The Muslim Conquest of India

How many people know that “Hindu Kush” means “Hindu Slaughter”?

The Muslim Conquest OF INDIA

(Chapter 6 of‘The Story of Civilization’- Vol. 1)
By Will & Ariel Durant

The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within. The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India’s boundaries and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred years (600-1000 A.D.) India invited conquest; and at last it came.

The first Moslem attack was a passing raid upon Multan, in the western Punjab (664 A.D.) Similar raids occurred at the convenience of the invaders during the next three centuries, with the result that the Moslems established themselves in the Indus valley about the same time that their Arab co-religionists in the West were fighting the battle of Tours (732 A.D.) for the mastery of Europe. But the real Moslem conquest of India did not come till the turn of the first millennium after Christ.

In the year 997 a Turkish chieftain by the name of Mahmud became sultan of the little state of Ghazni, in eastern Afghanistan. Mahmud knew that his throne was young and poor, and saw that India, acrossthe border, was old and rich; the conclusion was obvious. Pretending a holy zeal for destroying Hindu idolatry, he swept across the frontier with a force inspired by a pious aspiration for booty. He met the unprepared Hindus at Bhimnagar, slaughtered them, pillaged their cities, destroyed their temples, and carried away the accumulated treasures of centuries. Returning to Ghazni he astonished the ambassadors of foreign powers by displaying “jewels and unbored pearls and rubies shining like sparks, or like wine congealed with ice, and emeralds like fresh sprigs of myrtle, and diamonds in size and weight like pomegranates.”

Each winter Mahmud descended into India, filled his treasure chest with spoils, and amused his men with full freedom to pillage and kill; each spring he returned to his capital richer than before. At Mathura (on the Jumna) he took from the temple its statues of gold encrusted with precious stones, and emptied its coffers of a vast quantity of gold, silver and jewelry; he expressed his admiration for the architecture of the great shrine, judged that its duplication would cost one hundred million dinars and the labor of two hundred years, and then ordered it to be soaked with naphtha and burnt to the ground. `Six years later he sacked another opulent city of northern India, Somnath, killed all its fifty thousand inhabitants, and dragged its wealth to Ghazni. In the end he became, perhaps, the richest king that history has ever known. Sometimes he spared the population of the ravaged cities, and took them home to be sold as slaves; but so great was the number of such captives that after some years no one could be found to offer more than a few shillings for a slave. Before every important engagement Mahmud knelt in prayer, and asked the blessing of God upon his arms. He reigned for a third of a century; and when he died, full of years and honors, Moslem historians ranked him as the greatest monarch of his time, and one of the greatest sovereigns of any age.

Seeing the canonization that success had brought to this magnificent thief, other Moslem rulers profited by his example, though none succeeded in bettering his instruction. In 1186 the Ghuri, a Turkish tribe of Afghanistan, invaded India, captured the city of Delhi, destroyed its temples, confiscated its wealth, and settled down in its palaces to establish the Sultanate of Delhi- an alien despotism fastened upon northern India for three centuries, and checked only by assassination and revolt. The first of these bloody sultans, Kutb-dDin Aibak, was a normal specimen of his kind – fanatical, ferocious and merciless. His gifts, as the Mohammedan historian tells us, “were bestowed by hundreds of thousands, and his slaughters likewise were by hundreds of thousands.” In one victory of this warrior (who had been purchased as a slave), “fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery, and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus.”

Another sultan, Balban, punished rebels and brigands by casting them under the feet of elephants, or removing their skins, stuffing these with straw, and hanging them from the gates of Delhi. When some Mongol inhabitants who had settled in Delhi, and had been converted to Islam, attempted a rising, Sultan Alau-d-din (the conquerer of Chitor) had all the males – from fifteen to thirty thousand of them – slaughtered in one day. Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlak acquired the throne by murdering his father, became a great scholar and an elegant writer, dabbled in mathematics, physics and Greek philosophy, surpassed his predecessors in bloodshed and brutality, fed the flesh of a rebel nephew to the rebel’s wife and children, ruined the country with reckless inflation, and laid it waste with pillage and murder till the inhabitants fled to the jungle. He killed so many Hindus that, in the words of a Moslem historian, “there was constantly in front of his royal pavilion and his Civil Court a mound of dead bodies and a heap of corpses, while the sweepers and executioners were wearied out by their work of dragging” the victims “and putting them to death in crowds.”

