„Near the eastern gate of the mosque lie two very big idols of copper connected together by stones. Every one who comes in and goes out of the mosque treads over them. On the site of this mosque was a bud khãnã that is an idol-house. After the conquest of Delhi it was turned into a mosque…“

—  Ibn Battuta, About Delhi. The Rehalã of Ibn Battûta translated into English by Mahdi Hussain, Baroda, 1967, p. 27
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Ibn Battuta
1304 - 1377
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Qutb al-Din Aibak photo

„The first thing the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi started on was construction of impressive buildings. The first sultan Qutbuddin Aibak had to establish Muslim power in India and to raise buildings "as quickly as possible, so that no time might be lost in making an impression on their newly-conquered subjects". Architecture was considered as the visual symbol of Muslim political power. It denoted victory with authority. The first two buildings of the early period in Delhi are the Qutb Minar and the congregational mosque named purposefully as the Quwwat-ul-Islam (might of Islam) Masjid. This mosque was commenced by Aibak in 592/1195. It was built with materials and gold obtained by destroying 27 Hindu and Jain temples in Delhi and its neighborhood. A Persian inscription in the mosque testifies to this. The Qutb Minar, planned and commenced by Aibak sometime in or before 1199 and completed by Iltutmish, was also constructed with similar materials, "the sculptured figures on the stones being either defaced or concealed by turning them upside down". A century and a quarter later Ibn Battutah describes the congregational mosque and the Qutb Minar. "About the latter he says that its staircase is so wide that elephants can go up there." About the former his observations are interesting. "Near the eastern gate of the mosque their lie two very big idols of copper connected together by stones. Every one who comes in and goes out of the mosque treads over them. On the site of this mosque was a bud khana, that is an idol house. After the conquest of Delhi it was turned into a mosque."“

—  Qutb al-Din Aibak Turkic peoples king of Northwest India 1150 - 1210
Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5 (quoting Gordon Sanderson, 'Archaeology at the Qutb', Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1912-13; Ibn Battutah)

Syed Ahmed Khan photo

„Iron Pillar: “…In our opinion this pillar was made in the ninth century before (the birth of) Lord Jesus… When Rai Pithora built a fort and an idol-house near this pillar, it stood in the courtyard of the idol-house. And when Qutbu’d-Din Aibak constructed a mosque after demolishing the idol-house, this pillar stood in the courtyard of the mosque…
”Idol-house of Rai Pithora: “There was an idol-house near the fort of Rai Pithora. It was very famous… It was built along with the fort in 1200 Bikarmi [Vikrama SaMvat] corresponding to AD 1143 and AH 538. The building of this temple was very unusual, and the work done on it by stone-cutters is such that nothing better can be conceived. The beautiful carvings on every stone in it defy description… The eastern and northern portions of this idol-house have survived intact. The fact that the Iron Pillar, which belongs to the Vaishnava faith, was kept inside it, as also the fact that sculptures of Kirshan avatar and Mahadev and Ganesh and Hanuman were carved on its walls, leads us to believe that this temple belonged to the Vaishnava faith. Although all sculptures were mutilated in the times of Muslims, even so a close scrutiny can identify as to which sculpture was what. In our opinion there was a red-stone building in this idol-house, and it was demolished. For, this sort of old stones with sculptures carved on them are still found.
”Quwwat al-Islam Masjid: “When Qutbu’d-Din, the commander-in-chief of Muizzu’d-Din Sam alias Shihabu’d-Din Ghuri, conquered Delhi in AH 587 corresponding to AD 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmi, this idol-house (of Rai Pithora) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out of the temple. Some of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were effaced completely, some were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept standing as before. Materials from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crores and forty lakhs of Dilwals, were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest and his own name was installed on the eastern gate…“When Malwah and Ujjain were conquered by Sultan Shamsu’d-Din in AH 631 corresponding to AD 1233, then the idol-house of Mahakal was demolished and its idols as well as the statue of Raja Bikramajit were brought to Delhi, they were strewn in front of the door of the mosque…”“In books of history, this mosque has been described as Masjid-i-Adinah and Jama‘ Masjid Delhi, but Masjid Quwwat al-Islam is mentioned nowhere. It is not known as to when this name was adopted. Obviously, it seems that when this idol-house was captured, and the mosque constructed, it was named Quwwat al-Islam…”“

—  Syed Ahmed Khan Indian educator and politician 1817 - 1898
About antiquities of Delhi. Translated from the Urdu of Asaru’s-Sanadid, edited by Khaleeq Anjum, New Delhi, 1990. Vol. I, p. 305-16

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Alauddin Khalji photo
 Aurangzeb photo

„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 hid himself in a 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 Rajputs. In the meantime, the Musalman resident of the neighbourhood 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 neighbourhood. The civil officers were outwardly inclined to side with the saint, but in reality they were afraid of the royal displeasure on 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.“

—  Aurangzeb Sixth Mughal Emperor 1618 - 1707
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) Ganj-i-Arshadi, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 144-45

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 Aurangzeb photo
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Firuz Shah Tughlaq photo

„The idol, Jwalamukhi, much worshipped by the infidels, was situated on the road to Nagarkot Some of the infidels have reported that Sultan Firoz went specially to see this idol and held a golden umbrella over it. But the author was informed by his respected father, who was in the Sultans retinue, that the infidels slandered the Sultan, who was a religious, God-fearing man, who, during the whole forty years of his reign, paid strict obedience to the law, and that such an action was impossible. The fact is, that when he went to see the idol, all the rais, ranas and zamindars who accompanied him were summoned into his presence, when he addressed them, saying, O fools and weak-minded, how can ye pray to and worship this stone, for our holy law tells us that those who oppose the decrees of our religion, will go to hell? The Sultan held the idol in the deepest detestation, but the infidels, in the blindness of their delusion, have made this false statement against him. Other infidels have said that Sultan Muhammad Shah bin Tughlik Shah held an umbrella over the same idol, but this is also a lie; and good Muhammadans should pay no heed to such statements. These two Sultans were sovereigns especially chosen by the Almighty from among the faithful, and in the whole course of their reigns, wherever they took an idol temple they broke and destroyed it; how, then, can such assertions be true? The infidels must certainly have lied!“

—  Firuz Shah Tughlaq Tughluq sultan 1309 - 1388
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) . Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi, Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. Elliot and Dowson. Vol. III, p. 318 ff

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Muhammad bin Qasim 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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