Conversion of non-Islamic places of worship into mosques

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The conversion of non-Islamic places of worship into mosques occurred during the life of Muhammad and continued during subsequent Islamic conquests and invasions and under historical Muslim rule. Hindu temples, Jain Temples, Christian churches, synagogues, and Zoroastrian fire temples have been converted into mosques.

Hagia Sophia, an Eastern Orthodox church converted into a mosque after the Fall of Constantinople; in 1935 it was converted into a museum.
This Jamii Masjid built in the months of the year 587 (hijri) by the Amir, the great, the glorious commander of the Army, Qutb-ud-daula wad-din, the amir-ul-umara Aibeg, the slave of the Sultan, may God strengthen his helpers! The materials of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Deliwal coins had been spent were used in the (construction of) this mosque. - Inscription on the Quwwatu'l-Islam mosque in Delhi.

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B edit

  • A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun. When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunabbih, conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore he thought to build a mosque at the same place where the temple once stood. When then the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests. When afterwards the blessed Prince Mahmud swept away their rule from those countries, he made again the old mosque the place of the Friday-worship.
    • Alberuni in his India, Alberuni's India, Edward C. Sachau (translator and editor)

C edit

  • As Mahoba was for some time the headquarters of the early Muhammadan Governors, we could hardly expect to find that any Hindu buildings had escaped their furious bigotry, or their equally destructive cupidity. When the destruction of a Hindu temple furnished the destroyer with the ready means of building a house for himself on earth, as well as in heaven, it is perhaps wonderful that so many temples should still be standing in different parts of the country. It must be admitted, however, that, in none of the cities which the early Muhammadans occupied permanently, have they left a single temple standing, save this solitary temple at Mahoba, which doubtless owed its preservation solely to its secure position amid the deep waters of the Madan-Sagar. In Delhi, and Mathura, in Banaras and Jonpur, in Narwar and Ajmer, every single temple was destroyed by their bigotry, but thanks to their cupidity, most of the beautiful Hindu pillars were preserved, and many of them, perhaps, on their original positions, to form new colonnades for the masjids and tombs of the conquerors.
    • Alexander Cunningham: Archaeological Survey of India, Volume I: Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-65, Varanasi Reprint, 1972, Pp. 440-41. Quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (editor) (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Volume I.
  • The take-over of ‘pagan’ sites is a recurrent feature of the history of the expansion of Islam. The most obvious precedent is to be found in the Muslim annexation of the Hajar al-aswad at Mecca. Jamali tells how Usman Harwani converts a group of fire-worshippers and moves into their temple for two and a half years after which he leaves them in the hands of the original priests who are now Sufi shaykhs. Sir Thomas Arnold remarks that ‘in many instances there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam. There is evidence, more reliable than the tradition recorded in the Siyar al-Aqtãb, to suggest that this was the case in Ajmer. Sculpted stones, apparently from a Hindu temple, are incorporated in the Buland Darwãza of Mu‘în al-dîn’s shrine. Moreover, his tomb is built over a series of cellars which may have formed part of an earlier temple… A tradition, first recorded in the ‘Anis al-Arwãh, suggests that the Sandal Khãna is built on the site of Shãdî Dev’s temple.
    • About Shykh Mu‘în al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer (d. AD 1236) (Rajasthan) and about sufis in Ajmer and of the Sãbriyya branch of the Chishtiyya silsilã. Siyar al-Aqtãb. Quoted in P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Mu‘in al-Dîn Chishtî of Ajmer, OUP, 1989 p. 74-87, quoting Sir Thomas Arnold.
  • It appears to have been the general practice of the Muhammadan conquerors of India, to destroy all the temples of the idolaters, and to raise Mosque out of their ruins.
    • Creighton, Henry The ruins of Gour also quoted in Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. 163-172

D edit

  • Aurangzeb cared nothing for art, destroyed its "heathen" monuments with coarse bigotry, and fought, through a reign of half a century, to eradicate from India almost all religions but his own. He issued orders to the provincial governors, and to his other subordinates, to raze to the ground all the temples of either Hindus or Christians, to smash every idol, and to close every Hindu school. In one year ( 1679-80) sixty-six temples were broken to pieces in Amber alone, sixty-three at Chitor, one hundred and twenty-three at Udaipur; and over the site of a Benares temple especially sacred to the Hindus he built, in deliberate insult, a Mohammedan mosque.
  • We shall never be able to do justice to Indian art, for ignorance and fanaticism have destroyed its greatest achievements, and have half ruined the rest. At Elephanta the Portuguese certified their piety by smashing statuary and bas-reliefs in unrestrained barbarity; and almost everywhere in the north the Moslems brought to the ground those triumphs of Indian architecture, of the fifth and sixth centuries, which tradition ranks as far superior to the later works that arouse our wonder and admiration today. The Moslems decapitated statues, and tore them limb from limb; they appropriated for their mosques, and in great measure imitated, the graceful pillars of the Jain temples. Time and fanaticism joined in the destruction, for the orthodox Hindus abandoned and neglected temples that had been profaned by the touch of alien hands.

