Islam is the second largest religion in India with 14.9% of Indian population . Majority of Muslims belong to the Sunni sect while Shia sect is a minority . Islam arrived in the inland of Indian subcontinent in the seventh century when the Arabs conquered Sindh and later arrived in North India in the 12th century via the Ghurids conquest and has since become a part of India’s religious and cultural heritage. The peak of Islamic rule in India was marked under the sharia rule of emperor Aurangzeb .
It was at the advent of Islam as a relgion that Arabs became a strong cultural force in the world . Arab merchants and traders became the carriers of the new religion and propagated it wherever they wanted.
Over the centuries there has been a significant integration in Hindu and Muslim cultures accross India and Muslims have played a notable role in economics ,politics and culture of India .
Spread of islam in india
- Islam was established in Saudi Arabia and its followers came to be known as Muslims .
- These Muslims were Arabs and their language was Arabic, settled down in Kerala and called as ‘Moplas ‘also called as ‘Mappilas.
- These Muslims came in India when Prophet Mohammad was still alive .
- The first Mosque built by them was in 630 AD in Kodungallur(Oldest Mosque in India) ,these Muslims were purchasing spies ( Black Pepper ) in Kerala and were not rulers but traders .Later they became agriculturist (peasants) in Kerala.
- The first Muslim invader was Mohammad Bin-Qasim . An Arab ship carrying Muslims was going from Asia to Saudi Arab ,which was hijacked by pirates on its way . The king of Arab asked for the help of king of Sindh to help them rescue the ship .But the king of Sindh – Dahir denied .
- This led to a dispute and the king of Arab sent an expedition to attack Sindh and won .Thus Sindh was captured by Islamic invaders .
The interaction between India and Arab existed even before the arrival of Islam in Arab .
The arrival of Muhammad (569–632 CE)[Prophet Muhammad],changed the easy going Arabs into a nation unified by faith and fired with zeal to spread the gospel of Islam. It is said that when Prophet was meditating in a cave , he got a divine revelations to spread Islam. Muslims were allowed to build mosques, intermarry with Indian women, and very soon an Indian-Arabian community came into being. Early in the 9th century, Muslim missionaries gained a notable convert in the person of the King of Malabar.
political influence of islam
First invasion was led by Mohammad bin Quasim ,in 672 CE and he managed to conquer Sindh . Then under Mahmud of Ghazni ,the ferrocius army repeatedly overran South Asia’s north-western plains ,and eventually the north Indian plains leading to the establishment of Islamic Delhi Sultanate in 1206. But due to internal disorders within the rulers ,it collapsed.
In the early 16th century ,Northern India ,was again under the control of central asian powers leading to the formation of Mughal dynasty .This dynasty ,instead of eliminating the other section of society ,maintained an uniform law and order and equal rules for everyone .As a result the dynasty was stable and the emperor was considered no less than a divine personality . The economic policies and uniformity of Mughal ruler made it as the largest economy in the seventeenth century.
But in the 18th century the Mughal rulers were uprooted by the Maratha warriors .Bahadur Shah II was the last Mughal emperor and he was left with only a part of old Delhi (Shahjahanbad ) .Finally he was also exiled to Burma when he fought in the first Independence revolt in 1857.
loss to indian culture
During the invasion of the Muslim rulers ,the glorious Indian culture – the temples , the ancient architecture ,religious texts and spiritual knowledge ,even the scholars who had the ancient knowledge were persecuted .
Islamic invaders used Islam as a propaganda or a driving force to fight . They considered it as a mission to spread Islam through whichever way possible .This led to merciless persecution of non- believers , even children and women were not spared .
The period of invasion especially by the early invaders was filled with cruelty.Women were raped ,children were beheaded ,and all symbols of any other religion were destroyed .
For those who don’t believe or do not know of the amount of destruction that took place in India at the hands of the Muslim invaders and Islamic rulers who established themselves in parts of India, we can review the Islamic chronicles of the deeds of these rulers of the day, as written by the Muslim contemporary writers or historians.There is elaborate literary evidence from the Islamic sources which glorify the crimes committed by the Muslims in India.
DESTRUCTION BY MUSLIM RULERS :
- Bishweshwar(Vishwanath) Temple (Varanasi)- destroyed and the Gyanwapi mosque was built at its place by Aurangzeb.
- Govind Dev Temple(Mathura) – destroyed and Eidgah mosque built at its place by Aurangzeb.
- Ramjanmbhoomi Ayodhya – Destroyed and Babri Masjid built at its place by Babur.
Similarily the mosque of Kannauj, Delhi , ,Jaunpur ,Etawah were built by destroying the hindu temples at the first place . The stones of temple were used in construction of mosque.
Following are some of the description of adversities performed by the muslim ruler by Babur as explained by him in his book Babur-Nama.
a. Zahirud-Din Muhammed Babur Padshah Ghazi (AD 1526-1530)
Location : Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh)
” I attacked Chanderi and, by the grace of Allah, captured it in a few hours. We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been a daru’l-harb for years, was made into daru’l-Islam. “
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
“Next day, at the time of the noon prayer, we went out for seeing those places in Gwalior which we had not seen yet. Going out of the Hathipole Gate of the fort, we arrived at a place called Urwa. Urwa is not a bad place It is an enclosed space. Its biggest blemish is its statues. I ordered that they should be destroyed… “
a. Name of the structure: Quwwat al-Islam Masjid
Location: Delhi in Uttar Pradesh
“This fort was conquered and the Jami Masjid built in the year 587 by the Amir, the great, the glorious commander of the Army, Qutub-ud-daula wad-din, the Amir-ul-umara Aibeg, the slave of the Sultan, may Allah strengthen his helpers. The materials of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Delhiwals had been spent were used in the construction of the mosque.”
