Caste and other factors which checked the Islamization of India – K. S. Lal

Indian Muslims Cover“Now, if the components of growth of Muslim population were many, Muslim losses comparatively few, and fecundity among them high, the problem that needs investigation is why Muslims have remained a minority in this country and why India, unlike many other countries in the medieval period, could not be completely converted to Islam.” – Prof. K.S. Lal

Vastness of the Country

The vastness of the country and its natural and political division into regions and kingdoms made the task of its complete subjugation and conversion extremely difficult. In fact throughout the medieval period at no time was the whole of India under direct Muslim rule. Even in the regions where Muslim rule was firmly established it was thought expedient to leave the countryside alone. Victories provided the Muslim ruling class the luxuries of the city cultured life, and their interest in rural areas remained confined merely to the collection of land revenue. In the words of Kingsley Davis, “although there were mass conversions, the country was too vast, the invaders too few, and the volume of immigration too small to change the social complex.” India, therefore, never became a Muslim nation, but remained simply a Hindu country in which Muslims were numerous”.[1] Henry Blochmann puts it more explicitly. He writes: “The invaders were few and the country was too large and too populous. The waves of immigration from Turan were few and far between, and deposited on Indian soil adventurers, warriors, and learned men, rather than artisans and colonists. Hence the Muhammadans depended upon the Hindoos for labour of every kind, from architecture down to agriculture and the supply of servants. Many branches they had to learn from the Hindoos, as, for example, the cultivation of indigeneous produce, irrigation, coinage, medicine, the building of houses, and weaving of stuffs suitable for the climate, the management of elephants, and so forth.”[2]

KabirHindu “Protestant” Movement

Another reason for India remaining a Hindu majority country was the resistance of the people to conversion to Islam. Before the advent of Islam India had seen the birth and growth of many religions and sects like Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Buddhism, Shankara’s neo-Hinduism, etc. People had freely “converted”, “reconverted” and at times conformed to more than one religious belief at one and the same time. For all this was a matter of conviction brought about by peaceful methods.

But the Hindus could not have liked being converted by conquerors and rulers by force. In fact, as seen in Sindh after the return of Muhammad bin Qasim and in Karnataka after the death of Tipu Sultan, many Hindus, who were converted to Islam, returned to their former faith on the first opportunity. Harihar and Bukka, converted to Islam by Muhammad bin Tughlaq, reverted to Hinduism and founded the kingdom of Vijayanagar to resist the expansion of Muslim power in the South. Although any return of converts to the Hindu fold was frowned upon by the Muslim rulers, and some Brahmins encouraging converts to return to Hinduism were put to death by Firoz Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi,[3] yet there did exist some mechanism which facilitated return of converted Hindus back into their old religion. Else, with what actually happened in medieval times, Hindus would have been completely submerged under the onslaught of unmitigated proselytization. The Hindus did not believe in converting others to their faith, but the tenacity of the Hindu social order “lapped away at any intrusive system as the sea laps away at a sand bank.”[4] Yet in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in particular there were conversions on such large scale throughout the country, that for once “the bleeding soul of the Hindus” rose in revolt.[5] The Bhakti saints were the leaders of the Hindu “protestant” movement.[6]

Garib DasIt must be said at the outset that there is no recorded evidence to show that the Bhakti saints of the fifteenth century made any deliberate attempt to put a stop to conversions to Islam, or to reconvert people to Hinduism. Still there is good deal of circumstantial evidence to show that their reform movement did help check Muslim proselytizing activity. It is significant that the socio-religious reformers associated with the Bhakti movement of the fifteenth century were all Hindus. There is some doubt about Kabir’s parentage, but then, “the whole background of Kabir’s thought is Hindu.[7] Indeed Kamal, the son of Kabir, who “probably had greater leaning towards Islamic ways of thinking,” is remembered in the Adigrantha by the disparaging line: “the family of Kabir foundered when Kamal the son was born”.[8]

