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27-Indian History-AD-2 Islaam Dharm

India has a continuous civilization since 2500 BC. During the 2nd millennium, Aryan speaking tribes migrated from northwest into the Indian subcontinent. The following material has been taken from "A New History of India", by Stanley Wolpert. 2004.

Islaam Religion

Islaam means "submission to Allaah". They have five pillars of their faith. In addition to the belief that they have one God and Allaah is His prophet, there are four other obligatory requirements imposed on Muslims - 5 times daily prayers (at daybreak, noon, afternoon, sunset, and nightfall); they must give alms to the poor; they must observe a strict fast during the month of Ramaadaan; lastly, they should attempt the pilgrimage to the Kaabaa in Makkaa, known as Hajj - those who have gone to Hajj can use prefix to their name Haajee. They are strictly forbidden to drink alcohol, eating pork (pig's meat) or any meat from an animal not killed by draining its blood while alive. Meat appropriately prepared is called Halaal. Besides all this they should not charge interest on loans and not play games of chance. Ramaadaan period is their most holy period in their religion. Most Muslims do not eat between sunrise and sunset and food and drinks are not publicly available in Muslim states.

They believe that "There is no God but God"; One book, the Quraan; bodily resurrection after death; and in the reality of Heaven and Hell. The idea of Heaven as Paradise, is pre-Islaamic. Alexander the Great is believed to have brought the word into Greek from Persia where he used it to describe the walled Persian gardens (found there during 300 BC).

Islaam has no priesthood The authority of Imaams derive from social custom and from their authority to interpret scriptures. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race or color. It is inaccurately thought that this is from Quraan but it is not so.
During the 1st century of its existence Islaam split in two sects - Shiyaa and Sunnee. The basis of this division was in interpretation of verses in  Quraan and of traditional sayings of Muhammad, the Haadees. Both sects venerate Quraan but have different Haadees. They also have different vies of Muhammad's successor. Sunnees, majority in South Asia, believe that Muhammad did not appoint his successor, so he should be elected; while Shiyaas belief that Muhammad was the last prophet, but they still need an intermediary between God and people, and those intermediaries are termed Imaams, so they base both their laws and religious practices on the teaching of Imaams.
Muslim Calendar

The first day of Muslim year is July 16, 622 AD. This was the date of Muhammad's migration from Makkaa to Madeenaa, the Hijra, from which the date's name is taken - Hijree year. Their year is divided in 12 Lunar months, consisting of 354 days (11 days short than the Solar year) that is why their festivals fall 11 days earlier each year, such as in Gregorian Calendar

1st month is Moharram,
2nd month is Safar,
3rd month is Rabee-ul-Awwal,
4th month is Rabee-ul-Sani (or Rabee al-Thaanee)
5th month is Jumad-ul-Awwal,
6th month is Jumad-ul-Sani (or Jumad al-Thaanee)
7th month is Rajab,
8th month is Shaban (Shaabaan ul-Muazzam)
9th month is Ramaadaan,
10th month is Shawwal (long form: Shawwaal ul-Mukarram)
11th month is Ziqad (or Dhu al-Qidaah) and
12th month is Zilhaj (or Dhu al-Hijjaah)

 India, Paakistaan and Jordan use the traditional method of calculating the start of the 1st day of the month.  Each month has 29 or 30 days but with no order. Traditionally the 1st day of each month is beginning at sunset of the first sighting of the Lunar crescent (Hilaal) shortly after sunset. This traditional practice is followed only in these countries. However in most Muslim countries, astronomical rules are followed which allow the calendar to be determined in advance which is not possible by using traditional calendar.

Malaysia and Indonesia and a few others begin each month at sunset on the 1st day that the Moon sets after the sunset (when Moon sets after the sunset).
In Egypt the month begins at sunset on the 1st day that the Moon sets at least 5 minutes after the Sun.
Saudee Arabia uses Umm al-Quraa Calendar, for which North America has also agreed to follow. This methods causes Saudees celebrate Muslim festivals 1-2 days earlier than the other parts of the world.

Their important dates are:--
1st Day of Muharram - New Year's day
9th and 10th of Muharram - Anniversary of the killing of Muhammad's grandson Hussain commemorated by Shiyaas
12th of Rabee ul-Awwal - Birthday of Muhammad - Milaad-ul-Nabee
1st of Ramaadaan - Start of the fasting month
21st of Ramaadaan - Night of prayer - Shab-e-Qadra  (Shab-eRaat?)
1st of Shawwal - Eed-ul-Fitra or Sweet Eed - 3-day festival to mark the end of Ramaadaan
10th of Zilhaj (Dhul Hijj) - Eed-ul-Ajhaa or Idul-Zuhaa - Bakareed, a 2-day festival commemorating the sacrifice of Ismaail - Hajj time. Pilgrims make this sacrifice in Minnaa, but is celebrated everywhere in the world.

For a rough calculation, multiply the Islaamik year number 0.97, then add 622 to get the Gregorian Calendar number. An Islaamik year will be entirely within a Gregorian Calendar of the same number in the year 20874. The Islaamik year of 1429 will be entirely within Gregorian Calendar of 2008.

Islaam in India
Islaam has a highly visible presence in India. Even after partition in 1947, over 40 million Muslims remained in India. Islaam contact with India was first by the navies of Arab Muhammad Bin Qaasim (c 712 AD). These conquerors of Sindh converted very people. From the creation of Dehlee Sultanat in 1206, by Turks rather than Arabs, and since then Islaam became a permanent resident of India.

The victory of the Turkish ruler of Gazanee over the Raajpoots in 1192 AD established a 500 year period of Muslim power in India. By 1200 the Turkish Sultaans had annexed Bihaar in the East, in the process of wiping out Buddhism with the massacre of a Buddhist monastic order. And by 1311 AD a new Turkish Dynasty, the Khilajee Dynasty, had extended the power of Dehlee to the doors of Madurai.

Islaam and Hinduism
From the Mugal Emperor Akbar, Muslims started adjusting with Hindu. He married Hindu Princesses. He even adopted some Hindu beliefs also - he banned cow slaughtering and celebrated Hindu festivals in his court.

Daaraa Shikoh, Shaah Jahaan's eldest son, who died in 1659, even argued that the study of Hindu scriptures was necessary to obtain a complete understanding of the Quraan.

The 16th century Bangaalee poet Sayyad Sultaan wrote an epic in which the main Hindu gods were shown as prophets who preceded Adam, Noah, Abraaham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and the idea of prophet was matched with the Hindu concept of Avataar.

On the contrary Aurangzeb, the last most known Emperor, was very hostile to Hinddos. This attitude became stronger in the 20th century, related to the growing sense of their minority position, and this fear led to the creation of a separate Muslim country, Paakistaan, in 1947.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 03/15/12