The Amir mentioned above was Qutubud-Din Aibak, slave of Muhammed Ghori.
‘Delhiwal’ was a high denomination coin current at that time in Delhi.
b. Name of the structure: Mansuri Masjid
Location: Vijapur in Gujrat
“The Blessed and Exalted Allah says, ‘And verily, mosques are for Allah only; hence invoke not anyone else with Allah.’ This edifice was originally built by the infidels. After the advent of Islam, it was converted into a mosque. Sermon was delivered here for sixty-seven years. Due to the sedition of the infidels, it was again destroyed. When during the reign of the Sultan of the time, Ahmad, the affairs of each Iqta attained magnificence, Bahadur, the Sarkhail, once again carried out repairs. Through the generosity of Divine munificence, it became like new.”
c. Name of the structure: Masjid at Manvi
Location: Manvi in Karnataka
“Praise be to Allah that by the decree of the Parvardigar, a mosque has been converted out of a temple as a sign of religion in the reign of the world-conquering emperor, the Sultan who is the asylum of the Faith and the possessor of the crown, who’s kingdom is young, viz. Firuz Shah Bahmani, who is the cause of Exuberant spring in the garden of religion, Adu’l-Fath the king who conquered. After the victory of the emperor, the chief of chiefs, Safdar (the valiant commander) of the age, received the fort. The builder of this noble place of prayer is Muhammad Zahir Aqchi, the pivot of the Faith. He constructed in the year 809 from the Migration of the Chosen (prophet Muhammdad) this Ka’ba like momento.”
d. Name of the structure: Mausoleum of Shykh ‘Abdullah Shah Changal
Location: Dhar in Madhya Pradesh
“The centre became Muhammadan first by him (and) all the banners of religion were spread… This lion-man came from the centre of religion to this old temple with a large force. He broke the images of the false deities, and turned the idol temple into a mosque. When Rai Bhoj saw this, through wisdom he embraced Islam with the family of his brave warriors. This quarter became illuminated by the light of the Muhammadan law, and the customs of the infidels became obsolete and abolished.”
e. Name of the structure: Jami’ Masjid
Location: Malan in Gujrat
“…(The Prophet), on him be peace, says ‘He who builds a mosque in the world, the Exalted Allah builds for him a palace in Paradise.’ In the auspicious time of the government and peaceful time of Mahmud Shah, son of Muhammad Shah, the sultan, the Jami’, mosque was constructed on the hill of the fort of Malun (or Malwan) by Khan-i-Azam Ulugh Khan…at the request of the thandar Kabir, (son of Diya), the building was constructed by the son of Ulugh Khan who is magnanimous, just, generous, brave and who suppressed the wretched infidels. He eradicated the idol-houses and mine of infidelity, along with the idols… with the edge of his sword, and made ready this edifice… He made its walls and doors out of the idols; the back of every stone became the place for prostration of the believer…”
f. Name of the structure: Jami’ Masjid
Location: Amod in Gujrat
“Allah and His grace. When divine favour was bestowed on Khalil Shah, he constructed the Jami’ Masjid for the decoration of Islam; he ruined the idol-house and temple of the polytheists, (and) completed the Masjid and pulpit in its place. Without doubt, his building was accepted by Allah.”
g.. Name of the structure: Shrine of Shah Madar
Location: Narwar in Mdhya pradesh
“Dilawar Khan, the chief among the king’s viceroys, caused this mosque to built which is like a place of shelter for the favourites. Infidelity has been subdued, and Islam has triumphed because of him. The idols have bowed to him and the temples have been razed to the ground along with their foundations, and mosques and worship houses are flowing with riches.”
h. Name of structure: Hamman Darwaza Masjid
Location: Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh
“Thanks by the guidance of Everlasting and the Living Allah, this house of infidelity became the niche of prayer. As a reward for that, the Generous Lord constructed an abode for the builder in paradise…”
i. Name of structure: Jami Masjid
Location: Ghoda in Maharashtra
“O Allah O Muhammed ! O Ali ! When Mir Muhammed Zaman made up his mind, he opened the door of prosperity on himself by his own hand. He demolished thirty-three idol temples and by divine grace laid the foundation of a building in the abode of perdition.”
j. Name of structure: Gachinala Masjid
Location: Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh
“He is Allah, may be glorified. During the august rule of…Muhammed Shah, there was a well established idol-house in Kuhmum…….Muhammed Salih…….razed to the ground, the edifice of the idol-house and broke the idols in a manly fashion. He constructed on its site a suitable mosque, towering above the building of all.”
The author of this book was the founder of Mughal dynasty in India who presented himself as an indefatigable warrior and drug-addict he does not hide the cruelties he committed on the defeated people, particularly his fondness for building towers of the heads of those he captured as prisoners of war or killed in battle. He is very liberal in citing appropriate verses from the Quran on the eve of the battle with Rana Sanga. In order to ensure his victory, he makes a covenant with Allah by breaking the vessels containing wine as also the cups for drinking it, swearing at the same time that “he would break the idols of the idol-worshippers in a similar manner. Allah is described as “destroyers of idols from their foundations”
Crimes such as the desecration of the Hindu idols, looting of the temples, killing devotees and raping have been well documented by the Muslim historians themselves. They have done so because according to them these Muslim rulers by doing such deeds were following the tenets of Islam and Sunnah of the prophet Mohammed.