Islam in India

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Islam is the second largest religion in India, with 14.2% of the country's population or roughly 172 million people identifying as adherents of Islam.


  • Here I may add an interesting footnote to the sociological history of modern Muslim India and Pakistan. Almost every Muslim of any importance claimed, and still claims today, in his autobiography reminiscences, memoirs, journal and bio data, that his ancestors had come from Yemen, Hejaz, Central Asia, Iran, Ghazni, or some other foreign territory. In most cases, this is a false claim for its arithmetic reduces the hordes of local converts (to Islam) to an insignificant number. Actually, it is an aftermath and confirmation of Afghan and Mughal exclusiveness. It is also a declaration of disaffiliation from the soil on which the shammers have lived for centuries, and to which in all probability, they have belonged since history began. If all the Siddiquis, Qureshis, Faruqis, ... have foreign origins and their forefathers accompanied the invading armies, or followed them, what happens to the solemn averment that Islam spread peacefully in India? Are we expected to believe that local converts, whose number must have been formidable, were all nincompoops and the wretched of the earth—incapable over long centuries of producing any leaders, thinkers, or scholars?”
    • Khursheed Kamal Aziz, quoted from Tarek Fatah, Chasing a Mirage (2008)
  • Another aspect of Urdu-speaking Muslims, apart from their superiority complex, has been their attitude towards India where they had settled down on migration during the Muslim period. They never regarded themselves strictly Indians but as members of Millat-e-Islamia. The following couplet of Akbar Allahbadi is an illustration of this attitude:
    While we slave for food as clerks.
    Our hearts bleed for Persians and Turks.
    They even looked down upon everything Indian and were all praise for whatever was Arabic, Irani or Turani. They always regarded themselves as strangers in the land of idol-worshippers. This attitude is reflected in their literature, thinking and political life. In the opening lines of 'Shikwai Hindi', Maulana Altaf Hussain Hali says:
    Farewell Hindustan, land of eternal spring,
    For long have we, as foreign guests, stayed here.
  • The idea of two nationalities in India is only a newly-fangled notion invented by Jinnah for his purposes and contrary to the facts. More than 90% of the Indian Mussalmans are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindus themselves. This process of conversion has continued all along; Jinnah is himself a descendant of a Hindu, converted in fairly recent times, named Jinahbhai and many of the most famous Mohammedan leaders have a similar origin.
    • Sri Aurobindo, Ghose, A., Nahar, S., & Institut de recherches évolutives. (2000). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de recherches évolutives.
  • They were known by the generic term Turks and they insisted on monopolizing all key posts and important positions, and maintaining their racial and exotic identity. This attitude was also shared by their children and children’s children, who though born in India, psychologically felt that they were Turks of foreign stock. On the other hand the foreign Muslims treated the Indian Muslim converts with contempt. … Conversion to Islam did not change their status, and foreign Muslims looked down upon them. The foreigners especially were not prepared to treat them on equal terms at all. To add insult to injury, the chronicler Ziya Barani, a confirmed believer in the racial superiority of the so-called Turks and baseness of the Indian Muslims, recommends:
    “Teachers of every kind are to be sternly ordered not to thrust precious stones down the throats of dogs… that is, to the mean, the ignoble, the worthless. To shopkeepers and the low born they are to teach nothing more than the rules about prayer, fasting, religious charity and the Hajj pilgrimage along with some chapters of the Quran and some doctrines of the faith without which their religion cannot be correct and valid prayers are not possible. They are to be instructed in nothing more. They are not to be taught reading and writing for plenty of disorders arise owing to the skill of the low-born in knowledge…” “The low-born, who have been enrolled for practising the baser arts and the meaner professions, are capable only of vices…” Indeed all neo-Muslims were called by the generic but contemptuous term julaha. Surely all the converts could not have come from the weaver caste, but the word julaha became synonymous with the despised low-born Indian Muslim convert. On the other hand the foreign Muslims (or Turks) “alone are capable of virtue, kindness, generosity, valour, good deed, good works, truthfulness, keeping of promises… loyalty, clarity of vision, justice, equity, recognition of rights, gratitude for favours and fear of God. They are, consequently, said to be noble, free born, virtuous, religious, of high pedigree and pure birth. These groups, alone are worthy of offices and posts in the government… Owing to their actions the government of the king is strengthened and adorned.” On the other hand the “low-born” (Indian) Muslims are capable only of vices - immodesty, falsehood, miserliness, misappropriation, wrongfulness, lies, evil-speaking ingratitude,…shamelessness, impundence… So they are called low-born, bazaar people, base, mean, worthless, plebian, shameless and of dirty birth”. …
