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Harsh Narain (23 April 1921 - 1995) was an Indian professor and author. He was a professor at Benares Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University and North Eastern Hill University.
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Jizyah and the spread of Islam
- Alauddin is notorious for having pauperized the Hindus to the utmost limit.
- p 29.
- Akbar was the first emperor to abolish Jizyah with one stroke of pen, along with all its associations and implications, including the distinction of Muslim and Dhimmî into the bargain. His son and grandson followed his example in regard to Jizyah, generally speaking, but reimposed upon the Hindus all the other restrictions and disabilities suffered by them before.
- Jizyah and the spread of Islam, 1990, chapter 3.
Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions (1990)
- Parsi culture is also an alien culture, but alien in name only, for, tolerant from the first, it has got blended with Indian culture almost beyond recognition.
- But the role of the Sufi tradition in bridging the gulf between Islam and Hinduism or laying the foundations of a composite culture has been greatly exaggerated. The Sufis belonging to the Chistyyah, Suhrawardiyyah, and Naqshbaniyyah orders and monasteries are found to have fanned or favoured the fanaticism of the Muslim rulers in medieval India. The Qadiriyyah Sufis from Gulbarga, Bidar, and Golconda were the most fanatic murderers of Hindus and destroyers of temples...
- Poets like Jayasi, Rahim, and Raskhan are rare phenomena. So are saints like Kabir, Nanak and Gharib Das. They attempted a synthesis of the two cultural streams in the field of literature in their own way. But their endeavours were severly limited and short-lived. They failed to be popular amongst and influence the Muslims.
- In other words, Islam is Islam and Kufr is Kufr, and never the twain can meet.
- Contradistinctively from this, the Hindus' sense of gratitude knows no bounds to Muslim rulers like Zayn al-‘Abidin (1420-70) of Kashmir, ‘Alau d-Din Husayn Shah (1493-1519) of Bengal, and Akbar the Great Mughal, who behaved towards Indians as Indians and at whose hands they could heave a sigh of relief from religious persecution. The three rulers tried their utmost to Indianize their rule and restore the dignity of Hindu community and culture, the latter essaying the uphill task of integrating Islam therewith, followed in this behalf by Prince Dara Shukoh. Who that has even the faintest sense of history can dispute the point that they were all intensely Indian, putting many a Hindu to shame in their patriotic fervour.
- Ala’u ‘d-Din Khalji had 50.000 slaves. Flrozshah Tughluq came to have 1,80,000 slaves. Muhammad Tughluq sold thousands of slaves everyday at throw-away price. And so forth. Indeed, there was unprecedentedly brisk business in the slave markets in India and abroad, thanks to slave hunt under Muslim rule in India. And the slaves had perforce to embrace the religion of their masters. For instance, on the capture of Kalinjar in 1202, ‘fifty thousand kaniz- o ghulam , having suffered slavery, were rewarded with the honour of Islam.’ Muhammad Ghori is reported to have converted three to four hundred thousand Khokhars and Tirahias to Islam."
- They left no stone unturned in de-Hinduizing or denationalizing the Hindus, in effect de-Indianizing the Indians, in various ways. It is preposterous to question their credentials as true Muslims. Their 'Ulama' exhorted them off and on to make the best of their sword to root out the Hindus and convert India into a full-fledged Dar al-lslam. Sayyid Nur ad-Din Mubarak Ghaznawi Suhrawardi, at once a leading Sufi, a leading Muslim divine, and the Shaykh al-lslam of Sultan Iltutmish. led a deputation of Ulama to the Sultan and advised him to give an ultimatum to the Hindus to embrace Islam or face death. The Sultan’s prime minister pleaded powerlessness on his behalf to do so." Then the Shaykh offered an alternative suggestion: ’... the king should at least strive to disgrace, dishonour, and defame the Mushrik and idol- worshipping Hindus.... The sign of the kings being protectors of the faith is this: When they see a Hindu, their faces turn red and they wish to swallow him alive....' A similar suggestion was made to Jalal ad-Din Khalji, who returned ruefully: 'Don’t you see that Hindus, who are the worst enemies of God and of Islam, pass daily below my royal palace to the Jamuna beating drums and playing flutes, and practise before our eyes the worship of the idols with all the rituals? Fie on us unworthy leaders who declare ourselves Muslim kings!... Had I been a Muslim ruler, a real king, or a prince and felt myself strong and powerful enough to protect Islam, any enemy of God and the faith of the Prophet of Islam would not have been allowed to chew betels in a care-free manner and put on a clean garment or live in peace. Qadi Mughis ad- Din’s advice to Sultan Ala' d-Din Khaiji was on similer lines, and the Sultan confessed that he had humiliated and pauperized the Hindus to his utmost even though without caring to know the provisions of the Shari'ah on the subject.