In order to found a new capital at Daulatabad he drove every inhabitant from Delhi and left it a desert; and hearing that a blind man had stayed behind in Delhi, he ordered him to be dragged from the old to the new capital, so that only a leg remained of the wretch when his last journey was finished.

The Sultan complained that the people did not love him, or recognize his undeviating justice. He ruled India for a quarter of a century, and died in bed. His successor, Firoz Shah, invaded Bengal, offered a reward for every Hindu head, paid for 180,000 of them, raided Hindu villages for slaves, and died at the ripe age of eighty. Sultan Ahmad Shah feasted for three days whenever the number of defenseless Hindus slain in his territories in one day reached twenty thousand.

These rulers were often men of ability, and their followers were gifted with fierce courage and industry; only so can we understand how they could have maintained their rule among a hostile people so overwhelmingly outnumbering them. All of them were armed with a religion militaristic in operation, but far superior in its stoical monotheism to any of the popular cults of India; they concealed its attractiveness by making the public exercise of the Hindu religions illegal, and thereby driving them more deeply into the Hindu soul.

Some of these thirsty despots had culture as well as ability; they patronized the arts, and engaged artists and artisans- usually of Hindu origin- to build for them magnificent mosques and tombs; some of them were scholars, and delighted in converse with historians, poets and scientists. One of the greatest scholars of Asia, Alberuni, accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni to India, and wrote a scientific survey of India comparable to Pliny’s “Natural History” and Humboldt’s “Cosmos”.

The Moslem historians were almost as numerous as the generals, and yielded nothing to them in the enjoyment of bloodshed and war. The Sultans drew from the people every rupee of tribute that could be exacted by the ancient art of taxation, as well as by straightforward robbery; but they stayed in India, spent their spoils in India, and thereby turned them back into India’s economic life. Nevertheless, their terrorism and exploitation advanced that weakening of Hindu physique and morale which had been begun by an exhausting climate, an inadequate diet, political disunity, and pessimistic religions.

The usual policy of the Sultans was clearly sketched by Alau-d-din, who required his advisers to draw up “rules and regulations for grinding down the Hindus, and for depriving them of that wealth and property which fosters disaffection and rebellion.”

Half of the gross produce of the soil was collected by the government; native rulers had taken one-sixth. “No Hindu,” says a Moslem historian, “could hold up his head, and in their houses no sign of gold or silver… or of any superfluity was to be seen…. Blows, confinement in the stocks, imprisonment and chains, were all employed to enforce payment.” When one of his own advisers protested against this policy, Alau-d-din answered: “Oh, Doctor, thou art a learned man, but thou hast no experience; I am an unlettered man, but I have a great deal. Be assured, then, that the Hindus will never become submissive and obedient till they are reduced to poverty. I have therefore given orders that just sufficient shall be left to them from year to year of corn, milk and curds, but that they shall not be allowed to accumulate hoards and property.” This is the secret of the political history of modern India.

Weakened by division, it succumbed to invaders; impoverished by invaders, it lost all power of resistance, and took refuge in supernatural consolations; it argued that both mastery and slavery were superficial delusions, and concluded that freedom of the body or the nation was hardly worth defending in so brief a life. The bitter lesson that may be drawn from this tragedy is that eternal vigilance is the price of civilization. A nation must love peace, but keep its powder dry.

17 Responses

  1. ok

  2. history repeats itself!!

  3. I find this story somewhat inspiring in the following way. The moral of the story is that it is VERY DANGEROUS to be rich and weak. Saudi Arabia, Iran and the Emirates are all rich and weak. It is time to strike, making an example of Iran by seizing her oil wealth and distributing it liberally and cheaply to all who will go along – as a warning to others.

  4. I have read the Koran, it is a mandate to conquer the world for Allah. Therefore, there is no Constitutional right to build any mosque anywhere in this country, as the Consitution guarantees that the Federal Government must protect U.S. citizens against enemies both foreign and domestic.

