AIOU Solved Assignments 1&2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

AIOU Solved Assignments Code B.A/ B.Com 537 Autumn & Spring 2024  Course: Ideological Foundation of Pakistan  (537) Spring 2024. AIOU past papers

Ideological Foundation of Pakistan  (537) B.A/B.Com  (2 years)
Autumn & Spring 2024

AIOU Solved Assignment  1& 2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

Question 1:  Critically evaluate the history of Muslim rule in India. How far Muslim rulers tried to develop harmony and understanding with their Hundu subject? Discuss in the light of prescribed study material.

Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent began in the course of a gradual Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent, beginnning mainly after the conquest of Sindh and Multan led by Muhammad bin Qasim. Following the perfunctory rule by the Ghaznavids in Punjab, Sultan Muhammad of Ghor is generally credited with laying the foundation of Muslim rule in the India.

From the late 12th century onwards, Turko-Mongol Muslim empires began to establish themselves throughout the subcontinent including the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire, who adopted local culture and intermarried with natives. Various other Muslim kingdoms, which ruled most of South Asia during the mid-14th to late 18th centuries, including the Bahmani Sultanate, Deccan Sultanates, and Gujarat Sultanate were native in origin. Sharia was used as the primary basis for the legal system in the Delhi Sultanate, most notably during the rule of Firuz Shah Tughlaq and Alauddin Khilji, who repelled the Mongol invasions of India. While rulers such as Akbar adopted a secular legal system and enforced religious neutrality.

Muslim rule in India saw a major shift in the cultural, linguistic, and religious makeup of the subcontinent. Persian and Arabic vocabulary began to enter local languages, giving way to modern Punjabi, Bengali, and Gujarati, while creating new languages including Urdu and Deccani, used as official languages under Muslim dynasties, and Hindi. This period also saw the birth of Hindustani music, Qawwali and the further development of dance forms such as Kathak. Religions such as Sikhism and Din-e-Ilahi were born out of a fusion of Hindu and Muslim religious traditions as well.

The height of Islamic rule was marked during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, during which the Fatawa Alamgiri was compiled, which briefly served as the legal system of Mughal India.[11] Additional Islamic policies were re-introduced in South India by the Mysore King Tipu Sultan.

The eventual end of the period of Muslim rule of modern India is mainly marked with the beginning of British rule, although its aspects persisted in Hyderabad State, Junagadh State, Jammu and Kashmit State and other minor princely states until the mid of the 20th century. Today’s modern Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan remain the only Muslim majority nations in the Indian subcontinent.

The foundation of Muslim rule in India was laid by Shabab-ud-Din Ghori towards the close of the 12th century A.D. However, long before that Muslims had started making attempts to enter India.

The first such attempt was made in the middle of the 7th century A.D. which however, proved a failure in 711-713 A.D. the Arabs under Muhammad- bin-Qasim, nephew of the Governor of Basra attacked India and conquered Sindh and Multan.

However, the Arabs could not retain control over this region for long as the Arabs were unskilled in the art of Government, they left administration of these areas completely in the hands of the natives. This occupation of Sindh by the Muslims came to an end with the death of Muhammad-bin Qasim.

The next attempt to capture India was made by the Turks of Ghazni. Subuktgin and his son Mahmud (995—1030) attacked Punjab which was then ruled by the Shahi dynasty. Subuktgin defeated the Shahi ruler Jaipal and deprived him of his trans Indus territory. The rest of the territories of Jaipal were wrested by his son Mahmud.

Mahmud in all conducted seventeen raids against northern India and carried away huge booty. Though these invasions of Mahmud were barren of any political results, yet they exposed the political and military weaknesses of India to the Muslim world.

The credit for laying firm foundation of the Muslim rule in India goes to Shahab ud Din Ghori. Shahab-ud-Din Ghori seized the throne of Ghazni in 1173. After consolidating his position, he turned his attention towards the fertile plains of India.

During the next ten years he conquered a number of areas like Multan, Uchh and Lahore. He even defeated the Rajput ruler, Prithviraj of Delhi at the battle of Tarain in 1192. After this he conquered Ajmer, Kanauj and Banaras.

After the death of Shahab-ud-Din Ghori, his Viceroy Kutub- ud-Din Aibak set up Slave dynasty in India. Kutub-ud-Din ruled India for four years and greatly extended the conquests made by Mohammad Ghori with the assistance of Mohammad Bakhtiyar Khilji. He brought the whole of northern India under his control.

The other important rulers of Slave Dynasty who consolidated and extended the Empire were Iltutmiah and Balban. Altutmish not only saved the dismemberment of the Muslim Empire by curbing various revolts by the Governors of Bengal and Bihar but also conquered Malwa and Sindh.

Likewise, Balban, as a Minister of Altutmish rushed the rebellions of Hindu kings and Muslim governors. He also successfully repulsed attacks of the Mongols. Later on as a king, Balban not only re-organised the administrative machinery but also raised strong protection against Mongol raids in the north-western frontiers.

After the Slave Dynasty, Jalal-ud-Din Khilji founded the new Khilji Dynasty. The most important ruler of this dynasty was Ala-ud Din Khilji. Under him the kingdom of Delhi reached its zenith. He greatly extended his Empire both in the north as well as in the south. In fact, it was the first Muslim Empire which covered practically the whole of India.

However, this Empire did not survive for long and declined after his death. In fact, during the last years of his time Ala-ud-Din Khilji saw this wieldy fabric tumbling. But it certainly goes to the credit of Ala-ud-Din Khilji that he subjugated Rajput kingdoms of Mewar, Ranthambhor, Gujarat, etc., and also annexed kingdoms of Devgiri, Warangal and Madura in the south.

