What Happened To The Hindu Culture When The Ghaznavids Attacked

Maḥmūd

Mamd, full name Yamn al-Dawlah Ab al-Qsim Mamd ibn Sebüktigin (born 971; died April 30?, 1030, Ghazna), sultan of the kingdom of Ghazna (998–1030), which included what is now Afghanistan and northeastern Iran but eventually expanded to include northwestern India and most of Iran as a result of his conquests. He developed his capital, Ghazna (now Ghazni, Afghanistan), into a cultural center on par withBaghdad’s cultural importance (now inIraq).

Rise to power and expansion of his empire

Mamd was the son of Sebüktigin, a Turkish slave who, in 977, rose to power in Ghazna and created the Ghaznavid dynasty, which lasted until the 13th century. When Mamd succeeded to the throne in 998, he had already demonstrated exceptional administrative competence and statesmanship. He was just 27 years old at the time. Ghazna was a very minor kingdom at the time of his ascension. With his young and ambitious nature, Mamd aspired to be a great monarch, and over the course of more than 20 successful expeditions, he amassed the wealth that enabled him to lay the foundations of a vast empire that eventually included the Kashmir and Punjab regions, as well as a large portion of Iran.

Mamd of Ghazna had a significant influence on Islamic artwork.

  • Ma’md was able to strengthen his position in Ghazna throughout the first two years of his rule.
  • Upon receiving this recognition, the caliph encouraged Mamd to continue his conquests by recognizing him as the lawful ruler of the countries he had captured.
  • The first large-scale campaign began in 1001 and finished in 1026, with the last campaign ending in 1026.
  • Jaipal, the king of the Punjab, was his most significant adversary in northern India.
  • In a fight at Peshawar (now in Pakistan), the Indians, although being outnumbered and out-equipped, were forced to retreat under the onslaught of Muslim horsemen, leaving 15,000 dead in their wake.
  • The raja, however, could not stomach his defeat and, after abdicating in favor of his son, Anandpal, he ascended his own funeral pyre and perished in the flames of the blazing pyre.
  • Some responded in person, while others dispatched armies.

When, in 1008, Mamd finally encountered the colossal army that had been assembled, the two armies were forced to stand facing one other between Und and Peshawar for 40 days.

With such violence, a force of 30,000 savage Khokar tribesmen rushed both flanks of the sultan’s army, prompting Mamd to order a withdrawal from his position.

The Indians, assuming that their commander was about to abandon them, fled from the battlefield, which was strewn with their dead and dying, and were never seen again.

The capture of the affluent city of Kannaujin in 1018 was particularly noteworthy.

Sometimes, like in his battles against Gwalior in 1022 and Kalinjar in 1023, Mamd was unable to subjugate the fortifications but was able to extract tribute from the kings of such fortresses.

As a result, he was able to return to Ghazna with enormous sums of treasure. Mohammad Ali and the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Editorial Board

Later years and significance

A Turkish slave named Sebüktigin, Mamd was the son of the monarch of Ghazna, Sebüktigin I, who in 977 unified Ghazna under the leadership of the Ghaznavid dynasty. As a young man of 27 years old, Mamd had already demonstrated exceptional administrative abilities and statesmanship when he succeeded to the throne in the year 998. During the time of his ascension, the kingdom of Ghazna was a minor state. With his young and ambitious nature, Mamd aspired to be a great monarch, and over the course of more than 20 successful expeditions, he amassed the wealth that enabled him to lay the foundations of a vast empire that eventually included the Kashmir and Punjab regions, as well as a large portion of Iranian territory.

  1. At the court of Mamd, in Ghazna (modern-day Ghazni, Afghanistan), the first notable center of Persian literature was established.
  2. Despite the fact that he was a sovereign monarch, Mamd pledged his nominal loyalty to the Abbsidcaliph in Baghdad for political purposes.
  3. The legend has it that Mamd had promised himself that he would invade India once a year and that he had in reality undertaken around 17 such expeditions.
  4. The early voyages were directed towards the Punjab and northeastern India, but Mamd’s last mission took him all the way to Somnathon, on the southern coast of what is now Gujarat State in India.
  5. During the invasion of India by Mamd in 1001, Jaipal met him with 12,000 horse warriors, 30,000 foot soldiers, and 300 elephants, all of whom were under the command of Jaipal.
  6. Jaipal, along with 15 of his family and officers, was ultimately liberated after falling into the hands of the victors.
  7. As a last resort, Anandpal turned to the other Indian rajas.

In order to fund a massive army, the Indian ladies sold their jewelry.