A striking feature of the Bhakti movement was that it gave to the backward class Hindus a respectable position in the society. Indeed some of the leaders of this movement like Sain, Raidas, and Dhanna belonged to the lowest classes of Hindu social order. Because of this “revolution” in which the lowest classes of people, even the untouchables, had not only got an equal status with the highest, but were even revered as saints,[9] there could have been no incentive for the low classes of people to renounce their faith, if they ever had any before “because of Hindu tyranny,” and go over to Islam. As Aziz Ahmad puts it, “like other Bhakti poets his (Kabir’s) denunciation of the caste-system was as much an inspiration of Muslim example as a response to its pull of conversion.”[10] When Kabir denounced caste and ritual of the Hindus, he also denounced the superstitions and rituals of the Muslims: or, conversely, the idea is best expressed in the words of his disciple Naudhan (whom Sikandar Lodi executed): Islam was true, but his own religion was also true.[11] This was an open challenge to Muslim propagandism and proselytization. No wonder that Bhakti reformers were disliked by some Sufi Mashaikh, who looked upon them as competitors.[12] For, under the influence of these saints many Muslims were converted to Bhakti Hinduism. Namdeva,[13] Ramdas, Eknath, Ramanand, Kabir, Nanak and Chaitanya and several other saints had Muslim disciples, many of whom converted to the Hindu Bhakti cult. Chaitanya openly converted Muslims to Bhakti Hinduism.[14] The Bhaktamala relates many instances of conversions that Pipa effected.

Dara Shikoh's bookThe effects of the mission of the socio-religious reformers with regard to conversion of people to Hinduism were significant. They themselves had adhered to peaceful methods but not their followers in later years. Kabir’s disciples spread out throughout North India and the Deccan. Jiwan Das was the founder of the Satnami sect which took up arms against the Mughals. The Sikh disciples of Nanak’s successor Gurus, for varied reasons, fought against the Mughals and many times converted people by force. So did the Marathas. Manucci and Khafi Khan both affirm that the Marathas used to capture Muslim women “because (adds Manucci) the Mahomedans had interfered with Hindu women in (their) territories.”[15] Chaitanya’s influence in Bengal as of Nanak in the Punjab is still great. According to Abdul Majid Khan it is because of Chaitanya’s influence that large-scale conversions to Hinduism took place at the end of the eighteenth and beginning of nineteenth century.[16]

Thus whether it was their motive or mission or not, the work of the Bhakti reformers helped in checking conversions to Islam and reclaiming many converted Hindus back to their former faith.

Mayan caste systemCaste System

The Caste System also contributed its mite to the preservation of Hindu social order, indirectly checking proselytization. Some modem writers think that it was the degraded status of low caste Hindus and the social democracy of Islam that were responsible for large-scale conversions to Muhammadanism in medieval times. Many others give the caste system all the credit for saving India from becoming Islamised.

But neither caste was so oppressive nor Muslim society so democratic. Within the framework of the caste system some sort of vertical and horizontal mobility was always permitted. There was also a sense of pride in belonging to one’s caste whether high or low. However, for any error caste did not fail to punish, and sometimes even ostracized the delinquent whether or not the act of omission or commission was due to his own fault. In a few such cases conversion was a welcome way out. Therefore some conversions would have taken place because of the rigid caste rules although contemporary accounts are silent on this point. On the contrary this very rigidity served as a bulwark against proselytization and to this contemporary accounts bear witness. To the majority caste was synonymous with religion, and so there was a general reluctance and often resistance to conversion to Islam both by the high and the low caste Hindus.

Let us study the case of the lowest classes first. Alberuni writes at length on the caste system. About the lowest castes, or the so low as to be casteless, he has this to say:

Alberuni“After the Sudra follow the people called Antyaja, who render various kinds of services, who are not reckoned amongst any caste, but only as members of certain craft or profession. There are eight classes of them, who freely intermarry with each other, except the fuller, shoemaker, and weaver, for no others would condescend to have anything to do with them. These eight guilds are the fuller, shoemaker, juggler, the basket and shield maker, the sailor, the fisherman, the hunter of wild animals and of birds, and the weaver. These guilds live near the villages and towns, but outside them.

