„But so far as the Hindus are concerned, this period was a prolonged spell of darkness which ended only when the Marathas and the Jats and the Sikhs broke the back of Islamic imperialism in the middle of the 18th century. The situation of the Hindus under Muslim rule is summed up by the author of Tãrîkh-i-Wassãf in the following words: “The vein of the zeal of religion beat high for the subjection of infidelity and destruction of idols… The Mohammadan 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 Mohammadan 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 of this brilliant victory… Praise be to Allah the lord of the worlds.”“

Sita Ram Goel
1921 - 2003
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Alauddin Khalji photo
Alauddin Khalji photo

„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 offspring, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was one called Somnat, fixed upon stone, polished like a mirror of charming shape and admirable workmanship' Its head was adorned with a crown set with gold and rubies and pearls and other precious stones' and a necklace of large shining pearls, like the belt of Orion, depended from the shoulder towards the side of the body....
'The Muhammadan soldiers plundered all these jewels and rapidly set themselves to demolish the idol. The surviving infidels were deeply affected with grief, and they engaged 'to pay a thousand pieces of gold' as ransom for the idol, but they were indignantly rejected, and the idol was destroyed, and 'its limbs, which were anointed with ambergris and perfumed, were cut off. 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.' Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. Amen! After some time, among the ruins of the temples, a most beautiful jasper-coloured stone was discovered, on which one of the merchants had designed some beautiful figures of fighting men and other ornamental figures of globes, lamps, etc., and on the margin of it were sculptured verses from the Kurdn. This stone was sent as an offering to the shrine of the pole of saints... At that time they were building a lofty octagonal dome to the tomb. The stone was placed at the right of the entrance. "At this time, that is, in the year 707 h. (1307 a. d.), 'Alau-d din is the acknowledged Sultan of this country. On all its borders there are infidels, whom it is his duty to attack in the prosecution of a holy war, and return laden with countless booty."“

—  Alauddin Khalji Ruler of the Khalji dynasty 1266 - 1316
Somnath. Abdu’llah ibn Fazlu’llah of Shiraz (Wassaf) : Tarikh-i-Wassaf (Tazjiyatu’l Amsar Wa Tajriyatu’l Ãsar), in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. III : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. pp. 43-44. Also quoted in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.

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Alauddin Khalji photo

„It was only in the nineteenth century that Western Indologists and Christian missionaries separated the Buddhists, the Jains, and the Sikhs from the Hindus who, in their turn, were defined as only those subscribing to Brahmanical sects.... Nowhere in the voluminous Muslim chronicles do we find the natives of this country known by a name other than Hindu. There were some Jews, and Christians, and Zoroastrians settled here and there... The chronicles distinguish these communities from the Muslims on the one hand, and from the natives of this country on the other. It is only when they come to the natives that no more distinctions are noticed; all natives are identified as ahl-i-Hunûd-Hindu!... In all their narratives, all natives are attacked as Hindus, massacred as Hindus, plundered as Hindus, converted forcibly as Hindus, captured and sold in slave markets as Hindus, and subjected to all sorts of malice and molestation as Hindus. The Muslims never came to know, nor cared to know, as to which temple housed what idol. For them all temples were Hindu but-khãnas, to be desecrated or destroyed as such. They never bothered to distinguish the idol of one God or Goddess from that of another. All idols were broken or burnt by them as so many buts, or deposited in the royal treasury if made of precious metals, or strewn at the door-steps of the mosques if fashion from inferior stuff. In like manner, all priests and monks, no matter to what school or order they belonged, were for the Muslims so many “wicked Brahmans” to be slaughtered or molested as such. In short, the word “Hindu” acquired a religious connotation for the first time within the frontiers of this country. The credit for this turn-out goes to the Muslim conquerors. With the coming of Islam to this country all schools and sects of Sanãtana Dharma acquired a common denominator - Hindu!... Once again, it goes to the credit of the Muslim conquerors that the word “Hindu” acquired a national connotation within the borders of this country.“

—  Sita Ram Goel Indian activist 1921 - 2003

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Muhammad of Ghor photo
Firuz Shah Tughlaq photo
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„Monotheism came to this country for the first time as the war-cry of Islamic invaders who marched in with the Quran in one hand and the sword in the other. It proclaimed that there was no God but Allah and that Muhammad was the Prophet of Allah. It claimed that Allah had completed his Revelation in the Quran and that Muslims who possessed that Book were the Chosen People. It invoked a theology which called upon the believers to convert or kill the infidels, particularly the idolaters, capture their women and children and sell them into slavery and concubinage all over the world, slaughter their sages and saints and priests, break or at least desecrate their idols, destroy or convert into mosques their places of worship, plunder their properties, occupy their lands, and heap humiliations on such of them as cannot be converted or killed either due to their capacity for fighting back or the need of the conquerors for slave labour. The enormities which the votaries of Islamic Monotheism practised on a vast scale and for a long time vis-a-vis Hindu religion, culture and society, were unheard of by Hindus in the whole of their hoary history. Muslim theologians, sufis and historians who witnessed or read or heard of these doings hailed the doers as soldiers of Allah and heroes of Islam. They thanked Allah and the Prophet who had declared a permanent war on the infidels and bestowed their progeny and properties on the believers. They quoted chapter and verse from the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet in order to prove that what was being done to Hindus was fully in keeping with the highest teachings of Islam.“

—  Sita Ram Goel Indian activist 1921 - 2003

 Iltutmish photo
Mahmud of Ghazni photo

„Asjadi composed the following qaSida in honour of this expedition: When the King of kings marched to Somnat, He made his own deeds the standard of miracles' 'Once more he led his army against Somnat, which is a large city on the coast of the ocean, a place of worship of the Brahmans who worship a large idol. There are many golden idols there. Although certain historians have called this idol Manat, and say that it is the identical idol which Arab idolaters brought to the coast of Hindustan in the time of the Lord of the Missive (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him), this story has no foundation because the Brahmans of India firmly believe that this idol has been in that place since the time of Kishan, that is to say four thousand years and a fraction' The reason for this mistake must surely be the resemblance in name, and nothing else' The fort was taken and Mahmud broke the idol in fragments and sent it to Ghaznin, where it was placed at the door of the Jama' Masjid and trodden under foot.'....'In the year AH 402 (AD 1011) he set out for Thanesar and Jaipal, the son of the former Jaipal, offered him a present of fifty elephants and much treasure. The Sultan, however, was not to be deterred from his purpose; so he refused to accept his present, and seeing Thanesar empty he sacked it and destroyed its idol temples, and took away to Ghaznin, the idol known as Chakarsum on account of which the Hindus had been ruined; and having placed it in his court, caused it to be trampled under foot by the people... From thence he went to Mathra (Mathura) which is a place of worship of the infidels and the birthplace of Kishan, the son of Basudev, whom the Hindus Worship as a divinity - where there are idol temples without number, and took it without any contest and razed it to the ground. Great wealth and booty fell into the hands of the Muslims, among the rest they broke up by the orders of the Sultan, a golden idol.“

—  Mahmud of Ghazni Sultan of Ghazni 971 - 1030
Muntakhabut-Tawarikh, translated into English by George S.A. Ranking, Patna Reprint 1973, Vol. I, p. 17-28

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