The Mughal Influence on Vaisnavism, Part 66

BY: SUN STAFF

Maharana Raj Singh formally receiving the Deity of Shrinathji, moved from His Govardhan abode in Mathura to safety, away from Aurangzeb's onslaught


Nov 05, 2010 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the Mughal effect on Vaisnava society.

Today we complete our survey of the references found in various historical and literary records which document the campaign of temple destruction engaged in by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Such records leave little room for the standard denials by Muslim apologists.


"Akhbarat"

    These were reports from different provinces compiled in the reign of Aurangzeb.

    Excerpts:

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (1658-1707)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

    " ... The emporer learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone railing presented by Dara Shikoh, remarked, 'In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara Shikoh had restored a railing in a temple. This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. REMOVE THE RAILING.' By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) REMOVED IT..."

Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)

    " ... News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave, with 400 troopers, TO DESTROY ALL TEMPLES AROUND UJJAIN... A Rawat of the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men..."

Aurangabad (Maharashtra)

    "...... The Emperor learnt from a secret news writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagis and taken him with 15 idols away to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled, flocked to the Censor's house, wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself; so that the latter set the Bairagis free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar ..."

Pandharpur (Maharashtra)

    "... The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the darogha of hatchet-men .... ORDERED THEM TO DEMOLISH THE TEMPLE OF PANDHARPUR, and to take the butchers of the camp there AND SLAUGHTER COWS IN THE TEMPLE ... It was done..."

On Way to the Deccan

    " ... When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with A DESTRUCTION TO MANY TEMPLES on the way. On May 21, 1681, the superintendent of the labourers WAS ORDERED TO DESTROY ALL THE TEMPLES on the route..."

Lakheri ( ? - means the place is not traceable today )

    " ... On 27 Sept., 1681, the emperor issued orders FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLES at Lakheri..."

Rasulpur ( ? )

    "... About this time, April 14, 1692, orders were issued to the provincial governor and the district faujdar TO DEMOLISH THE TEMPLES at Rasulpur..."

Sheogaon ( ? )

    " ... Sankar, a messenger, was sent TO DEMOLISH A TEMPLE near Sheogaon.."

Ajmer (Rajasthan)

    "... Bijai Singh and several other Hindus were reported to be carrying on public worship of idols in a temple in the neighborhood of Ajmer. On 23 June, 1694, THE GOVERNER OF AJMER WAS ORDERED TO DESTROY THE TEMPLE and stop the public adoration of idol worship there..."

Wakenkhera ( ? )

    " ... The TEMPLE OF WAKENKHERA IN THE FORT WAS DEMOLISHED ON 2 MARCH, 1705. ..."

Bhagwant Garh (Rajasthan)

    "... The newswriter of Ranthambore REPORTED THE DESTRUCTION OF A TEMPLE IN PARGANAH BHAGWANT GARH. Gaj Singh Gor had repaired the temple and made some additions thereto..."

Malpura (Rajasthan)

    " ... Royal orders FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLES IN MALPURA TODA were received and the officers were assigned for this work..."


"Fathiyya-i-'Ibriyya"

    This is a diary of Mir Jumla's campaigns in Kuch Bihar and Assam. "By looting," writes Jadunath Sarkar, "the temples of the South and hunting out buried treasures, Mir Jumla amassed a vast fortune. The huge Hindu idols of copper were brought away in large numbers to be melted and cast into cannon. ..."

    Excerpts:

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Koch Bihar (Bengal)

    " ... Mir Jumla made his way into Kuch Bihar by an obscure and neglected highway. .... In six days the Mughal Army reached the capital (19th December) which had been deserted by the Rajah and his people in terror. The name of the town was changed to Alamgirnagar; the muslim call to prayer, so long forbidden in the city, was chanted from the lofty roof of the palace, and a mosque was built by DEMOLISHING THE PRINCIPLE TEMPLE..."


"Kalimat-i-Tayyibat" by 'Inayatullah

    This is a collection of letters and orders of Aurangzeb compiled by 'Inayatullah in AD 1719 and covers the years 1699-1704 of Aurangzeb's reign.

