H-M synthesis: Dadu

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H-M synthesis: Dadu

Post by Rashmun on Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:41 pm

Dadu (1544–1603) was the third of the religious leaders through [[128]] whose teachings Islamic ideas found wide currency among non-Muslims. While he does not belong chronologically in a survey of the early interaction of Hinduism and Islam, since he lived into the seventeenth century, his membership in a Kabir sect makes a brief consideration of his career useful. Furthermore, his biography shows the same process at work that is seen in the accounts of the life of Kabir. Dadu is stated by his later followers to have been the son of a Nagar Brahman, but recent researches have shown that he was born in a family of Muslim cotton-carders. This is borne out by his own works and the fact that all the members of his family have Muslim names: his father's name was Lodi, his mother's, Basiran; his sons were Garib and Miskin and his grandson, Faqir. His teacher was Shaikh Budhan, a Muslim saint of the Qadri order.

The early Hindu followers of Dadu were not disturbed by the knowledge that he was a Muslim by birth, but later ones were. The legend of his Brahmanical origin made its first appearance in a commentary on the Bhaktamala, written as late as 1800. It is said that until recent times documents existed at the monasteries of the followers of Dadu which suggested that he had been a Muslim, but that these were destroyed by the keepers who were unwilling to admit that his origins were not Hindu./2/

The metamorphosis which the life story and teachings of Kabir and Dadu have undergone is not merely the work of those who were anxious to secure for their heroes high lineage and a link with Hinduism; it is symptomatic of the general movement of separation that became common in both Islam and Hinduism in later centuies. As the Muslims grew more orthodox, they turned away from men such as Kabir and Dadu, while the Hindus accepted them as saints, but forgot their Islamic origins. In order to conform to the requirements of the Hindu bhakti tradition, they have undergone a transformation that at times necessitates a falsification of history.

Two poet-saints who are clearly in the Hindu bhakti tradition but show traces of Islamic influence are Namadeva and Tukaram, the great religious figures of the Maratha country. Namadeva, who lived in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, used a number of Persian and Arabic words, suggesting that even at this early time the influence of Islam [[129]] was felt by a man, in a remote area of the country, whose only concern seems to have been with religion. The writings of Tukaram (1598–1649), the greatest of the Marathi poets, contain many obvious references to Islam, such as the following:

First among the great names is Allah, never forget to respect it.
Allah is verily one, the prophet is verily one.
There Thou art one, there Thou art one, There Thou art one, O friend.
There is neither I nor thou./3/



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