Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir (4 November 1618 – 3 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.
- Answer me, sycophant, ought you not to have instructed me on one point at least, so essential to be known by a king; namely on the reciprocal duties between the sovereign and his subjects? Ought you not also to have foreseen that I might, at some future period, be compelled to contend with my brothers, sword in hand, for the crown, and for my very existence. Such, as you must well know, has been the fate of the children of almost every king of Hindustan. Did you ever instruct me in the art of war, how to besiege a town, or draw up an army in battle array? Happy for me that I consulted wiser heads than thine on these subjects! Go, withdraw to the village. Henceforth let no person know either who thou art, or what is become of thee.
- François Bernier quoting Aurangzeb's statement to his tutor.
- Also in The Moghul Saint of Insanity by Farzana Moon, p. 15
- European travel accounts during the reigns of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb by Meera Nanda, p.132
- History of Education in India by Suresh Chandra Ghosh, p. 200
- Encyclopaedia Indica: Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor by Shyam Singh Shashi, p. 75
- Health to thee! My heart is near thee. Old age is arrived. Weakness subdues me, and strength has sorsaken all my members. I came a stranger into this world, and a stranger I depart. I do not know who I am, nor what I have been doing. The instant which has passed in power has left only sorrow behind it. I have not been the guardian and protector of the empire. My valuable time has been passed vainly...
- Letter to Shaw Azim Shaw, see A Translation of the Memoirs of Eradut Khan a Nobleman of Hindostan
- Also The Mogul Emperors of Hindustan, A.D. 1398-A.D. 1707 p. 304
- Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh p. 4
- The Rajpoot Tribes Vol.2 by Charles Metcalfe, p. 305
- The Rajpoot Tribes Vol. 2 by Charles Metcalfe, p. 305
- ...I have committed numerous crimes, and know not with what punishments I may be seized...
- To Kaum Buksh
- Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh p. 4
- Imperial Identity in Mughal Empire: Memory and Dynastic Politics in Early Modern Central Asia p. 134
- The Rajpoot Tribes Vol.2 by Charles Metcalfe, p. 305
- Take heart, my friends! There is a God! There is a God!
- Dili, Yarana! Khuda hai! Khuda hai!
- Aurangzeb during battle with Dara Shikoh
- In Guru Tegh Bahadur, Prophet and Martyr: A Biography by Trilochan Singh [ Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, 1967] p. 98
- Also Heroes of Islam Series: Mohy-ud-Din Alamgir Aurangzeb by Fazl Ahmad [ Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1960] p. 54
- Aurangzib And The Decay Of The Mughal Empire by Stanley Lane Poole [Pickle Partners Publishing, 2014, ISBN 1-782-89473-X]
- 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 William Irvine
- It has been decided according to our Canon Law that long standing temples should not be demolished, but no new temple allowed to be built... Information has reached our . . . court that its environs and certain Brahmans who have the right of holding charge of the ancient temples there, and that they further desire to remove these Brahmans from their ancient office. Therefore, our royal command is that you should direct that in future no person shall in unlawful ways interfere with or disturb the Brahmans and other Hindus resident in those places.
- Aurangzeb's Benares farman to Abdul Hasan in 1659, see History of Aurangzib: Mainly Based on Persian Sources, Volume 3 by Jadunath Sarkar, p. 281; Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals by Abraham Eraly, p. 387, Mughal Rule in India by Stephen Meredyth Edwardes & Herbert Leonard Offley Garrett], p.115 Mughal Empire in India: A Systematic Study Including Source Material, Volume 2 by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 268
- In Ahmadabad and other parganas of Gujarat, in the days before my accession, temples were destroyed by my order. They have been repaired and idol worship has been resumed. Carry out the former orders.
- Farman dated 20 November 1665 recorded in Mirat-i-Ahmadi, p. 275; translated by Jadunath Sarkar in History of Aurangzib: Mainly Based on Persian Sources - Vol. III, p. 185; Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, p. 575; The Crescent in India: A Study in Medieval History by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 554; Hindu Temples, what Happened to Them: The Islamic Evidence, by Arun Shourie & Sita Ram Goel, p. 33
Quotes from Muslim medieval histories
- Hindu 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. Imama, 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, Daud Khan, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed...Towards the end of the same year when Mir 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.
