The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier Essay

1784 Words 8 Pages
The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, Eaton’s examination of the proliferation of Islam in Bengali from the thirteenth through the eighteenth century, presents compelling arguments in support of a model striking in contrast to those endorsed by Eaton’s predecessors.
This paper will present a juxtaposition of the theories including a comprehensive examination of vital historical processes in cultural change. Eaton’s argument maintains the agrarian frontier was the foundation of economic growth and the political frontier is responsible for the collection of individuals and the activator in expansion of agriculture. Furthermore, the cultural frontier consists of a triad of processes over time merge Muslims and non-Muslims in the
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According to Eaton, the theory lacks the explanation of Islamization in Bengal, and rather explains the diffusion in India’s heartland. He compares the outcome of patronage to military force and coercion pointing out that the farther away from the center of the empire, the less influence it has.
Finally, “Social Liberation Theory,” assumes the Hindu social system was oppressive, and the equality or social liberation of Islam was appealing. However, Eaton refutes the assumption based on evidence from early Hindu text, stating that Bramanic society was not fully accepted in Eastern Bengal. Therefore, the indigenous in East Bengal would have not endured oppression to be relieved of. Muslims leaders at the time did not express equality as opposed to Hinduisms inequalities, and there is no proof that Islam improved the status of individuals. According to Eaton, none of the theories truly identify why the second largest populations of Muslims reside in Easter Bengal rather than the West. The problem with these theories is they are based on little evidence. Eaton utilizes pre-modern documents provided by merchants in the region, folk stories offering a different perspective, as well as data kept by the Mughal authorities. Now I have covered the four theories of Islamization, the interpretation of Eaton’s in-depth explanation will help contrasts the previous arguments.
Eaton’s theory posits the conversion of Islam in Bengali is the result

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