He also abolished the feudal system of administration and centralised the entire administration in the hands of the king. He introduced far reaching military and economic reforms. But probably the most important contribution of Ala-ud- Din Khilji was that he, “expounded the theory that the king was responsible for the good government of the country and as such he should not be bound by the verdict of the Muslim Ulemas”.

In short, we can say that under the Khilji’s not only the territorial expansion of the Empire took place but certain new administrative principles were also enunciated.

After the assignation of the last ruler of Khilji Dynasty, Ghazi Malik ascended the throne under the title of Gias-ud-Din Tughlaq and founded a new Dynasty known as Tughlaq Dynasty. Soon after assuming power, he tried to champion the cause of Muslims. He was not contented with the acknowledgement of his suzerainty by the Hindu monarchs of the South and therefore adopted the policy of conquest and annexation.

He annexed the kingdom of Devgiri, Warangil and Dwarasamudra thus we find that under the Tughlaqs, the Empire extended to the whole of India. Tughlaq rule’s divided the country into 25 provinces for the efficient administration of the vast territory. However, this solidarity did not last long.

Another prominent ruler of this dynasty was Mohammad Tughlak. He was a distinguished scholar and a man of ideas. He prepared several schemes of conquest and introduced numerous administrative reforms. These schemes have been described by the scholars as visionary and their failure is attributed to the impractica­ble nature of these schemes.

However, Dr. Ishwari Prasad is of the opinion that his schemes were noble but he failed to execute them properly. The civil administration provided by Mohammad Tughlaq bears the stamp of his individuality spirit of tolerance and justice.

Mohammad Tughlaq was succeeded by his cousin Firoz Tughlaq. During his time the policy of territorial extension and annexation was given up. He permitted the provinces of Bengal and Sindh to claim their independence. Firoz Tughlaq was a bigoted king and did not treat the Hindus and Shias justly.

How­ever, during his time remarkable improvement was effected in the administrative machinery. As one historian has said, “He was the first Muslim king of India who had accepted the principle that the -duties of a sovereign are not limited only to the protection of person and property of his subjects but that the States must also adopt measures which contribute to their happiness and general welfare.”

He not only revised the entire penal code but also abolished the inhuman punishment. He undertook varijm projects of irrigation, reduced taxes on land, revised the revenue clauses and abolished numerous duties on small trade and profession.

He extended patronage to education by maintaining several schools and colleges. During his times a number of new buildings, towns, mosques and gardens were constructed and laid dawn. He also revived the Jagir and Slave systems.

Despite these measures the Tughlaq Empire did not last long and broke down to pieces after the death of Firoz Tughiaq. After him two rival claimants to the throne contested and there was a period of political instability. At this juncture Timur attacked India and dealt a death below to the tottering Tughlaq Empire.

After the Tughlaqs, Sayyid Khizar Khan ascended the throne of Delhi and founded the Sayyid Dynasty. In all there were four rulers of this Dynasty but their rule was confined to the walls of Delhi alone. They neither assumed the royal style nor struck coins in their own names. During their times repeated rebellions broke out in various parts and these rulers had to exert much of their energy in suppressing these rebellions.

The last ruler of this Dynasty abdicated the throne in 1451 in favour of Bahlol Lodhi, the Gover­nor of Punjab. Bahlol Lodhi founded the Lodhi dynasty. He suppressed the prevailing disorder and established a stable government in the country. He also conquered Jaunpur, Kalpi, Dholpur, Bari and Ala pur and thus tried to revive the glory of the former Delhi Sultanate.

His son, Sikandar Lodhi was another notable ruler of this dynasty. He was a staunch Muslim and followed the policy of persecution of the Hindus. However, he was a great patron of learning and continued to rule till 1517. With his death, the Delhi Empire started crumbling down, and his successor Ibrahim Lodhi was defeated by Babur in 1526 at the historic battle of Panipat.

This marked the end of the Sultanate of Delhi and the beginning of the Mughal rule in India.

Establishment of Mughal Rule:

After defeating Ibrahim Lodhi, Babur, a prince of Farghana, established the Mughal rule in India. Next year, he defeated the famous Rana Sanga at Kanwah. His successor Humayun could not consolidate his hold in northern India and was defeated by the famous Afghan ruler Sher khan.

Sher Khan founded the Suri Dynasty in 1540. He provided a sound system of civil administration and introduced a number of original land reforms, works for public utility. He followed the policy of tolerance and justice and earned reputation as a great ruler. However, his dynasty did not last long because his successors were very weak. This was fully exploited by Humayun to regain his kingdom after 15 years of exile in Persia.

Humayun’s son Akbar put the Mughal rule in India on firm footing. He defeated the great Hemu at the battle of Panipat in 1556. Akbar also annexed territories like Malwa, Gondwana, Gujarat, Ranthambhor, Chittor, Bengal, Kabul, Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan Orissa and Ahmednagar and established his sway over the whole of northern India with the exception of Mewar. Akbar tried to project himself as a national ruler.

He followed a policy of reli­gious tolerance towards Hindus and abolished pilgrim tax and poll taxes. He introduced a number of social reforms and improved the revenue administration. Jahangir who succeeded Akbar followed the policy laid down by his father.