- Palamau (Bihar), Koch Bihar (Bengal). Alamgirnamah of Mirza Muhammad Kazim , cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 129.
- 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.
- Somnath (Gujarat) Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, 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.
- Satara (Maharashtra) Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. II, p. 94
- The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.
- Aurangzeb to Zullfiqar Khan and Mughal Khan. Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 188. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- In a small village in the sarkar of Sirhind, a Sikh temple was demolished and converted into a mosque. An imam was appointed who was subsequently killed.
- Sirhind (Punjab) Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 138
- 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.
- Maharashtra . Aurangzeb to Ruhullah Khan in Kalimat-i-Aurangzib. Kalimat-i-Aurangzeb, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 188-89 quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- 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-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 186-88, quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- 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.
- Aurangzeb's order in Orissa recorded by Muraqat-i-Abul Hasan, completed in 1670
- Last Spring: The Lives and Times of Great Mughals by Abraham Eraly
- Northern India, 1658-1681 by Jadunath Sarkar p. 187
- The Panjab Past and Present, Volume 9 [Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1975], p. 105
- “The Emperor ordered Jumdat-ul-Mulk to write to the Mutsaddis of all the subahs (provinces) of the empire that display of fire-works (atishbazi) is being forbidden. Also, Faulad Khan was ordered to arrange for announcement in the city by the beat of a drum that no one is to indulge in atishbazi.”
- Akhbarat-i-Darbar-i-Mu‘alla, Julus 10, Shawwal 24 / April 9th 1667.
- “Saiyad Faulad Khan has reported that in compliance with the orders, beldars were sent to demolish the Kalka Temple which task they have done. During the course of the demolition, a Brahmin drew out a sword, killed a bystander and then turned back and attacked the Saiyad also, inflicting three wounds. The Saiyid managed to catch hold of the Brahmin.”
- Siyah Akhbarat-i-Darbar-i-Mu‘alla, Julus 10, Rabi II, 3 / 12 September 1667.
- 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.'
- Akhbarat, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189., quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- '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 fojdar 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.'
- Akhbarat, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 136-139
- Orders were issued by the Sublime Court to dismiss the Hindu Chowkinavis and to appoint in their place Musalmans, and, likewise, a way should be found for replacing the Amins of the Haft-chowkis by the Musalmans.
- Hindu Chowkinavis and Amins of the Haft-chowkis to be replaced by the Musalmans. Siyaha Akhbarat Darbar Mu'alla, Julus (R. Yr.) 10, Zilhijja 16/30 May 1667
- By looting, the temples of the South and hunting out buried treasures, Mir 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.
- 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.
- Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) Ganj-i-Arshadi, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 144-45
- 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 Shah Jahan, 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 gold en and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed.
- Kanzul-Mahfuz (Kanzu-l Mahfuz), in: Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VIII, pp. 38 -39.
- 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.
- Bengal and Orissa . Muraqat-i-AbuI Hasan by Maulana Abul Hasa, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 187
- 'The fall and capture of Bijapur was similarly solemnized though here the destruction of temples was delayed for several years, probably till 1698.
- Muntikhabul-Lubab, by Hashim Ali Khan (Khafi Khan), 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.
- Sikh Temples (Punjab) . Muntikhabul-Lubab, by Hashim Ali Khan (Khafi Khan), 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.
- Ahmadabad (Gujarat) . Mirat-i-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, in Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965, P. 194
- '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-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962., p. 137-138
- 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.
- Ruqat-i-Alamgiri, as quoted in Later Mughals : Volume II : 1719-1739 (1922) by Irvine William Irvine
- "The Emperor said to Shaikh Nizam that his prayers were not having any effect. What could be the reason for this ? The Shaikh said, 'The reason is that a large number of Hindus are serving as ahlikhidmat (officials and officers) and as musahibs (courtiers) and they are ever (seen) in the Royal presence, and, as a result, the prayers do not have any effect'. The Emperor ordered that it is necessary that the Musalmans be appointed to serve in place of the Hindus."
