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Forced Conversion and Persecution in India, Part 2 Delhi Sultanate

Religious persecution, conversion and atrocities committed by Khalji's, Mamluk's, Tughlaq's, Sayyids and Lodi's over Indians especially Non-Islamic faiths

The dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate invaded the Bharat to rule by plundering Indian heritage, legacy and culture and imposing the dominance of Islam by Conversion and Persecution of Non-Islamic faiths. During the span of 320 years of rule by Khalji’s, Tughlaq’s, Mamluk’s, Sayyid’s, and Lodi’s in the Indian Subcontinent, these Islamic Invaders made all attempts to vanish Hinduism from India through widespread atrocities, forceful Conversion, to the destruction of temples, monuments and religious places. 

Delhi Sultanate witnessed many dynasties, which proved to be disastrous for the persistence of Hinduism. The Sultanate rule symbolized mass slaughtering and Conversion of Hindus and desecration of Temples of Hindus, Jains and Buddhists in different parts of the Country. 

Atrocities in Mamluk Dynasty

The assassination of Mohd. Ghori at the hands of Prithviraj Chauhan in Afghan territory marked the end of Ghor’s rule. Mohd. Ghori’s slave Qutubudin Aibek established the Mamluk dynasty and committed mass conversion and Persecution of people from different beliefs and faiths. At first, the Mamluk Invasion resulted dismantling of 27 Hindu and Jain temples in Surya Stambh premise, then Qutub-ud-din Aybek, renamed Surya Stambh made by Maharaj Vikramaditya as Qutub Minar. With the remains of those 27 temples, Aybek constructed a mosque in the present Qutub Minar premise and named it Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. 

Qutub-ud-din Aybek, during the Ajmer campaign, destroyed the Sanskrit learning centre or Jain and Saraswati temple made by Maharaja Visaldeva Chauhan and constructed a mosque out of its remains and named it Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra. The rules were so harsh upon the common public that they only had two options: to accept Islam or to pay heavy Jizya tax, which might sometimes be more than earnings. Under Illtumish and Balban’s rule, the non-jizya taxpayers were forcibly converted into Islam, women were raped, and several were beaten to death.

During Balban’s rule, Persecution and Conversion of Hindus became common; he slaughtered the uprising by Chandela Chief of Kalinjar. Some authors even write that the rivers became red-coloured due to blood; wherever you arrive, only red is visible. Rao Siha of Jodhpur stood firm against the Invader Balban, but heavy forces of Balban slaughtered the Rajput troops in the Battle of Lakha Jhawar of 1273. The Rajput side chooses martyrdom instead of retreating from the battlefield. 

Also Read: Prithviraj Chauhan: Tale of forgotten Bravery and Mastery

Khalji’s Persecution of Hindus: 

We all roughly know that Allauddin Khalji killed Jalaluddin Khalji; thus, many treat him with adoration, but it’s an immutable truth that every person suffers according to their Karma. According to the Miftahul al-Futuh, written by Amir Khusrau, states that during the Siege of Jain, Jalaluddin Khalji ordered the blazing and plundering of all temples and idols present in those. The two idols of Bhagwan Brahma, which weighed more than thousands of men, were broken into pieces and fragments were thrown at the gates of Masjid upon the return of Jalaluddin Khalji. 

According to the Ziauddin Barani, Jalaluddin Khalji believes that Hindus are the biggest enemies of Allah and the religion of Mustafa. During the Re-capturing of Mandawar, Jalaluddin ordered to capture of the cattle(Cow) for beef-eating.  

The Khalji rule also saw widespread atrocities upon non-Islamic faiths. The court historian of Khalji’s Amir Khusrow writes in his book Tarikh-i-Alai, that Alauddin Khalji appointed Ulugh Khan, Malik Kafur, Nusrat Khan and Khusro Khan to expand his reign, convert and persecute Hindus (sought everyday report), kill, rape women from other religion, destroy temples, monuments and educational institutes.

During the Siege of Chittorgarh, 1303, Amir Khusrau writes that, after Alauddin Khalji’s victory, he ordered his army to massacre 30,000 inhabitants of Chittorgarh and women along with Rani Padmini, committed Jauhar (mass self-immolation by jumping into the fire) along with 16,000 females to save their honour from Khalji Mlechchha Invaders. 