However, during his times the Persian influence greatly increased because of Nur Jahan. Shah Jahan, the next ruler waged successful struggle against the Deccan rulers of Golconda and Bijapur and established Mughal suzerainty over them. Under him also the national character of the state was maintained. His reign also witnessed the construction of some of the marvelous buildings of the Mughal period.

Aurangzeb who ascended the throne after imprisoning Shah Jahan reversed the policy of Akbar and tried to establish an Islamic stale. He adopted an all out anti-Hindu policy and re-imposed various taxes on the Hindus which were abolished by Akbar.

In short, we can say that Aurangzeb destroyed the national State created by Akbar. The successors of Aurangzeb were very weak and the Mughal Empire continued to decline under them. The Mughal Empire came to an end in 1857 when the British deposed Bahadur Shah the last Mughal rule.

AIOU Solved Assignment  1& 2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

Question 2:  Examine the roe of caste system in Hunduis. Was it possible for the Hindus to outgrow their caste system? Discuss.

People in general belong to many social categories that could either be achieved, such as one’s profession, or inherited, such as one’s gender. The consequences of social categorizations are often not only seen in the dynamics of social interactions, but also in the way social status is represented. For the present research, the Indian/Hindu caste system is of interest, which is an integral feature of the Indian societal structure. The caste system provides a hierarchy of social roles that hold inherent characteristics and, more importantly, remain stable throughout life. An implicit status is attached to one’s caste which historically changed from the social roles to hereditary roles. This, created status hierarchies on hereditary basis with limited social mobility. For instance, individuals born into the highest caste, that is, the Brahmin caste have usually been priests and scholars. Individuals born into the Kshatriya caste have been warriors and kings. Individuals born into the Vaishya caste have been merchants. Finally, individuals born into the Shudra caste have been laborers. Besides, there was an additional ‘out-casted’ group called the Dalits or the ‘untouchables’ who occupied the lowest step of the social ladder. In modern India, the Indian government introduced a categorization scheme in which the untouchable castes were categorized as scheduled castes (SC), the backward tribes were categorized as scheduled tribes (ST) and the disadvantaged castes as other backward castes (OBC). The Forward caste (FC) community generally constitute the high caste group. The SC, ST, and OBC comprising the historically disadvantaged groups, were provided job opportunities by the government through affirmative action. The FC has historically been and, continues to be, in a strong socioeconomic position with the highest status in society1. Thus, one of the main objectives of the present research was to examine how status is cognitively represented in the Indian society as a consequence of the way caste is perceived2. Even now, people in India continue to define their self-identity by means of the caste they belong to and the social group that they find themselves in. Caste membership is thus ingrained in the society and there is considerable reason to claim that caste as a type of social identity would probably be one of the most salient identities in the Indian context. This aspect is addressed by Social Identity Theory, to which we now turn.

Social Identity as a Basis for Caste Identity

Social identity claims that people derive an important part of their identity from an affirmation of membership with the group they belong to. It suggested that any group (e.g., social class, family, football team etc.) can act as a source of pride and self-esteem, therefore, we tend to enhance our self-esteem by promoting and endorsing the status of the group we belong to, the so-called “in-group”. The Indian societal structure provides a fertile ground to examine the interactive roles of multiple identities like religious, national, regional (north vs. south), class and caste wherein one could discard or fuse these identities for the benefit of societal functioning. But many researchers have stressed the importance and the influence of caste as an integral social identity among many South Asians compared to other social identities like gender and ethnicity. It has in fact been argued that caste identity may override other social identities, because of its primary importance for many South Asians. We argue that in the context of status representation, caste identity (as opposed to religion, national and regional identities) would be the most prominent identity in explaining the differences in status perception, due to the inherent associations of caste and status. Thus, according to social identity theory, individuals would strive to maintain a positive image of their caste identity. We further argue below that caste identity will especially be more salient for high caste individuals.

A strong caste identity could provide feelings of belongingness or self-esteem, thereby relying on some caste norms. Particularly, it is known that high caste individuals see caste identity as a more stable construct wherein this identity is inherited at birth. They tend to essentialise their identity and this is predominantly attributed to the feelings of connectedness with previous generations of one’s caste group. High caste individuals also develop feelings of temporal continuity, positive distinctiveness, and heightened self-esteem from essentialisation of their caste identity. It was argued that the caste system tends to be legitimized through the ideology of Karmic beliefs (beliefs that general good or bad deeds in one’s life are rewarded or reprimanded by being born into a high or low caste in the next life) especially by those high on social dominance orientation (SDO), that is, those who demonstrate a general preference for hierarchical social relations. Furthermore, when members of higher castes essentialise their caste identity they permit themselves to stigmatize members of the lower castes. The low caste members or the Dalits on the other hand, do not believe that their caste identity is inherited and therefore do not essentialise it. They may thus enhance their self-efficacy, through the possibility of social mobility, based on the idea that caste identity can be seen as less permanent. We thus argue that caste identity is more salient amongst high caste individuals due to the belief they have about being privileged to have inherited this positive image of high caste at birth. Low caste individuals would not have a salient caste identity because they believe that this identity is not essentialised and belonging to this group has negative consequences.

Social Identity Threat and Caste Norms

Social identity effects are based on the protection of self-concepts and thus any threat to this self-concept would be associated with strong identity effects. Research has shown that highly identified group members would find ways to protect their in-group identity. However, claim that threat to one’s social identity in fact depends on the degree of group identification. For instance, they suggest that those who are highly identified with their in-group are more likely to show defensive responses than those who are not so highly identified. We can assume that high caste individuals who legitimize their inherent high caste would also show strong high caste identity.

