.. the spread of Islam amongst the masses in India
was initiated by the Sufis
In the sixteenth century, Persian was the language of artistic life in Muslim South Asia as well as the official language of government and administration. However, literature in local Indian languages was also cultivated. Pioneering the use of Indian languages for Muslim literatures were various Sufis or mystics. By virtue of their esoteric interpretation of Islam and their focus on a personal relationship between the human and the divine, they succeeded in introducing Islamic concepts and ideas to the Indian environment.
Evidence suggests that the Sufis were initially responsible for spreading the message of Islam among the masses. Literature composed by Sufis in local languages played an instrumental role in this process. The most significant characteristic of this literature was that it was folk in character, intended for the illiterate classes of society who lived mostly in the rural areas. This audience understood neither Arabic nor Persian, the languages of religion, theology, and secular learning in literate circles.
In order to overcome the language barrier, some Sufis began composing religious poems in local Indian languages. They incorporated these poems in popular Sufi rituals such as the sama (listening and dancing to mystical music). By the late seventeenth century, when Muslim literatures in local languages from Punjab to Bengal attained maturity, an overwhelming number of poets and writers were Sufi or affiliated with Sufi orders.
Muslim Literatures in South Asia
Union, union, union
I beseech Thee, grant me union
Show me the way
Grant me courage and strength to serve Thee
To defy the obstacles of temptation,
Hate and greed of this world
Show me the goodness in the fruits of serving Thee
Guide me to the path that leads to eternal peace
For only this do I crave nothing else
Enraptured in meditation I feel at one with Thee
There is only You and nothing else
A sense of immense joy and love
Being released from bondage from the confines of the body and the world
I beg Thee to let me remain here for all time in Thy Presence
Nothing more do I wish than to be
In UNION with Thee