G edit

  • A far more important discovery was made in 1860, in digging the foundation of the Magistrate and Collector's new court-house. The site selected for this building was an extensive mound overhanging the Agra road at the entrance to the civil station. It had always been regarded as merely the remains of a series of brick-kilns, and had been further protected against exploration by the fact that it was crowned by a small mosque. This was, for military reasons, blown down during the mutiny ; and afterwards, on clearing away the rubbish and excavating for the new foundations, it was found to have been erected, in accordance with the common usage of the Muhammadan conquerors, upon the ruins of a destroyed temple. A number of Buddhist statues, pillars, and basso-relievos, were disinterred ; and the inscriptions, as partially deciphered, would seem to indicate that the mound was occupied by several different monasteries...
    • Mathurá ; a district memoir, by Growse, Frederic Salmon [1]

H edit

  • The ritual needs and structural properties of the Hindus and the Muslims are so diametrically opposite as to deter any compromise and, therefore, the early Muslim conquerors of Bengal said their prayer in mosques built out of the fragments of Hindu materials in the same way as their predecessors did at Delhi, Ajmer, Patan, Janupur, Dhar and Mandu, and elsewhere. In the event [absence?] of any complete picture of pre-Muslim Hindu art as practised in Gaud and Hazrat Pandua, it is an exaggeration to hold the view after Saraswati that ‘indeed, every structure of this royal city (Hazrat Pandua) discloses Hindu materials in its composition, thus, disclosing that no earlier monument was spared.”
    • Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. 163-172
  • Qawwat al-Islam Mosque. According to my findings the first mosque of Delhi is Qubbat all-Islam or Quwwat al-Islam which, it is said, Qutbud-Din Aibak constructed in H. 587 after demolishing the temple built by Prithvi Raj and leaving certain parts of the temple (outside the mosque proper); and when he returned from Ghazni in H. 592, he started building, under orders from Shihabud-Din Ghori, a huge mosque of inimitable red stones, and certain parts of the temple were included in the mosque.
    Mosques of Alamgir (Aurangzeb). It is said that the mosque of Benares was built by Alamgir on the site of the Bisheshwar Temple. That temple was very tall and (held as) holy among the Hindus. On this very site and with those very stones he constructed a lofty mosque, and its ancient stones were rearranged after being embedded in the walls of the mosque. It is one of the renowed mosques of Hindustan. The second mosque at Benares (is the one) which was built by Alamgir on the bank of the Ganga with chiselled stones. This also is a renowned mosque of Hindustan. It has 28 towers, each of which is 238 feet tall. This is on the bank of the Ganga and its foundations extend to the depth of the waters. Alamgir built a mosque at Mathura. It is said that this mosque was built on the site of the Gobind Dev Temple which was very strong and beautiful as well as exquisite…”
    • Maulana Hakim Sayid Abdul Hai: Hindustan Islami Ahad Mein (Hindustan under Islamic Rule, Urdu translation) Majlis Tehqiqat wa Nashriat Islam, Nadwatul-Ulama, Lucknow. With a foreword by Maulana Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi. Quoted in Arun Shourie: Hideaway Communalism (Indian Express, February 5, 1989) and in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them.