So, what specifically could elicit an identity threat related to caste? We claim that norms and expectations that are associated with caste membership, when questioned, could fundamentally be a source of threat. In fact, it is most commonly seen that a person engaging in any sort of norm violation (especially of the higher caste) is ostracized and devalued. One of the most deeply rooted caste norms relates to marriage. For instance, when people violate the norm of marrying within one’s own caste by engaging in inter-caste marriage, the higher caste individual is believed to bring shame to the family and this norm transgression is considered to be immoral. It argued that when an identity related to the morality value is threatened, high identifiers will show more defensive reactions. We therefore argue that the threat to one’s own caste, if related to moral values or norms would motivate strong caste identifiers to alleviate this threat and protect their identity.

For many years, the high caste members in general had greater status in the society, and viewed themselves as living to higher moral standards and values, as compared to low caste individuals. It is generally believed that high caste individuals hold qualities related to wisdom, intelligence, honesty, austerity, and morality while low caste individuals possess qualities of dullness, stupidity, immorality, impurity, and other negative qualities. These ancient established norms carried over into modern day Indian society and thus certain norms were explicitly attached to a caste type. Thus we can argue that morality is perhaps a significant value attached to one’s caste and violating such a norm could be a source of threat particularly amongst high identifiers. As introduced earlier, inter-caste marriages can be seen as a typical norm-violation in India and are often viewed as ‘polluting’ the sanctity of the caste system thereby touching upon the value of morality. Marriages between high and low caste persons are especially harshly punished and sometimes lead to public lynching of couples or their relatives, murder (of the bride, groom or their relatives), rape, public beatings and other sanctions. In fact, in Northern India, inter-caste marriages frequently result in family members choosing to kill the couple. Thus, when a high caste member commits norm violation s/he is devalued in society. This effect can especially be understood by the ‘Black sheep effect’ (BSE) wherein people in general derogate deviant in-group members.

Norm Violation Effects and Identity

When a norm is violated, members often perceive this deviant behavior as potentially threatening to the group identity, and therefore deal with the deviance in order to reduce the threat. However, research has shown that the tendency for a group to defend the threat depends on the extent to which an individual is identified with the group. those who are not as much identified with the group, are typically less motivated to protect one’s social identity. It can thus be understood that high identifiers would show greater motivation to engage in in-group protection to defend the threat. We argue that high caste individuals would be high identifiers with their caste, and low caste individuals would be low identifiers with their caste. However, we claim that in-group identity protection will be seen in the form of black sheep effect and not as in-group favoritism. In certain situations, in-group members are known to exclude undesirable members from the in-group in order to maintain a positive and distinctive social identity. For instance,that an aggressive social interaction between a victim and a perpetrator would lead to generally biased responses that could either lead to in-group favoritism or black sheep effect; the latter effect being most likely to occur in situations. More specifically it is said that in-group favoritism is particularly observed when the deviant behavior of the perpetrator was ambiguous or unintentional. However, when there is explicit evidence suggesting that in-group perpetrators deliberately “committed the crime” one would observe the black sheep effect. Wang  also found neural evidence showing that intentional aggressive interactions result in patterns of the black sheep effect. Thus, there is some evidence indicating that aggressive, intentional, and unambiguous interactions would lead to more in-group derogations.

Furthermore, this pattern of in-group derogation tends to be more distinct among individuals who are highly identified with their group than those who are not. High-caste individuals would indeed be high identifiers, owing to the notion of ‘being born into’ one’s high caste and thus would be especially motivated to protect one’s in-group by excluding the undesirable member. Furthermore,  explain that well- established group members (high caste members) are especially aware of the pertaining rules and norms and therefore, any kind of deviance from such norms would pose a threat to one’s group identity, which will be responded to by devaluating the perpetrating in-group member and seeing him/her as low in typicality. Research further also add that especially those who highly identify with one’s in-group perceive the in-group deviant as less typical of the in-group. We would thus argue that high caste individuals who are also high identifiers with their caste would devalue another in-group member committing norm transgression (that is aggressive and intentional) and would find the transgression morally unacceptable in order to protect their threatened social identity.

Elaborating on the black sheep effect, according to subjective group dynamics theory group members are motivated to maintain a positive social identity. This motivation then results in positive evaluations of in-group conformers and negative evaluations of in-group deviants. In a similar vein,  found that higher ranked group members showed more preference for norm followers than norm violators. They suggest that this could be because higher ranked members were more threatened by the norm violator’s challenge to the status quo. Thus we can argue that high caste individuals would be more motivated to protect one’s in-group identity by making negative evaluations of the deviant member. Likewise, according to relational models theory, a derogation of in-group member in order to protect a group identity and integrity is explained by a transgression of moral norms regulated by specific in-group relations. In our context it particularly refers to moral motives for unity and hierarchy. Unity is aimed at caring for and supporting the integrity of in-group by avoiding or eliminating threats of contamination. When a group member commits a moral violation, the whole group feels contaminated and shamed until it purifies itself. Hierarchy in turn is aimed at maintaining linear orderings of social status where subordinates are motivated to respect and obey, and superiors to guide, protect, but also take moral responsibility for the actions of their subordinates. Thus, high caste individuals who break the strongly ingrained high caste norm of morality, purity, self-control, and pastoral care must expect group aversion or even a punishment. We were therefore interested in identity threat in the form of caste norm violation, and the ensuing cognitive representations of caste and status, which could be identity-maintaining. We assume in this context only the caste-based identity will be activated whilst other identities, such as religion, national and regional affiliation, will not play a role.

