Conversion of non-Islamic places of worship into mosques

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Hagia Sophia, an Eastern Orthodox church converted into a mosque after the Fall of Constantinople; in 1935 it was converted into a museum.

The conversion of non-Islamic places of worship into mosques occurred during the life of Muhammad and continued during subsequent Islamic conquests and under historical Muslim rule. As a result, numerous Hindu temples, churches, synagogues, the Parthenon and Zoroastrian temples were converted into mosques. Several such mosques in Muslim or ex-Muslim lands have since reverted or become museums, such as the Hagia Sophia in Turkey and numerous mosques in Spain.

Quotes[edit]

  • 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.
  • It is appropriate for me to quote here what Swami Vivekananda said about the lesson of medieval iconoclasm in India’s history. ‘Temple after temple was broken down by the foreign conqueror, but no sooner had the wave passed than the spire of the temple rose up again. Some of these old temples of South India, and those like Somnath in Gujarat, will teach you volumes of wisdom, which will give you a keener insight into the history of the race than any amount of books. Mark how these temples bear the marks of a hundred attacks and a hundred regenerations, continually destroyed and continually springing up out of the ruins, rejuvenated and strong as ever! That is the national mind, that is the national life-current. Follow it and it leads to glory.’
  • 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.
  • We shall never be able to do justice to Indian art, for ignorance and fanaticism have destroyed its greatest achievements, and have half ruined the rest. At Elephanta the Portuguese certified their piety by smashing statuary and bas-reliefs in unrestrained barbarity; and almost everywhere in the north the Moslems brought to the ground those triumphs of Indian architecture, of the fifth and sixth centuries, which tradition ranks as far superior to the later works that arouse our wonder and admiration today. The Moslems decapitated statues, and tore them limb from limb; they appropriated for their mosques, and in great measure imitated, the graceful pillars of the Jain temples. Time and fanaticism joined in the destruction, for the orthodox Hindus abandoned and neglected temples that had been profaned by the touch of alien hands.
  • 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
  • From old records and the tradition it is gathered... Wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas’ud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu’azzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs.... And this to such an extent that all over Hindustan no trace of infidelity was left besides Islam and no practice of idol-worship survived besides worship of God. And the few Hindus who remained safe from the hands of the Muslims became the slaves of Islam, began to pay kharaj, became subdued... In short, even as the Muslim rulers cleared up Mathura, Banares etc from the dust and dross of infidelity ... Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Here they broke the temples and left no stone-hearted idol intact. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and, where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i mukhtasar-i qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki Rasoi. Hence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A. H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side.
    • Mirza Jan, Hadiqa-i Shahada (“The garden of martyrdom”),1856, Lucknow, p. 247. cited by VHP evidence bundle History vs. Casuistry, Voice of India, Delhi, 1991, p.14; quoted in Narain, Harsh (1993). The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers. [1], cited by Peter Van der Veer, Religious Nationalism, also in History vs. Casuistry, 1991.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • One Western author who has become very popular among India’s history-writers is the American scholar Prof. Richard M. Eaton.... A selective reading of his work, focusing on his explanations but keeping most of his facts out of view, is made to serve the negationist position regarding temple destruction in the name of Islam. Yet, the numerically most important body of data presented by him concurs neatly with the classic (now dubbed “Hindutva”) account. In his oft-quoted paper “Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states”, he gives a list of “eighty” cases of Islamic temple destruction. "Only eighty", is how the secularist history-rewriters render it, but Eaton makes no claim that his list is exhaustive. Moreover, eighty isn't always eighty. Thus, in his list, we find mentioned as one instance: "1994: Benares, Ghurid army. Did the Ghurid army work one instance of temple destruction? Eaton provides his source, and there we read that in Benares, the Ghurid royal army "destroyed nearly one thousand temples, and raised mosques on their foundations. (Note that unlike Sita Ram Goel, Richard Eaton is not chided by the likes of Sanjay Subramaniam for using Elliott and Dowson's "colonialist translation.") This way, practically every one of the instances cited by Eaton must be read as actually ten, or a hundred, or as in this case even a thousand temples destroyed. Even Eaton's non-exhaustive list, presented as part of "the kind of responsible and constructive discussion that this controversial topic so badly needs", yields the same thousands of temple destructions ascribed to the Islamic rulers in most relevant pre-1989 histories of Islam and in pro-Hindu publications.... If the “eighty” (meaning thousands of) cases of Islamic iconoclasm are only a trifle, the “abounding” instances of Hindu iconoclasm, “thoroughly integrated” in Hindu political culture, can reasonably be expected to number tens of thousands. Yet, Eaton’s list, given without reference to primary sources, contains, even in a maximalist reading (i.e., counting “two” when one king takes away two idols from one enemy’s royal temple), only 18 individual cases.... In this list, cases of actual destruction amount to exactly two... It is also instructive to see for oneself what Eaton’s purported “eighty” cases are, on pp. 128-132 of his book. These turn out not to concern individual places of worship, but campaigns of destruction affecting whole cities with numerous temples at once. Among the items on Eaton’s list, we find “Delhi” under Mohammed Ghori’s onslaught, 1193, or “Benares” under the Ghurid conquest, 1194, and again under Aurangzeb’s temple-destruction campaign, 1669. On each of these “three” occasions, literally hundreds of temples were sacked. In the case of Delhi, we all know how the single Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque replaced 27 temples, incorporating their rubble.
