One of the prominent religions of India, Islam forms about 12 per cent of India's population. Though India's contact with Islam had begun much earlier, the real push came in the 8th century when the province of Sindh was conquered. Though the Muslims form only 12 per cent of the total population of India but the influence of Islam on Indian society is much stronger. The main reason for this strong influence is that over a long period of time many Muslim rulers ruled in different parts of India.
The country with the largest Muslim population today is Indonesia and
it is followed by India. The followers of Islamic religion, Muslims
constitute India's largest religious minority. They number about 105
million. This makes India one of the largest Islamic nations in the
world. India has had two Muslim Presidents and several cabinet and state
chief ministers since Independence. Besides, Muslims in India have
always held various responsible positions and posts in all walks of
In India the Muslims are divided into two main sects- Sunni and Shia.
Each one of these two sects has many different schools. Along with these
main divisions, the Indian Muslims also have other divisions. It is
mainly because different communities that adopted Islam have different
names. The Bohra and the Khoja Muslim communities are prominent in west
India. The Nawait call themselves as descendants of Arab and Persian
In south India in the state of Kerala, the famous Mopillah community is
said to have descended from Arab merchants. Another well known Indian
Muslim community is Pathan. The Pathans are Muslims who arrived from
Afghanistan to India. The Pathans put their surname as Khan. They are
regarded as brave, honest and righteous.