Aurangzeb

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No age is wanting in able men; it is the duty of wise masters to find them out, win them over, and get work done by means of them, without listening to the calumnies of selfish men against them.

Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir (4 November 16183 March 1707), more commonly known as Aurangzeb ("Jewel in the crown") or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir ("Conquerer of the World"), was the sixth Mughal Emperor, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.

Quotes from Muslim medieval histories[edit]

  • Wherefore should I not offer my congratulations? But the very fact of them being Sayyids, those fountains of felicity, demands heartly exertions in support of Islam and their ancestor Muhammad the Lord of Apostles. Let two Kaftans of honor for the two brothers be issued from my wardrobe and let them be sent with two swords, jewel-hilted and provided with pearl mounted belts, let Jamdat-ul-Mulk write much praise and congratulations when sending these presents.
    • Congratulating the Sayyid Brothers, as quoted in Later Mughals : Volume II : 1719-1739 (1922) by Irvine William Irvine
  • Dil-e-Yarana, Take Heart! Khuda Hai, There is God, What hope do we have in retreat, Know ye not where our victory is, Khuda Hai, Khuda Hai.
    • Aurangzeb during battle
  • Hindû writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success. All the mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense. Imãma, criers to the daily prayers, and readers of the khutba, have been appointed to each of them, so that a large sum of money has been and is still laid out in these disbursements.
    • Mir-at-i 'alam, Mir-at-i Jahan-numa, of Bakhtawar Khan, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VII, p. 159.
  • In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his Viceroy of Bihar, Dãud Khãn, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed...'Towards the end of the same year when Mîr Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the Mughals destroyed many temples during the course of, their operations. Idols were broken and some temples were converted into mosques.
    • Alamgirnamah of Mirza Muhammad Kazim , cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 129.
  • The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multãn, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islãm, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers.'...'It was reported that, according to the Emperor's command, his officers had demolished the temple of Viswanãth at Kãshî.'..During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathurã, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rãi. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum'...'Praised be the august God of the faith of Islãm, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor's faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels which had been set up in the temple were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sãhib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathurã was changed to Islãmãbãd.'
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-60
  • Dãrãb Khãn who had been sent with a strong force to punish the Rajputs of Khandela and to demolish the great temple of the place, attacked the place on the 8th March/5th Safar, and slew the three hundred and odd men who made a bold defence, not one of them escaping alive. The temples of Khandela and Sãnula and all other temples in the neighbourhood were demolished...'On Sunday, the 25th May/24th Rabi. S., Khan Jahãn Bahãdur came from Jodhpur, after demolishing the temples and bringing with himself some cart-loads of idols, and had audience of the Emperor, who highly praised him and ordered that the idols, which were mostly jewelled, golden, silvery, bronze, copper or stone, should be cast in the yard (jilaukhãnah) of the Court and under the steps of the Jãm'a mosque, to be trodden on. They remained so for some time and at last their very names were lost'...Ruhullah Khan and Ekkatãz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rãnã's palace, which was one of the rarest buildings of the age and the chief cause of the destruction of life and property of the despised worshippers Twenty mãchãtoR Rajputs who were sitting in the temple vowed to give up their lives; first one of them came out to fight, killed some and was then himself slain, then came out another and so on, until every one of the twenty perished, after killing a large number of the imperialists including the trusted slave, Ikhlãs. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.'....'On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680/2nd Muharram, the Emperor went to view lake Udaisãgar, constructed by the Rãnã, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished.'...On the 29th January/7th Muharram, Hasan 'Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rãnã's palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed. The Khan received the title of Bahãdur 'Alamgirshãhi'...'Abû Turãb, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court on Tuesday, the 10th August/24th Rajab, and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples.
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 107-120
  • Hamiduddin Khan Bahãdur who had gone to demolish a temple and build a mosque (in its place) in Bijapur, having excellently carried out his orders, came to Court and gained praise and the post of dãrogha of gusalkhãnah, which brought him near the Emperor's person.
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 241
  • As his blessed nature dictated, he was characterized by perfect devotion to the rites of the Faith; he followed the teaching of the great Imãm. Abu Hanifã (God be pleased with him!), and established and enforced to the best of his power the five foundations of Islãm''Through the auspices of his hearty endeavour, the Hanafi creed (i.e., the Orthodox Sunni faith) has gained such strength and currency in the great country of Hindustan as was never seen in the times of any of the preceding sovereigns. By one stroke of the pen, the Hindu clerks (writers) were dismissed from the public employment. Large numbers of the places of worship of the infidels and great temples of these wicked people have been thrown down and desolated. Men who can see only the outside of things are filled with wonder at the successful accomplishment of such a seemingly difficult task. Arid on the sites of the temples lofty mosques have been built'.