J edit

  • From old records and the tradition it is gathered... Wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Mas’ud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries, and inns, appointed mu’azzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously, and vanquished the Kafirs.... And this to such an extent that all over Hindustan no trace of infidelity was left besides Islam and no practice of idol-worship survived besides worship of God. And the few Hindus who remained safe from the hands of the Muslims became the slaves of Islam, began to pay kharaj, became subdued... In short, even as the Muslim rulers cleared up Mathura, Banares etc from the dust and dross of infidelity ... Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Here they broke the temples and left no stone-hearted idol intact. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and, where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i mukhtasar-i qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki Rasoi. Hence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in 923 A. H. (1528 A.D.), under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side.
    • Mîrza ‘Alî Jãn, Hadiqa-i Shahada (“The garden of martyrdom”),1856, Lucknow, p. 247. cited by VHP evidence bundle History vs. Casuistry, Voice of India, Delhi, 1991, p.14; quoted in Narain, Harsh (1993). The Ayodhya temple-mosque dispute: Focus on Muslim sources. Delhi: Penman Publishers. [2], cited by Peter Van der Veer, Religious Nationalism, also in History vs. Casuistry, 1991.
  • I am here led to relate that at the city of Banaras a temple had been erected by Rajah Maun Sing, which cost him the sum of nearly thirty-six laks of five methkaly ashrefies. ...I made it my plea for throwing down the temple which was the scene of this imposture; and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque, because the very name of Islam was proscribed at Banaras, and with God’s blessing it is my design, if I live, to fill it full with true believers.
    • Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in his Tujuk-i-Jahangiri, [3], "Decisions Involving Urban Planning and Religious Institutions"

K edit

  • Because of the shortage of stone, people scurried hither and thither throughout the kingdom in search of it. Some struck the base of mountains, so much were they enamoured of their search for stone that they tore at the mountain like lovers. Some were keener than steel in up- rooting the foundations of unbelief. Having sharpened their steels they applied them in holy war to the idol temples of the rais and with blows of iron they devoted their strength with as much vigour as possible to the breaking of the stones. Wherever an idol temple had engaged in an act of devotion the strong tongue of the spade in well founded argument removed the foundations of infidelity from the heart so that, at once, that idol temple in gratitude performed the Muslim rite of bowing in prayer.
    • Amir Khusrow, Khazainu’l-Futuh. His account of the religious buildings erected, repaired or extended. Quoted from Peter Hardy - Historians of medieval India_ studies in Indo-Muslim historical writing. (1960) p 78.
  • 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.'
    • Sãqã Must‘ad Khãn, Maãsir-i-Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-60
  • On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haiderabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.
    • Muntikhãbul-Lubãb, by Hãshim Alî Khãn (Khãfî Khãn), Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 188.

M edit

  • There's more than one mosque in the world that used to be a church and before that was a temple. Because it's a lot easier to just change the sign on the top and say "under new management" than it is to change the whole building. I worked a lot of comedy clubs in the eighties that still had the disco ball on the ceiling. And in the nineties they became strip clubs. And now they're a Starbucks.
    • Bill Maher in Religulous, the 2008 documentary film starring political comedian Bill Maher

N edit

  • When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, he ordered the faujdar of the city, Abdul Nabi Khan, to raze to the ground every temple and to construct big mosques (over their demolished sites).'
    • Îshwardãs Nãgar, Futûhãt-i-Ãlamgîrî, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 82

S edit

  • In the Islamic world many places of worship belonging to the earlier religion have been converted to mosques.
    • M. Shokoohy: “Two fire temples converted to mosques in central Iran”, Papers in Honour of Professor Mary Boyce, EJ. Brill, Leiden 1985, p.546ff
  • The fact that temples were broken and mosques constructed in their place is well known. Nor is the fact that the materials of the temples-the stones and idols--were used in constructing the mosque, news. It was thought that this was the way to announce hegemony. It was thought that this was the way to strike at the heart of the conquered-for in those days the temple was not just a place of worship; it was the hub of the community’s life, of its learning, of its social life.
    • Hideaway Communalism, Arun Shourie, Indian Express, February 5, 1989 [4] The article discusses the Ayodhya debate and the censorship of passages about temple destruction in the English translation of a major book by Maulana Abdul Hai, a renowned Islamic scholar. (This was an early and influential article by Arun Shourie on the Rama Temple controversy [5])

T edit

  • Aurangzeb's purpose in building those three mosques was the same intentionally offensive political purpose that moved the Russians to build their Orthodox cathedral in the city-centre at Warsaw. Those mosques were intended to signify that an Islamic government was reigning supreme, even over Hinduism's holiest of holy places. I must say that Aurangzeb had a veritable genius for picking out provocative sites. Aurangzeb and Philip II of Spain are a pair. They are incarnations of the gloomily fanatical vein in the Christian - Muslim - Jewish family of religions. Aurangzeb - poor wretched misguided bad man - spent a lifetime of hard labour in raising massive monuments to his own discredit. Perhaps the Poles were really kinder in destroying the Russians' self-discrediting monument in Warsaw than you have been in sparing Aurangzeb's mosques.