- Siyaha Waqai Darbar, Julus (R.Yr.) 10, Muharram 18 / 1st July 1667.
- “The asylum of Shariat (Shariat Panah) Qazi Abul Mukaram has sent this arzi to the sublime Court: a man known to him told him that the Hindus gather in large numbers at Kalka Temple near Barahapule (near Delhi); a large crowd of the Hindus is seen here. Likewise, large crowds are seen at (the mazars) of Khwaja Muinuddin, Shah Madar and Salar Masud Ghazi. This amounts to bid‘at (heresy) and this matter deserves consideration. Whatever orders are required should be issued...Saiyid Faulad Khan was thereupon ordered (by the Emperor) to send one hundred beldars to demolish the Kalka Temple and other structures in its neighbourhood which were in the Faujdari of the Khan himself; these men were to reach there post haste, and finish the work without a halt.”
- Siyah Waqa’i-Darbar, Regnal Year 10, Rabi I, 23 / 3 September 1667.
- “For different reasons, and also out of apprehension, people visit in large numbers (the mazars or shrines) of Shah Madar, Khwaja Muin-ud-din, Salar, Sarur Sultan and Pir Ganun (Pir Pabu?) etc. They go for ziyarat (visit to sacred tombs) and perform tawaf (circumbulation) which are bid‘at. Orders were issued to stop these practices...Also, the Hindus, and quite often the Musalmans also, flock at (the shrines of) Devi for worship and that of Pir Pabu. The Emperor ordered that this should be stopped. It was also ordered that the Hindus must not crowd at these places, and worship of Shitla wherever it is performed, should be held at a distance (from the habitation).”
- Siyaha Waqai Darbar, Julus (R.Yr.) 10, Rabi II, 17 / 26th September 1667.
- “A darvesh brought to the notice of the Emperor that the Musalmans (of the country) felt dejected on account of (the burden of) Zakat and that they should be exempted from paying it. Jumdat-ul Mulk now sought the Emperor’s orders regarding the matter. The Emperor (Aurangzeb) ordered that the Musalmans were to be exempted from paying it, but it should be charged from the Hindus.”
- Siyaha Akhbart-i-Darbar-i-Mu‘alla, Julus (R.Yr.) 10, Zilqada 2 / 16th April 1667.
- ‘It was reported to the Emperor (Aurangzeb) that in the Temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura, there was a stone railing presented by ‘Bishukoh’ (one without dignity i.e. Prince Dara, Aurangzeb’s elder brother). On hearing it, the Emperor observed, “In the religion of the Musalmans, it is improper even to look at a Temple and this Bishukoh had installed this kathra (barrier railing). Such an act is totally unbecoming of a Musalman. This railing should be removed (forthwith).”
- Umurat-i-Hazur Kishwar-Kashai, Julus (R.Yr.) 9, Rabi II 24 / 13 October 1666.
- 25 May 1679: ‘Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur returned from Jodhpur after demolishing its temples, and bringing with himself several cart-loads of idols. The Emperor ordered that the idols, which were mostly of gold, silver, brass, copper or stone and adorned with jewels, should be cast in the quadrangle of the Court and under the steps of the Jama Mosque for being trodden upon.’
January-February 1680: ‘The grand temple in front of the Maharana’s mansion (at Udaipur) – one of the wonderful buildings of the age, which had cost the infidels much money – was destroyed and its images broken.’ ‘On 24 January the Emperor went to view the lake Udaisagar and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be pulled down.’ ‘On 29 January Hasan Ali Khan reported that 172 other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been demolished.’ ‘On 22 February the Emperor went to look at Chitor, and by his order the 63 temples of the place were destroyed.’
10 August 1680: ‘Abu Turab returned to Court and reported that he had pulled down 66 temples in Amber’. 2 August 1680: ‘Temple of Someshwar in western Mewar ordered to be destroyed.’
