ARIF RAHMAN CHUGHTAI DISCOURSES ON NATION-BUILDING IN MUSLIM CIVILIZATION
NATIONS IN ACTION
QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Flaming Star Of Lahore
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Flaming Star Of Lahore
Arif Rahman Chughtai
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SAHIB DIWAN BARID
OUR LIVES FOR PAKISTAN !
FOR QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A SINGLE DEFEAT IN MANY VICTORIES The Ghaurids marched towards Khurasanto defeat Sultan Shah. With a limited number of fighters, Qutb-ud-din fought well, but was captured. He was chained and put in an iron cage. Later on army follow-up came across the imprisoned Qutb-ud-din in a cage, and brought him back on a camel. Sultan Muhammed Ghauri saw him like that and ordered his release. That one lesson was enough for his entire life. Qutb-ud-din was never captured again. ONE LEARNS FROM HISTORY
THE ADVENT OF QUTB UD DIN AI-BEG IN MY LIFE I belong to a pucca family of Lahore. My father, the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai put Lahore on the art map of the world again, and he was very proud of the same. The very reason that he always wrote the name of Lahore with his name. My father was in the habit of travelling all over India and he continued this practice after the partition of the region in 1947. The first year he visited his favourite city of Hyderabad Deccan for the promotion of an exhibition there. Later on even in grave circumstances, he visited Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Jawahar-lal Nehru was trying to entice him to India and made a Chughtai room at the National Museum of Modern Arts at Jaipur House, Delhi. Nehru also engendered the publication of the book ChughtaiÂ’s Indian Paintings through the publisher Dhoom Mal Dharam Dass in Delhi in 1952, through efforts of Dr Tara Chand and Sardar Kashmeera Singh. It was in one of these journeys to Delhi in the 1950s, that he took his entire family there. The Chughtai family was in the habit of visiting various monuments there and I as a child would love to hear the echo of my voice as I recited my nursery rhymes there. It was in this context that I was able to confront the Qutb Minar there. It obviously left so many of the deep inspirations that keep flashing with us in our entire life. I remember my elder sister Mussarat Chughtai hurrying up the stairs and I trying to follow her. But somewhere in between I literally, was on a panic spree for climbing high upto 238 feet was not a joke for anyone less than a small child. It was my mother who followed who picked me up in her arms and carried me to the top. The top was ofcourse not in good condition and no one was allowed to go to the roof. But our heads were out in the sky. A number of emotions catch you in their stride like fears, troubles, the slap of the wind, in fact the whole atmosphere awed you, and you could see Delhi all around you. In fact the emotions were a mixture of positive and negative overtures, but it was something you could never forget. The Qutb Minar overwhelmed you in history. Obviously the memory of Qutb Minar remained and that is why years later, I could recall it with ease. I was coming back after a regular visit to the Old Book Shops outside Mayo Hospital in Lahore, perched on a bicycle, driven by my cousin, Abdul Waheed Chughtai, when the Qutb Minar came in discussion. All at once my cousin told me that Sultan Qutb ud din Ai-beg was buried very much near there. We went on a grave seeking mission, and finally located it in a small shop. The gates were pried open and we saw the grave inside the small shop. No one could believe that the first Sultan of Muslim India was lying in the shop, unnoticed and unrevered by any. My small hands offered fateha for the hero of Islam. 1
THE BATTLE IN SIND A very early miniature of a besieged city in Sind with the army of the Muslims. A rare original view of those times. 2
FRIEZE IN A TURKISH CASTLE A full frieze on clay on the walls of a famous Turkish castle
4 A visual imagery dated 1230 AD of a Sultan of that time
SULTAN AND HIS GENERAL
HEROS IN CHANGING TIMES The Islamic spirit was very much part of making Pakistan, and most of the people were obsessed with heros of Islamic Civilization. That is why publishers took advantage of this urge of the people and as a mass exercise, started printing easily available and easily affordable a vast album of Islamic figures. The task was on a painter of famous origin of Gumtee Bazaar Lahore, that is Calipha Imam-ud-din, and he through study as well as pure imagination created fixed images of our heros. The same were usually published in various sizes as well as different qualities of paper by University Book Depot in Urdu Bazaar Lahore. Most bought them or stuck them on their school copies. But very soon this was reduced to mostly Urdu-medium Schools as after we jumped on to the American bandwagon, the heros of English-medium ones became different, and the craze was to collect pictures of the famous American rock stars, like Elvis Presley, famous for his vulgar pelvic twists and thrusts. The modernization was to take the Ideology of young Pakistan away. And I was the one in the middle, the bridge of two cultures. Nor could the modern thrust take my love of our heros away, nor I could be convinced of them being all evil. I was indeed the Misterin-between, and Burl Ives sang the song well.
ANALYZING AIBAK AN AREA OF AFGHANISTAN There is an ancient area of AIBAK in Samangan Afghanistan, and it is about 221 kms from the capital Kabul. It has a latitude of 36.27 and a longitude of 68.02. Of the many theories prevailing about our Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, one of them is that he was born in the city of Aibak, but was of obviously Turkish origin. History does not help us in solving these riddles, and the riddles in fact intoxicates us into legends and fairy tales, and we deal with them well with our imagination. But if the boy was born in Aibak, he probably lost his parents early, and became the asset of a slave merchant, who took him to Naishapur (presently in Iran). There he showed promise and with his looks and attitude, attracted a famous personality of Naishapur, that is Fakhar-ud-din Kufi, the Qazi of the city, and a descendent of of immortal Imam Hanifa. Kazi Fakharud-din reared up the young boy Qutb-ud-din like his own son and gave him the best of everything. He received all kinds of education and all kinds of training. The Qazi himself taught him the Quran and Qutb-ud-din could recite it from his heart in most melodious way. A Qari of such high order that his fame of recitation spread far and wide. His success with the Qazi in fact did not go well with the other children of the Qazi, and soon, after his death, the children sold Qutb-ud-din to another slave merchant Another journey for the young boy with loss of hope.
FROM NAISHAPUR TO GHAZNI FOR EMERGENCE The slave merchant brought him to the square of Ghazni with other slaves. It was in Ghazni that the famous Sultan Mahmud had bought the Turk slave Ayaz, who himself became immortal, as Governor of the city of Lahore. Here too history repeated itself and the brother of the Sultan, that is Muhammed Ghauri saw the young Qutb-ud-din, liked him and bought him at once. Muhammed Ghauri had no sons. For him it was a kind of search for sons. The bond between Master and Slave was complete. The training of Qazi Fakhar-ud-din had produced a person with great loyalty, and with lack of greed, that was so rampant in society at that time. Qutb-ud-din acquited himself so well, that he became the Star in the life of Muhammed Ghauri, and soon found himself in becoming AMIR AKHUR, or more literally as the Lord of the Stables. Qutb-ud-din had become master of horses and could train the horses to a degree rare at that time. It was his love of horses that also made him Master of the game of Chaughan. the polo play of those times. The consequences of good character was showing its result.
LAKH-BAKSHA One character of Qutb-ud-din is stated everywhere and it became a legend within his lifetime as well as later times for centuries. One aspect of this was that he was free from greed, and had capacity to give lakhs away to others. Bahau-uddin Ushi who was one of the most learned man of his age, as well as a poet, wrote the famous verse of Qutb-ud-din, which confirmed him as a Lakh-baksha (the giver of lakhs). Ushi writes: Truly the bestowal of lacs; thou in the world didst bring; Thy hand brought the mine's affairs to a desperate state. The blood filled mine's heart, through envy of thy hand, Therefore produced the ruby as a pretext (within it).
The very start of his career is related to an incident which is in fact mentioned by many historians. For example Khawaja Nizam-ud-din Ahmad in his famous "Tabaqat-i-Akbari" writes: It has been related that one night the Sultan held a great assembly to which he invited those who were nearly and intimately connected with him. In that assembly he gave large rewards to all his adherents and companions. He specially distinguished Malik Kutbuddin with liberal rewards and largesses. When the assembly broke up Malik Kutbuddin bestowed all that he had received, in the shape of rewards to those who spread the carpets and arranged the furniture, and to other menials. The next morning when the Sultan heard this, he was greatly pleased and rewarded Kutbuddin; and raised him to the rank of an Amir; and honoured him by assigning to him duties of personally attending before the throne; and affairs continually became more and more flourishing.
QASIDA ON SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A qasida (poem) on Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg by his court poet Baha-ud-din Ushi, in beautiful calligraphy 7
A SERIES OF BATTLES FOR HINDUSTAN In 1173 AD Muhammed Ghauri became the Ruler of Ghazni, and so sprung his desires to do more things. Hindustan was on the mind of the ruler, for a variety of reasons, balancing between the ideals of spirituality of spreading Islam to the reality of progressing kingdoms requiring spoils of war for the well being and continuation of their existence. Here starts a series of battles for Hindustan, which contain both victories as well as defeats. This research is not related to war chronicles but the listing is just to get the proper perspective of matters. In 1174 AD, the Iqta of Gurdez was taken over by him. In 1175 AD, he conquered Multan and freed it from the hold of the Ismaelis. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi had done the same, and the city had been retaken by the Ismaelis. Ghauri repeated the conquest of Sultan Mahmud with full vigour. In the same leap he conquered Bhatti and moved into Uch in Sind. In 1178 AD, he fought Raja Bhim De II for the possession of Anhilwara in Gujarat, and was utterly defeated there. Humilated he headed back for a new approach. In 1179 AD Muhammed Ghauri captured Peshawer, and in 1180 AD, he plundered Lahore under control of Khusro Malik Ghaznavi. In year 1184 AD he again came to Lahore, and on his return he actually repaired and restored the Fort of Sialkot, as a back up place for the conquest of Lahore. In 1186 AD he actually conquered Lahore and took the ruler Khusro Malik as his prisoner. In the year 1191 AD, he captured Tabarhindal, and was then ready for the onslaught on the Raja of Delhi and Ajmere. The battle on the fields of Tarain is recorded by history as a magnificent one, and the Raja Prithviraj Chauhan came to the battlefield in full swing. Although Muhammed Ghauri put in his best fight, but the Muslim army was completely routed by the Chauhan Raja. And a feat took place, which is recorded in the Tarikh Mubarak Shahi like this: Although the Muslims displayed great valour and failed not to expose themselves to the (enemy's) dagger, yet by the aid of the Almighty Allah, the detested unbelievers were crowned with victory and the Muslim army was defeated. When the Sultan saw this, he spurred on his charger against Govind Rai the Ruler of Delhi, and the brother of Pithor Rai, and who was mounted on an elephant, which was always in the front line of the army, and smote him on the face thereby breaking the teeth of the accursed chief. The Rai, in return, struck the Sultan on the arm with his lance and wounded him. The Sultan was about to slip out of his stirrup when a dexterous Khalji foot-soldier immediately mounted behind him and supporting him in his arms rode hard out of the battle field.
SULTANI WARRIOR A figurine of a Sultani Warrior of Lahore, shouting Allah Akbar, and as it is recovered from a depth of about twenty feet of the surface, it is the Ghauri period of Lahore
SULTAN MUHAMMED GHAURI A clay figurine from the depths of Lahore of a sitting Sultan. The dress is of Ghauri period, as well as his famous facial characteristics 10
SULTAN MUHAMMED GHAURI An interpretation by a Delhi artist based on a Mughal Murraqqa of Shah JahanÂ’s period 11
A miniature dated 1230 AD depicts a Sultan on a White elephant. Elephants are related to Hindustan and a white one is very rare. The miniature depicts the Sultan as the ruler of Samangan, an area of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg
SULTAN MUHAMMED GHARUI AND QUTB-DU-DIN AI-BEG
COIN OF SULTAN MUHAMMED GHAURI The typical horseman and bull style of the period
A defeat like this would have rattled another person out of existence but Muhammed Ghauri was not to rest in peace. The incident of 1191 AD was an eye-opener to him and he revised his battle strategms for his next attack on Tarain in 1192 AD. Again the Muslim Army clashed with the army of Prithviraj Chauhan. Muhammed Ghauri selected forty thousand of his best horse-riders and divided them in batchs of ten thousand each. They surrounded the Chauhan army from four sides and attacked at the same time. This time the Hindus were completely routed and Prithviraj Chauhan fled from the battlefield. The same is again recorded in the "Tarikh Mubarak Shahi" like this: Â“Govind Rai was killed in battle. Pithor Rai who had been riding an elephant exchanged it for a horse and made his retreat, but he was taken prisoner in the vicinity of Sarsuti and sent to hell.Â”
Obviously many historians have recorded the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan in a different way. However the contemporary Hassan Nizami in his "Taj-ul Maasir" writes that Prithviraj Chauhan was taken in as a prisoner and his life was spared. At Ajmere he was detected (a coin issued in his name there which proves this as true) in an intrigue (which is obscurely hinted) and killed at the orders of Muhammed Ghauri. Whatever the outcome suffice that the strongest Raja of the region of Hindustan was defeated and the might of the Hindu empire broken, which led to other victories. Muhammed Ghauri then conquered the forts of Sarsuti and Hansi, and then ravaged Ajmere. Qutb-ud-din was with Ghauri in many of these war campaigns. Qutb-ud-din captured the fort of Kol. Then the Muslim army also took over the city of Qanauj as well as Benaras. Qutb-ud-din consolidated the empire by taking in Thankir, Gwalior as well a Badaun. The combination of Muhammed Ghauri and Qutb-ud-din was now really showing results.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF KUHRAM The behaviour of Qutb-ud-din won him laurels from his Master , but the first real expression of this stature was his appointment to the post of responsibility. The historian Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir his book "Shajara Ansab" tells us: "He made him Commander-in-chief of Kuhram, and the first beginning of the good fortune was from Kuhram. And this a very good omen."
The same is interpreted by other historians in a different way. In the book "The
COIN OF SULTAN ILTUTMISH Many of these coins have depiction of the Chaughan player. It seems that the Polo game was the favourite of the Sultans
Delhi Sultanate'', Peter Jackson elucidates the very definition of Iqta as being not a fief but the Â‘transferable revenue assignment in lieu of salary for service (usually military service)Â’ and says: "Aybeg's earliest assignment, at Kuhram, is described by Juzjani as iqta, whereas Fakhri-Mudabbir speaks of it simply as the 'command' (sipahsalari) there and Hassan-i Nizami says that he was given the governorship (ayalat) of Kuhram and Samana. "
Samana seems to be the same place as Samangan with its town of Aibak, and here we have a historical issue to solve, as when the town got its name, as the birth place of Qutb-ud-din or as the place of his first command in life. In any case Qutb-ud-din was a brave commander, fighting side by side with his Master, Muhammed Ghauri, and winning battles for him. This seems to be recognized by the Sultan as well as by many others with them. After the conquest of Kol, Qutb-ud-din had made his residence at Delhi, but in all practical ways, just as the Ghaznavids, the Ghauris considered Lahore as their home city in the area of Hindustan. Lahore was asserting itself as a Muslim capital of the world, and indeed rivalling, Ghazni with its splendours as well as learned men.
ASSASSINS CREED Sultan Muhammed Ghauri was in Ghazni and Qutub-ud-din was in both cities of Lahore and Delhi. The news of the revolt of the Khokhars in the Punjab brought Muhammed Ghauri back to Hindustan, and there Qutb-ud-din joined him with his own forces. Together they were able to crush the rebellion. Muhammed Ghauri begged leave of Qutb-ud-din and headed back for Ghazni. And then the tragedy happened which is on the mind of people, both who were with him, and all those who in fact opposed him. It is said in "Tarikh Mubarak Shahi" that: "When Muizz-ud-din arrived at the village of Damyak, the Fidai Mulahidah all of a sudden appeared before the royal camp and wounded him: so that, the late Sultan Saiyad, the martyred Ghazi, succumbed to it: this incident occured on Wednesday, March 15, 1206 AD."
The martyrdom is described by Khawajah Hassan Nizami in his "Taj-ul Maasir" in more poetic way as: "The king of the world sat down on the prayer carpet to say his prayers. On the ground of loneliness and solitude, he rolled the ball of communion with God. He recited verses
The most famous imagery of Assassins Creed is from the manuscript Â“Livre des MerveillesÂ” made in 1412 AD for John the Fearless known as the Duke of Burgundy. Revealed by none other than Marco Polo himself, it is dubbed as romantic imagination by the present lot of Ismaeilis. A truth undenied from last many centuries
from the holy Quran praising, glorifying, sanctifying and hallowing the Almighty God. With the aid and help of God he loosened the fetter of the bird of his soul from the cage of the body. He looked at the approaching death with the eyes of discernment and listened to the Divine command, 'Oh peaceful soul, return to your Lord', with ears of intelligence. He rubbed his forehead on the ground with humility to get the mark of prostration. The ink of the tears of repentance and contrition rolled down his cheeks. At this time a number of accursed heretics, armed with daggers, rushed like clouds and wind towards the tent in which the king of the world was sleeping, and quickly killed three sword-bearers and two chamberlains, who were on duty. Then, a couple of these ferocious-looking men made for the tent of the king and in a trice inflicted five or six wounds on the body of the king of the seven climes. Forthwith, the bird of his soul eagerly flew towards the palace of seven heavens and the battlements of nine skies, flapping its wings all the way. It soared towards the soul of the ten receivers of the happy news, who dwell peacefully in the gardens of Eden, their eternal abode in paradise.
When great people die, some bury themselves in sorrow, while others rejoice in the news. Obviously Muhammed Ghauri's death is to be a source of varied interpretations. To that we have the analysis of the historian Wolseley Haig in the "Cambridge history of India" as such: The circumstances of his death are a vexed question. The legend which attributes it to Prithvi Raj who, according to the bards of the Rajputs had not been slain at Taraori but was wounded and taken prisoner and remained, after having been blinded, a captive for the rest of his life, is mentioned by one Muslim historian but may be dismissed without hesitation as a fabrication. Other authorities attribute the deed to some of the Khokars whose homes had so recently been made desolate, but though these were perhaps privy to the design, and, if so, certainly furthered it, the actual assassins appear to have been fanatical Shiahs of the heretical Ismaili sect. A few years before this time these heretics had again established themselves in Khurasan, where they are still numerous, and held possession of that province until Muhammed crushed them in 1199, and restored his brother's authority. A number of these bound themselves by an oath to slay the persecutor of their faith, and found on this occasion their opportunity.
