Sufis are considered as messengers of god who believed in peace, harmony and nonviolence. But contrary to this we read many evidences of Sufis using all measures to convert Hindus towards Islam. From debates, stipends, grants, higher official posts, life threat, pardoning of life to brutal killings were main tools for them.
1. Gisu Daraz famous Chisti Sufi (born 30 July 1321 in New Delhi) learnt Sanskrit and acquired a knowledge of the Hindu epics in an attempt to refute the religious beliefs in Hinduism. He indulged in debates with Brahmins on the condition that whoever was beaten should embrace the religion of the victor. Gisu Daraz claimed to have defeated many Brahman scholars.
(Ref. Gisu Daraz, jawanmi’u’l-kilam, British museum MS.or 252, ff.9a, 87a-90a)
2. Shahjahan ordered Mulla Muhibib “ali sindi, an alim, poet and Sufi whom he deeply respected to convert willing Hindus to Islam which would make them eligible for stipends and revenue grants”
(Ref. tabaqat-I-shahjahani, f.316b)
3. Sheikh dawud of chati converted fifty to a hundred Hindus each day would make the number of converts annually an impossible neat 15,000
(Ref. supra, p.63)
Sheikh dawud’s successor, shah abu’l-ma’ali, and Sufis in other qadiriyya khanqahs certainly never hesitated in their proselytizing mission and even Mulla shah converted a number of Hindus to Islam
(Ref. supra, p.119-120)
4. Shah ‘abdu’l-’aziz himself claimed to have converted hundreds of hindus, but was not successful in recruiting more than half a dozen shi’is to the ranks of sunnism.
(Ref.- malfuzat-I-shah ‘abdu’l-’aziz, p.22)5. A Hindu zamindar Birbar was arrested for fomenting a rebellion and was given the death sentence. He requested a Sufi Miran Bhikh to save his life and promising to become a Muslim if he did so. He was pardoned and was rewarded with a rode of honor. Sufi Miran converted him to Islam and also made him his disciple.
(Ref. HSI vol. 2 p.272-273)
5. According to Dara -Sukoh, Sheikh ‘Abdul-qadir converted a large number of Hindus to Islam, as well as causing many wayward Muslims to adopt a pious life
(Ref. Muhammad dara-shukoh, safinatu’l-auliya’, lucknow, 1872,p.69)
6. Sheikh Mahmud bin Abdullah gujrati was for several years deeply in love with the son of a Hindu dancer. The sheikh’s success in subsequently islamizing the boy was a matter of great satisfaction to the orthodox.
(Ref. Gulzar-i-abrar, f.247a.)
7. Nawahun, the Hindu darogha of Uch once visited Makhdum Jahaniyan (also known as Saiyid Jalalu’d-din Bukhari, eminent Suhrawardiyya Sufi) on his deathbed. He in his previous discourse had expressed that a formal recitation of kalima did not make the speaker a Muslim. The Saiyid concluded that Nawahun’s statement amounted to a protestation of faith. Nawahun was not willing to accept Islam. He even made an unsuccessful attempt to prevent his conversion from sultan of Delhi. But makhdum’s younger brother Saiyid Raju caught and executed him.
(Ref. HSI .by SAA Rizvi vol. 1 p. 279,280)
8. We know that the Suhrawardiyya, Shaikh lalalu’d-din tabrizi, Makhdum Jahaniyan and his brother, Raju Qattal, were active propagators of Islam. The Sufis trained in the khanqahs of Shaikh alaud-dala Simnani, Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani and his son and successors, Mir Muhammad, considered the conversion of Hindus to Islam as one of their main objectives. Shaikh Jalal of Sylhet and his Turkistani disciples were similarly imbued with missionary fervour, as were Khwajgan and the Naqshbandiyyas of central Asia, some of whom would devote a few years of their lives fighting against the non-Islamic Turkic tribes before converting them to Islam. The Sufis of the Shattariyya, qadiriyya and the naqshbandiyyas orders who began establishing their khanqahs during the fifteenth century were deeply aware of the proselytizing traditions of their ancestors in Persia and central Asia, and brought their knowledge to bear upon Indian conditions in order to gain converts.
(Ref. HSI by SAA Rizvi, vol.2, pp.426)
B. Influenced Muslim rulers to show hostile behaviors towards Hindus to enable them to denounce Hinduism and accept Islam.
