ISLAM IN KARNATAKA
This note gives a brief history of Islam religion in Karnataka to the end of seventeenth century. The advent and spread of the religion in various parts of Karnataka as also its impact on the culture of the land are dealt with in a modular method. Readers are requested are requested to refer to the individual entries such as Bahmani dynasty, Adilshahi dynasty, Bijapura, Gulbarga, Bidar, Srirangapattana and Islamic architecture for further details. Traditional Islam and its mystical manifestation as Sufism have had a lasting impact on Karnataka. Art forms of Karnataka such as architecture, sculpture, painting, literature and music have received new dimensions consequent of a living interaction with their counter parts in the Islamic culture. It is to be noted that the relationship between the religious communities in Karnataka have been quite cordial in spite of political interventions of the wrong kind.
Karnataka had trade relations with Arabian merchants through the oceanic route
even before the founding of Islam in the seventh century A.D. Arab followers of
Islam came to Karnataka either via Kerala state or the costal cities of
Karnataka like Mangalore and Karwar. Some Arab writers have spoken about the
presence of Muslim subjects during the regime of Rashtrakutas. There are
conclusive evidences about the spread of Islamic community in the west coast of
Karnataka by the 11th century. Written documents are available to
substantiate the fact that horses imported from
The next bout of influx of this religion originated from the north. Malik Kafur, a general of Alauddin Khilji who made an incursion in to Karnataka by the end of thirteenth century was instrumental for the spread of this religion in South Interior Karnataka.
Adilshahi, Baridshahi and Asafjahi dynasties which had a significant presence
way of tracing the arrival and growth of Islam in Karnataka is through the
arrival and positive influences of the great Sufi saints right from the
beginning of the eighth century A.D.
Bababudan Giri in Chikkamagalur district,
rule in Karnataka has contributed immensely to the architecture, painting,
music, calligraphy and numismatics of Karnataka. It has added several distinct
features of its own. Many Hindu shrines have taken up these features and
incorporated them in to their own artistic styles. In addition to these
processes of assimilation, the Muslim kings have created some of the most
splendid and famous monuments in Karnataka. Most of them are situated in Bidar,
Jumma Masjid in Mangalore,(Masjid Zeenath Baksh) Jamiya mosque in Bijapur, (16th Century) Solah-khamb mosque in Bidar (1423 A.D.), Ekminar mosque at Raichur, the mosque in Lakshmeshvara built in Hindu style, Jamia Masjid mosque near City Market in Bangalore and are some of the important mosques of Karnataka. Of course there are hundreds of mosuqes all over Karnataka many of them well known for their architectural beauty.
mural drawings, the miniature paintings and the calligraphy in literary and
religious texts all created or inspired by Islamic artists deserves a special
mention. Even the folklore of Karnataka has imbibed some features from Islam as
proved by ‘savAl-javAb’ songs, ‘
All in all, Islam has a significant presence in Karnataka and it has contributed handsomely to the cultural wealth of the state right from the beginning.
of Bijapur’ By Richard Maxwell Eaton, 1996,
Sufigalu’ By Rahamath Tarikere, 1998,
3. ‘Muslims in Dakshina Kannada: A historical study up to 1947 and survey of recent developments’ By A. Wahab Doddamane, 1993, Green Words Publication
4. Religions in coastal Karnataka, 1500-1763, By K.G.Vasantha Madhava, 1985, Inter-India Publications.
1. ‘ಪಿಂಜಾರ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ’, ದಾದಾ ಪೀರ್, 1993, ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಅಕಾಡೆಮಿ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು. (A monograph on ‘pinjAra culture)