„So the temples were attacked “all along the way” as the armies of Islam advanced; they were “robbed of their sculptural wealth”, “pulled down”, “laid waste”, “burnt with naptha”, “trodden under horse’s hoofs”, and “destroyed from their very foundations”, till “not a trace of them remained”. Mahmûd of Ghazni robbed and burnt down 1,000 temples at Mathura, and 10,000 in and around Kanauj. One of his successors, Ibrãhîm, demolished 1,000 temples each in Hindustan (Ganga-Yamuna Doab) and Malwa. Muhammad Ghûrî destroyed another 1,000 at Varanasi. Qutbu’d-Dîn Aibak employed elephants for pulling down 1,000 temples in Delhi. “Alî I ‘Ãdil Shãh of Bijapur destroyed 200 to 300 temples in Karnataka. A sufi, Qãyim Shãh, destroyed 12 temples at Tiruchirapalli. Such exact or approximate counts, however, are available only in a few cases. Most of the time we are informed that “many strong temples which would have remained unshaken even by the trumpets blown on the Day of Judgment, were levelled with the ground when swept by the wind of Islãm”.“

Sita Ram Goel
1921 - 2003
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„Like proselytization, desecrating and demolishing the temples of non-Muslims is also central to Islam.... India too suffered terribly as thousands of Hindu temples and sacred edifices disappeared in northern India by the time of Sikandar Lodi and Babur. Will Durant rightly laments in the Story of Civilization that "We can never know from looking at India today, what grandeur and beauty it once possessed". In Delhi, after the demolition of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples, the materials of which were utilized to construct the Quwwat-ul-Islam masjid, it was after 700 years that the Birla Mandir could be constructed in 1930s. Sita Ram Goel has brought out two excellent volumes on Hindu Temples: What happened to them. These informative volumes give a list of Hindu shrines and their history of destruction in the medieval period on the basis of Muslim evidence itself. This of course does not cover all the shrines razed. Muslims broke temples recklessly. Those held in special veneration by Hindus like the ones at Somnath, Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura, were special targets of Muslims, and whenever the Hindus could manage to rebuild their shrines at these places, they were again destroyed by Muslim rulers. From the time of Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the temples at Somnath and Mathura to Babur who struck at Ayodhya to Aurangzeb who razed the temples at Kashi Mathura and Somnath, the story is repeated again and again.“

—  K. S. Lal Indian historian 1920 - 2002

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„One Western author who has become very popular among India’s history-writers is the American scholar Prof. Richard M. Eaton.... A selective reading of his work, focusing on his explanations but keeping most of his facts out of view, is made to serve the negationist position regarding temple destruction in the name of Islam. Yet, the numerically most important body of data presented by him concurs neatly with the classic (now dubbed “Hindutva”) account. In his oft-quoted paper “Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states”, he gives a list of “eighty” cases of Islamic temple destruction. "Only eighty", is how the secularist history-rewriters render it, but Eaton makes no claim that his list is exhaustive. Moreover, eighty isn't always eighty. Thus, in his list, we find mentioned as one instance: "1994: Benares, Ghurid army. Did the Ghurid army work one instance of temple destruction? Eaton provides his source, and there we read that in Benares, the Ghurid royal army "destroyed nearly one thousand temples, and raised mosques on their foundations. (Note that unlike Sita Ram Goel, Richard Eaton is not chided by the likes of Sanjay Subramaniam for using Elliott and Dowson's "colonialist translation.") This way, practically every one of the instances cited by Eaton must be read as actually ten, or a hundred, or as in this case even a thousand temples destroyed. Even Eaton's non-exhaustive list, presented as part of "the kind of responsible and constructive discussion that this controversial topic so badly needs", yields the same thousands of temple destructions ascribed to the Islamic rulers in most relevant pre-1989 histories of Islam and in pro-Hindu publications.... If the “eighty” (meaning thousands of) cases of Islamic iconoclasm are only a trifle, the “abounding” instances of Hindu iconoclasm, “thoroughly integrated” in Hindu political culture, can reasonably be expected to number tens of thousands. Yet, Eaton’s list, given without reference to primary sources, contains, even in a maximalist reading (i. e., counting “two” when one king takes away two idols from one enemy’s royal temple), only 18 individual cases.... In this list, cases of actual destruction amount to exactly two...“

—  Koenraad Elst orientalist, writer 1959

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„The Sultan then departed from the environs of the city, in which was a temple of the Hindus. The name of this place was Maharatu-l Hind. He saw there a building of exquisite structure, which the inhabitants said had been built, not by men, but by Genii, and there he witnessed practices contrary to the nature of man, and which could not be believed but from evidence of actual sight. The wall of the city was constructed of hard stone, and two gates opened upon the river flowing under the city, which were erected upon strong and lofty foundations to protect them against the floods of the river and rains. On both sides of the city there were a thousand houses, to which idol temples were attached, all strengthened from top to bottom by rivets of iron, and all made of masonry work; and opposite to them were other buildings, supported on broad wooden pillars, to give them strength.
In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and firmer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted. The Sultan thus wrote respecting it: - "If any should wish to construct a building equal to this, he would not be able to do it without expending an hundred thousand, thousand red dinars, and it would occupy two hundred years even though the most experienced and able workmen were employed."...
The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naptha and fire, and levelled with the ground.“

—  Mahmud of Ghazni Sultan of Ghazni 971 - 1030
About the capture of Mathura. Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. pp. 44-45 Also quoted (in part) in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.

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