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Somnath (Gujarat)

    "... The TEMPLE OF SOMNATH WAS DEMOLISHED early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolators have again taken to the worship of images at the place, THEN DESTROY THE TEMPLE IN SUCH A WAY THAT NO TRACE OF THE BUILDING MAY BE LEFT, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place. ..."

Satara (Maharashtra)

    "... The village of Sattara near Aurangabad was my hunting ground. Here on the top of the hill, STOOD A TEMPLE WITH AN IMAGE OF KHANDE RAI. BY GOD'S GRACE I DEMOLISHED IT, AND FORBADE THE TEMPLE DANCERS (muralis) to ply their shameful profession..."

    General Observation "... THE DEMOLITION OF A TEMPLE IS POSSIBLE AT ANY TIME, as it cannot walk away from its place. ..."

Sirhind (Punjab)

    "... In a small village in the sarkar of Sirhind, A SIKH TEMPLE WAS DEMOLISHED AND CONVERTED INTO A MOSQUE. An imam was appointed who was subsequently killed. ..."


"Ganj-i-Arshadi"

    It is a contemporary account of the destruction of Hindu temples at Varanasi in the reign of Aurangzeb.

    Excerpts:

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)

    "... The infidels demolished a mosque that was under construction and wounded the artisans. When the news reached Shah Yasin, he came to Banaras from Mandyawa and collecting the Muslim weavers, DEMOLISHED THE BIG TEMPLE. A Sayyid who was an artisan by profession agreed with one Abdul Rasul to build a mosque at Banaras and accordingly the foundation was laid. Near the place there was a temple and many houses belonging to it were in the occupation of the Rajputs. The infidels decided that the construction of a mosque in the locality was not proper and that it should be razed to the ground. At night the walls of the mosque were found demolished. next day the wall was rebuilt but it was again destroyed. This happened three or four times. At last the Sayyid his himself in the corner. With the advent of night the infidels came to achieve their nefarious purpose. When Abdul Rasul gave the alarm, the infidels began to fight and the Sayyid was wounded by the Rajputs. In the meantime, the Musalman residents of the neighborhood arrived at the spot and the infidels took to their heels. The wounded muslims were taken to Shah Yasin who determined to vindicate the cause of Islam. When he came to the mosque, people collected from the neighborhood. the civil officers were outwardly inclined to side with the saint, but in reality they were afraid of the Royal displeasure on the account of the Raja, who was a courtier of the Emperor and had built the temple (near which the mosque was under construction). Shah Yasin, however, took up the sword and started for Jihad. The civil officers sent him a message that such a grave step should not be taken without the Emperor's permission. Shah Yasin, paying no heed, sallied forth till he reached Bazar Chau Khamba through a fusillade of stones ...... THE DOORS (OF TEMPLES) WERE FORCED OPEN AND THE IDOLS THROWN DOWN. THE WEAVERS AND OTHER MUSALMANS DEMOLISHED ABOUT 500 TEMPLES. They desired to destroy the temple of Beni Madho, but as lanes were barricaded, they desisted from going further...."


"Kalimat-i-Aurangzeb" by 'Inayatullah

    This is another compilation of letters and orders by 'Inayatu'llah covering the years 1703-06 of Aurangzeb's reign.

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Maharashtra

    "...The houses of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Govt. in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e. time) TO DESTROY AND RAZE THE TEMPLES OF THE INFIDELS that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards DESTROY THEM AT LEISURE AND DIG UP THEIR FOUNDATIONS..."


"Muraq'at-i-Abu'I Hasan" by Maulana Abu'l Hasan

    This is a collection of records and documents compiled by (the above named author) one of Aurangzeb's officers in Bengal and Orissa during AD 1655-67.