The rivalry of the Ismaelis with Muhammed Ghauri is well known and it is recorded by Peter Jackson in "The Delhi Sultanate' as: "As Mahmud had done, he made war on the Ismaelis, who had reestablished themselves in Multan, and captured the city (571 1175-76). Even the Sumra princes at Daybal were Ismaelis sympathizers although being of Indian stock."
This is ofcourse not a research book on Ismaelis, and one can read their point of view, in various modern versions, championed by their writer Farhad Daftary,
THE ISMAELIS IN THE MOUNTAINS
The Ismaelis seem to the very fond of living in mountains, and have taken and repopulated their old hideouts in the mountains of the Northern Areas of Pakistan. There is certainly still a mystery on the site
but when analyzed, the simple fact remains that instead of following Quranic principles, they indulged in the making of their own laws, rejecting the views of the majority of people. But if it was divergent view it would be okay to coexist with it in peace, but when they had a ruler like Hassan Sabah, or the Old man in the mountain, they played havoc on the Muslim world. The Assassins were literally unstoppable, till Halaku Khan solved the issue in his own violent way, by assassinating the assassins themselves. Where Islam spread, the Ismaelis followed, very simply to put an end to its progress. Even if Farhad Daftary could deny the very existence of Assassins as a mere legend, the fact remains that they are not merely a part of ancient history but even very much an actual reality of today. Assassination is now accepted as the quickest way of achieving objectives and most of the secret agencies of the real world have their own teams. But the perfection of the professional kill is in the folklore and legend of the Assassins Creed only.
THE QUESTION OF TWO SHAHEEDS The Court poet of Qutb-ud-din that is Jamal-ud-din Muhammed Naseer also known as Ufi has called Muhammed Ghauri as Sultan Shaheed, an obvious reference to the death of Muhammed Ghauri. But Ufi has in the same way called Qutb-ud-din as Sultan Shaheed too. This aspect of the death of Qutb-ud-din is premature to discuss here and it be taken with the course of writing further events. But it is too a spotlight on the work of the assassins creed.
ANOTHER QUESTION OF TWO BURIAL PLACES Most history books tell us that Muhammed Ghauri's dead body was taken to Ghazni and buried there. There are accounts of the grave of Muhammed Ghauri in Ghazni. But strangely sometimes history and history books do not match with reality. There existed a grave of Muhammed Ghauri at Sohawa which is ten kms from Jhelum. We know from history books that he was murdered near Jhelum at Dhamyiak, and the information matches with the location of the grave. There were many fans of Muhammed Ghauri and one of them was Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who even named his ballistic missile as Ghauri, and even put a model replica of the missile outside the mausoleum of the great Sultan. A brand new mausoleum was designed and built in recent years and it is again a pilgrimage point for many people who still love the great Sultan. For those who still doubt the veracity of the grave of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri, it may be pointed out that the grave of his brother, Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Ghauri, who died in 1202
AD, still exists in the portal of the Jamia masjid in Herat. There is no reason why the grave of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri could not have existed in Ghazni. But then why Ghazni, why not Herat, next to his beloved brother? It is probable that due to multiple wounds, and the rampant effects of weather, it became impossible to control the putrification, and the original plans were dropped. It could also be that information of the wrong kind was provided, so that nobody would degrade the dead body of the Sultan. Again it is premature but the grave of the Sultan, that is Qutb-ud-din too was converted into a grand mausoleum. It is a rare feat in the history of this region that two very dilapidated graves were converted into grand mausoleums just for the love of the two Sultans, hundreds of years after their death. The two were really blessed to get so much credit from the people, long after even memories associated with them were gone.
A VEXING RIDDLE OF THE GRAVE OF PRITHVIRAJ CHAUHAN History present us with views but the reality offers us issues to which we have no answers. Where it is reputed that Muhammed Ghauri is buried in Ghazni, there too is the grave of the Hindu Raja, that is Prithviraj Chauhan. How on earth can anyone explain this? Even conjectures are not enough. What took the Hindu Raja to the city of Ghazni? And of all things, instead of a funeral pyre, how is it that he is buried as a Muslim there? Remember Hindus do not bury their dead. That is why the grave of Tansen, the great musician proves that he was indeed converted into Islam and died as a Muslim. Can it be supposed that Prithviraj Chauhan ultimately reckoned his destiny with Muhammed Ghauri by converting to Islam? It is obvious. But it needs a great largeness of heart to accept this as a fact. Perhaps one day the Archaeological Department could dig both graves and solve the issue. Not a very big thing, for the same thing the Russians did with Amir Timur and solved a lot of riddles about him and at present a sculpture made with help of his bones, lie in the Samarqand museum. History needs a lot of answers and now forsenic science can provide us with many solutions.
THE BRAVERY OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Qutb-ud-din exhibited bravery throughout his life. For a cause, he was not afraid of even losing his life.Once he had fought well but was taken prisoner and Muhammed Ghauri was amused to find him being brought back in chains on a camel from the enemy camp. Even in his cage, he was showing courage, and 21
A recently built Mausoleum on a forgotten grave of the Sultan, as a homage by the region for his invaluable contributions to the area
MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN MUHAMMED GHAURI
ATISH HUKA SULTANI
A hand bomb of the period of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. Atish hukas are found everywhere as well as in Lahore. This is in many ways a most unique bomb that it is in the shape of a fish. To the best of our knowledge, no such fish-shaped bomb has been discovered before in time
the Sultan had him immediately released. At other places he was with his army most of the time. It is said by Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir that when the army used to throw bombs and stones from catapulets, Qutb-ud-din stood with his men when they did that. In this way he did risk his life, but he kept the morale of his men high. A personal feat was recalled by others. One day Qutb-ud-din was coming back from Shohdra when four lions attacked him. Instead of fleeing in panic, he stood his ground, and single handedly killed all the four lions. People remembered him for his bravery all the time. The news of the death of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri reached Qutb-ud-din in Delhi and filled his heart with sorrow. Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir writes about it: Â“When the news reached the great Malik in Delhi, he was absent from the town but he immediately returned to the capital and lamented as was fitting on the death of such a ruler, and did not go out for several days, nor hold any court nor transact any business, neglecting everything on account of this calamity which affected all the world equally.Â”
A traditional period of lamentation also possibly included a period of important deliberation, for the decisions to be made, would lead to either continuation or destruction of the empire itself. No one ever questioned his bravery. He was ready to sacrifice his life all the time for a cause. In fact the author of "Tarikh Mubarak Shahi" said it very clearly: "His valour, bravery and enterprize are such that if Rustam were alive, he would have taken pride in having been his Hajib (Chamberlian)."
All his bravery was required for the coming times.
LAHORE THE ALL TIME SEAT OF POWER The policy of the Sultans towards their ability to gather all kinds of intellectuals in their domain was in full vogue. Lahore was full of such people from the reign of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and the same was encouraged by the Ghauris too. An anecdote is mentioned by many historians as to Qutb-ud-din's policy towards the emigrated danishmands from other capitals of Islam. It is recorded by Awfi that an intellectual by the name of Sharaf had come to Lahore, and was some how implicated in a fraud case related to the purchase of a slave girl. The scholar was caught by the justice department and punished with the sentence of carrying
PRINCE FIGHTING LIONS A dated manuscript around 1090 AD with miniatures as being earliest in their times. The Prince battling lions remind us of the fight of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg with four lions
A TURKISH PRINCE A 12th century figurine depicting a Turkish Prince of that period. Astonishing visual information is there
A TURKISH NOBLEMAN A 12th century figurine of a Turkish nobleman of that period, which offers us visual information of those times
INSCRIPTION OF GHAZNAVID ERA An inscription on a mosque of the Ghaznavid period in Swat as dated 1048 AD
SULTAN JALAL-UD-DIN KHILJI A 16th century portrait of the Sultan, depicting faces as well as costumes of that period, as a valuable record
30 A very old miniature depicting the beheading of Sultan Jalal-ud-din Khilji by his nephew Sultan Alla-ud-din Khilji, being a popular legend at that time
THE DEATH OF A SULTAN
SWORD OF SULTAN ALLA-UD-DIN KHILJI The straight Sword of Sultan Alla-ud-din Khilji with the familiar emblem of the Crescent and Star on it, shows the visuals of that period of time
A FARMAN OF GHIAS-UD-DIN BALBAN A visual record of the aesthetics of that period with beautiful calligraphy
water in a leather bag around his neck. Qutb-ud-din saw him in this plight and issued an order for the payment of his dues from the Royal pocket, and to set him free, so that he could be used constructively in the national service.This kind of respect for learned men had earned Qutb-ud-din a different kind of reputation. In any case Qutb-ud-din headed for Lahore the seat of power. The same is stated by Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir like this: When the inspiration of God most high, Who is the Instructor the lords of fortune, directed that the Kingdom of Hindustan should mourn and that he (Qutb-ud-din) should set about administering the affairs of all the people --- especially the people of Lahore, the centre of Islam in Hind and the second capital of Ghazna, towards whom the late Emperor had shown special favour --- he having cast a good day and hour by the horoscope set out from Delhi to Lahore in the hot season, and the troops on account of the heat, and the horses and camels from the want of water and grass, suffered greatly on the road. However, since his object was the protection of the country and the welfare of its inhabitants, he made light of the heat and discomfort: and on Tuesday the 11th of Zhil-Qada 602 AH the high banner arrived in the village of Dadyamuh outside Lahore, and there the King encamped. All the people of that country, Qazis, Imams, Sayyids, nobles, officers, agents, soldiers, merchants, strong and weak, rich and poor, came out to receive him, and made rejoicing, giving thanks to God that although a bright Sun had been eclipsed, a brilliant new moon had arisen; and though a large tree had fallen in the garden of Conquest, a strong new fruit-bearing Sapling had sprung up in its place (and so forth). In short they welcomed Qutb as undisputed successor to the throne of Muizz, and on Tuesday, the 17th of the same month at an auspicious hour Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg entered the Royal palace.
Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir continues his assessment by saying: He ruled so well that one might have thought he had always been a king ........ no one dared to take by force a blade of grass or a morsel of bread, a goat from the desert or a bird from the sown, or to billet himself on a peasant. The King put into practice all the excellent customs established by his master and protector, the late Sovereign.
Khawajah Hassan Nizami in his "Taj-ul Maasir" says the following on the same lines: Royal edicts were issued to all the parts of the country to win the good will of the people and to assure them of peace and security of life from harm. The feudal lords who had received Letters of Patent from the court, and the governors who had been issued flags of governorship, showed all signs of love and affection by their conduct, and proceeded to the sublime and heaven-like court to demonstrate their sincerity and genuine allegiance. Powerful rulers and mighty sovereigns prostrated themselves before the king as a mark of their loyalty and attachment.
A SERIES OF REFORMS FOR THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE All historians list series of reforms undertaken by Qutb-ud-din for the welfare of the people. It was the nature of these reforms which brought him love and loyalty of the masses, for the edicts did not favour a single class of people, but swept in its independent role over the entire region. Qutb-ud-din had himself suffered and lived a life of a Slave, and now as a King, he understood the deprivation of a class of people and offered his remedy for them. His actions were so laudable that centuries after his death, people remembered them. Obviously the training of Qazi Fakhar-ud-din Kufi had a lot to do with the enlightenment of Qutb-ud-din, but Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir had a role in it, for in his book, he clearly describes the duty of any worthy Sultan towards his subjects. We quote a writing of another famous scholar "Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui" in his book "Indo-Persian Historiography", and he says: "It is interesting to read the duties of the sultan enunciated by Fakhar-i-Mudabbir. This brings to light what the Muslim intelligentsia demanded of the sultan for the welfare of people, in the tradition of the duty-conscious Muslim rulers of the past. According to him, the foremost of these duties is the impartial administration of justice and the suppression of pernicious people and social evils; also included are the construction of buildings of public utility, such as mosques and madrasas (schools and colleges) in the urban centres, and the building of bridges, wells, ribats (hostels), and fortresses at strategic places for the convenience and protection of travellers against thieves and highwaymen in the countryside. The sultan should also create conditions favourable for the prosperity of the ryot (peasantry)."
Historians have listed a number of reforms made by Qutb-ud-din and many are listed, many are not. We try to tackle some of them:
Protection to public The Sultan instituted such reforms that the life and property of the people were protected, both from thieves and dacoits, as well as any injustice from governmental quarters. Living in urban areas or also travelling between cities became so safe, that Khawajah Hassan Nizami put in in very poetic terms in his book "Taj-ul Maasir": "Under his protection (in the shade of peace and security) the partridge was immune from the injury caused by the claws, of a hawk and the pigeon was delivered from the talons of falcon. Francolin found refuge in the nest of an eagle and pheasant shared the nest of falcon. She-fox began to dwell near the fierce tiger and lion. Deer and
mountain goat found a resting place under the protection of leopard of sharp claws. The malevolent wolf forged kinship with sheep and showed kindness to lamb. Water refrained from showing hostility and enmity to fire, and dust was relieved that it would no longer be overpowered and dominated by wind. "
If this was the view of intellectuals, one can understand that the reality on the ground was far better.
Formation of Diwan-barid To execute the functions of the state, a very effective intelligence gathering system was evolved and named as Diwan-Barid . The exclusive group had the responsibility of gathering information and providing it to the Sultan well in time. This thing was done previously by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi too, and now the same was repeated in full way. We see that espoinage activities in modern times are considered really essential for the survival of a country. More was at stake at that time, and Lahore famous for people of culture, also had its share of the James Bond of those times. History goes on repeating itself and man goes on making the same mistakes.
Agrarian conditions The Sultan. confirmed the ownership of all those people who had been given lands by Sultan Mahmud. The acceptance of the ownership of the imlak (land grants) of people made them very happy, and they became even more happy when he reduced ushr from one-fifth of produce to a mere one-tenth. And these people were even allowed to pay nim-ushr, in which part of produce as well as payment could be subsituted for the welfare of the farmer. It was no ordinary thing that instead of the more usual practice of increasing taxes, the Sultan had reduced them, as a result cultivation became more and more, and prosperity spread as a result of same.
Charitable endowments The Sultan confirmed the salaries and endowments of various sections of the society. Special grants were given to learned men, lawyers, natives, saints, as well as other people of worth. It was a truly Islamic practice which made the Sultan give huge sums from his own pocket for widows, orphans as well as people in need. His reputation as Lakh-baksha was very much there, and people knew that he would always help the deserving section of the society. This generosity got him the love of his people. 35
Construction of public utility buildings A large number of construction projects were undertaken under his rule, both in Lahore, Delhi, Badaun, and other places. A detailed discussion on these projects will be taken later, but his architectural vision was stupendous, and the Qutb Minar is is in itself a testimony of that vision.
Elimination of death sentence under his rule The quality of mercy the Sultan had is also shown in his every day actions. The generosity of giving away things included the quality of showing mercy to others. This is recorded by Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir in very simple terms: "In proof of the King's leniency and justice Fakhar Mudabbir tells that since the King came to the throne no Musulman had received death by his command. He would not tolerate the shedding of Musulman blood- even if a man committed a serious crime."
It seems that Qutb-ud-din was well ahead of his times, for modern civilizations today abhor capital punishment in the same way.
Appointment of able people to post of Generals and Governors Much of the success of the Sultan was due to his selection of able people for responsible posts in his administration. Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir records this too: "To some he gave high commands, body guards, pavilions, drums, standards and districts, and each performed fine acts of service, and was duly praised: so that by the help of God and under the encouraging glances of the Emperor the Kingdoms of Hindustan were conquered and the whole country subdued up to the shores of the ocean and up to the rising sun. "
A FARMAN OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG TO A GOVERNOR Qutb-ud-din issued many Royal edicts and none have survived in the original, but some find quoted in history books. One of the very farmans issued to Malik Husam-ud-din Ughalbak, appointed by Sultan, as Governor of Kol (modern Aligarh). The same is quoted by Iqtidar Husain Siddiqui as such: Â“The extant part, incorporated by Hasan Nizami in his Taj-ul Maasir explains the powers and functions of the governor in the province. Since the governor was to control the territories, seized from alien people, he had to be allowed a free hand in meeting
MANUSCRIPT COPY OF TAJ-UL-MAASIR An early copy of Khawaja Hassan NizamiÂ’s Taj-ul Maasir as a visual record
the situation caused by local opposition to foreign rulers. At the same time this early parwanas instructs the governor to win over the local chiefs through friendly gestures. For instance, Ughalbak is instructed to his discretion and sound judgement to abide by the state and usuages and be considerate to the religious scholars and learned men. All of them were to be favoured with positions agreeable to their status. He is further directed to check the oppressive officers and redress the grievances of the domestic servants, soldiers and peasants through enquiry. That efforts should be made to alleviate their burden, so that they might become his (governor's) admirers and keep the soldiers satisfied with him. As for the administration of justice (in the vilayat), he is instructed not to tolerate partiality and that noble and ignoble were to be treated equally in the administration of justice. Further, he had to stamp out corruption, check oppression and be moderate in inflicting punishment on people for different types of offences. Anger, passion and prejudices had to be overcome (while deciding the case). No one was liable to punishment without clear evidence against him. As regards the religious war, it had to be waged after it had been deemed necessary in the light of Islamic law."
We have the original text of Taj-ul Maasir too, but the edict is long and written in a way, which seems to be part of a modern day civil service manual. It is hard to believe that these things were said in the region 800 years ago. It is strange that the Sultans of Hindustan should always speak of learned men with esteem and always wanted them in their service. This respect for men of knowledge is unique in our culture. In words of Khawajah Hassan Nizami in Taj-ul Maasir, it is said: "He believed that the performance of deeds, approved by God would ensure perfect felicity. By honouring scholars and distinguished men and revering noble personages and leading lights of the time alone, one can be known to possess a noble character and charming manners. He should hold in highest esteem men of letters the tip of whose pen is an index of what is written in the diary of merit and excellence. Though he should show all respect to them and confer favours on them, yet he should see that they do not show arrogance to anyone."
