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Tohfatu'l-Ahbab is a Farsi work by Muhammad Ali Kashmiri, presumably written in 1642. It is the biography of Shamsu'd-Din Muhammad Araki, an Shi'a Muslim missionary, who visited Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan in the 15th and 16th century. Araki was the founder of the Nurbakhshiyyeh Sufi order in Kashmir.


  • Close to the spring in the village of Ver, there existed a big temple. This was also demolished and a mosque was raised in its place. Again, a mulla was appointed to conduct prayers, give call for the prayer and deliver sermons. After the demolition of this temple, bands of dervishes and sufis came to every place in the village and along the road where there were temples. They destroyed not only the temples of the infidels but also uprooted their customs and traditions. They wiped out all signs of idols and their remains so that the banner of Islamic religion and the shariía (law) began fluttering all over that region.
    • Muḥammad, A. K., & Pandit, K. N. (2009). A Muslim missionary in mediaeval Kashmir: Being the English translation of Tohfatu'l-ahbab. New Delhi: Voice of India.
  • Thus all infidels, apostates and polytheists once again became Musulman. No person was left without circumcision or reciting the kelima. Infidels in villages and rural areas were also converted in the same manner. Only a very small group did not convert. Their fathers and forefathers had fled to Nagarkot 3 during the reign of Sultan Sikandar, the Iconoclast. Some of them had settled in Kishtwar and others had fled to Jammu. As they had not converted to Islam, their descendants were spared the compulsion of conversion and were left in whatever condition they were
    • Muḥammad, A. K., & Pandit, K. N. (2009). A Muslim missionary in mediaeval Kashmir: Being the English translation of Tohfatu'l-ahbab. New Delhi: Voice of India.
  • For innumerable years, this house of divine light and bliss became the worshiping place for sorcerers and depraved people and the centre of worshippers of idols (made of stones).... When the last of the prophets (Muhammad) saw this situation, he lifted Imam ‘Ali Murtaza on his shoulders so that defiled and impure idols and images were struck down in the House of God. (…) In the same manner, Kashmir was a den of wicked people, the source of infidelity and a mine of corruption and aberration. (p.258)
  • On the instance of Shamsud-Din Iraqi, Musa Raina had issued orders that everyday 1,500 to 2,000 infidels be brought to the doorstep of Mir Shamsud-Din by his followers. They would remove their sacred thread (zunnar), administer Kelima (Muslim profession of faith) to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef.


  • It could not have been otherwise. Thus, the freshly-translated biography of 15th-century Shia Sufi preacher Shamsuddin Araki by one of his disciples sets apart a long chapter for detailing “Araki's mission of destroying idols and temples of infidels”. In outlying and thinly-populated Gilgit and Baltistan, his individual tally of destroyed temples already surpassed eighty, the figure now claimed as grand total of Islamic temple destructions in all of India over more than a thousand years. He also explicitated his justification for all this destruction, viz. Mohammed's own destruction of the 360 idols in the Kaaba, the central precedent for all Islamic iconoclasm including the many thousands of certified instances in India alone.
    • Quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2012). The argumentative Hindu. New Delhi : Aditya Prakashan. Chapter: Ayodhya’s three history debates.

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