    Excerpts:

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Bengal and Orissa

    "...Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutasaddis), agents of jagirdars, kroris, and amlas from Katak to Medinipur on the frontier of Orissa :- The imperial paymaster Asad Khan has sent a letter written by order of the Emperor, to say, that the Emperor learning from the newsletters of the province of Orissa that at the village of Tilkuti in Medinipur a temple has been (newly) built, HAS ISSUED HIS AUGUST MANDATE FOR ITS DESTRUCTION, and THE DESTRUCTION OF ALL TEMPLES BUILT ANYWHERE IN THIS PROVINCE BY THE WORTHLESS INFIDELS. Therefore, you are commanded with extreme urgency that immediately on the receipt of this letter YOU SHOULD DESTROY THE ABOVE MENTIONED TEMPLES. EVERY IDOL-HOUSE BUILT DURING THE LAST 10 or 12 YEARS, WHETHER WITH BRICK OR CLAY, SHOULD BE DEMOLISHED WITHOUT DELAY. ALSO, DO NOT ALLOW THE CRUSHED HINDUS AND DESPICABLE INFIDELS TO REPAIR THEIR OLD TEMPLES. REPORTS OF THE DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLES SHOULD BE SENT TO THE COURT UNDER THE SEAL OF THE QAZIS and attested by PIOUS SHAIKHS..."


"Futuhat-i-Alamgiri" by Ishwardas Nagar

    The author was a Brahman from Gujarat, born around AD 1654. Till the age of thirty he was in the service of the Chief Qazi of the empire under Aurangzeb. Later on, he took up a post under Shujat Khan, the governor of Gujarat, who appointed him Amin in the pargana of Jodhpur. His history covers almost half a century of Aurangzeb's reign, from 1657 to 1700. There is nothing in his style which may mark him out as a Hindu.

    Excerpts:

    Muhiyu'd-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb 'Alamgir Padshah Ghazi (AD 1658-1707)

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)

    " ... When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, HE ORDERED THE FAUJDAR OF THE CITY, ABDUL NABI KHAN, TO RAZE TO THE GROUND EVERY TEMPLE AND TO CONSTRUCT BIG MOSQUES (over their demolished sites)..."

    Udaipur (Rajasthan)

      "... The Emperor, within a short time, reached Udaipur AND DESTROYED THE GATE OF DEHBARI, THE PALACES OF RANA AND THE TEMPLES OF UDAIPUR. Apart from it, the trees of his gardens were also destroyed..."


Bibliography

Ahmad, Qeyamuddin (ed.), "Patna through the Ages", New Delhi, 1988.

"Alberuni's India", translated by E.C. Sachau, New Delhi Reprint, 1983.

Attar, Shykh Faridu'd-Din, "Tadhkirat al-Awliya", translated into Urdu by Maulana Z.A. Usmani.

Bloch J., "Indian Studies", London, 1931.

Chuvin, Pierre, "A Chronicle of the Last Pagans", Harvard, 1990.

Durrant, Will, "The Story of Civilization", New York, 1972.

Elliot and Dowson, "History of India as told by its own Historians", 8 volumes, Allahbad Reprint, 1964.

"First Encyclopedia of Islam"

"Futuhat-i-Alamgiri" by Ishwardas Nagar, trans. into English by Tasneem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978.

Growse, F.S. "Mathura: A District Memoir", Reprint, Ahmedabad, 1978.

Hosain, Saiyid Safdar, "The Early History of Islam," Vol. I, Delhi Reprint, 1985.

"Jami Tirmizi, " Arabic text with Urdu translation by Badi'al-Zaman, Vol. I, New Delhi, 1983.

"Kitab Futuh Al-Buldan" of Al-Biladhuri, translated into English by F.C. Murgotte, New York, 1924.

"Maasir-i-Alamgiri" of Saqi Must'ad Khan, translated into English and annotated by Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947.

"Makke Madine di Goshati", edited by Dr. Kulwant Singh, Patiala, 1988.

"The Rehala of Ibn Battuta," translated into English by Mahdi Hussain, Baroda, 1976.

Sarkar, Jadunath, "History of Aurangzeb," 3 Volumes, Calcutta, 1972, 73.

Literary records compiled by Rajiv Varma


Homepage


The Sun News Editorials Features Sun Blogs Classifieds Events Recipes PodCasts

About Submit an Article Contact Us Advertise HareKrsna.com

Copyright 2005, 2010, HareKrsna.com. All rights reserved.