Ruins of Somnath temple in 1895 (Left), Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (Right).

On Sunday, Indranil Rajguru, the Congress candidate from Rajkot, created a stir ahead of the Gujarat state assembly elections by claiming that Allah and Mahadev are the same. “Whether I go to Somnath with Hindu pilgrims in a bus or with Muslim pilgrims to Ajmer in a train, it gives me equal happiness,” he remarked.

“In my opinion, there is Allah in Somnath and Mahadev in Ajmer,” the Congress leader added. He subsequently said that those who wish to divide will not prevail before saying Allahu Akbar. Given Rajguru’s comments, here’s a sneak peek at the horrific persecution history of Hindus at both places referred by him.

The desecration of the Somnath idol by Mahmud of Ghazni, the “believer” for whom all Hindus were Kafirs

One of the defining features of centuries of Islamic invasions in India was the intense animosity they harboured against Hindus, which expressed itself from time to time in their perverted desire to denigrate Hindus and force them to embrace Islam. To that aim, the Islamic invaders not only robbed the fabled wealth of temples to fill their bags but also tried to humiliate Hindus by demolishing temples and desecrating the idols that lived within them.

Perhaps no one personified this hate of Hindus and their deities more fiercely than Mahmud of Ghazni, who led 17 invasions against the venerable Hindu temple of Somnath and made no secret of his dislike for Hindu beliefs and statues of Hindu Gods. Mahmud of Ghazni was equally fanatical about conquering India in order to spread Islam, despite the fact that his main objective in invading India was to pillage its fabled wealth. He made his sixteenth trip to India in 1025, during which, he pillaged the revered deity of Somnath. “Somnath” is Hindi for “moon master.” One of the twelve jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva is the Somnath temple in Gujarat, India.

The subjugation of kafirs and the humiliation of their faith were the primary goals of the Islamic conquests in medieval India. In addition to leading many assaults on the Somnath Temple to plunder its legendary wealth, the Mahmud of Ghazni also attempted to demean Hindus by destroying the idol of one of their most revered deities.

According to historical accounts, during his 16th raid on the Somnath Temple, he smashed and broke the idol of Lord Somnath into four pieces. After successfully subduing defenders of the Somnath Temple, Mahmud of Ghazni entered the temple, where he saw the majestic idol of Lord Somnath. On seeing the idol, anger coursed through him and he lifted his mace and attacked with such ferocity that the reportedly five-yard-long idol of Lord Somnath was broken into pieces.

Remains of Somnath temple in 1895. (Image: Wikimedia commons)

Two of the four fragments were taken to Ghazni (in Afghanistan), one was deposited at the threshold of the Jama Masjid of Ghazni, and the other at the door of his own palace. The remaining two fragments were sent to Mecca and Medina to be buried inside the mosques there.

In Tariki-e-Alfi, an account of historical work compiled by a committee appointed by Akbar, it is mentioned that after defenders of Somnath temple were subjugated, Brahmins offered Mahmud of Ghazni an unprecedented amount of wealth in exchange for leaving the ling of Somnath unharmed. However, Mahmud replied to them that he would love to be called Butshikan (destroyer of idols) instead of ButParast (lover of idols) in the court of Allah after he dies. He turned down the offer from the Brahmins and destroyed the idol of Somnath.

Tariki-e-Alfi reference.

Al-Beruni, an Islamic scholar during the time of Mahmud of Ghazni, reiterated in his body of work that the fragments of the Somnath idol were buried inside the Jama Masjid in Ghazni and under the entrance of the Sultan’s palace so that people would walk on it while visiting the mosque and the palace and continue to insult the idol worshippers.

The gory story of Ajmer Sharif Dargah

While the despotism of Islamic rulers and the atrocities perpetrated on innumerable Hindus is frequently mentioned, one facet of Islamic dominance in India is almost always overlooked. Instead, it is adored, venerated, and presented as the face of Islam’s tolerant, forgiving, and loving side. Sufism is that tool of Islamic rulers which was effectively used by them during their rule in India. Sufism is sometimes defined as a mystic, melodic Islamic doctrine in which saints and followers seek a direct personal encounter with Allah.

Though Sufism may have been tolerant at one time, it evolved in a violent manner. One of the most popular Sufi shrines is that of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan.

The history of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti is violent and not at all compassionate. The book ‘Islamic Jihad, A Legacy of Forced Conversions, Imperialism, and Slavery’ by MA Khan gives some information on the actual truth about the Sufi ‘saints’.

Book by MA Khan.

According to records, the venerated Khawaja of the Ajmer Dargah harboured a strong animosity towards Hindus. He was one of the earliest Sufi saints to arrive in India when Delhi was ruled by Sultan Iltutmish. When Chishti arrived in Ajmer, he supposedly spotted a number of temples surrounding the Anasagar lake and swore to demolish them.

Khan writes further that every day, Khwaja’s followers used to bring a cow and they used to slaughter it near a prominent temple where the local Raja and Hindus used to pray, and cook kebabs from the cow’s meat to eat, just to show contempt towards the local Hindus.

Chishti had come to India to fight Jihad on the side of Sultan Muhammad Ghauri against the Hindu King Prithviraj Chauhan. Chishti had credited himself for Prithviraj’s capture, writing, “We have seized Pithaura (Prithviraj) and handed him to the army of Islam.”

Moinuddin and forced conversions of Hindus

Khan writes that none of the Sufi saints had come to India with the idea of ‘peace and love.’ Instead, they had come as a part of invading armies or had participated in Jihadi wars against Hindu kings, aimed at capturing their kingdoms and wealth and enslavement of their people. While Moinuddin fought for Mohammad Ghauri, Nizamuddin Aulia fought for Sultan Alauddin.

From ‘Islamic Jihad,’ a book by MA Khan

Khan writes, Moinuddin and Nizamuddin were among the most revered Sufi saints. However, instead of adopting a missionary approach toward spreading Islam, they were the spiritual and moral supporters of the bloody Jihad waged by Islamic invaders. In Kashmir, it was the Sufis who had inspired the destruction of Hindu temples, the slaughter of Hindus, and their forced conversions.

Khan further writes that while Muslim rules were incessantly undertaking bloody wars against Hindus, calling it Jihad, resulting in the slaughter and enslavement of tens of thousands of Hindus, not a single Sufi saint ever objected to this cruel practice. They never asked the Islamic rulers to stop conversions by the sword and said that they can achieve it by peaceful means. Instead, they lent the rulers their unflinching support, and even actively participated in their wars.

It is said that Khwaja Moinuddin actively took part in Ghori’s war against Prithviraj Chauhan. Additionally, he is charged with supporting slavery, abduction, and forced conversions of Hindu women. One cannot overlook the other key details of slavery, brutality, and bloodshed heaped upon numerous Hindus in order to erect the edifices of this notion, even though Sufism has been successfully promulgated as a mystic, musical, and “cool” version of Islam with ideas sold commercially by music artistes and Bollywood.

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