    • Ziauddin Barani, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • Another serious question arises with regard to the Muhammadans of India. If the relation between Muslims and Hindus were as it was in the Lucknow days, this question would not be so urgent, though it would even then have almost certainly arisen, sooner or later, in an Independent India. But since the Khilafat agitation, things have changed and it has been one of the many injuries inflicted on India by the encouragement of the Khilafat crusade, that the inner Muslim feeling of hatred against 'unbelievers' has sprung up, naked and unashamed, as in the years gone by. We have seen revived, as guide in practical politics, the old Muslim religion of the sword, we have seen the dragging out of centuries of forgetfulness, the old exclusiveness, claiming the Jazirut-Arab, the island of Arabia, as a holy land which may not be trodden by the polluting foot of a non-Muslim, we have heard Muslim leaders declare that if the Afghans invaded India, they would join their fellow believers, and would slay Hindus who defended their motherland against the foe: we have been forced to see that the primary allegiance of Musalmans is to Islamic countries, not to our motherland; we have learned that their dearest hope is to establish the 'Kingdom of God,' not God as Father of the world, loving all his creatures, but as a God seen through Musalman spectacles resembling in his command through one of the prophets, as to the treatment of unbeliever—the Mosaic JEHOVA of the early Hebrews, when they were fighting as did the early Muslims, for freedom to follow the religion given to them by their prophet. The world has gone beyond such so-called theocracies, in which God's commands are given through a man. The claim now put forward by Musalman leaders that they must obey the laws of their particular prophet above the laws of the State in which they live, is subversive of civic order and the stability of the State; it makes them bad citizens for their centre of allegiance is outside the nation and they cannot, while they hold the views proclaimed by Maulanas Mahomed Ali and Shaukat Ali, to name the most prominent of these Muslim leaders, be trusted by their fellow citizens. If India were independent the Muslim part of the population--for the ignorant masses would follow those who appealed to them in the name of their prophet—would become an immediate peril to Indian's freedom. Allying themselves with Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Persia, Iraq, Arabia, Turkey and Egypt and with such of the tribes of Central Asia who are Musalmans, they would rise to place India under the Rule of Islam—those in 'British India' being helped by the Muslims in Indian States--and would establish Musalman rule. We had thought that Indian Musalmans were loyal to their motherland, and indeed, we still hope that some of the educated class might strive to prevent such a Musalman rising; but they are too few for effective resistance and would be murdered as apostates. Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the 'Khilafat Raj' in India. How much sympathy with the Moplas is felt by Muslims outside Malabar has been proved by the defence raised for them by their fellow believers, and by Mr. Gandhi himself, who stated that they had acted as they believed that religion taught them to act. I fear that that is true; but there is no place in a civilised land for people who believe that their religion teaches them to murder, rob, rape, burn, or drive away out of the country those who refuse to apostatise from their ancestral faiths, except in its schools, under surveillance, or in its gaols. The Thugs believed that their particular form of God commanded them to strangle people—especially travellers with money. Such 'Laws of God' cannot be allowed to override the laws of a civilised country, and people living in the twentieth century must either educate people who hold these Middle Age views, or else exile them. Their place is in countries sharing their opinions, where they can still use such arguments against any who differ from them—as indeed, Persia and with the Parsis long ago, and the Bahaists in our own time. ... In thinking of an Independent India, the menace of Muhammadan rule has to be considered."
    • Annie Besant, The Future of Indian Politics, pp. 301-305. quoted in B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • 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.
    • Henry Blochmann, “A Chapter from Muhammadan History” in The Calcutta Review, No. civ. 1871 cited in Bernier, p.40 n. quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • Islam has no state clergy, but we find a counterpart to our hierarchical bodies in the Ulemas about the court from whom the Sadrs of the provinces, the Mir Adls, Muftis and Qazis were appointed. At Delhi and Agra, the body of the learned had always consisted of staunch Sunnis, who believed it their duty to keep the kings straight. How great their influence was, may be seen from the fact that of all Muhammadan emperors only Akbar, and perhaps Alauddin Khalji, succeeded in putting down this haughty sect.
    • Henry Blochmann, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Ever since 1951, "the propor­tion of Mus­lims has been gradually but steadily increa­sing every decade by roughly one percentage point"­.
    • Ashish Bose: "1991 Census data: Muslim rate of growth", Indian Expr­ess, 9-9-1995.