September 1687: ‘On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haidarabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.’
Middle of 1698: ‘Hamid-ud-din Khan Bahadur who had been deputed to destroy the temple of Bijapur and build a mosque (there), returned to Court after carrying the order out and was praised by the Emperor.’
- Akhbarat. Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, Volume III, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1972 reprint, pp. 185–89., quoted from Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- “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).”
- Mathura (Uttar Pradesh). Futuhat-i-‘Alamgiri of Ishwardas Nagar, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 82
Quotes from the Maasir-i-Alamgiri
- As all the aims of the religious Emperor were directed to the spreading of the law of Islam and the overthrow of the practices of the infidels, he issued orders to the high diwani officers that from Wednesday, the 2nd April 1679 / 1st Rabi I, in obedience to the Quranic injunction, “till they pay commutation money (Jizyah) out of their hand and they be humbled”, and in agreement with the canonical tradition, Jizyah should be collected from the infidels (zimmis) of the capital and the provinces. Many of the honest scholars of the time were appointed to discharge the work (of collecting Jizyah). May God actuate him (Emperor Aurangzeb) to do that which He loves and is pleased with, and make his future life better than the present.
- 2nd April 1679 (Maasir-i-‘Alamgiri, p. 175, Tr. J.N. Sarkar), quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multan, 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 Islam, 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 Viswanath at Kashi.
- Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) . 2 September 1669: Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, p. 55; see Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- Darab Khan 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. [16 October 1678] The temples of Khandela and Sanula and all other temples in the neighbourhood were demolished...'On Sunday, the 25th May/24th Rabi. S., Khan Jahan Bahadur 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, gold en, silver y, bronze, copper or stone, should be cast in the yard (jilaukhanah) of the Court and under the steps of the Jam'a mosque, to be trodden on. They remained so for some time and at last their very names were lost' [25 May 1679]...Ruhullah Khan and Ekkataz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rana'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 machatoR 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, Ikhlas. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.....On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680/2nd Muharram, the Emperor went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, 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 Rana'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 Bahadur 'Alamgirshahi'...'Abu Turab, 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.
- Maasir-i-alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 107-120, also quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- Hamiduddin Khan Bahadur 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 darogha of gusalkhanah, which brought him near the Emperor's person.
- Maasir-i-alamgiri, 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 Imam. Abu Hanifa (God be pleased with him!), and established and enforced to the best of his power the five foundations of Islam''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'.
- Maasir-i-alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 312-15
- 27 January 1670: 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 Mathura, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rai. 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. This temple of folly was built by that gross idiot Birsingh Deo Bundela. Before his accession to the throne, the Emperor Jahangir was displeased with Shaikh Abul Fazl. This infidel [Birsingh] became a royal favourite by slaying him [Abul Fazl], and after Jahangir’s accession was rewarded for this service with the permission to build the temple, which he did at an expense of thirty-three lakhs of rupees.
Praised be the august God of the faith of Islam, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence [Aurangzeb], 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 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 Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.
17 December 1679: Hafiz Muhammad Amin Khan reported that some of his servants had ascended the hill and found the other side of the pass also deserted; (evidently) the Rana had evacuated Udaipur and fled. On the 4th January/12th Zil. H., the Emperor encamped in the pass. Hasan ‘Ali Khan was sent in pursuit of the infidel. Prince Muhammad ‘Azam and Khan Jahan Bahadur were permitted to view Udaipur. Ruhullah Khan and Ekkataz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rana’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 machator Rajputs19 [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, Ikhlas. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.
On Monday, the 22nd February /1st Safar the Emperor went to view Chitor; by his order sixty-three temples of the place were destroyed.
- Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1947, reprinted by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, Delhi, 1986. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
Quotes about Aurangzeb
- 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.
- THE MOONSTONE, A Romance by Wilkie Collins
- 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.
- Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage, ch. XVI
- 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
- 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-alamgiri 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.".... The year 1680 AD brought an equally “rich harvest” for Islam. Maasir-i-Alamgiri goes ahead: “On 6th January 1680 A.D. Prince Mohammad Azam and Khan Jahan Bahadur obtained permission to visit Udaipur. Ruhullah Khan and Yakkattaz Khan also proceeded thither to effect the destruction of the temples of the idolators. These edifices situated in the vicinity of the Rana’s palace were among the wonders of the age, and had been erected by the infidels to the ruin of their souls and the loss of their wealth… Pioneers destroyed the images. On 24th January the king visited the tank of Udayasagar. His Majesty ordered all three of the Hindu temples to be levelled with the ground.... 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.
- Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 7.
- 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?”
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Arnold J. Toynbee in 'One World and India' (New Delhi, 1960) pp. 59-60
- ...in order to palliate to his Mahomedan subjects, the crimes by which he had become their sovereign, he determined to enforce the conversion of the Hindoos throughout his empire by the severest penalties, and even threatened the sword.
- Historical fragments of the Mogul empire, of the Morattoes, and of the English concerns in Indostan, from the year M.DC.LIX. by Robert Orme, p. 73; Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han, Or the Central and Western Rajpoot State of India by James Tod, p. 319; The Rajpoot Tribes: Vol. 2 by Charles Theophilius Metacalfe; Asiatic papers: Papers read before the Bombay branch of the royal Asiatic Society, Part 4, p. 163 by Jivanji Jamshedji Modi
- In the month of January, all the Governors and native officers received an order from the great Mughal prohibiting the practice of pagan religion throughout the country and closing down all the temples and sanctuaries of idol worshippers, in the hope that some pagans would embrace the Muslim religion.
- Verily, the guide and teacher of this path [of rebellion against, a reigning father] is Your Majesty ; others are merely following your footsteps. How can the path which Your Majesty chose to follow can be called 'the path of ill-luck'?
My fathered bartered away the garden of Eden for two grains of wheat; I shall be an unworthy son if I do not sell it for a grain of barley!
- ...in Your Majesty's reign the ministers have no power, the nobles enjoy no trust, the soldiers wretchedly poor, the writers are without employment, the traders are without means, and the peasantry are down-trodden... On the Hindu tribes two calamities have descended, (first) the exaction of the jaziya in the town and (second) the oppression of the enemy in the country. When such sufferings have come down upon the heads of the people from all sides, why should they not fail to prey or thank their ruler?
- Muhammad Akbar to Aurangzeb; see Studies in Mughal India: Being Historical Essays by Jadunath Sarkar, p. 102, Essays on Medieval Indian History by Satish Chandra, p. 324; Mughal Empire in India, 1526-1761: Volume 2 by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 637; The Mughal-Maratha Relations: Twenty Five Fateful Years, 1682-1707 by G. T. Kulkarni, p. 22
- Shah Alamgir, that high and mighty king...
In whom Islam attained a loftier fame...
He the last arrow to our quiver left
In the affray of Faith with Unbelief
- Muhammad Iqbal, The Secrets of Selflessness, Emperor Alamgir and the Tiger
- Aurangzeb’s orthodoxy cannot, of course, be entirely denied. Therefore, explanations upon explanations – secular explanations! – are invented...The general conclusion: what Aurangzeb did ‘was a setback to the policy of broad toleration followed by his predecessors’! And even he did it for secular reasons! And even though compelled by these reasons, he did it only for the shortest time, for the years marked by hostilities instigated by ‘local elements’! ... However, there is little mystery. For there are two pillars of progressive history writing in India: first, to fabricate evidence which will establish Hindus to be intolerant; second, to respect and show an empathetic understanding of Islamic communalism. And the litmus test of whether you are committed to secular history writing is whether you are prepared to stand up for Aurangzeb!
- Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
- In 1675 Aurangzeb tortured Guru Tegh Bahadur, because he resisted the forcible conversion of Hindus in Kashmir. Aurangzeb destroyed thereafter many Sikh gurudwaras.
- Goel, S. R. (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India.