    • Koenraad Elst Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002)
  • Monotheistic religions alone furnish the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, heretical tribunals, that breaking of idols and destruction of images of the gods, that razing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun 3,000 years: just because a jealous god had said, 'Thou shalt make no graven image.'
  • This Jamii Masjid built in the months of the year 587 (hijri) by the Amir, the great, the glorious commander of the Army, Qutb-ud-daula wad-din, the amir-ul-umara Aibeg, the slave of the Sultan, may God strengthen his helpers! The materials of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Deliwal coins had been spent were used in the (construction of) this mosque.
    • Inscription at the Quwwat Al-Islam Mosque adjacent to Qutb Minar in Delhi, Epigraphia Indo Moslemica, 1911–12, p. 13
  • A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun. When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunabbih, conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore he thought to build a mosque at the same place where the temple once stood. When then the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests. When afterwards the blessed Prince Mahmud swept away their rule from those countries, he made again the old mosque the place of the Friday-worship.
    • Alberuni in his India, Alberuni's India, Edward C. Sachau (translator and editor)
  • I am here led to relate that at the city of Banaras a temple had been erected by Rajah Maun Sing, which cost him the sum of nearly thirty-six laks of five methkaly ashrefies. ...I made it my plea for throwing down the temple which was the scene of this imposture; and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque, because the very name of Islam was proscribed at Banaras, and with God’s blessing it is my design, if I live, to fill it full with true believers.
    • Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in his Tujuk-i-Jahangiri, [2], "Decisions Involving Urban Planning and Religious Institutions"
  • A far more important discovery was made in 1860, in digging the foundation of the Magistrate and Collector's new court-house. The site selected for this building was an extensive mound overhanging the Agra road at the entrance to the civil station. It had always been regarded as merely the remains of a series of brick-kilns, and had been further protected against exploration by the fact that it was crowned by a small mosque. This was, for military reasons, blown down during the mutiny ; and afterwards, on clearing away the rubbish and excavating for the new foundations, it was found to have been erected, in accordance with the common usage of the Muhammadan conquerors, upon the ruins of a destroyed temple. A number of Buddhist statues, pillars, and basso-relievos, were disinterred ; and the inscriptions, as partially deciphered, would seem to indicate that the mound was occupied by several different monasteries...
    • Mathurá ; a district memoir, by Growse, Frederic Salmon [3]
  • Qawwat al-Islam Mosque. According to my findings the first mosque of Delhi is Qubbat all-Islam or Quwwat al-Islam which, it is said, Qutbud-Din Aibak constructed in H. 587 after demolishing the temple built by Prithvi Raj and leaving certain parts of the temple (outside the mosque proper); and when he returned from Ghazni in H. 592, he started building, under orders from Shihabud-Din Ghori, a huge mosque of inimitable red stones, and certain parts of the temple were included in the mosque.
    Mosques of Alamgir (Aurangzeb). It is said that the mosque of Benares was built by Alamgir on the site of the Bisheshwar Temple. That temple was very tall and (held as) holy among the Hindus. On this very site and with those very stones he constructed a lofty mosque, and its ancient stones were rearranged after being embedded in the walls of the mosque. It is one of the renowed mosques of Hindustan. The second mosque at Benares (is the one) which was built by Alamgir on the bank of the Ganga with chiselled stones. This also is a renowned mosque of Hindustan. It has 28 towers, each of which is 238 feet tall. This is on the bank of the Ganga and its foundations extend to the depth of the waters. Alamgir built a mosque at Mathura. It is said that this mosque was built on the site of the Gobind Dev Temple which was very strong and beautiful as well as exquisite…”
    • Maulana Hakim Sayid Abdul Hai: Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein (Hindustan under Islamic Rule, Urdu translation) Majlis Tehqiqat wa Nashriat Islam, Nadwatul-Ulama, Lucknow. With a foreword by Maulana Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi. Quoted in Arun Shourie: Hideaway Communalism (Indian Express, February 5, 1989) and in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them.