“The people called Hadi, Doma (Domba), Candala, and Badhatau (sic) are not reckoned amongst any caste or guild. They are occupied with dirty work, like the cleaning of the villages and other services. They are considered one sole class, and distinguished only by their occupations. They are considered like illegitimate children: they are degraded out castes.

“Of the classes beneath the castes, the Hadi are the best spoken of, because they keep themselves from everything unclean, the Doma play on the flute and sing. The still lower classes practice as a trade killing and the inflicting of judicial punishments…”[17]

Vis-a-vis Alberuni’s list of backward castes in the medieval period, is the Table 18 of backward castes in modern times prepared on the basis of U.P. Census Report of 1931:

The Table clearly shows that most of the lowest castes included in Alberuni’s list from Chamar downwards have not only continued to remain Hindu, but, even their caste subdivisions have multiplied. Alberuni has been quoted at length, not because his study of the caste-structure in India is precise, but because he provides the clue to the non-conversion of low caste Hindus to Islam. His notice shows that (a) the caste-system denied equality to the low classes, (b) that it was based on craft or profession, and (c) that it was hierarchical.

Table Showing Some Hindu Low Castes of U.P.[18]

Castes Per cent of caste Members adhering to Hindu Religion  Per cent of each caste
in Total Religious Membership
Chamar 99.7 15.1
Ahir 97.7 9.4
Kurmi 99.7 4.2
Pasi 100.0 3.5
Kahar 99.1 2.8
Lodh 99.7 2.6
Gadariya 99.6 2.4
Kori 99.9 2.2
Kumhar 98.7 1.9
Teli 74.8 1.8
Kachi 99.9 1.7

Caste-system was bad, but it had two redeeming features. One was that since the low classes were “distinguished only by their occupations” and they intermarried, there was occupational and vocational mobility and also perhaps some sort of social Sanskritization. Another is that it had (and has) an hierchical structure, and even low caste people feel proud of being superior to some other lower castes. Thus a Teli feels himself superior to an Ahir. an Ahir to a Chamar, a Kahar to a Pasi, and so on. In Bengal, the land of mass conversions, caste pride among low caste Hindus was as pronounced as elsewhere. About the Dom, sometimes also called Chandala, H.H. Risley says that he will eat the leavings of others, but “no Dom will touch the leavings of a Dhobi, nor will he take water or any sort of food or drink from a man of that caste. Pods or Chasi, a fishing, cultivating and landholding caste of lower Bengal will eat the leavings of Brahman, but Vaishnava Pods abstain from all kinds of flesh. Rajbansi, a synonym for Koch, wear sacred thread in Bihar.”[19]

Doms manIn fact the lower class people are more particular about “caste preservation” than even the higher caste ones, and “the Hadi” keep themselves free from everything unclean. A significant point to note is that even the lowest classes had an importance of their own in Hindu society. In Hindu marriage, for example, the cooperation and services of Nai, Dhobi, Kumhar, Kahar etc. were and are as important as that of the Brahmin Purohit. The higher castes depended as much on the lower as the lower on the higher. All castes and non-castes were an essential part of the Hindu social and economic order. Therefore, and in spite of the discrimination, low caste people have been as unwilling to convert as the high. That is how most of Alberuni’s Antyaja, as the Census Table above shows, have not converted – the fuller (Dhobi), shoemaker (Chamar), Juggler (Nat), Fisherman (Kachhi, Macchua), hunters and bird catchers (Gadariya), Doma (basket-maker, street dancer, singer). That there are, about 60 million “untouchable” Hindus to-day is the greatest proof of their ancestors’ unwillingness to convert in medieval times.

