Secularists do not want to acknowledge the mayhem caused by Muslim rulers to Hindus and their temples. They always bring in examples of Hindu rulers destroying temples forgetting that no Hindu ruler has ever destroyed the images in the temples. They forget that the real issue is how Muslim rulers have treated Hindus and destroyed the images in the temples. I have given below some true historic cases of Muslim rulers mistreating Hindus and their temples and images.
Here is an example of what Muslim historians said about Alauddin Khilji’s rule
Besides this system of espionage among the Moslems, great and small, the Sultan devised special measures against his Hindu subjects. The Hindu was to be so reduced as to be left unable to keep a horse to ride on, to carry arms, to wear fine clothes, or to enjoy any of the luxuries of life. He was taxed to the extent of half the produce of his land, and had to pay duties on all his buffaloes, goats, and other milch-cattle. The taxes were to be levied equally on rich and poor, at so much per acre, so much per animal. Any collectors or officers taking bribes were summarily dismissed and heavily punished “with sticks, pincers, the rack, imprisonment, and chains.”
The new rules were strictly carried out, so that one revenue officer would string together twenty Hindu notables and enforce payment by blows. No gold or silver, not even the betel nut, so cheering and stimulative to pleasure, was to be seen in a Hindu house, and the wives of the impoverished native officials were reduced to taking service in Moslem families. Revenue officers came to be regarded as more deadly than the plague; and to be a government clerk was a disgrace worse than death, insomuch that no Hindu would marry his daughter to such a man – a state of affairs that showed their feeling against the power that ruled them. All these new enactments were promulgated without any reference to the legal authorities. Ala-ad-din held that government was one thing and law another, and so long as what he ordered seemed to him good he did not stop to inquire whether it was according to law. One day, however, he saw the learned kadi of Biana at court, and addressing him said he had some questions to ask to which he required truthful replies. “The angel of my fate seems to be at hand,” cried the kadi in alarm, “since your Majesty wishes to question me on matters of religious law.” The Sultan promised not to kill him, and a curious conversation ensued.
Ala-ad-din wished first to know the legal position of Hindus, and the kadi replied: “They are called payers of tribute, and when the revenue officer demands silver from them, they should, without question and with all humility and respect, tender gold. If the officer throws dirt (or spits) into their mouths, they must unreluctantly open their mouths wide to receive it. By doing so they show their respect for the officer. The due submission of the non-Moslems is exhibited in this humble payment and by this throwing of dirt into their mouths. The glorification of Islam is a duty, and contempt of the Religion is vain. God holds them in contempt, for He says ‘keep them under in subjection.’ To keep the Hindus in abasement is especially a religious duty, because they are the most inveterate enemies of the Prophet.”
The Sultan said that he did not understand a word of the learned man’s argument, but he had taken his measures to reduce the pride of the Hindus, and had succeeded in making them so obedient that “at my command they are ready to creep into holes like mice.” “O Doctor,” he went on, “thou art a learned man, but hast no experience of the world. I am an unlettered man, but I have seen a great deal. Be assured then that the Hindus will never become submissive and obedient till they are reduced to poverty. I have therefore given orders that just sufficient shall be left to them from year to year of corn, milk, and curds, but that they shall not be allowed to accumulate hoards of property.”
So far the law and the Sultan were not at variance. When they spoke of the punishment of corrupt revenue officers, there was still not much difference; but when the Sultan touched upon the delicate question of his own claim upon war-booty and upon the public treasury,
History of India edited by Professor A. V. Jackson
There is a fascinating exchange of letters between Anundpal (Raja of Delhi) and Sultan Mahmud of Gizhnevy about temple destruction. The question as to why temples were being destroyed by Islamic invaders was asked by Raja of Delhi, Anundpal in the year 1011 ce to the most famous (or infamous) of Islamic invaders Sultan Mahmud of Gizhnevy on the eve of the destruction of the temple of Tahnesur.
‘The Raja’s brother, with two thousand horses was also sent to meet the army, and to deliver the following message:- “My brother [Anundpal] is the subject and tributary of the King, but he begs permission to acquaint his Majesty, that Tahnesur is the principal place of worship of the inhabitants of the country: that if it is required by the religion of Mahmood to subvert the religion of others, he has already acquitted himself of that duty, in the destruction of the temple of Nagrakote. But if he should be pleased to alter his resolution regarding Tahnesur, Anundpal promises that the amount of the revenues of that country shall be annually paid to Mahmood; that a sum shall also be paid to reimburse him for the expense of his expedition, besides which, on his own part, he will present him with fifty elephants, and jewels to a considerable amount.” Mahmood replied, “The religion of the faithful inculcates the following tenet: ‘That in proportion as the tenets of the Prophet are diffused, and his followers exert themselves in the subversion of idolatry, so shall be their reward in heaven;’ that, therefore, it behoved him, with the assistance of God, to root out the worship of idols from the face of all India. How then should he spare Tahnesur?’
History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India by John Briggs
Translated from the Original Persian of Mahomed Kasim Ferishta
Then there is this terrifying incident that occurred in 1441 ce.
Sooltan Mahmood [Khiljy], however, marched on within a short distance of Kalpy, before he shaped his course towards Chittoor. After having crossed the Bunas river, he sent on detachments of light troops to lay waste the country. The main body continued to advance slowly, and was engaged every day either in taking prisoners or in destroying temples, and in building musjids in their stead. Sultan Mahmood now attacked one of the forts in the Koombulmere district, defended by Beny Ray, the deputy of Rana Koombho of Chittoor. In front of the gateway was a large temple which commanded the lower works. This building was strongly fortified, and employed by the enemy as a magazine. Sooltan Mahmood, aware of its importance, determined to take possession of it at all hazards; and having stormed it in person, carried it, but not without heavy loss; after which, the fort fell into his hands, and many Rajpoots were put to death. The temples was now filled with wood, and being set on fire, cold water was thrown on the stone images, which caused them to break, the pieces were given to the butchers of the camp, in order to be used as weights in selling meat. One large figure in particular, representing a ram, and formed of solid marble, being consumed, the Rajpoots were compelled to eat the calcined part [lime] with pan, in order that it might be said that they [Hindus] were made to eat their gods. Sooltan Mahmood having reduced this fort, which the kings of Guzerat, notwithstanding frequent and long sieges, had never been able to effect, caused public thanksgiving to be made, at which every person in camp was required to attend.
History of the Rise of the Mahomedan Power in India, History of the kings of Malwa by John Briggs
Translated from the Original Persian of Mahomed Kasim Ferishta
More posts by this author:
- Did medieval muslim rulers destroy Hindu temples to save Hindus from being looted?
- Plight of East Bengali Hindus in the post 1950 period
- Why did the Sultan of Ghazny attack Somnath Temple?
- Strengths and weaknesses of ‘The God Delusion’
- The strength of the universalistic Hindu position
I did my school, college and parts of my University education in Kolkata. I got my M.Sc degree from Kolkata University. I went to USA in 1979 and got my M.S and Ph.D in Physics from University of Pittsburgh in 1984. I did my Post Doctorate in University of Southern California, Los Angeles and then worked as a Research Scientist in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Space Sciences Center of University of Southern California. My scientific work includes heavy ion-atom scattering, multiphoton ionization and heliosphere data analysis of Pioneer 10/111 and Voyager 1/2 deep space spacecaft and analysis of solar extreme ultraviolet data obtained from SOHO spacecraft. I have been a National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA) Principal Investigator from 2002 – 2007. I have been a member of a NASA awards committee to decide allocation of money to different scientists. I have also refereed scientific articles submitted to Journal of Geophysical Research and Astrophysical Journal.