    Am I the only one who has noticed that the Koran says only white people go to heaven? See Sura 39:60 and Sura 3:106-107
    That it’s ok to bury girl babies alive? Sura 8l:8

    • Islam is a mandate to conquer the world for Allah. It is in fact, a political ideology not a religion. There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Either he doesn’t follow the Koran and he is not a Muslim or he does and his duty is to kill us or convert us. Mohammed commanded them to do so and this commandment hasn’t changed in thirteen hundred years. It is practiced today just as it was in the glorious seventh century and their goal is to turn back the clock to that time. Their Koran commands them to establish a world-wide Caliphate with Mullahs in charge. It is the most cruel, bloodthirsty, misogynistic, dictatorial political system the world has ever known. And it is here. They are conquering us from within and our wimpy, ignorant politicians are allowing and even aiding and abetting it in the hope they won’t be hurt by them. They will. They will be the first to go.
      But then, our President is a Muslim who is helping destroy the country for Allah.

    • I looked up Sura 81:8 and 81:9. God asks the girl buried alive for what crime she was thus treated. Of course, none at all! So understood properly these verses are directed against the custom of burying unwanted girl babies alive. So Moslem claims that the Prophet abolished this custom have some basis. This is not a defense of Islam as a whole, but an appeal for objectivity.

  5. I am an active participant in the battle to defeat radical Islam. The President Obama in white face on the lower left detracts from the legitimacy of your efforts. Personal and hateful attacks are not necessary. The facts are on our side. We need not stoop to a Keith Oberman style of persuasion.

    Respectfully,

    Mike

    • I agree that the clown picture of the President is not appropriate and makes those of us who know Islam and are trying to warn people about it look like what they call us–Right wing nuts.

      I’m not a nut of any variety and I know Islam and I know what they plan for us if we don’t act to stop it.

  6. mike,so true we need no get personal, we havve the facts which are the truth.

    • we won’t be slimed into changing anything on this site by the left, right or anywhere in between – ridiculous comparisons to the absurd notwithstanding…respectfully

  7. What do they teach about this murderous reign of Islam in today’s Moslem schoolbooks? Or in Hindu/Sikh/Buddhist schoolbooks?

    These historic evils burn in the hearts of Moslems still because Islam is not dominant. As they work inside our societies for conquest, we must work inside theirs to disrupt their ritual violence. Containment and separation are not enough. At some point, Islam must implode.

    • @hannon,

      we in india always study a distorted version of our history where we find all muslim rulers (except mohammed of ghazni and aurangzeb.. timur is just mentioned as a plunderer not inspiredd by religion but just greedy about the wealth stored in temples) to be tolerant peaceful rulers.. hardly anyone study authentic history as more and more people are inclined to become engineers and hence pursue science streams and often neglect humanities and history..
      its pity that history is hijacked by so called ‘secular liberals’ of india..who always tend to dengrate anything related to hindu/indigeneous culture

  8. [...] LEST WE FORGET– The Jihad against Spaniards (AD711 to AD730); also, The Muslim Conquest of India …. (historyofjihad, [...]

  9. No Sharia Here- 3posts above nailed it.. islam is not a religion it is a political idealogy (and a nasty one at that.) I travelled quite a few years ago thru Pakistan and India. The difference between the 2 countries is amazing. Side byside, yet one is muslim, the other predominantly Hindu. India is friendly, outgoing, ccolourful. Pakisatan is unfriendly, scary and dour. We must all stop islam in the west as best we can. It’s heartening to note that Europe is finally fighting back against islam. New immigration policies, Italy declaring islam a political idealogy, (rather than a religion) and denying tax exempt status to mosques. Bravo italia!

  10. Does America realize that the Hussain Obama health plan is a stealth program of collecting the JIZYA.

    There is now talk of a ” Transaction Tax” on America. Presumably ordered by islam and conveyed to the presedency via Michelles recent vacation ( courier) to Spain trip.

    Lets face it. The presidency is now a Sultanship.

  11. [...] September 15, 2010 by creeping We published a few posts on India recently, one highlighting the Muslim Conquest of India, and the other regarding Muslims protest Hindus in New Jersey – as they have done [...]

  12. [...] read The Muslim Conquest of India. Share the News:TwitterFacebookRedditDiggStumbleUponEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

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