(Ch. 6 of Section I of ‘The Calcutta Quran Petition’)
Sita Ram Goel
The principles of Jihad elaborated in countless compendia composed by Islamic scholars, have been generalized from concrete practices of the Prophet, and confirmed by Allah through “revelations” in the Quran. In turn, these principles have guided all swordsmen of Islam throughout these fourteen countries and in many lands.
India has had a prolonged experience of Jihad from the day when the first Muslim army stepped into Sindh in 712 CE and won its first victories after suffering a number of defeats for 78 years. Lands in Seistan, Khurasan, Transoxiana and Afghanistan where Hindu religion and culture had flourished for long had been subjected to Jihad in earlier years. We are citing some of the prominent Jihads waged in India by the most famous mujahids.
The citations that follow are from the well-known Muslim chronicles composed in medieval times. The only change we have made is to replace the word “God” by the word “Allah” in order to make the translation more faithful. God of the Pagan pantheon has nothing to do with Allah of the Quran, who is only a projection of the evil in man and his baser drives for self-aggrandisement, as is obvious from the deeds that Allah sanctions.
MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM (712-15 CE)
After Muhammad bin Qasim had reduced some forts in Sindh, he wrote to Hajjaj, his uncle and governor of Iraq: “The forts of Siwistan and Sisam have been already taken. The nephew of Dahir, his warriors, and principal officers have been despatched, and the infidels converted to Islam or destroyed. Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worship have been built, pulpits have been erected, the Khutba is read, the call to prayers is raised, so that devotions are performed at the stated hours. The takbIr1 and praise to the Almighty Allah are offered every morning and evening.”2
Bounties bestowed by Allah
The narrative proceeds: “Muhammad took the fort [of Rawar] and stayed there for two or three days. He put six thousand fighting men, who were in the fort, to the sword, and shot some with arrows. The other dependents and servants were taken prisoners, with their wives and children… When the number of the prisoners was calculated, it was found to amount to thirty thousand persons, amongst whom thirty were the daughters of chiefs, and one of them was Rai Dahir’s sister’s daughter, whose name was Jaisiya. They were sent to Hajjaj. The head of Dahir and the fifth part of the prisoners were forwarded in charge of Ka‘ab, son of Mharak. When the head of Dahir, the women, and the property all reached Hajjaj, he prostrated himself before Allah, offered thanksgivings and praises… Hajjaj then forwarded the head, the umbrellas, and wealth, and the prisoners to Walid the Khalifa. When the Khalifa of the time had read the letter, he praised Almighty Allah. He sold some of those daughters of the chiefs, and some he granted as rewards… It is said that after the conquest was effected and the affairs of the country were settled and the report of the conquest had reached Hajjaj, he sent a reply to the following effect. ‘O my cousin! I received your life-inspiring letter. I was much pleased and overjoyed when it reached me. The events were recounted in an excellent and beautiful style, and I learnt that the ways and rules you follow are conformable to the Law. Except that you give protection to all, great and small alike, and make no difference between enemy and friend. Allah says, – Give no quarter to Infidels, but cut their throats. Then know that this is the command of the great Allah…3
Slaughter and Plunder at Brahmanabad
“Muhammad Kasim marched from Dhalila, and encamped on the banks of the stream of the Jalwali to the east of Brahmanabad. He sent some confidential messengers to Brahmanabad to invite its people to submission and to the Muhammadan faith, to preach to them Islam, to demand the Jizya, or poll-tax, and also to inform them that if they would not submit, they must prepare to fight…4
“They sent their messengers, and craved for themselves and their families exemption from death and captivity. Muhammad Kasim granted them protection on their faithful promises, but put the soldiers to death, and took all their followers and dependents prisoners. All the captives, up to about thirty years of age, who were able to work, he made slaves, and put a price upon them…5
“When the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Kasim, and enquiries were made about every captive, it was found that Ladi, the wife of Dahir, was in the fort with two daughters of his by his other wives. Veils were put on their faces, and they were delivered to a servant to keep them apart. One-fifth of all the prisoners were chosen and set aside; they were counted as amounting to twenty thousand in number, and the rest were given to the soldiers. Protection was given to the artificers, the merchants, and the common people, and those who had been seized from those classes were all liberated.6 But he (Kasim) sat on the seat of cruelty, and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but, according to some, sixteen thousand were killed, and the rest were pardoned.7
Rates of Jizya
“Muhammad Kasim fixed a tax upon all the subjects, according to the laws of the Prophet. Those who embraced the Muhammadan faith were exempted from slavery, the tribute, and the poll-tax, and from those who did not change their creed a tax was exacted according to three grades. The first grade was of great men, and each of these was to pay silver, equal to forty-eight dirams in weight, the second grade twenty-four dirams, and the lowest grade twelve dirams. It was ordered that all who should become Musalmans at once should be exempted from the payment, but those who were desirous of their old persuasion must pay the tribute and poll-tax. Some showed an inclination to abide by their creed, and some having resolved upon paying tribute, held by the faith of their forefathers, but their lands and property were not taken from them…8
Hajjaj recommends Harsh Measures
“The agriculturists in this part of the country were Jats, and they made their submission and were granted protection. When all these circumstances were communicated to Hajjaj, he sent an emphatic answer, ordering that those who showed fight should be destroyed, or that their sons and daughters should be taken as hostages and kept. Those who choose to submit, and in whose throats the water of sincerity flowed,9 were to be treated with mercy, and their property secured to them…10
Massacre at Multan
“A mine was dug, and in two or three days the walls fell down, and the fort of Multan was taken. Six thousand warriors were put to death, and all their relations and dependents were taken as slaves. Protection was given to the merchants, artisans and the agriculturists. Muhammad Kasim said the booty ought to be sent to the treasury of the Khalifa; but as the soldiers have taken so much pains, have suffered so many hardships, have hazarded their lives, and have been so long a time employed in digging the mine and carrying on the war, and as the fort is now taken, it is proper that the booty should be divided, and their dues given to the soldiers. Then all the great and principal inhabitants of the city assembled together, and silver to the weight of sixty thousand dirams was distributed, and every horseman got a share of four hundred dirams weight.”11
SUBUKTIGIN (977-997 CE)
“The Sultan therefore sharpened the sword of intention in order to make an incursion upon his [Jaypal’s] kingdom, and cleanse it from impurity and from his rejection of Islam… The Amir marched out towards Lamghan, which is a city celebrated for its great strength and abounding in wealth. He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing the idol-temples, he established Islam in them. He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolatrous and gratifying the Musalmans. After wounding and killing beyond all measure, his hands and those of his friends became cold in counting the value of the plundered property. On the completion of his conquest he returned and promulgated accounts of the victories obtained for Islam, and every one, great and small, concurred in rejoicing over this result and thanking Allah.”12
MAHMUD GHAZNAVI (997-1030 CE)
“Sultan Mahmud at first designed in his heart to go to Sijistan, but subsequently preferred engaging previously in a holy war against Hind, and he distributed arms prior to convening a council on the subject, in order to secure a blessing on his designs, of exalting the standard of religion, of widening the plain of right, of illuminating the words of truth, and of strengthening the power of justice. He departed towards the country of Hind, in full reliance on the aid of Allah, who guiding by his light and by his power, bestowed dignity upon him, and gave him victory in all expeditions. On his reaching Purshaur (Peshawar), he pitched his tent outside the City…13
Dealing with a Defeated Enemy
“Noon had not arrived when the Musalmans had wreaked their vengeance on the infidel enemies of Allah, killing 15,000 of them, spreading them like a carpet over the ground, and making them food for beasts and birds of prey… The necklace was taken off the neck of Jaipal, – composed of large pearls and shining gems and rubies set in gold, of which the value was two hundred thousand dinars; and twice that value was obtained from necks of those of his relatives who were taken prisoners, or slain, and had become the food of the mouths of hyenas and vultures. Allah also bestowed upon his friends such an amount of booty as was beyond all bounds and all calculation, including five hundred thousand slaves, beautiful men and women. The Sultan returned with his followers to his camp, having plundered immensely, by Allah’s aid, having obtained the victory, and thankful to Allah… This splendid and celebrated action took place on Thursday, the 8th of Muharram, 392 H., 27th November, 1001 AD…14
Jihad preferred over Personal Comfort
“The Sultan, contrary to the disposition of man, which induces him to prefer a soft to a hard couch, and the splendour of the cheeks of pomegranate-bosomed girls to well-tempered sword blades, was so offended at the standard which Satan had raised in Hind, that he determined on another holy expedition to that land…15
“After this he returned to Ghazna in triumph; and, on his arrival there, he ordered the court-yard of his palace to be covered with a carpet, on which he displayed jewels and unbored pearls and rubies shining like sparks, or like wine congealed with ice, and emeralds like fresh springs of myrtle, and diamonds in size and weight like pomegranates. Then ambassadors from foreign countries, including the envoy from Taghan Khan, king of Turkistan, assembled to see the wealth which they had never yet even read of in books of the ancients…16
Sack of Narain (or Nardin)17
“The Sultan again resolved on an expedition to Hind, and marched towards Narain, urging his horses and moving over ground, hard and soft, until he came to the middle of Hind, where he reduced chiefs, who, up to that time obeyed no master, overturned their idols, put to the sword the vagabonds of that country, and with delay and circumspection, proceeded to accomplish his design. He fought a battle with the chiefs of the infidels, in which Allah bestowed upon him much booty in property, horses, and elephants, and the friends of Allah committed slaughter in every hill and valley. The Sultan returned to Ghazna with all the plunder he had obtained…18
Plunder of Nandana19
“After the Sultan had purified Hind from idolatry, and raised mosques therein, he determined to invade the capital of Hind, to punish those who kept idols and would not acknowledge the unity of Allah. He collected his warriors and distributed money amongst them. He marched with a large army in the year 404 H., 1013 AD during a dark night …20
“The Sultan returned, marching in the rear of this immense booty, and slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap; and men of respectability in their native land, were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers. But this is the goodness of Allah, who bestows honours on his religion and degrades infidelity …21
Massacre at Thanesar
“The chief of Thanesar was on this account obstinate in his infidelity and denial of Allah. So the Sultan marched against him with his valiant warriors, for the purpose of planting the standards of Islam and extirpating idolatry… The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously that the stream was discoloured, and people were unable to drink it. Had not night come on and concealed the traces of their flight, many more of the enemy would have been slain. The victory was gained by Allah’s grace, who has established Islam forever as the best of religions, notwithstanding that idolators revolt against it. The Sultan returned with plunder which it is impossible to recount – Praise be to Allah, the protector of the world, for the honour he bestows upon Islam and Musalmans!…22
Allah at Asni
“When Chandal23 heard of the advance of the Sultan, he lost his heart from excess of fright, and as he saw death with its mouth open towards him, there was no resource to him but flight. The Sultan ordered therefore that his five forts should be demolished from their foundations, the inhabitants buried in their ruins, and imprisoned. The Sultan, when he heard of the flight of Chandal, was sorely afflicted, and turned his horse’s head towards Chand Rai, one of the greatest men in Hind, who reigned in the fort of Sharwa [Siraswa]…24
Slaughter at Siraswa25
“The Sultan summoned the most religiously disposed of his followers, and ordered them to attack the enemy immediately. Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoners in this sudden attack, and the Musulmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshippers of the sun and fire. The friends of Allah searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days, in order to obtain booty… The booty amounted in gold and silver, rubies and pearls, nearly to three thousand thousand dirhams, and the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact, that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawarau-n nahr, Irak and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, were commingled in one common slavery.”26
MUHAMMAD GHURI (1173-1206 CE)
The editor introduces Muhammad Ghuri in the Taj-ul-Maasir of Hasan Nizami as follows: “After dwelling on the advantage and necessity of holy wars, without which the fold of Muhammad’s flock could never be filled, he says that such a hero as these obligations of religion require has been found, ‘during the reign of the lord of the world Mu‘izzu-d dunya wau-d din, the Sultan of Sultans, Abu-l Muzaffar Muhammad bin Sam bin Husain… the destroyer of infidels and plural-worshippers etc.,’ and that Almighty Allah had selected him from amongst the kings and emperors of the time, ‘for he had employed himself in extirpating the enemies of religion and the state, and had deluged the land of Hind with the blood of their hearts, so that to the very day of resurrection travellers would have to pass over pools of gore in boats, – had taken every fort and stronghold which he attacked, and ground its foundations and pillars to powder under the feet of fierce and gigantic elephants, – had sent the whole world of idolatry to the fire of hell, by the well-watered blade of his Hindi sword, – had founded mosques and colleges in the places of images and idols’.”27
The narrative proceeds: “Having equipped and set in order the army of Islam, and unfurled the standards of victory and the flags of power, trusting in the aid of the Almighty, he proceeded towards Hindustan…28
Islam imposed on Ajmer
“Such was the man29 who was sent on an embassy to Ajmir, in order that the Rai (Pithaura) of that country might see the right way without the intervention of the sword, and that he might incline from the track of opposition into the path of propriety, leaving his airy follies for the institutes of the knowledge of Allah, and acknowledging the expediency of uttering the words of martyrdom and repeating the precepts of the law, and might abstain from infidelity and darkness, which entails the loss of this world and that to come, and might place in his ear the ring of slavery to the sublime Court (may Allah exalt it!) which is the centre of justice and mercy, and the pivot of the Sultans of the worldand by these means and modes might cleanse the fords of good life from the sins of impurity…30
“The army of Islam was completely victorious, and ‘an hundred thousand grovelling Hindus swiftly departed to the fire of hell’… After this great victory, the army of Islam marched forward to Ajmir, where it arrived at a fortunate moment and under an auspicious bird, and obtained so much booty and wealth, that you might have said that the secret depositories of the seas and hills had been revealed.