With Sultans thinking like this of the people, it was natural that they were born rulers and could carry the people as a nation to newer heights. That is why it is said that the policies of the Sultan, Qutb-ud-din converted thousands and thousands into Islam. An ideology was pitted against another ideology, and that is why most historians wonder as to the reason of the success of the Muslims in Hindustan, and why campaigns started by a few thousands today has led to millions of Muslims in our region alone. 38
THE STATUS OF HINDUSTAN ON ARRIVAL OF MUSLIMS Much has been written about the region of Hindustan, and the funny part is that most of the narrations of that period is by Muslims ,for Hindus had no concept of history and never thought of it as worthy of being written. They were content in writing fanciful ballads for their consumption. Serious historical writing was not their task. A survey of historical writings show us that Hindustan was in no way a single entity, for it lacked any political or social cohesiveness. The area was divided into small states involved in petty rivalries and meaningless prejudices. There is reason to believe that even the concept of a single religion did not prevail in their life, and ethnicity was the ultimate thing in life. All decision making as well as actions were related to only one-fourth of the population, for the rest had no say whatsoever in national affairs. Even in case of war, only one-fourth population defended themselves, the rest were excluded from the task. They had nothing to gain and they had also nothing to lose. The population remained unconcerned with events. As there was no national consciousness, all the states were not in any way prepared to sink their differences. The funny part is that even the so-called invaders were not considered aliens, and were thought of as other aspirants to the throne. Nothing was at stake. Most Indian historians today seek reasons for the muslims success and the defeat of the Hindus and we are really not concerned with those thoughts. But Western writers too are touched by the reasons for the massive success. Although Peter Jackson rejects this reason in his book on "The Delhi Sultanate" but he too is easily unnerved by the firm statements made by historians like Muhammed Habibullah: "Drawing on the observations about the caste system to be found in the work of the eleventh-century Muslim writer al-Biruni, the late Professor Mohammed Habib suggested that the resistance of Hindu rulers, when confronted by the invading Ghurid armies, was undermined in two respects. First, the caste system seriously impaired the military effectiveness of the Hindu kingdoms. It restricted participation in war to the warrior caste, the kshatriyas, and the principle of untouchability required them, on the eve of battle, to perform numerous tasks that would otherwise naturally have fallen to those of menial rank. The second disadvantage allegedly imposed on the Hindu states by the caste system was its effect upon the cohesiveness of the subject population. Islam preaches equality. Faced with this liberating message (the argument runs), the urban masses could not but draw the contrast with the social shackles that bound them and throw in their lot with newcomers. Habib thus concluded, in words that have attained a certain notoriety, that this was not a conquest so-called. This was a turnover of public opinion, a sudden one no doubt, but one which was long overdue."
This kind of true statement is resented by Hindu and Western writers, but looked at with a dispassionate eye, one can see the visible truth in it. An Ideology was pitted against another Ideology, and the consequences are natural. Freedom is an ideal to cherish for everyone.
JATS AND DOGS We realize freedom today as natural and cannot even imagine what people would have felt without it. Today the Jats are proud inhabitants of our region, doing everything that they want to do, and be happy in it. But look at the state of Jats at time of arrival of Muhammed bin Qasim. Let us quote Peter Jackson himself on the issue: It (Chach-nama) alleges that Muhammed b. Qasim, the conqueror of Sind, learned of the disabilities imposed on a local people, the Jats, in the era of the deposed Brahman dynasty. One was that the Jats were to take dogs with them whenever they went out of doors, in order that they might be recognized."
The fact being that the Hindus considered the dog as an unclean animal, and equated the Jats in the same way as unclean animals. As the Muslims were not in majority rule, they could not undo these kind of tenets of life in a day, but imagine the time, when Jats could not equate themselves as dogs under Muslim rule and became free once for all. The spirit of freedom brought by the Muslims is downsized by the writers purely due to their prejudice of Islam. Dr Tara Chand in his 'Short history of the Indian people' asserts it in his way: "India reached a high degree of prosperity and civilization during the Rajput period. Yet when its princes and peoples came into conflict with the Arabs and the Turks, who were not superior to them in intellect, wealth or culture, they were unable to withstand their attacks. Why did they fail so signally?"
Superior in everything and yet they fell, and that paradox is chased by these historians, as due to lack of military superiority, lack of metal industry, lack of horses, lack of battle strategm, to even such statements that the Indians were 'weak, lazy and timorous'. We need not attempt to unravel the secrets of the victory of the Muslims over the Hindus. It is a fact of history and stands on its place, which led to a 1000 years of rule in this region, as well as conversion of literally millions into Islam. Only a few thousands came from abroad, the rest are natives who saw the light of reason.
A THOUSAND YEARS WITHOUT INTEGRATION The Muslims brought in their way of life, the Hindus had their own. Even the external factors were not same. The Muslims used mainly two languages, Arabic and Persian. Their accessories of life were in all respects totally different. Even the clothes were their own. Ritu Kumar in "Costumes and Textilles of Royal India" writes: "The clothing of the Sultanate rulers during the early part of their reign conformed to the Central Asian styles of their homeland and they did not take to the unstitched clothes worn by local people which were unfamiliar to them."
Obviously the food was different, and a nation of vegetable eaters were confronted with a nation of meat eaters. We can ofcourse write page after page of such differences, but the real difference was the attitude to life itself. The best expression of these differences is given by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammed Ali Jinnah, who spear-headed the drive towards a separate homeland for the Muslims, based on this two-nation theory. The great Muslim leader simply said: "Hindus and Mussulmans belong to two different religions, philosophies, social customs and literature. They neither intermarry nor interdine and indeed, they belong to two different civilizations, which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. Their concepts on life and of life are different. It is quite clear that Hindus and Muslims derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heros, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and likewise, their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a simple state, one as a numerical minority and the other as a majority must lead to growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built up for the Government of such a state."
The myth of integration ever is a folklore generated by Hindus as ruse to undo the unity of the Ideology of Islam.
THE RUSES OF INTEGRATION Lobbies tried to bring Islam down in the life of the Prophet and these efforts gained momentum with his death. From that day to this days there continues the many ruses of integration, which in simple terms mean the ability to mitigate Islam into nothingness. We need not go far back, let us quote an article published in the vogue of the politically correct "The Christian Science Monitor", written by Peter Skerry and Gary Schmitt. They say:
"These divergent responses are each in their own way inadequate. Not surprisingly, both sides reach out to Muslims who suit their purposes. Such "user-friendly Muslims" either denounce extremism, paint mainstream Muslim-American organizations in the worst possible light, or gratify some other positive or negative interpretation of Islam. One way or another, these individuals embrace some value or values that resonate with non-Muslims-- whether secularism, humanism, feminism pacifism, or gay rights. The problem is that such Muslims tend to come from minority sects, like the Ahmadiyya and Ismailis, or the numerous Sufis. Despite their many talents and often good intentions, these "representatives" arents really representative: they lack meaningful connections to the vast majority of Muslim Americans. "
The simple statement above proves that the weakest links of Islam do lie in these three communities. Obviously Ahmadiyah is the newest of creation and we need not discuss same in light of our topic, but in all respects, the other two were very active in the times of the great Sultans of Hindustan.
THE SUFIS IN INDIA Many other religions swear by the group of Holy men who invaded the territory of the Sultans of Hindustan. It is said that they were the ones responsible for the conversion of the area into Islam, but as our scholars have pointed out that Sufism was alien to the very spirit of Islam. And the very secretive way of the Sufis reveal a hidden agenda of theirs for the area. Bokhara seems to be a centre of the inner revolt against Islam. And to Bokhara belonged Abu-Bakar alKalabadhi (probably died 995 AD) in his "The Doctrine of the Sufis" expresses the desire of the Sufi to communicate with God and become one with the AlMighty, to get special messages, on the basis of which the Sufi is ready to change the message of the Quran, which in plain words is heresy and blasphemy. In our view without going to original sources, there will be gross misunderstanding, for the crown woven on legends cannot be put down with our own assertions. First the role of the Sufi is defined by Abu Bakar al-Kalabadhi as: "Those who relate them to the Bench and to wool express the outward aspect of their conditions: for they were people who had left this world, departed from their homes, fled from their companions. They wandered about the land, mortifying the carnal desires, and making naked the body: they took of this world's goods only as much as indispensable for covering the nakedness and allaying hunger. For departing from their homes they were called 'strangers'; for their many journeyings they were called 'travellers'."
And how do these Sufis seek communion with God. Bishop Subhan in his book on "Sufism" narrates various incidents, and only one is enough for us here for elucidation. Bishop Subhan says: We enter a dimly-lighted room where a number of men are gathered. As we do so a signal is given by a man who appears to be the leader of the assembly and the doors are shut. There is a hush as twelve men form two parallel lines in the centre of the room. The glimmer of a solitary hurricane lamp falls on dark faces in which only the eyes seem to live. The rest of us fall back to the sides of the room. The Zhikr is about to begin. With a startling clap of the hands the leader starts swaying from right to left. Very slowly he begins and the men fall into the rhythm of his swaying. Every time they sway to the left, they call 'Hu!' in chorus, 'Hu..Hu..Hu..' . So the monotonous chant proceeds with at first hardly any perceptible increase in tempo. But gradually the movement of their bodies becomes more rapid and the sound of 'Hu! Hu! Hu!' comes faster and faster and with a crescendo corresponding with the quicker time. At last the excitement becomes so intense that a man there, and a boy here, slip to their knees, still swaying in unison with the others till finally they fall in collapse on the floor,"
We call it "Hal" here in Punjab. All of them in such a state, and it is said that in this stupor they have become one with God, and God has rewarded them with insight, and the insight has increased to the extent that they can abrogate the Quran itself, and perform miracles, like flying in the air and others. Any sane person can laugh at all this or be ashamed of the pathetic condition of Islam under the so-called Sufis. We can ransack Sufi literature for our analysis and we come up with a very clear realization, to give in to the preachings of Sufis, in all ways you have to depart from the message of the Quran itself. In our analysis we can also talk of Ali Hujweri also known locally as Data Darbar, who admits in his own book that God had revealed the secrets of His Kingdom to His Saints and talks of total surrender: Â“When a man recognizes that his welfare does not depend on his own effort and foresight, but that every good and evil that happens to him is decreed by God, who knows best what is salutary for him, he cannot do otherwise than surrender himself to Destiny and implore God to deliver him from the wickedness of his own soul.Â” Ali Hujweri condemns the acquisition of excessive knowledge for it is not required in life, as knowledge has to be replaced with action. He says "Knowledge is obligatory only in so far as is requisite for acting rightly" and no more.
Although Ali Hujweri was brought to Lahore in chains as a prisoner of Sultan Masud Ghaznavi, he is said to have acquired stature due to his miraculous powers. In just one night he corrected the Qibla of a wrongly built mosque by uprooting it from its foundation and then setting it in the correct direction. Another story of his miracles is stated like this: Â“A Hindu jogi used to receive milk from a woman, who got herself enamoured by Ali Hujweri and started giving the milk to her new Master. The Hindu jogi got very irritated and flew to Ali Hujweri and started circling him in the air. Like a jet propelled missile, he would come down and go up and make all rounds of the saint. The Hindu jogi challenged Ali Hujweri to a fight. The same was declined by the Saint but he took of his shoes and ordered his shoes to thrash the jogi. The shoes of Ali Hujweri flew in the air, and struck the jogi again and again, till he could take the beating no longer and fell to the feet of the Saint. There he embraced Islam and Ali Hujweri made him a disciple and named him Ahmad.Â”
These kind of fairy tales Islam came to remove from the lives of its people, but they stuck in their fanciful form and are stuff of the legends surrounding these saints. Passerbys who pass the Mazars of these Saints tremble in fear that they would be thrashed if they paid no homage to them. The lessons of the Quran to think and ponder are nowhere even near the teachings of the Sufis.
STAGES, SCHOOLS AND THE WAY OF THE SUFIS Different times deal with subjects in different ways. Today the Sufi is dealt in a different way, but before partition, when the clash of ideas was in full swing, the subject was handled very openly. Research of certain scholars fall in oblivion, but I think the thesis of the researcher of Lahore, that is Ms Lajwanti Rama Krishna, namely her book "Panjabi Sufi Poets" is worthy of consideration. She first go ahead and discusses the seven stages of Sufism. The same are: I. Repentance. 2. Abstinence. 3. Renunciation. 4. Poverty. 5. Patience. 6. Trust in God. 7. Satisfaction.
She also talks about three schools, namely, Orthodox, Philosophic, and Popular Schools of Sufism. The most interesting observations she makes is that whatever the Sufis of other countries may be doing, the Sufis here in our region are in line with Hinduism. She openly says: "Mussulman mystics held the view that save God there was no reality; all else, therefore became illusion or the Hindu maya. The doctrine of transmigration and reincarnation was soon adopted and was afterwards supplemented by the theory of karma. Again Muhammed, who remained the perfect model of Man for the Sufis of other countries, was not necessarily the ideal of the Panjabi Sufi. The philosophically-minded sometimes ignored him, at other times, alloted to him the same place as they gave to the prophets of other religions. He became the hero of their poetry as Krishna is the hero of Bhagavata-lore. The Quran, which could not be dispensed with and was held in great veneration by the early Sufis, was now placed on the same level with the Vedas and the Puranas."
And her actual statement of all that is The Islam promulgated by the sword and by aggressive ulama and qazis could not impress the Hindus who abhorred it. But the Islam represented by the Sufis appealed to them. Almost all the willing conversions were no doubt the result of Sufi preaching."
The lessons of Sufis are very clear to us.
SULTANS AND THE SUFIS It is a very interesting analysis, the understanding of the development of two centres of power in the same place, each with its own and different objectives. In this respect, the recent book by Tanvir Anjum namely "Chisti Sufis in the Sultanate of Delhi 1190-1400" throws some light: "Interestingly, the Chisti Silsilah and the Sultanate of Delhi underwent almost analogous developments during the two centuries. The Chisti Silsilah was introduced in India by Shaykh Muin-al Din Chisti during the last decade of the twelfth century, whereas the victory at the second Battle of Tarain in 1192 laid a firm foundation for the Muslim rule in Northern India, the establishment of the Sultanate of Delhi by Sultan Qutb alDin Aybeg (d.1210) taking place in 1206."
46 A rare view of the Court of a Sultan of Delhi, as well as the visuals related to that period of time
SULTAN ALLA-UD-DIN KHILJI AND AMIR KHUSROW
SULTAN OF DELHI A miniature of a Sultan of Delhi
CERAMICS OF THE SULTANS A glazed flask of the Sultanate period of that time
She further discusses the relation between the Sultans and the Sufis as such: Â“The Chisti Shaykhs distanced themselves from the court and the Sultans of Delhi. Their attitude towards the state was characterized by avoidance of the company of the Sultans of Delhi, rejection of jagirs (land grants) offered by the state, and shunning of official titles and government service.Â”
And what the Sufis were trying to do actually was: "Later, the Sufis, rising to the challenge of the rationalist ideas of the Mutazilites, propounded the doctrine of maarifah or intuitive knowledge. This, they held, was given as God's blessing to those who sincerely sought nearness to Him. The quest for nearness involved practice of zhikr (remembrance of God, or recollection of God's presence) through a complex of prayers and meditations associated with the reflection and recitation of the names of God mentioned in the Quran, chanted over and over again until they produce ecstasy. "
In a single leap the intrinsic message of the Quran to think and ponder was turned into ancient religions seeking magic and miracles to impress the devoteds into submission. All Sufis were gifted with so called miracles. No sane mind can even start to accept them. The greatest miracle of Khawajah Moin-ud-din Chisti was to offer a cup to newly converted disciple Shadi Dev, and when he filled the cup from the lake of Annasagar, the whole lake went into it, and a large tract of land was empty of water.The opponent of the Sufi in form of another Hindu jogi Ajaipal became a disciple too. Miracles affect people.
MAGIC GREATEST SECRETS In a recent series of programmes on television, a famous magician made a decision to go public with some of the greatest feats of magic performed through the ages. In the show he first shows the feat and then shows the way in which the same is done. The audience literally get amazed to see themselves being duped by sleight of hands. If we start believing in miracles, we stop believing in the rationality of Islam. It seems to us that simple people at that time were duped in accepting these so called miracles. The famous scholar Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz too searched for such secrets and started living with some Hindu jogis to learn their secrets. He was amazed to know that many of these feats were merely the ability to hoodwink people. It is a matter of faith and we need not challenge the beliefs of people who believe in them, but for us, the rational 49
Sufi Steve Frayne walks on water on the river Thames in London, and is seen by thousands of people, and all can only wonder as to how this magician was able to do it in the year 2011
SUFI STEVE FRAYNE
approach is empirical, that which can be repeated with scientific evidence. Unfortunately there is no scientific evidence for this claim of miracles and will remain merely beliefs of simple people. Another recent eye-opener was the chain of suicide bombings at the mazars of famous Sufis. It was the professed belief of many devotees that something like a bomb can not even touch the resting place of a Sufi. The myth was ruthlessly and with liberating contents shattered. With all their miracles in their life time as well as after their death, the Sufis could not protect their burial places. They were just like other people.
THE SUFIS IN THE WORLD OF TODAY The legend woven around Sufis is so great that people tremble with fear at their very name. And the delusions of their mind cannot be in any way addressed, as they are in grip of unknown factors. But that is not what concerns us. The real threat is that foreign lobbies are trying their best to put Sufis on top of everything again. Sufis are being praised in writings, in popular songs, and huge grants are being given to Sufi mazars. Many mutavallis are receiving funds to raise their banner again. Every mohalla is full of some "Sakhi Sarkar" and getting away with every kind of nonsense. But forget about the very ordinary people on the street, world think tanks are talking of these same Sufis as their saviours. The American think-tanks are at it in full gear, and even Rand Corporation advocate use of Sufism in Islam to mitigate the Quran itself, and writers are talking about a state of mind "Beyond Islam". Many civilizations take pride in their sanity towards life, but in case of Islam, it seems even the sane are bordering on insanity. For unless we learn to honour each other and co-exist in peace, the very future of our Planet Earth is at stake.
