The spread of Islam amongst the masses in India

.. 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

Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

2 thoughts


    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
    And tranquillity

    For only this do I crave nothing else


  2. UNION

    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


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