“While the Sultan remained at Ajmir, he destroyed the pillars and foundations of the idol temples, and built in their stead mosques and colleges, and the precepts of Islam, and the customs of the law were divulged and established…31
Quth-ud-din “cleanses” Kohram
“The Government of the fort of Kohram and of Samana was made over by the Sultan to Kutbu-d din… [who] by the aid of his sword of Yemen and dagger of India became established in independent power over the countries of Hind and Sind… He purged by his sword the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and freed the whole of that country from the thorn of God-plurality, and the impurity of idol-worship, and by his royal vigour and intrepidity, left not one temple standing…32
Destruction and Conversion of Temples at Delhi
“The conqueror entered the city of Delhi, which is the source of wealth and the foundation of blessedness. The city and its vicinity was freed from idols and idol-worship, and in the sanctuaries of the images of the Gods, mosques were raised by the worshippers of one Allah…33
“Kutub-d-din built the Jami Masjid at Delhi, and ‘adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants,’ and covered it with ‘inscriptions in Toghra, containing the divine commands.’…34
Iconoclasm at Varanasi
“From that place the royal army proceeded towards Benares ‘which is the centre of the country of Hind, and here they destroyed nearly one thousand temples, and raised mosques on their foundations; and the knowledge of the law became promulgated, and the foundations of religion were established.’…35
Ghazis in Gujarat
“In the middle of the month of Safar, 593 H. (Jan. 1197), the world-conquering Khusru departed from Ajmir, and with every description of force turned his face towards the annihilation of the Rai of Nahrwala…. A severe action ensued from dawn to mid-day when ‘the army of idolatry and damnation turned its back in flight from the line of battle. Most of their leaders were taken prisoners, and nearly fifty thousand infidels were despatched to hell by the sword, and from the heaps of the slain, the hills and the plains became of one level… More than twenty thousand slaves, and twenty elephants, and cattle and arms beyond all calculation, fell into the hands of victors.’ You would have thought that the treasures of the kings of all the inhabited world had come into their possession…36
Kalima comes to Kalinjar
“The fort of Kalinjar which was celebrated throughout the world for being as strong as the wall of Alexander was taken. ‘The temples were converted into mosques and abodes of goodness and the calculations of the bead-counters and the voices of the summoners to prayer ascended to the highest heaven, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated… Fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery, and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus.’ Elephants and cattle, and countless arms also, became the spoil of the victors…37
“Purification” of Delhi
“The Sultan then returned38 to Delhi, ‘which is the capital of prosperity and the place of glory,’ and after his arrival, ‘not a vestige or name remained of the idol temples which had reared their heads on high; and the light of faith shone out from the darkness of infidelity, like the sun from a curtain of sorrow, or after its emerging from an eclipse, and threw its shade over the provinces of Hind and Sind, the far and near countries of idolatry; and the moon of religion and the State became resplendent from the heaven of prosperity and glory’.”39
ALAUDDIN KHILJI (1296-1316 CE)
“When Sultan Alau-d din, the Sultan of Delhi, was well established in the centre of his dominion and had cut off the heads of his enemies and slain them, the vein of the zeal of religion beat high for the subjection of infidelity and destruction of idols, and in the month of Zi’l-hijja 698 H. (1298 AD) his brother Malik Mu’izzu-d din and Nusrat Khan, the chief pillar of the state and the leader of his armies, a generous and intelligent warrior, were sent to Kambayat,40 the most celebrated of the cities of Hind in population and wealth… With a view of holy war, and not for the lust of conquest, he enlisted under their banners about 14,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry, which in their language, are called dakk.41
Ghazis visit Gujarat Again
“They went by daily marches through the hills, from stage to stage, and when they arrived at their destination at early dawn they surrounded Kambayat and the idolaters were awakened from their sleepy state of carelessness and were taken by surprise, not knowing where to go, and mothers forgot their children and dropped them from their embrace. The Muhammadan forces began to ‘kill and slaughter on the right and on the left unmercifully, throughout the impure land, for the sake of Islam,’ and blood flowed in torrents. They plundered gold and silver to an extent greater than can be conceived, and an immense number of brilliant precious stones, such as pearls, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, etc. as well as a great variety of cloths, both silk and cotton, stamped, embroidered, and coloured.42
Plunder and Iconoclasm
“They took captive a great number of handsome and elegant maidens, amounting to 20,000, and children of both sexes, ‘more than the pen can enumerate’… In short, the Muhammadan army brought the country to utter ruin, and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants, and plundered the cities, and captured their off-spring, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was one called Somnath… The fragments were conveyed to Delhi, and the entrance of the Jami Masjid was paved with them, that people might remember and talk of this brilliant Victory.”43
Allah appears in South India
“The tongue of the sword of the Khalifa of the time, which is the tongue of the flame of Islam, has imparted light to the entire darkness of Hindustan by the illumination of its guidance… On the other side, so much dust arose from the battered temple of Somnat that even the sea was not able to lay it, and on the right hand and on the left hand the army has conquered from sea to sea, and several capitals of the gods of the Hindus, in which Satanism has prevailed since the time of the Jinns, have been demolished. All these impurities of infidelity have been cleansed by the Sultan’s destruction of idol-temples, beginning with his first holy expedition against Deogir,44so that the flames of the light of the law illumine all these unholy countries, and places for the criers to prayer are exalted on high, and prayers are read in mosques. Allah be praised!…45
“On Sunday, the 23rd, after holding a council of chief officers, he [Malik Kafur, converted Hindu and commander of the Muslim army] took a select body of cavalry with him and pressed on against Billal Deo, and on the 5th of Shawwal reached the fort of Dhur Sammund46 after a difficult march of twelve days over the hills and valleys, and through thorny forests. ‘The fire-worshipping’ Rai, when he learnt that ‘his idol-temple was likely to be converted into a mosque,’ despatched Kisu Mal… The commander replied that he was sent with the object of converting him to Muhammadanism, or of making him a zimmi, and subject to pay tax, or of slaying him if neither of these terms were assented to. When the Rai received this reply, he said he was ready to give up all he possessed, except his sacred thread.”47
TIMUR (1398-99 CE)
“About this time there arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels, and to become a ghAzi; for it had reached my ears that the slayer of infidels is a ghAzi, and if he is slain he becomes a martyr. It was on this account that I formed this resolution, but I was undetermined in my mind whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the infidels and polytheists of India. In this matter I sought an omen from the Kuran, and the verse I opened upon was this, ‘O Prophet, make war upon infidels and unbelievers, and treat them with severity.’48 My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels and unbelievers. In obedience to the order of Almighty Allah I ordered an expedition against them…49
‘Then the Prince Muhammad Sultan said: ‘The whole country of India is full of gold and jewels, and in it there are seventeen mines of gold and silver, diamond and ruby and emerald and tin and steel and copper and quicksilver, etc., and of the plants which grow there are those fit for making wearing apparel, and aromatic plants, and the sugar-cane, and it is a country which is always green and verdant, and the whole aspect of the country is pleasant and delightful. Now, since the inhabitants are chiefly polytheists and infidels and idolators and worshippers of the sun, by the order of Allah and his prophet, it is right for us to conquer them.’50
Ulema and Sufis advocate Jihad against Hindus
“Some of the nobles said, ‘By the favour of Almighty Allah we may conquer India, but if we establish ourselves permanently therein, our race will degenerate and our children will become like the natives of those regions, and in a few generations their strength and valour will diminish.’ The amirs of regiments (kushunat) were disturbed at these words, but I said to them, ‘My object in the invasion of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against the infidels that, according to the law of Muhammad (upon whom and his family be the blessing and peace of Allah), we may convert to the true faith the people of that country, purify the land itself from the filth of infidelity and polytheism; and that we may overthrow their temples and idols and become ghAzis and mujAhids before Allah.’ They gave an unwilling consent, but I placed no reliance upon them. At this time the wise men of Islam came before me, and a conversation began about the propriety of a war against infidels and polytheists; they gave it as their opinion that it is the duty of the Sultan of Islam, and all the people who profess that ‘there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah,’ for the sake of preserving their religion and strengthening their law, to exert their utmost endeavour for the suppression of the enemies of their faith. And it is the duty of every Muslim and true believer to use his utmost exertions in obedience to his ruler. When the edifying words of the wise men reached the ears of the nobles, all their hearts were set upon a holy war in Hindustan, and throwing themselves on their knees, they repeated the Chapter of Victory.51
“When I girded up my loins for the expedition, I wrote to Hazrat Shaikh Zainu-d-din52 to the effect that I had determined on a religious expedition to Hindustan. He wrote in the margin of my letter: ‘Be it known to Abu-1-Ghazi Timur (whom may Allah assist) that great prosperity in this world and the next will result to you from this undertaking, and you will go and return in safety.’ He also sent me a large sword which I made my scepter…53
Kalima comes to Kator
“The ruler of Kator54 had a fort, on one side of which was a river, and beyond the river a lofty mountain reaching down to the water… When I advanced into the neighbourhood of the fort I did not perceive a trace of the infidels, and when I came to the place itself I saw that they had abandoned it and fled. I obtained a booty of many sheep and some other things here, and ordered that they should set fire to the houses and buildings of the city, in the midst of which the fort was built, and that they should level it with the ground. Then crossing the river in haste and pursuing the track of the enemy, I reached the skirts of the mountain on the top of which the infidels had taken up their position in defiles and other strong places. I immediately gave orders to my valiant and experienced troops to ascend. Raising their war-cry and shouting the takbIr, they rushed to the attack… They all proved their zeal for Islam on the unbelieving foe, and having overpowered the infidels they put many of them to death and took possession of their fastnesses. Only a few of the enemy succeeded in sheltering themselves, wounded and worn out with fatigue, in their caverns. I sent Ak Sultan to them with the message that if they would consent to submit unconditionally and would all become Musulmans and repeat the creed, I grant them quarter, but otherwise I would exterminate them to a man… They all proffered submission, and repeating the necessary formula, embraced the Muhammadan faith…55
Blessings from Baba Farid
“I was informed that the blessed tomb of Hazrat Shaikh Farid Ganj-shakar (whom may Allah bless) was in this city [Ajodhan], upon which I immediately set out on pilgrimage to it. I repeated the Fatiha, and the other prayers, for assistance, etc., and prayed for victory from his blessed spirit, and distributed large sums in alms and charity among the attendants on the holy shrine.56 I left Ajodhan on Wednesday, the 26th of the month on my march to Bhatnir.57The Raja of that place was called Dul Chain. He had assembled a body of Rajputs, a class which supplies the most renowned soldiers of India, and with these he waited ready to do battle…58
