Hasan Nizami

Persian language poet and historian

Hasan Nizami was a Persian language poet and historian, who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries. He migrated from Nishapur to Delhi in India, where he wrote Tajul-Ma'asir, the first official history of the Delhi Sultanate.


  • 'Such was the man who was sent on an embassy to Ajmir, in order that the Rai (Pithaura) of that country might see the right way without the intervention of the sword, and that he might incline from the track of opposition into the path of propriety, leaving his airy follies for the institutes of the knowledge of Allah, and acknowledging the expediency of uttering the words of martyrdom and repeating the precepts of the law, and might abstain from infidelity and darkness, which entails the loss of this world and that to come, and might place in his ear the ring of slavery to the sublime Court (may Allah exalt it!) which is the centre of justice and mercy, and the pivot of the Sultans of the worldand by these means and modes might cleanse the fords of good life from the sins of impurity'...'The army of Islam was completely victorious, and 'an hundred thousand grovelling Hindus swiftly departed to the fire of hell'... After this great victory, the army of Islam marched forward to Ajmir, where it arrived at a fortunate moment and under an auspicious bird, and obtained so much booty and wealth, that you might have said that the secret depositories of the seas and hills had been revealed....'While the Sultan remained at Ajmir, he destroyed the pillars and foundations of the idol temples, and built in their stead mosques and colleges, and the precepts of Islam, and the customs of the law were divulged and established'
    • About the conquest of Ajmer (Rajasthan) Hasan Nizami: Taju’l-Ma’sir, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. pp. 213-216. Also quoted (in part) in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
  • Hasan Nizami writes that after the suppression of a Hindu revolt at Kol (Aligarh) in 1193 AD, Aibak raised “three bastions as high as heaven with their heads, and their carcases became food for beasts of prey. The tract was freed from idols and idol-worship and the foundations of infidelism were destroyed.” In 1194 AD Aibak destroyed 27 Hindu temples at Delhi and built the Quwwat-ul-Islãm mosque with their debris. According to Nizami, Aibak “adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants”. In 1195 AD the Mher tribe of Ajmer rose in revolt, and the Chaulukyas of Gujarat came to their assistance. Aibak had to invite re-inforcements from Ghazni before he could meet the challenge. In 1196 AD he advanced against Anahilwar Patan, the capital of Gujarat. Nizami writes that after Raja Karan was defeated and forced to flee, “fifty thousand infidels were despatched to hell by the sword” and “more than twenty thousand slaves, and cattle beyond all calculation fell into the hands of the victors”. The city was sacked, its temples demolished, and its palaces plundered. On his return to Ajmer, Aibak destroyed the Sanskrit College of Visaladeva, and laid the foundations of a mosque which came to be known as ADhãî Din kã JhoMpaDã. Conquest of Kalinjar in 1202 AD was Aibak’s crowning achievement. Nizami concludes: “The temples were converted into mosques… Fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus.”
    • Hasan Nizami, quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 6
  • After settling the affairs of Ajmir, the conqueror marched "towards Dehli (may God preserve its prosperity and perpetuate its splendour !) which is among the chief (mother) cities of Hind. When he arrived at Dehli, he saw " a fortress which in height and strength had not its equal nor second throughout the length and breadth of the seven climes." The army encamped around the fort. " A torrent of blood flowed on the field of battle, and it became evident to the chiefs that if they did not seek for safety from the sword of the king of the earth, and if they should deliver into the hands of Satan the time of option and the reins of good counsel, the condition of Dehli would be like that of Ajmir ; so from the dread of kingly punishment, the Rai and mukaddams of that country placed their heads upon the line of slavery, and their feet within the circle of obedience, and made firm the conditions of tribute [mdlguzdrt) and the usages of service.
    • About the conquest of Delhi. Hasan Nizami. Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. pp. 216. Also quoted in Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts.
  • 'The Government of the fort of Kohram and of Samana was made over by the Sultan to Kutbu-d din... [who] by the aid of his sword of Yemen and dagger of India became established in independent power over the countries of Hind and Sind' He purged by his sword the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and freed the whole of that country from the thorn of God-plurality, and the impurity of idol-worship, and by his royal vigour and intrepidity, left not one temple standing'
    • Kuhram and Samana (Punjab) . Hasan Nizami: Taju’l-Ma’sir, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. II : Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 8 Volumes, Allahabad Reprint, 1964. pp. 216-217 . Also partially quoted in B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
  • A severe action ensued from dawn to mid-day, when "the army of idolatry and damnation turned its back in flight from the line of battle.... fifty thousand infidels were despatched to hell by the sword... and from the heaps of the slain, the hills and the plains became of one level.
    • Elliot and Dowson, Vol 2. 230.

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