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Spread of Islam in Kashmir

Spread of Islam in Kashmir

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Published by ikbalum
A beautiful narrative of Spread of Islam in Kashmir
A beautiful narrative of Spread of Islam in Kashmir

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Published by: ikbalum on Oct 17, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 P. N. K. Bamzai
: Volume 2
- byP.N.K. Bamzai 
the fascinating valley of Kashmir was yetunder the rule of the Hindu Lohara dynasty andKalhana was giving his final touches to hismonumental history, the Rajatarangini, North-WestIndia was witnessing the end of an era. The oldorder was changing rapidly with the advent of Muhammadan rule. Though the Islamic movementwas of relatively recent growth, it was yetpowerfully forcing itself on the ancient and firmlyestablished social and religious institutions of thecountry. There was "a clashing of fundamentalconvictions, a conflict of realism with idealism, of the material with the visionary, of the concrete withthe abstract." New values were being set up in artand literature and a chain of action and reactionresulted in a slow and imperceptible synthesis of the two fundamentally opposite cultures. 
Spread of Islam
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Perhaps the best example of this synthesis isprovided by medieval Kashmir which, as mentionedearlier, came under the influence of the newreligion peacefully and was spared the violentbirthpangs that ushered in the new order in the restof the country. For over two centuries followingMahmud Ghazni's expeditions to north and west of India, Kashmir sealed itself up behind its mountainramparts, secure against the attacks of the zealousarmies of Mohammadan invaders. But culturalinfluences and ideas could not be shut out,howsoever high the enclosing walls might be.Islamic missionaries and adventurers carried theteachings of the new religion into the Valley. Mostof these missonaries belonged to one or the other of the Order of Sufis from Persia and Bukhara. Howthese saints and their teachings influenced thealready rich cultural heritage of Kashmir will beclear from a reference to the development of Sufismand its propagation in the Valley by devoted andselfless missionaries. 
 Islamic Mystics
 Islam on coming into contact with MahayanaBuddhism in Central Asia and in some parts of Persia, could not but be influenced by itsphilosophic thought, and the devotion and ardour of its monks. The religious tolerance and harmlessnessto all life as taught by its scriptures had amoderating effect on a good proportion of thefollowers of the new faith. It was, therefore, amatter of time when in the process of the synthesisof the two religions, there should evolve a newschool of Islamic mystics - the Sufis. By the end of the ninth century, Islam had begun toossify itself into a system of formulas andPage 2of 41Vitasta11/10/2006mhtml:file://C:\Documents%20and%20Settins\...
observances and Sufism appeared as a reaction of the spirit against the letter. There was felt a need fora 'heart' religion and the Brahmanic Pantheism andBuddhistic Nihilism alike teaching the unreality of the seeming world, attracted the attention of the Subdoctors, although their mysticism is less intense andpractical but more airy and literary in character. Mysticism, therefore, made great progress in Persiaand assumed the character of a sect there. A certainAbu Sayyid was the first who advised his disciplesto forsake the world and embrace a monastic life inorder to devote themselves exclusively tomeditation and contemplation; a practice borrowedfrom the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Thedisciples of Abu Sayyid wore a garment of wool(suf) whence they received the name of Sufis. Sufism spread more and more in Persia, the homeof a people imbibed with the teachings of variousAsiatic religions and was enthusiastically embracedby those who wished to give themselves upundisturbed to philosophical speculation. In its firstform Sufism was quite compatible with Muslimdogma. It was satisfied to profess a contempt forlife and an exclusive love of God, and to extolascetic practices, as the fittest means of procuringthose states of ecstasy during which the soul wassupposed to contemplate the Supreme being face toface. But by degrees, thanks to the adepts whom itdrew from the ranks of heterodoxy, Sufismdeparted from its original purpose and entered upondiscussions respecting the Divine nature whichfinally led to Pantheism. The increasing tendencytowards Pantheism and ascetic practices are thus themain scope of Sufism. The former was the result of contacts and discussions with the followers of Hindu philosophy and the latter was borrowed fromPage 3of 41Vitasta11/10/2006mhtml:file://C:\Documents%20and%20Settins\...

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