Butchery at Bhatnir
“So in all directions the brave warriors of Islam attacked the infidels with lion-like fury, until at length by the grace of Allah, victory beamed upon the efforts of my soldiers. In a short space of time all the people in the fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of ten thousand infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort, became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground. When this victory had been accomplished I returned to my tent. All the princes and amirs waited upon me to congratulate me upon the conquest and upon the enormous booty which had fallen into my hands. It was all brought out and I distributed it among my brave amirs and soldiers.59
Slaughter at Sirsa
“When I made inquiries about the city of Sarsuti,60 I was informed that the people of the place were strangers to the religion of Islam, and that they kept hogs in their houses and ate the flesh of those animals. When they heard of my arrival, they abandoned their city. I sent my cavalry in pursuit of them, and a great fight ensued. All these infidel Hindus were slain, their wives and children were made prisoners, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. The soldiers then returned, bringing with them several thousand Hindu women and children who became Muhammadans, and repeated the creed…61
Jihad against the Jats
“It was again brought to my knowledge that these turbulent Jats were as numerous as ants or locusts… They had now taken fright, and had gone into jungles and deserts hard to penetrate. My great object in invading Hindustan had been to wage a religious war against the infidel Hindus, and it now appeared to me that it was necessary for me to put down these Jats. On the 9th of the month I despatched the baggage from Tohana,62 and on the same day I marched into the jungles and wilds, and slew 2,000 demon-like Jats. I made their wives and children captives, and plundered their cattle and property… On the same day a party of saiyids, who dwelt in the vicinity, came with courtesy and humility to wait upon me and were very graciously received.63In my reverence for the race of the prophet, I treated their chiefs with great honour…64
Selective Slaughter and Pillage at Loni
“On the 29th I again marched and reached the river Jumna. On the other side of the river I descried a fort, and upon making inquiry about it, I was informed that it consisted of a town and fort, called Loni65… I determined to take that fort at once… Many of the Rajputs placed their wives and children in their houses and burned them, then they rushed to the battle and were killed. Other men of the garrison fought and were slain, and a great many were taken prisoners. Next day I gave orders that the MuSalman prisoners should be separated and saved, but that the infidels should all be despatched to hell with the proselyting sword. I also ordered that the houses of the saiyids, shaikhs and learned Musulmans should be preserved but that all the other houses should be plundered and the fort destroyed. It was done as I directed and a great booty was obtained…66
A Hundred Thousand Hindus slaughtered in One Day
“Next day, Friday the 3rd of the month. I left the fort of Loni and marched to a position opposite to Jahan-numa67 where I encamped… I now held a Court… At this Court Amir Jahan Shah and Amir SulaIman Shah and other amirs of experience, brought to my notice that, from the time of entering Hindustan up to the present time, we had taken more than 100,000 infidels and Hindus prisoners, and that they were all in my camp. On the previous day, when the enemy’s forces made the attack upon us, the prisoners made signs of rejoicing, uttered imprecations against us, and were ready, as soon as they heard of the enemy’s success, to form themselves into a body, break their bonds, plunder our tents, and then to go and join the enemy, and so increase his numbers and strength. I asked their advice about the prisoners, and they said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the [Islamic] rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty. In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword. When I heard these words I found them in accordance with the rules of war, and I directly gave my command for the tawAchis68 to proclaim throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners was to put them to death and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghAzis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiru-d-din ‘Umar, a counsellor and man of learning, who, in all his life, had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus,69 who were his captives…70
Selective Slaughter and Pillage at Delhi
“On the 16th of the month some incidents occurred which led to the sack of the city of Delhi, and to the slaughter of many of the infidel inhabitants… The Hindus set fire to their houses with their own hands, burned their wives and children in them, and rushed into the fight and were killed… On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering, and destroying… The following day, Saturday, the 17th, all passed in the same way, and the spoil was so great that each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners – men, women, and children. There was no man who took less than twenty. The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, pearls and other gems; jewels of gold and silver, ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver of the celebrated ‘Alai coinage; vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu71 women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account. Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the ‘ulama and the other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked…72
A Mujahid knows no Rest
“I had been at Delhi fifteen days, which time I had passed in pleasure and enjoyment, holding royal Courts and giving great feasts. I then reflected that I had come to Hindustan to war against infidels, and my enterprise had been so blessed that wherever I had gone I had been victorious. I had triumphed over my adversaries. I had put to death some lacs of infidels and idolaters, and I had stained my proselyting sword with the blood of the enemies of the faith. Now this crowning victory had been won, and I felt that I ought not to indulge in ease but rather to exert myself in warring against the infidels of Hindustan…73
Jihad along the Jamuna
“On the 1st Jumada-l-awwal I placed the left wing of the army under the command of Amir Jahan Shah, with orders to march up the Jumna, to take every fort and town and village he came to, and to put all the infidels of the country to the sword. The amir led off his army to execute my commands… My brave fellows pursued and killed many of them, made their wives and children prisoners, plundered their property and goods, and secured a vast number of cows and buffalos. When by the favour of Allah, I had secured this victory, I got off my horse and prostrated myself on the ground to pay my thanks…74
“Pressing on with all haste I passed the jungles and thickets, and arrived in front of the infidels [at Kutila].75 After a slight resistance the enemy took flight, but many of them fell under the swords of my soldiers. All the wives and children of the infidels were made prisoners, and their property and goods, gold, money and grain, horses, camels (shutur), cows and buffaloes in countless numbers, fell as spoil into the hands of my soldiers. Satisfied with this rout of the enemy, I said the afternoon prayers in public in that desert, and I returned thanks to Allah…76
Slaughter at Hardwar
“My brave men displayed great courage and daring; they made their swords their banners, and exerted themselves in slaying the foe (during a bathing festival on the bank of the Ganges). They slaughtered many of the infidels, and pursued those who fled to the mountains. So many of them were killed that their blood ran down the mountains and plain, and thus (nearly) all were sent to hell. The few who escaped, wounded, weary, and half dead, sought refuge in the defiles of the hills. Their property and goods, which exceeded all computation, and their countless cows and buffaloes, fell as spoil into the hands of my victorious soldiers.77
Allah’s Bloodlust Satisfied
“When I was satisfied with the destruction I had dealt out to the infidels, and the land was cleansed from the pollution of their existence, I turned back victorious and triumphant, laden with spoil. On that same day I crossed the Ganges, and said my mid-day prayers in the congregation, on the banks of that river. I prostrated myself in humble thanks to Allah, and afterwards again mounting my horse, marched five miles down the river and then encamped. It now occurred to my mind that I had marched as a conqueror from the river Sind to Delhi, the capital of the kings of India. I had put the infidels to the edge of the sword on both sides of my route, and had scoured the land… I had crossed the rivers Ganges and Jumna, and I had sent many of the abominable infidels to hell, and had purified the land from their foul existence. I rendered thanks to Almighty Allah that I had accomplished my undertaking, and had waged against the infidels that holy war I had resolved upon; then I determined to turn my course towards Samarkand, my capital and paradise.78
Plunder is Mothers’ Milk to Musalmans
“Amir SulaIman Shah… and other amirs… said: ‘So long as we your servants, are able to move hand and foot, we will execute your orders… and (you) should now order us to march against the infidels of the Siwalik,79 and to rout and destroy them.’ I replied: ‘My principal object in coming to Hindustan and in undergoing all this toil and hardship, has been to accomplish two things. The first was to war with the infidels, the enemies of the Muhammadan religion; and by this religious warfare to acquire some claim to reward in the life to come. The other was a worldly object; that the army of Islam might gain something by plundering the wealth and valuables of the infidels: plunder in war is as lawful as their mothers’ milk to Musulmans who war for their faith, and the consuming of that which is lawful is a means of grace.80
Sword of Islam in the Siwalik
“On the 10th Jumada-l-awwal I mounted my horse and drew my sword, determined on fighting the infidels of the Siwalik… The infidel gabrs81 were dismayed at the sight, and took to flight. The holy warriors pursued them, and made heaps of slain. A few Hindus, in a wretched plight, wounded and half dead, escaped, and hid themselves in holes and caves. An immense spoil beyond all compute, in money, goods and articles, cows and buffaloes, fell into the hands of my soldiers. All the Hindu women and children in the valley were made prisoners.82
“On the following day, the 14th Jumada-I-awwal, I crossed the river Jumna with the baggage, and encamped in another part of the Siwalik hills. Here I learned that in this part of the Siwalik there was a Raja of great rank and power, by name Ratan Sen… In the front of this valley Raja Ratan Sen had drawn out his forces. At the first onset, the Hindus broke and fled, and my victorious soldiers pursued, slashing their swords killing many of the fugitives, and sending them to hell. Only a few of them escaped, wounded and dispirited, and hiding themselves like foxes in the woods, thus saved their lives. When the soldiers gave up killing the infidels, they secured great plunder in goods and valuables, prisoners and cattle. No one of them had less than one or two hundred cows, and ten or twenty slaves – the other plunder exceeded all calculation.83
“Holy Warriors” at Kangra
“When I entered the valley on that side of the Siwalik, information was brought to me about the town (Shahr) of Nagarkot,84 which is a large and important town of Hindustan and situated in these mountains… I instantly ordered Amir Jahan Shah, whom I had sent to the front with the forces of the left wing and the army of Khurasan, to attack the enemy. The amir, in obedience to my order, advanced and charged the enemy. At the very first charge the infidels were defeated and put to flight. The holy warriors, sword in hand, dashed among the fugitives, and made heaps of corpses. Great numbers were slain, and a vast booty in goods and valuables, and prisoners and cattle in countless numbers, fell into the hands of the victors who returned triumphant and loaded with spoil.”85
BABUR (1519-1530 CE)
Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty of Islamic invaders in India, earned his title of a mujAhid when he stormed the small Hindu principality of Bajaur in the North-West Frontier Province at the start of his first invasion of India in 1519 CE. He describes the scene in his autobiography with great glee.