V edit

  • Visnu - my dwelling place Puskara has been overcome with terror of the matangas [Turks]. The place where I myself performed the final ablutions after the great sacrifice of world creation, the mleccha army now uses to refresh themselves after their violent destruction of temples and brahman settlements.
    • Prithviraja Vijaya, quoted in Jain, M. (2010). Parallel pathways: Essays on Hindu-Muslim relations, 1707-1857. chapter V.

W edit

  • What is often not easy to make out is to what extent temples were demolished and then replaced with mosques, or whether they were sometimes just converted into mosques. Or to what extent already ruined temples were disassembled and used for the construction of new buildings. Obviously, the Muslims had no qualms about re-using materials from destroyed temples, although many Muslims refer to the Qur'an as the source for a prohibition against this... Most of the mosques which were built from the materials of, and on the sites of, demolished Hindu temples, are known to the Archaeological Survey of India, and their histories are related in local traditions. What replaced the images which were effaced, destroyed or removed was God's Word, in calligraphic Arabic-in the way that the Decalogue came to rule in the churches of the West in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Inscriptions in Arabic, quoting the Qur'an, state the date and founder of the mosque as well. The seventh to eighteenth centuries have also generated an enormous mass of literary evidence of Islamic iconoclasm in the area from Transoxania and Mghanistan to Tamil Nadu and Assam, the whole of which is littered with ruins of temples and monasteries. These texts speak of the destruction of 'places of worship' (ma'iibid, biya'), 'idol-houses' (buyut al-asniim, butkhiinahii), 'fire-temples' (kunishthii, iitashkhiinahii), and their budda stone idols, 'deaf and dumb idols', and so on.... In many of the early Islamic monuments in India, plunder from Hindu or Jain temples appears to have been a common source of building material.
    • Wink, André. Al-Hind the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest : 11Th-13th Centuries. BRILL.

