Timur (9 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), historically known as Amir Timur Gurkani and Tamerlane, was a Turco-Mongol conqueror. He founded Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest military commanders in history. Referred to himself as the "Sword of Islam" and son-in-law of Genghis Khan, Timur patronized educational and Islamic institutions. He converted nearly all the Borjigin leaders to Islam during his lifetime. He was the ancestor of Sultan Ulugh Begh, an astronomer and mathematician, and Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire.
Quotes about TimurEdit
- Tamerlane's [Timur's] conquering activities were carried on from the Volga to Damascus, from Smyrna to the Ganges and the Yulduz, and his expeditions into these regions followed no geographical order. He sped from Tashkent to Shiraz, from Tabriz to Khodzhent, as enemy aggression dictated; a campaign in Russia occurred between two in Persia, an expedition into Central Asia between two raids into the Caucasus.…[Timur] at the end of every successful campaign left the country without making any dispositions for its control except Khwarizm and Persia, and even there not until the very end. It is true that he slaughtered all his enemies as thoroughly and conscientiously as the great Mongol, and the pyramids of human heads left behind him as a warning example tell their own tale. Yet the survivors forgot the lesson given them and soon resumed secret or overt attempts at rebellion, so that it was all to do again. It appears too, that these blood soaked pyramids diverted [Timur] from the essential objective. Baghdad, Brussa (Bursa), Sarai, Kara Shahr, and Delhi were all sacked by him, but he did not overcome the Ottoman Empire, the Golden Horde, the khanate of Mogholistan, or the Indian Sultanate; and even the Jelairs of Iraq Arabi rose up again as soon as he had passed. Thus he had to conquer Khwarizm three times, the Ili six or seven times (without ever managing to hold it for longer than the duration of the campaign), eastern Persia twice, western Persia at least three times, in addition to waging two campaigns in Russia.…[Timur's] campaigns “always had to be fought again,” and fight them again he did.
- Rene Grousset. The Empire of the Steppes quoted in Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism.
- As specimens of those acts mention may be made of his massacre of the people of Sistan 1383–4, when he caused some two thousand prisoners to be built up into a wall; his cold-blooded slaughter of a hundred thousand captive Indians near Dihli [Delhi] (December, 1398); his burying alive of four thousand Armenians in 1400–1, and the twenty towers of skulls erected by him at Aleppo and Damascus in the same year; and his massacre of 70,000 of the inhabitants of Isfahan (November, 1387).
- E.G. Browne. A Literary History of Persia. quoted in Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism.
- It is the Qur'an to which he continually appeals, the imams and [Sufi] dervishes who prophesy his success [emphasis added]. His wars were to influence the character of the jihad, the Holy War, even when—as was almost always the case—he was fighting Muslims. He had only to accuse these Muslims of lukewarmness, whether the Jagataites of the Ili and Uiguria, whose conversion was so recent, or the Sultans of Delhi who…refrained from massacring their millions of Hindu subjects.
- Rene Grousset. The Empire of the Steppes, quoted in Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism.
- Timur undertook many of his campaigns in the interest of religious order, and we find that almost all mentions of Sharia in [Nizan al-Dim] Shami's Zafarnameh occur as justification for Timur's conquests. His campaigns against the kings of Georgia, the Shi'ite sayyids of Amul in Mazandaran [a province in northern Iran], and the non-Muslim populations on his route to India were all ostensibly taken for the preservation of Sharia; and Shami even invoked the sanctions of religion in explaining Timur's campaigns against the Ottomans. Before beginning his campaigns in the Middle East, Timur took care to get the blessing of Muslim men of religion.
- Manz. “Tamerlane and the Symbolism of Sovereignty, quoted in Bostom, A. G. (2015). Sharia versus freedom: The legacy of Islamic totalitarianism.
- ...In vain, I see, men worship Mahomet:
My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell,
Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends,
And yet I live untouch'd by Mahomet.
There is a God, full of revenging wrath,
From whom the thunder and the lightning breaks,
Whose scourge I am, and him will I obey.
- Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great Part II Act V Tamburlaine, scene i, lines 177–183
- My passions, from that hapless hour,
Usurp’d a tyranny, which men
Have deem’d, since I have reach’d to power
My innate nature — be it so...
- Edgar Allan Poe, TAMERLANE
- The riches of India tempted him, and the weakness of the Delhi government provided him with a favorable opportunity. By invoking the propagation of the Islamic faith, he obtained the consent of his nobles. His invasion of India was the most ferocious that the country had ever known up to then.
- A Brief History of India by Alain Daniélou
- The Alcoran [Qur’an] says the highest dignity man can attain is that of making war in person against the enemies of his religion. Mahomet [Muhammad] advises the same thing, according to the tradition of the mussulman [Muslim] doctors: wherefore the great Temur always strove to exterminate the infidels, as much to acquire that glory, as to signalise himself by the greatness of his conquests.
- Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi, a fifteenth-century Persian who wrote a biography of Tamerlane. Marozzi, Tamerlane, 394. Quoted from Spencer, Robert (2018). The history of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS.
- Do you know that the Barbican Center Theater of London has censored Tamburlaine the Great, the drama written in 1587 by Christopher Marlowe? At a certain point of the drama, remember, Christopher Marlowe makes Tamburlaine burn the Koran. While the Koran burns, he also makes him challenge the Prophet by shouting: «Now, if you have the power, come down and make a miracle!». And, given the fact that these words and the Koran burning infuriated local Muslims, the Barbican Theater has cut off the whole scene.
- Oriana Fallaci. The Force of Reason, 2006
- In the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, we have the terror spread by the infamous Timur the Lame, otherwise known as Tamerlane or the "bloody and insatiate Tamburlaine" of Marlowe's play... According to the "Zafer Nameh," our main source of information for Tamer- lane's campaigns, written at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Tamerlane set forth to conquer India solely to make war on the enemies of the Muslim faith. He considered the Muslim rulers of northern India far too lenient toward pagans, that is to say, the Hindus. The "Zafer Nameh" tells us that "The Koran emphasizes that the highest dignity to which man may attain is to wage war in person upon the enemies of the Faith. This is why the great Tamerlane was always concerned to exterminate the infidels, as much to acquire merit as from love of glory." Under the pretext that the hundred thousand Hindu prisoners at Delhi presented a grave risk to his army, Tamerlane ordered their execution in cold blood. He killed thousands, and had victory pillars built from the severed heads. On his way out of India, he sacked M i r a j , pulled down the monuments, and flayed the Hindu inhabitants alive, "an act by which he fulfilled his vow to wage the Holy War," This strange champion of Islam, as Grousset calls him, plundered and massacred "through blindness or closemindedness to a certain set of cultural values."
- Ibn Warraq, Why I am not a Muslim, 1995. p 234-5