Drinking Party amidst Dead Bodies
“As the Bajauris were rebels and at enmity with the people of Islam, and as, by reason of the heathenish and hostile customs prevailing in their midst, the very name of Islam was rooted out from their tribe, they were put to general massacre and their wives and children were made captive. At a guess more than 3000 men went to their death; as the fight did not reach to the eastern side of the fort, a few got away there. The fort taken, we entered and inspected it. On the walls, in houses, streets and alleys, the dead lay, in what numbers! Corners and goers to and from were passing over the bodies… With mind easy about the important affairs of the Bajaur fort, we marched, on Tuesday the 9th of Muharram, one kuroh (2m) down the dale of Bajaur and ordered that a tower of heads should be set up on the rising ground.86On Wednesday the 10th of Muharram, we rode out to visit the Bajaur fort. There was a wine-party in Khawaja Kalan’s house, several goat-skins of wine having been brought.”87
The Quran sustains the Jihad by Babur
The famous battle he fought in 1527 CE with the Rajput Confederacy led by Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar, was hailed as a Jihad by Babur. In his description of this contest, we find him quoting copiously from the Quran.
“On Monday the 9th of the first Jumada, we got out of the suburbs of Agra, on our journey (safar) for the Holy War, and dismounted in the open country, where we remained three or four days to collect our army and be its rallying-point…88
“On this occasion I received a secret inspiration and heard an infallible voice say: ‘Is not the time yet come unto those who believe, that their hearts should humbly submit to the admonition of Allah, and that truth which hath been revealed?’89Thereupon we set ourselves to extirpate the things of wickedness…90
“Above all, adequate thanks cannot be rendered for a benefit than which none is greater in the world and nothing is more blessed, in the world to come, to wit, victory over most powerful infidels and dominion over wealthiest heretics, ‘these are the unbelievers, the wicked.’91In the eyes of the judicious, no blessing can be greater than this…92
“Previous to the rising in Hindustan of the Sun of dominion and the emergence there of the light of the Shahansha’s (i.e. Babur’s) Khalifate the authority of that execrated pagan (Sanga) – at the Judgment Day he shall have no friend93 – was such that not one of all the exalted sovereigns of this wide realm, such as the Sultan of Delhi, the Sultan of Gujarat and the Sultan of Mandu, could cope with this evil-dispositioned one, without the help of other pagans…94
“Ten powerful chiefs, each the leader of a pagan host, uprose in rebellion, as smoke rises, and linked themselves, as though enchained, to that perverse one (Sanga); and this infidel decade who, unlike the blessed ten, uplifted misery-freighted standards which denounce unto them excruciating punishment,95 had many dependents, and troops, and wide-extended lands…96
“The protagonists of the royal forces fell, like divine destiny, on that one-eyed Dajjal who to understanding men, shewed the truth of the saying, When Fate arrives, the eye becomes blind, and setting before their eyes the scripture which saith, whosoever striveth to promote the true religion, striveth for the good of his own soul,97they acted on the precept to which obedience is due, Fight against infidels and hypocrites98…99
‘The pagan right wing made repeated and desperate attack on the left wing of the army of Islam, falling furiously on the holy warriors, possessors of salvation, but each time was made to turn back or, smitten with the arrows of victory, was made to descend into Hell, the house of perdition: they shall be thrown to bum therein, and an unhappy dwelling shall it be.100 Then the trusty amongst the nobles, Mumin Ataka and Rustam Turkman betook themselves to the rear of the host of darkened pagans…101
“At the moment when the holy warriors were heedlessly flinging away their lives, they heard a secret voice say, Be not dismayed, neither be grieved, for, if ye believe, ye shall be exalted above the unbelievers,102 and from the infallible Informer heard the joyful words, Assistance is from Allah, and a speedy victory! And do thou bear glad tiding to true believers.103 Then they fought with such delight that the plaudits of the saints of the Holy Assembly reached them and the angels from near the Throne, fluttered round their heads like moths…104
Towers of Hindu Heads
“And victory the beautiful woman (Shahid) whose world-adornment of waving tresses was embellished by Allah will aid you with a mighty aid,105 bestowed on us the good fortune that had been hidden behind a veil, and made it a reality. The absurd (bAtil) Hindus, knowing their position perilous, dispersed like carded wool before the wind, and like moths scattered abroad.106 Many fell dead on the field of battle; others, desisting from fighting, fled to the desert exile and became the food of crows and kites. Mounds were made of the bodies of the slain, pillars of their heads.107
Babur becomes a Ghazi
“After this success, GhAzi (Victor in a Holy-war) was written amongst the royal titles. Below the titles (tughrA) entered on the Fath-nAma, I wrote the following quatrain:
For Islam’s sake, I wandered in the wilds,
Prepared for war with pagans and Hindus,
Resolved myself to meet the martyr’s death,
Thanks be to Allah! a ghAzi I became.”108
Babur shared a hobby with his ancestor, Timur. Both of them were mighty fond of raising towers of severed Hindu heads.
SHER SHAH SUR (1540-1545 CE)
“…Upon this, Sher Shah turned again towards Kalinjar… The Raja of Kalinjar, KIrat Sing, did not come out to meet him. So he ordered the fort to be invested, and threw up mounds against it, and in a short time the mounds rose so high that they overtopped the fort. The men who were in the streets and houses were exposed, and the Afghans shot them with their arrows and muskets from off the mounds. The cause of this tedious mode of capturing the fort was this. Among the women of Raja Kirat Sing was a Patar slave-girl, that is a dancing-girl. The king had heard exceeding praise of her, and he considered how to get possession of her, for he feared lest if he stormed the fort, the Raja Kirat Sing would certainly make a jauhar, and would bum the girl.