Following several failed attempts, the sultan ultimately succeeded in luring the Indians to his side.

However, at that crucial moment, Anandpal’s elephant got panic-stricken and fled the scene of the accident.

During the following years, Mamd’s progress into the heart of India was aided by the historic victory in 1008; The conquest of the prosperous city of Kannaujin in 1018 was particularly noteworthy.

While he was unable to subjugate some of the fortifications in his battles against Gwalior in 1022 and Kalinjar in 1023, Mamd was able to extort tribute from their kings at other times.

Consequently, he came home to Ghazna with vast sums of loot in his possession. The Editors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Mohammad Ali

Did arrival of Muslim invaders a thousand years ago destroy Hindu culture?

The presence of Muslim invaders in India over a thousand years ago had a significant impact on Hindu culture. There was damage, mayhem, and trauma, just as there would be in any invasion. As a result of this invasion, the name Hindu Kush in Afghanistan literally means ‘killer of Hindu (slaves)’ during the early phase of the invasion, and the ruins of Vijayanagara, built by a confederacy of Muslim monarchs during the latter period, are testament to this. The harm, on the other hand, was neither irreversible nor permanent.

  1. A result of the Himalayas bordering the north and the sea bordering the south, the Indian subcontinent has remained largely isolated from the rest of the globe for thousands of years.
  2. Others came to trade, some came to pillage, some came to govern, and some came in search of a better place to call their own.
  3. Thus, India has always had foreign influences on its history, ranging from Egyptians and Persians to Arabs and Chinese.
  4. Emperor Jahangir and the women of the zenana are enjoying the holiday of Holi together this year.
  5. The prominent spices we associate with Hinduism are listed below, however not all of them originated in India or at the same time.
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The arrival of the Greeks, who introduced the concept of stone temples containing stone images of heroes and gods, which was in stark contrast to the portable imageless rituals of Vedic culture, or of local tribes’ river, mountain, and tree gods, were examples of foreign challenges that led to the formation of local religions.

  • Some spices are adamant about being classified as non-Indian.
  • The concept of “pure” culture is held by many Indians and Hindus, just as it is held by believers in any other civilization.
  • When one considers the effect of the Portuguese on India, it becomes clear that this was the case.
  • Many purists do not consider potatoes to be an alien vegetable.
  • Islam first appeared in Arabia 1,400 years ago.
  • As a rule, when we speak of Islamic invasion, we are referring to the invasion of northern India (Punjab and the Gangetic plains), which spread to the east (Bengal), and subsequently the rest of the subcontinent.
  • Please keep in mind that historians avoid using the phrase Islamic invasions and instead prefer to use terms such as Arab, Turk, and Mongol/Mughal invasions for two reasons.

Second, they do not wish to use the common slang or jargon.

Their argument is that since Islam is not associated with violence, how can Hinduism be associated with casteism?

During the initial stages of the Islamic invasion, the vast majority of India was undisturbed.

If this had happened, it would have sent shockwaves across the world.

While some scholars believe that the Bhagavad Gita, which dates back 2,000 years, has references to bhakti and monotheism, others believe that the overwhelming acceptance of bhakti and monotheistic concepts in the previous 1,000 years is the consequence of Islamic influence.

Image courtesy of Google The second phase of the Islamic invasion was marked by a tremendous deal of violence.

In addition to the religious passion to rid the nation of idolaters, religious fervour also supplied fuel for these attacks.

The debate over how much harm was physical vs how much was psychological, how much was genuine versus how much was propaganda, how much was motivated by economics and how much by religious fervour can go on indefinitely and without end.

A large number of Turk, Afghan, and Mongol commanders have opted to live in India over time.

Sultanates arose in the Bengal and Deccan areas starting approximately 600 years ago, according to historical records.

Several temples in India, including Madurai in the south, Ujjain in the center, Puri in the east, and Somnath in the west, have preserved memories of Muslim monarchs’ pillage in local tradition.

Some of these events occurred as a result of Islam.

A large number of new grand temples have been built on ancient sites by local Hindu kings in the last thousand years to demonstrate their power, while many ancient temples in places such as Kashmir, Gujarat, and the Gangetic plains have been destroyed, their pillars being used to build mosques in their places of origin.

Another point to mention is that most of the big monuments we see in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, such as the Meenakshi temple in Madurai, are about 400 years old and were constructed by Nayaka kings.

Many Hindu temples in India, including those in the southern state of Madurai, central India’s Ujjain, eastern India’s Puri, and western India’s Somnath (shown above), have preserved recollections of Muslim monarchs’ looting in local folklore.

