Islam And India
The first Muslim attack on India was in 715 AD and invasions and Muslim control of most of India continued until the Mughal empire weakened and collapsed due to long and bankrupting wars against the Marathas and the Sikhs. India's weakened state allowed the British to gradually take full control by the mid-19th century.
The general policy of most of the rulers during the 700 years of Muslim occupation of India was to systematically replace the fabric of Hindu society and culture with a Muslim culture. They tried to destroy Indian religions language, places of knowledge (universities e.g Nalanda were totally destroyed by Muslims). They destroyed and desecrated places of thousands of temples including Somnath, Mathura, Benaras, Ayodhaya, Kannauj, Thaneswar and in other places. There was wholesale slaughter of the monks and priests and innocent Hindus with the aim to wipe out the intellectual bedrock of the people they overran.
There is considerable existing historical contemporary eyewitness accounts as the historians and biographers of the invading armies and subsequent rulers of India have left quite detailed records of the atrocities they committed in their day-to-day encounters with India's Hindus. Far from trying to hide the monstrousness of their actions the Muslims boasted about and glorified the crimes that were committed and the genocide of tens of millions of Hindus, mass rapes of Hindu women and the destruction of thousands of ancient Hindu/Buddhist temples and libraries.
Will Durant argued in his 1935 book "The Story of Civilisation: Our Oriental Heritage" (page 459):
The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period.
Francois Gautier in his book "Rewriting Indian History" (1996) wrote:
The massacres perpetuated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.
Alain Danielou in his book, Histoire de l'Inde writes:
From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of "a holy war" of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilizations, wiped out entire races.
Irfan Husain in his article "Demons from the Past" observes:
While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enough to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan … The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed … Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster.
Their temples were razed, their idols smashed, their women raped, their men killed or taken slaves. When Mahmud of Ghazni entered Somnath on one of his annual raids, he slaughtered all 50,000 inhabitants. Aibak killed and enslaved hundreds of thousands. The list of horrors is long and painful. These conquerors justified their deeds by claiming it was their religious duty to smite non-believers. Cloaking themselves in the banner of Islam, they claimed they were fighting for their faith when, in reality, they were indulging in straightforward slaughter and pillage …
A sample of contemporary eyewitness accounts of the invaders and rulers, during the Indian conquests:
In the contemporary record – "Taj-ul-Ma'asi" by Hassn Nizam-i-Naishapuri, it is stated that when Qutb-ul-Din Aibak (of Turko–Afghan origin and the First Sultan of Delhi 1194-1210 AD) conquered Meerat, he demolished all the Hindu temples of the city and erected mosques on their sites. In the city of Aligarh, he converted Hindu inhabitants to Islam by the sword and beheaded all those who adhered to their own religion.
The Persian historian Wassaf writes in his book "Tazjiyat-ul-Amsar wa Tajriyat ul Asar" that when the Alaul-Din Khilji (An Afghan of Turkish origin and second ruler of the Khilji Dynasty in India 1295-1316 AD) asked his spiritual advisor (or Qazi) as to what was the Islamic law prescribed for the Hindus. The Qazi replied:
Hindus are like the mud; if silver is demanded from them, they must with the greatest humility offer gold. If a Mohammadan desires to spit into a Hindu's mouth, the Hindu should open it wide for the purpose. God created the Hindus to be slaves of the Mohammadans. The Prophet hath ordained that, if the Hindus do not accept Islam, they should be imprisoned, tortured, finally put to death, and their property confiscated.
Timur the Lame, the Turkic conqueror and founder of the Timurid Dynasty, included India in his genocidal career. Timur's Indian campaign (1398 – 1399 AD) was recorded in his memoirs, collectively known as "Tuzk-i-Timuri." In them, he vividly described probably the greatest gruesome act in the entire history of the world – where 100,000 Hindu prisoners of war in his camp were executed in a very short space of time. Timur after taking advice from his entourage says in his memoirs :
they said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty.
In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword
Timur thereupon resolved to put them to death. He proclaimed:
throughout the camp that every man who has infidel prisoners was to put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives.
During his campaign in India – Timur describes the scene when his army conquered the Indian city of Delhi:
In a short space of time all the people in the [Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers.
They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground … All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.
Timur's grandson the Mughal emperor Babur (who ruled India from 1526-1530 AD) writing in his memoirs called the "Baburnama" – wrote:
In AH 934 (1483 C.E.) I attacked Chanderi and by the grace of Allah captured it in a few hours. We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been Dar al-Harb (nation of non-muslims) for years was made into a Dar al-Islam (a muslim nation).
In Babur's own words in a poem about killing Hindus (From the "Baburnama") he wrote:
For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer,
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a marty
Thank God I became a Killer of Non-Muslims!