Islam in Kashmir
Islam is the major religion practiced in Kashmir, with 97.16% of the region's population identifying as Muslims, as of 2014. Islam came to the region with the influx of Muslim Sufis preachers from Central Asia and Persia, beginning in the early 14th century.
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- ‘...the infidels and their corrupt and immoral practices attained such popularity that even the ulema, the learned (Sufis), the Sayyids (nobles) and the Qadis (judges) of this land began to observe them without exhibiting even the slightest repugnance for them. There was none to forbid them to do so. It resulted in a gradual weakening of Islam and a decay in its cannons and postulates; idol-worship and corrupt and immoral practices thrived.’
- Baharistan-i-shahi. Pundit KN (1991) A Chronicle of Medieval Kashmir, (Translation), Firma KLM Pvt Ltd, Calcutta, p. 74 , as quoted in Khan, M. A. (2011). Islamic Jihad: A legacy of forced conversion, imperialism and slavery.
- As if this is not enough, there is a deliberate and organised design to convert Kargil's Buddhists to Islam. In the last four years, about 50 girls and married women with children were allured and converted from village Wakha alone. If this continues unchecked, we fear that Buddhists will be wiped out from Kargil in the next two decades or so. Anyone objecting to such allurement and conversions is harassed... Therefore, to protect the religious and cultural identity of the Ladakhi people, an anti-conversion law must be enacted for Kargil as is presently in force in states like Arunachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Tundup Tsering and Tsewang Nurboo of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, quoted in: Koenraad Elst: Bharatiya Janata Party vis-à-vis Hindu resurgence, also quoted in K. Elst (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism.
- When Jahangir learnt that the Hindus and Muslims intermarried freely in Kashmir, “and both give and take girls, (he ordered that) taking them is good but giving them, God forbid”. And any violation of this order was to be visited with capital punishment.
- Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, II, p. 181. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 8
- Kashmir's conversion to Islam on a large scale also dates from the beginning of the fifteenth century....However, it was during the reign of Sikandar Butshikan (1394-1417), that the wind of Muslim proselytization blew the strongest. He invited from Persia, Arabia and Mesopotamia learned men of his own faith; his bigotry prompted him to destroy all the most famous temples in Kashmir - Martand, Vishya, Isna, Chakrabhrit, Tripeshwar, etc. Sikandar offered the Kashmiris the choice between Islam and death. Some Kashmiri Brahmans committed suicide, many left the land, many others embraced Islam, and a few began to live under Taqiya, that is, they professed Islam only outwardly. It is said that the fierce intolerance of Sikandar had left in Kashmir no more than eleven families of Brahmans. ...By the time of Akbar’s annexation of Kashmir (C.E. 1586) the valley had turned mainly Mohammadan. When Father Xavier and Brother Benedict went to Kashmir with Akbar this is what they learnt: “In antiquity this land was inhabited by the Moors, possibly a reference to Timur (contemporary of Sikandar the Iconoclast), and since then the majority of the people accept Islam.” When Kashmir was under Muslim rule for 500 years (1319-1819) Hindus were constantly tortured and forcibly converted. A delegation of Kashmir Brahmans approached Guru Teg Bahadur at Anadpur Saheb to seek his help. But Kashmir was Islamized. Those who fled to preserve their religion went to Laddakh in the east and Jammu in the south. It is for this reason that non-Muslims are found in large number in these regions. In the valley itself the Muslims formed the bulk of the population.
- K. S. Lal (1993). Indian Muslims: Who are they. New Delhi: Voice of India.