Nizamuddin Ahmad

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Khwaja Nizam-ud-Din Ahmad (also spelled as Nizam ad-Din Ahmad and Nizam al-Din Ahmad) (born 1551, died 1621/1030 AH) was a Muslim historian of late medieval India. He was son of Muhammad Muqim-i-Harawi. He was Akbar's Mir Bakhshi. His work, the Tabaqat-i-Akbari, is a comprehensive work on general history covering the time from the Ghaznavids (986-7) up to the 38th year of Akbar's reign (1593-4/1002 AH). The author quoted twenty-nine authorities in his work, some of which are entirely lost to us now.

Quotes[edit]

Tabqãt-i-Akharî[edit]

  • “After this with kingly energy and determination, he girded up his loins for a war of religion, and invaded Hindustãn, and carried away many prisoners of war and other plunder; and in every country, which he conquered, he founded mosques, and he endeavoured to ruin and desolate the territories of Rãjã Jaipãl who, at that time, was the ruler of Hindustãn.”
    • About Amîr Subuktigîn (AD 977-997) The Tabqãt-i-Akbarî translated by B. De, Calcutta, 1973, Vol. I, p. 3.
  • “…He marched with his army to the fort of Sonipat, and the commandant of that fort, Daniãl Har by name, becoming aware of his approach, fled… the army of Islam, having captured that fort, pulled down all the temples and obtained an enormous quantity of booty.”
    • About Sultãn ‘Abû-Sa‘îd Mas‘ûd of Ghazni (AD 1030-1042) Sonipat (Haryana) The Tabqãt-i-Akbarî translated by B. De, Calcutta, 1973, Vol. I, p. 22
  • “In short, Muhammad Bakhtiyar assumed the canopy, and had prayers read, and coin struck in his own name and founded mosques and Khãnkahs and colleges, in place of the temples of the heathens.”
    • About Ikhtiyãru’d-Dîn Muhammad Bakhtiyãr Khaljî (AD 1202-1206) Bengal The Tabqãt-i-Akbarî translated by B. De, Calcutta, 1973, Vol. I, p. 51
  • “…In the year AH 631, he invaded the country of Mãlwah and conquered the fort of Bhîlsã. He also took the city of Ujjain, and had the temple of Mahãkãl… completely demolished, destroying it from its foundations; and he carried away the effigy of Bikramãjît… and certain other statues which were fashioned in molten brass, and placed them in the ground in front of the Jãmi’ Masjid, so that they might he trampled upon by the people.”
    • Sultãn Shamsu’d-Dîn Iltutmish (AD 1210-1236) Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “About the same time Malik Alãu’d-Dîn, the nephew of the Sultãn, begged that he might have permission to march against Bhîlsah and pillage those tracts. He received the necessary orders, and went and ravaged the country and brought much booty for the Sultãn’s service. He also brought two brass idols which had been the object of the worship of the Hindus of these parts; and cast them down in front of the Badãûn Gate to be trampled upon by the people…”
    • Sultãn Jalãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1290-1296) Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “In the third year after the accession, the Sultãn sent Ulugh Khãn and Nasrat Khãn, with large armies to invade Gujarãt. They ravaged and plundered Nahrwãlah, and all the cities of the province… Ulugh Khãn and Nasrat Khãn also brought the idol, which the Brãhmans of Somnãth had set up, and were worshipping, in place of the one which Sultãn Mahmûd had broken to pieces, to Delhi, and placed it where the people would trample upon it…”
    • Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316) Somnath (Gujarat)
  • “Again in the year AH 716 Sultãn Alãuddîn sent Malik Nãib towards Dhor Samundar (Dvar Samudra) and M’abar… they then advanced with their troops to M’abar, and conquered it also, and having demolished the temples there, and broken the golden and jewelled idols, sent the gold into the treasury…”
    • Sultãn ‘Alãu’d-Dîn Khaljî (AD 1296-1316) M‘abar (Tamil Nadu)
  • “Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh composed a book also in which he compiled an account of his reign and which he named Futuhãt-i-Fîrûz Shãhî…“He writes in its second chapter… ‘Muslim and infidel women used to visit sepulchres and temples, which led to many evils. I stopped it. I got mosques built in place of temples’…”
    • Sultãn Fîrûz Shãh Tughlaq (AD 1351-1388)
  • “After the rainy season was over, he marched in Ramzãn AH 910 (AD February-March, 1505) for the conquest of the fort of MunDrãil. He stayed for a month near Dholpur and sent out armies with orders that they should lay waste the environs of Gwãlior and MunDrãil. Thereafter he himself laid siege to the fort of MunDrãil. Those inside the fort surrendered the fort to him after signing a treaty. The Sultãn got the temples demolished and mosques erected in their stead…”
    • Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517) Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “After the rainy season was over, he led an expedition towards the fort of Udit Nagar in AH 912 (AD 1506-07)…“…Although those inside the fort tried their utmost to seek a pardon, but he did not listen to them, and the fort was breached at many points and conquered… The Sultãn thanked Allãh in die wake of his victory… He got the temples demolished and mosques constructed in their stead…”
    • Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517) Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “After the rainy season was over, he made up his mind to take possession of the fort of Narwar which was in the domain of Mãlwã. He ordered Jalãl Khãn Lodî, the governor of Kãlpî, to go there and besiege the fort… The Sultãn himself reached Narwar after some time… He kept the fort under siege for an year… The soldiers went out to war everyday and got killed… “Thereafter the inhabitants of the fort were in plight due to scarcity of water and dearness of grains, and they asked for forgiveness. They went out with their wealth and property. The Sultãn laid waste the temples and raised mosques. Men of learning and students were made to reside there and given scholarships and grants. He stayed for six months under the walls of the fort.”
    • Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517) Narwar (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “He was a stout partisan of Islãm and made great endeavours on this score. He got all temples of the infidels demolished, and did not allow even a trace of them to remain. In Mathurã, where the infidels used to get together for bathing, he got constructed caravanserais, markets, mosques and madrasas, and appointed there officers with instructions that they should allow no one to bathe; if any Hindû desired to get his beard or head shaved in the city of Mathurã, no barber was prepared to cut his hair.”
    • Sultãn Sikandar Lodî (AD 1489-1517) Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)
  • “At the same time the Sultãn thought that though ‘Sultãn Sikandar had led several expeditions for conquering the fort of Gwãlior and the country attached to it but met with no success.’ Consequently he sent ‘Ãzam Humãyûn, the governor of Karã, with 300,000 horsemen and 300 elephants for the conquest of Gwãlior… After some time the royal army laid a mine, filled it with gunpowder, and set fire to it. He entered the fort and took possession of it after the wall of the fort was breached. He saw there a bull made of brass, which the Hindûs had worshipped for years. In keeping with a royal order, the bull was brought to Delhî and placed at the Baghdãd Gate. It was still there till the reign of Akbar. The writer of this history saw it himself.”
    • Sultãn Ibrãhîm Lodî (AD 1517-1526) Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
  • “After some time he proceeded to Orissa with the intention of jihãd. He attacked places in the neighbourhood of that province and laid them waste, and destroyed the temples after demolishing them…”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd bin Ibrãhîm Sharqî (AD 1440-1457)Orissa
  • “After he had crossed the river Bhîm, he started laying waste the country and capturing its people by sending expeditions towards Chittor everyday. He started constructing mosques after demolishing temples. He stayed 2-3 days at every halt.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan)
  • “When he halted near Kumbhalmîr which was a very big fort of that province, and well-known for its strength all over Hindustãn, Devã the Vakîl of the Governor of Kumbhã took shelter in the fort and started fighting. It so happened that a magnificent temple had been erected in front of that fort and surrounded by ramparts on all sides. That temple had been filled with weapons of war and other stores. Sultãn Mahmûd planned to storm the ramparts and captured it [the temple] in a week. A large number of Rajpûts were made prisoners and slaughtered. About the edifices of the temple, he ordered that they should be stocked with wood and fired, and water and vinegar was sprinkled on the walls. That magnificent mansion which it had taken many years to raise, was destroyed in a few moments. He got the idols broken and they were handed over to the butchers for being used as weights while selling meat. The biggest idol which had the form of a ram was reduced to powder which was put in betel-leaves to be given to the Rajpûts so that they could eat their god.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)
  • “He started for the conquest of ManDalgaDh on 26 Muharram, AH 861 (AD 24 December, 1456) after making full preparation… Reaching there the Sultãn issued orders that ‘trees should be uprooted, houses demolished and no trace should be left of human habitation’… A great victory was achieved on 1 Zilhijjã, AH 861 (AD 20 October, 1457). Sultãn Mahmûd offered thanks to Allãh in all humility. Next day, he entered the fort. He got the temples demolished and their materials used in the construction of a Jãmi‘ Masjid. He appointed there a qãzi, a muftî, a muhtasib, a khatîb and a mu‘zzin and established order in that place…”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Mandalgadh (Rajasthan)
  • “Sultãn Mahmûd started again in AH 863 (AD 1458-59) for punishing the Rajpûts. When he halted at ÃhãD, Prince Ghiyãsu’d-Dîn and Fidan Khãn were sent towards Kîlwãrã and Dîlwãrã in order to lay waste those lands. They destroyed those lands and attacked the environs of Kumbhalmîr....“When they came to the presence of the Sultãn and praised the fort of Kumbhalmîr, the Sultãn started for Kumbhalmîr next day and went ahead destroying temples on the way. When he halted near that fort, he mounted his horse and went up a hill which was to the east of the fort in order to survey the city. He said, ‘It is not possible to capture this fort without a siege lasting for several years’…”159
    • Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Kelwara and Delwara (Rajasthan)
