Date of Award

1974

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religious Sciences

Supervisor

J.G. Arapura

Abstract

The interaction between Indian ideas and those of Islam took place over a period of several centuries. The contacts between the two faiths were made both outside India and in India begining from the Seventh Century of the Christian Era. The interaction between the Hindus and the Muslims took place on several levels, viz., intellectual, commercial, political and religious. In the present work, we made a special study of the last mentioned level.

With the coming of the Arab Muslim trader-missionaries to the Indian shores in the Seventh Century, the chapter of the interaction and assimilation in Hindu-Islamic interaction was opened, and as a result a popular religious movement called the Bhakti Movement began. This movement produced many great mystics both in Hindūism and Islām. In their highest spirituality, these bhaktas transcended religious differences between Hindiūsm and Islām. They professed and propagated a religion of devotion based on purity of heart, and bhakti directed to one God.

One of these bhaktas was Kabīr, an illegitimate son of a Hindū woman, brought up by a Muslim weaver family of Banares. He was a unique person by all means. He was the true product of the interaction of the Hindū-Muslim ideas. He propagated a new spirituality, a combination of some Hindū and some Muslim ideas, by which he attempted to resolve the historical tension between the Hindūs and the Muslims in India. By propagating a new piety, Kabīr wanted to unite the two cimmunities.

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