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 312-15
  • The Emperor learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone railing presented by Dara Shukoh, remarked, 'In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara had restored a railing in a temple. This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. Remove the railing.' By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) removed it.'...'News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave, with 400 troopers, to destroy all temples around Ujjain' A Rawat of the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men.'...'The Emperor learnt from a secret news writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagi and taken him with 15 idols away to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled flocked to the Censor's house, wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself; so that the latter set the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar.'...'The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the darogha of hatchet-men' ordered them to demolish the temple of Pandharpur, and to take the butchers of the camp there and slaughter cows in the temple' It was done.'
    • Akhbãrãt, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189.
  • 'When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with the destruction to many temples on the way. On 21 May, 1681, the superintendent of the labourers was ordered to destroy all the temples on the route.'...'On 27 September, 1681, the emperor issued orders for the destruction of the temples at Lakheri.'...'About this time, on 14 April, 1692, orders were issued to the provincial governor and the district fojdãr to demolish the temples at Rasulpur.'...'Sankar, a messenger, was sent to demolish a temple near Sheogaon. He came back after pulling it down on 20 November, 1693.'...'Bijai Singh and several other Hindus were reported to be carrying on public worship of idols in a temple in the neighbourhood of Ajmer. On 23 June, 1694, the governor of Ajmer was ordered to destroy the temple and stop the public adoration of idol worship there.'...'The temple of Wakenkhera in the fort was demolished on 2 March, 1705.'...'The newswriter of Ranthambore reported the destruction of a temple in Parganah Bhagwant Garh. Gaj Singh Gor had repaired the temple and made some additions thereto.'...'Royal orders for the destruction of temples in Malpura Toda were received and the officers were assigned for this work.'
    • Akhbãrãt, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 136-139
  • By looting, the temples of the South and hunting out buried treasures, Mîr Jumla amassed a vast fortune. The huge Hindu idols of copper were brought away in large numbers to be melted and cast into cannon.....Mir Jumla made his way into Kuch Bihar by an obscure and neglected highway' In six days the Mughal army reached the capital (19th December) which had been deserted by the Rajah and his people in terror. The name of the town was changed to Alamgirnagar; the Muslim call to prayer, so long forbidden in the city, was chanted from the lofty roof of the palace, and a mosque was built by demolishing the principal temple.
    • Fathiyya-i-Ibriyya cited by Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, quoted in Goel, S.R. Hindu Temples What Happened to them
  • The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolaters have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, pp. 185-86.
  • 'The village of Sattara near Aurangabad was my hunting ground. Here on the top of a hill, stood a temple with an image of Khande Rai. By God's grace I demolished it, and forbade the temple dancers (muralis) to ply their shameful profession.
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. II, pp. 94
  • 'The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, pp. 188.
  • 'In a small village in the sarkãr of Sirhind, a Sikh temple was demolished and converted into a mosque. An imãm was appointed who was subsequently killed.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 138
  • The infidels demolished a mosque that was under construction and wounded the artisans. When the news reached Shãh Yasîn, 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 Rasûl 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 Rasûl 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 Shãh Yasîn 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). Shãh Yasîn, 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. Shãh Yasîn, 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.
    • Ganj-i-Arshadî, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 144-45
  • The houses of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Government in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e., time) to destroy and raze the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure and dig up their foundations.
    • Kalimãt-i-Aurangzeb, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 188-89
  • Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutasaddis), agents of jagirdars, kroris, and amlas from Katak to Medinipur on the frontier of Orissa:- The imperial paymaster Asad Khan has sent a letter written by order of the Emperor, to say, that the Emperor learning from the newsletters of the province of Orissa that at the village of Tilkuti in Medinipur a temple has been (newly) built, has issued his august mandate for its destruction, and the destruction of all temples built anywhere in this province by the worthless infidels. Therefore, you are commanded with extreme urgency that immediately on the receipt of this letter you should destroy the above-mentioned temples. Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples. Reports of the destruction of temples should be sent to the Court under the seal of the qazis and attested by pious Shaikhs.
    • Muraqãt-i-AbuI Hasan by Maulãna Abul Hasa, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 187
  • When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, he ordered the faujdar of the city, Abdul Nabi Khan, to raze to the ground every temple and to construct big mosques (over their demolished sites).'
    • Futûhãt-i-Ãlamgîrî, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 82
  • 'The Emperor, within a short time, reached Udaipur and destroyed the gate of Dehbari, the palaces of Rana and the temples of Udaipur. Apart from it, the trees of his gardens were also destroyed.