THE SUFIS IN THE WORLD OF YESTERDAY The way of the Ismaelis was simple, any perceived threat they had no qualm in removing it through assassination. It was a matter of routine for them. The Sufis were very subtle, and could talk of love and peace only, but they too, were capable of all extremes. Even today Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Auliya is an icon which cannot be in any way touched by anyone. But a dispassionate look tells us a different story. Take the rivalry between Sultan Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq and Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Auliya. Both were icons in their own ways. One reached 51
the pinnacle of being a Sultan and the other the pinnacle of being a Sufi. At a certain time Sultan Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq went to realize that the Sufi was a threat to the Kingdom and ordered him to leave Delhi. And what did the Sufi do? He got the favour of the son of the Sultan, namely Ulugh Khan, and through the son, had his own father assassinated in a daring plot. Historians have written on this, but the account of Ibn Battutta is very clear: "As the Sultan neared the capital he sent orders to his son, Ulugh Khan, that he should build him a palace near Afghanpir. The palace was in the main a wooden structure, constructed within three days under the supervision of Malikzada Ahmad bin Ayaz, the superintendent of buildings, later known as Khwaja Jahan, the principal wazir of Sultan Mohammed. It rested on wooden columns and was so contrived that should the elephants step on a part of it the whole structure would collapse and tumble down. The Sultan stopped in this palace and fed his guests. After they dispersed, the prince asked the Sultan to allow him to have the elephants ride past him, and permission was granted. Shaikh Rukn-ud-din informed me that he was with the Sultan at the time, when Jauna Khan approached him saying: 'Maulana, it is time for the Asr prayer, come and pray'. The Shaikh complied with this request, and the elephants were brought from a certain direction, as had been arranged. When they stepped over the palace, it immediately collapsed on the Sultan and his son Mahmud. The Shaikh said, 'I heard the uproar and returned without saying the prayer. I saw that the structure had fallen, and the Sultan's son was ordering pickaxes and shovels to be brought to dig out the Sultan, but he made signs for them to delay and the implements were not brought till after the sunset'. When the Sultan was dug out he was seen bending over his son to save him from death."
Obviously many people have tried to exonerate Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Auliya from this pre-meditated murder, but our account is based on eye witnesses, who testify to this incident. Historians have pointed out that the relation between the Sultan and his son was not right. but the main reason for it was the Sufi alone, the aversion of the Sultan to the Sufi, and the devotion of the son for the same man. And the immediate reason for the incident was the command of the Sultan sent to the Sufi to vacate Delhi. On receipt of the order for the immediate expulsion, the Sufi had uttered the famous line used even to this day, that "Delhi is yet far away". A full conspiracy existed and proved the power of the Sufi on the household of the Sultan himself. Believers believe in the karma of the Sufi. Followers attest to the miracles of these Sufis and count them as a sort of trophy hunting from God. It is a matter of belief, but where sanity does not find reason for verifiable events, the miracles do remain a figment of the imagination. Many people allege that with the Ismaelis, the Sufis too had perfected the use of 52
hallucinogens, and that is why even to this day, drugs are freely used in the very mazars of these Sufis. Even today we see magicians performing tasks, which in olden times, would be termed as miracles. This very year a magician was photographed walking on water on the river Thames in London, and people could not know the trick behind the same. Could those naive citizens of olden times have known better? It was not a call for Islam, but a throwback to the ideals of the region itself. Western writers have very clearly stated the user-friendliness of the Ismaelis, the Sufis and the Ahmadiyahs. We need not bother to go in all the details, but the so-called prophet of Ahmadiyahs, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, himself writes in his own book, about the superiority of the Western people, and the total submission that was expected from the Ahmadiyahs for these superior people. Of all the important lessons he could preach, with his direct contact with God was not related to the bringing of some new Code of life, but only correction of some Quranic principles. One of them was that God had told this new prophet of his, that from then onwards, Jehad was banned from the life of the followers.No Jehad against the West seems to be a rather biased message for Allah, for whom all humankind is the same. It was a direct attack against the Quran, but again it is a matter of belief, that shakes even the faith in the Quran. Every one is entitled to their beliefs and we have no grievance against any view, except that it should not be forgotten that is not part of being a Muslim. It is outside Islam itself.
SUFI FAIZ AHMAD FAIZ AND OTHERS The modern times created other icons for ourselves. Sufi Faiz Ahmad Faiz was first projected by India (in unsavoury times), and then by Russia, who even early in time, awarded him the Lenin Peace Prize. In these times he has become the favourite of even the Western world, and the media gets in a frenzy trying to promote him, through all kinds of activity. People are shown rocking to Faiz, as a champion of peace. In his own words (in articles) he professes stress on the concept of Geography, and negates Ideology as being of no significant value. That is why he rejected Pakistan and its idea at its very inception. This debunking of Pakistan was much appreciated by the Western world, and Sufi Faiz Ahmad Faiz became the saviour of West, as well as its new hero. Even his daughter, Ms Saleema Hashmee, went on same lines, and made a gigantic painting of the 53
map of this region, with dark clouds on it, and its symbolism, was so much liked by the British official circles, that they bought the painting for their museum collection. I have no objection to all this. Best of luck to both Sufi Faiz Ahmad Faiz and his daughter in their pursuits of life. But I am a Pakistani and I love Pakistan. I am a firm believer in the two-nation theory. I am one with Dr Allama Iqbal, as well as Quaid-e-Azam. In my view Sufi Faiz Ahmad Faiz is poles apart from us. Other icons are coming up abroad to defame Islam itself. Forget about Salman Rushdie and Tashmeena Parveen, who are figures of yesterday. We have now people like Irshad Manji, telling us that it is not the Muslims that need to be reformed, but Islam itself. That shows that these people believe that they know more than the infinite wisdom of Allah. Why not? Go right ahead. Do whatever you like. Get all the benefits of the world. Islam is a challenge to religion, and in 1000 years, we had two projections, befitting Islam. One was the Mutazalli movement with its stress of rational thought, and the other was the daring figure of Pakistan, Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, the Adviser on Islam to the Quaid-e-Azam himself. The seeds are there in place, the tree of life is springing up again. Pakistan will not be undone.
FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF PAKISTAN AS A GIMMICK The West indulges with us in strange gimmicks. Pakistan came into being in 1947, and by 1949, the writer R.E.M. Wheeler was as an official adviser to the Government of Pakistan, infiltrating us with the idea as expressed in his book, "Five thousand years of Pakistan": Â“The title of this little book is a wilful paradox but contains a fundamental truth. Pakistan is a new Islamic State but is, nevertheless, like its older neighbours, a product of historical processes of which Islam itself is only the most recent and emphatic. In reviewing those processes, the modern historian and archaeologist turns first to geography and geology.Â”
This idea generated maliciously in 1949 got stuck with all the administrations of the various Governments of Pakistan, and most of those involved, considered talk of an Islamic state as being a sort of shame. Everyone had a self-interest in mind, and the media terrorists as well as cultural terrorists were working on 54
A GHAZNAVID COURT
A sketch copied from a wall painting depicts two soldiers in Pathan style of dress. This means either the court of the Ghaznavids or the court of the Ghauris. In all ways it is related to the area of Pakistan at that time
ruses of strategic communication. It was personally rewarding for them to be on the new bandwagon of the West. Another institution of Mayo School of Arts got a new name as National College of Arts and even got an American principal in form of Mr Sidney Spadding in 1954 to infuse the country on the modern track of the West. The attitude prevailed everywhere, and the poor sons of the soil, toiling at making the roots of their country strong, were stigmatized as backwards to the times.
ISLAMIC PAINTING IN HINDUSTAN Islam brought in its culture here, with the advent of Muhammed bin Qasim, who introduced Arabic aesthetics here. In the same way Ghazni boasted a cultural development all its own, and that culture found its full expression here in Lahore. Various professionals came and made Lahore their own. Dr Abdullah Chaghatai in "Painting under the Sultanate period" writes: "Not only was paper introduced by the Muslims into India but along with it the requisite material for writing, illumination or illustration was also made available."
We hear of the Mural paintings of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi at the very palace of Lashkari Bazaar, the record of which is still there. We do hear the poet Farukhi, telling us of the garden of the Sultan, in which, there was a portrait of the Sultan himself, enjoying a party with his friends. Ibn-Nadeem talks of having seen a manuscript of Yaqub bin Ishaq Al-Kindi, with sketches done by Al-Kindi in 857 AD. Early sketches of Pathans in Peshawer with Kufic script can be seen in Egypt. The courts of Sultan Iltutmish, Sultan Allau-ud-din Khilji, as well as Sultan Feroze Shah Tughlaq had paintings in them. We hear of a large central portrait of Sultan Iltutmish in his court at Delhi, on the visit of the Caliph of Baghdad Mustasim-billah in year 1226 AD in the Chinese tradition of Naqashe-khitai.Islamic culture was very much in Hindustan.
ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE IN HINDUSTAN The Arabs were good merchants in Hindustan, even before their actual conversion to Islam. After acceptance of Islam, they kept on coming without any specific agenda of their own. Where-ever they went,they built mosques for themselves 56
for their use in the area. The earliest remains of a mosque at Al-Mansura, the remains of which were in fact discovered in recent times, is dated 727 AD, by its inscription,and it does not even have a Qibla in it, simply for that concept had not evolved in their architecture at that time. There are other mosques, again at Al-Mansura, and their remains are dated around 950 AD. The earliest standing mausoleum, as well as perhaps a mosque, is the one related to an unknown person, namely Khalid bin Waleed, and it was built around 1180 AD, by Amir Ali Karmakh, Governor of Multan, under. Sultan Muhammed Ghauri. It is a prototype of the other designs in Hindustan itself. But these remains or standing monuments do not in fact testify to anything that would be one of its kind in history. In fact the most spectacular Islamic monument without question, remains the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque at Delhi, with its very immortal minaret, known the world over as Qutb Minar. Thats real history. If we had no historians like Khawajah Hassan Nizami and Fakhar-uddin Mudabbir, we would have hardly known anything about Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. And if we had no Qutb Minar, we would not in any way have known the aesthetic vision of the same Sultan. If his vision rocks us now, one can imagine the impact the construction of Qutb Minar would have had in 1193 AD. Well we can quote two authorities on the subject to get our impressions. The famous surveyor as well as archaeologist, James Fergusson writes about it as: "Nothing could be more brilliant, and at the same time more characteristic, than the commencement of the architectural career of these Pathans in India. So soon as they felt themselves at all sure of their conquest, they set to work to erect two great mosques in their two principal capitals of Ajmir and Delhi, of such magnificence as should rebound to the glory of their religion and mark their triumph over the idolators. A nation of soldiers equipped for conquest, and that only, they had of course brought with them neither artists nor architects, but, like all nations of Turanian origin, they had strong architectural instincts, and having a style of their own, they could hardly go wrong in any architectural project they might attempt.
In the same way another scholar Ralph Pinder Wilson in his learned discourse on the Minarets of Ghazni, writes his own views: "That the Qutb Minar was inspired by the minarets of Ghazni is revealed in its formal as well as its commemorative aspect. It has the stellate form, here consisting of a twelvepointed star with half round pilasters in each of the re-entrant angles of the star points; and the fourth inscribed band from the top on the lowest storey contains the first verses of tike Victory Sura. Here the allusion to victory over the infidel admits of no doubt,
A mausoleum, perhaps even a mosque, known to be of an unknown person, Khalid bin Waleed, but with actual inscription, of having been built by Governor of Multan, Ali Karamkh, under Sultan Muhammed Ghauri. A prototype original built around 1180 AD
MAUSOLEUM OF KHALID BIN WALEED
QUWWAT-UL-ISLAM MASJID DELHI The Jamia Masjid of Delhi in its persent state speaks of the grandeur it had in its own time 59
JAMIA MASJID DELHI An awe inspiring mosque which rattles people to this day 60
PILLARS OF THE QUWWAT-UL-ISLAM MASJID The pillars in the Jamia Masjid Delhi often dubbed as being of a Mandir there. It is beyond comprehensiion that any Muslim ruler would use the remants of a Mandir just like that. It is open to question whether these were used exactly as they were placed in the Mandir, modified in shape and position, or perhaps just the design was copied and modified by the stone carvers on their own. If all stones are labelled as Hindu, then everything in the world is Hindu
QUTB MINAR A different view of the Minar with British additions
QUTB MINAR A 19th century engraving of the famous Minar
JAMIA MASJID AJMERE In no way less than the Jamia Masjid Delhi, this one in Ajmere is breathtaking in its own way. The Caliph of Islam on a visit to Delhi said his prayers in the mosque
JAMIA MASJID AJMERE The famous mosque, known as Dhai din ka jhonpara, and which put Muslim Architecture on the map of Hindustan 65
ENTRANCE TO THE JAMIA MASJID AJMERE
the purpose of the minaret being to proclaim to the subject people of Hindustan the might of Islam."
And he further says: The Ghaznavid and the Ghurid minarets were created as acts of piety and thanksgiving since the tenets of Islam could not countenance the raising of a monument to glorify human achievement, for it is God alone who grants the victory to his servant. Nevertheless, their founders were also motivated by the propaganda value of such monuments. We have seen how the Qutb Minar was designed to impress the defeated Hindus the conquering power of Islam. "
James Fergusson admits the Qutb Minar that "it is probably not too much to assert that the Kutub Minar is the most beautiful example of its class known to exist anywhere", and describes the same as: Â“The Kutub Minar, or great minaret is 48 ft. 4 in. in diameter at the base, and, when measured in 1794, was 242 ft. in height. Even then, however, its capital was ruined, so that some 10 ft., or perhaps 20 ft., must be added to this to complete its original elevation. It is ornamented by four boldly-projecting balconies; one at 97 ft., the second at 148 ft., the third at 188 ft., and the fourth at 214 ft from the ground; between which are richly-sculptured raised belts containing inscriptions. In the lower storey the projecting ribs which form the flutes are alternately angular and circular; in the second circular and in the third angular only. Above this the minar is plain, and principally of white marble, with belts of the same red sandstone of which the three lower storeys are composed.Â”
James Fergusson also admits the dependence of the design of the Qutb Minar on the design of the Ghaznavid minarets.
VARIOUS BUILDINGS OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG The career of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg is mostly a period of being a loyal soldier and General of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri. Obviously his tenure as a Sultan is only of a few years, and one would not expect him to have done much in those years. But surely he had a long stay in the city of Lahore and he certainly must have made things here or even renovated the old palaces. The period of the Governorship of Ayaz is known and there was a magnificent palace in Lahore. When Qutbud-din Ai-beg comes to Lahore, he enters a palace known as Qaiseray Humayoun. 67
It surely must have been a grand place. The Fort of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi had its own rank here. But historians write what they feel and what they do not write is left amis in history. No records then remain for us. We are told that Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg made a Madrassa in Badaoun, and the Jamia Masjid made by Sultan Iltutmish, may have been started by Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg himself. But under his command, a number of monuments were made in Bengal and Bihar by Ikhtiyar-ud-din Bakhtyar Khilji, including the Sangi Masjid there, built on Buddhist ruins. However the most famous two buildings of the Sultan are the Quwwatul-Islam Masjid in Delhi and the "Dhai din ka Jhonpara" in the city of Ajmere. Both are immortal creations. The name of Qutbuddin Ai-beg is on both of them, but one completed and one expanded by Sultan Iltutmish. The date of one was questioned for a long time, before the riddle was solved by the writing of Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir. The date was 1193 AD, or after the victory of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri at Tarain of Prithviraj Chauhan, a turning point in the life of this region.
JAMIA MASJIDS OF DELHI AND AJMERE In the annals of Kings, Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir wrote that Sultans are expected to change the visual look of a city by building such kinds of construction to go down in history. The Jamia Masjid Delhi started in 1193 AD and completed in 1199 AD is of historical importance for it put the stamp of Islam onto a city. The Jamia Masjid was later enlarged by Sultan Iltutmish. Jamia Masjid Ajmere is reputed to have been made in Two and a half days, and although considered a mere play of words, may actually have been carried out like that. Legends are made on factual realities. Later on Sultan Iltutmish added a seven arched front to it in 1229 AD at the time of the visit of the Caliph of Islam Al-Mustansir to India, a very rare occasion for people here to witness such an event. The Jamia Masjid Delhi was also enlarged by Sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji, and he also started a duplicate Minar on the other side, with help of an experienced Seljuk architect, but it was never completed, otherwise the grandeur of the complex would have reached unimaginable heights. It was supposed to be double the size of the Qutb Minar itself. In any case the Alai-darwaza added by the Sultan is still intact and very much there.
AZAN RECITATION AND MUSIC The voice of azanÂ’s recitation is musical and was set to music a long time back to show its internal melody 69
ARCHITECTS OF THE MONUMENTS Historians inform us of the learned Wazeer namely Nizam ul Mulk Junaidi who was responsible for cultural developments in the Delhi Sultanate. But we are given name of two men associated with the very construction of the two mosques. The Supervisor, probably also the architect of the Jamia Masjid Delhi (Quwwatul-Islam) as well as the Qutb Minar was one namely Fazal bin Al-Maulli. The architect of the Jamia Masjid Ajmere was Abu Bakr bin Ahmad. Scholars often dismiss role of Muslim Architects in making these monuments and jump to the conclusion that it was the work of local people. Were the locals in any way well versed with the geometry of Islamic architecture and construction? Absolutely not. The monuments are pure Islamic in their nature and only well versed architects could have made them. And these names are not from manuscripts. These names are written on the monuments themselves and yet scholars pay no heed to them. Ofcourse more is there.