Inscriptions on mosques edit

  • This fort was conquered and this Jãmi‘ Masjid built in the months of the year 587 by the Amîr, the great, the glorious commander of the Army, Qutb-ud-daula wad-dîn, the Amîr-ul-umarã Aibeg, the slave of the Sultãn, may God strengthen his helpers! The materials (?) of 27 idol temples, on each of which 2,000,000 Deliwãl had been spent were used in the (construction of) this mosque. God the Great and Glorious may have mercy on that slave, every one who is in favour of the good (?) builder prays for this faith.
  • The Blessed and Exalted Allãh says, ‘And verily, mosques are for Allãh only; hence invoke not anyone else with Allãh.’ This edifice was (originally) built by the infidels. After the advent (lit. time) of Islãm, it was converted into (lit. became) a mosque. Sermon was (delivered here) for sixty-seven years. Due to the sedition of the infidels, it was again destroyed. When during the reign of the Sultãn of the time, Ahmad, the affairs of each Iqtã attained magnificence, Babãdur, the Sarkhail, once again carried out repairs. Through the generosity of Divine munificence, it became like new.
    • Vijapur. Persian. Mansûrî Masjid, Vijapur:. ca. 1428 CE (for the reconstruction). Epigraphia Indica-Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1974, p. 11. quoted also in Hindu Temples, Shourie et al
  • He (Allãh) is Omniscient. Praise be to Allãh that by the decree of the Nourisher, a mosque has been converted out of a temple as a sign of religion, in the reign of the world-conquering emperor, the king who is asylum of the Faith and possessor of the crown, whose kingdom is young (i.e. flourishing), viz. Fîrûz Shãh Bahmanî, who is the cause of exuberant spring in the garden of religion, Abu’l-Fath the king who conquered (lit. on horseback). After the victory of the emperor, the chief of chiefs, Safdar (lit. the valiant commander) of the age, received (the charge of) the fort. The builder of this noble place of prayer is Muhammad ZaHîr Aqchî, the pivot of the Faith. He constructed in the year eight hundred and nine from the Migration of the Chosen (prophet Muhammad) this Ka‘ba like memento.
    • Manvi. Persian. ca. 1406-07 CE. Masjid at Manvi in the Raichur District of Karnataka: Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1962, p. 58. also quoted in Hindu Temples, Shourie et al
  • This centre became Muhammadan first by him (and) all the banners of religion were spread… This lion-man came from the centre of religion to this old temple with a large force. He broke the images of the false deities, and turned the idol temple into a mosque. When Rãi Bhoj saw this, through wisdom he embraced Islãm with the family of his brave warriors. This quarter became illuminated by the light of the Muhammadan law, and the customs of the infidels became obsolete and abolished. Now this tomb since those days has become the famous pilgrimage-place of the world. Graves from their oldness became levelled (to the ground), (and) there remained no mound on any grave. There was [no place] also for the retirement, wherein the distressed dervish could take rest… The Khaljî king MaHmûd Shãh who is such that by his justice the world has become adorned like paradise; he built afresh this old structure, and this house with its enclosure again became new… From the hijra it was 859 (AD 1455) that its (the building’s) date was written anew…”
    • Dhar. Persian. Shykh ‘Abdullãh Shãh Changãl in Dhar: . ca. 1455 CE. Raj Bhoj could be either Bhoja or Bhoja II. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1909-10, pp. 1-5. quoted also in Hindu Temples
  • I seek refuge in Allãh from (the mischief of) the accursed Satan (and begin) in the name of Allãh, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allãh! Allãh the Blessed and Exalted says, ‘And verily the mosques are for Allãh only; hence, invoke not anyone else with Allãh.’27 (The prophet), on him be peace, says ‘He who builds a mosque in the world, the Exalted Allãh builds for him a palace in Paradise.’ In the auspicious time of the government and peaceful time of Mahmûd Shãh, son of Muhammad Shãh, the sultãn, the Jãmi‘, mosque was constructed on the hill of the fort of Mãlûn (or Mãlwan) by Khãn-i-A‘zam Ulugh Khãn, may Allãh prolong his life for justice, generosity and benevolence, at the request of the thãnadãr Kabîr, (son of Diyã), the building was constructed by a servant of Ulugh Khãn (who is) magnanimous, just, generous, brave (and who) suppressed the wretched infidels. He eradicated the idol-houses and mine of infidelity, along with the idols in the enemy’s country with the blow of the sword, and made ready this abode with different kinds of stone, marble and marim (?). He made its walls and doors out of the stone of the idols; the back of every stone became the place for prostration of the believers… the date was Thursday, fifth of the month of Rajab of the year eight hundred and sixty at the time (5th April, AD 1462).
    • Malan. Persian. Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat: ca. 1462 CE. At the end of the inscription, we find a verse from the Qur’ãn (73.20). It says, “And whatever of good you send on beforehand for yourselves, you will find it with Allãh - that is the best and greatest in reward. And ask forgiveness of Allãh. Surely, Allãh is Forgiving, Merciful.” Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1963, pp. 27-29. also quoted in Hindu Temples