  • Still less can we hand over to their unfettered sway those helpless millions they despise. Side by side with this Brahmin theocracy and the immense Hindu population – angelic and untouchable castes alike – there dwell in India seventy millions of Moslems, a race of far greater physical vigour and fierceness, armed with a religion which lends itself only too readily to war and conquest. While the Hindu elaborates his argument, the Moslem sharpens his sword. Between these two races and creeds, containing as they do so many gifted arid charming beings in all the glory of youth, there is no intermarriage. The gulf is impassable. If you took the antagonisms of France and Germany, and the antagonisms of Catholics and Protestants, and compounded them and multiplied them ten-fold, you would not equal the division which separates these two races intermingled by scores of millions in the cities and plains of India. But over both of them the impartial rule of Britain has hitherto lifted its appeasing sceptre. Until the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms began to raise the question of local sovereignty and domination, they had got used to dwelling side by side in comparative toleration. But step by step, as it is believed we are going to clear out or be thrust out of India, so this tremendous rivalry and hatred of races springs into life again. It is becoming more acute every day. Were we to wash our hands of all responsibility and divest ourselves of all our powers, as our sentimentalists desire, ferocious civil wars would speedily break out between the Moslems and the Hindus. No one who knows India will dispute this.
  • During the Emergency period some followers of the Jamaat-e-Islami found themselves in the same jail as the members of the RSS; here they began to discover that the latter were no monsters as described by the 'nationalist' and secularist propaganda. Therefore they began to think better of the Hindus. This alarmed the secularists and the interested Maulvis. Some Maulvis belonging to the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Hind met President.. Fakhruddin Ahmad, and reported to him about the growing rapport between the members of the two communities. This 'stunned' the President and he said that this boded an 'ominous' future for Congress Muslim leaders and he promised that he would speak to Indiraji about this dangerous development and ensure that Muslims remain Muslims.
    • Fakhruddin Ahmad. Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6 (quoting Ram Swarup and citing Fakhruddin Ahmad and My Eleven Years with Fakhruddin Ahmad by Fazle Ahmed Rehmany)
  • Farewell to thee, o ever-green garden of India. We foreigners have stayed long in this country as your guests.
    • The poet Hali, expressing "his pessimism about the prospects of India's Muslims under democracy", quoted in Rajmohan Gandhi: Understanding the Muslim mind. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 343
  • Early in the seventeenth century, Muhammad Sharif Hanafi, the author of Majalis-us-Salatin (composed C.E.1628) and a much travelled man, carried the same impression about the Southern region of the country. Writing about Carnatic he says: “All the people… are idolaters. There is not a single Musalman. Occasionally a Musalman may visit the country deputed by Nizam Shah, Adil Shah or Kutb Shah, but the natives are all infidels.”
    • Muhammad Sharif Hanafi, Elliot and Dowson, VII, p.139., quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • Direct conversions at the beginning must have been rare; an early report, quoted by a tenth-century Arab geographer, complains that Islam had not made a single convert in India.
    • Habibullah ABM (1976) The Foundations of Muslim Rule in India, Central Book Depot, Allahabad, p. 1
  • The important question as to whether a country in the position of Hindustan may be considered a Daru 'l-Islam or a Daru 'l-harb has been fully discussed by Dr. W. W. Hunter of the Bengal Civil Service, in his work entitles Indian Musulmans which is the result of careful inquiry as to the necessary conditions of Jihad, or a Crescentade instituted at the time of the excitment which existed in India in 1870-71, in consequence of a Wahhabi conspiracy for the overthrow of Christian rule in that country. The whole matter, according to the Sunni Mussalmans, hinges upon the question of whether India is Daru 'l-harb, "a land of warfare," or a Daru 'l-Islam, "a land of Islam". The Muftis belonging to the Hanifi and Shafi'i sects at Makkah decided that, "as long as even some of the peculiar observances of Islam prevails in a country, it is Daru 'l-Islam." The decision of the Mufti of the Maliki sect was very similar, being to the following effect. "A country does not become Daru 'l-harb as soon as it passes into the hands of the infidels, but when all or most of the injunctions of Islam disappear therefrom." The law doctors of North India decided that, "the absence of protection and liberty to Musulmans is essential in a Jihad, or religious war, and also that there should be a probability of victory to the armies of Islam."
    • Hughes, T. P. (1986). Dictionary of Islam: : being a cyclopaedia of the doctrines, rites, ceremonies, and customs together with the technical and theological terms, of the Muhammadan religion. Entry DARU 'L-HARB
  • 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.
    • Kingsley Davis, quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • In six decades (1881-1941)… at no census have the Muslims failed to improve their percentage and the Hindus failed to lose…” [It is due not only to the] “proportion of Muslim women married, but those who are married also have a higher fertility.”
    • Kingsley Davis, quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • Islam has till today retained a lot of its medieval self- righteousness. While native Americans who claim back ancestral sacred places may have to confront economical interests, juridical technicalities or other small-human opposition against their demands, there is now hardly any ideologically motivated resistance against respecting their culture and their historical sensitivities. But in India, and in the countries which Islam has carved out of if, there is still a strong presence of an ideological drive to islamize India, and to make this clear by wresting all kinds of real and symbolical concessions from the Hindus, and by refusing them any concession whatsoever in return. The symbols of humiliation that have been inflicted on the Hindus, are being defended.