There is also recorded contemporary evidence of the unwillingness of the backward people to voluntarily convert to Islam. Mahmud of Ghazni used to convert people by force, but his contemporary Alberuni (eleventh century) nowhere mentions voluntary conversions of Hindus. Writing about the backward class Hindus called Govis (now called Paraiyar) Marco Polo (thirteenth century) says: “Nothing on earth would induce them to enter the place where Messer St. Thomas is – I mean where his body lies. Indeed, were even twenty or thirty men to lay hold of these Govis and to try to hold them in the place where the Body of the Blessed Apostle of Jesus Christ lies buried they could not do it.”[20] This is the testimony about the South. About North, Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya (fourteenth century) at many places admits that Hindus “do not embrace Islam”, and that “the heart of these people is not changed through sermons.”[21] In the seventeenth century Manucci wrote that the backward caste people were proud of their caste and were reluctant to convert.[22] Caste gave them freedom and dignity of the kind which no other system did.

Amir Khusro & Nizamuddin AuliyaIn short, contemporary evidence does not speak of low caste as a factor contributing to conversions to Islam. The presence of a large number of vocational groups among Muslims is due to the fact, mentioned earlier, that Muslim regime and society provided people with new avenues of employment. Those who lacked resources of self-defence during war or those who could not make both ends meet without a change of religion, converted. Among these surely the people of low caste predominated. But caste system as such had little to contribute to conversions.

Conversions of high caste Hindus were also few. Hindu religion and philosophy were ancient, vast and deep, and Hindu intellectuals. intelligentsia and high castes were proud, as Alberuni points out, of a highly developed philosophy of their own. He writes that “The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no king like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs.”[23] It was no easy matter to induce such people to convert.[24] It is true that prospects of employment under Muslim government would have provided some incentive for conversion even to high caste people, and a few instances of conversion for acquiring economic and status benefits are on record.[25] But in the early medieval period job opportunities being limited and high offices being monopolised by Turks or Muslims of foreign extraction, infiltration of and competition by Hindu converts in government service was resented. Cases of Imad-ud-din Rahyan, Nasiruddin Khusrau and Ain-ul-Mulk Multani are instances in point. They are referred to with contempt by the Turkish ruling class. Minhaj Jurjani asserts, rather bluntly, that “Turks of pure lineage and Tajiks of noble birth could not tolerate (Imad-ud-din of) the tribes of Hind to rule over them.”[26] Thus the attitude of the foreign-extraction Muslims repeatedly expressed in the diatribe of Muslim chroniclers who usually call them “low born” would have discouraged Hindus to convert even for the allurement of jobs.

Niccolao ManuccIn the Mughal period Hindus began to be appointed to high posts but for getting these there was no need to convert. Power sharing by the Mughals was not due to liberal Islam. It was prompted by exigencies of the situation, and in the power-equation conversion stood ruled out. Manucci states that under Aurangzeb three Rajas embraced Islam against promises and temptations offered by the emperor, but later they regretted their conversion and remained unhappy[27] because Hindu converts to Islam commanded little respect.[28] Needless to add that lower Hindu castes could not get equality with the other Muslims in the “democratic” Muslim social order. They carried their caste and social status with them even after their conversion and high class Muslims would not mix or even eat with them if modern practices are any indication for the medieval.[29]

From the modem census figures it appears that not many high caste people voluntarily converted to Islam in medieval times. Bohras, Khojas, Ismailis and Mopilahs were, by and large, converted by peaceful methods from high caste Hindus except perhaps the Mopilahs. But their statistics in modem times show how small their numbers would have been in medieval. According to the census of 1921 there were about 5 million Shias; a little over one million Mopilahs; 382,000 Labbes; 153,363 Bohras; and 146,000 Khojas in India (now India and Pakistan).[30] Keeping in view the patronage Persian officers had in Muslim courts in India, it is certain that a good number would have come from outside in the medieval period. But even with local converts and with centuries of growth in numbers their small figures in modem times point only to a few voluntary conversions in medieval times. The 1931 Census Report of U.P. presents the following picture of Muslim and Hindu high castes.[31]

Table Showing High Castes of Hindus and Muslims

 Castes Per cent of Members Caste Per cent of Total Religious Membership falling in each caste.
Muslim Castes    
Shaikh 100.0 ?
Saiyyad 100.0 4.2
Mughal 100.0 0.8
Pathan 100.0 21.4
Rajputs 4.4 2.2
Hindu Castes    
Brahman 99.4 10.9
Rajput 94.2 8.5
Vaishya 92.7 2.8

It is probable that not all high caste Muslims are of foreign extraction, but the percentage of high caste Hindus clearly indicates that their ancestors were disinclined to convert in medieval times so as to bring out the above picture in modem times.