THE SCIENCE OF ACCOUSTICS IN ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE We are very familiar with sounds in Islamic monuments. As children we loved to shout in these corridors and hear the echo of our soft as well as loud noises. In fact sounds some time come back after we had made them. The same thing we used to hear in mosques, before the blatant loudspeakers took over the sanctity of the mosque. I also do remember that when we used to go for our prayers at the Badashahi Mosque Lahore, the Imam's voice was supplemented by voice of deputy imams and the echo of Allah-o-Akbar used to reverberate in the mosque. In fact it had an effect like hearing heavenly noises from the sky. Islamic Architects knew this well and had studied the science of accoustics. They knew that like light, sound waves can also easily bounce on concave surfaces as well as polished and glazed ones, so sounds could be made to travel in the direction of their required design. In an article on "Concept of Sound in Indian Architecture", V.M. Sholopukar writes: "There can be little doubt that many ancient monuments were designed to retain, echo or reverberate sound for psycho-religious dispensations. "
He discusses this relationship between sound and silence and talks of relation akin to being like that in music itself. He stresses: 70
QUTB MINAR 71
INSCRIPTION OF MASJID QUWWAT-UL-ISLAM The inscription of the mosque with the name of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg on it, as well as the name of the Supervisor of the building, Fazal bin Al-Maulli 72
"In the enormous inner cavity of its dome, echoes of sound reverberate a surprising number of times overlapping if accompanied by other sounds, in perfect succession."
And this made V.M. Sholopurkar realize: "I now realize that this repeated relapsing of sound into silence was to enhance and enrich the cessation of sound as a desirable condition for a communion with the Godhead or Allah."
This sound system was perfected by the great Turkish Architect Sinan and in later use it is even referred to his name. The concept itself being called "Sinan's Accoustics of Engineering", but it should not be forgotten that its use was the Muslim's foremost obsession with Science, and they knew these concepts from remote times. Some prejudiced Hindu writers have made fun of the Muezzin at the top of the Qutb Minar reciting the Azan, and call it as improable that the poor fellow could do much with his voice. The research of Dr Abdul Qadir Khan in a brilliant discourse on the Minarets in Islamic Architecture touch this subject with full precision. Very ably tracing the history of the Minar, he says that instead of one, at certain places, there used to be thirty-six muezzins on a single minar reciting the Azan in union. The chorus of their voices in succession could carry the sound of the Azan far and wide. I was told by my uncle Abdur Raheem Chughtai, that a famous Muezzin of Wazeer Khan Mosque could recite the Azan from the Minaret in such a way, that it could be heard miles away. Such was the knowledge of sound used in the architecture of buildings, and there is no doubt that the architect of the Qutb Minar knew all this well. The name Fazal bin Al-Maulli seems to suggest Iraqi sources for architecture.The other name Abu Bakr bin Ahmad looks Herawi in nature. Obviously the whole Islamic world was one as Ummah at that time.
INSCRIPTIONS OF THE QUTB MINAR It is amazing the amount of doubt and riddle ascribed to something as simple as inscriptions related to the Qutb Minar. This is not the time to take up the issue of same. We are here more concerned about the basic information on same. The inscriptions were dealt in a most scientific analysis by the famous William Ewer, who published his readings in "Asiatic Researches, Volume 14, 1822" for the first time, and the readings are used to this day. Modifications have occured 73
later, but basically the readings have stood the test of time.We note here the readings from the original text of William Ewer, and the same are:
INSCRIPTION ONE In the name of the most merciful God. The Lord lies invited to Paradise and brought the way of righteousness him who wills it. In the year 599 (actually 589), this building was commenced by the high command of Moez-uj-duniya wa ud din Mohammed Ben Sam, Nasir al Momenin.
INSCRIPTION TWO Kutub ud din Ibek on whom be mercy of God, constructed this mosque.
INSCRIPTION THREE The erection of this building was commanded in the glorious time of the great Sultan, the mighty King of Kings, the master of mankind, the lord of the monarchs of Turkistan, Arabia and Persia, the Sun of the world and religion, of the faith and the faithful, the lord of safety and protection, the heir of the kingdom of Sunman, Abul Muzzeffer Altamash, Nasir al Momenin.
INSCRIPTION FOUR In the year 907, this Minar having been injured by lightening, by the aid of and favour of God, Ferozmend Yamani restored whatever was needed by the building, may the Supreme Lord preserve this lofty edifice from future mischance.
INSCRIPTION FIVE The Sultan Shams ul Haq wa ud din Altamash, erected this building.
INSCRIPTION SIX The Prophet on whom be the mercy and peace of God, has declared "Whoever erects a temple to the God (on earth) shall receive six such dwellings in paradise". The Minar, the building of the king of kings, Shams Duniya wa ud din, now in peace and pardon, be his tomb protected, and his place be assigned in heaven was injured by lightening in the reign of exalted monarch Secantier the son of Bahlol (may his power and empire last forever and his reign be glorious) and therefore the slave Fatteh Khan the son of Mesned Ali, the liberal of the liberal, and the meritorious servant of the king...., repaired it according to command. The 13th of Rabi-al-Akher, in the year 909. 74
William Ewer had used a huge telescope to do all this, but the basic issue was different. The Mughal Emperor Akbar the second had ordered repair of the Minar in 1828 AD. At that time a number of stones from the inscriptions had fallen down, and the desire was to put them back. The job was being done by Captain Smith in 1829 AD, and the stones were in fact being put back at wrong places. There was no one to read the Kufi inscriptions, and the stones got interchanged, and which led to some confusions in reading. Some time later Edward Thomas undertook again the reading of these inscriptions and we need not indulge in his later readings, for the basic information is same in all. However he added this reading and that is of interest to us. He reads an inscription, which was in the fourth circle on the lower storey, as: "The very revered Sultan, the great Emperor, the master of mankind, the Suzerain of the King of Kings in the world, the asylum of (the prophet of) the world and religion, the exalter of the glory of Islam and Moslems, the enliven of justice in the world, the glory of the mighty kingdom, the heaven of the sacred religion, the Star of the Khilafat, the widener of the scope of beneficence and kindness among the two superior creations (man and demons), the shadow of God in the East and the West, the protection of the countries of God, the guardian of the slaves of God, the subduer of the kingdoms of the world, the elevation of the high word of God, Abul Muzaffer Mohmed, son of Sam, the copartner of the Amir ul- Ulumanain (the ruler of the faithful), may God make his rule eternal."
A reference is given in different texts of a defaced inscription on the lower storey and the entrance to the Qutb Minar. Although the same is not readable anymore but people could see written on it the title "Al-lasafar Al-ajal Al-kabeer". This is the title of the Sultan Qutbud-din Ai-beg, and it cannot be denied in existence. That means that however others may dismiss this evidence, Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg had been responsible for the vision of the minar and the start of its very construction. The bias of historians is fully evident, but there are people who hold balanced judgement. This whole history is summed up by Bianca Maria Alfieri in her book "Islamic Architecture of the Indian subcontinent", in simple way as: Â“Concurrent with the monumental facade, Aibak began the construction of the Qutb Minar, the well-known, beautiful minaret situated on the south-eastern outer corner of the mosque. Conceived as both a look-out and victory tower, to cast the shadow of God over the East and over the West. "
She clearly admits that the Qutb Minar is inspired by the Ghaznavid and Ghaurid minarets in Ghazni and Gaur. And further says: "Some 73 m tall, it has a base diameter of over 14 m, and is currently made up of five superimposed tapering shafts."
She elucidates this further: ".... must have been four in number. But in 1369 Firuz Shah Tughluq added a very ugly fifth storey after having restored, in dubious taste, the fourth floor which had been seriously damaged by a lightening bolt. The fifth storey was renovated by Sikander Lodi in 1503 and again by the penultimate Mughal emperor, Akbar II, in 1828. Aibak only succeeded in completing the first storey and the others were finished by his successor, Iltutmish. "
And Bianca Maria Alfieri dismisses all speculations about the Qutb Minar in an absolute way: "Some stones have been taken from Hindu monuments and carry chauhan inscriptions or small epigraphs placed by local marble masons who worked there. This has led some Indian scholars to suggest that this was a Rajput building. However, quite apart from Aibak's inscriptions that allude to the Ghurid sovereigns Muizz al-Din and Ghiyas alDin, the character of this tower is absolutely Islamic and differs totally from Hindu victory towersÂ”
HISTORY OF THE QUTB MINAR From the day of its inception to this day, we read of accounts about the Qutb Minar. Some accounts clarify history, while others do confuse us further than the facts themselves. But we need not be so concerned with the history of the last few centuries. Our object is to go to the origin of same and we do not have many accounts in that period, but surprisingly there are still many of them, and they do clarify for us things. And at times we come up with surprisingly fresh information. Obviously newer and newer documents are being discovered, and surely time will reveal more and more things. We do look at the present state of knowledge.
ACCOUNT OF SADEED-UD-DIN MOHAMMED UFI Sadeed-ud-din Muhammed Ufi was born in Bokhara and learning of the 76
developments at the court of Turkish Sultans, came to India on a ship and landed at Cambay. This was somewhere in the early 1220s AD. He wrote many books, but only three have survived him. One is the first anthology of Persian poets, namely "Lubab-ul-Albab", another is the Persian translation of "Kitab-ul-Farajbad-ul Shidda", and the last one is his famous four volumes work on history, namely, "Jawami-ul Hikayat-wa Lawami-Riwayat", known mainly as "Jawamiul-Hikayat".Ufi is responsible for a lot of special information we have on Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, and we also have his note on the Qutb Minar: "The courtyard and the floor in the mosque are of white marble. The arches in the sanctuary have been so nicely constructed that their beauty defies description. The ravaqs (porticos) of the mosque have great appeal to man's aesthetic sense and a soothing effect on his spirits as well. In fact, the mosque is a place for the pious and devout people. Its lofty minar is like a cypress tree from the top of which the loud chanting call for prayer in the name of God descends. The inscriptions have been put round its neck as amulets. The auspicious top of the minar has been covered. The call for prayer given from the top reaches the ear of all people. The competent engineers have got it built in accordance with the Sultan's instructions. "
He tells us that the height of the Minar is in keeping with the lofty ideals and aspirations of Sultan Iltutmish. The very early description of Ufi clarifies that there was a cupola on the top of the Minar, and possibly an extended roof and balcony. Another important statement is that it was part of the mosque, and on a regular basis the muezzin's call for prayer came from it. In a single sweep it eliminates the assertion of those who think that it was in no way used by a muezzin.
ACCOUNT OF KHIZR MUIN There is a unique Persian manuscript namely "Mifta Talibin" written by Khizr Muin. We have a reference of 1320 AD, that he wrote the same around 1250 AD. The only copy known is with a private collector in Delhi, and it is mentioned that the buildings of Sultan Iltutmish are described in it A particular reference and description is made of Hauz Shamsi, or the Tank of Iltutmish. Obviously it has description of his other buildings. Unfortunately it is not published and we have no access to its content, but list this as a source of reference for others.
IBN BATTUTA The traveller Ibn Battuta at the Court of the Sultans
ACCOUNT OF AMIR KHUSROW The famous Amir Khusrow has written many books and many descriptions. He had the opportunity to serve many Sultans of Delhi. He has a very detailed description of the proposed tower of Sultan Alla-ud-din Khiljee, and we need not comment on same. But around 1296 AD, he did write a Qasida on the Qutb Minar, and praises the minar in many ways. He also praises the ability of the Muezzin to call for prayer from the minar itself. We have reproduced the whole Qasida as a separate image, and it is the perhaps the first eulogy on the Qutb Minar in history.
ACCOUNT OF IBN-BATTUTA The whole world has known about the travels of Ibn Battuta, done between 1325 AD and 1354 AD, and is a fascinating account of those times. Factually wrong at places, it is still a best account in the terms of description. Ibn Battuta also describes the Qutb Minar and adds to our knowledge: "In the northern court of the mosque is the minaret, which has no parallel in the lands of Islam. It is built of red stone, unlike the stone (used for) the rest of the mosque, for that is white, and the stones of the minaret are dressed. The minaret itself is of great height, the ball on top of it as of glistening white marble and its 'apples' are of pure gold. The passage is so wide that elephants can go up by it. A person in whom I have confidence told me that when it was built he saw an elephant climbing with stones to the top. "
We known from this description that a white marble construction was at the top of the minaret and it had gold ornamentation on it, and that could not be merely pinnacles on top of the dome. Some very huge, bulbous things were on top made of pure gold. We can only imagine a dressed up minar of those times, indeed the jewel of Delhi.
ACCOUNT OF SHIHAB-UD DIN AL-UMARI Shihab-ud-din Al-Umari was an Arab scholar and wrote a world famous book on geography in 1344 AD. In his description of the city of Delhi he too describes the Qutb Minar, and knows that it is a wonder of the age. And he acribes the mosque with the mention of the minar to Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg.
A poem on the Qutb Minar by Amir Khusrow set in elegant calligraphy. Amir Khusrow describes the Qutb Minar as a minaret in which the Azan was recited from its top
MASNAVI OF AMIR KHUSROW
Al-Umari describes the Qutb Minar as; "There is also the Jama mosque (Quwwat-ul-lslam mosque, built by Sultan Qutb-uddin Aibak) the call minaret of which is famous for its height. It is said that it has no rival in height on the earth. According to Shaikh Burhan-ud-din bin Khallal a-Bizi, the height of the Qutb Minar is about twelve hundred feet..,"
We have no access to the original book, but if the name Qutb Minar is written in same, the doubt as to its name will be removed forever.
ACCOUNT OF SULTAN FEROZ SHAH TUGHLAQ In 1369 AD Feroz Shah Tughlaq repaired the Qutb Minar, as it had been damaged by lightening. He also added a questionable fifth storey to it, and the actual modifications cannot be known. However he gives a reference to the Qutb Minar and calls it a "Burj-Fattah". This is a reference of it being a Tower of Victory, and has stuck in the minds of writers averse to thinking of it as being part of a mosque. In this respect we find the analysis of Ralph Pinder Wilson very relevant to our analysis. In fact if we take out 800 years of travelogues of Hindustan, we will find mention of Qutb Minar in the statements of most of the visitors. Everything exceptional catches the eye, and that was the intention of the builder and his vision, that is Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg and his slave, and son-in-law Sultan Iltutmish.
OTHER MOSQUES IN HINDUSTAN We know that Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg built a Jamia Masjid in the city of Badaoun, as well as was responsible for one in Bengal, known as Sangi masjid. The reference to the Jamia Masjid in Badaoun is given in a manuscript history namely "Akhbar al-Jamal", which is an 18th century history of Aligarh (Kol), and the author says that he had in fact seen an inscription stating that the Jamia Masjid was built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg but as it was in decay, it was renovated by Sultan Muhammed Tughlaq in 1329 AD. The text of the inscription seen by that author clearly showed it to be the work of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. In same way there was a ruined mosque in Bengal as seen by an author. and after surveying a removed place for an inscription, he writes: 81
Originally built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, but later modified and rebuilt by Sultan Iltutmish. Later modified in its present shape by Sultan Feroze Shah Tughlaq
JAMIA MASJID BADAUN
JAMIA MASJID BADAUN A 19th century view of a gate of the famous mosque, which is no longer in existence
EID-GAH BADAUN An Eid-gah built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg in Badaun
"If the above facts are accepted, then it becomes clear that Teliadhaka was neither destroyed nor its structures vandalized by the Turkish conquerors. It seems more likely that Teliadhaka was already a deserted site by the late 12th century on the eve of Bakhtiyar's campaign."
The site was seen by Imtiaz Ahmad, who wrote a learned article on same as "History and Antiquity of the Sangi Masjid at Telhara". Dr Abdullah Chaghatai tells us of the host of mosques built by Sultan Ghauri and Sultan Iltutmish in Lahore, Multan and other places. But what is of great interest is his mention of a Jamia Masjid, at Pahlol, near Gurgoan, dated 1209 AD, which has an actual inscription on it, as being built by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. Western scholars are very extensive, but there are places, which they still do not know about, and miss their analysis. Obviously where there are kingdoms, there is architecture of those who rule them, and the list of record of the architectural achievements of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg is not yet complete.
AN INTERESTING HYPOTHESIS OF MAX VAN BERCHEM We all know that Max Van Berchem dedicated to Islamic Civilization, was the founding scholar of Arabic epigraphy. In 1892 AD, he wrote this from his heart: "The Muslim monuments of the world are in a state of neglect. These once magnificent ruins will soon be decayed relics of a glorious and artistic past and their historical inscriptions lost. All the texts engraved on the various mosques, tombs, caravanserais, madrasas, fortresses and bridges shall be recorded, all the monuments photographed, every Muslim region explored, the various objects in private collections and museums studied, and the texts systematically published, so as to note a living commentary for Muslim Institutions."
The Max Van Berchem Foundation was made in 1973 and they are very active in doing what their founder did in his life time. The hypothesis of Max Van Berchem was that the Qutb Minar was indeed begun by Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, but instead of being a Minaret of the Jamia masjid, it was intended as a Mausoleum for himself. In short, Sultan Qutb-uddin Ai-beg was constructing his own burial place. Max Van Berchem was no ordinary man, with any ordinary vision. Fully versed in the aesthetics of Islam, he made this assertion from his own experience. True or not is actually not the issue here. It is for us to know that facts are merely facts and require from time to time relevant interpretations. The interpretation of Max Van Berchem is a very bold one, made by no one else in history. But it cannot be dismissed without analysis. 85
IRONSMITHS (LOHARS) An early miniature dated 1090 AD depicts ironsmiths and is a very rare depiction of the trade 86
IRON PILLAR (LOHAY DA KHAMBA) A sketch by Delhi artist Mirza Shahrukh Baig for Sir Syed Ahmad Khan around 1859 AD 87
LOHAY DA KHAMBA (THE IRON PILLAR) The history of the Qutb Minar is attached also with the history of the Iron pillar fixed in the compound of the mosque, and a subject of wide debate. The Muslims look at the Qutb Minar, whereas the other community, meaning the Hindus look at the Iron pillar as a way of salvaging their lost pride of a thousand years. The pillar in fact is about 23 feet and eight inches tall, with actually 22 feet being out of the ground. The lower diameter is around 16.5 inches, and it has a calculated weight of about 6 tons. A very imposing relic of its age, it is considered a wonder in its own right. But that is obvious that all these features create resentments, and they are natural. The male organ is an important feature of the Hindu religion, whereas one way of reaching divine union is through sex itself. In their texts as well as in mandirs, the lingam of Shiv dominates even the very mundane discussions. Devadasis were always expected to sacrifice their virginities to stone lingams, as homage to the god Shiva. In no way is this in any way controversial with them, as they take this to be the reality of their life. Even texts like Kama Sutra, openly advocate use of gold lingams by Brahmins to satisfy their urges in situations where impotence is part of their life. That is why Iron pillars with Garudas at their tops were phallic imagery for them, and symbols of victory. The word khamba is in daily use to this day, for electrical posts in the streets. A tower of victory for a ruler was a phallic imagery for the king to project to others his strength and the use of same, by which he crushed his enemies. The history of the Iron pillar in being placed in the compound of the Jamia masjid is given by Shams Siraj Afif in his book, "Tarikh Firuzeshahi". He talks of the various Iron pillars in Hindustan, and he calls them "Manaras", and explains the replacement of many of them by Sultan Feroze Tughlaq. However he dicusses the "Manara buzurg", and says that this oldest and most revered Iron pillar was placed in the compound of the Jamia masjid by Sultan Iltutmish. It was a brilliant idea on the part of the Sultan, to bring the Iron pillar from the ruins of the fort of Lal-kot and place it here, as a just comparison between the extreme might of the Sultans with the extreme might of the Hindu Rajas. But he did much more than that, he did first remove the Garuda from the top of the pillar, and there it still stands in silent testimony, as a castrated phallus of the Hindus.A shame which has lasted a 1000 years.
