Impact of Sufism
The massive geographic presence of Islam in India can be explained by the tireless activity of Sufi preachers. Sufism had left a prevailing impact on religious, cultural, and social life in the Indian subcontinent. The introduction of the mystical form of Islam was done by Sufi saints. Sufi scholars traveling from all over continental Asia were instrumental in the social, economic, and philosophic development of India. Besides preaching in major cities and centers of intellectual though, Sufis reached out to poor and marginalized rural communities and preached in local dialects such as Urdu, Sindhi, Panjabi versus Persian, Turkish, and Arabic. Sufism emerged as a “moral and comprehensive socieo-religious force” that even influenced other religious traditions such as Hinduism. Their traditions of devotional practices and modest living attracted all people. Their teachings of humanity, love for God and Prophet continue to be surrounded by mystical tales and folk songs today. Sufis were firm in abstaining from religious and communal conflict and strived to be peaceful elements of civil society. Furthermore, it is the attitude of accommodation, adaptation, piety, and charisma that continues to help Sufism remain as a pillar of mystical Islam in India.
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