Akbar the GreatAkbar’s Regulations

It has been seen in the earlier chapter that the largest number of converts were obtained during wars through enslavement. Many people embraced Islam to escape death; and captive women and children “used to be converted to Islam.”[32] But early in his reign (1562) The Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605) abolished the custom of enslaving helpless people in times of war.[33] These humanitarian but revolutionary steps would have put a check on large-scale conversions. Akbar did not give any economic inducements for conversion. On the contrary he removed all modes of economic pressure which sometimes led to conversions. He abolished the Jiziyah in 1564. Firoz Tughlaq is witness to the fact that its strict enforcement brought many converts to Islam. Akbar was determined to see this tax go, and probably finding that it still lingered in some places issued, in 1579, another declaration reiterating its abolition.[34] Earlier in 1563 he had abolished the Pilgrim Tax on the Hindus.[35]

Thus in Akbar’s time, because of the above mentioned and several other similar measures, conversions to Islam by force, through enslavement, or economic pressure, seem to have been restricted. Even the Mullahs and Mashaikh could not have received any encouragement from the government for the work of proselytization. The hope “of obtaining mawajib and ghanaim” (rewards and booty) was perhaps still there, but for this conversion was not necessary as posts were thrown open to all without prejudice to religion or creed. Besides the effect on Muslim numbers of the conversions that might still have taken place, was offset by Akbar’s order permitting such Hindus as had been forcibly converted to Islam to reconvert to their original faith.[36] All restrictions on Hindu worship and building of temples were also lifted.[37] Although contemporary accounts are silent as to the numbers that went back to Hinduism as a result of this permission; yet the facts that Jahangir severely punished those who adopted Hinduism of their own free will, Shahjahan once again made apostasy from Islam a capital crime, and Aurangzeb did his best at Muslim proselytization, show that people were taking advantage of Akbar’s order. Probably Akbar had only removed obstructions in a practice which was probably always prevalent, but his measures removed pressure on the Hindus to embrace Islam. Obviously conversions should have become rather scarce.

Francis XavierChristian Missionaries

The arrival of Christian missionaries also helped check Muslim proselytization. Vasco da Gama landed in India in 1498. In 1510 the Portuguese captured Goa, in 1531 Diu, and in 1534 Daman. In the triumphal entry into Goa, “the clergymen were at the head of the procession.”[38] Muslim proselytizing activity not only received a check but a challenge at the hands of these Christian missionaries.

It is exceedingly interesting to note that the agencies of conversion to the Semitic religions, Islam and Christianity, were, the same – inter-communal marriages, force and enslavement, and missionary endeavour. Portuguese missionary activity was well organised and quite effective. In Goa, Albuquerque encouraged his soldiers to marry in the families of Turkish officers.[39] To promote mixed marriages, Portuguese with Indian wives as well as neo-converts, were treated as a privileged class for appointment to petty offices.[40] Force was also openly used for obtaining converts.[41] In 1560, the year the Inquisition was set up, 13,092 Hindus were forcibly converted. In 1578, the “missionaries pulled down 350 temples and converted 100,000 people.”[42] Similar, and in some cases worse, treatment was meted out to Muhammadans. Consequently by 1583 Goa had by and large become Christian, while Salsette had a Christian population of 8,000. After Goa, Cochin was the next mission centre. By 1570 there were more than twenty-five Christian stations in Travancore and about 15,000 converts. In 1600 Mission Centres in Travancore had risen to fifty. Converts on the Fishery Coast alone are estimated from 90,000 to 130,000.[43] Christian Missions made successful efforts in converting low caste people. Appreciative of the attitude of the Indian people, Henrique advised Loyola: “It is better in India to baptize all those of one caste than different individuals taken from various castes.”[44]