  • Allãh and His grace. When divine favour was bestowed on Khalîl Shãh, he constructed the Jãmi‘ Masjid for the decoration of Islãm; he ruined the idol-house and temple of the polytheists, (and) completed the Masjid and pulpit in its place. Without doubt, his building was accepted by Allãh. What a pleasing edifice became the calculation of its year.
    • Amod. Persian.Jãmi‘ Masjid in Amod. Gujarat. ca.1505-06. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1933-34, p. 36.
  • Dilãwar Khãn, the chief among the king’s viceroys, caused this mosque to be built which is like a place of shelter for the favourites. Infidelity has been subdued, and Islãm has triumphed because of him. The idols have bowed (to him) and the temples have been laid waste on account of him. The temples have been razed to the ground along with their foundations, and mosques and worship houses are flowing with riches.
    • Narwar. Arabic and Persian. Shãh Madãr in Narwar: Madhya Pradesh. ca 1552. Indian Antiquary, June. 1927, pp. 101-04.
  • Thanks that by the guidance of the Everlasting and Living (Allãh), this house of infidelity became the niche of prayer (i.e. mosque). As a reward for that, the generous Lord, constructed an abode for its builder in paradise: The Pen of Reason wrote (the words): the mosque of Nawwãb Muhsin Khãn for the date of its construction.
    • Jaunpur Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh: ca. 1567-68. Muhammad Fasîhu’d-Dîn writes in The Sharqi Monuments of Jaunpur (Allahabad, 1922) that the materials of the mosque were “taken from those of the temple of Lachman Das, Diwan of Khan-i-Zaman Ali Quli Khan… Akbar made over an the property of the Diwan to Nawab Mohsin Khan.” Epigraphia Indica -Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1969, p. 69-71
  • Oh Allãh! Oh Muhammad! O ‘Alî! Mir Muhammad Zamãn made up his mind, he opened the door of prosperity on himself with his own hand. He demolished thirty-three idol-temples (and) by divine grace, laid the foundation of a building in this abode of perdition. That the mosques are Allãh’s, therefore call not upon any one with Allãh (Qur’ãn LXXII, 18). He opened the arms of magnanimity with goodness and scattered gold, (and) laid the foundation of a mosque like the palace of paradise. I went in contemplation and sought its date from Wisdom. Wisdom was astonished and said, he built this blessed building.
    • Jami Masjid at Ghoda in the Poona District of Maharashtra: Persian. ca. 1586 . Epigraphia Indo-Mostemica, 1933-34. p. 24.
  • Destroyed the house of idols… and built a mosque, demolished… infidels… built. (Persian inscription) [The mosque is] “to last as long as the Moon and Sun,” and “those that cause obstruction (to it) will incur the sin of killing cow at Kãši [Varanasi].” (Telugu inscription).
    • Poonamalle, in the Sriperumbudur Taluka of Chingleput District in Tamil Nadu. Persian and Telugu. ca. 1653. Built in the reign of Sultãn ‘Abdullãh Qutb Shãh (AD 1626-1672) of the Qutb Shãhî dynasty of Golconda when Mîr Jumlã was the governor of the Carnatic province. “In the margin of the tablet,” writes the epigraphist, G. Yazdani, “two Persian couplets are carved, the letters of which have been abraded by the effect of weather. The following words, however, can be deciphered: ‘Destroyed the house of idols… and built a mosque, demolished… infidels… built’.” The epigraphist adds, “The superstructure of the mosque is built of brick and mortar, the base being of stone, which may have originally formed part of a Hindu temple.” Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1937-38, p. 53-54, quoted in Goel S. R. & Shourie Arun (1991). Hindu temples what happened to them. vol. 2
  • Ghãzî ‘Alî, lord of the age, victor in war… with the help and support of the victorious king, pivot (Kutb) of the world, king (Shãh) of the throne of the Dakhan, from one end to the other, he (Ghãzî ‘Alî) burnt away the sweepings of idolatry… with the fire of his sword (he) burnt in one moment the idol of the idol-worshippers; he killed all, that breaker-through (annihilator) of the army; when he captured the fort of Udayagiri, the world became full of Jessamine; (he) began to construct the mosque and the date was, ‘Founder of the mosque - (Ghãzî) ‘Alî the iconoclast’. (1) During the days of Abdulla Kutb Shãh, the pride of kings, Husain Khãn secured the blessings of God in that he constructed a new mosque and embellished it. May God accept it for the purpose of prayers. A thousand and sixty and ten and one elapsed from Hijra (AD 1660-61). He destroyed a temple and constructed the House of God. (2)
    • Udayagiri, Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh, Persian. Big (1) and small (2) mosque on Udayagiri Hill. Mosque in Udayagiri ca. 1642-43. Allen Buterworth and V. Venugopaul Chetty, Copper-plate and Stone Inscriptions of South India, Delhi Reprint, 1989, pp. 381-86. Ghãzî ‘Alî was presumably a general of Abdullah Qutb Shah.
  • In obedience to the commandment of the Almighty God, the Lord of both the worlds; and in love of… the exalted Prophet: During the reign of Shãhjahãn, the king of the seven climes, the viceregent of God (lit. Truth), the master of the necks of people… the benevolent and generous Prince Aurangzeb, whose existence is a blessing of the Merciful God on people: He built a house for worship with (all) the qualities of heaven: after the site has been previously occupied by the temple of infidels…
