Answer: There is no denying Sufism’s influence on Indian society and culture. However, despite the radical concepts and ideas that the Sufi saints brought to Indian civilization, their long-term influence on the deeply ingrained traditions of both Islam and Hinduism was little. However, a study of these saints’ effects shows that they did not significantly alter the social structure. This could be due to:
- Discriminatory practices like the caste and class systems persisted in Muslim and Hindu communities.
- Due to Sufism’s pantheistic outlook and focus on love, repentance, peace, and renunciation, its mystical beliefs were in constant conflict with the orthodox components of Islam.
- Numerous Hindu customs were also promoted by sufism. Although Sufism’s teachings were applicable to Hindus, the religion as a whole did not undergo any significant shift as a result.
- The Sufi saints and Bhakti saints did not form institutional structures. The saints’ lineage could not last for very long without organisation.