    • Elst K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  • Of­ficial census data show that the Hindu per­centage has decli­ned, and the Muslim percentage increas­ed, in every single successive census in British India, free India, Pakistan and Bangl­adesh... Ever since regular census operations were started, the per­centage of Muslims has grown every decade in British India, in­dependent India, Pakis­tan and Banglade­sh... The Muslim percentage has not only incre­ased, but the rate of increase itself has increased... The one general prediction to which the data cer­tainly compel us, is that the Muslim percentage will be increas­ing at an ac­celerating rate for at least another generation; and also beyond that, unless the present generation of young adult Muslims brings it procreati­on rate down to the average Indian level...So, every decade the Muslim per­cent­age in the Subcon­tinent incre­ases by more than 1%, with the rate of incre­ase itself incr­eas­ing. In India, the rate of incre­ase in the Muslim per­centage is considerable, though lower than the subcontinental total, but is rising faster due to the differential in the use of birth control and the incre­asing Muslim immigration... And why stop our conclusion with finding the Hindu position right? The data just surveyed also teach us something about the secularists who have ridiculed and thoroughly blackened the said Hindu position: they are wrong. We have not used any esoteric figures inaccessible to the common man; all these data were at the disposal of the secularists. Yet, some of them insist that the Muslim percentage will remain constant, or that the Muslim incre­ase is proportionate to relative Muslim poverty. The fact deserves to be noted: a whole class of leading intellec­tuals brutal­ly denies easily verifiable facts, i.c. the accelerating increase of the Muslim and the decrease of the Hindu per­centage...
  • In theory all Muslims are equal; in practice some have always been more equal than the others. Foreign Muslims tried to dominate over Indian Muslims. At the top were the Ulema or the learned, nobles and army commanders. They were all foreigners or descended from migrant Muslims. It was from the Ulema class that the high officers, of government as well as religious institutions were chosen. .... It was through these men that the regime systematized the religious and social life of the Muslim community just as it organized the extension and administration of Muslim dominions in India through the nobility.
    • K. S. Lal (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • In brief, while it would not be safe to declare that hardly any conversions through peaceful methods were effected by the Sufi Mashaikh in India, it has also to be admitted that not many reliable references to their proselytizing activity are available in genuine hagiological works. They may have helped those who showed an inclination to become Muslim. Occasionally they restored to force also to convert people. But the Mashaikh were probably responsible only for stray and individual conversions and their contribution to the growth of Muslim population may not have been much.
    • K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • It was aristocratic on the part of the orthodox Muslim to feel that he was in India, but not of it. He durst not strike his roots deep into the native soil. He must import traditions, language and culture. His civil and criminal law must be derived from the writings of jurists and the decisions of judges in Baghdad and Cairo. The Muslim in India was an intellectual exotic; he considered it infra dig to adapt himself to his environment.
    • Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
  • The population of India in the present day is over three hundred millions, and every sixth man is a Muslim.
    • Stanely Lanepoole. Medieval India 1903, quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • Turks of pure lineage and Tajiks of noble birth could not tolerate … the tribes of Hind to rule over them.
    • Minhaj Jurjani, quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims, who are they (2012)
  • In the medieval period, heredity and lineage were taken into account in the selection of officers and nobles, and as far as possible low-born Indian Muslims were not appointed to high offices. Foreign Muslims were generally preferred, not only in the Sultanate of Delhi or the Mughal Empire, but also in the independent kingdoms of Gujarat and Malwa and the Adil Shahi and Qutbshahi kingdoms of the Deccan. ... With this background, it needs no reiteration that, by and large, Muslim administration drew neither on India’s native tradition nor on native manpower and the development of Muslim administrative system and its implementation and execution in India owed much to foreign elements. ... The administration of the Sultanate and Mughal Empire was bureaucratic throughout. Over long periods this administrative system was dominated by immigrants from abroad, mainly West Asia and North Africa and this gave it much of the character of foreign and Islamic rule. Commenting on the list of mansabdars in the Ain-i-Akbari, Moreland says that while about 70 percent of the nobles were foreigners belonging to families which had either come to India with Humayun or had arrived at the court after the accession of Akbar, of the remaining 30 percent of the appointments which were held by Indians, rather more than half were Moslems and “rather less than half Hindus.”