    • Inscription on Ãlamgîrî Masjid Mosque at Bodhan, Nizamabad District of Andhra Pradesh, ca. 1655. “The place,” writes G. Yazdani, “is strewn with sculptures of Jaina and Brahmanical professions of faith… Contemporary history does not mention Bodhan; but the array of antiquities and the discovery of both Hindu and Muslim inscriptions in recent times establish the fact that the town possessed considerable religious and strategic importance in early days.” About another mosque in the same town : “The Deval Masjid,” comments G. Yazdani, “as its name signifies, was originally a Hindu temple, and converted into a mosque by Muhammad Tughlaq at the time of his conquest of the Deccan. The plan of the building is star-shaped; it has undergone little alteration at the hands of Moslems excepting the removal of the shrine-chamber and the setting up of a pulpit. The original arrangement of the pillars remains undisturbed and the figures of tirthankaras may be noticed on some of them to this day.” Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1919-1920, p. 16-18
  • In the reign of Shãh ‘Ãlamgîr Muhîu’ddin Walmillah, the king of the world, Aurangzeb, who is adorned with justice, the lustre of Islãm shone forth to the glory of God; for ‘Abd-un-Nabi Khãn built this beautiful mosque. This second ‘Holy Temple’ caused the idols to bow down in worship. You will see the true meaning of the text, “Truth came and error vanished.’ Whilst I search for a tãrikh, a voice came from blissful Truth ordering me to say ‘Abd-un-Nabi Khãn is the builder of this beautiful mosque.’ May this Jãma Masjid of majestic structure shine forth for ever like the hearts of the pious! Its roof is high like aspirations of love; its court-yard is wide like the arena of thought.
    • Persian inscription on the Jãmi‘ Masjid in the center of Mathura. Persian. ca. 1660-1661 Reproduced and translated into English by F.S. Growse in his Mathura: A District Memoir, third edition (1883) reprinted from Ahmadabad in 1978, pp. 150-51. The builder of the mosque was ‘Abdu’n-Nabî Khãn, about whom Jadunath Sarkar writes, “Aurangzeb chose him as faujdãr of Mathurã probably because he, being ‘a religious man’ (as the Court history calls him), was expected to enter heartily into the Emperor’s policy of 'rooting out idolatry.’ Soon after joining this post Abdun Nabi built a Jama’ Masjid in the heart of the city of Mathurã (1661-1662) on the ruins of a Hindu temple. Later, in 1669, he forcibly removed the carved stone railing presented by Dara Shukoh to Keshav Rai’s temple. When in 1669, the Jat peasantry rose under the leadership of Gokla, the zamindar of Tilpat, Abdun Nabi marched out to attack them in the village of Bashara, but was shot dead during the encounter (about 10th May).” Jadunath Sarkar, Mãã’sir-i-‘Ãlamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947,, Vol. III, pp. 194-95. Quoted also in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Volume II. Chapter 6.
  • In the reign of the great Prince Ãlamgîr,
    Like the full shining moon,
    The enlightener of the world,
    Praise be to God that this happy place,
    Was by Motamid Khãn completed as an alms.
    It was the idol temple of the vile Gwãlî,
    He made it a mosque, like a mansion of paradise.
    The Khãn of enlightened heart,
    Nay light itself from head to foot,
    Displayed the divine light, like that of mid-day,
    He closed the idol temple:
    Exclamations rose from earth to heaven,
    When the light put far away the abode of darkness,
    Hatif said “light be blessed.
    • Inscription on mosque on the right hand side of the Ganeša Gate in the fort at Gwalior. Persian. ca. 1664. Archaeological Survey of India, Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-65 by Alexander Cunningham, Varanasi Reprint, 1972. p. 335.
  • In the name of Allãh, the Beneficent, the Merciful. There is no god except Allãh. Muhammad is His Prophet, verily. In the just reign of ‘Ãlamgîr, the king who is the asylum of Faith (and) whose universal generosity makes the sea and mine shame-stricken, one of his devoted servants, Muhammad Ashraf of god faith, saw a place where there was a temple. Like Khalîl (Prophet Abraham), he broke the temple at the command of God, and arranged for the construction of a very steadfast mosque. Year (AH) one thousand and seventy-eight. (AH 1078 = AD 1667).
    • Inscription on Jãmi‘ Masjid in Akot, Maharashtra. ca 1667. Persian. Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1963, p. 54.
  • God there is none but He and we worship not anyone except Him. (He) built a mosque in place of the temple, and wrote over its door the (Qur’ãnic) verse-‘Verily, We conquered.’ When the exalted mind of the Khedive, the refuge of Religion, supported by Divine Grace, Abu’z-Zafar MuHi-ud-dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahãdur ‘Ãlamgîr, the victorious, was inclined to, and occupied in, destroying the base of infidelity and darkness and to strengthen the foundation of Islamic religion, the humblest servant Mukhtãr Khãn al-Husaini as-Sabzwãrî, the governor of the province of Zafarãbãd, demolished the temple and built a mosque and laid out a garden which by the Grace of the Omniscient God were completed on the 25th of Rabi’-ul-Awwal in the 14th year of the auspicious reign (AH 1082) corresponding with the date contained in this hemistich-By the Grace of God this temple became a mosque…