LORD VISHNU A Gupta era sculpture depicting Lord Vishnu with appeasement by his follower and female attendant in sexual style 89
IRON PILLAR A 19th century drawing of the Iron Pillar before the base was made on its site
THE IRON PILLAR IN HISTORY There is no doubt that the local Hindus had a very fertile mind and their imagination could create anything. Take for instance, the very legends surrounding the Iron pillar. In 1858 AD, Robert and Harriet Tyther were making photographs of the Iron pillar, when they were told that: "The pillar is supposed by the natives to go through the centre of the earth, there resting on the head of a tortoise round which the earth spins. "
The scholar Beglar had referred to the Hindus as "intellectual Hindus facing barbarian Muslims", and perhaps forgot to add that the stories spun by them could be believed by them only, for no sane person on earth could live well with such imagination. But obviously the Iron pillar had an extensive history, and in many ways, the history is studied through various inscriptions available on it as a living record. The most important is the oldest inscription on it, read by various historians in different ways, and as a matter of record, an issue which has not even today been solved to is full extent. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan could interpret it as Raja Dhava, but the modern readers talk of the Raja Chandra. The scientist as well as most ardent admirer of the Iron pillar on earth, namely R. Balasubramaniam, has analyzed each and every aspect of it, and any one really interested in the history of the Iron pillar, should read his books and articles on same. The general agreement today is that it belongs to the Gupta period and is dated around 410 BC. It is still attributed to the Gupta king, Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, and is a testimony of the king's conquests over his vast enemies. It is in fact composed in the Sardulavikridita meter. It will not be fair if we do not give a complete reading and we use the version given by the reading of "Fleet": 1.
He, on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when in battle in the Vanga countries, he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against (him); he, by whom, having crossed the seven mouths of the (river) Sindhu, the Vahlikas were conquered, he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed;
He, the remnant of the great zeal of whose energy, which utterly destroyed (his) enemies, like (the remnant) of the great glowing heat) of a burned-out fire in a great forest, even now leaves not the earth; though he the king, as if wearied, has quit the this earth, and has gone to the other world, moving in (bodily) form to the land (of
INSCRIPTION OF THE IRON PILLAR An early reading of the inscription of the Iron Pillar with links to the Gupta Kings 92
paradise) won by (the merit of his) actions (but) remaining on (this) earth by (the memory of his) fame; 3.
By him, the king, attained sole supreme sovereignty in the world, acquired by his own arm and (enjoyed) for a very long time; (and) who, having the name of CHANDRA, carried a beauty of countenance like (the beauty of) the full-moon, having in faith fixed his mind upon (the god) Vishnu, this lofty standard of the divine Vishnu was set up on the hill (called) Vishnupada.
Obviously all readings made are read again by other scholars in some variation, but the variations, do not deter us from the original truth in the reading. It was a tower of victory of the King Chandra over his enemies, and it was around 410 BC, and it was placed on the hill known as Vishnupada. It is the truth and there is no reason for us not to accept this as the truth, whatever variants there may be in it. There are many other inscriptions on the Iron pillar.There is even one in Persian, related to one Ali Asghar Hussain, son of Israel, and that is dated 1556 AD. Even inscriptions whose dates do not tally with reality. However the most interesting inscription for us is not that of Raja Chandra but that of another Raja, that is Anangpala, which is dated 1109 Samwat, or 1052 AD, and it points out to the location of Lal-kot, as the fortress of this Raja, and there he placed this Iron pillar, to enhance his stature as a king of those times.
IN SEARCH OF RAJA ANANGPALA The story of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi and Raja Jaipal is well known in history. After having been defeated by Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, Raja Jaipal commitÂ’ed suicide by burning himself on a fire pyre. His son Raja Anangapala took control of Punjab. When the Sultan was going to Multan to crush a rebellion there, Raja Anangapala who was siding with the Ismaelis there, attacked the Sultan on way. This greatly irritated Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, and he inflicted a crushing defeat on Raja Anangapala. Raja Anangapala deserted his capital and fled to Kashmeer. In Kashmeer Raja Anangapala and his son Jaipal II had made the fortress of Loh-kot, which was famous for both its height and strength. It was so high that it was difficult for anyone to reach it Even Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, who took the other forts, could not in any way capture the fort to his will and postponed the venture for the future. This is a clear testimony of the existence of the fort of Loh-kot as well as the presence of Raja Anangapala.
RAJA ANANGPAL OF LAHORE A very rare bronze figurine of Hindu Shahiya period was recovered from the depths of a house in the Suha Bazaar area of Lahore. Although broken and with pieces missing, it is without doubt a figurine of a Raja of Lahore, as it has the marks of a crown on the head. Various Rajas come to mind, but due to age and other factors, we can isolate many of them. We attribute it to the main Raja of Lahore, that is Raja Anangpal, and as it is contemporary, it is an actual image of the man, who lost to Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi. Perhaps the broken figurine represents just that, the end of a dynasty. Now the idea comes to the mind that this may be the same Raja Anangapala, whose name is written in clear terms on the Iron Pillar of Delhi, and who tried to reclaim his position in Hindustan 94
It was in 1049 AD that we hear of a Raja, perhaps Raja Anangapala, Jaipal II, or even Raja Anangapala II, who descended from Kashmeer, and assembled all the Hindu Rajas of various territories, and as a joint operation, attacked the conquered Muslim cities. They had captured Hansi, Thanesar and even Nagarkot. They laid a seige to the city of Lahore, and took 5000 prisoners. Sultan Maudud was not in Lahore, and the citizens, with a lot of Generals, defended the city. The battle raged around Purani Kotwalli, and many soldiers laid their life in saving Lahore. The bodies of these soldiers as well as Generals are buried in a mass grave, which exist to this day in the city, and the area is known as Ganj-shaheedan. In the course of a few decades, the people had made Lahore as their own. The desire of Raja Anangapala and his family to unite the Hindus and to make the city of Lahore their own, shows the credibility of Raja as well as his prowess of Loh-kot. It would not be surprising if the same Raja had established another fortress of Lal-kot near Delhi, and made it the headquarters of his regime. Even the name of the fortress in Kashmeer as well as in Delhi are co-related, and the Raja is common to both of them. And this Raja's obsession with removing Muslims from Hindustan shows his past experience of same. It is our conjecture that the fort which was considered unconquerable for its height and strength would probably be the fort of Raja Chandra Vikramaditya, and the Iron pillar was there, and it was the hill of Vishnupada.Does our assertion match that of any scholar? We will try to see in the records. In his famous book on the "Iron pillar", the ardent R. Balasubramaniam writes: "It is clear from this that both Vipasa and the Kashmir region were visible from Vishnupadagiri, and this lead commentators to state that Vishnupada was on a hill on the river Vipasa not far from the Kashmir region. On emerging out of Kashmir into the country of Saptasindhu (Punjab), the river Vipasa had formed a sharp bend in the border of Gurudaspur and Kangra district and he opined that Vishnupadagiri may have been located somewhere there."
It is our conjecture that Raja Anangapala had captured the hill of Vishnupada and made a fort Loh-kot there and later made another fort in Delhi, known as Lal-kot, and brought the Iron pillar from there to the new fort, to establish his strength in the new region. That is why Raja Anangapala had his name engraved on the Iron pillar in 1052 AD and established the new fort there, destined to be ruined by the Muslims. Sultan Iltutmish knew the symbolic value of this great pillar for the Hindus, and 95
had it literally castrated and placed in the vicinity of the Jamia Masjid, after finishing the mosque and its minaret known as the Qutb Minar. If a more rational explanation emerges for us in the future, we will have no hesitation in endorsing facts.Till then our explanation is sound and a product of reason.
THE TWO QUTB-UD-DINS OF THAT PERIOD At the time of the construction of the Jamia masjid in Delhi, there was Qutbud-din Ai-beg, the first Muslim Sultan of Hindustan. There was also Qutb-uddin Bakhtiya Kaki, who had died in 1232 AD, well after the date of the completion of the Minar of Delhi. It is strange that there are so many historians allergic in ascribing the Qutb Minar to the Sultan, and have come up with the fancy idea of it being named after the Sufi of that period. A more ridiculous statement one cannot imagine in the quest for any objective analysis. Why on earth would Sultan Iltutmish name the Minar after the Sufi. It is a well known fact that Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg as well as Sultan Iltutmish were in no way soft on the Sufis. They preached the Islam of the Quran and not that of the Sufis. And who had the gall to name the Minar on his own? No one for sure. Dr Bruce B. Lawrence of Duke University, New Jersey tells us of the death of Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki in the year 1232 AD as: Â“He expired while listening to a verse sung in Sama, 'Those slain by the dagger of submission, Every moment get a new life from the Unseen'.Â”
Whereas the Sufi Qutb-ud-din could talk of the ideal of submission,the Sultans, both Qutb-ud-din as well as Iltutmish, only believed in the very relentless struggle. How can the two ever be reconciled? Another hypothesis spun by historians like Abdullah Qureshi, is that the Minar was named as the Qutb Minar by the British, and no one else. Is it possible that the renaming should not find a historical reference to it? The British would foremostly take pride in such an achievement. We have seen that the reference to the Minar given by the Arab geographer Shihab-ud-din al-Umar in 1344 AD is stated to be with the name of Qutb Minar.
MOHALLA QUTB GHAURI The choice of the burial place of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg must be based on some reasons. We hear a reference about the area being a market place known 96
as "Qutb Mandi". But the Sultan died while he was playing a game of Polo (Chaughan) and the place might actually be a Polo ground. It is interesting that even today there is a Polo ground in Lahore but at a different location. However the one reference of the area in Mughal times is known as the area being Mohalla Qutb Ghauri. Mufti Taj-ud-din, who was himself descendent from a famous family of Lahore, wrote at the command of DC Lahore Major Clark, a book on the history of Lahore. It was never printed and there was only one copy of the manuscript with Maulana Muhammed Shafi of the Oriental Section, of the University of the Punjab, Lahore. As the library was stolen and sold, many manuscripts are traceable, but no one knows the very present location of this history of Lahore. Suffice that some of its extracts were published in the Oriental College Magazine, Lahore, and there is a clear reference about Mohalla Qutb Ghauri, which was a very populous area, surrounding all four sides of the mausoleum of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. Obviously when like minded people were on all four sides, it was a well protected monument till that time.
A SIX FINGERED SULTAN We do not know much about the physical description of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibeg, but some sources testify, that he was not a handsome man. Others say he was more than six feet tall. But all agree that he had six fingers on his hand, and one of them was broken, so he was for that reason called "Ai-beg Shal", or Aibeg the Maimed. We know that Ai-beg was a title, and perhaps was a title of honour, or a title that was based on his place of birth, or place of first command. The broken sixth finger earned him the title of being maimed in life.
A TURK BY DESCENT Nothing is known of the ancestry of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. The Court historian Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir was an expert in making of the family trees of the nobility of that time. If anything had been known about the family of the Sultan, Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir would have written about the same. We do not come across any reference in which the name of the father of the Sultan, and it is felt, that himself had no knowledge of same. Some historians refer to Ghauris as Pathans, but certainly the Sultan was a Turk by descent. Bosworth has written an admirable discourse on the early Turks in Islamic history. 97
THE ENIGMA OF TAJ-UD-DIN YILDOOZ Sultan Muhammed Ghauri considered his various slaves as his sons, as he had only one daughter. And we know literally nothing about her. We do know that Taj-ud-din Yildooz was one of his favourite slaves, and had the privileage of carrying the black standard of Ghazni. In all ways it was a message to others that he was actually the heir to the throne of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri. Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg on his way back from Ghaznvi, stopped at Kirman in Peshawer, where Taj-ud-din Yildooz was the Governor of the place.There he requested the hand in marriage of the daughter of Taj-ud-din Yildooz. It was perhaps a clever move to cement a relation betwen two aspirant heirs to Sultan Muhammed Ghauri. The marriage was celebrated on the return of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg to Delhi. So in this step Tajud-din Yildooz had become the father-inlaw of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. On the death of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri, Taj-ud-din Yildooz bribed the Governor of Lahore, and invaded Punjab. He annexed Lahore in a very short time. This infuriated his son-in-law, who came to battle with him. In a swift action Lahore was retaken and Taj-ud-din Yildooz was driven back to Ghazni. The rage of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg knew no bounds, and in the spurt of energy, he even captured Ghazni, and ruled it for some days.
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION BY HISTORIAN FERISHTA Muhammed Qasim Ferishta makes the assertion about Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg's stay at Ghazni. He says: "Kootb-ood-Deen, after this, unaccountably gave himself to wine and pleasure, till the citizens of Ghazny, disgusted with his conduct, sent privately to Taj-ood-Deen Yeldooz, acquainting him with the King's negligence, and entreating his return." Muhammed Qasim Ferishta is the only historian who assails the basic character of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. The other historians do not mention anything of this nature, or mention it in different terms. A little analysis would prove the bias 98
of Ferishta was not without reason. The historian had left his hometown in Persia, and was an ardent Shiah by faith. The Islamic character of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg did not suit him, and to consolidate his assertions, he quickly adds, that "Kootb-ood-Deen now became sensible of his folly, and repented: after which he continued to exercise justice, temperance, and morality".This later statement is simply made for the people of Hindustan in the times of historian Ferishta, who would not have believed anything bad about the Sultan, even centuries after his death. As far as Taj-ud-din Yildooz is concerned, he again invaded Punjab after the death of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, but was defeated by Sultan Iltutmish on the battle field near Delhi, and was finally taken prisoner. It is said that he died in confinement. The grave of Taj-ud-din Yildooz lies on the bank of the river Sutha, near Badaoun. So we know for sure that he died in the region of Hindustan itself.
FACE OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG The portraits of Qutb-ud-din exist in time. Many of them are merely 20th century portraits, with an imagined face and dress. And mostly the conjecture was that his face will remain unknown in time. But there are a few startling possibilities and we study them. There is a Shah-nama dated around 1230 AD, which has the portrait of the King of Samangan with his General. The King rides a white elephant, which is not relevant in Persian region. Obviously Samangan is an area of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri and we can imagine this miniature to depict the Sultan with his General, Qutb-ud-din. But that remains merely a conjecture. But Lahore is famous for figurines of the Kings of all times, and we find representation of Kings from Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi to even the studies of Lord Lawrence of the Punjab. So it is obvious that the figurine of Qutb-ud-din would have been popular, as he was revered not only in his own time, but later periods too. His urs was on a regular basis commemorated in Lahore, and the last reference we find of it is around 1773 AD. So if his urs was there, perhaps there was also the tradition of making figures of him. A couple of heads which were discovered in the deep depths of Lahore can point out the face of Qutbud-din, and yes, we have another reference for comparison of same. The Vervier brothers were famous French collectors of Art and were responsible for purchase of very old art works from Ispahan in Iran. This was in the early 99
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A Muslim figurine of Lahore in unusual white clay (choona), recovered from a depth of twenty feet. The face resembles the portrait of the Sultan in the miniature dated 1230 AD
period of 20th century and they took these art works to Paris. Many got published in books. In a published book we see the visual of a painting, perhaps original, or perhaps a copy of a wall painting. It is entitled the "Sultan and his son" and is dated around 1232 AD. It is a work of Indian origin and a Muslim painting of that period is a rarity in itself. The only two centres which in those days were relevant were Lahore and Delhi. But Delhi was too new at that time. Although we hear of a grand wall painting of Sultan Iltutmish in the Chinese tradition, adorning an event at his Court. At that time Lahore already had a tradition of painting, and of the 200 professions at the Court of Lahore. according to historian Al Baiqhai, there were naqashs and painters in Lahore. In any case the painting is entitled "Sultan and his Son" and is dated 1232 AD, and probably reflects the day of adoption of Aram Shah as the son of Qutb-ud-din. And the remarkable thing is that this face of the Sultan in all ways match the face of a recovered figurine of Lahore. In our view the face of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg is there in front of us.