Image courtesy of Google Within the last thousand years, we have seen the emergence of various sacred Hindu literatures in regional languages, including the majority of Ramayanas and Mahabharatas that can be found in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Assamese, Odia, Bengali (Bengali), Gujarati (Marathi), Marwari (Hindi), and Telugu (Hindi).

While oral tradition has always been the foundation of Hinduism, manuscripts of the Bhagavata or the Ramayana have begun to be enshrined and worshipped in many Hindu communities, such as the Bhagavata-ghara in Odisha, indicating the increasing popular value placed on books, which is clearly influenced by Islamic influences.

  • Eventually, Holi evolved into a royal celebration, celebrated by both Hindu and Muslim emperors.
  • These are on exhibit at a variety of museums across the world.
  • Those who converted to Islam or Christianity continued to practice their family’s vocation and maintained their caste status after their conversion.
  • Several Rajasthani musicians who performed Hindu bardic lore, for example, belonged to Muslim communities.
  • When it comes to Kerala, there is the Malbari Muslims’ Mapilla Ramayana, in which we can discover phrases such as shariat, which are utilized in the Ramayana.
  • Muslims referred to holy men as pirs at various shrines, while Hindus referred to them as jogis.
  • The costumes had altered.

Shrinathji’s temples at Nathdwara were decorated with Mughal-style vesha, which was one of the many different outfits worn by the god.

In several regions of the southern region, the deities were guarded by Muslim soldiers and accompanied by Muslim companions such as Vavar of Ayyappa-swami and Mutthala Ravuttan of Draupadi-Amman, who were both Muslim.

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) According to one view, Islam in India developed a distinctively Indian flavor through time.

It engaged in severe religious battles with Christianity throughout Europe.

In India, Islam became the religion of certain castes and communities.

Alternatively, there were butchers from “lower castes” who also happened to be Muslims.

Although India was historically divided into castes, the British preferred to consider it as a collection of faiths rather than a collection of classes.

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British anthropologists attempted to shoehorn the 3,000 jatis of India into the four varnas of the Vedas, but failed miserably.

Indians might very easily become sidetracked by communal politics as a result of religious politics.

We are now confronted with caste, religious, and language politics, which frequently serve to divert our attention away from the country’s economic woes.

History, politics, economics, culture, and religion are all extremely complicated subjects to learn about and understand.

In many cases, incomplete truths are more dangerous than outright lies.

Idea transplantation and transformation are common occurrences in the world.

As a result, many Americans practice yoga without realizing that it has Indian (or should we say Hindu) roots, while many Indians drink coffee without realizing that it has Arabic (or should we say Muslim) roots. Furthermore, read: How does a Hindu prayer vary from a Christian or Muslim prayer?

The Ghaznavids and Seljuqs

The Seljuq Turks in southern Sogdia and Khwarazm were recruited by Mahmud of Ghazni after his raid on the Qarakhanid Empire to his north was repelled in 1008. Mahmud of Ghazni rallied the Seljuq Turks to protect his kingdom from Qarakhanid punishment. The Seljuqs were an enslaved Turkic tribe who had been utilized as a defensive force by the Samanids and had converted to Islam in the 990s. They were originally from Iran. The security of his native country having been attained, Mahmud now shifted his focus back to the Indian Subcontinent.

They were attempting to unite the entire Muslim world under the banner of the Ismaili sect in preparation for the coming of the Islamic messiah, an apocoplyptic war, and the end of the world, all of which were predicted to occur at the beginning of the twelfth century, according to Islamic tradition.

  1. They were the main competitors of the Sunni Abbasids for control of the Islamic world’s political leadership.
  2. Sunni governors pledged formal loyalty to the Abbasid caliph while in reality sharing power with the local Hindu monarchs in their provinces of jurisdiction.
  3. In contrast, Ismaili missionaries found a willing audience among Sunnis and Hindus who were disgruntled with the existing quo in their new lands.
  4. At this juncture, the Abbasids, who were reinforced by their Ghaznavid vassals, were besieged by their Fatimid adversaries on both the east and west flanks.
  5. It would only take a short journey across the land of Ghaznavid adversaries, the Hindu Shahis, for the Ismailis of Multan to launch an attack on the Ghaznavids.
  6. As a result, he became well-known for his intolerance of various Islamic traditions.
  7. It was still a major center of Buddhist tantric practice, and both King Indrabhuti and Padmasambhava had originated from Oddiyana previous to the arrival of the Hindu Shahi, but it lacked any active Buddhist monasteries.

As a result, Mahmud plundered and destroyed their possessions.