    • Moreland, India at the Death of Akbar, pp.69-70 quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 4
  • The population of Indian Muslims grew rapidly through enslavement. This rapid growth gave rise to new problems. One was a tussle for power between foreign slave-Amirs and Indian slaves some of whom also attained to the position of nobles.... [Minhaj Siraj describes:] “The Maliks and servants of the Sultan’s Court were all Turks of pure lineage” (Turkan-i-pak) writes he, and Taziks of noble birth (Tazikan-i-guzida was). “Imad-ud-Din Rayhan (who) was castrated and mutilated, and of the tribe of Hind, was ruling over the heads of lords of high descent, and the whole of them were loathing that state, and were unable to suffer any longer that degradation.”... The language of Ziyauddin Barani is not less vituperative. He was a staunch believer in the racial superiority of the Turks and the baseness of Indian Muslims. He recommended that “Teachers of every kind are to be sternly ordered not to thrust precious stones down the throats of dogs… that is, to the mean, the ignoble, the worthless… To the low-born they are to teach nothing more than the rules about prayer, fasting, religious charity and the Hajj pilgrimage along with some chapters of the Quran and some doctrines of the faith… They (Indian Muslims) are not to be taught reading and writing for plenty of disorders arise owing to the skill of the low-born in knowledge… the low-born are capable only of vices… so they are called low-born, worthless, plebeian, shameless and of dirty birth.” ... The fate and fortune of the black Africans was not that good....the majority of them were treated as lesser Muslims.
    • Minhaj Siraj quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
  • In art books and history books, people write of the Muslims "arriving"in India, as though the Muslims came on a tourist bus and went away again. The Muslim view of their conquest of India is a truer one. They speak of the triumph of the faith, the destruction of idols and temples, the loot, the carting away of the local people as slaves, so cheap and numerous that they were being sold for a few rupees. The architectural evidence-the absence of Hindu monuments in the north-is convincing enough. This conquest was unlike any other that had gone before. There are no Hindu records of this period. Defeated people never write their history. The victors write the history. The victors were Muslims. For people on the other side it is a period of darkness.
  • India has been a wounded civilization because of Islamic violence: Pakistanis know this; indeed they revel in it. It is only Indian Nehruvians like Romila Thapar who pretend that Islamic rule was benevolent. We should face facts: Islamic rule in India was at least as catastrophic as the later Christian rule. The Christians created massive poverty in what was a most prosperous country; the Muslims created a terrorized civilization out of what was the most creative culture that ever existed.
  • The Hindus, especially in Bengal, welcomed the New Learning of Europe and the institutions the British brought. The Muslims, wounded by their loss of power, and out of old religious scruples, stood aside. It was the beginning of the intellectual distance between the two communities. This distance has grown with independence; and it is this—more even than religion now — that at the end of the twentieth century has made India and Pakistan quite distinct countries. India, with an intelligentsia that grows by leaps and bounds, expands in all directions. Pakistan, proclaiming only the faith and then proclaiming the faith again, ever shrinks.
    It was Muslim insecurity that led to the call for the creation of Pakistan. It went at the same time with an idea of old glory, of the invaders sweeping down from the northwest and looting the temples of Hindustan and imposing the faith on the infidel. The fantasy still lives; and for the Muslim converts of the subcontinent it is the start of their neurosis, because in this fantasy the convert forgets who or what he is and becomes the violator.
  • "Musalmans are separate from Hindus; they cannot unite with the Hindus. After bloody wars the Musalmans conquered India, and the English took India from them. The Musalmans are one united nation and they alone will be masters of India. They will never give up their individuality. They have ruled India for hundreds of years, and hence they have a prescriptive right over the country. The Hindus are a minor community in the world. They are never free from internecine quarrels; they believe in Gandhi and worship the cow; they are polluted by taking other people's water. The Hindus do not care for self-government; they have no time to spare for it; let them go on with their internal squabbles. What capacity have they for ruling over men? The Musalmans did rule, and the Musalmans will rule."
  • Some well-meaning but simple-minded Hindus amuse themselves with the thought and hope against hope that in as much as the majority of Indian Moslems also are in fact allied to us by race and language and in cases had gone over to the Moslem fold in living memory of this very generation, they could easily be persuaded to acknowledge this homogenity and even blood relation with the Hindus and merge themselves into a common National Being if but we only remind them of these affinities and appeal to them in their name. These innocent souls are really to be pitied.
    As if the Moslems do not know of it all !! The fact is that the Moslems know of these affinities all but too well : the only difference to be taken into account being that while the Hindus love these affinities which bind the Hindu to a Hindu and to dwell on them with pride-the Moslems hate the very mention of them and are trying to eradicate the very memory of it all. Some of them fabricate histories and genealogies to connect their origin with Arabians or Turks; they are trying to carve out a separate language for themselves and graft it as best as they can on the Arabian stock; they are carrying on a campaign against the Hindu family names such as 'Tambe' and 'Modak' which in parts like the Konkan convert-Moslems still bear and replace them by Arabian ones and are bent on widenning the cleavage deeper and broader by removing every trace which may remind them of having once something in common with the Hindu stock.