At Srirangam in southern India, an army of Ulugh Khan destroyed several temples and killed around 12,000 Hindu DevoteesKazi Mughisuddin of Bayanah even guided Alauddin to fulfil Prophet Muhammad’s wish of converting and persecuting Kafirs (wrongfully used for other religious faiths like Hindus, Jain, Sikhs, Buddhists and other religions beliefs) in the following note:-

keep Hindus in subjection, in abasement, as a religious duty, because they are the most inveterate enemies of the Prophet, and because the Prophet has commanded us to slay them, plunder them, and make them captive; saying—convert them to Islam or kill them, enslave them and spoil their wealth and property.

Conversion and Persecution under the Tughlaq dynasty: 

After the downfall of KhaljisTughlaq took work into their hands of persecuting and converting non-Islamic faiths. Mohammad bin Tughlaq undertook several atrocities upon Hindus, including the massacre of Hindu inhabitants of Kannauj city. During the Siege of the Kampili Kingdom, after an intense tussle and resistance from the Kampili Kingdom, the Kingdom fell to Tuqhluq; thus, the Hindu women committed Jauhar, known as Jauhar of Kampili. With the same intent, Muhammad bin Tughlaq marched toward Chittor to enslave, convert, persecute people and demolish their idols and monuments, but Maharana Hammir Singh, after defeating Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, imprisoned him for around six months.   

The third ruler of the Dynasty, Firoz Shah Tughluq, made a new law for Non-Islamic religious beliefs that they had to pay heavy taxes (Jizya) to avoid Conversion to Islam. RC Majumdar calls Firoz Shah Tughluq “Biggest bigot of his age” as, during his reign, Conversion, slavery and destruction of several temples including Puri Jagannath and Jwalamukhi Temple was also made. 

In his short autobiography Futuhat-I-Feroz-Shahi, Feroz writes that he converted many Hindus into Islam and burnt their holy books. He further states that those Hindus who erect statues of deities, worship or practise any religion except Islam were arrested and then executed. Prithvi Chand II of Kangra defeated Feruz carrying 1,00,000 soldiers, whereas Rao Chunda of Jodhpur also defeated the forces of Tughlaq and made them retreat after snatching nearly half of the RajasthanZia-Ud-Din Barni in the book Tarikh-i-Feroz-Shahi, states that:

An order was accordingly given that the Brahman, with his tablet, should be brought into the presence of the Sultan … The true faith was declared to the Brahman and the right course pointed out. but he refused to accept it … The Brahman was tied hand and foot and cast into it [a pile of brushwood]; the tablet was thrown on the top and the pile was lighted … The tablet of the Brahman was lighted in two places, at his head and at his feet … The fire first reached his feet, and drew from him a cry, but the flames quickly enveloped his head and consumed him. Behold the Sultan’s strict adherence to law and rectitude.

Atrocities and Conversion in Lodi and Sayyid’s rule: 

Under Sayyid and Lodi Sultanate, several atrocities were done upon Hindus, but Mansingh Tomar, Rana Raimal, Rana Sanga and several other Rajas came in front to defeat these radical elements and their barbarous motives. Lodi’s plundered Mathura, persecuted and converted many Non-Islamic people in Gwalior, Sirhind, Ahar, Kampala, Chandawar and several other locations. 

Therefore, the Delhi Sultanate resulted in widespread atrocities over Non-Islamic faiths during their rule of 320 years. Their prime agenda was to eliminate Hinduism and implement Sharia law, and for the same purpose, they started persecuting, converting Non-Islamic faiths, and demolishing their religious places, idols, monuments and educational structure. The Islamic atrocities were confronted by several sons and daughters of this motherland; thus, the result is crystal clear why these Invaders couldn’t succeed in making Bharat an Islamic nation. 

Check out more articles on persecution and conversion in India here:

Also Read: Forced Religious Conversion and Persecution in India, Part 1 Early Invaders

Also Read: Tipu Sultan: Atrocities and Unknown facts of Sultan of Mysore

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