  • “Sultãn Ahmad… encamped near Chãmpãner on 7 Rabî-us-Sãni, AH 822 (AD 3 May, 1419). He destroyed temples wherever he found them and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) Champaner (Gujarat)
  • “In Rajab AH 836 (AD February-March, 1433) Sultãn Ahmad mounted an expedition for the conquest of MewãR and Nãgaur. When he reached the town of Nãgaur, he sent out armies for the destruction of towns and villages and levelled with the ground whatever temple was found at whichever place… Having laid waste the land of Kîlwãrã, the Sultãn entered the land of Dîlwãrã, and he ruined the lofty palaces of RãNã Mokal and destroyed the temples and idols…”
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) Mewar (Rajasthan)
  • “…Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn felt insulted and he attacked the fort of Kumbhalmîr in AH 860 (AD 1455-56)… When he reached near Sirohî, the Rãjã of that place offered battle but was defeated....“From that place the Sultãn entered the kingdom of RãNã Kumbhã and he sent armies in all directions for invading the country and destroying the temples…”166
    • Sultãn Qutbu’d-Dîn Ahmad Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1451-1458) Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)
  • “In AH 871 (AD 1466-67) he started for the conquest of Karnãl [Girnãr] which is now known as JûnãgaDh. It is said that this country had been in the possession of the predecessors of Rãi Mandalîk for the past two thousand years… Sultãn Mahmûd relied on the help of Allãh and proceeded there; on the way he laid waste the land of SoraTh… From that place the Sultãn went towards the temple of those people. Many Rajpûts who were known as Parwhãn, decided to lay down their lives, and started fighting with swords and spears in (defence) of the temple… Sultãn Mahmûd postponed the conquest of the fort to the next year… and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511) Junagadh (Gujarat)
  • “After some time the Sultãn started contemplating the conquest of the port of Jagat which is a place of worship for the BrahmaNas… With this resolve he started for the port of Jagat on 16 Zil-Hajjã, AH 877 (AD 14 July, 1473). He reached Jagat with great difficulty due to the narrowness of the road and the presence of forests… He destroyed the temple of Jagat…”
    • Sultãn Mahmûd BegDhã of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511) Dwarka (Gujarat)
  • “Sultãn Muzaffar… started for Îdar. When he arrived in the town of Mahrãsã, he sent armies for destroying Îdar. The Rãjã of Îdar evacuated the fort and took refuge in the mountain of Bîjãnagar. The Sultãn, when he reached Îdar, found there ten Rajpûts ready to lay down their lives. He heaped barbarities on them and killed them. He did not leave even a trace of palaces, temples, gardens and trees…”
    • Sultãn Muzaffar Shãh II of Gujarat (AD 1511-1526) Idar (Gujarat)
  • “On account of his extensive charities, scholars from Irãq, Khorãsãn and Mawãraun-Nahar started presenting themselves in his court and Islãm was spread. He held in great regard Sayyid Muhammad who was a very great scholar of the time, and strived to destroy the idols and temples of the infidels. He got demolished the famous temple of Mahãdeva at Bahrãre. The temple was dug out from its foundations and the hole (that remained) reached the water level. Another temple at Jagdar was also demolished… Rãjã Alamãdat had got a big temple constructed at Sinpur. He had come to know from astrologers that after 11 hundred years a king by the name of Sikandar would get the temple destroyed and the idol of Utãrid, which was in it, broken. He got this [forecast] inscribed on a copper plate which was kept in a box and buried under the temple. The inscription came up when the temple was destroyed [by Sikandar]…“…The value of currency had come down, because Sultãn Sikandar had got idols of gold, silver and copper broken and turned into coins…”
    • Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (AD 1389-1413) Kashmir
  • “Fath Shãh ascended the throne in AH 894 (AD 1488-89)… In those days Mîr Shams, a disciple of Shãh Qãsim Anwar, reached Kashmir and people became his devotees. All endowments, imlãk, places of worship and temples were entrusted to his disciples. His Sûfîs used to destroy temples and no one could stop them…”
    • Sultãn Fath Shãh of Kashmir (AD 1489-1499 and 1505-1516) Kashmir
  • “On the 1st Rajab 990 [AD 1582] he (Husain Qulî Khãn) encamped by a field of maize near NagarkoT. The fortress (hissãr) of Bhîm, which is an idol temple of Mahãmãî, and in which none but her servants dwelt, was taken by the valour of the assailants at the first assault. A party of Rajpûts, who had resolved to die, fought most desperately till they were all cut down. A number of Brãhmans who for many years had served the temple, never gave one thought to flight, and were killed. Nearly 200 black cows belonging to Hindûs had, during the struggle, crowded together for shelter in the temple. Some savage Turks, while the arrows and bullets were falling like rain, killed those cows. They then took off their boots and filled them with the blood and cast it upon the roof and walls of the temple.”173
    • Jalãlu’d-Dîn Muhammad Akbar Pãdshãh Ghãzî (AD 1556-1605) Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)

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