In times of famine they bought children, and even men and women, and sold them at high prices, but “Portuguese under pain of severe punishments, are forbidden to sell heathen slaves to Muslims, since heathens are converted more easily to Christianity under Portuguese and to Islam under Muslim ownership.”[45]

The capture of Goa by the Portuguese was facilitated by Hindu cooperation. Some Hindu chiefs of Goa invited Albuquerque to help them relieve “the Hindu population from the fanatical oppression of Adil Shah‘s governor at Goa.[46] In the Vijayanagar empire relations were generally good between Hindus and Christians, who were united if for no other reason, by the common hostility to Muslim.[47] All this facilitated Christian missionary activity in the South. In the North, the Mughal Emperor Akbar invited Portuguese missions and permitted Jesuit Fathers to convert people to Christianity. They had their Mission Centres in as important places as Lahore, Delhi, and Agra.[48]

It hardly need be asserted that wherever the Portuguese went, the Muslim proselytizing endeavour received a severe blow. Muslim numbers even were depleted. Barbosa gives a graphic account of Rander in Gujarat with its rich Muslim merchants, their high style of living, and their richly decorated mansions. Danvers narrates its destruction by the Portuguese. Muslim trade and population were so adversely affected by arrival of the Portuguese that Barbosa laconically comments: “Now (the Muslims that) there are do not live independently.”[49] What Barbosa says about Malabar, may be said about India as a whole. Barbosa contends that the coming of Portuguese alone prevented Malabar from becoming a Moorish state.[50] It may as well be said that the coming of European nations and the establishment of British rule prevented India from becoming a Muslim land.

AurangzebMuslim Cult of Violence

It was not only because of Hindu and Christian attitudes and actions that rise of Muslim population received a check; aggression and violence which was their natural trait even remained directed against themselves too. Of the ten Sultans of the so-called Slave Dynasty (1206-1290), at least six were deposed, poisoned or murdered. In each such case many Muslim lives were lost. Many dynasties changed during the Sultanate period. With every change of dynasty, scions of Muslim royalty, nobility and commoners were killed with abandon. The Khalji royal family was completely liquidated in 1320. The princes and slaves of the Tughlaqs were systematically massacred after the death of Firoz Tughlaq in 1388. Sword was the ultimate arbiter in Muslim political life. Writing about the warfare among the states into which Bahmani kingdom had been divided, Nuniz says: “There is little faith among the Moors and they bite one another like dogs, and like to see one after the other destroyed.”[51] Mughal princes rebelled and more often than not fought pitched battles with parents. Shahjahan waded through blood to the throne. Aurangzeb killed all his brothers with great loss of Muslim lives. After his death in 1707, centrifugal forces were let loose in northern India. The Mughal princes got busy in wars of succession, and in one battle alone, fought between Shah Alam and Azam Tara, “one hundred and eighty thousand horsemen lay dead,” without speaking of the “infantry or the elephants.”[52] Too much violence and aggressiveness on the part of the Muslims turned out to be a death-wish. As if killings among themselves were not enough, they invited the enmity of Jats, Sikhs and Marathas which resulted in great Muslim losses. They all directed their wrath against Delhi. “It is significant that the chief gateway of every Maratha fortress is Delhi Gate.”[53] Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali killed their co-religionists without compunction.

ZulfiqarThe surest evidence of the decline of Muslim population in the eighteenth century is to be found in the decline of the three capitals of the Muslim empire – Lahore, Delhi and Agra. Lahore was ever very populous. Monserrate and Finch had written about its large population late in the sixteenth century. According to Sujan Rai in the time of Shahjahan its population increased daily.[54]

To Bernier Delhi (in 1663) was as great as Paris in beauty, extent and inhabitants.[55] Sujan Rai enumerates people of almost all nationalities as living in Delhi.[56] Fatehpur Sikri had been gradually abandoned after 1585 and most of its inhabitants seem to have shifted to Agra, so that Coryat (1612-17) found it larger than Rome.