AN AMAZING MANUSCRIPT WITH A FAMILY TREE Sometimes we come across startling things and not only are these amazing, but also full of information. It is said that knowledge is there somewhere, and it is just that we do not have access to it. In this way a manuscript of Prayers was brought to me from a small mosque in Peshawer and normally it would have no interest, but the colophon was so interesting that it found inclusion here. The same manuscript was declared Waqf by its owner Mirza Ahmad Khan, in the memory of his maternal uncle, who had died before him. The actual manuscript was written in the Jamia Masjid Herat, at the graves of father and son, namely Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri and his son who is termed Sultan too, as Sultan Bahau-ud-din Ghauri. The writer seems to be mutavalli of the two graves in the graveyard of Jamia Masjid Herat. In the same spirit the writer writes his family tree, and names in this respect about twelve generations, which to account for about 700 years, may not be enough, but cannot also be ruled out as mere fabrication. For there is literally no monetary benefit to claim around 1900 AD descent from Sultan Ghias-uddin Ghauri. No research is required here but it is interesting to note that the names have Maliks, Mirzas as well as Baigs in it. This proves that the family of Sultan Ghias-ud-din is in no way Afghan but actually Turkish Chaghatais. 101
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A different view of the same figurine of Lahore, depicting Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A 19th century miniature of Lahore depicting the current imagery of the Sultan at that time. Courtesy Faqeer-khana Museum, Lahore 103
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A popular image of the Sultan done by Imam-ud-din Mussaver, and printed by University Book Depot, Urdu Bazar, Lahore 104
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG An interpretation of the Sultan done by a Delhi artist based on a Mughal Murraqqa of Shah JahanÂ’s period 105
TURKISH GENERAL OF LAHORE A Muslim figurine of Lahore, depicting a Turkish General, perhaps of some relevance in the SultanÂ’s army
The list of names is like this Mirza Ahmad Jan,son of Mirza Afzal Ahmad, son of Mirza Jan Khan, son of Mirza Ahmad Ibraheem Khan, son of Mirza Anwar Ahmad Khan, son of Muhammed Sultan Khan, son of Malik Muhammed Murad Khan, son of Malik Muhammed Hussain Khan, son of Malik Muhammedan Khan, son of Malik Qamar Baig, son of Sultan Baha-ud-din Ghauri, son of Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri, as such.The place of writing is sacred too as the grave of the Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri. Obviously there is a lot of truth in it even if some of the aspects may be wrong. All this proves one thing, that a King like Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri was held in respect and awe, seven hundred years after his death. Remarkable that not only the family existed in time, but held the links in their mind crystal clear. It is certain that those who do good deeds are remembered after their lifetime. These two great brothers Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri as well as Sultan Muizud-din Ghauri were exceptional characters in history, as they loved and respected each other, and never encroached on each others right. In the legend of Kings it was a rare attribute. And the same kind of loyalty they got from their slaves, who treasured their Masters just like their own fathers.
LOST MANUSCRIPTS AND A QURAN OF SULTAN ILTUTMISH In historical references we come across mention of many manuscripts made in Lahore, and lost in the web of time. If the historian Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir consulted more than one thousand books for his own research in Lahore, we can imagine the production of same in Lahore. The same person also produced an elegant golden copy of his ''Shajra Ansab" for Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, and endorsed it personally to the Sultan. A copy of that book is available. In the book "Tarikh Lahore" written by engineer Kanhaya Lal, written in 1884 AD, we find a reference to a gallery of Qurans, placed in the mausoleum of the Sufi, Hazrat Ali Hujweri Data Darbar. The author tells us that in the same year, the existence of Royal Qurans was there. These Royal Qurans included one written by Sultan Ibraheem Ghaznavi, as well as a handwritten Quran in the hands of Sultan Iltutmish. This is perhaps the only reference we have to show that the Delhi Sultans were also calligraphers of highest order. The reference is of recent past, and there is all possibility that those Qurans still exist somewhere in private collections. 107
108 A descendent of Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri, with a family tree, dated about 1323 AH
MANUSCRIPT OF GHAURI FAMILY
SULTAN ILTUTMISH An interpretation by a Delhi artist. based on a Mughal Murraqqa of Shah JahanÂ’s period 109
SULTAN ILTUTMISH A popular rendering of Sultan Iltutmish, done by Imam-ud-din Mussaver, and printed by University Book Depot, Urdu Bazaar, Lahore
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG WITH HIS FAMILY
A miniature dated 1232 AD was bought by collector Vervier in Ispahan and taken to Paris, entitled as the Â“Sultan and his sonÂ”. The three daughters and a wife at the back, as well as a sitting General, probably Nasir-ud-din Qabacha, reveals visuals, as well as the young Prince, Aram Shah. This is the earliest work of the city of Lahore on record and is dated. Present location unknown
SULTAN ARAM SHAH The only known attempt of portraiture of Sultan Aram Shah son of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg based on a Mughal Murraqqa of Shah JahanÂ’s period
THE FAMILY OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG In the legend of Sultans, little is known about their families, and through passing references, we know some details of their family life. We do know that Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg was married to the daughter of General Taj-ud-din Yildooz, and the marriage was indeed celebrated with a degree of pomp at Delhi. We also know that he had three daughters, and details of them vary with different historians. We do not know their names, but we do know their husbands. The eldest was given in marriage to Nasir-ud-din Qabacha. After her untimely death, the Sultan gave another daughter to the same General. Some historian say that the second daughter was given, while others say it was the youngest one. In any case Nasir-ud-din Qabacha married two daughters of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibeg. The third one, probably the youngest, was married to Sultan Iltutmish. Some say the marriage was solemnized in the life of the Sultan, while others say the lone daughter was living in Delhi, and Sultan Iltutmish married her, to rival the said stature of Nasir-ud-din Qabacha. In this way it is said that both the Generals levelled their stature in the eyes of the people. We also know that Prince Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, son of Sultan Iltutmish, and the declared heirapparent, was from the daughter of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. So here we have the famous Prince known as Sultan Ghari, as fact being the grandson of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. We are also told of the youngest son, whose name was Qutb-ud-din, was murdered along with her mother, by Shah Turkhan, the wife of Sultan Iltutmish, and mother of Rukn-ud-din Feroze; the ill-fated brother of Razia Sultana. On the other side, the amiable young man Allau-ud-din Bahram Shah, was the son of Nasir-ud-din Qabacha, and was from the first daughter of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. There we have a definite family tree of the Sultan.
SULTAN ARAM SHAH It is unfortunate that hardly anything is known about Aram Shah. As Sultan Iltutmish succeeded Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, historians have not dared to talk about Aram Shah in any detail. Both Khawajah Hassan Nizami and Fakharud-din Mudabbir are silent on him. Later historians do mention him. We cannot avoid his name. Historians have called Aram Shah (the official heir of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg) as the son of the Sultan, nephew, even a brother, but nothing definite is known. It is very much possible that he was an adopted son of the 113
114 In a short rule of only eight months, the inheritor of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, issued a few coins in his name. This is a very rare coin issued from the mint of Kalinjer
COIN OF SULTAN ARAM SHAH
Sultan. In a rare miniature, we find the Sultan seated on the throne, with a young boy sitting in front of him, as well as a Queen standing on his back, with three daughters. A bearded man is seated on his left side, maybe Nasir-ud-din Qabacha himself. The proof that Aram Shah may actually be the son of Sultan Qutb-uddin Ai-beg comes from the coins that he minted in his short tenure, which says that he was the son of the Sultan, Another historian who calls Aram Shah as the son of the Sultan, is Abdul Malik Nazim Isami who in his versified history, refers to the young Prince as the son of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. As this was said in 1350 AD, it seems to be very true. The immediate contemporary historians of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg could not have said this, simply due to the presence of Sultan Iltutmish himself. But in 1350 AD, the need for this protection of information was no more there. Most historians dismiss Aram Shah as a worthless person, but a young boy in the lifetime of the Sultan, would be in practical terms a mere teenager at the time of the death of the Sultan. The way in fact Aram Shah handled the situation shows a very brave young man, full of wisdom and training of his father. Minhaj-us Siraj in "Tabakat-i-Nasiri" simply writes: "On the death of Sultan Kutb-ud-din, the nobles and princes of Hindustan deemed it advisable for the satisfaction of the army, the peace of the people, and the tranquillity of the country, to place Aram Shah upon the throne."
Aram Shah was wise enough to retire to the country to assemble for himself an army, and he did so in an admirable way. He also took what decisions he could, and it is a matter of record, that he issued at least two coins in his name, as Sultan Aram Shah. Not bad for a young boy. But the trouble makers in Delhi would not have that, and headed by Ameer Ali Ismaeli and Ameer Daud Delimi, a revolt was engineered and Sultan Iltutmish invited from Badaun to take control of empire. The very act split the kingdom in three parts, with one being under Sultan Aram Shah, the second under Sultan Iltutmish and the third under Nasirud-din Qabacha. Indeed it was a brave part on Sultan Aram Shah to march towards Delhi to meet Sultan Iltutmish. Aram Shah was indeed defeated and nothing really is known as to what happened to him. As a mark of respect for 115
Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, Aram Shah was probably taken as a prisoner, and dealt with in time. Anbther chapter closed in the life of the Sultan.
FOUR GOLD MELONS Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg was not in the habit of keeping things himself. When he captured Ajmere and surrounding areas, he came across four gold melons, weighing 300 maunds. Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg had sent them to Sultan Muhammed Ghauri, who sent one to his brother Ghias-uddin Ghauri in Ghazni. Mosques were built from the gold spoil. When a man shows so much generosity, even animals worship him.
THE LOVE OF A WHITE ELEPHANT In the battle for the city of Benaras, Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg had himself shot Raja Jai Chand in the eye. The body was identified much later by the artificial teeth of the Raja, which were held together by a gold wire string. Qutb-ud-din Aibeg gave to the Sultan a present of three hundred robust elephants, including a rare white elephant, along with four thousand camels loaded with spoils. John Briggs narrates the said incident in "History of the rise of Mohammedan power in India" as: "The drivers, on a signal given, made the elephants bow down when brought before the King, excepting one white elephant which refused. The animal was reckoned a great curiosity. The King, when leaving India, sent the white elephant back, as a present to Kootb-uddin, styling him son in his letter. Kootbud-din ever afterwards rode this animal; and at his death the elephant is said to have pined away with visible sorrow, and to have expired on the third day. "
GRAVES OF SULTANS AND GENERALS If a list is made of the graves of Sultans and Generals, it would-be indeed a pleasant surprise that many of them exist to this day, but each has gone through its own history of ups and downs. Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi's mausoleum still exists in a lesser form of the one made on his death in 1030 AD. The oldest 116
grave of the Ghaznavid era in Lahore is obviously of Ayaz, beloved slave of Sultan Mahmud, who was Governor of Lahore, and died here in 1057 AD. Many times the same was ruined, but recently someone who held his memory with love and dedication, rebuilt it on a new level, caught between houses in a narrow lane of a mohalla of Lahore. The Urs of Governor Ayaz is even today commemorated every year. Whereas the graves of Sultan Ghias-ud-din Ghauri and his son Sultan Bahauud-din Ghauri exists in the graveyard of the Jamia Masjid of Herat, Sultan Muizud-din Ghauri is not as supposed buried in the city of Ghazni, but in Jhelum, where again his admirers have made a grand mausoleum for him. The earliest surviving mausoleum is really of Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, son of Sultan Iltutmish, known as Sultan Ghari, is in Delhi, along with the mausoleum of Sultan Iltutmish himself. The grave of Sultan Taj-ud-din Yildooz, according to the "Tarikh Mubarak Shahi" lies in: Â“The tomb of Sultan Taj-ud-din, May God shed lustre upon his demonstrations! lies on the bank of Sutha in the confines of Badaon.Â”
In 1973 the famous Z.A. Desai discovered an ancient grave of Ghauri in Delhi, and found it to be the grave of Izzar-ud-din Bakhtiyar Khilji, Commander-inchief, who according to the inscription died on 1st September, 1219. We even have in Pakistan little heard graves of Sultans. For the very instance, there is the mausoleum of Muhammed Shah Tughlaq, buried at the Mazar of Lall Shahbaz Qalandar in Sind. The tomb was made by Sarmast Mimar in 1353 AD, at the command of Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq. In Qasur we have the legend of the grave of Razia Sultana, daughter of Sultan Iltutmish. Although two graves at two different places Razia Sultana are known in Delhi, it is said that it was here that she was murdered and buried. The Royal grave still exists and historians of Qasur have written on it. But the most interesting history is indeed of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, who died in Lahore, and the history of the mausoleum itself, speaks of the vicissitudes of time, from one grand mausoleum to another in the period of say 700 years. 117
FIGURINES OF POLO PLAYERS Ancient Chinese figurines of Polo players, one male the other female. It shows the origin of the Royal sport from China, and it became the favourite of the Sultans
A GHAURI COIN OF A CHAUGHAN PLAYER
A CHAUGHAN TOURNAMENT
A Mughal miniature depicting the game of Chaughan. With its background, it could very well be the area of Sheikhupura near Lahore
THE DEATH OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Many Sultans died in history known and unknown deaths, but the death of Qutbud-din Ai-beg is so unique, that even those who know little about the Sultan, at least have heard of his death in Lahore as he was playing polo. This shows first in great clarity that the Sultan was attached to Lahore. The atmosphere of the city of Lahore was in line with his thoughts and feelings. Even after the seat of power became Delhi, he regularly shunted between the two cities. It is said that he spent summers in Delhi, and winters in Lahore. Polo was indeed a game of Sultans, and there was indeed a Polo ground in this city, and the strange part is that 700 years after his death, the city still has a polo ground. So much for some traditions. In any case the area of this polo ground is also known in history as Qutb Mandi, or Market place of Qutb-ud-din. Many historians have described the incident but the best version is by Khawaja Hassan Nizami in his "Taj-ul Maasir" who was probably very much there at that time. In a long description, he narrates the sad incident like this: "While playing polo the lion-hunting Khursau thought of changing his horse. He took out his feet from the stirrup of Kaikani bay horse to get on the back of the white polo horse. The malicious sky, in whose friendship one cannot place confidence, suddenly showed its treachery. The cruel star, whose love is not dependable, also displayed its true nature. The cruel world cast its unkindly glance at the support and refuge of the faith and empire (king) and the wily world showed signs of harshness. In the process, the two easy-paced but spirited horses collided and the Arabian steed of Victorious Khusrau tripped and the mighty king fell (from the back of the mountain like horse) on the ground. Just as the cruel wind causes the rose to drop to the ground and tramples upon its mantle of happiness. The fury of the violent wind of times forced the bent (crescent like) form and emaciated (reed-like) body of the king to lie on bed in a state of weakness and languor, and rest his head on a pillow due to helplessness and debility, very much like the violet."
In the last seven centuries no one seem to have questioned this tragic accident. Our first hint of conspiracy comes from the court poet of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, Jamul-ud-din Muhammed Naseer alias Urfi has been the first in calling Qutbud-din Ai-beg as Sultan Shaheed. Many of those writing just dismissed the statement as irrelevant, but there seems to be more behind it. 124
A PROOF OF CONSPIRACY COMES OUT OF NOWHERE A little known historian, who wrote the history of the Sultans in verse was brought to light in recent years. The historian was Abdul Malik Nazim Isami, who himself tells us that he was the fifth generation in line of Fakhar-ul-Mulk Isami, the Court poet of Sultan Shamsud-din Iltutmish, and the Senior Isami migrated from Baghdad to the Court of Delhi. Isami describes various episodes related to various Sultans. He also wrote in verse about the death of Qutb-uddin Ai-beg and has a narration, which is nowhere else. The work was written in the year 1350 AD, and is an early account of the tragedy. In very clear terms, Isami writes: "That on the day of his death, Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg came out of the palace, heading towards the Polo ground of Lahore. He passed through the bazaar of Leatherdyers, and there was a foul smell in the air, which was repulsive to the Sultan. He issued orders there and then for the shifting of the bazaar to some other place. There was a man in the bazaar, who shouted after the Sultan, 'Curse be upon you, how can you command us to do anything, when you are not coming back today?
In very simple terms this saddle-maker of Lahore who was dyeing his leathers, knew that the Sultan was heading towards his death. And he could only have known, if he himself was part of the conspiracy, and had meddled with the saddle of the Sultan's horse. I think we need no better proof than this that the fall from the horse was in fact engineered by the Ismaelis, and the saddle-maker was part of same.
AN ISMAELI ASSASSIN A series of assassinations are never merely an accident. One name comes to the mind, and that is of Ali Mardan Khilji. The identity of those who assassinated Sultan Muhammed Ghauri is not known, but chances are that with the exhibited ruthless of Ali Mardan Khilji, he himself could have been part of the team. In any case a very brave General of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, namely Malik Iskhtyarud-din Bakhtiyar Khilji was fighting many battles in the area of Bihar. At one time being surrounded by the enemy, he had to make his escape. A raging river had to be crossed, and many of his soldiers drowned in attempting to do so. Iskhtyar-ud-din Bakhtiyar was able to cross the river with great difficulty and 125
FUTUH US SALATEEN The history of the Sultans of Hindustan by Khawaja Abdul Malik Isami written in 1350 AD. Only two manuscripts are known.One in the India Office library and the other in the library of Muhammed Ghaus in Hyderabad Deccan.
GRAVE OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG
An image of the grave of the Sultan made in 1912 AD, when the grave was on the verge of being wiped out of existence. Reproduced with the kind permission of the British Library, London
A view of the grave of the Sultan as repaired by the Archaeological Department in 1918 AD, with inscriptions. It was repaired at the insistence of the people of Lahore, but this situation was again wiped out with time, by a Hindu group who had captured the area. Reproduced with the kind permission of the British Library, London.
GRAVE OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG
GRAVE OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A view of the grave of the Sultan around 1960 AD, rebuilt and cleared by the Archaeological Department of Pakistan
became sick. While he was sick and worrying about the safety of Sultan Muhammed Ghauri, one of his nobles came to see him.. It is said in "Tabaqati-Akbari" that: "It is said that one of his great nobles, whose name was Ali Mardan, came from Deukot, from his fief of Barsoh, when he heard of the catastrophe which had overtaken his chief. At this time the latter was lying on the bed of sickness. No one went near him. Ali Mardan went to him, drew off the sheet from his face; and with one blow of his dagger killed him. This happened in the year 1206 AD. "
He was caught and handed over to Baba Kotwal Ispahani, but he was so clever, he escaped from there. Ali Mardan joined the company of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, without him even knowing of the bad things he had done. He visited Ghazni, and there he had all the intentions to assassinate Taj-ud-din Yildooz himself, and even found an opportunity for same. A man with such intensity of hatred as well as arrogance would surely pursue the death of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg too. The Assassins were Master of deceit and their killing methods were literal masterpieces. Here two easy going polo horses panicked and collided with each other. It is an easy task to put a 'burr' under the saddle of one, so that when Qutbud-din Ai-beg would spring on it, the horse would be hurt and would under all circumstances panic beyond control. Even a stirrup could be damaged for it to break on impact and bring a horse down. Who can prove this? A simple question which leads to another simple one. Who can disprove this? No one, not a single one. But the way the Islamic State was a threat to the rule of the Ismaelis, it was evident that these heros had to be eliminated one by one The need to remove was stronger than anything else.
