MUSLIMS PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND HINDUISM
M. A. Saleem Khan
|India, a democratic and federal state, based on the modern, liberal and
humanistic values fostered by a century old national struggle for independence, is really
embedded in the ancient Indian traditions of freedom of conscience, irrepressible search
for truth and pragmatic adjustment. These elements constitute what may be called India's
wisdom. This wisdom alongwith its scientific progress have always been respected by
foreigners -- from Alexander to Max Mueller. The Muslims, who came to India as travellers,
merchants and writers in the early medieval age and those who learnt from them, had
likewise developed a deep sense of respect for its wisdom and science, so much that they,
despite their radically different religious culture did not criticise idolatry and
polytheism but looked at them with benign curiosity and took a romantic view of Indian
rishis and munis. At the same time they learnt from India astronomy, mathematics and
medicine, among other sciences.
This study surveys and analyses the early Muslim perception of India and Hinduism as
reflected in the writings of West Asian geographers, historians and writers on religion.
These writings have been placed in historical perspective in the framework of
international commerce, changing politico-religious conditions both in West Asia and
India, and the intellectual interaction between the two civilisations.
South Asian Publishers, New Delhi: 1997
ISBN NO. 81-7003-211-3 Rs.425/-
PART - I
1. Early Muslim writing on India as source material for Indian history.
2. Intellllectual context of Muslim travellers and their writing on India.
3. West Asian trade with India in the early medieval period.
4. Changeing politico-religious culture of Western and Central Asia and its impact on
Muslim attitude to, and behaviour in, India.
5. Political and cultural situation in India during the early medieval period.
6. Religions and religious culture of India.
7. West Asian Muslim's spiritual interest in India.
PART - II
8. Muslims geography and geographical writings on India.
9. India as a source of science, philosophy and wisdom literature for west Asian Muslims.
10. Early Muslim travellers and geographers.
11. Yaqubi and India's wisdoms.
13. Minor geographers:the intellectual atmosphere.
PART - III
14. Muslims writers on Indian religions.
16. Ibn al-Nadim(d.385 or 388 AH/995 or 998 AD).
17. Gardizi (d.ca.1060).
18. Marvazi (d.1125).
19. Shahrastani (1086-1153).
Copyright (c) Center for Federal Studies, Jamia
Hamdard, New Delhi, India