    • Inscription on mosque in Bidar, Karnataka. Persian. ca. 1670. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1927-28, p. 33. also quoted in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • In Eternity when the Founder of the Fort of ‘blue firmament’ opened the gates of grace and benevolence and mercy into the face of mankind, since then a ball of ‘religion’ and ‘state’, justice and benevolence, was thrown in the pologround and arena of the world. Each of the rulers, monarchs and sovereigns came (into this world) in turn, and manifested majesty according to his ‘star’; (each) gallopped the horse of ambition, but could not bear away the ball, hence (each) threw down the ball of his head on the chaughãn of ‘prostration’. Now when the turn of Mas‘ûd Khãn came, he bore away the ball with the chaughãn of courage. Know him of pure faith and belief, and of mature fortune and glory; his justice has been praised by Naushîrwãn and his generosity (applauded) by Hãtim. The court of his (kingly) grace is (resplendent) like the Moon; but in the battle-field his awe destroys heads, his wrath and grace in respect of infidelity and faith add darkness and light (to each). Destroyed temples and idols and built mosques and Mihrãbs, levelled the mountains in several places and raised walls touching the sky…
    • Inscription on Lãd Khãn’s Masjid mosque in Siruguppa, Karnataka. Persian. ca. 1674. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1921-22, p. 8-12. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • In the name of God, the most Merciful and Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of all worlds, and blessing and peace be upon Muhammad, the apostle of God, and upon all his descendants and companions. O God, help Islãm and the Muslims by preserving the kingdom of Abu’z-.Zafar Muhîu’d-Dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahãdur ‘Ãlamgîr, the victorious king. Blessed be the ruler of the world, the refuge of the universe; whose name effaces the existence of sin. Since the time of Tîmur who conquered the kingdom of Romans, there has been no ruler just like the present king (Aurangzeb). The bow which he has stretched by his powerful arms, is such that the echo of its twing has reached the (distant) seas. By the sword, which the powerful king has wielded, panic has sprung (even) in the ocean. Although the king of the time is not a prophet, yet there is no doubt in his being a friend of God. He built the mosque and broke the idols (at a time) when 1103 years had passed from the flight (of the Prophet).
    • Inscription in Arabic and Persian on mosque in Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh. ca. 1692. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1937-38, p. 55. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • …The dust of whose feet is the crown of all. Farrukh Siyar the king, by the fame of whose justice, the creation and the world are in the cradle of repose. The sky of beneficence, Haidar Qulî Khãn during whose reign tyranny has become extinct… By the grace of God he completed it… He laid waste several idol temples, in order to make this strong building firm… (1) “[During] the period of the second ‘Ãlamgîr, king of the faith, Farrukh Siyar, whose sword became the guardian of the realm of Islãm. The hand of his justice struck a blow on the head of Naushîrwãn (i.e., surpassed him in justice), the country and the nation everywhere secured tranquility by his justice. Mîr ‘Ãlam, sincere friend of Haidar Qulî Khãn, a reservoir of water constructed in Sûrat, which became life-giving to the high and the low. Salsabîl (a fountain of Paradise) of the Ka‘ba of heart, this reservoir of the water of life. The inspirer communicated this chronogram and showed eloquence. As its bricks were taken from an idol temple, one rose and said, Mîr ‘Ãlam became the founder of this reservoir by revelation 1130. (2)
    • Two Persian inscriptions in Surat, Gujarat. Gopî Talão. ca. 1718. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica. 1933-34, p. 41-42. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • He is Allãh, may He be glorified, the Most Exalted. During the august rule of the emperor, king of the world, Muhammad Shãh, there was a well-established idol-house in Kuhmum which was strengthened and fortified by a small fortress. The Khãn of lofty dignity (and) of high position, the source of generosity and mine of beneficence, the Khan who is the master of (high) position, (namely), Muhammad Sãlih, who prospers in the rectitude of the affairs of Faith, son of Hãjî Muhammad Kãzim was the ruler of Kuhmum. He is one of the select grandees of the city of Tabrîz which place is celebrated for producing great persons. (He) razed to the ground the edifice of the idol-house, and also broke the idols in a manly fashion. (He) constructed on the site a suitable mosque, towering above the buildings of all. The Angel of the Unseen communicated the date of its construction in the words: A mosque pleasant in appearance, well founded, and elegant. The year of the migration of the Prophet, may peace (of God) be upon him, was forty-two, one hundred and one thousand. Year AH 1142.
    • Gachinala Masjid at Cumbum in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh: Persian. ca. 1729-30. Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1959, pp. 65-66. quoted in S.R. Goel: The Tip of An Iceberg (Indian Express, February 19, 1989) and in Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them.

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