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B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies

B.2 Ch. 26: A Notable Act of Treachery Page of 417 B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies Text size:minus plus Restore normal size   Mail page  Print this page
Concerning the religion of the Musalmäns in the East Indies.
The diversity which exists among the Musalmäns consists not only in the different explanations which they give of their Koran,1 but also in the different opinions which they entertain regarding the first successors of Muhammad. From this cause two sects, entirely opposed to one another, have sprung ; the one calling itself the Sunnis is followed by the Turks, the other the Shï'as,2 which is the sect of the Persians. I shall not delay here to say more as to the difference between these two sects, which divide the Musalmän world, having spoken sufficiently of them in my accounts of Persia, and
I shall only describe the present condition of this false religion, both in the Empire of the Great Mogul and in the Kingdoms of Golkonda and Bïjâpur.
At the first establishment of Islam in India the Christians 3 of the East were very ostentatious [estoient fort superbes] but not very devout, and the Idolaters were effeminate people unable to make much resistance. Thus it was easy for the Musalmäns to subject both by force of arms. This they did with so much success that many Christians and Idolaters embraced the Law of Muhammad.
The Great Mogul with all his Court followed the sect of
1 Alcoran in the original.
1 Sounnis and Chias in the original, and Sunnis and Schiais in the Persian Travels, bk. iv, eh. vii. The former revere the direct successors of Muhammad, and the latter maintain that 'Ali and his sons Hasan and Husain are the true successors to the caliphate. Sunnis predominate in the Musalmän population of India, but there are also many Shï'as there, some of them being descendants of Persian immigrants. (See Islam in India, Oxford, 1921, eh. i.)
3 M. Thévenot states that about the year 1665 some believed that there were 25,000 families of Christians in Agra, but all were not agreed as to this estimate (Voyage des Indes, 102). Colonel Sleeman, who refers to this, adds that he himself came upon a colony of 2,000 in the year 1814 in Bettiah in Tirhüt (Rambles and Recollections, ed. 1915, pp.
II ff. ; Smith, Akbar, The Great Mogul, 136 ff.).
B.2 Ch. 26: A Notable Act of Treachery Page of 417 B.3 Ch. 1: Musalmans in the East Indies
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