“On Friday, the 9th of RabI’u-l awwal, 952 A.H., when one watch and two hours of the day was over, Sher Shah called for his breakfast, and ate with his ‘ulama and priests, without whom he never breakfasted. In the midst of breakfast, Shaikh Nizam said, ‘There is nothing equal to a religious war against the infidels. If you be slain you become a martyr, if you live you become a ghAzi.’ When Sher Shah had finished eating his breakfast, he ordered Darya Khan to bring loaded shells, and went up to the top of a mound, and with his own hand shot off many arrows, and said, ‘DaryA Khan comes not; he delays very long.’ But when they were at last brought, Sher Shah came down from the mound, and stood where they were placed. While the men were employed in discharging them, by the will of Allah Almighty, one shell full of gunpowder struck on the gate of the fort and broke, and came and fell where a great number of other shells were placed. Those which were loaded all began to explode. Shaikh Halil, Shaikh Nizam, and other learned men, and most of the others escaped and were not burnt, but they brought out Sher Shah partially burnt. A young princess who was standing by the rockets was burnt to death. When Sher Shah was carried into his tent, all his nobles assembled in darbar; and he sent for ‘Isa Khan Hajib and Masnad Khan Kalkapur, the son-in-law of Isa Khan, and the paternal uncle of the author, to come into his tent, and ordered them to take the fort while he was yet alive. When ‘Isa Khan came out and told the chiefs that it was Sher Shah’s order that they should attack on every side and capture the fort, men came and swarmed out instantly on every side like ants and locusts; and by the time of afternoon prayers captured the fort, putting everyone to the sword, and sending all the infidels to hell. About the hour of evening prayers, the intelligence of the victory reached Sher Shah, and marks of joy and pleasure appeared on his countenance. Raja Kirat Sing, with seventy men, remained in a house. Kutb Khan the whole night long watched the house in person lest the Raja should escape. Sher Shah said to his sons that none of his nobles need watch the house, so that the Raja escaped out of the house, and the labour and trouble of this long watching was lost. The next day at sunrise, however, they took the Raja alive…”109
“It is related in the Akbar ShahI, that when Sher Shah rendered up his life to the angel of death in Kalinjar, Jalal Khan, his youngest son, was in the town of Rewan, in the province of Bhata, and his eldest son ‘Adil Khan, the heir-apparent, in the fort of Runthur (Ranthambhor). The nobles perceived that ‘Adil Khan would be unable to arrive with speed, and as the State required a head, they despatched a person to summon Jalal Khan who was nearer. He reached Kalinjar in five days, and by the assistance of ‘Isa Hajjab and other grandees, was raised to the throne near the fort of Kalinjar, on the 15th of the month RabI’u-1 awwal, 952 A.H. (25th May, 1545 CE). He assumed the title of Islam Shah…
“After his accession, he ordered the Raja of Kalinjar, who had been captured with seventy of his adherents, to be put to death, and directed that not one of them should be spared…”110
JIHAD AGAINST VIJAYANAGARA (1565 CE)
“Ally Adil Shah,111 intent on adding to his dominions, and repairing the losses sustained by his father, entered into a close alliance with Ramraj; and on the occasion of the death of a son of that Prince, he had the boldness, attended only by one hundred horse, to go to Beejanuggur, to offer his condolence in person on that melancholy occasion. Ramraj received him with the greatest respect, and the King with the kindest persuasions, prevailed upon him to lay aside his mourning. The wife of Ramraj, on this occasion, adopted the King as her son; at the end of three days, which were spent in an interchange of friendly professions and presents, Ally Adil Shah took his leave…112
Islam Tramples upon Human Ties
“Ally Adil Shah resolved to curb his [Ramraj’s] insolence and reduce his power by a league of the faithful against him; for which purpose he convened an assembly of his friends and confidential advisers. Kishwur Khan Lary and Shah Aboo Toorab Shirazy, whose abilities had often been experienced, represented, that the King’s desire to humble the pride of the Ray of Beejanuggur was undoubtedly meritorious and highly politic, but could never be effected unless by the union of all the Mahomedan kings of the Deccan, as the revenues of Ramraj, collected from sixty seaports and numerous flourishing cities and districts, amounted to an immense sum; which enabled him to maintain a force, against which no single king of the Mussulmans could hope to contend with the smallest prospect of success. Ally Adil Shah commanded Kishwur Khan to take measures to effect the object of a general league; and an ambassador was accordingly despatched without delay to sound Ibrahim Kootb Shah113, and to open to him if prudent, the designed plan…114
Bickering Believers unite against Unbelievers
“Ibrahim Kootb Shah, who had been inwardly stung with indignation at the haughty insolence and the usurpations of Ramraj, eagerly acceded to the proposed alliance, and offered to mediate a union between Ally Adil Shah and Hoossein Nizam Shah,115 and even promised to obtain for the former the fort of Sholapoor, which had been the original cause of their dIsagreement. With this view Ibrahim Kootb Shah despatched Moostufa Khan Ardistany, the most intelligent nobleman of his court, to Ally Adil Shah, with orders, if he should find him still sincere in his intentions towards the league, to proceed from thence to Ahmudnuggur, and conclude the alliance…116
“After some days it was agreed that Hoossein Nizam Shah should give his daughter Chand Beeby in marriage to Ally Adil Shah, with the fortress of Sholapoor as her dowry; and that he should receive the sister of that Prince, named Huddeea Sooltana, as a consort for his eldest son Moortuza; that a treaty of eternal friendship should be entered on between both states, and that they should unite sincerely to reduce the power of Ramraj; for which purpose it was resolved to march against him at the earliest practicable period. Hoossein Nizam Shah, Ally Adil Shah, Ibrahim Kootb Shah, and Ally Bereed Shah,117now began to make active preparations for the campaign against Ramraj…118
“In the year A.H. 972 (1564 CE), the four princes, at the head of their respective armies, met on the plains of Beejapoor, and on the 20th of Jumad-ool-Awul (Dec. 26) of the same year marched from that neighbourhood. After some days they arrived at Talikote, and the armies encamped near the banks of the Krishna; where, as the country on the north bank belonged to Ally Adil Shah he entertained his allies with great splendour, and sent strict orders to all the governors of his dominions to forward supplies of provisions from their districts regularly all to the camp.”119
Islam enjoins Treachery towards Unbelievers
“The battle took place on Tuesday, 23 January, 1565. The Vijayanagara army commenced attack in right earnest and the right and left wings of the confederate army were thrown into such disorder that their commanders were almost prepared to retreat when the position was saved by Hussain who opposed the enemy with great valour. The fighting was then continued and the loss of life on both sides was heavy. But it did not last long and its fate was determined by the desertion of two Muhammadan commanders under RamRaja. Caesar Frederick, who visited Vijayanagara in 1567, said that each of these commanders had under him seventy to eighty thousand men and the defeat of Vijayanagara was due to their desertion. RamaRaja fell into enemy’s hands and was beheaded on the order of Hussain.”120
Slaughter, Plunder and Pillage
“The Hindoos, according to custom, when they saw their chief destroyed, fled in the utmost disorder from the field, and were pursued by the allies with such success, that the river was dyed red with their blood. It is computed, by the best authorities, that above one hundred thousand infidels were slain during the action and in the pursuit. The plunder was so great that every private man in the allied army became rich in gold, jewels tents, horses, and slaves, the kings permitting every person to retain what he acquired, reserving the elephants only for their own use. Letters with accounts of this important victory were despatched to their several dominions, and to the neighbouring states, while the kings themselves, shortly after the battle, marched onwards into the country of Ramraj, as far as Anagoondy, and the advanced troops penetrated to Beejanuggur which they plundered, razed the chief buildings to the ground, and committed every species of excess.”121
Destruction of the Darul-harb
“The third day saw the beginning of the end. The victorious Musalmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment, but now they had reached the capital, and from that time forward for a space of five months Vijaynagar knew no rest. The enemy had come to destroy, and they carried out their object relentlessly. They slaughtered the people without mercy; broke down the temples and palaces, and wreaked such savage vengeance on the abode of the Kings that, with the exception of a few great stone-built temples and walls, nothing now remains but a heap of ruins to mark the spot where once stately buildings stood. They demolished the statues, and even succeeded in breaking the limbs of the huge Narasimha monolith. Nothing seemed to escape them. They broke up the pavilions standing on the huge platform from which the kings used to watch festivals, and overthrew all the carved work. They lit huge fires in the magnificently decorated buildings forming the temple of Vitthalswami near the river, and smashed its exquisite stone sculptures. With fire and sword, with crowbars and axes, they carried on day after day their work of destruction. Never perhaps in the history of the world has such havoc been wrought, and wrought so suddenly, on so splendid a city; teeming with a wealthy and industrious population in the fun plenitude of prosperity one day, and on the next seized, pillaged, and reduced to ruins, amid scenes of savage massacre and horrors beggaring description… The loot must have been enormous. Couto states that amongst other treasures was found a diamond as large as a hen’s egg, which was kept by the Adil Shah.”122
AKBAR (1556-1605 CE)
“Himuin was excessively arrogant on account of his troops and elephants. He advanced, fought, and routed the Mughals, whose heads lay in heaps, and whose blood flowed in streams. He thus at first vanquished the Mughal army; but as the brilliancy of the star of Prince Akbar’s fortune was not destined to be diminished, it chanced that, by the decree of the Almighty, an arrow struck HImUn in the forehead. He told his elephant driver to take the elephant out of the field of battle…
“When Shah Kuli Beg was told of what had occurred, he came up to the elephant, and brought it into the presence of Bairam Khan. Bairam Khan, after prostrating himself, and returning thanks, caused Himun to descend from the elephant, after which he bound his hands, and took him before the young and fortunate Prince, and said, As this is our first success, let Your Highness’s own august hand smite this infidel with the sword. The Prince, accordingly, struck him, and divided his head from his unclean body (Nov. 5, AD 1556).”123
“…The king struck Hemu with his sword and he won the title of Ghazi…”124
“Akbar was now informed that Haji Khan, a ghulam of Sher Khan Afghan [Sher Shah], a brave and able general, was setting up pretensions to rule in Alwar and that Himu’s father and wife, and all his property and wealth, were in that country. So the Emperor sent Nasiru-l Mulk [Pir Muhammad Sarwani] with a select force to attack him. Haji Khan, in dread of the Imperial army, fled before it arrived. Alwar and all the territory of Mewat thus came into the Imperial power. The fugitives proceeded to Dewati-majari, a strong place, which was Himu’s family home. Much resistance and fighting followed. Himu’s father was taken alive, and brought before Nasiru-l Mulk, who tried to convert him to the faith; but the old man said, ‘For eighty years I have worshipped God in the way of my own religion; how can I now forsake my faith? Shall I, through fear of death, embrace your religion without understanding it?’ Maulana Pir Muhammad treated his question as unheard, but gave him an answer with the tongue of the sword. He then returned with much spoil and fifty elephants to the Emperor.”125
Jihad at Chittor (1567-1568 CE)
“…The emperor prayed to the Almighty in the month of Ramzan/March of the same year saying ‘O Allah thou should come to the help of the army of Muslims.’ He further desired that the army should launch a sudden attack on the fort from all sides. The army came up like a huge pack of pigeons and, entered the fort by slaughtering those soldiers, who were guarding its gate. They pierced a group of the enemy by their arrows and killed them. Then they scaled the wall of the fort with much courage and jumped into it. Naturally the fire of battle blazed forth…
“Thus the emperor became the owner of the flag of battle, i.e. victorious and the rebels (Kafirs) became the prey of arrows. The breeze of the grace of Allah began to blow. The heart of enemy began to wreathe in pain. By the time of prayer the full volume of sound was blown and delivered the final attack on the Satans. Realizing their helpless condition that wretched race began to slaughter their women and children with their own hands, and set fire to them, reducing (them) to ashes.
“Despite all, there was only one victorious army and the vanquished one were thousands. In short, many of the misguided persons were killed by swords. The number of the dead was about thirty thousand.
“As a result of this victory, most of the persons of the army became rich, and under the emperor’s government (or in his kingdom) they became men of substance. Everyone achieved the desired object. Everybody got in his army his cherished ambition. Men of sport enjoyed the beautiful ladies. Those who were covetous of hoarding property, benefited themselves fully. Everyone was very happy over the success and every soul got a fresh lease of life by this triumph…
“If proper attention is to be paid to understand the exceptional qualities and graces of the character of His Majesty, then it would become clear that the feelings and mind inside and outside are the mirror of Divine injunctions because on that day an extraordinary effect appeared from the limbs and organs of his body which is beyond comprehension. His pure heart and noble mind were turned inwards and in consequence of this purity he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Qutb-ul-Qutabi Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti in his dream and he paid full attention and due reverence to that paradise like tomb. On Sunday, 26th of Ramazan/15th March, of the aforesaid year he went for the pilgrimage. He stayed there for ten days and then left for Agra.”126
Fathnama-i-Chitor (March 1568)
Several fathnamas (letters of victory) issued by Akbar at various occasions include Fathnama-i-Chitor issued by Akbar after the conquest of Chitor. It was issued from Ajmer, where he stayed for some time en route to Agra, on Ramazan 10, 975/March 9,1568. The text of the aforesaid Fathnama follows:127
‘“Praise be to Allah who made good His promise, helped His servant, honoured His soldiers, defeated the confederates all alone, and after whom there is nothing.”128 All Praise and thanksgiving behoves that great Opener (fattah) of forts and kingdoms, in whose grasp are the keys of the conquests of the just and religious Sultans, and with whose patent of favour and authority are decorated the manshurs of the Khilafat and sovereignty of the victorious emperors. The Merciful one (Karim) whose omnipotence has ensured the victory of the believers through the promise: “to help believers is incumbent upon us,”129 the Omnipotent one who enjoined the task of destroying the wicked infidels on the dutiful mujahids through the blows of their thunder-like scimitars laid down: “Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands and He will lay them low and give you victory over them.”130“Glorified is He, and High Exalted from what they say,”131 “His sovereignty is not dependent on any friend and helper.”