1001 to 1011), Jayapala’s successor, had now made an alliance with the Afghan capital of Multan.

His forces were known as “ghazi,” or “warriors for the religion,” and Mahmud referred to his campaign as a “jihad” in order to maintain traditional Sunni adherence against the heresy of Ismaili Shia.

He would gain legitimacy for his own authority as an Abbasid vassal if he played such a role, and the loot he gathered would be used to fund Abbasid anti-Fatima efforts around the world.

Its riches only fueled Mahmud’s desire for additional riches in the east, which he found in the west.

He destroyed an alliance between Anandapala and the Rajput kings of present-day Indian Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, and thereby reclaimed the Indian subcontinent for himself.

Buddhist monastery at Mathura, south of present-day Delhi, were among the Buddhist temples that he demolished during his reign.

1011 – 1021), who was consolidating his forces at Lohara fort in the western foothills leading to Kashmir at the time (depending on whose version one believes).

It is uncertain how significant a part Samgrama Raja (r.

Prajnarakshita, Naropa’s pupil, is credited with stopping the Ghaznavid monarch through the recitation of Buddhist mantras by the Ghaznavid king, according to ancient Buddhist traditions.

However, because the Ghaznavid army were striking in the direction of Kashmir, the majority of refugees did not feel safe going to that region.

Finally, the Ghaznavid jihad in the Indian subcontinent was originally focused at the Ismailis, not the Buddhists, Hindus, or Jains, as is commonly believed.

While Turkic soldiers demolished temples and monasteries as part of their early conquest of territories, unlike the Umayyad campaign three centuries before, they did not strive to impose Islam on all of their new subjects as they did during the Umayyad campaign three centuries earlier.

The pragmatic Mahmud employed unconverted Hindu warriors and even a Hindu general against Shiite Muslims who fought him in Buyid Iran, and the results were favorable. His major targets remained the Shiites and the Ismailis throughout his career.

Ghaznavid Attitudes toward Buddhism outside India

As a result of his association with Mahmud’s invasion of the Indian subcontinent, Al-Biruni, the Persian historian, wrote positively about Buddhism and claimed that Indians referred to Buddha as a “Prophet. ” Possibly, this implies that he is familiar with the Middle Persian termburxan (prophet), which is used in Buddhist literature from the Sogdian and Uighur civilizations to refer to “Buddha,” and earlier in Manichaean texts to refer to “all prophets.” The fact that the Buddhists were acknowledged as “people of the Book” and, together with the Hindus and Jains, were granted protected subject dhimmi status after the first destruction may possibly be indicative of this.

  1. Further evidence in favor of this second conclusion comes from the fact that the Ghaznavids did not persecute Buddhism in their earlier possessions in Sogdia, Bactria, or Kabul, as previously stated.
  2. At the turn of the century, al-Biruni wrote that several Buddhist monasteries were still in operation on the southern boundaries of Sogdia.
  3. In both Persian and Arabic literature from the ninth to the twelfth century, there were numerous allusions to the beauty of Buddhist constructions, demonstrating that monasteries and mosques coexisted harmoniously beside one another.
  4. Persian poets frequently used the simile “Nawbahar” to describe palaces, implying that they were as magnificent as a “Nawbahar” (Nava Vihara).
  5. As a result, the poetic representation of pristine beauty as someone with “the moon-shaped face of a Buddha” came to be known.
  6. It connotes the ideal of asexual beauty, and it may be applied equally to both men and women, regardless of gender.
  7. To begin with, the word was used to both Buddhist and Hindu images, as well as the temples that housed them, when the Umayyads reigned in the region.
  8. “Buddha” and “idol,” for example, were both given good and negative connotations later in the history of the word.
  9. If the Ghaznavids accepted Buddhism in their non-Indian countries and even patronized literary works celebrating the art of Buddhism, it appears improbable that their long-term strategy on the subcontinent was one of conversion by the sword, as some historians have suggested.

As was the case with the Umayyads, the Ghaznavids’ method of conquest did not correspond to their method of governing.

The Decline of the Ghaznavids and Rise of the Seljuqs

As a result of his association with Mahmud’s invasion of the Indian subcontinent, Al-Biruni, the Persian historian, wrote positively about Buddhism and claimed that Indians referred to Buddha as a “Prophet.” Perhaps this shows that he is familiar with the Middle Persian termburxan, which means prophet, and which is used for “Buddha” in Sogdian and Uighur Buddhist literature, as well as earlier in Manichaean texts, to refer to all prophets, including himself.