    • Futûhãt-i-Ãlamgîrî, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 130
  • In the city of Agra there was a large temple, in which there were numerous idols, adorned and embellished with precious jewels and valuable pearls. It was the custom of the infidels to resort to this temple from far and near several times in each year to worship the idols, and a certain fee to the Government was fixed upon each man, for which he obtained admittance. As there was a large congress of pilgrims, a very considerable amount was realized from them, and paid into the royal treasury. This practice had been observed to the end of the reign of the Emperor Shãh Jahãn, and in the commencement of Aurangzeb's government; but when the latter was informed of it, he was exceedingly angry and abolished the custom. The greatest nobles of his court represented to him that a large sum was realized and paid into the public treasury, and that if it was abolished, a great reduction in the income of the state would take place. The Emperor observed, 'What you say is right, but I have considered well on the subject, and have reflected on it deeply; but if you wish to augment the revenue, there is a better plan for attaining the object by exacting the jizya. By this means idolatry will be suppressed, the Muhammadan religion and the true faith will be honoured, our proper duty will be performed, the finances of the state will be increased, and the infidels will be disgraced.' 'This was highly approved by all the nobles; and the Emperor ordered all the golden and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed.
    • Kanzul-Mahfûz (Kanzu-l Mahfuz), in: Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VIII, pp. 38 -39.
  • On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haiderabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.
    • Muntikhãbul-Lubãb, by Hãshim Alî Khãn (Khãfî Khãn), Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 188.
  • 'The fall and capture of Bijapur was similarly solemnized though here the destruction of temples was delayed for several years, probably till 1698.
    • Muntikhãbul-Lubãb, by Hãshim Alî Khãn (Khãfî Khãn), Cited by Sri Ram Sharma, Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962., p. 137.
  • 'Aurangzeb ordered the temples of the Sikhs to be destroyed and the guru's agents (masands) for collecting the tithes and presents of the faithful to be expelled from the cities.
    • Muntikhãbul-Lubãb, by Hãshim Alî Khãn (Khãfî Khãn), Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 207, footnote.
  • During the Subedari of religious-minded, noble prince, vestiges of the Temple of Chintaman situated on the side of Saraspur built by Satidas jeweller, were removed under the Prince's order and a masjid was erected on its remains. It was named 'Quwwat-ul-Islam
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadî by Alî Muhammad Khãn, in Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965, P. 194
  • 'As it has come to His Majesty's knowledge that some inhabitants of the mahals appertaining to the province of Gujarat have (again) built the temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession' therefore His Majesty orders that' the formerly demolished and recently restored temples should be pulled down.'...'The Emperor ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans.'...'Salih Bahadur was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna.'
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadî by Alî Muhammad Khãn, Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 186-88
  • 'In AD 1696-97 (AH 1108) orders were issued for the destruction of the major temples at Sorath in Gujarat.'...'He stopped public worship at the Hindu temple of Dwarka.'
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadî by Alî Muhammad Khãn, in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962., p. 137-138

Quotes about Aurangzeb[edit]

  • Aurangzeb cared nothing for art, destroyed its "heathen" monuments with coarse bigotry, and fought, through a reign of half a century, to eradicate from India almost all religions but his own. He issued orders to the provincial governors, and to his other subordinates, to raze to the ground all the temples of either Hindus or Christians, to smash every idol, and to close every Hindu school. In one year ( 1679-80) sixty-six temples were broken to pieces in Amber alone, sixty-three at Chitor, one hundred and twenty-three at Udaipur; and over the site of a Benares temple especially sacred to the Hindus he built, in deliberate insult, a Mohammedan mosque. He forbade all public worship of the Hindu faiths, and laid upon every unconverted Hindu a heavy capitation tax. As a result of his fanaticism, thousands of the temples which had represented or housed the art of India through a millennium were laid in ruins. We can never know, from looking at India today, what grandeur and beauty she once possessed. Aurangzeb converted a handful of timid Hindus to Islam, but he wrecked his dynasty- and his country. A few Moslems worshiped him as a saint, but the mute and terrorized millions of India looked upon him as a monster, fled from his tax-gatherers, and prayed for his death. During his reign the Mogul empire in India reached its height, extending into the Deccan; but it was a power that. had no foundation in the affection of the people, and was doomed to fall at the first hostile and vigorous touch. The Emperor himself, in his last years, began to realize that by the very narrowness of his piety he had destroyed the heritage of his fathers.
