difficult for a religion without philosophy to influence others.
Yes the Muslim sufi sect could had been influenced by Hinduism. The slogan “Anal Haq”is very similar to “Aham Brhmashmi”.But then it may be an incorrect analysis.. Mysticism is always a part of all religious movements. Maybe it surfaced amongst Sufis naturally.
The continued interaction of Sufis and Hindus did bring a fresh approach in Hinduism. The casteism received a big blow. Idol worship became less important.
Yes Islam did effect Hindus in a big way though not Hinduism (in a big way).
Widespread conversions, rise of Sikhism, accepting subjugation to violence were the perceptible and exceedingly visible impact of Muslims on Hindus. As common amongst all defeated nationals Hindus started miming their rulers behavior.Muslims are comfortable in their behaviour but extremely fundamentalists in thier percept.They would never accept that any other religion can even come close to Islam,.Hindus are opposite. They are very open and amenable at their thought level.A Muslim would not have any qualms in breaking bread with a Hindu, whereas HIndus are extremelu liberal at thought level. They are eager to accept Sarva Dharma Sambhav. Yet would be extremely hesistant to break bread with a non hindu.
Aur fir kabhi.