‘Whereas the Sovereign one, universal be His bounty and exalted His glory, has, in conformity with “I am to appoint thee a leader of the mankind”,132 assigned to us government of the muMalik of Hindustan which is one of the biggest countries of the world, and the Munshi of the office (diwan Khana) of munificence and the Supreme Sovereign has adorned the radiant mandate (manshur) of our Khilafat and monarchy with the Parwana “Surely we established him in the land”133and decorated it with the ornament of “That is the bounty of Allah, which He giveth unto whom He will”.134 All the people who are Allah’s trusts, being in the security of Peace from the hardships and misfortunes of the age, are busy in discharging the obligations of obedience and worship of the Almighty under our benevolent Protection, we deem it our duty to render thanks and express gratitude for this great favour. In accordance with “Proceed whither you wish, you are victorious,” in whatever direction we Proceed fortune and felicity come forward to greet us and whither we turn the reign of our resolution the success and victory hasten to our Presence. In conformity with the happy injunction – “This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful”135 – we spend our precious time to the best of our ability in war (ghiza) and Jihad and with the help of Eternal Allah, who is the supporter of our ever-increasing empire, we are busy in subjugating the localities, habitations, forts and towns which are under the possession of the infidels, may Allah forsake and annihilate all of them, and thus raising the standard of Islam everywhere and removing the darkness of polytheism and violent sins by the use of sword. We destroy the places of worship of idols in those places and other parts of India. “The praise be to Allah, who hath guided us to this, and we would not have found the way had it not been that Allah had guided us.”136
‘The purport of the discourse is that during these victorious times, after the elimination of Ali Quli and (his) ungrateful faction we arrived at the Capital Agra like “the noble, victorious”,137 and with a view to augment the materials of our recreation of hunting of elephants we encamped in the confines of Sivi Supar and Gagrun which are on the border of the country of Chitor. There it was brought to our notice that Rana Udai Singh, may Allah annihilate him, from whom it was expected that he would come forward to welcome, pay respects and kiss the royal threshold or would send his son with Peshkash, has adopted, due to excessive pride and conceit, an obstinate and arrogant attitude. (He) is collecting provisions in the fort of Chitor which is his hereditary place of residence and is distinguished in the forts of India in strength and grandeur, with the intention of entrenching himself there. Since the thoughts of war (ghiza) and Jihad dominated the enlightened mind, it (Rana’s behaviour) made the King angry and increased (his) zeal for the divine religion. Despite the fact that most of the royal troops had returned to their Jagirs after the last victory and only a few, who happened to be present at the Capital, accompanied the royal cavalcade on this hunting (excursion), we turned our rein to suppress that infidel. Fearful of the approach of the imperial standards he left his uncle, Sahidas Jaimal and Udiban Patta who are renowned for their valour among the infidels, may Allah forsake them and lead them to the abode of perdition, and who are considered to be equal to a thousand horsemen in intrepidity and prowess, with five thousand chosen Rajputs, one thousand troops from his (Rana’s) own contingent and ten thousand other men to guard the fort. (The Rana) himself hastened with his troops to Udaipur and Kombalmir which are located in the security of the mountains and jungles. When at the town of Rampur, which is one of the well-known towns attached to Chitor, it became known that he was entertaining such plans, the royal mind decided upon subjugating the fort (of Chitor) with the divine help and only then to take other steps that may appear feasible. In this way we arrived in front of the fort with the intention of besieging it on Thursday, 20 Rabi II/Oct. 24, 1567. A fort rose in view such as Alburz with all its majesty would appear an insignificant rock at its foot and Tur and Hindukush would fit as walls in its rampart. Its canopy vies with the Crystalline sphere in its height. Its circumference is about three farsangs and the calculators are unable to count its battlements.
‘Though the siege of the fort looked impossible, but by the grace of Almighty and with the secret help of the accomplished people, any direction that we have taken we have achieved there what we have wished; the very same day we inspected the surroundings of the fort carefully, and entrusted each place to one of the courageous servants (Khans, Sultans and Amirs) of the exalted court who were present. The mountain traversing warriors, who brave the fields of battle and seek Jihad with all their heart and soul and consider martyrdom to be the greatest reward in this as well as the other world, sought permission to take themselves to the towers and fortifications and putting their trust in Allah and relying on the divine help, which is the source of strength to the imperial authority, carry out brave assaults and bring the fort under control by force. Since those ignoble people had collected such large quantities of weapons for defending the fort like mortars (deg), zarbzan, cannon (top), matchlock (tufang), catapult (manjaniq), jarr-i saqil, naphtha (naft) and nawak that would last for thirty years even if continuously used, and since they had great confidence in these weapons and in the strength of the fort as well as their own prowess, we did not let them (the royal officers) fight with a view to protecting the people of Islam, may Allah preserve them till the day of resurrection, lest some of them may get killed in rashness. (We) sent for the dragon-like rads (cannon), mortars and other pieces of artillery which were left at the capital. We also ordered the manufacture of cannon and mountain-breaking mortars in the camp and decided that tunnels be dug and after the arrival of battering ram (sarkob) and sabat (covered passage) an attack be launched. We appointed some troops of the left wing to sack, kill and (take) captives the people of Udaipur, and the troops and men of Rana who were there while he himself was perched at a distance of ten Kos. We sent another army to plunder and sack Rampur. The troops returned with immense booty after despatching many of the worthless infidels to the abode of perdition. After the arrival of the artillery (topkhana), completion of the covered passage (sabat), explosion of the mines causing conflagration and (the consequent) blowing up of the towers and battlements, we directed the troops to establish themselves at the foot of the rampart and surround the fort from every side. The doomed ones (Rajputs) being fully informed this time of the strength and prowess of the army of Islam and the asperity and haughtiness of their ruler they started imploring for intercession and respite with abject submission and some of the chiefs came out (with this petition). Notwithstanding the fact that they had caused death of many people of Islam both nobles and common soldiers, with matchlock-fire, continuous showering of stones through the manjaniq, they sued (for peace) on such impossible terms which could not be conceded. They were permitted to return. Next day we went in person to the sabat of Muhammad Qasim Khad, mir-i bahr, which was nearest to the fort and issued orders for Jang-i Sultani to be launched.
‘The armies of Islam. placing their reliance in (the revelation) “Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent protector”,138 fearlessly and boldly commenced the assault. Within (the fort) the vigilant bands of jew-like infidels set ablaze the fire of conflict and brawl by discharging fire-raining manjaniqs and cannon (top) one after the other. The lions of the forest of intrepidity and the panthers of the mountain of bravery, in their extreme courage stretched their coveting hands to the Sash of the Constellation Orion and with great expedition snatched the diadem from the head of Bahram.
‘In conformity with the commandment, “And prepare against them what force you can,”139 the troops excelled each other and with complete unity betook themselves to the towers and the walls of the fort that were breached by the artillery fire. From that multitude, groups like the pigs bit by arrows rushed out of doors and blocked the entry of the combatants. In return they (the royal troops) fought back by throwing arrows and stones and scattered those retreating ones (the Rajputs). They sent a tremor through the ranks of the enemy with incessant and frightful cannonade setting fire to the harvest of their lives.
‘Three days and nights passed in this manner. The two sides did not stop fighting even for a moment. All the attempts of these fox-like people at fraud and deception were frustrated by the lions of the jungle of intrepidity. At last on the night of Tuesday, 25th of Shaban, 975 A.H. (23 February 1568) in conformity with “…they shall not be able to ward off the fire from their faces nor from their backs, nor shall they be helped”140 the continuous rain of fiery balls and cannonade became so intense in conformity with “Nay, it shall come on them all of a sudden and cause them to be confounded”141 that those condemned ones were no longer able to resist. The call from beyond – “If ye help Allah, He will help you and will make your foothold firm”142 – was coming to the exalted hearing and every moment the Divine Inspirer made audible the good tidings: “Now surely Allah’s help is nigh.”143 The revengeful warriors and the brave ones skilled in the use of daggers, deadly set against the enemy and drenched in the blood, delivered concerted assault and succeeded in removing the wooden planks with which those accursed ones had blocked the breaches. Seeing this, Jaimal, one of the three chiefs, who had taken the lead in the battle and was looking after the fort from the beginning to the end advanced with a body of men to stop the breach. In the meanwhile some artillery men belonging to that wretched band fired their guns one after the other (and in their flashes) Jaimal, and those accompanying him could be seen (from afar). As for the last three days and nights we have been present there (battery of Qasim Khan) often firing with muskets and arrows and since it was destined for Jaimal that he should hasten to the lowest parts of hell at our own Allah-worshipping hands, when he came in view the matchlock (tufang) we were holding, was ready as is said, “When Allah wills any-thing, He provides its means.” No sooner he was seen and the gun discharged then the worthless infidel was struck in forehead and hearing the call, “where so ever you may be, death will overtake you, even though you were in lofty towers,”144 proceeded to the abode of perdition. This caused great consternation among the high and low of that cattle-like community. (Subsequently) the other chiefs continued to resist but they could not repulse the brave from the openings. At the dawn, the excellent archers whose skill is such that they could pierce the eye of an ant at dark night and the lancers who could pick up the crumbs of the breach from the ground, putting the elephants in front delivered another assault. (They) forced their entry into the fort through sheer bravery and prowess and started discharging arrows and fighting with lances.