Caste and Social Consequences

One of the most common social problems of the caste system was the discrimination of low caste members as explained earlier. In 1950, independent India’s constitution banned caste-based discrimination and in order to compensate for historical injustices the authorities introduced quotas in government jobs and educational institutions to improve the quality of life of low castes. A reservation system was introduced wherein a certain number of seats were reserved for members of the lower castes at places of higher education and government jobs. However, this legislation was soon met with a lot of resistance from the high caste community who felt that the system was not meritocratic, and provided an unjust advantage to the low caste members. We believe that the reservation system is one of the most important social consequences of the caste system in modern times, and attitudes toward the system would have to be a reflection of one’s caste identity.

AIOU Solved Assignment  1& 2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

Question 3:  How far do you think Hinduism as a body of ideas allows contacting with members of other faiths? Discuss the ideas which describe the Hindu social system even more important than the system itself.

Hinduism is a religion with various Gods and Goddesses. According to Hinduism, three Gods rule the world. Brahma: the creator; Vishnu: the preserver and Shiva: the destroyer. Lord Vishnu did his job of preserving the world by incarnating himself in different forms at times of crisis.

The three Lords that rule the world have consorts and they are goddesses too. Consort of Brahma is Sarasvati; goddess of learning. Vishnu’s consort is Lakshmi; goddess of wealth and prosperity. Shiva’s consort is Parvati who is worshipped as Kali or Durga.
Besides these Gods and Goddesses there are a number of other Gods and Goddesses. To name a few of them, there is Ganesh; who has an elephant’s head and he is also a son of Shiva and Parvati, Hanuman; who is an ape, Surya; Lord of sun, Ganga Ma; Goddess of river Ganges; Samundra; Lord of the sea, Indra; king of the Gods ( but he isn’t an important God), Prithvi; Goddess of earth, Shakti; Goddess of strength. The Hindus call their Goddesses ‘Ma’ meaning mother.

Some gods have more than one name. Shiva is also known as Shankar, Mahadev, Natraj, Mahesh and many other names. Ganesh is also called Ganpati. God Vishnu incarnated 9 times to do his job and in his every appearance he had a different form which are also worshipped as Gods. Among his appearances, he appeared as Rama, Krishna, Narsimha, Parsuram and Buddha. Krishna also has different names, Gopal; Kishan; Shyam and other names. He also has other titles with meanings like ‘Basuri Wala’ which means the flute musician and ‘Makhan Chor’ which means the butter stealer. There are also Gods who can change their forms, for example: Parvati can change into Kali or Durga.
Not all of these Gods are worshiped by all Hindus. Some Hindus worship only Vishnu. Others worship only Shiva. Others worship only the Goddesses and call these Goddesses collectively as Shakti meaning strength. Many of these Goddess worshipers worship Parvati in her images as Kali or Durga. People who worship Shiva or Vishnu also worship characters and images connected with these Gods. Vishnu worshipers (Vaishnaites) also worship his appearances. Shiva’s worshipers (Shaivites) also worship images of bull called Nandi, who was Shiva’s carrier and a unique stone design connected to Shiva. There are also Hindus who worship all the Gods. There are some Gods who are worshiped all over India like Rama and Krishna and other Gods who are worshiped more in one region than the other like Ganesh who is worshiped mainly in west India. Hindus also worship Gods according to their personal needs. People who engage in wrestling, body building and other physical sports worship Hanuman, who in Hindu legends was an ape with lot of physical strength. Businessmen worship Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth.

Though these Hindus worship different idols, there are many Hindus who believe in one God and perceive in these different Gods and Goddesses as different images of the same one God. According to their beliefs idolatry is the wrong interpretation of Hinduism.
Hindus believe in reincarnation. The basic belief is that a person’s fate is determined according to his deeds. These deeds in Hinduism are called ‘Karma’. A soul who does good Karma in this life will be awarded with a better life in the next incarnation. Souls who do bad Karma will be punished for their sins, if not in this incarnation then in the next incarnation and will continue to be born in this world again and again. The good souls will be liberated from the circle of rebirth and get redemption which is called ‘Moksha’ meaning freedom. Hindus normally cremate their dead ones, so that the soul of the dead would go to heaven, except in a few cases of Hindu saints, who are believed to have attained ‘Moksha’.
The main Hindu books are the four Vedas. They are Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. The concluding portions of the Vedas are called Upanisads. There are also other holy books like Puranas, Ramayana, Mahabharta etc. The different Gods and Goddesses in the Hindu mythology are derived from these books. Ramayana and Mahabharta are the most popular Hindu books.

The main story of Ramayana is the story of Lord Rama. Rama was born in a royal family and was suppose to be the king, but because of his step- mother, he was forced to exile from his kingdom for fourteen years. During this period his consort Sita was kidnapped by a demon called Ravan, who was king of Lanka. Rama with the help of his brother, Lakshman, and an army of monkeys under the leadership of Hanuman, rescued Sita. Many Indians believe that the present day Sri Lanka was then the kingdom of Lanka.
Mahabharta is a family epic. In this epic the Pandva family and the Kaurav family who are cousins fight with each other for the control over a kingdom. Kaurav family, which consisted of 100 brothers rule an empire. The five Pandva brothers ask for a small kingdom which belongs to them. The Kauravs refuse to give the Pandvas the kingdom so there is a war between the Pandvas and the Kauravs in which it is believed that all the kingdoms of that period in India took part. In this war the Pandvas, with the help of Lord Krishna win the war. Before the commencement of the war, while the two armies are facing each other, one of the Pandva brothers Arjun gets depressed. Arjun is depressed because he has to fight against people whom he knows, loves and respects. At this point Krishna, (who was also a king of a kingdom, and participated in this war only as the chariot driver for Arjun) convinces Arjun to fight. Krishna lectures Arjun about life, human beings and their religious duties. He explains to Arjun that he belongs to a warrior caste and he has to fight for that’s his destination in this incarnation. Those chapters in the Mahabharta which are Krishna’s discourses on religious philosophy are called Bhagvad Gita. Because of it’s importance the Bhagvad Gita is considered as a separate holy book. Another Hindu holy book that deals with religious duties is ‘Law of Manu’ or the ‘Dharma Shastra’.

