Sufis and medieval mystic saints failed to modify either the religious ideas and practices or the outward structure of Hindu / Muslim societies to any appreciable extent. Comment.
The impact of Sufism on Indian society and culture is undeniable. However, though the Sufi saints introduced radical ideas and notions to Indian society, their long-lasting impact on the entrenched practices of both Islam and Hinduism was limited.
The mystical ideas of Sufism were constantly in conflict with the orthodox elements of Islam due to Sufism’s pantheistic approach and emphasis on love, repentance, peace and renunciation. Though Sufism did chip away at the orthodoxy, it did not completely abolish orthodox practices or discourage all its adherents. However, a major contribution of Sufism was the expansion of the geographic presence of Islam in India. The principles preached by Sufi saints touched a chord with the masses, and won them over to Islam with its simplistic principles that appealed to all persons irrespective of their class or religion.
Sufism also preached many practices that are a part of Hinduism. However, despite the relevance of Sufism’s preachings to Hindus, it failed to create significant change in the religion as such.
Though Sufism did bring about social and cultural changes, it failed to evoke any appreciable changes in the traditions and practices of Hinduism or Islam.
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