  • “…The take-over of ‘pagan’ sites is a recurrent feature of the history of the expansion of Islam. The most obvious precedent is to be found in the Muslim annexation of the Hajar al-aswad at Mecca… Sir Thomas Arnol remarks that ‘in many instances there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam.’....“There is evidence, more reliable than the tradition recorded in the Siyar al-Aqtãb, to suggest that this was the case in Ajmer. Sculpted stones, apparently from a Hindu temple, are incorporated in the Buland Darwãza of Mu‘în al-dîn’s shrine. Moreover, his tomb is built over a series of cellars which may have formed part of an earlier temple… A tradition, first recorded in the ‘Anis al-Arwãh, suggests that the Sandal Khãna is built on the site of Shãdî Dev’s temple.”
    • About Shykh Mu‘în al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer (d. AD 1236) (Rajasthan) and about sufis in Ajmer and of the Sãbriyya branch of the Chishtiyya silsilã. Siyar al-Aqtãb. Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 74-87
  • As Mahoba was for some time the headquarters of the early Muhammadan Governors, we could hardly expect to find that any Hindu buildings had escaped their furious bigotry, or their equally destructive cupidity. When the destruction of a Hindu temple furnished the destroyer with the ready means of building a house for himself on earth, as well as in heaven, it is perhaps wonderful that so many temples should still be standing in different parts of the country. It must be admitted, however, that, in none of the cities which the early Muhammadans occupied permanently, have they left a single temple standing, save this solitary temple at Mahoba, which doubtless owed its preservation solely to its secure position amid the deep waters of the Madan-Sagar. In Delhi, and Mathura, in Banaras and Jonpur, in Narwar and Ajmer, every single temple was destroyed by their bigotry, but thanks to their cupidity, most of the beautiful Hindu pillars were preserved, and many of them, perhaps, on their original positions, to form new colonnades for the masjids and tombs of the conquerors.
    • Alexander Cunningham: Archaeological Survey of India, Volume I: Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-65, Varanasi Reprint, 1972, Pp. 440-41. Quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (editor) (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Volume I.
  • Creighton says, ‘It appears to have been the general practice of the Muhammadan conquerors of India, to destroy all the temples of the idolaters, and to raise Mosque out of their ruins.’... The ritual needs and structural properties of the Hindus and the Muslims are so diametrically opposite as to deter any compromise and, therefore, the early Muslim conquerors of Bengal said their prayer in mosques built out of the fragments of Hindu materials in the same way as their predecessors did at Delhi, Ajmer, Patan, Janupur, Dhar and Mandu, and elsewhere. In the event [absence?] of any complete picture of pre-Muslim Hindu art as practised in Gaud and Hazrat Pandua, it is an exaggeration to hold the view after Saraswati that ‘indeed, every structure of this royal city (Hazrat Pandua) discloses Hindu materials in its composition, thus, disclosing that no earlier monument was spared.”
    • Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. 163-172

Inscriptions on mosques[edit]

  • 1. Quwwat al-Islam Masjid, Qutb Minar, Delhi: “This fort was conquered and the Jami Masjid built in the year 587 by the Amir… the slave of the Sultan, may Allalh strengthen his helpers. The materials of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Delhiwals had been spent were used in the (construction of) the mosque…” (1909-10, Pp 3-4). The Amir was Qutbud-Din Aibak, slave of Muizzud-Din Muhammad Ghori....
    2. Masjid at Manvi in the Raichur District of Karnataka: “Praise be to Allah that by the decree of the Parvardigar, a mosque has been converted out of a temple as a sign of religion in the reign of… the Sultan who is the asylum of Faith … Firuz Shah Bahmani who is the cause of exuberant spring in the garden of religion” (1962, Pp. 56-57)...
    3. Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat: “The Jami Masjid was built… by Khan-I-Azam Ulugh Khan... who suppressed the wretched infidels. He eradicated the idolatrous houses and mine of infidelity, along with the idols… with the edge of the sword, and made ready this edifice… He made its walls and doors out of the idols; the back of every stone became the place for prostration of the believer” (1963, Pp. 26-29).
    4. Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh: “Thanks that by the guidance of the Everlasting and the Living (Allah), this house of infidelity became the niche of prayer. As a reward for that, the Generous Lord constructed an abode for the builder in paradise” (1969, p. 375)...
    5. Jami Masjid at Ghoda in the Poona District of Maharashtra: “O Allah! 0 Muhammad! O Ali! When Mir Muhammad Zaman made up his mind, he opened the door of prosperity on himself by his own hand. He demolished thirty-three idol temples (and) by divine grace laid the foundation of a building in this abode of perdition” (1933-34, p.24)...