‘The hand of destiny had covered the deceitful eyes of that erroneous, arrogant and scanty host with the nocturnal blindness of ill-luck “And they thought that there would be no affliction and so they became blind and deaf”145 and had blocked upon them the way of success and escape in accordance with “They could neither go forward nor turn back.”146The people of Islam were busy praying: “Our lord! bestow on us endurance, make our foothold sure, and give us help against the disbelieving folk,”147 and the refreshing message – “Help from Allah and present Victory. Give good tidings to believers”148 – was coming to them from heaven. They advanced in groups against the wicked unbelievers to get hold of the opening. (They) stood in the foremost rank without flinching and got an upper hand. They felled them (the Rajputs) one upon the other with the strokes of (their) blood-thirsty sword, leaving all around heaps of the slain. Pursuing the remnant who were fleeing in different directions – “As they were frightened asses, fleeing from the lion”149 – despatched them to the lowest part of the hell – when the star of success and good fortune rose from the horizon of the sublime message, “Victory comes only by the help of Allah, the Mighty, the Wise”150 the whole victorious troop entered the fort. In accordance with the imperative Command “And kill the idolators all together,”151 those defiant ones who were still offering resistance having formed themselves into knots of two to three hundred persons, were put to death and their women and children taken prisoners. According to the promise, “Allah promised you many acquisitions which you will take,”152 immense booty and spoils in cash and kind were acquired. “So the roots of the people who were unjust were cut off, and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”153
‘The receptacle of nobility, the support of kingdom, the pillar of the mighty state, the prop of the magnificent empire, the confidant of the resplendent Khilafat, the foremost among the great Khans of the age, the climber of the ladder of authority and dignity, the devoted and sincere and the well-wishing one, the intrepid cavalier, the adorner of the ranks in the field of valour and bravery, Mubarizuddin Mir Mohammad Khan Bahadur, and the receptacle of nobility, the support of kingdom, the pillar of the mighty state, the prop of the magnificent empire, the best among the sinceres of the age, worthy of confidence and favour, the rider of the field of battle and valour, Qutbuddin Mohammad Khan Bahadur and the rest of the great Khans and noble Sultans alongwith the Saiyids, Ulama, Mashaikh, the Ghazis of Shariat and other dignitaries, residents, inhabitants, Chaudhris, Qanoongos, the ri’aya and peasants (muzari’an) of Sarkar Punjab respectively, being jubilant at the happy tidings carried by this auspicious Fathnama, which is, in fact, a foretaste of the victories to follow, should offer infinite thanksgivings. They should also pray in the auspicious moments, when the prayers are more likely to be granted, for the long life of our noble self, the perpetuity of the empire and for the grant of greater competence to us for fulfilling obligation of Jihad, divine worship and acts of piety. Further they should continuously be expecting that day after day doors of fresh victories and successes will be opened before us.
‘Whereas after the management of the affairs of Chitor we have turned the reins of our determination towards the capital Agra,
The horse beneath the thigh and overhead canopy of victory, The victory and success keeping company and divine help guiding the way.
‘Allah willing within these few day we will reach the seat of the Khilafat. The pillar of the state knowing that our thoughts are directed towards the management of his affairs and the fulfilment of the hopes and aspirations of all the well-wishers may send regular reports about the development (in his region). Any request that he might like to make should be communicated (to the court) so that it may be granted. Written by the royal order (to be obeyed permanently) at Ajmer on 10th of the month of Ramzan 975 A.H., 9 March 1568.”154
AHMAD SHAH ABDALI (1757 and 1761 CE)
Jihad at Mathura and Vrindavan (1757 CE)
“But the Jat peasantry were determined that it was over their corpses that the ravager should enter the sacred capital of BRaja. …eight miles north of MathurA, JawAhir Singh barred the invader’s path with less than 10,000 men and offered a desperate resistance (28th February, 1757). From sunrise the battle raged for nine hours, and at the end of it ‘ten to twelve thousand infantry lay dead on the two sides taken together, the wounded were beyond count’…155
The Hindu Bethlehem now lay utterly prostrate before the invaders. Early at dawn on 1st March the AfghAn cavalry burst into the unwalled and unsuspecting city of MathurA, and neither by their master’s orders nor from the severe handling they received in yesterday’s fight, were they in a mood to show mercy. For four hours there was an indiscriminate massacre and rape of the unresisting Hindu population – all of them non-combatants and many of them priests… ‘Idols were broken and kicked about like polo-balls by the Islamic heroes.’ [Husain Shahi, 39.] Houses were demolished in search of plunder and then wantonly set on fire. Glutted with the blood of three thousand men, SardAr JahAn Khan laid a contribution of one lakh on what remained of the population and marched away from the smoking ruins the same night.
“After the tiger came the jackal. ‘When after the massacre Ahmad Shah’s troops marched onward from MathurA, Najib and his army remained there for three days, plundered much money and buried treasure, and carried off many beautiful females as captives.’ [Nur, 15 b.] The blue waves of the JamunA gave eternal repose to such of her daughters as could flee to her outstretched arms; some other happy women found a nearer escape from dishonour by death in their household wells. But for those of their sisters who survived there was no escape from a fate worse than death. A Muslim eyewitness thus describes the scene in the ruined city a fortnight later. ‘Everywhere in the lanes and bazaars lay the headless trunks of the slain and the whole city was burning. Many buildings had been knocked down. The water of the Jamuna flowing past was of a yellowish color, as if polluted by blood. The man [a Muslim jeweller of the city, robbed of his all and fasting for several days] said that for seven days following the general slaughter the water had turned yellow. At the edge of the stream I saw a number of huts of vairagis and sannyasis [i.e., Hindu ascetic], in each of which lay a severed head with the head of a dead cow applied to its mouth and tied to it with a rope round its neck.’
“Issuing from the ruins of Mathura, Jahan Khan roamed the country round, and plundering everywhere as directed. Vrindavan, seven miles north of Mathura could not escape, as its wealth was indicated by its many temples. Here another general massacre was practised upon the inoffensive monks of the most pacific order of Vishnu’s worshippers (c. 6th March). As the same Muhammadan diarist records after a visit to Vrindavan: ‘Wherever you gazed you beheld heaps of the slain; you could only pick your way with difficulty, owing to the quantity of bodies lying about and the amount of blood spilt. At one place that we reached we saw about two hundred dead children lying in a heap. Not one of the dead bodies had a head… The stench and effluvium in the air were such that it was painful to open your mouth or even to draw breath.’
Abdali’s attack on Gokul
“Moving a fortnight behind his vanguard, the Abdali king himself came upon the scene. He had stormed Ballabhgarh on 3rd March and halted there for two days. On 15th March he arrived near Mathura, and wisely avoiding that reeking human shambles crossed over to the eastern bank of the Jamuna and encamped at Mahavan, six miles south-east of the city. Two miles to his west lay Gokul, the seat of the pontiff of the rich Vallabhacharya sect. The Abdali’s policy of frightfulness had defeated his cupidity: dead men could not be held to ransom. The invader’s unsatisfied need of money was pressing him; he sought the help of Imad’s local knowledge as to the most promising sources of booty. A detachment from his camp was sent to plunder Gokul. But here the monks were martial Naga sannyasis of upper India and Rajputana. Four thousand of these naked ash-smeared warriors stood outside Gokul and fought the Afghans, till half of their own number was killed after slaying an equal force of the enemy. Then at the entreaty of the Bengal subahdar’s envoy (Jugalkishor) and his assurance that a hermitage of faqirs could not contain any money, the Abdali recalled the detachment. ‘All the vairagis perished but Gokulnath [the deity of the city] was saved’, as a Marathi newsletter puts it.” [Rajwade, i. 63.]156
Describing Afghan atrocities at this time, Munshi Sadasukh Dehlawi wrote, “I have myself seen the depredations of the Afghans round Dehli and Mattra. God defend us from them! It makes the very hair of the body stand on end to think of them. Two hundred thousand men were destroyed in these massacres, and the hordes of the enemy were without number. Such atrocities, forsooth, were perpetrated in compliance with their religion and law! What cared they for the religion, the law, the honour and reputation of the innocent sufferers? It was enough for such bigots that splendour accrued by their deeds to the faith of Muhammad and ‘Ali!”157
Jihad at Panipat (1761 CE)
“Next morning the sun revealed a horrid spectacle on the vast plain south of Panipat. On the actual field of the combat thirty-one distinct heaps of the slain were counted, the number of bodies in each ranging from 500 upwards to 1000 and in four up to 1500 a rough total of 28,000. In addition to these, the ditch round the Maratha camp was full of dead bodies, partly the victims of disease and famine during the long siege and partly wounded men who had crawled out of the fighting to die there. West and south of PAnipat city, the jungle and the road in the line of Maratha retreat were littered with the remains of those who had fallen unresisting in the relentless Durrani pursuit or from hunger and exhaustion. Their number – probably three-fourths non-combatants and one-fourth soldiers – could not have been far short of the vast total of those slain in the battlefield. ‘The hundreds who lay down wounded, perished from the severity of the cold.’
“After the havoc of combat followed massacre in cold blood. Several hundreds of Marathas had hidden themselves in the hostile city of Panipat through folly or helplessness; and these were hunted out next day and put to the sword. According to one plausible account, the sons of Abdus Samad Khan and Mian Qutb received the Durrani king’s permission to avenge their father’s death by an indiscriminate massacre of the Marathas for one day, and in this way nearly nine thousand men perished [Bhau Bakhar, 123.]; these were evidently non-combatants. The eyewitness Kashiraj Pandit thus describes the scene: ‘Every Durrani soldier brought away a hundred or two of prisoners and slew them in the outskirts of their camp, crying out, When I started from our country, my mother, father, sister and wife told me to slay so may kafirs for their sake after we had gained the victory in this holy war, so that the religious merit of this act [of infidel slaying] might accrue to them. In this way, thousands of soldiers and other persons were massacred. In the Shah’s camp, except the quarters of himself and his nobles, every tent had a heap of severed heads before it. One may say that it was verily doomsday for the Maratha people.’
Spoils of the Victors
‘“The booty captured within the entrenchment was beyond calculation and the regiments of Khans [i.e. 8000 troopers of Abdali clansmen] did not, as far as possible, allow other troops like the Iranis and the Turanis to share in the plunder; they took possession of everything themselves, but sold to the Indian soldiers handsome Brahman women for one tuman and good horses for two tumans each.’ [Nur, 50 b.] The Deccani prisoners, male and female reduced to slavery by the victorious army numbered 22,000, many of them being the sons and other relatives of the sardars or middle class men. Among them ‘rose-limbed slave girls’ are mentioned… Besides these 22,000 unhappy captives, some four hundred officers and 6000 men fled for refuge to Shuja-ud-daulah’s camp, and were sent back to the Deccan with monetary help by that nawab, at the request of his Hindu officers. The total loss of the Marathas after the battle is put at 50,000 horses, captured either by the Afghan army or the villagers along the route of flight, two hundred thousand draught cattle, some thousands of camels, five hundred elephants, besides cash and jewellery. ‘Every trooper of the Shah brought away ten, and sometimes twenty camels laden with money. The captured horses were beyond count but none of them was of value; they came like droves of sheep in their thousands.’”158
The Key is held by the Quran
The mujahids who mounted the various Jihads in India lived in different centuries – from the first quarter of the 8th to the second half of the 16th (CE).