1. Saiyid nur-ud-din Mubarak’s gave four principles for protection of Islam. He was a Suhrawardiyya khalifa appointed by Iltutmish and was called by people of the city as, Mir-I dilhi (lord of Delhi)
The first one is as follows:
They (rulers) should promote Islamic customs, promulgate the commands of the sharia, enforcing what is obtained and prohibiting what is forbidden by it, and uproot kufr (infidelity), shirk (polytheism) and idolatry. If they cannot fully uproot kufr and shirk they should make every effort to disgrace and humiliate Hindus, mushriks (polytheists) and idolaters, for they are inveterate enemies of god and the prophet Mohammad. They should not tolerate the sight of Hindus, and in particular they should exterminate the Brahmans, who are the leaders of heretics and disseminators of heresy. They should not allow kafirs (infidels) and mushriks to lead an honorable life or sassing to them high office.
(Ref. tarikh-I firuz shahi, pp. 41-44)
2. Shaikh Muzaffar (Firdawsiyya Sufi) reminded sultan of Bengal Ghiyasu’d-din Azam shah that high government posts should not be given to Hindus and wrote:
An infidel may be entrusted with some work but he should not be made wali (chief supervisor or governor) so that he may have control over and impose his authority on Muslims. God says “let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers and neglect god: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from god expect by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them. There are severe warnings in the Quran, the Hadis and historical works against those who have given authority to the unbelievers over the believers. God grants opulence and provisions from unexpected sources, and he gives deliverance from them.” There is authoritative promise of provisions, victory and prosperity. The vanquished unbelievers with heads hanging downward, exercise their power and authority and administer the lands which belong to them. But they have also been appointed (executive) officers over the Muslims, in the lands of Islam, and they impose their orders on them. Such things should not happen.
(Ref. S.H.Askari- the correspondence of the fourteenth century Sufi saints of Bihar with the contemporary sovereigns of Delhi and Bengal, journal of the Bihar research society, march 1956,p.186-187)
3. Mir Saiyid Ali Hamadani (founder of Kubrawiyya Sufi order of Kashmir) emphasized a covenant to sultan of Kashmir on his relation with Hindus. Covenant is as follows:
1. They (the hindus) will not bid new idol temples.
2. They will not rebuild any existing temple which may have fallen into disrepair.
3. Muslim travelers will not be prevented from staying in temples.
4. Muslim travelers will be provided hospitality by Zimmis in their own houses for three days.
5. Zimmis will neither act as spies nor give spies shelter in their houses.
6. If any relation of a Zimmi is inclined towards Islam, he should not be prevented from doing so.
7. Zimmis will respect Muslims.
8. Zimmis will courteously receive a Muslim wishing to attend their meetings.
9. Zimmis will not dress like Muslims.
10. They will not take Muslim names.
11. They will not ride horses with saddle and bridle.
12. They will not possess swords, bows or arrows.
13. They will not wear signet rings.
14. They will not openly sell or drink intoxicating liquor.
15. They will not abandon their traditional dress, which is a sign of their ignorance, in order that they may be distinguished from Muslims.
16. They will not openly practice their traditional customs amongst Muslims.
17. They will not build their houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.
18. They will not carry or bury their dead near Muslim graveyards.
19. They will not mourn their dead loudly.
20. They will not buy Muslim slaves.
(Ref. Zakhiratul-muluk, pp. 117-118)
(Saiyid Ali considered Hindus as Zimmis)
4. Shah Waliu’llah suggested Mughal emperor Ahmad shah regarding their administration:
Strict orders should be issued in all Islamic towns forbidding religious ceremonies, publicly practiced by infidels (such as the performance of Holi and ritual bathing in the ganges). On the tenth of Muharram Shi’is should not be allowed to go beyond the bounds of moderation, neither should they be rude nor repeat stupid things (that is, recite tabarra or condemn the first three successors of Muhammad) in the streets or bazaars.
(REF. Shah Waliu’llah dihlawi ke siyasi maktubat, aligarh, 1950, pp. 41-44, 2nd edition, Delhi 1969, p.5)
5. Under the influence of Mir (Mir Muhammad Sufi of Kubrawiyya order) and Suha Bhatta, the sultan’s (Sultan Sikander of Kashmir 1389-1413) policy changed. Ancient temples in Pompur, Vijabror, Martand, Anantnag, Sopur and Baramula were desecrated and demolished; many puritanical and discriminatory laws were introduced and the jiziya or poll tax was imposed on hindus for the first time in Kashmir. The persecution of Brahmans, their exclusion from the top spheres of government and the ensuing replacement by Irani migrants, gave the administration a veneer of orthodoxy.
(Ref. HSI by SAA Rizvi, vol.1, pp.297)