In the wars that occur in the holy books, as in Mahabharta, the different sides had different war weapons which had characters similar to modern day war weapons. In some stories the traveling vehicles were normally birds and animals. But these animals and birds had features similar to modern day aircrafts. There were even aircrafts with over velocity of light. The main war weapons were bows and arrows. But these arrows were more like modern missiles than simple arrows. These arrows were capable of carrying bombs with destructive power similar to modern day chemical, biological or even atom bombs. Other arrows could be targeted on specific human beings. There were even arrows capable of neutralizing other arrows, similar to modern day anti-missiles.

Hindus have many holy places. Badrinath, Puri, Dwarkha and Rameshwaram are four holiest places for the Hindus. Other holy places are Varanasi, Rishikesh, Nasik, Pushkar, Ujjain and other places. Some rivers are also holy to them. Among them are Godavri, Yamuna and above all Ganges which the Indians call Ganga. Another holy river is Sarasvati and it is invisible. Hindus also worship and respect some animals and birds like cobra, apes, peacocks and cow. Hindus also respect some trees and bush trees. The famous and the most respected bush tree is Tulsi.

Some of the Hindu customs, which exist or existed, do not have their bearing in Hindu scriptures but became part of Hinduism in different ways and fashion. For example, the Hindus see in cow a sacred animal. Religiously there is no reason to see cow as sacred and it is believed that cows were made ‘sacred’ to prevent their slaughter during periods of droughts and hunger. Cobra worship also is not found in Hindu scripts. This custom became part of Hinduism when some Indian tribes who use to worship cobra adopted Hinduism. Burning of the widow on the dead husband’s pyre also has no religious justification. This custom, outlawed in 1829, was probably brought to India by the Scythians invaders of India. Among the Scythians it was a custom to bury the dead king with his mistresses or wives, servants and other things so that they could continue to serve him in the next world. When these Scythians arrived in India, they adopted the Indian system of funeral, which was cremating the dead. And so instead of burying their kings and his servers they started cremating their dead with his surviving lovers. The Scythians were warrior tribes and they were given a status of warrior castes in Hindu religious hierarchy. The different castes who claimed warrior status or higher also adopted this custom.

There are four castes in Hindu religion arranged in a hierarchy. The highest caste is Brahman, and they are the priest caste of Hinduism. After them are the Kshatria, who are the warrior castes. After them are the Vaishya caste , who are business people. And after them are the Sudra, who are the common peasants and workers. Below these four castes there are casteless, the untouchables. The four castes were not allowed to have any physical contact with the untouchables.

Each caste is divided into many sub-castes. The religious word for caste is Varna and for sub-caste Jat or Jati. But sometimes in English the term caste is used in both cases. Religiously, people are born in a caste and it cannot be changed. Each caste has some compulsory duties, which its members must do. Each caste has professional limits which decides what profession each caste can follow. Each caste members can have social relations only with its caste members. Religiously this includes marraige and even eating only with caste members. Please note that socially the caste system is different from the religious form of caste system.

How did Hinduism originated is a difficult question. The accepted theory is that Hinduism was evolved after the historical meeting between the Aryans and Dravidians. Some claim that Hinduism is mainly an Aryan culture whereas the others claim that it is mainly a Dravidian culture. Religiously the Vedas were given by Brahma.

Before Hinduism there existed another religion in India called Brahmanism and its followers were called Brahmans. The Brahmans were the spiritual and moral guides of the Indian society. The members of this religion were a close sect and others could not join it. The Brahmans slowly started accepting others into their religion and so was created Hinduism which included in it the customs which aren’t the part of the Vedas. One of the reasons the Brahmans accepted others to their religion was the fear to loose their status as moral guides to priests of a new religion that started in India, namely Buddhism. The Brahmans even accepted Buddha as a Hindu God and part of his teachings and philosophy like non violence into their religion.

AIOU Solved Assignment  1& 2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

Question 4: Critically examine that Muslim community is different in texture and outlook from the Hindu community. Discuss in the light of Percival Spear’s observation in the prescribed study material.

Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religions and over the centuries have both peacefully coexisted and violently clashed. In this lesson, we’ll examine the origins of this conflict and see what it means to the world today.

Religious Conflicts of India

We tend to think of the United States as a pretty diverse place, and it is, but it’s nothing compared to the nation of India. With dozens of ethnic groups, roughly 15 commonly spoken languages, and 8 substantially practiced religions, India is a diverse place. However, this diversity can often turn into conflict, particularly between clashing religious groups. In particular, the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus have been a defining feature of India’s history, even to the point of influencing the very shape and size of the nation today.

The Muslim-Hindu Conflict Origin

Muslims and Hindus have very different religious beliefs. Muslims follow a monotheistic religion called Islam, which worships a single God, called Allah in this context, as interpreted through the prophet Muhammad. Hindus, on the other hand, adhere to the polytheistic Hinduism, one of the oldest religions in the world, with several deities and a complex cosmological framework featuring cycles of death and rebirth. So, they’re different religions, but why don’t they get along?

