In 1999 Sri Ashok Joshi
had written and printed a draft titled as ‘Islam in India’ for private
circulation. One of the chapters in it dealt with some of the salient aspects of
the Indian Muslim society. It is reproduced below with his permission. This
chapter is basically an executive summary of some important books available to
him at that time. Their list is given at the end of the chapter. It is possible
that far more information is now available on these topics and the reader is
welcome to send it to the editor after giving proper references so that we can
update the contents.
Four salient aspects of the Muslim society are covered here:
Position of women
Sects and Castes
The treatment of these
subjects is introductory and some readers may find it inadequate. But it will serve as a useful primer
for those who want to know something about the Indian Muslim society as well as
for those who want to delve deeper in these topics.
It should also be
remembered that since this booklet was originally written as a chapter of a book
some references to other chapters have been occasionally made and they should be
glossed over. Please find chapter below.
Society and Culture
Having studied the history of Islam in India, we shall now see how this religion
has operated in this country, a country where Hindus today constitute around 80%
of the people. Islam in India is better understood when studied with reference
to the global Islamic context wherever necessary. This chapter therefore is
rooted in and elaborates upon ‘The Religion of Islam’.
This chapter covers the following aspects of Islamic society in
•Position of women
•Sects and Castes
The treatment of these subjects is introductory and readers may also find the
delineation inadequate. But it is
hoped that more and more nationalist scholars like Shri Arun Shourie, Shri
Sitaram Goel and the late Shri Ram Swaroop will take up the task that they have
all undertaken and fulfilled so courageously – to study and analyse the theology
of Islam and Christianity and how they operate, in countries where they
constitute the majority and in countries where they constitute a numerical
minority. More scholars should study the world-view of these two religions – not
only how they operate within themselves but also about what happens when they
intersect with deeply differing world-views, cultures and religions.