Qutb al-Din Aibak

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Death of the slave king, Kutbuddin Aibak of Delhi, A.D. 1210

Quṭb al-Dīn Aibak also spelt Quṭb ud-Dīn Aibak or Qutub ud-Din Aybak, (1150 – 1210), was the founder of the Mamluk dynasty and the first sultan of the Delhi Sultanate.

Quotes[edit]

  • Qutb-ud-Din Aybak also is said to have destroyed nearly a thousand temples, and then raised mosques on their foundations. The same author states that he built the Jami Masjid, Delhi, and adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions (from the Quran) containing the divine commands. We have further evidence of this harrowing process having been systematically employed from the inscription extant over the eastern gateway of this same mosque at Delhi, which relates that the materials of 27 idol temples were used in its construction.
    • Dr. Murray Titus quoted from B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • "Qutb-ud-Din, whose reputation for destroying temples was almost as great as that of Muhammad, in the latter part of the twelfth century and early years of the thirteenth, must have frequently resorted to force as an incentive to conversion. One instance may be noted: when he approached Koil (Aligarh) in A. D. 1194, ' those of the garrison who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but the others were slain with the sword '.
    • Dr. Murray Titus quoted from B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946) (Alternative translation: “those of the garrison who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but those who stood by their ancient faith were slain with the sword”. Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they. Original quote is from Hasan Nizami, Taj-ul-Maasir, E.D. [1])
  • " In the year A.D. 1202, when Qulb-ud-Din captured Kalinjar, after the temples had been convened into mosques, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated, fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus. "
    • Dr. Murray Titus quoted from B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • Hasan Nizami writes that after the suppression of a Hindu revolt at Kol (Aligarh) in 1193 AD, Aibak raised “three bastions as high as heaven with their heads, and their carcases became food for beasts of prey. The tract was freed from idols and idol-worship and the foundations of infidelism were destroyed.” In 1194 AD Aibak destroyed 27 Hindu temples at Delhi and built the Quwwat-ul-Islãm mosque with their debris. According to Nizami, Aibak “adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants”. In 1195 AD the Mher tribe of Ajmer rose in revolt, and the Chaulukyas of Gujarat came to their assistance. Aibak had to invite re-inforcements from Ghazni before he could meet the challenge. In 1196 AD he advanced against Anahilwar Patan, the capital of Gujarat. Nizami writes that after Raja Karan was defeated and forced to flee, “fifty thousand infidels were despatched to hell by the sword” and “more than twenty thousand slaves, and cattle beyond all calculation fell into the hands of the victors”. The city was sacked, its temples demolished, and its palaces plundered. On his return to Ajmer, Aibak destroyed the Sanskrit College of Visaladeva, and laid the foundations of a mosque which came to be known as ADhãî Din kã JhoMpaDã. Conquest of Kalinjar in 1202 AD was Aibak’s crowning achievement. Nizami concludes: “The temples were converted into mosques… Fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus.”
  • Qutbuddin Aibak's conquests (c. 1200-10) included Gwalior, parts of Bundelkhand, Ajmer, Ranthambhor, Anhilwara as well as parts of U.P. and Malwa. In Naharwala alone 50,000 persons were killed during Aibak's campaign. No wonder that besides earning the honorific of lakhbakhsh (giver of Lakhs) he also earned the nickname of killer of lakhs.
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
  • Women and children were the prize of the warriors, and as early as the days of Qutbuddin Aibak "even a poor Muslim householder (who was also a soldier) became owner of numerous slaves."
    • Fakhr-i-Mudabbir, Tarikh Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah, p. 20. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 4
  • The first thing the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi started on was construction of impressive buildings. The first sultan Qutbuddin Aibak had to establish Muslim power in India and to raise buildings "as quickly as possible, so that no time might be lost in making an impression on their newly-conquered subjects". Architecture was considered as the visual symbol of Muslim political power. It denoted victory with authority. The first two buildings of the early period in Delhi are the Qutb Minar and the congregational mosque named purposefully as the Quwwat-ul-Islam (might of Islam) Masjid. This mosque was commenced by Aibak in 592/1195. It was built with materials and gold obtained by destroying 27 Hindu and Jain temples in Delhi and its neighborhood. A Persian inscription in the mosque testifies to this. The Qutb Minar, planned and commenced by Aibak sometime in or before 1199 and completed by Iltutmish, was also constructed with similar materials, "the sculptured figures on the stones being either defaced or concealed by turning them upside down". A century and a quarter later Ibn Battutah describes the congregational mosque and the Qutb Minar. "About the latter he says that its staircase is so wide that elephants can go up there." About the former his observations are interesting. "Near the eastern gate of the mosque their lie two very big idols of copper connected together by stones. Every one who comes in and goes out of the mosque treads over them. On the site of this mosque was a bud khana, that is an idol house. After the conquest of Delhi it was turned into a mosque."
    • Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5 (quoting Gordon Sanderson, 'Archaeology at the Qutb', Archaeological Survey of India Report, 1912-13; Ibn Battutah)
  • In 1195 when Raja Bhim was attacked by Aibak 20,000 slaves were captured, and 50,000 at Kalinjar in 1202. “The temples were converted into mosques,” writes Hasan Nizami, “and the voices of the summoners to prayer ascended to the highest heavens, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated.”... Farishtah specifically mentions that during the capture of Kalinjar “fifty thousand kaniz va ghulam, having suffered slavery, were rewarded with the honour of Islam.” Thus enslavement resulted in conversion and conversion in accelerated growth of Muslim population.
    • Hasan Nizami, Taj-u-Maasir, E.D., II, 231. Farishtah, I, 62. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
  • Ibn Asir only says that Qutbuddin Aibak made ‘war against the provinces of Hind… He killed many, and returned with prisoners and booty.” In Banaras, according to the same author, “the slaughter of the Hindus was immense, none was spared except women and children,”16 who would have been enslaved as per practice.
    • Ibn Asir, Kamil-ut-Tawarikh, E.D., II, 250. quoted from Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5
  • The congregational mosque at Delhi named, purposefully, as the Masjid Quwwatul Islam (Might of Islam), was commenced by Aibak in 592/1195 within two years of its conquest. It was built with materials and gold obtained by destroying 27 Hindu and Jain temples in Delhi and its neighbourhood. A Persian inscription in the mosque testifies to this. The mosque at Ajmer erected by Qutbuddin Aibak soon after its occupation and known as the Arhai din ka Jhonpra, was also built from materials obtained from demolished temples. The Qutb Minar, planned and commenced by Aibak sometime in or before 1199 and completed by Iltutmish, was also constructed with similar materials, “the sculptured figures on the stones being either defaced or concealed by turning them upside down.” “In this improvisation,” rightly observes Habibullah, “was symbolised the whole Mamluk history”.
    • Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 8 (quoting A.B.M. Habibullah, The Foundation of Muslim Rule in India)
  • For instance, when Muhammad Ghauri and Qutbuddin Aibak mounted a combined attack on the Khokhars of the Salt Range (Koh-i-Jud), “great plunder was taken and many captives, so that five Hindu [Khokhars] captives could be bought for a dinar”. Captives were so plentiful that they were also sent “to sell in Khurasan, not long after.”
    • Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 10, (quoting Hasan Nizami, Taj-ul-Maasir, E. D., II; Minhaj)
  • Ibn-ul-Asir says that Qutbuddin Aibak made “war against the provinces of Hind… He killed many, and returned home with prisoners and booty.” In Banaras, according to the same authority, Muhammad Ghauri’s slaughter of the Hindus was immense. “None was spared except women and children." No wonder that slaves began to fill the households of every Turk from the very beginning of Muslim rule in India. Fakhr-i-Mudabbir informs us that as a result of the Muslim achievements under Muhammad Ghauri and Qutbuddin Aibak, “even a poor householder (or soldier) who did not possess a single slave before became the owner of numerous slaves of all description …”
    • Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7 (quoting Kamil-ut-Tawarikh, E and D, II, p. 250-1; Tarikh-i-Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah, p. 20.)
  • “When Qutbu’d-Din, the commander-in-chief of Muizzu’d-Din Sam alias Shihabu’d-Din Ghuri, conquered Delhi in AH 587 corresponding to AD 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmi, this idol-house (of Rai Pithora) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out of the temple. Some of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were effaced completely, some were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept standing as before. Materials from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crores and forty lakhs of Dilwals, were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest and his own name was installed on the eastern gate…“When Malwah and Ujjain were conquered by Sultan Shamsu’d-Din in AH 631 corresponding to AD 1233, then the idol-house of Mahakal was demolished and its idols as well as the statue of Raja Bikramajit were brought to Delhi, they were strewn in front of the door of the mosque…”“In books of history, this mosque has been described as Masjid-i-Adinah and Jama‘ Masjid Delhi, but Masjid Quwwat al-Islam is mentioned nowhere. It is not known as to when this name was adopted. Obviously, it seems that when this idol-house was captured, and the mosque constructed, it was named Quwwat al-Islam…”
    • About antiquities of Delhi. Syed Ahmed Khan, Translated from the Urdu of Asaru’s-Sanadid, edited by Khaleeq Anjum, New Delhi, 1990. Vol. I, p. 305-16
  • Hindu learning in general was suppressed since Hindu and Buddhist schools were attached to temples and monasteries. These were regularly destroyed from the very beginning and with them schools of learning. Qutbuddin Aibak razed the Sanskrit College of Vishaldeva at Ajmer and in its place built a mosque called Arhai din ka Jhonpra. In the east Ikhtiyauddin Bakhtiyar Khalji sacked the Buddhist university centres in Bihar like Odantapuri, Nalanda and Vikramshila between 1197-1202.
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7

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