The origins of the conflict between these groups dates back to the 7th and 8th centuries CE, when Islam was first introduced into the kingdoms of India from the Middle East. At this time, many of the world’s most prominent traders were Arabic Muslims, and Islamic trade networks stretched across Eurasia. As Muslim merchants established trade centers in India, the religion came with them, and grew rapidly in several areas, seen by many Hindus as threatening their way of life. With the rise of Islamic caliphates, essentially meaning Islamic empires, Indian kingdoms were subject to military invasion by Islamic forces for centuries. In fact, in the early 13th century, an Islamic kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate was founded in modern-day India as a result of Islamic imperial expansion into the subcontinent. While Muslims and Hindus did peacefully coexist in many parts of India for a long time, the two groups could, and did, turn against each other as a result of the economic, social, and military conflicts of the age.

Conflict Since the 20th Century

Now, unfortunately this conflict didn’t go away with the end of the medieval world. In fact, it reached some of its most extreme heights in the 20th century, when the Indian subcontinent was part of the British Empire. At this time, most Hindu Indians lived in the central and eastern parts of the colony and were largely peasants and laborers. Muslim Indians lived predominantly in the West, and a great number belonged to the upper class. In 1906, they formed the Muslim League, a political organization to protect their rights as Muslims against the growing power of the Hindu working class. However, as more and more Hindus began pushing for independence from the British Empire, they joined another political organization called the Indian National Congress, which became essentially Hindu-controlled by 1930.

Moving into WWII, British imperial control was quickly failing, and despite the promise of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi that India would be a place of religious tolerance, the Muslim League was getting very nervous. So, they started demanding that the colony be divided and part given to the Muslims to form their own country. That’s exactly what happened. After WWII, Britain accepted Indian independence, but partitioned off a piece of the subcontinent and gave it to the Muslim nationalists of India to form their own country, a country called Pakistan.

The stark difference is in the matrix in which these two religions arose.

Islam arose in the deserts of Arabia and Hinduism in the jungles of India. The concepts, teachings and practices of both reflect their environmental origins.

Both Islam and Hinduism teach the golden rule — do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Both have common moral teachings on compassion, generosity, honesty, living healthy lives in moderation, care for the poor, kindness, charity, truth, etc. etc.

But the philosophical and theological differences are vast.

A comparison is extremely difficult because Islam, like the desert is rather simplistic whereas Hinduism like the jungle is extremely complex.

Islam is Theo-centric – i.e. God is at the center of Islamic theology.

Hinduism is Anthropo-centric i.e. Human beings are at the center of Hindu philosophy.

Islam has two major sects Sunni and Shia and the minor Sufi sect. Hinduism has hundreds. So one can affirm certain basic principles of Islam in general but it is hard to affirm corresponding simplicities in respect of Hinduism.

The major similarity is that both religions have a complex code of Law covering ever aspect of one’s daily life from rising to sleeping. For Muslims it is the Sharia which is the consensus of scholars based on the Quran and Hadith — deriving from Allah and imperatively applicable to every Muslim. For Hindus it is Dharma Shastra derived remotely from the Veda with no consensus and applicable on whoever accepts it as a guide.

Theology is a more complex subject. Muslims are strict Monotheists (tawhid) and Hindu are essentially Monists (wahd-el-wujud).

In Islam God creates the world from nothing, in Hinduism God becomes the world of quantum matter.

In Islam God creates souls, Hinduism rejects the concept of created souls in favour of a doctrine of rays or emanations of consciousness from God (like rays of light from the Sun).

Islam is a duality – God i.e. the world and souls are all separate. In Hinduism there are three variations:– Duality, Non-duality and Qualified non-duality.

Islam is based on linear time:– creation, existence, destruction, judgement day then bifurcation into heaven for believers and hell for unbelievers for the rest of linear eternity.

Hinduism is based on circular time:– no beginning no end, episodes of involution punctuated by periods of rest/latency. Nothing eternal everything temporary even heaven and hell.

The ultimate goal of Islam is to attain association with God in a heaven (jannat) which is described in the Quran in very material and sensual terms: rivers, gardens, luxurious couches, sherbet, meat of birds, sex with beautiful houris etc.

The ultimate goal of Hinduism is to return to our source and find complete union – merging with God, like the rivers flowing into the ocean (mokṣa)

In Islam for the unbelievers there is eternal damnation and torture in the Hell fire. (Some Sufis consider that Hell is temporary and not eternal.)

Hinduism rejects such a doctrine as being incompatible with the infinite compassion of an omnipotent Being – there is no consequence of disbelief just further cycles of human rebirth.

The spiritual path is based on submission to the will of Allah in Islam and obeying his laws and following the five pillars — i.e. the path of servitude. In Islam there is only one relationship one can have with God and that is master/servant. (The Sufis differed.)

In Hinduism one can choose from a number of different ways to relate to God according to one’s personal inclination. Servant/master, lover/beloved, friend/friend, parent/child, saviour/saved, husband/wife, supporter/supported, the enjoyer/ object of enjoyment etc.

AIOU Solved Assignment  1& 2 Code 537 Autumn & Spring 2024

Question 5:  Identify the salient features of Shah Waliullah’s political philosophy.

