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.
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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.
- Ruqat-i-Alamgiri, as quoted in Later Mughals : Volume II : 1719-1739 (1922) by Irvine William Irvine
- 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
Quotes about Aurangzeb
- 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
- 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
- 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
- [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'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