    6. Gachinala Masjid at Cumbum in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh: “He is Allah, may he be glorified… During the august rule of… Muhammad Shah, there was a well-established idol-house in Kuhmum… Muhammad Salih who prospers in the rectitude of the affairs of Faith… razed to the ground, the edifice of the idol-house and broke the idols in a manly fashion. He constructed on its site a suitable mosque, towering above the buildings of all” (1959-60, Pp. 64-66)...
    • Inscriptions on mosques: Archaeological Survey of India in its Epigraphia Indica-Arabic and Persian Supplement, quoted in S.R. Goel: The Tip of An Iceberg (Indian Express, February 19, 1989) and in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them.
  • ManSûrî Masjid, Vijapur: “The Blessed and Exalted Allãh says, ‘And verily, mosques are for Allãh only; hence invoke not anyone else with Allãh.’ This edifice was (originally) built by the infidels. After the advent (lit. time) of Islãm, it was converted into (lit. became) a mosque. Sermon was (delivered here) for sixty-seven years. Due to the sedition of the infidels, it was again destroyed. When during the reign of the Sultãn of the time, AHmad, the affairs of each Iqtã attained magnificence, Babãdur, the Sarkhail, once again carried out repairs. Through the generosity of Divine munificence, it became like new.”
    Shykh ‘Abdullãh Shãh Changãl in Dhar: “This centre became Muhammadan first by him (and) all the banners of religion were spread… This lion-man came from the centre of religion to this old temple with a large force. He broke the images of the false deities, and turned the idol temple into a mosque. When Rãi Bhoj saw this, through wisdom he embraced Islãm with the family of his brave warriors. This quarter became illuminated by the light of the Muhammadan law, and the customs of the infidels became obsolete and abolished. Now this tomb since those days has become the famous pilgrimage-place of the world. Graves from their oldness became levelled (to the ground), (and) there remained no mound on any grave. There was [no place] also for the retirement, wherein the distressed dervish could take rest… The Khaljî king MaHmûd Shãh who is such that by his justice the world has become adorned like paradise; he built afresh this old structure, and this house with its enclosure again became new… From the hijra it was 859 (AD 1455) that its (the building’s) date was written anew…”
    Jãmi‘ Masjid in Amod. “Allãh and His grace. When divine favour was bestowed on Khalîl Shãh, he constructed the Jãmi‘ Masjid for the decoration of Islãm; he ruined the idol-house and temple of the polytheists, (and) completed the Masjid and pulpit in its place. Without doubt, his building was accepted by Allãh. What a pleasing edifice became the calculation of its year.”
    Shãh Madãr in Narwar: “Dilãwar Khãn, the chief among the king’s viceroys, caused this mosque to be built which is like a place of shelter for the favourites. Infidelity has been subdued, and Islãm has triumphed because of him. The idols have bowed (to him) and the temples have been laid waste on account of him. The temples have been razed to the ground along with their foundations, and mosques and worship houses are flowing with riches.”
    Mosque in Udayagiri:“Ghãzî ‘Alî, lord of the age, victor in war… with the help and support of the victorious king, pivot (Kutb) of the world, king (Shãh) of the throne of the Dakhan, from one end to the other, he (Ghãzî ‘Alî) burnt away the sweepings of idolatry… with the fire of his sword (he) burnt in one moment the idol of the idol-worshippers; he killed all, that breaker-through (annihilator) of the army; when he captured the fort of Udayagiri, the world became full of Jessamine; (he) began to construct the mosque and the date was, ‘Founder of the mosque - (Ghãzî) ‘Alî the iconoclast’.” “During the days of Abdulla Kutb Shãh, the pride of kings, Husain Khãn secured the blessings of God in that he constructed a new mosque and embellished it. May God accept it for the purpose of prayers. A thousand and sixty and ten and one elapsed from Hijra (AD 1660-61). He destroyed a temple and constructed the House of God.”
    • Inscriptions on mosques: Epigraphia Indica-Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1974; Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica; Copper-plate and Stone Inscriptions of South India, quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • “In obedience to the commandment of the Almighty God, the Lord of both the worlds; and in love of… the exalted Prophet: During the reign of Shãhjahãn, the king of the seven climes, the viceregent of God (lit. Truth), the master of the necks of people… the benevolent and generous Prince Aurangzeb, whose existence is a blessing of the Merciful God on people: He built a house for worship with (all) the qualities of heaven: after the site has been previously occupied by the temple of infidels…”
    • Inscription on Mosque at Bodhan, Andhra Pradesh, Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1919-1920 quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • In the reign of the great Prince Ãlamgîr,
    Like the full shining moon,
    The enlightener of the world,
    Praise be to God that this happy place,
    Was by Motamid Khãn completed as an alms.