  • One age followed another--and still, generation after generation, the successors of the three Brahmins watched their priceless Moonstone, night and day. One age followed another until the first years of the eighteenth Christian century saw the reign of Aurungzebe, Emperor of the Moguls. At his command havoc and rapine were let loose once more among the temples of the worship of Brahmah. The shrine of the four-handed god was polluted by the slaughter of sacred animals; the images of the deities were broken in pieces; and the Moonstone was seized by an officer of rank in the army of Aurungzebe.
  • One may very well ask the purveyors of this puerile propaganda that if the record of Islam in medieval India was so bright and blameless, where is the need for this daily ritual of whitewashing it. Hindu heroes like Chandragupta Maurya, Samudragupta, Harihar, Bukka, Maharana Pratap, and Shivaji, to name only a few of the notables, have never needed any face-lift. Why does the monstrous men of [...] Aurangzeb, to name only the most notorious, pop out so soon from the thickest coat of cosmetics?
    The answer is provided by the Muslim historians of medieval India. They painted their heroes in the indelible dyes of Islamic ideology. They did not anticipate the day when Islamic imperialism in India will become only a painful memory of the past. They did not visualise that the record of Islam in India will one day be weighed on the scales of human values. Now it is too late for trying to salvage Islam in medieval India from its blood-soaked history. The orthodox Muslim historians are honest when they state that the medieval Muslim monarchs were only carrying out the commandments of Islam when they massacred, captured, enslaved, and violated Hindu men, women and children; desecrated, demolished, and destroyed Hindu places of worship; and dispossessed the Hindus of all their wealth. The Aligarh “historians” and their secularist patrons are only trying to prop up imposters in place of real and living characters who played life-size roles in history.
    • Sita Ram Goel: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India
  • What are the facts? In Benares (Varanasi), Aurangzeb (1658-1707) did not just build an isolated mosque on a destroyed temple. He ordered all temples destroyed, among them the Kashi Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism, and had mosques built on a number of cleared temple sites. All other Hindu sacred places within his reach equally suffered destruction, with mosques built on them; among them, Krishna's birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujrat, the Vishnu temple replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares, the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. The number of temples destroyed by Aurangzeb is counted in 4, if not in 5 figures. According to the official court chronicle, Aurangzeb "ordered all provincial governors to destroy all schools and temples of the Pagans and to make a complete end to all Pagan teachings and practices". The chronicle sums up the destructions like this: "Hasan Ali Khan came and said that 172 temples in the area had been destroyed... His majesty went to Chittor, and 63 temples were destroyed... Abu Tarab, appointed to destroy the idol-temples of Amber, reported that 66 temples had been razed to the ground". In quite a number of cases, inscriptions on mosques and local tradition do confirm that Aurangzeb built them in forcible replacement of temples (some of these inscriptions have been quoted in Sitaram Goel: Hindu Temples, vol.2, along with a number of independent written accounts). Aurangzeb's reign was marked by never-ending unrest and rebellions, caused by his anti-Hindu policies, which included the reimposition of the jizya and other zimma rules, and indeed the demolition of temples.
    • Koenraad Elst (1992), Negationism in India. chapter 2
  • Fourteen years later, he [R.C. Majumdar] had to return to the theme and give specific instances of falsification. “It is very sad,” he observed, “that the spirit of perverting history to suit political views is no longer confined to politicians, but has definitely spread even among professional historians… It is painful to mention though impossible to ignore, the fact that there is a distinct and conscious attempt to rewrite the whole chapter of the bigotry and intolerance of the Muslim rulers towards Hindu religion. This was originally prompted by the political motive of bringing together the Hindus and Musalmans in a common fight against the British but has continued ever since. A history written under the auspices of the Indian National Congress sought to repudiate the charge that the Muslim rulers broke Hindu temples, and asserted that they were the most tolerant in matters of religion. Following in its footsteps, a noted historian has sought to exonerate Mahmud of Ghazni’s bigotry and fanaticism, and several writers in India have come forward to defend Aurangzeb against Jadunath Sarkar’s charge of religious intolerance. It is interesting to note that in the revised edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, one of them, while re-writing the article on Aurangzeb originally written by William Irvine, has expressed the view that the charge of breaking Hindu temples brought against Aurangzeb is a disputed point. Alas for poor Jadunath Sarkar, who must have turned in his grave if he were buried. For, after reading his History of Aurangzib, one would be tempted to ask, if the temple-breaking policy of Aurangzeb is a disputed point, is there a single fact in the whole recorded history of mankind which may be taken as undisputed?”