Shah Wali Allah wrote in both Arabic and Persian. He published between fifty and seventy works, including five collections of letters and epistles. His writings played a major role in the intellectual and spiritual life of the Muslims in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, a role which continues today. Some of these works have greatly changed the Muslim approach to the study of the Qur’an.

In addition, Shah Wali Allah tried to reshape Islamic metaphysics in greater conformity with the teachings of the Qur’an and the sunna of the Prophet. He adopted a more rational approach to the controversial issues of metaphysics, which led to greater harmony among subsequent Islamic metaphysical thinkers. He was careful to give a balanced criticism of some of the views of his predecessors and contemporaries. His constructive and positive approach to those issues was always considered a sincere attempt at reconciliation.

Shah Wali Allah made the first attempt to reconcile the two (apparently) contradictory doctrines of wahdat al-wujud (unity of being) of Ibn al-‘Arabi and wahdat al-shuhud (unity in conscience) of Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi. Shaykh Muhyi al-Din ibn al- ‘Arabi, the advocate of wahdat al-wujud, was of the opinion that being in reality is one and God. All other actual and possible beings in the universe are manifestations and states or modes of his Divine Names and Attributes. By the act of creation through the word kun (be), Ibn al-‘Arabi means the descent of Absolute Existence into the determined beings through various stages. This gradual descent of the Absolute Existence is called tanazzulat al-khamsa (five descents) or ta’ayyunat al-khamsa (five determinations) in Sufi terminology. On the other hand, according to Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi, the exponent of the doctrine of wahdat al-shuhud, God and creation are not identical; rather, the latter is a shadow or reflection of the Divines Name and Attributes when they are reflected in the mirrors of their opposite non-beings (a’dam al-mutaqabila). Shah Wali Allah neatly resolved the conflict, calling these differences ‘verbal controversies’ which have come about because of ambiguous language. If we leave, he says, all the metaphors and similes used for the expression of ideas aside, the apparently opposite views of the two metaphysicians will agree. The positive result of Shah Wali Allah’s reconciliatory efforts was twofold: it brought about harmony between the two opposing groups of metaphysicians, and it also legitimized the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud among the mutakallimun (theologians), who previously had not been ready to accept it.

Shah Wali Allah wrote about thirteen works on metaphysics, which contain his constructive and balanced metaphysical system. One of the most important is al-Khayr al-kathir (The Abundant Good). This work is divided into ten chapters, each called a khizana (treasure). The first four chapters deal with the reality of wujud (being), knowledge of God, the relationship between God and the universe, and human knowledge. From the discussion of human knowledge, Shah Wali Allah turns to the discussion of the reality of prophecy and the prophethood of Muhammad. In the seventh khizana, he deals with the rules and principles of sainthood and mysticism. The eighth and ninth chapters contain details about practical aspects of Islam, the shari’a, as well as the eschatological view of Islam. In the tenth khizana, Shah Wali Allah explains his theological view which, according to him, is in full accord with Ash’arite theology.

Altaf al-quds fi ma’rifat lata’if al-nafs (The Sacred Knowledge) is another metaphysical work concerned with the inner dimensions of human personality. Here Shah Wali Allah deals with the important questions of mystical intuition (kashf) and inspiration (ilham). He examines systematically the reality of both the external and internal perceptive qualities of a human being as the heart, the intellect, the spirit, the self, the secret (al-sirr) and the ego. A separate chapter is devoted to the metaphysical teachings of Shaykh Junaid Baghdadi, wherein he presents a brief historical account of mysticism. The last chapter deals with the subtle question of ‘thoughts and their causes’. Shah Wali Allah specifies various external and internal causes which affect the human mind and produce thoughts.

Sata’at (Manifestations) is a systematic division of wujud (being), representing Shah Wali Allah’s view concerning the tashkik al-wujud (hierarchy or gradation of being). Existence, in relation to determined being, is composed of existence and essence and has many grades, stages and modes. The particular beings in the universe provide the foundation for the claim of the tashkik (gradation) and kathrat (multiplicity) of being. Each grade or stage covers a certain area of determination and each stage is related to the next, not in a way that a material being is connected to another material being, but in ma’nawi (conceptual) manner. He describes the relationship between the various stages of being as like that between the lights of various lamps in a single room. The lights of these lamps are apparently mingled and are one, and are difficult to differentiate from one another; but in reality, they are distinguishable from one another because of the number of the lamps.

A hallmark of Shah Wali Allah was his ability to reconcile opposing points of view to the satisfaction of each side. Standing behind this aspect of his teachings is the unity of the Muslim community or umma. His powerful abilities as a reconciler enabled him to provide common ground and a strong basis for co-operation and harmony between the Sunni and Shi’i.

Shah Wali Allah lived during a time of political and moral decline, chaos and destruction in the Mughul empire. His vantage point near the centre of the Muslim state gave him a clear view of the situation. He did his best to bring stability to the tottering empire and protect the Indian Muslims from disaster. Through his writings, especially his letters, he appealed to the Muslim rulers, nobles and intelligentsia to be aware of the dreadful situation and its possible consequences. His correspondence reveals many factors of Indian politics in the eighteenth century. His detailed letter to Ahmad Shah Abdali, the founder and ruler of Afghanistan, contained a comprehensive picture of the political situation in India. Ahmad Shah Abdali heeded Shah Wali Allah’s call to invade India and restore Muslim power to the country, culminating in the defeat of the Marathas and their allies at the battle of Panipat in 1761. Shah Wali Allah himself left a rich intellectual legacy in the form of literary works, well-trained disciples including his four sons – who also became eminent scholars – and one of the greatest educational institutions of the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *