- Islamic Imperialism in India
Was Islamic invasion in India non Islamic? Was Islamic attack on India inspired by politics and not Islam? Discover the truth!
This article is contributed by Rushmore, an active member of Agniveer.
The Dictionary of Human Geography defines imperialism as “the creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination.”
In the Indian context, the historical discourse points to imperialism as something that has to do with the British rule alone and willfully excludes Islamic imperialism. This article aims to scan historical archives and present the imperialism that Islam unleashed on this great nation.
Islamic imperialism carries a distinct streak that is soaked in blood and complete subjugation of the masses in every aspect of their lives. While the British definitely had a lot of monetary and racist motivations, despite supporting Christian missionaries, the British did not go about unleashing massacre after massacre and continually destroy symbols of Hinduism like temples. Taking away nothing from the kind of atrocities British unleashed in India, we will see in this article that Islamic imperialism makes the British imperialism look like a walk in the park.
Islamic imperialism in India was experienced in the following ways:
- Generations of unsuspecting Hindus were slaughtered to be sent to Islam’s eternal hell fire by the barbaric invaders.
- Thousands of temples and sites of pilgrimages were destroyed and/or converted to mosques, as these represented the houses of idolatry.
- The wealth of this land was thoroughly looted (as booty) & the share was split between soldiers of the Muslim armies and their masters back in Baghdad (all as part of the scriptural injunctions of Islam).
- Thousands of men, women and children were captured and sold as slaves in Islamic lands.
- Women were forced to become concubines in harems.
- The human enterprise of Hindus was systematically dismantled, and they were reduced to mere servants of Muslims that came to occupy this land.
- Sword was used the way to establish the supremacy of Islam.
Tarikh-i-Wassaf summarizes the plight of Hindus when messengers of Islam visited India on vacation.
“The vein of the zeal of religion beat high for the subjection of infidelity and destruction of idols… The Mohammedan forces began to kill and slaughter, on the right and the left unmercifully, throughout the impure land, for the sake of Islãm, and blood flowed in torrents. They plundered gold and silver to an extent greater than can be conceived, and an immense number of precious stones as well as a great variety of cloths… They took captive a great number of handsome and elegant maidens and children of both sexes, more than pen can enumerate… In short, the Mohammedan army brought the country to utter ruin and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants and plundered the cities, and captured their off-springs, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was Somnãt. The fragments were conveyed to Dehlî and the entrance of the Jãmi‘ Masjid was paved with them so that people might remember and talk about this brilliant victory… Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.”
However, India has been hoodwinked by generations of biased and fake historians. They have duped the last few generations of Hindus by asking them to look at the pantheon of symbols of Islamic heritage like arts, crafts, calligraphy, the Sufi poetry, songs, palaces, maqbaras, and realize the peace and prosperity of Islamic rule in India. The dark ages for the Hindus started changing only after a new generation of Marathas, Sikhs and Jats emerged and broke the back of Islamic imperialism.
Who is to blame? Many apologists of what the Islamic invaders did, hide behind arguments that it was the Turkish invaders that have to be blamed and that if Arabs had brought Islam into India, things would have been peaceful. Or that this land always had always experienced foreign invasions and that Ghaznis and Ghoris were here for the wealth (just like the British and the French). And the most clichéd argument happens to be that all that the invaders did does not conform to the teachings of Islam. But all these arguments are a hard sell. Let us see why.
Jihadi argument: It was the Turkish invaders that have to be blamed and that if Arabs had brought Islam into India, things would have been peaceful. Turks were barbaric
If Turks were truly barbaric, they could not have had different sets of attitudes towards Muslims (their brethren) and Hindus. Let us draw an analogy. Many modern countries do regard Alexander as a barbarian. Assuming he was a barbarian, he was consistent in dealing with his foes both in Greece or in Persia or in India. He was driven by zeal to rule the world, and he cared nothing about whether the Persians worshipped Ahura Mazda or if King Porus worshipped Shiva and Vishnu and dealt with internal rebellions too in the same way.
Let us contrast this with Mahmud Ghaznavi. The author Muhammad Nazim in The Life and Times of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna has the following to say – “The Sultan was affectionate by nature… Sultan Mahmud was strict in the administration of justice… Sultan Mahmud was a poet and scholar of some reputation. He is said to have been the author of a book named Tafridul-Furu which was regarded as a standard work on Fiqh… The Sultan was a great patron of learning, and his court was the rendezvous of scholars from all parts of the Muslim world… His meanest rewards were calculated in thousands of dinãrs, and the later generation of poets cherished his memory chiefly as a giver of ‘elephant loads’ of gold and silver.”
Firishta records that Mahmud Ghaznavi used the war booty captured from Kanauj for building at Ghazni a magnificent mosque, a university well-stocked with books, and a museum full of many curiosities. But we know what this KIND Sultan did in India during his invasions.
Similarly, Jalaludin Khalji was someone that loved putting Hindus to sword. But when Malik Chhaju, an architect of a rebellion against Jalaludin was captured and paraded before him, Jalaludin overruled the usual penalizations for rebels and said that he would relinquish his throne instead of making another Muslim shed his blood.
Above is enough to prove that these invaders were considered as devout Muslims in their times and even today, these butchers are hailed as Ghazis and role models by many ignorant Muslims.
Let’s Come to Arabs now. Had Arabs brought in Islam, it would not have been so bad. Really? Chach Nama has enough events to prove that Arabs were no kinder to Hindus in Sind than the Turks were to the Hindus around Delhi. In fact, the feeble sense of forgiving attitude that Muhammad Bin Qasim might have had was seen as a sign of weakness by Hajaj and he was asked to specifically slit the throat of Hindus, instead of showing mercy. Here is a response from Hajaj to Muhammad Bin Qasim upon hearing that the latter had promised some Hindus refuge if they conspired with him in opening the fort of Raja Dahir by deceit.
“O my cousin! I received your life-inspiring letter …I learnt that the ways and rules you follow are confirmable to the Law (of Islam), except that you give protection to all, great and small, and make no distinction between enemy and friend. Allah says – Give no quarter to infidels but cut their throats. Then know that this is the command of Allah the great. You should not be too ready to grant protection, because it will prolong your work. After this, give no quarter to any enemy except to those who are of rank. This is a worthy resolve, and want of dignity will not be imputed to you.”
After this, Muhammad bin Qasim carried out the command of Allah conveyed to him by Hajaj in letter and spirit.
What we have seen above is that it does not matter whether the Islamic invaders were Turks or Persians or Arabs. They had the utmost disdain for Hindus. And in these two instances what we have in common is Islam. The culprit here is not the Turks or Arabs but Islam. And the following event says more about the mindset of some of the Islamic Caliphs and how Islam plays a part in this.
From Chach Nama: “When the head of Dahir, the women, and the property all reached Hajaj, he prostrated himself before Allah, offered thanksgiving and praises..Hajaj then forwarded the head, the umbrellas, and wealth, and prisoners to Walîd the Khalifa.”
It was not Arab or Turkish imperialism but Islamic imperialism. And it is not only these foreigners. The attitude of Hindus that converted to Islam under duress gradually became like that of the much maligned Turks and Arabs. Suhabatta was the chief minister of Sikandar Butshikan (Kashmir). Suhabatta converted to Islam and after that, advised by Islamic clergy, Suhabatta did the spade work to have many temples (including Martanda) destroyed.
Chach Nama records the activity of a Brahmin, a neo-convert, who was chosen by Muhammad Bin Qasim to go around the town of Multan proclaiming the following: “Heathenism is now at an end, the temples are thrown down, the world has received the light of Islam, and mosques are built instead of idols temples.”
And Amir Khusru has recorded the bloodlust of Malik Kafur. Malik Kafur was a young Hindu that was captured and converted to Islam by Ulugh Khan, one of the generals of Alaudin Khalji. Upon seeing this young man, Alaudin Khalji became enamored by him and this ex-Hindu became Malik Kafur, raised soon to become a topmost officer and came to be called as Malik Naib. This neo convert unleashed the same blood laced tyranny against the people of his ancestral faith during his battles that he fought for Alauddin Khalji.
In the history of Arabs or Turks, during the pre-Islamic era, were any wars fought against infidels on this grand a scale and in continuous waves? Negative. While slavery was not an Islamic concept, was there another system in the pre-Islamic period of the Arabs and Turks about how to deal, split and distribute booty from a war (men, women and material) before Islam? Negative. Did the pre-Islamic Arabs invade North Africa, Central Asia, Mongolia and Spain and establish Mosques over there? Negative. Did the pre-Islamic Arabs chase out non-pagans out of Yemen and Arabia? Negative.
What we see here is that the imperialism in India unleashed by Arabs and Turks was Islamic in nature and whoever converted to Islam became equally brutal against Hindus. This is a pattern that has to be recognized and remembered by Hindus and Muslims of today.
Next article will be the final in this series of Islamic invasion of India that will cover more testimonies of killing, enslavement, sacking of temples, and humiliation of today’s Muslims’ forefathers by Islamic invaders aka Walis and Aalamgeers.
1. Chach Nama
2. Legacy of Muslim Rule in India by K.S.Lal