 Great MoghulManrique, who visited Agra in 1640, estimated its population at 660,000 inhabitants, “besides the large number of strangers who continually fill ninety caravanserais and other private houses.”[57] Thus the population of Agra rose from over two lakhs at the close of the sixteenth century to about seven lakhs by the middle of the seventeenth century. And this was the position after the plague of 1616-24 had earlier devastated the city. In the seventeenth century the population of Sikri-Agra-Sikandara had probably touched the million mark.[58]

But internal wars and external invasions, had a devastating effect on Muslim population. W. Franklin, who travelled through the major parts of northern India between 1793 and 1796,[59] and wrote an eye-witness account of Delhi, says that ever since the massacre of Nadir Shah, Delhi was “but very thinly populated.”

About the close of the eighteenth century, when he wrote, “the Bazars of Delhi are at present but indifferently furnished, and the population of late years miserably reduced.”[60] The population of the cities of the Punjab was decimated by the invasions of Abdali. No wonder that in the eighteenth century no foreign or Indian writer compares the population of prestigious Muslim cities with those of London, Paris, Rome, Constantinople or Cairo. – Excerpted from Indian Muslims: Who are They?, Voice of India, New Delhi

 Footnotes

  1. Davis, op. cit., p.191.
  2. Blochmann, “A Chapter from Muhammadan History” in The Calcutta Review, No. civ. 1871 cited in Bernier, p.40 n.
  3. Afif, op. cit., pp. 379-81. Dorn, Makhzan-i-Afghani, (London, 1829), pp.65-66. Ferishtah, op. cit., I, p.182. Also Lal, Twilight, op. cit., p.191.
  4. K. Davis, op. cit., p.195.
  5. Indian Heritage, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Vol. I (Bombay, 1955), p.227.
  6. Kabir declared: “I have come to save the devotees. I was sent here because the world was seen in misery.” Tara Chand, op. cit., pp.150-151.
  7. G.H. Westcott, Kabir and the Kabir Panth (Cawnpore, 1907), p.118. “The contrast,” observes Ahmad Shah, “of Kabir’s intimate Hindu thought, writings and ritual with the purely superficial knowledge of Moslem belief revealed in the Bijak is too striking to be ignored.” Ahmad Shah, Bijak of Kabir (Hamirpur, 1917), p.40.
  8. Tara Chand, op. cit., pp.182, 185.
  9. Ibid, pp.179, 181.
  10. Aziz Ahmad, op. cit., p.146.
  11. Dorn, History of the Afghans, I, 65; Ferishtah, I, 182.
  12. S.A.A. Rizvi, op. cit., pp.57-58.
  13. M.G. Ranade, Rise of the Maratha Power (Publications Division, Delhi, 1961), p.75.
  14. D.C. Sen, Chaitanya and His Age (Calcutta, 1922), p.14. Abdul Karim, op. cit., Social History of the Muslims in Bengal, pp.150, 202-204; M.T. Kennedy, The Chaitanya Movement (Calcutta, 1925), p.213. Tara Chand, op. cit., p.219; D.C. Sen, History of Bengali Literature, pp.228-29; Indian Heritage, op. cit., I. p.249.
  15. Manucci, op. cit., II, p.119; Khafi Khan, op. cit., II, pp.115-18.
  16. Abdul Majid Khan, Research about Muslim Aristocracy, op. cit., pp.23-25.
  17. Alberuni, op. cit., I, pp.101-102.
  18. Complied from the Census Report of India, 1931, Vol. 18 (United Provinces), Part 2.
  19. H.H. Risley. The Tribes and Castes of Bengal, Bengal Secretariat Press, (Calcutta, 1891).
  20. H. Yule and H. Cordier, Ser Marco Polo, 2 vols. (New York, 1903), II, p.341.
  21. Amir Hasan Sijzi, Fawaid-ul-Fuad (Delhi, 1865), pp. 150, 195-97.
  22. Manucci, op. cit., III, p.173. Also II, p.238.