    • V.D. Savarkar, Hindu Rashtra Darshan, p. 80, also quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2014). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p.264
  • It is remarkable that none of these early Arab travellers speak about any Indian converts to Islam. The Merchant Sulaiman explicitly states: "In his time he knew neither Indians nor Chines who had accepted Islam or spoke Arabic.
    • Sulaiman Saudagar. quoted in RA Jairazbhoy. Foreign influence, quoted from Misra, R. G. (2005). Indian resistance to early Muslim invaders up to 1206 A.D. p.14. also AS Alterkar, The Rashtra-kutas
  • It is a great mistake that the country can only be either a Dar-ul-Islam or a Dar-ul-Harb in the primary signification of the words, and that there is no intermediate position. A true Dar-ul-Islam is a country which under no circumstances can be termed a Dar-ul-Harb and vice versa. There are, however, certain countries which, with reference to certain circumstances, can be termed Dar-ul-Islam, and with reference to others Dar-ul-Harb. Such a country is India at the present moment... If you have power, jihad is incumbent upon you. If you do not have power, it is unlawful.
    • Syed Ahmed Khan, quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • (of) Muslim policy towards the subject Hindus in subsequent ages. Something no doubt depended upon individual rulers; some of them adopted a more liberal, others a more cruel and intolerant attitude. But on the whole the framework remained intact, for it was based on the fundamental principle of Islamic theocracy. It recognized only one faith, one people, and one supreme authority, acting as the head of a religious trust. The Hindus, being infidels or non-believers, could not claim the full rights of citizens. At the very best, they could be tolerated as dhimmis, an insulting title which connoted political inferiority.... The Islamic State regarded all non-Muslims as enemies, to curb whose growth in power was conceived to be its main interest. The ideal preached by even high officials was to exterminate them totally, but in actual practice they seem to have followed an alternative laid down in the Qur'an [i.e., 9:29] which calls upon Muslims to fight the unbelievers till they pay the jizya with due humility. This was the tax the Hindus had to pay for permission to live in their ancestral homes under a Muslim ruler.
    • R. C. Majumdar, ed., The History and Culture of the Indian People, vol. 3: The Classical Age (Bombay, 1954), 461-2. also quoted in Bostom, A. G. M. D., & Bostom, A. G. (2010). The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. Amherst: Prometheus.
  • "Judged by a similar standard, the patronage and cultivation of Hindu learning by the Muslims, or their contribution to the development of Hindu culture during their rule ... pales into insignificance when compared with the achievements of the British rule.... It is only by instituting such comparison that we can make an objective study of the condition of the Hindus under Muslim rule, and view it in its true perspective."'
    • R. C. Majumdar, quoted in Ibn, W. (2009). Defending the West: A critique of Edward Said's Orientalism. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books.
  • "The barrenness of the Hindu intellect and the meanness of spirit of the Hindu upper classes are the greatest condemnation of Muhammadan rule in India. The Islamic political tree, judged by its fruit, was an utter failure."
    • Sir J. Sarkar. Sir Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, quoted in Ibn, W. (2009). Defending the West: A critique of Edward Said's Orientalism. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books. Chapter 6.
  • …The nobles and chiefs said, ‘It seems expedient that the victorious standards should move towards the Dekhin’…Sher Shah replied: ‘What you have said is most right and proper, but it has come into my mind that since the time of Sultan Ibrahim, the infidel zamindars have rendered the country of Islam full of unbelievers, and having thrown down masjids and buildings of the believers, placed idol-shrines in them, and they are in possession of the country of Delhi and Malwa. Until I have cleansed the country from the existing contamination of the unbelievers, I will not go into any other country’…
    • Sher Shah Sur (AD 1538-1545) Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi in Eliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, Vol. IV, pp. 403-04.
  • My experience is that if ever any religion approached to this equality in an appreciable manner, it is Islam and Islam alone.... Therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of Vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be, are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. .... For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems, Hinduism and Islam — Vedanta brain and Islam body — is the only hope.
    • Swami Vivekananda, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 6/Epistles - Second Series/CXLII Friend [1]
  • In Saudi Arabia, there is peace but no freedom. In Pakistan, there is freedom but there is no peace. In India, Muslims enjoy both peace and freedom.
    • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, quoted by P.V. Rao, The thinking theologist, Indian Express, 7.1.1996, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p.99
  • To my way of thinking, Indian Muslims have improved their lot considerably since Independence. I would go so far as to say that the condition of present-day Muslims is not that of persecution but of progress.... Indeed, if you make a survey of the economic and social condition of any Muslim family before and after 1947... you will see that it has made remarkable progress. If in pre-Independence days, a Muslim owned a bicycle, today he owns a car. If then he had a small house, today he owns, if not a mansion, then at least a house of comfortable proportions. Where, before, he could only afford to telephone from a public booth, today he has his own telephone. Where his family had to depend on limited local opportunities, they now regularly travel and work abroad, and hold superior positions.... Today there are lakhs of madrasahs spread all over the country. The old madrasahs, like those of Nadwatul ‘Ulema in Lucknow and Darul Uloom in Deoband, were just like ordinary schools before 1947, whereas today they have expanded so much that they have more the appearance of being universities. In the neighborhood of Malegaon, a new and very big madrasah, the Jamia Muhammadia, has been established, which completely dwarfs the old one. Hundreds of new madrasahs have been established all over the country, including a school for Muslim girls, the Jamiatus Salihat at Rampur, which is said to be the biggest madrasah for Muslim girls in the entire Muslim world. In fact, thousands of Islamic institutions of different kinds have been set up throughout the length and breadth of the country, and have full freedom of functioning.... The Tablighi Jama’at is a Muslim religious movement headquartered in Delhi. Since 1947, its extension, too, has been exponential. In the same way, all other Muslim bodies have greatly added to their assets as well as increasing the numbers of their followers. In former times, Islamic conferences were few and far between, but nowadays, major conferences are being organized almost on a daily basis in India by Muslims. These take up different aspects of Muslims and Islam. Islamic books and journals are also being published in far greater numbers than ever before.
    • Wahiduddin Khan quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • What has gained momentum in India since 1947 is not, in fact, the persecution of Muslims, but yellow journalism and an exploitative leadership which sustains itself by repeated allegations of persecution... If there is any danger to Muslims in this country it is only from our so-called leadership, buoyed up as it is by paranoid journalism. There is no other real danger to Muslims.... Those who hold the reins of leadership and journalism in their hands are people of very shallow character... Their only formula for boosting circulation and retaining their leadership is to create a fear psychosis among Muslims and then to exploit it. To this end, they painstakingly select negative instances from Indian Society and then, by blowing them up out of all proportion, they manage to convey the erroneous impression that Indian Muslims are the victims of prejudice and injustice.... While the Quranic “periodical” was run on positive lines, the entire Muslim press of the present day is plunged in negativism... But today Muslim journalism has devoted itself entirely to the ferreting out of difficulties, mainly plots and conspiracies of others against them.’ ... [Muslim papers have sought to correct] ‘what they felt were erroneous impressions (in other papers) by projecting Muslims as absolutely perfect, but ill-treated human beings’.... They (the Muslim papers) act in this way because they want to prove that Muslims are entirely virtuous and innocent of all wrongdoing, and that if they appear to have shortcomings, it is because of the harsh treatment meted out to them.... To me, the Muslim press has been suffering from what I can only call quite unjustifiable self-righteousness on the part of Muslim intellectuals. It is this innate weakness which has prevented them from seeing their own shortcomings. All they can see are the plots of others behind every problem their community faces. Consequently, instead of engaging themselves in constructive activities, they spend their time inciting members of their community to protest against others.
    • Wahiduddin Khan quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • A particularly dark aspect of the Muslims’ existence in India seems to be communal riots. It is a fact that communal riots have taken place on a large scale in modern India over the last forty-five years and, regrettably, in some parts are still continuing. I repeat, nevertheless, that the occurrence of communal riots is not linked to the system of governance developed after Independence. It is related rather to the Muslims’ own rabble-rousing leadership and yellow journalism.... Communal violence is one of the most talked of subjects these days, and discussions thereon are dominated by the fact that the brunt of police violence has to be borne by the Muslims. ‘The policemen are killers,’ say Muslims. Their theme song is that the brutalities of Adolf Hitler and Chengiz Khan pale into insignificance when compared with what the police inflict on innocent Indian citizens. At face value, this would appear to be correct. But we must pause and give greater thought to the reasons for police ‘misconduct’. Why should it take place at all? If we marshal facts, we see that in every case, the situation has been aggravated more by the Muslims being easily provoked than by a desire on the part of the police to be aggressive. And it is noteworthy that wherever there is a concentration of Muslims, this oversensitiveness is very much in evidence; sooner or later, it is the Muslims themselves who have to pay dearly for it at every level.... It is clearly the Muslims who are the losers, whether at the individual or at the community level, yet they do not stop to think of the ferocity with which reprisals will be carried out when they themselves have given in to provocation, lashing out at all and sundry. They think it is like aiming a blow at a domestic animal which if it reacts at all, will do so mildly and without rancour. They do not stop to consider that when they lash out in a frenzy of emotionalism, it is a savage wild beast with which they have to deal—an untamed monster, which will fight back with tooth and claw. The culminating point of their endeavour will be the inevitable backlash of police brutality.... Events having shown that Muslims clash not only with Hindus, but also with the police we should now ascertain where to lay the blame. Clearly, the greatest offenders are the journalists and leaders of the Muslim community itself. After each and every riot they cannot find words enough to describe the ‘brutality and savagery’ of the police; in consequence, Muslim sentiments are kept perpetually on the boil. Their anger against and hatred for the police are never allowed to simmer down. As a result whenever policemen appear on the scene, they become enraged and hit out at them, trying by all possible means to humiliate them. This belligerent attitude on the part of Muslim newspapers and leaders is the root cause of the intense mutual hatred between Muslims and the police.
