How did Bangladesh become Muslim
One of Bangladesh’s main demographic peculiarities aside from its great population density is its condition of being sort of a Muslim Enclave to the region while none of its neighbor countries had Islam as their majoritarian religion around 90 percent of Bangladeshi are Muslims, in fact, Bangladesh is the country with the fourth-largest Muslim population in the world almost 150 million at the same time Islam has been present in Bangladesh as well as in most of South Asia for many centuries as the religion brought by many ruling dynasties and empires nonetheless and except for Pakistan in no other of these countries as Islam left.
Such a deep mark as in Bangladesh why is it then that Islam became Bangladesh’s major religion in answering this question we shall first enquire how Islam made it to Bangladesh in the first place the first signs of Islam in the Bengal Delta region where Bangladesh is located can be traced down to the times of Mahoma himself hence the Arab trade routes traders were not necessarily missionaries but indeed helped in putting Islam on the map when going east even setting their own communities near trade posts in the south of the Delta but despite traders being the first Muslims to reach Bengal Islam would only predominate in the region by conquest since the beginning of Islam.
Muslim conquerors were responsible for a swift expansion process that would lead them from the Middle East to go west to the north of Africa and up to the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily but despite their conquests in Western and Central Asia they were unable to successfully penetrate into the Indian subcontinent for many centuries reaching Bengal, in particular, would take Muslim faith 600 years the Muslim conquest of India in the 10th century concretely with the salmonids military commander al tajin at the surface of the salmonids Empire which at the time occupied a large part of the Persian regional Teijin was a slave soldier or man look ma’am looks were common in Muslim warlords his culture and their army of great importance for Muslim territorial expansion at the same time the fact of being slaves didn’t mean that they were limited to a life of service as low-rank individuals there are multiple examples of Mamluks that achieved power positions in the military.
And political life this was the case of ALP tajin of Turkish origin but of Persian and Muslim upbringing he rebelled against the salmon aid and formed a kingdom of his own in Ganza now Afghanistan in 1962 ALP tajin died the next year and was succeeded by his son Cebu Teijin who became the founder of the gas van dynasty the southern Hindu sahih dynasty was reluctant of a Muslim kingdom so close to their domains and wasted no time in attacking them the war between these two kingdoms lasted for years in this conflicts the sahih dynasty was able to convince his fellow Hindu warlords of the danger of the Jazmin AIDS and of forming a confederacy for fighting together against the Muslim threat Mac would sabotage ins son defeated this alliance in 1008 expanding their kingdom to Lahore now Pakistan.
But by no means, Lahore was the end of his campaign southern he found an even greater picture how wealthy these Hindu kingdoms were Mahmood subsequently kept going south conquering cities and leaving them to be ruled by his Hindu vassals nonetheless the extension of his kingdom did not allow Mahmood to go further the Ghaznavid dynasty would face its own hard times with the Seljuk Turks coming West the dynasty would finally perish at the lost of Lahore in 1186 behind Ghaznavids defeat was the gorge dynasty vigor Reid had converted from Buddhism to Islam at the beginning of the 12th century after taking Lahore from them they moved to northern India against the then-ruling Sanna dynasty it would be gorging on bin Bakhtiar kanji who would conquer.
Bengal in 1204 as the former ALP taejin khalji was a man look of Turkish origin the story tells that he captured West Bengal nabbit veep the capital of the Hindu sena dynasty only backed up by 18 cavalry soldiers in 1206 with the assassination of the great emperor his territory was divided among his generals khalji then established his own mamluk dynasty and his delhi sultanate in its more than three centuries of existence the Muslim Delhi Sultanate would have five different dynasties firstly Turkish and later Mongol and would eventually cover a great deal of India’s territory this is when the lasting development of Islam in Bengal began before Islam since ancient history Buddhism was the main religion in Bengal as well as Orthodox Hinduism which was also the religion of the former Sen Adonis T Bengal was not directly affected by the then Buddhists Mongol Empire attack on West Asia yet it’s became an escape for refugees of the Mongol Imperial horde these Turkish Muslims often migrated grouping around Sufis Muslim followers who were seen if not as spiritual leaders as heads of their communities this migration also included scholars from other Muslim locations as a result South Asia became an important nucleus of Muslim culture.
Bengali most of all has this fate surrounded by mountain ranges East Bengal was a sort of geographic halting point for migration movements Buddhist and Hindu monastery suffered the most of the growth of Islam faith most of its monks and Brahmins had to escape to remote parts of Bengal and even the remotest places like the Nepalese mountains been Gauls started its independence says from the Delhi Sultanate in 1338 by then the Bengal region was divided into three parts each with its own ruler the following decades saw the unification of Bengal in the form of the Bengal Sultanate and the siege of its autonomy by the Delhi Sultanate but Bengals independence prevailed meanwhile the region gains notoriety for the development of literature and painting among other liberal arts.
But also the Muslim population began to outgrow the rest of the religious groups this process had its peak in the 16th century in 1576 the Sultanate of Bengal succumbs to the Muslim Mughal Empire which in 1610 founded Dhaka as the provincial capital of the Empire still the Bengali region remains somewhat independent and went under a great social and economic transformation thanks to the agricultural rush since before the 15th century the Bengal rivers started to suffer a great transformation that ended in the main course of the Ganges connecting to the Padma this meant two things firstly river communication made possible a greater economic exchange with other regions secondly as the Bengali Delta and its rivers flow increased agriculture exploitation increased greatly as a result rice production was so prolific that for the first time rice became a major exportation product this natural phenomenon coincided with the Mughal empires conquest of Bengal and it was during this time that the agrarian base of the population took place until then the region was still covered by a great deal of forest.
And developing agriculture was at the hands of Muslim religions who received along with land grants the task of clearing the forests for one part but also of constructing mosques these mosques acted as central cultural institutions for the local population as well as for the increasing number of migrants which as we said earlier founds the Delta as a halting point in their migration in this sense Islam’s greatest development in Bengal occurred on pair with its economic development to the extent that the very act of cultivating was and continues to be seen as bearing the transcendence of a religious act we shall also acknowledge that previously since the times of the Mamluk Sultanate Islam in Bengal was mostly a part of urban culture that is related to wealthy Nobles as well as state members like religious officials soldiers and judges who often claimed to be a foreign origin however similarly to how Christianity grew in Europe.
The development of Islam in Bengal was not a matter of imposing religion to an existing population but of creating one with it while absorbing the local elements in this sense despite Islam’s settle in the region as a conquerors religion it would finally grow and develop organically in Bangladesh this was also the case with the massification of paper during the Mughal rule the implementation of paper as a communication technology meant the move from an oral tradition to the new authority of the written word massification of the Quran fuels the regional cultural identity and allowed Islam to be understood not as an alien ideology but as a part of the local culture by the end of the Mughal Empire rule Bengal and Afghanistan gathered most of the Muslim population in South Asia likewise with the Indian Independence Act of 1947 the territories of this ex-colony were divided according to the faith of its inhabitants as such Pakistan was born as a country that also included the Muslim population on the other side of India now forming Bangladesh which finally became independent from Pakistan in 1971.
How did Bangladesh become Muslim