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Islam in India, Southeast Asia, and Africa

            Pre-Islamic India was made up primarily of small states ruled from capital cities. The princes paid officials in land, producing limited governments with few functions. Of the functions they did perform, maintaining trading contracts with other Southeast Asian countries was probably most important. The social lives of citizens were still dependant on the strict caste system, which regulated everyday life of the people of India. The caste system also led to the decline and eventual irrelevancy of Buddhism, allowing the more accepting and varied approach of Hinduism to flourish. .
             Islam was truly introduced to India around the end of the 10th century, during a series of invasions led by Arab and Turkish armies. The first and second waves were intended to be strictly for raiding and stealing, as India was in a crippled state because of the invasions of the Huns. However, they destroyed Hindu shrines and statues during these invasions. The third wave in 1192 AD, was organized by a new line of Turkish kings, and specifically planned to not only raid, but also annex the conquered regions as well. After these successful invasions, a Turkish general established a new Islamic regional kingdom in what is now Pakistan, imposing a minority rule over Hindu majority in the area. It was called the Delhi sultanate. Although Islam was somewhat enforced in the area for a period of time, Indians could specifically ignore foreign rule more easily than other regions, as they were regulated by separate castes. Islamic belief did not fit well into the caste system and had no place for it, allowing fractions of lower castes to convert. But aside from that, Hinduism still prevailed. The two religions simply had too many conflicts between each other, such as their indifferences to pork and beef, abilities and inabilities to honor their gods through music and art, and the disagreement between the veiling of women.

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