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It is a well-known fact that the Arab traders, Sufis and some Muslim conquerors embraced the oppressed Shudras. Many of them kept Shudras in their employ. In many cases, as has been documented for Malabar, they took charge of the children of impoverished Shudras, and reared them as Muslims, showering on them love and care. Many Shudras, particularly the Untouchables, were overwhelmed with this behaviour of the early Muslims, which was a reflection of Islamic teachings. Consequently, they began converting to Islam in droves. After becoming Muslim they were often treated by the Hindus as of equal status as the other Muslims, certainly above that of the unconverted Shudras. This further promoted conversions to Islam among the Shudras. Immigrant Muslims did not hesitate to marry their women, and this helped further improve their social standing. The Mapilla, Labbai and Navayat Muslims of south India are products of such unions. -- Masood Alam Falahi

 [Translated from Urdu by Yoginder Sikand for NewAgeIslam.com]

For Part 1 Go to:

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 1

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamBooksAndDocuments_1.aspx?ArticleID=3611

For Part 2 Go to: Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 2: Indian Muslim Society in the Shadow of Casteism

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamBooksAndDocuments_1.aspx?ArticleID=3616

For Part 3 Go to: Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 3: The Impact of the Aryan Invasion of India

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamBooksAndDocuments_1.aspx?ArticleID=3616

For Part 4 Go to: Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 4: Early Anti-Aryan Movements in India

http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamBooksAndDocuments_1.aspx?ArticleID=3626