Islam is the second largest Religion in India, with 14.2% of the Country’s Population of 172 million people identifying as adherents of Islam. Islam first came to the Western Coast of India when Arab Traders in the 7th Century came to Coastal Malabar- Konkan-Gujarat, Juma Mosque in Kerala which was the first mosque built in 629 by Malik Deenar. Following an expedition by the Governor in the 7th century. Immigrant Arab and Persian trading communities from South Arabia and the Persian Gulf began settling in coastal Gujarat. Ismaili Shia Islam was introduced in Gujarat in the second Half of the 11th Century, when Fatimid Imam Al-Mustansir Billah sent missionaries to Gujarat in 467 AH/1073. Islam arrived in North India in the 12th Century via the Turkic invasions and has since become a part of India’s religious and cultural heritage. Over the Centuries, there has been significant integration of Hindu’s and Muslim’s with other Cultures in India.
Cheraman Perumal Juma Masjid on the Malabar Coast was, probably the first Mosque in India Jama Masjid, Delhi, one of the largest mosques in the “Asia-Pacific” region.
Trade relations have existed between Arabia and the Indian Subcontinent since ancient times. Even in the pre-Islamic era, Arab traders used to visit the Konkan-Gujarat coasts and Malabar Region, which linked them with the Ports of South East Asia. Newly Islamised Arabs were Islam’s first contacts. Historians Elliot and Dawson say in their book “The History of India, was told by Its Own Historians, that the first ship bearing Muslim travelers was seen on the Indian coast as early as 630 CE”. The first Arab Muslims settled on the Indian coast in the last part of the 7th century This fact is corroborated by J.Y Haridas Bhattacharya in Cultural Heritage of India. It was with the advent of Islam that the Arabs became a prominent Cultural Force in the World. Arab Merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and they propagated it wherever they went.
A mosque at Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh by Thomas (1749–1840) and William (1769–1837) Daniel, 24 March 1789.
The first Indian mosque, Cheraman Juma Mosque, is thought to have been built in 629 CE by Malik Deenar although some Historians say the first mosque was in Gujarat.
In Malabar, the Mappilas may have been the first Community to convert to Islam. Intensive missionary activities were carried out along the coast and many other natives embraced Islam. They were now added to the Mappila community. Thus, amongesed we find both the descendants of the Arabs through local women and converts from among the local people.
In the 8th Century, the Province of Sindh (in Pakistan) was conquered by an Arab Army led by Muhammad bin Qasim. Sindh became the Eastern most Province of the Umayyad Caliphate.
In the first half of the 10th century, Mahmud of Ghazni added Punjab to the Ghaznavid Empire and conducted 17 raids on Modern-day India. In the 11th century, Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud played a significant role in the conversion of locals (HINDUS) to Islam. A more successful invasion came at the end of the 12th century from Muhammad of Ghor. This led to the formation of the Delhi Sultanate.
According to legend, two travelers from India, Moulai Abdullah (formerly known as Baalam went to the Court of Imam Mustansir and were so impressed that they converted to Islam and came back to preach in India. In 467 AH/1073 CE. Moulai Ahmed was their companion. Abadullah was the first. He came across a married couple named Kaka Akela and Kaki Akela who became his first converts in the Taiyabi (Bohra) community.
There is much historical evidence to show that Arabs and Muslims interacted with India and Indians from the very early days of Islam or even before the arrival of Islam in Arabia. Arab traders transmitted the numeral system developed by Indians to the Middle East and Europe too.
Sanskrit books were translated into Arabic as early as the 8th century. In the book “Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance”, George Saliba writes that “some major Sanskrit texts began to be translated during the reign of the second Abbasid Caliphal-Mansur (754–775), if not before; some texts on logic even before.
The Peaceful spread of Islam was suddenly checked when Muslim armies began to invade India. Mohammed Bin Qasim (672 CE) at the age of 17 was the first Muslim invader and he managed to reach Sindh. Centuries later Mahmud of Ghazni was the second, much more ferocious invader, who swept up into Northern India as far as Gujarat.
Role in the Indian independence movement
The contribution of Muslim revolutionaries, poets and writers is documented in the history of India’s struggle for Independence. Titumir raised a revolt against the British Raj. Abul Kalam Azad, Hakim Ajmal Khan and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai are other Muslims who engaged in this endeavour. Ashfaqulla Khan of Shahjahanpur conspired to loot the British treasury at Kakori (Lucknow). KHAN ABDUL GAFFAR KHAN (POPULARLY KNOWN AS “FRONTIER GANDHI” WAS A NOTED NATIONALIST WHO SPENT 45 OF HIS 95 YEARS OF LIFE IN JAIL; (I WAS THEN A CHILD)
The Picture shows me with Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan
In NWFP. My Father is clicking photographs in the house where I was born.