They belonged to different races and came from different countries – Arabia, Turkistan, Iran, Afghanistan, India (in case of Hindu converts to Islam).
They spoke different languages – Arabic, Turkish, Persian, Pushto.
Yet, they used the same self-righteous language for the Hindus, and enacted similar sanguinary scenes.
Again, the Muslim historians, who described these Jihads with abundant admiration, also functioned at different times and places. They wrote in two different languages – the earlier ones in Arabic and the later ones in Persian. Babur wrote in Turkish.
Yet, their accounts follow the same pattern. The accounts read as if the historians have only filled the blanks in a prescribed proforma. Or, to change the metaphor, the different stories read like varied scripts of the same drama staged by different directors. Only the dramatis personae change from performance to performance.
How do we account for this repetition of the repertoire?
The key is held by the Quran. That is the only thing which all mujahids and their historians, have shared in common.
The same logic leads to another and a very ominous conclusion. Jihad cannot be regarded as something which happened only in the past. On the contrary, it is an ever-present possibility in India. The Quran will create a Jihad whenever and wherever the “infidels” provide an opportunity. Pious Muslims in every place and at all times, are taught to see, or seek, or provoke situations in which solutions prescribed by the Quran can be practised.
- 1The Muslim war-cry of Allahu-akbar.
- 2Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, Volume I, p. 164. Translation is that of the Chachnama by an unknown Muslim author.
- 3Ibid., pp. 172-73.
- 4Ibid., p. 176.
- 5Ibid., p. 179.
- 6Muslim conquerors spared the common people from death or enslavement only to turn them into hewers of wood and drawers of water for the new master class and keep the economy going.
- 7Ibid., p. 181.
- 8Ibid., p. 182.
- 9Those who became Muslims.
- 10Ibid., p. 190.
- 11Ibid., p. 205.
- 12Ibid., Volume II, p. 22. Translation is that of Tarikh-i-Yamini of al-Utbi.
- 13Ibid., pp. 24-25.
- 14Ibid., p. 27.
- 15Ibid., p. 33.
- 16Ibid., p. 35.
- 17Narayanpur in Alwar district of Rajasthan.
- 18Ibid., p. 36.
- 19Capital of the Hindu Shahis after they lost Udbhandapur near Peshawar.
- 20Ibid., p. 37.
- 21Ibid., P. 39.
- 22Ibid., pp. 40-41.
- 23Bhur King Chandrapal of Asni near Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh.
- 24Ibid., p. 47.
- 25Town near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
- 26Ibid., pp. 49-50.
- 27Ibid., p. 209.
- 28Ibid., p. 212. Emphases in the original translation.
- 29Sadr Kiwam-l mulk Ruhu-d din Hamza.
- 30Ibid., p. 213. Emphases in the original translation.
- 31Ibid., p. 215.
- 32Ibid., pp. 216-17.
- 33Ibid., p. 219.
- 34Ibid., p. 222.
- 35Ibid., p. 223.
- 36Ibid., p. 230. What Hasan Nizami does not tell at this point is that the army of Islam had to beat a hasty retreat from Gujarat in the face of a fierce Hindu counter-offensive.
- 37Ibid., p. 231.
- 38Hindus had reconquered Delhi after their first defeat.
- 39Ibid., pp. 238-39.
- 40Khambat or Cambay in Gujarat.
- 41Ibid., Volume III, pp. 42-43. Translation of Tarikh-i-Wassaf of Abdullah Wassaf.
- 42Ibid., p. 43.
- 43Ibid., p. 44.
- 44Devagiri in Maharashtra, renamed Daulatabad by Muhammad bin Tughlaq.
- 45Ibid., p. 85. Translation of Tarikh-i-‘Alai of Amir Khusru, poet and sufi disciple of Nizamuddin Awliya, the far-famed Chishtiyya sufi of Delhi.
- 46Dwarasamudra in Karnataka, Capital of the Hoysala Kingdom at that time.
- 47Ibid., pp. 88-89.
- 48Quran, 66.9.
- 49Ibid., 394-95. Translation of Malfuza-i-Timuri of Timur.
- 50Ibid., pp. 396-97.
- 51Ibid., p. 397. Surat-ul-Fatihat, the opening chapter of the Quran.
- 52A well-known sufi.
- 53Ibid., p. 398.
- 54A town in North-West Frontier Province.
- 55Ibid., pp. 403-05.
- 56No one from among the devotees of Baba Farid, the famous Chrishtiyya sufi, is known to have disapproved of the crimes committed by Timur.
- 57Modern Hanumangarh in the Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.
- 58Ibid., pp. 421-22.
- 59Ibid., p. 427.
- 60The ancient name of Sirsa, now headquarters of a district in Haryana.
- 61Ibid., pp. 427-28.
- 62A town in Jind district of Haryana.
- 63The saiyids had no sympathy with the Jats who were their neighbours; instead, they were delighted to witness their slaughter.
- 64Ibid., P. 429.
- 65A town opposite Delhi across the Jamuna.
- 66Ibid., pp. 432-33.
- 67Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s palace on the Ridge, now Bara Hindu Rao Hospital.
- 69This speaks volumes about Maulanas produced by Islam.
- 70Ibid., pp. 435-36.
- 71The word “Hindu” in this citation has been left out in Mohammad Habib and K.A. Nizami (ed.), A Comprehensive History of India, Volume V. The Sultanat, published by the People’s Publishing House, New Delhi, 1970, p. 122. Our “secular” historians are very honest indeed. Habib heads the list.
- 72Ibid., pp. 445-46.
- 73Ibid., p. 448.
- 74Ibid., pp. 451-54.
- 75A town on the east bank of the Jamuna.
- 76Ibid., pp. 457-58.
- 77Ibid., p. 459.
- 78Ibid., pp. 459-60.
- 79Region round Dehradun and neighbouring districts of Himachal Pradesh.
- 80Ibid., p. 461.
- 81A term used for Zoroastrians of Iran to start with, it became a term of contempt for Hindu warriors, meaning vagabonds.
- 82Ibid., pp. 462-63.
- 83Ibid., pp. 463-64.
- 84Ancient name of Kangra, now a district headquarters in Himachal Pradesh.
- 85Ibid., pp. 465-66.
- 86In his Glimpses of World History, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has shown great fondness for Babur, including the letter’s hobby of making towers of severed Hindu heads.
- 87Babur-Nama, translated into English by A.S. Beveridge, New Delhi reprint, 1979, pp. 370-71.
- 88Ibid., p. 547.
- 89Quran, 57.15.
- 90Babur-Nama, p. 554.
- 91Quran, 80.42.
- 92Babur-Nama, p. 560.
- 93Quran, 69.35.
- 94Babur-Nama, p. 561.
- 95Quran, 3.20.
- 96Babur-Nama, p. 562.
- 97Quran, 29.5.
- 98Ibid., 66.9.
- 99Babur-Nama, p. 563.
- 100Quran, 14.33.
- 101Babur-Nama, p. 569.
- 102Quran, 3.133.
- 103Ibid., 61.13.
- 104Babu-Nama, p. 572.
- 105Quran, 43.3.
- 106Ibid., 48.3.
- 107Babur-Nama, p. 572-73.
- 108Ibid., pp. 574-75
- 109TArIkh-i-Sher Shahi of Abbas Khan Sherwani in Elliot and Dowson, Volume IV, pp. 407-09.
- 110TArIkh-i-DAUdI of ‘Abdullah in Elliot and Dowson, Volume IV, pp. 478-79.
- 111Sultan of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur.
- 112TArIkh-i-Farishtah, translated into English by John Briggs as History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, New Delhi reprint, 1981, Volume III, p. 71.
- 113Sultan of the Qutb ShahI dynasty of Golkunda.
- 114Ibid., pp. 74-75.
- 115Sultan of the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar.
- 116Ibid., p. 75.
- 117Sultan of the Barid Shahi dynasty of Bidar.
- 118Ibid., p. 76.
- 119Ibid., pp. 76-77.
- 120R.C. Majumdar (ed.), The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume VII, The Mughal Empire, Bombay, 1973, p. 425.
- 121TArIkh-i-Farishtah, op. cit., p. 79.
- 122Robert Sewell, A Forgotten Empire, New Delhi reprint, 1962, pp. 199-200.
- 123TArIkh-i Salatin-i Afaghana of Ahmad Yadgar, translated in Elliot and Dowson, Volume V, pp. 65-66.
- 124TArIkh-i-Akbari of Muhammad Arif Qandhari, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1993, p. 74.
- 125Akbar-NAma of Abul Fazl, translated in Elliot and Dowson, Volume VI, p. 21.
- 126TArIkh-i-Akbari, op. cit., pp.149-51. Emphasis added.
- 127Proceedings of Indian History Congress, New Delhi, 1972, translated and annotated by Ishtiaq Ahmed Zilli, pp. 350-61.
- 128Opening fines of the Prophet’s speech after the Conquest of Mecca.
- 129Quran, 30.47.
- 130Ibid., 9.14.
- 131Ibid., 17.43.
- 132Ibid., 2.124.
- 133Ibid., 18.84.
- 134Ibid., 62.4.
- 135Ibid., 27.40.
- 136Ibid., 7.43.
- 137Ibid., 80.16.
- 138Ibid., 8.62.
- 139Ibid., 8.60.
- 140Ibid., 21.39.
- 141Ibid., 21.40.
- 142Ibid., 47.7.
- 143Ibid., 2.214.
- 144Ibid., 4.78.
- 145Ibid., 5.71.
- 146Ibid., 36.67.
- 147Ibid., 2.250.
- 148Ibid., 61.13.
- 149Ibid., 74.50-51.
- 150Ibid., 8.10.
- 151Ibid., 9.36.
- 152Ibid., 48.20.
- 153Ibid., 6.45.
- 154See also Abul Fazl, Akbar Nama, translated into English by H. Beveridge, Volume I and II Bound in One, New Delhi reprint, 1993, pp. 441-46 and 464-80. It is significant that this despicable lickspittle of Akbar does not even mention the Fathnama cited above. But his use of words like “martyrs”, “holy warriors”, and “ghazis” for the Islamic gangsters and extremely abusive language for the Rajput warriors, leaves no doubt that he also viewed the sack of Chittor as a Jihad.
- 155Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume II, Fourth Edition, New Delhi, 1991, p.69.
- 156Ibid., pp. 70-71. Emphasis added.
- 157MuntakhAb-ut-TawArIkh, translated in Elliot and Dowson, Volume VIII, pp. 405-06. Emphasis added.
- 158Fall of the Mughal Empire, op. cit., Volume II, pp. 210-11. Emphasis added.