    • Wahiduddin Khan quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • To create a negative image, to manufacture stereotypes and biases against the minorities, a large network of trained people, owing allegiance to Hindu nationalism have spread far and wide, deep into the vitals of society. [...] The provocation and justification for the aggression at level of ideas was provided by Shah Bano blunder by a section of Muslim leadership. After this there was no looking back and all the medieval history was used to demonise the Muslims of today. The additions to the list of stereotypes were fast and furious. Love "jihad", ghar wapasi and cow protection mobs came in, and each served to undermine the Muslim identity and marginalise the community, while the graph of violence saw a parallel rise. The outcome was ghettoisation or seclusion of the minorities, among whom insecurity grew and threw its members further into the arms of maulanas with their rigid pronouncements about Islam. These maulanas and their teachings is what a section of the media uses to characterise the whole community. The moderate Muslims, the ones trying to articulate humane values, have been pushed to the margin.
  • To add to this, social media was brought into operation with thousands of trolls, fake news and what have you. Today’s speed of hate-creation has only become possible because of the ground "work" done over decades. It is in this light that many Muslim intellectuals have come together as a think-tank, which they call Indian Muslims for Progress and Reforms. One hopes that they will be able to push for reform and open the pathways for jobs for the Muslim youth while countering the media that demonises them. Apart from these contemporary steps, one wishes to urge upon them to study and reflect upon the foundations on which the present hate-ethic is being spread.
  • Most Muslim cultivators assign the date of their conversion to the reign of Aurangzeb and represent it as the result of sometimes persecution and sometimes as made to enable them to retain their rights when unable to pay revenue.
    • Gazette of North West Provinces (NWP), quoted in S.S. Sharma, Caliphs and Sultans: Religious Ideology and Political Praxis, also in Sir Arnold, The Spread of Islam in the World: A History of Peaceful Preaching, also in M.A. Khan, Islamic Jihad.
  • South Asian Muslims constitute a significant proportion of the world's Muslims, in all about the same number as the entire population of the United States. Their elites have always been in contact with the larger Muslim world, sharing institutions, learned languages, ideology, even ruling personnel with Muslims farther west. They are, to be sure, a minority in the subcontinent as a whole, but Muslims have been a minority through much of history, as they are today in the ever-more-integrated modern world. The language, the theories, the paradigms used by South Asian Muslims are precisely those that echo and reecho through Muslim history, from the Sudan to Sumatra, from the seventh century to the present. That may surprise us, but it does not surprise Muslims.
    • Barbara D. Metcalf - Islamic Revival in British India_ Deoband, 1860-1900 (2014, Princeton University Press) p 7, also quoted in Jain, M. (2010). Parallel pathways: Essays on Hindu-Muslim relations, 1707-1857.
  • Islam’s distinctive contribution to India’s national culture is its unadulterated belief in the oneness of God and a practical application of the truth of the brotherhood of man for those who are nominally within its fold. I call these two distinctive contributions. For in Hinduism the spirit of brotherhood has become too much philosophized. Similarly though philosophical Hinduism has no other god but God, it cannot be denied that practical Hinduism is not so emphatically uncompromising as Islam.
  • The peaceful Indian Mussalman, descended beyond doubt from Hindu ancestors, was dressed up in the garb of a foreign barbarian, as a breaker of temples, and an eater of beef, and declared to be a military colonist in the land where he had lived for about thirty or forty centuries…. The result of it is seen in the communalistic atmosphere of India today.
  • Every single Muslim in the subcontinent believes s/he is of Arab descent. If not direct Arab descent, then the illustrious ancestor had come from either Iran or Bukhara. Interestingly, the ancestor is always a great general or a saint. Never ever have we heard anyone boasting of an intellectual for a forebear. We hear of the progeny of savage robber kings, but there is no one who claims Abu Rehan Al-Beruni or Ibn Rushd as a distant sire.
    • Salman Rashid, Arab origins, The Express Tribune, 6 January 2012.
  • I come from an Indian Muslim family, but I experience India as a very pleasant country, whereas in Pakistan I feel ill at ease. You would think it should be the reverse. But in spite of its many defects, India is a rich and open society, while Pakistan is culturally an impoverished and closed society.
    • Salman Rushdie, Interview with Thomas Harder, 1995, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 99
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