  23. Alberuni, I, p.22.
  24. See the way of Raja Man Singh’s refusal to convert in M. Mujeeb, op. cit., p.360.
  25. Sadharan of Thaneshwar married his sister to Firoz Tughlaq, accompanied him to Delhi, and later became Wajahat-ul-Mulk (distinguished man of the State); Sikandar bin Muhammad, Mirat-i-Sikandari (Bombay, 1308 H), pp.5-8. Also S.C.Misra, Rise of Muslim Power in Gujarat, pp.137-39, and Mahdi Husain, Tughlaq Dynasty, p. 408.
  26. Minhaj, Raverty, op. cit., p .829
  27. Manucci, op. cit., II, p.436.
  28. Ibid., p.451.
  29. A.K. Nazmul Karim, “Muslim Social Classes in East Pakistan”, op. cit., pp.120-130,138-143; Also E.A. Gait, Census of India Report, 1901, VI, pp.439-442, and Ibid. II, p.544.
  30. Also Titus, op. cit., pp.40, 41, 87, 99, 103, 106.
  31. Adopted from the Table prepared by Kingsley Davis, op. cit., p.165, complied from Census of India Report, 1931, Vol.18 (United Provinces), part 2.
  32. S.R. Sharma, The Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, p.21.
  33. Du Jarric, Akbar and the Jesuits, pp.152-59. Oral orders for the abolition of this practice were given much earlier; See Du Jarric, pp. 28, 30, 67, 70, 87, 92.
  34. R.P. Tripathi, Some Aspects of Muslim Administration, p.318.
  35. Akbar Nama, II, p.190; Smith, op. cit., pp. 47-48.
  36. Badaoni, op. cit., 11, 317.
  37. Du Jarric. op. cit., p.75.
  38. R.P. Rao, Portuguese Rule in Goa, p.34.
  39. T.B. Cunha, Goa’s Freedom Struggle, p.11.
  40. Rao, op. cit., p.31.
  41. Ibid., p.42.
  42. Ibid., p.44.
  43. Lach, Asia in the Making of Europe, I, pp. 264, 265, 271.
  44. Henrique to Loyola from Bombay, October 31, 1548. J. Wicki (ed.) Documenta Indica (Rome, 1960), III, p.599, cited in Lach, I, p.443.
  45. Lach, I, pp.239,487.
  46. Rao, op. cit., p.29.
  47. Lach, op. cit., I, p.370, on the authority of Danvers.
  48. Smith, op. cit., pp.189-190, 209-210.
  49. Barbosa, op. cit., II, p.78.
  50. Ibid., p.74.
  51. Cited in Robert Sewell, A Forgotten Empire, Publication Division (Delhi, 1962), p.326; Also H.K. Sherwani, The Bahamanis of the Deccan (Hyderabad, n.d.) p.51.
  52. Manucci, op. cit., IV, p.403.
  53. C.H.I. IV, p.397.
  54. Sujan Rai, Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh, ed. Zafar Hasan (Delhi, 1918), p.81. Also Thevenot, Indian Travels of Thevenot and Careri, ed. S.N. Sen, (New Delhi, 1949). p.85, and Manucci, op. cit., II, p.186.
  55. Bernier, op. cit., p.282.
  56. Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh, op. cit., p.5.
  57. Manrique, op. cit., II, p.151.
  58. In comparison the population of London in 1593-95 was 152,479 and in 1666, 460, 000 (Ency. Brit. XI Ed., XVI, p.965). The population of Paris in 1590 has been estimated at 200,000 and under Louis XIV (d. 1715) at 492, 600 (Modern Cyclopaedia, London, 1901, VI, p.305.). Shahajahan probably transferred the capital to Delhi from Agra (1649) because of too much congestion in the latter. Arch. Sur. Rep. 1911-12, p.2, and contemporary authorities cited therein.
  59. W. Francklin, The History of the Reign of the Shah-Aulum, (Allahabad, 1915: First published 1798), Preface, p.i.
  60. Ibid., pp.199-200. 

2 Responses

  1. What has been preserved by our ancestors under such trying circumstances, is being frittered away by our secularised Hindus.This article should be mailed to them, especially to SP & BSP supporters in UP & Bihar.

  2. A thorough and timely excerpt from a book by a scholar

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