- Again, when Allaudin Khalji sacked Deogiri, hundreds of Sufis betook themselves to the South and established monasteries, to finance which fat sums were extracted from the local chiefs. Hajji Sayyid alias Sarwar Makhdum, Husam ad-Din, and several other Sufis took part in offensive wars openly, on account of which they were entitled Qattal (the great slayers) and Kuffar-bhanjan (destroyers of the Kafirs). Shaykh Jalal ad-Din Tabrizi demolished a large temple and constructed a Takiyah (khanqah) at Devatalla (Deva Mahal) in Bengal.... Mir Sayyid ‘Ali Hamadani (1314-1385) began to get Hindu temples demolished and the Hindus converted by reckless use of force throughout his sojourn in Kashmir... Thanks to the influence of Hamadani’s Sufi son Mir Muhammad (b. 1372), who stepped into his father’s shoes after the latter had left Kashmir after failing to pull on well with Qutb ad-Din, Sikandar (1389-1413), a liberal Sultan of Kashmir, turned into a ferocious Sultan for the Hindus and began to be known as Sikandar Butshikan (iconoclast), and his powerful Brahmana noble Suhabhatta embraced Islam under the name Sayf ad-Din and became a terror for the Brahmanas. Guided by the teachings of Mir Muhammad, Sikandar played havoc with the Hindus through Sayf ad-Din, destroyed their temples, undertook forcible conversions, and imposed Jizyah on them for the first time in Kashmir. Indeed, he out-Aurangzebed Aurangzeb in his Hindu-persecution-mania.
- In 1947, Muslim society succeeded in extorting recognition as a separate culture and nation and getting the country vivisected on that basis. It is another matter that… we go on harping on the theme of the truncated India’s belonging to Hindus and Muslims alike and its culture’s being a composite culture, a culture composed of Hindu and Muslim religio-cultural traditions.
- p. 24
The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources (1993)
- Of quite a few casualties of the standards of academic integrity at the hands of self-styled 'secular' academics, those in the field of medieval Indian historiography happen to be the worst.
- Thanks to the growing politicization of the aristocracy of letters, the unwary are being fed on the misconception that the tales of tyranny over the Hindus under the Sultans and Mughuls are all fabrications of the ... British... in pursuance of the much-maligned British policy of divide-and-rule.
- A veritable brain washing of the nation is under way trying to turn history upside down and write off the persecution of Hindus through various subterfuges.
- When the British authors' evidence was procuced, it was rejected as being motivated. When the Muslim authors' evidence is being procuced, it rejected as being motivated in its own way. God knows what type of evidence will satisfy people of this ilk.
- Critics will do well to remember that demolition of the Rama temple has never been doubted save in our own time.
- It is a pity that none of the 'secular' historians have to their credit the search for any of the Muslim sources discovered by us. Their job appears only to discourage and stifle attempts to carry out such a search.
- There has for some time past been in evidence a sinister move in certain quarters to suppress, conceal or eliminate primary sources in Arabic, Persian and Urdu testifying to the temple demolition. ... The Urdu version is found to have been withdrawn from circulation and even removed from several libraries. There is an English translation also, with which undue liberties have been taken. ... An Urdu translation of the work was published ... at least two more editions came out in 1979 and 1981 respectively... [but] the account ... is conspicuous by its absence in the 1981 edition. ... Dr. Kakorawi rightly laments that 'suppression of any part of any old composition or compilation like this can create difficulties and misunderstandings for future historians and researchers. ... The original edition of Mirza Rajab ... contained a reference to the demolition of the Rama temple. Sayyid Masud Hasan Rizwi Adib omitted the reference altogether in its second edition.... As a matter of fact, black-out of well documented, acutely argued contributions ... continues with renewed vigour. A certain leading library of the country of late instituted an enquiry as to how a particular book came to be utilized by the Vishva Hindu Parishad.
- It is a pity that thanks to our thoughtless 'secularism' and waning sense of history, such primary sources of medieval history .. are presently in danger of suppression or total extinction. Instead of launching sustained search and research in this behalf, 'secular' historians are going about dismissing relevant data out of hand, imputing unfounded motive to the recorders themselves. The state in general and the universites in particular must do something to protect and retrieve such invaluable documents from unscrupulous hands.
Quotes about Harsh Narain
- Another historian of impeccable repute who joined the Hindu revivalist circle of scholars was the late Harsh Narain (1922-95), a scholar of Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic, who taught at five Indian universities including BHU and AMU. He was a member of the team of scholars mandated by the VHP during the Government-sponsored historians’ debate in 1990-91.
- Elst, K. Decolonizing the Hindu Mind (2001), Chapter Historical Survey.
- ...There may well be documents containing pertinent information, particularly about the site’s history during the Sultanate period (1206-1525), which have escaped the notice of Prof. Harsh Narain (the only scholar of Persian and Arabic in the VHP team) because they had been removed in time from the places where they could normally be found. Such documents would mostly be in Persian and available only in the libraries of Muslim institutions. In some of these, Prof. Harsh Narain has effectively been denied access as soon as his involvement in the Ayodhya argument became known. How many pieces of pertinent material have been concealed, removed, destroyed or altered is anybody’s guess.
- About Harsh Narain and his research in the Ayodhya dispute. Koenraad Elst Ayodhya: The Case Against the Temple (2002)