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Aurangzeb

Sixth Mughal Emperor
No age is wanting in able men; it is the duty of wise masters to find them out, win them over, and get work done by means of them, without listening to the calumnies of selfish men against them.

Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir (4 November 16183 March 1707), more commonly known as Aurangzeb ("Jewel in the crown") or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir ("Conquerer of the World"), was the sixth Mughal Emperor, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.

Contents

QuotesEdit

  • Answer me, sycophant, ought you not to have instructed me on one point at least, so essential to be known by a king; namely on the reciprocal duties between the sovereign and his subjects? Ought you not also to have foreseen that I might, at some future period, be compelled to contend with my brothers, sword in hand, for the crown, and for my very existence. Such, as you must well know, has been the fate of the children of almost every king of Hindustan. Did you ever instruct me in the art of war, how to besiege a town, or draw up an army in battle array? Happy for me that I consulted wiser heads than thine on these subjects! Go, withdraw to the village. Henceforth let no person know either who thou art, or what is become of thee.

Quotes from Muslim medieval historiesEdit

  • Wherefore should I not offer my congratulations? But the very fact of them being Sayyids, those fountains of felicity, demands heartly exertions in support of Islam and their ancestor Muhammad the Lord of Apostles. Let two Kaftans of honor for the two brothers be issued from my wardrobe and let them be sent with two swords, jewel-hilted and provided with pearl mounted belts, let Jamdat-ul-Mulk write much praise and congratulations when sending these presents.
    • Congratulating the Sayyid Brothers, as quoted in Later Mughals : Volume II : 1719-1739 (1922) by Irvine William Irvine
  • Hindû writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success. All the mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense. Imãma, criers to the daily prayers, and readers of the khutba, have been appointed to each of them, so that a large sum of money has been and is still laid out in these disbursements.
    • Mir-at-i 'alam, Mir-at-i Jahan-numa, of Bakhtawar Khan, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VII, p. 159.
  • In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his Viceroy of Bihar, Dãud Khãn, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed...'Towards the end of the same year when Mîr Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the Mughals destroyed many temples during the course of, their operations. Idols were broken and some temples were converted into mosques.
    • Alamgirnamah of Mirza Muhammad Kazim , cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 129.
  • The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multãn, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islãm, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers.'...'It was reported that, according to the Emperor's command, his officers had demolished the temple of Viswanãth at Kãshî.'..During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathurã, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rãi. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum'...'Praised be the august God of the faith of Islãm, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor's faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels which had been set up in the temple were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sãhib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathurã was changed to Islãmãbãd.'
    • Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-60
  • The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolaters have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, pp. 185-86.
  • 'The village of Sattara near Aurangabad was my hunting ground. Here on the top of a hill, stood a temple with an image of Khande Rai. By God's grace I demolished it, and forbade the temple dancers (muralis) to ply their shameful profession.
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. II, pp. 94
  • 'The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, pp. 188.
  • 'In a small village in the sarkãr of Sirhind, a Sikh temple was demolished and converted into a mosque. An imãm was appointed who was subsequently killed.'
    • Kalimãt-i-Tayyibãt, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 138
  • The houses of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Government in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e., time) to destroy and raze the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure and dig up their foundations.
    • Kalimãt-i-Aurangzeb, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 188-89
  • 'Aurangzeb ordered the temples of the Sikhs to be destroyed and the guru's agents (masands) for collecting the tithes and presents of the faithful to be expelled from the cities.
    • Muntikhãbul-Lubãb, by Hãshim Alî Khãn (Khãfî Khãn), Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 207, footnote.
  • 'As it has come to His Majesty's knowledge that some inhabitants of the mahals appertaining to the province of Gujarat have (again) built the temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession' therefore His Majesty orders that' the formerly demolished and recently restored temples should be pulled down.'...'The Emperor ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans.'...'Salih Bahadur was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna.'
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadî by Alî Muhammad Khãn, Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 186-88
  • Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples. Reports of the destruction of temples should be sent to the Court under the seal of the qazis and attested by pious Shaikhs.


  • ‘As all the aims of the religious Emperor were directed to the spreading of the law of Islam and the overthrow of the practices of the infidels, he issued orders to the high diwani officers that from Wednesday, the 2nd April 1679 / 1st Rabi I, in obedience to the Quranic injunction, “till they pay commutation money (Jizyah) out of their hand and they be humbled”, and in agreement with the canonical tradition, Jizyah should be collected from the infidels (zimmis) of the capital and the provinces. Many of the honest scholars of the time were appointed to discharge the work (of collecting Jizyah). May God actuate him (Emperor Aurangzeb) to do that which He loves and is pleased with, and make his future life better than the present’.
    • 2nd April 1679 (Maasir-i-‘Alamgiri, p. 175, Tr. J.N. Sarkar)
  • It has been decided according to our Canon Law that long standing temples should not be demolished, but no new temple allowed to be built... Information has reached our . . . court that its environs and certain Brahmans who have the right of holding charge of the ancient temples there, and that they further desire to remove these Brahmans from their ancient office. Therefore, our royal command is that you should direct that in future no person shall in unlawful ways interfere with or disturb the Brahmans and other Hindus resident in those places.

See alsoEdit

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