    It was the idol temple of the vile Gwãlî,
    He made it a mosque, like a mansion of paradise.
    The Khãn of enlightened heart,
    Nay light itself from head to foot,
    Displayed the divine light, like that of mid-day,
    He closed the idol temple:
    Exclamations rose from earth to heaven,
    When the light put far away the abode of darkness,
    • Inscription on mosque on the right hand side of the GaNeša Gate in the fort at Gwalior. Archaeological Survey of India, Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-65 by Alexander Cunningham, Varanasi Reprint, 1972. p. 335.
  • “In the name of Allãh, the Beneficent, the Merciful. There is no god except Allãh. Muhammad is His Prophet, verily. In the just reign of ‘Ãlamgîr, the king who is the asylum of Faith (and) whose universal generosity makes the sea and mine shame-stricken, one of his devoted servants, Muhammad Ashraf of god faith, saw a place where there was a temple. Like Khalîl (Prophet Abraham), he broke the temple at the command of God, and arranged for the construction of a very steadfast mosque. Year (AH) one thousand and seventy-eight” (AH 1078 = AD 1667).
    • Inscription on Jãmi‘ Masjid in Akot, Maharashtra. Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1963, p. 54.
  • “God there is none but He and we worship not anyone except Him. (He) built a mosque in place of the temple, and wrote over its door the (Qur’ãnic) verse-‘Verily, We conquered.’ When the exalted mind of the Khedive, the refuge of Religion, supported by Divine Grace, Abu’z-Zafar MuHi-ud-dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahãdur ‘Ãlamgîr, the victorious, was inclined to, and occupied in, destroying the base of infidelity and darkness and to strengthen the foundation of Islamic religion, the humblest servant Mukhtãr Khãn al-Husaini as-Sabzwãrî, the governor of the province of Zafarãbãd, demolished the temple and built a mosque and laid out a garden which by the Grace of the Omniscient God were completed on the 25th of Rabi’-ul-Awwal in the 14th year of the auspicious reign (AH 1082) corresponding with the date contained in this hemistich-By the Grace of God this temple became a mosque…”
    • Inscription on mosque in Bidar, Karnataka. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1927-28, p. 33. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • Now when the turn of Mas‘ûd Khãn came, he bore away the ball with the chaughãn of courage. Know him of pure faith and belief, and of mature fortune and glory; his justice has been praised by Naushîrwãn and his generosity (applauded) by Hãtim. The court of his (kingly) grace is (resplendent) like the Moon; but in the battle-field his awe destroys heads, his wrath and grace in respect of infidelity and faith add darkness and light (to each). Destroyed temples and idols and built mosques and Mihrãbs, levelled the mountains in several places and raised walls touching the sky…”57
    • Inscription on mosque in Siruguppa, Karnataka. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1921-22, quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • Although the king of the time [Aurangzeb] is not a prophet, yet there is no doubt in his being a friend of God. He built the mosque and broke the idols (at a time) when 1103 years had passed from the flight (of the Prophet).”
    • Inscription on mosque in Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1937-38, p. 55. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • He laid waste several idol temples, in order to make this strong building firm... As its bricks were taken from an idol temple, one rose and said, Mîr ‘Ãlam became the founder of this reservoir by revelation 1130.”
    • Inscription on mosque in Surat, Gujarat. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica. 1933-34, p. 41-42. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • “In the reign of Shãh ‘Ãlamgîr Muhîu’ddin Walmillah, the king of the world, Aurangzeb, who is adorned with justice, the lustre of Islãm shone forth to the glory of God; for ‘Abd-un-Nabi Khãn built this beautiful mosque. This second ‘Holy Temple’ caused the idols to bow down in worship. You will see the true meaning of the text, “Truth came and error vanished.’ Whilst I search for a tãrikh, a voice came from blissful Truth ordering me to say ‘Abd-un-Nabi Khãn is the builder of this beautiful mosque.’ May this Jãma Masjid of majestic structure shine forth for ever like the hearts of the pious! Its roof is high like aspirations of love; its court-yard is wide like the arena of thought.”
    • Persian inscription on the Jãmi‘ Masjid in the center of Mathura. Reproduced and translated into English by F.S. Growse in his Mathura: A District Memoir, third edition (1883) reprinted from Ahmadabad in 1978, pp. 150-51. Quoted in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Volume II. Chapter 6.

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