  • With the coming of Aurangzeb, the policy of sulah-i-kul (peace with all) initiated by Akbar in the later part of his reign suffered a complete reversal. Aurangzeb had started his career as a but-shikan (iconoclast) 13 years before he ascended the throne at Delhi. ... A general policy towards Hindu temples was proclaimed in April 1669. Maasir-i-Ãlamgîrî records: "On the 17th of Zil Kada 1079 (9th April 1669) it reached the ears of His Majesty, the protector of the faith, that in the province of Thatta, Multan, and Benares, but especially in the latter, foolish Brahmans were in the habit of expounding frivolous books in their schools, and that students and learners, Muslims as well as Hindus, went there, even from long distances, led by a desire to become acquainted with the wicked sciences they taught. The Director of the Faith, consequently, issued orders to all governors of provinces to destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels and they were strictly enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practising of idolatrous forms of worship. On the 15th Rabiul-akhir (end September) it was reported to his religious Majesty, leader of the unitarians, that in obedience to order, the government officers had destroyed the temple of Bishnath at Benares."
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India, ch. 7
  • The temple of Kešavadeva was destroyed in January, 1670. This was done in obedience to an imperial firmãn proclaimed by Aurangzeb on April 9, 1669. On that date, according to Ma’sîr-i-Ãlamgîrî, “The Emperor ordered the governors of all provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and strongly put down their teaching and religious practices.” Jadunath Sarkar has cited several sources regarding the subsequent destruction of temples which went on all over the country, and right up to January 1705, two years before Aurangzeb died. ... Soon after, in 1665, Aurangzeb imposed a pilgrim tax on the Hindus. In 1668, he prohibited celebration of all Hindu festivals, particularly Holi and Diwali. The Jats who rightly regarded themselves as the defenders of Hindu hounour were no longer in a mood to take it lying.
    • Arun Shourie, Sita Ram Goel: Hindu Temples - What Happened to Them? Vol. II, ch. 4
  • No new temple was allowed to be built nor any old one to be repaired, so that the total disappearance of all places of Hindu worship was to be merely a question of time. But even this delay, this slow operation of Time, was intolerable to many of the more fiery spirits of Islam, who tried to hasten the abolition of ‘infidelity’ by anticipating the destructive hand of Time and forcibly pulling down temples.
  • The evidence [...] is always an exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi. For instance, Aurangzeb’s petty donations to 2-3 Hindu temples patronized by some pet Hindu courtiers, are played up with great fanfare. But his systematic demolition of thousands of Hindu temples and defilement of countless images of Gods and Goddesses, throughout his long reign, is never mentioned. Such pitiable attempts at pitting molehills of munificence against mountains of malevolence, go against all sense of proportion in judging a whole period of Indian history.
    • Sita Ram Goel, The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India, ch. 7
  • Distinguished historian Ranbir Vohra writes in his historical survey, The Making of India, “Most Hindus recall little of Emperor Aurangzeb's brutal, savage reign except that under his general order all the schools and temples of the Hindus were to be destroyed, and that hundreds of temples, particularly the Viswanath Temple at Benares and the Vishnu Temple at Mathura, had been demolished. That the Muslim rulers had built mosques over many of the razed Hindu temples was also a well-known fact."
    • Indo–US Relations: Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Nuclear Energy, by Nirode Mohanty, p. 50, ch. 1
  • [Arun] Shourie goes on to quote from Aurangzeb’s court chronicles: “News came to Court that in accordance with the Emperor’s command his officers had demolished the temple of Vishvanath at Benares (2/9/1669)… In this month of Ramzan, the religious-minded Emperor ordered the demolition of the temple at Mathura… In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong centre of infidelity was accomplished... A grand mosque was built on its site... (January 1670)”
    • Arun Shourie, quoted in K. Elst: Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple.
  • Aurangzeb was at the Udai Sagar on 24 January 1680. After enjoying the sight, Aurangzeb fulfilled his religious obligations by ordering the destruction of three temples on its bank.
    • Maharana Raj Singh and His Times by Sri Ram Sharma [2]
  • Aurangzeb's purpose in building those three mosques was the same intentionally offensive political purpose that moved the Russians to build their Orthodox cathedral in the city-centre at Warsaw. Those mosques were intended to signify that an Islamic government was reigning supreme, even over Hinduism's holiest of holy places. I must say that Aurangzeb had a veritable genius for picking out provocative sites. Aurangzeb and Philip II of Spain are a pair. They are incarnations of the gloomily fanatical vein in the Christian - Muslim - Jewish family of religions. Aurangzeb - poor wretched misguided bad man - spent a lifetime of hard labour in raising massive monuments to his own discredit. Perhaps the Poles were really kinder in destroying the Russians' self-discrediting monument in Warsaw than you have been in sparing Aurangzeb's mosques.

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