Barakatullah of Bhopal was one of the Founders of the Ghadar Party, which created a network of anti-British organizations; Syed Rahmat Shah of the Ghadar Party worked as an underground revolutionary in France and was hanged for his part in the unsuccessful Ghadar Mutiny in 1915; Ali Ahmad Siddiqui of Faizabad (UP) planned the Indian Mutiny in Malaya and Burma, along with Syed Mujtaba Hussain of Jaunpur, and was hanged in 1917; Vakkom Abdul Khadir of Kerala participated in the “Quit India” struggle in 1942 and was hanged; Umar Subhani, an Industrialist and Millionaire from Bombay, provided Mahatma Gandhi with Congress expenses and ultimately died for the cause of independence. Among Muslim women, Hazrat Mahal, Asghari Begum, and Bi Amma contributed in the struggle for Independence from the British.
Maulana Azad was a prominent leader of the Indian INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT and a strong advocate of HINDU-MUSLIM UNITY.
The first ever Indian rebellion against the British was the Vellore mutiny on 10 July 1806, in which around 200 British Officers and troops were killed. The rebellion was subdued by the British, however, and the mutineers and the family of Tipu Sultan who were incarcerated in the Vellore Fort at that time had to pay a heavy price. This rebellion predates the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, as a result of which mostly upper-class Muslim rebels were targeted by the British, as it was under their leadership that the war was fought, mostly in and around Delhi. Thousands of their relatives were shot or hanged near the gate of the Red Fort in Delhi, which is now known as “Khooni Darwaza” (“the Bloody Gate”). The renowned Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib (1797–1869) gives a vivid description of such executions in his letters, now published by the Oxford University Press, Ghalib, Life and Letters, compiled and translated by Ralph Russell and Khurshidul Islam (1994).
As Muslim Power wined with the gradual demise of the Mughal Empire, the Muslims of India faced a new challenge, that of protecting their own culture and interests, yet interacting with an alien, technologically advantaged power. During this period, the ulama of Firangi Mahal – based first at Sehali in District Barabanki and, since based in Lucknow and were educated and guided the Muslims. The Firangi Mahal led and steered the Muslims of India.
Other famous Muslims who fought for Independence against British rule were Abul Kalam Azad, Mahmud al-Hasan of Darul Uloom Deoband, who was implicated in the famous Silk Letter Movement to overthrow the British through an Armed struggle. Husain Ahmad Madani, former Shaikhul Hadith of Darul Uloom Deoband, Ubaidullah Sindhi, Hakim Ajmal Khan, Hasrat Mohani, Syed Mahmud, Professor Maulavi Barkatullah, Zakir Husain, Saifuddin Kitchlew, Vakkom Abdul Khadir, Manzoor Abdul Wahab, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Hakeem Nusrat Husain, Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai, Colonel Shahnawaz, M.A. Ansari, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, Ansar Harwani, Tak Sherwani, Nawab Viqarul Mulk, Nawab Mohsinul Mulk, Mustsafa Husain, V.M. Ubaidullah, S.R. Rahim, Badruddin Tyabji, Abid Hasan and Moulvi Abdul Hamid.
Until 1920, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, later the founder of Pakistan, was a member of the Indian National Congress and was part of the Independence struggle. Muhammad Iqbal, poet and philosopher, was a strong proponent of HINDU–MUSLIM UNITY and an undivided India, perhaps until 1930. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was also active in the Indian National Congress in Bengal, during his early Political career. Mohammad Ali Jouhar and Shaukat Ali struggled for the emancipation of the Muslims in the overall Indian context, and struggled for Independence alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Abdul Bari of Firangi Mahal. Until the 1930s, the Muslims of India broadly conducted their Politics alongside their Countrymen, in the overall context of an Undivided India.
Partition of India
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan with Gandhi in 1930. Also known as Frontier Gandhi. Khan led the non-violent opposition against the British Raj and strongly opposed the Partition of India.
The Partition of British India was based on religion. The negotiations failed several times, with differing demands about boundaries.
The Partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics. This led to the creation of the Sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan (that later split into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh) and the Union of India (later Republic of India). The Indian Independence Act 1947 had decided 15 August 1947, as the appointed date for the Partition. However, Pakistan celebrates its day of creation on 14 August,
Muslims in India by population.
The two self-governing Countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at the stroke of midnight on 14–15 August 1947. The ceremonies for the transfer of power were held a day earlier in Karachi, at the time the Capital of the new state of Pakistan, so that the last British Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, could attend both the ceremonies in Karachi and the ceremony in Delhi. Thus, Pakistan’s Independence Day is celebrated on 14 August and India’s on 15 August.