  1. The fact that the Buddhists were acknowledged as “people of the Book” and, together with the Hindus and Jains, were granted protected subject dhimmi status after the first destruction may also be evidence of this.
  2. When the year 982 came around, Buddhist paintings could still be seen at Nava Vihara, and the huge Buddha sculptures carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan in central Afghanistan were still in good repair.
  3. The Ghaznavids, like their predecessors the Samanids, were committed to promoting Persian culture and civilization.
  4. To give an example, Asadi Tusi’s 1048 masterpiece, Garshasp Name, describes the magnificence of the Kabul monastery of Subhar.
  5. Images of Buddha, notably Maitreya, who is considered to be the future Buddha, were shown with moon discs behind their heads in Nava Vihara and Bamiyan, respectively.
  6. When used to men and women, it connotes the ideal of asexual beauty, which is applicable to both.
  7. To begin with, the word was used to both Buddhist and Hindu images, as well as the temples that housed them, when the Umayyads reigned over the region.
  8. “Buddha” and “idol,” for example, were both given good and negative connotations later in the history of the term.
  9. If the Ghaznavids accepted Buddhism in their non-Indian countries and even patronized literary works glorifying the art of Buddhism, it appears improbable that their long-term strategy on the subcontinent was one of conversion by the sword, as some historians have claimed.

As was the case with the Umayyads, the Ghaznavids’ method of conquest was not the same as their method of governing in the region.

The Political and Religious Situation in Kashmir

From 1028 until the collapse of the First Lohara Dynasty in 1101 in Kashmir, the region’s economic prosperity suffered a continuous deterioration. As a result, the Buddhist monasteries received only a minimum amount of financial assistance. Furthermore, as a result of being shut off from easy access to the major Buddhist monastic universities in the center section of northern India by Ghaznavid territory, the standards at the Kashmiri monasteries began to deteriorate over time. Another religious persecution was launched by the last ruler of this dynasty, Harsha (r.

  • King Jayasimha (r.
  • 1128-1149).
  • Despite the poverty of the monasteries, Buddhist activity continued to thrive in Tibet until at least the fourteenth century, with instructors and interpreters traveling to the country on a regular basis.
  • This is just another proof that the Islamic rulers were more concerned with accumulating wealth than they were with converting Buddhist monks to Islam.
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Seljuq Expansion and Religious Policy

The Seljuqs, on the other hand, continued to extend their kingdom westward, defeating the Byzantines in 1071. It was Malikshah, the Seljuq sultan (r. 1072–1092) who forced his overlordship on the Qarakhanids in Ferghana, northern West Turkistan, Kashgar, and Khotan. The Seljuqs established religious schools (madrasah) in Baghdad and throughout Central Asia, thanks to the influence of his minister, Nizamulmulk. However, while madrasahs had initially appeared in northern Iran in the ninth century, they were exclusively devoted to theological study.

  • When it came to religion, the Seljuqs took a highly pragmatic approach.
  • After making a plea to Pope Urban II in 1096, the First Crusade was launched to bring the Western and Eastern Roman Empires back together and reclaim the Holy Lands from the “infidels.” The Holy Lands were reclaimed from the “infidels” during the First Crusade.
  • However, they did not completely extinguish Nestorian Christianity from Central Asia, for example.
  • The Tanguts, Qocho Uighurs, and Ngari Tibetans, all of whom were staunchly Buddhist and militarily weak, would have either led or backed them in a holy war against their Qarakhanid vassals if they had been present.

The book is a philosophical text written in Arabic that contains an account of Buddhist tenets and refers to Buddha as a Prophet, as did al-Biruni.

The Nizari Order of Assassins

One reason for the extremely negative image that European and Byzantine Christians had of the Seljuqs and Islam in general was due to their incorrect identification with the Nizari branch of the Ismailis, which was known to the crusaders as the “Order of Assassins,” which was a branch of the Ismailis known for its terrorism. In the years about 1090, the Nizaris launched a terrorist campaign against the ruling elites of Iran, Iraq, and Syria, sending teenagers inebriated on hashish on missions to murder military and political figures.

Over the next few decades, the Seljuqs and Fatimids waged holy war against the Nizaris, slaughtering enormous numbers of them in the process.

These holy wars had a catastrophic effect on the Seljuqs as well, and the Seljuq Empire was divided into various autonomous pieces as a result in 1118.

They lacked the personnel resources to control even a weakened kingdom, let alone a whole continent.

As a result, the Ghaznavids and Qarakhanids were compelled to become tributary states to the Seljuq province in Sogdia and northeastern Iran, which was ruled by the Seljuqs.

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