The movement for the restoration of the Ramajanmabhumi Temple at Ayodhya has brought to the fore a suppressed chapter of India’s history, namely, the large-scale destruction of Hindu temples1 by the Islamised invaders. This chapter is by no means closed. The Appendix to this book provides details of many temples destroyed by Muslims all over Bangladesh as recently as October-November 1989. Currently, temples, or whatever had remained of them, are meeting a similar fate in the Kashmir valley.
This chapter, however, though significant, was only a part of the Muslim behaviour-pattern as recorded by Muslim historians of medieval India. The other parts were: 1) mass slaughter of people not only during war but also after the armies of Islam had emerged victorious; 2) capture of large numbers of non-combatant men, women and children as booty and their sale as slaves all over the Islamic world; 3) forcible conversion to Islam of people who were in no position to resist; 4) reduction to the status of zimmis or non-citizens of all those who could not be converted and imposition of inhuman disabilities on them; 5) emasculation of the zimmis by preventing them from possessing arms; 6) impoverishment of the zimmis through heavy discriminatory taxes and misappropriation of a major part of what the peasants produced; 7) ruination of the native and national culture of the zimmis by suppressing and holding in contempt all its institutions and expressions.
Nor is this behaviour pattern a thing of the past. It persisted even after the Muslim rule was over. The Muslim revivalist movements in the nineteenth century, particularly in Bengal, tried to repeat, as far as they could, the performance of the medieval Muslim swordsmen and sultans. More recently, after the Islamic state of Pakistan was carved out, Hindus have been forced to leave their ancestral homes, en masse from its western wing and in a continuous stream of refugees from its eastern wing, now an independent Islamic state of Bangladesh that came into being with the help of India. Hindu temples and other cultural institutions have more or less disappeared from Pakistan, while they continue to be under constant attack in Bangladesh.
How to understand this behaviour pattern so persistently followed over a thousand years under very different conditions and so consistent in its expression? What is its deeper ideological source?
It is rooted in Islam’s religious teachings, its theology and its religious laws; it derives from its peculiar conception of momins and kafirs, from its doctrines of Jihad, Daru’l-Islam and Daru’l-harb, and from what it regards as the duty of a Muslim state. Hindu India is called upon to make a deeper study of Islam than it has hitherto done. It can neglect this task at its own peril.
The present volume makes no pretence of presenting such a study, but by choice restricts itself mainly to the study of Hindu temples destroyed and desecrated and converted into mosques and khanqahs without overlooking Muslims’ ideology of iconoclasm; here and there, it also mentions other theological props and concomitants of the iconoclastic ideology. In the book Ayodhya retain its importance, but it does not occupy the centre of discussion. In dealing with its subject, it exercises complete fidelity to truth; unlike secularist and Marxist writers, it does not believe in re-writing and fabricating history. Its aim is to raise the informational level of our people and to make them better aware of the more persistent ideological forces at work.Mahavira Jayanti.
April 7, 1990
1 “Hindu Temples” in the present context include temples belonging to all sects of Sanatana Dharma - Brahmanical, Buddhist, Jain and the rest.
The Tip of An Iceberg
Sita Ram Goel
Some Historical Questions
Sita Ram Goel
1 It is intriguing that the Marxist professors never mention the destruction of Buddhist and Jain establishments in Transoxiana, Sinkiang, Seistan and India which on the eve of the Islamic invasion included present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Every historian and archaeologist of that period knows that the vast Buddhist and Jain establishments at Bukhara, Samarkand, Khotan, Balkh, Bamian, Begram, Jalalabad, Peshawar, Takshasila, Mirpur-Khas, Nagar-Parkar, Sringar, Sialkot, Agroha, Mathura, Hastinapur, Kanauj, Sravasti, Ayodhya, Sarnath, Nalanda, Vikramsila, Vaishali, Rajgir, Odantpuri, Bharhut, Paharpur, Jagaddala, Jajnagar, Nagarjunikonda, Amaravati, Kanchi, Dwarasamudra, Bharuch Valabhi, Palitana, Girnar, Patan, Jalor, Chandrawati, Bhinmal, Didwana, Nagaur, Osian, Bairat, Gwalior and Mandu were destroyed by the swordsmen of Islam. Smaller establishments of these faiths, which met the same fate, add up to several hundred.
In the Name of Religion
Sita Ram Goel
Had you seen Muhammad and his troops,
The day the idols were smashed when he entered,
You would have seen God’s light become manifest,
In darkness covering the face of idolatry.
We foresook al-Lat, al-Uzza and Wudd
We stripped off their necklaces and earrings.
I smashed Ruda so completely that
I left it a black ruin in a hollow.
1 When Muhammad entered the Ka‘ba after his conquest of Mecca by overwhelming force, he declared, “Truth has come and falsehood has vanished” (Sahih Muslim, 4397). Ram Swarup comments, “It takes more than an invading army or crusaders or a demolition squad with sledge-hammers to establish the domain of Truth… Similarly, it is not that easy to get over ‘falsehood’… True spiritual demolition involves the demolition of desire-gods and ego-gods, the demolition of the false gods that reside in conceited theologies, in pretentious revelations and fond belief…” (Understanding Islam Through Hadis, Voice of India, Second Reprint, 1987, Pp. 115-16.)
2 The Prophet of Islam gave not only a new, ‘religion’ to his country-men but also a new history of Arabia, the same as the prophets of Secularism have been doing in India since the days of Pandit Nehru’s dominance.
A Need to Face the Truth
“Deserted by Her servants,
Who did not show enough manliness in defending Her.”
O Uzza! make an annihilating attack on Khalid,
O Uzza! if you do not kill the man Khalid
Then bear a swift punishment or become a Christian.