The first appearance of Islam in Kashmir is by some believed to have been on the occasion of the abortive invasion of Tartar Khan Dalcha in 1128 A.D. It was not, however, until two centuries later that Islamic culture crept into Kashmir at a gradual pace, ultimately modeling the religious demography of the region by becoming the dominant trend. The process by which Islam was introduced to the Valley was different from that whereby it entered other parts of Hindustan, for it came not by conquest, but by peaceful penetration.
The individuality of the culture of Kashmir survived the coming of Islam, inventing itself in new forms, namely that of Sufism. This mystical current of Islam preached the teachings of love, compassion, humanity and promoting an ideology where caste hierarchy or an individual’s financial standing did not matter. It further promoted a path of spiritual advancements, an expansion of consciousness and purification of one’s inner self for the purposes of attaining an eternal bliss.
A historical figure that played a pivotal role in the proselytization of the Valley was Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, a Persian Sufi, who entered Kashmir with seven hundred of expeditioners in the reign of Qutub-ud-Din. With his help, the socio-economic standards improved, and Islam eventually became the religion of masses with his efforts.