generally seek to promote Islam by peaceful methods and though they
may accept that other religions have some validity, they usually
regard Islam as the best and final religion for humanity. The two
groups have had some conflicts, mainly on an ideological level, as
well as attempts to accommodate one another. They have been mixed
together in various ways. Generally
the Chishtis are a more liberal order, while the Suhrawadis and
Naqshbandis are more conservative. But all Sufi orders have had
strong, if not predominant conservative members.
Suhrawadis often became rich and powerful and were noted for
their oppression of Hindus. For example, Saiyid Nuruddin Mubarak, a
prominent Suhrawadi Shaikh of the thirteenth century defined Islam
so as to exclude non-Sunnis. Among his four principles for the
protection of Islam included that Muslim rulers "should make
every effort to disgrace and humiliate Hindus. They should not
tolerate the sight of Hindus, and in particularly they should
exterminate the Brahmans, who are the leaders of heretics and the
disseminators of heresy."
This is hardly the Hindu image of Sufis but it is a side of the
Sufis that has been quite common historically. In
fact Sufis of all orders supported Islamic rulers and their armies
in India and sometimes joined in their service, including as
leaders. Between Sufis and orthodox Muslims, in spite of periodic
conflicts, therefore, was often an alliance or at least a tolerance.
Their aims are the same, Islamization of the world, but the Sufis
emphasize additional spiritual practices as well, often to promote
in this same end.