THE MAUSOLEUM OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg at the time of his death was the Sultan of the entire country of Hindustan, but his relation with Lahore was such, that no one thought of burying him in Delhi. Khawaja Hassan Nizami in his "Taj-ul Maasir" writes: "The body of this great and highly honoured king of the world was interred in the bowels of the earth like a treasure in the metropolis of LOHUR, which is the destination of all men small and great and the place of pilgrimage of the pious and virtuous men,
the religious-minded men. The head of the blessed tomb and sacred grave rose higher than the sky and the battlements of the palace of the Saturn. "
We hear of the construction of a mausoleum as Sultan Iltutmish did enter Lahore after that. The author of "Tarikh Mubarak Shahi" very clearly tells us: Â“The Sultan died, and was interred at the auspicious city of Lahore. The late Sultan Shams-ud-din Iyal-timish constructed a mausoleum for him.Â”
Centuries later Abdul Qadir Al-Badaoni tells us that the mausoleum of Qutbud-din Ai-beg was a place of pilgrimage and an annual Urs used to be commemorated on the proper day. He also tells us that even Emperor Babur had come here to pay homage to the late Sultan. Years after his death people remembered his generosity and still called him a second Hatim Tai. And that was not all. Even later historians tell us that even in 1773 AD, he was remembered in the same way, and even at that time, the Urs was regularly commemorated. Mind you in hundreds of years of record, we do not find reference to any such commemoration on the Mazar of Ali Hujweri Data Darbar, and even today, there is a question mark on the place of his burial. For a King to be honoured for such a long time, for merely about a four years of sovereign rule, is indeed remarkable. The transition of Lahore from the Abdali period to Sikh period is in all ways an era of anarchy, and a period of endless sufferings of the people of Lahore. It is in 1868 AD that we hear of the Mazar of Qutbud-din Ai-beg from the historian of Lahore Nur Ahmad Chisti. He describes the then condition of the mausoleum. All the grandness of the place is gone, and just a grave remains on the site. It is surrounded and occupied by Butchers of Lahore (Kasab-khana) as well as an area of distilleries (sharab-khana), and the whole area is in itself occupied by the prostitutes of Lahore, and Chisti feels very embarrassed about the use of the area as a den for ill-reputed activities. The historian does not even want to discuss the use of the place for nefarious activities. In any case he is told by residents of very old age, that there used to be a two storeyed white marble building, with a dome so high and perfect, that there was no DOME like that in Lahore, and people used to come from far away to view the uniqueness and splendour of the dome. In the same way the residents recalled that the mausoleum was brought down by Mahrajah Ranjit Singh as well as his minister Raja Dhian Singh, and the stone was taken over to Amritsar as well as Kashmeer. 131
A TURKISH MAUSOLEUM An 11th century Turkish mausoleum, highlighting its style and design with the Qutb Minar, as well as the Turkish dome of that period
MARBLE DOME OF TURKISH SHAPE The same was recovered from the soil of Lahore, and shows that this shape of the dome was current at that time
134 The inspiration for Islamic Architecture was the tents of that period. This tent is not that old, but it shows the inspiration for the architecture of that period
MAZAR OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG A rare photograph of the mausoleum under construction in the 1970s.
A literally impossible homage of the city of Lahore in making possible the reconstruction of a lost mausoleum in perhaps not the ideal way, but still true to the characteristics of the times of the Sultan. The author sits in front of the grand mausoleum to pay his personal respects to a great citizen of Lahore
MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG
No one remembered what happened to the unique dome and we have a theory about the same, later in our analysis. Indirect information comes to us. There was a Hindu lawyer who had bought the place and in his building programme brought the grave in a shop of his making, and the same was on the verge of being totally demolished out of existence. The people of Lahore who had great love for Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg reported this to the Archaeological Department and they came to inspect the place. A photograph of the grave was made in 1912 AD, and a case pursued against the owner, who was reluctant to give possession of the place. A middle road was finally suggested, and in 1918 AD the Archaeological Department made a brand new grave on the place, and a photograph of the same was made and published in the Archaeological Survey of India. Both the said photographs are in archival record and we take the pleasure in so publishing them for the first time, after that period of time. Saved from the prejudice of the Hindu lawyer, the partition of 1947 brought new challenges to the grave. As it was Hindu property, and was occupied by Muhajirs, and they were not willing to give away the possession of that place. The whole story is described so well in an unpublished report of the Archaeological Survey of Pakistan. The report is dated 1975 AD, and we reproduce the main portion of same: "Sultan Qutubuddin Aibak, the founder of the first Muslim dynasty in the sub-continent, died in 1206 AD at Lahore. He was buried in a magnificent tomb the grandeur of which has been described by later writers. During the catastrophic days of the Sikhs the mausoleum was, according to Nur Ahmad Chisti, pulled down and residential buildings constructed at its place. The grave was fortunately left over and accomodated in a niche of a house located in a small lane of the present day Aibak road of Anarkali Bazar. Although the grave of the Sultan was known during this period, no effort was made to preserve it in a befitting manner. After independence, however there was a persistent public demand for the improvement of the Sultan's grave and its environments. In 1951, the Department of Archaeology initiated action for the acquisition of land and 2 houses which were acquired in 1954 and the possession was taken in 1966, after a prolonged litigation. The houses were then demolished and the site cleared for the construction of a tomb befitting the memory of Sultan Qutubuddin Aibak. The Government then constituted a Committee to assist the Department of Archaeology in finalizing the design and other details of the tomb prepared by the Department of Archaeology. Work on the construction of this tomb was started in 1968 against an estimated cost of Rs 9,21,559. During the year 1974-75 a sum of Rs 1 lakh was spent on the continuation and completion of the following items."
A detail is then given of various items bought for the mausoleum. I also think that these details will prove that assigning the building of this place to Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is all wrong. In fact the credit goes to Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, as well as the historian of Lahore, Dr Abdullah Chaghatai, who worked very hard for it and was also on the design committee of the mausoleum.
THE CALLIGRAPHY ON THE NEW MAUSOLEUM OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG The design committee did their work well. Their research was in many ways complete. If the same work had been done now, there would not be any experts to recomend a proper job. Besides the design of the new building, the issue of the calligraphy itself was there. We read in the Archaeological report of the same: "Quranic verses in Kufic character carved on Jandoti and white marble stone slabs (4" thick) after rubbing and finishing.
The report further says: "Besides above Malaghori white marble blocks were purchased for calligraphy for the remaining two sides i.e on East and West. The calligraphy rule on these slabs would be carried out during the financial year 1975-76."
I am sure there is unpublished record of the men involved in the said project, but as Dr Abdullah Chaghatai was on the Design Committee, the calligraphic work would have been entrusted to someone like Hafiz Muhammed Yusuf Sadeedi, a gentleman of great merit, whose work also adorn many other national buildings, including calligraphic ornamentation on "Yadgar Pakistan". A tragic accident in Saudi Arabia brought the career of this man to an end and he died a paralyzed death in Lahore. Allah may have mercy on his soul!
IN SEARCH OF THE ORIGINAL MAUSOLEUM OF QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Many historians have sought reference to the mausoleum of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg and come to the conclusion that there are only conjectures, and the reality 138
FACADE OF MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN GHARI
The earliest surviving mausoleum of Prince Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, son of Sultan Iltutmish, and grandson of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg. He was also Governor of Lahore for some time
The dome of the mausoleum of Sultan Ghari, shows the design of domes of that period and are related to other domes in the Turkish dominion
DOME OF THE MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN GHARI
AN OLD MAP OF LAHORE
An old Sikh map of Lahore, depicting many curious buildings. The location of the mausoleum of Sultan Qutbud-din Ai-beg is also on it as a garden with a boundary and four corner burgis as a bastion of the mausoleum
SILVER SUMMERHOUSE A one of a kind view of the Silver Summerhouse of Mahrajah Ranjit Singh, made in 1849 AD by the photographer Dr John Jethro McCosh. As an act of greed, the whole building was dismantled and sold by the British authorities in the Punjab. The dome is exactly like that of the dome of Sultan Ghari in Delhi, and in a very typical Sikh action of those times, stolen from the Mausoleum of Sultan Qutb-uddin Ai-beg. Reproduced with the kind permission of National Army Museum, London, who are holders of its copyright. All rights reserved 142
remains unknown. From the available record, the following conclusions are drawn: 1. The mausoleum had a double-storey, and was made in white marble. 2. It had a unique dome, which was so grand, that people came from far just to see the dome itself. This implies that it had very special features, which were not there anywhere else. 3. As the only proto-type of the mausoleum was the mausoleum of the son of Sultan Iltutmish, namely Prince Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, who was also a ruler of Lahore in his days. His last resting place is known as Sultan Ghari, and has a dome of Turkish design, namely being pointed, shaped like a tent of that period, and a division of sixteen sides. Whether four portions of one side were in a straight line, or octagonal is not really known. 4. We are certainly told by Nur Ahmad Chisti, that this beautiful marvel of Lahore was demolished by none other than Mahrajah Ranjit Singh as well as Raja Dhian Singh, and the marble was taken to the cities of Amritsar and Jammu. Our search obviously cannot recognize marble pieces of 13th century, but a dome of that nature we can search, for we have the dome of the mausoleum of Sultan Ghari in front of us.
SILVER SUMMERHOUSE In the period of Sikhs in Lahore, we find three references to a Silver Summerhouse, and many historians have said it in their own way. We are told that on the festival of Basant, Mahrajah Ranjit Singh used to go to the Mazar of Madho Lall Hussain, and there the said Silver Summerhouse used to be erected on the north side of the tomb. Again we are told that his Silver Summerhouse was on wheels and an actual canopy, and eight elephants used to pull it from one place to another. The Faqeer family record of their children taking ride on this Silver Summerhouse, and the big bumps experienced in that shoddy ride. However the first real reference to our ears is a letter dated 19th, December, 143
1850, written by Lord Dalhousie to the East India Company requesting that the Silver Summerhouse be retained by him. In the book "Sir John Login and Duleep Singh". John Login records a list of things left under his control, and admits the presence of: Â“his silver summerhouse, gold and silver poled."
Nazir Ahmad Chaudry in his book on "Lahore Fort" writes again about this Silver Summerhouse: "According to documents available in the Punjab Archives it is proved that there used to be a silver temple (bungalow) in the Chhoti Khwabgah which was approved by the Board for Administration of Punjab to be disposed of in April 1850. The Deputy Commissioner, Major Macgregor did the job. It is recorded that when Dr John Login left the charge of the Fort he did leave the Silver bungalow in the premises. "
The presence of the Silver Summerhouse stands proven, but is there visual record of same. To our delight, we find that amongst the three images, that Dr John Jethro McCosh made in Lahore in 1849 AD, one of the images was of the Silver Summerhouse. And when we look at the rare view of Lahore, we immediately recognize Turkish Architecture, and the similarity of the dome, with the dome of the mausoleum of Sultan Ghari. Literally same both of them, except for the material. It is very safe proposition, that the mouth of Mahrajah Singh watered at information about the presence of a Silver and Gold dome, and he had it removed, and had a Summerhouse made for himself. It was perhaps lying in the Hazuri Bagh itself, when William Moorcroft saw it, for the description he gives of the Baradari there, does not match that of the Baradari there now. Perhaps the Silver Summerhouse was then removed from there and a Marble one made in its place, which exists again in broken form today. Even this baradari depends on its vast materials on the demolished part of the Mausoleum of Nawab Asaf Khan, Mughal Viceroy of Lahore. It seems that the Sikhs could not let the habit of demolishing Muslim structures, and were responsible for start of the anarchy prevailing the architectural legacy of Lahore.
A GREEDY LOT OF PEOPLE The legacy of greed is there in our region. When people have overcomed the greed, they have created revolutions on the national scene. The Sikhs succumbed 144
to this greed as well as the British who inherited the kingdom of Punjab from them. The British were the ones who had the pinnacles of the domes of the Taj Mahal removed and the gold ones were replaced by copper ones. It was the British who actually auctioned the marbles of many mausoleums and as the same could not find an adequate market in Italy, the sold marble of Taj Mahal was left intact. A poor man's vision is one in which an eternal marvel of the world could be desired to be sold for petty cash. That is why dome of the mausoleum of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg could not survive the greed of the British rulers here.
A PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF SHUJA-UD-DIN ABOUT QUTB MAZAR There is very little written about Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg, and there is hardly anything on his mausoleum in Lahore. In a rare article on the Maqbara, Muhammed Shuja-ud-din wrote whatever he could find in any written record, and it was a worthwhile contribution to the subject the mausoleum. However one thing that was even more of the usual contribution is his personal experience, knowledge and narration of the Maqbara in his own times. As this record is nowhere else, it in all ways need to be recorded for the future.
THE CONQUEST OF THE MAQBARA BY THE HINDUS In a well laid out plan the mausoleum of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg was in the eyes of all those who hated him. As the ground had been plained, a Hindu contractor (thakey-dar) took the ground on rent from the ones (mutavallis) in control of same. Gradually this Hindu contractor put hundreds of wooden handles of picks and shovels on it and forcibly occupied the whole place. Then he put a hut and roof over the said grave itself, and through the help of a Hindu lawyer became owner of the place. Gradually the whole area was divided into small portions and sold to other Hindus, who built shops and houses there. The grave was inside a small shop and on the verge of being literally erased out of existence. The Muslim lovers of the Sultan reported this to the Archaeological Offices in Lahore, and a litigation started on the issue. The Hindu lawyer was not willing to give back the ownership of same, whereas the Archaeological Department knew that they had to preserve it. So while remaining in private ownership, the 145
Archaeological Department made a new grave on same and put two small inscriptions on it, in English and in Urdu. And the crux matter was that the Hindu lawyer had argued that it was not the grave of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibeg at all. That is why the inscription even went to the extent of referring to the grave as so-called grave of the Sultan. The question of validity was thrown open. In course of time again the inscriptions were removed and the grave broken again by design. In 1946 Shuja-ud-din describes the situation there as such that it was all a Hindu area. Outside the lane was the shop of Atma Ram Booksellers, and inside the lane, were all houses as well as shops of Hindu owners. And the grave was defiled again and again. Even the idea was proposed in the newspaper "Ehsan-ul-Akhbar" that the bones of the Sultan should be taken out and he be buried in the mausoleum of Emperor Jahangeer in Shahdara, Lahore. All these ideas were to extract revenge from the Sultan, and the petty minds had nurtured hatred for about 750 years. Only a miracle could rescue the Sultan from such a conspiracy.
THE HINDU ATTITUDE IS EVER DOMINANT TODAY A little survey of literature generated by Hindu writers show this unwarranted hatred and prejudice against the Muslims. Everything that eulogizes the Muslims is ridiculed, and facts moulded to suit them. Was Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg bad? Ofcourse he was not. He allowed Hindus their freedom and was kind to them. He enlisted them in his army and instructed his Governors to win their hearts. In this way the statement about the Architecture borders on the ridiculous now. There is a difference between Hindu and Islamic Architecture and it is so clear that scholars can recognize the differences from even far away. These monuments even used Muslim Architects and the names of the same are at times engraved on the monuments themselves. Obviously in the context of supermacy, Hindu temples went down and Muslim monuments were made on them. Stone was rare and stone would be used by the carvers to put a new monument into place. Hindu monuments are themselves made from the ruins of other Hindu monuments. It is in all ways natural for carvers to use readily available stones for the said purpose. If it was the desire of the Sultan to mimic the architecture of the Hindus, they could have done it with ease. But they had their own concepts. So when such statements are made that the Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple, it 146
borders on pure lunacy and absence of even an iota of sanity of mind. The Qutb Minar is dubbed as a Hindu tower, which Raja Prithviraj Chauhan got made for his daughter Adiytiya, who would not eat any thing, till she had seen the river Jamuna in the morning. Scholars continue to show the inspiration of the Qutb Minar as coming from the Minarets of Ghazni and Gaur, as well as the other Minars made in Lahore, Kol (Aligarh) and others. Theories and hypothesis continue to be given. The shame is not the shame of a 1000 years, but the shame is the avoidance of the evident truth. In a footnote on an article on "Sultanate Architecture", Finbarr Barry Flood writes simply: "Although it has been assumed that many of the carved stones of the Badaun mosque, as well its structural materials, are spolia taken from temples destroyed in the wake of the Ghurid conquest, spoliation is something of a topos in art historical writing on early Indian mosques, which often reveals more about modern assumptions regarding Islam than the cultural dynamics of medieval South Asia. While the nature and likely source of any materials reused in the Badaun mosque warrant further investigation, study of the Atal a Masjid (c.1360) at nearby Jaunpur has cast serious doubt upon the idea that the mosque was constructed from the remains of a despoiled temple. Moreover, carved stone elements similar to those used around the Badaun mihrab were carved ex novo for Ghurid mosques in Ajmir, and possibly Delhi, probably by masons trained in the north temple tradition. The decoration of the Badaun mosque may similarly have been executed by masons who had previously worked for the Hindu rulers of the city, or by their descendents; the various orthographic peculiarities in the Quranic inscription (most obviously redundant alifs) suggest that those who executed it were not literate in Arabic."
That the Muslim rulers showed no prejudice and used the workers in Hindustan, regardless of their religion , is a feather in their cap, and not otherwise. The Hindu civilization imploded from lack of inner cohesion, and in no way can the Muslims be blamed for that. It is not the past history that concerns us when we are making future history. It is time to shed prejudice and parochial thoughts and learn to unite Planet Earth for one way of life to tolerate another. Today the aspirations of India are far from the ideals of peace.
THE LEGACY OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG Sultan Muhammed Ghauri had given the title of Malik to Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg 147
and declared him as his heir-apparent. In a strange twist of fate, the Sultan was murdered by Ismaelis on his way to Ghazni. It was in 1206 AD (17th Zhil-Qada 602) that Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg took the throne of Hindustan and entered the Royal Palace of Lahore. And again very unfortunately he died in Lahore in November, 1210 AD. A reign of little more than four years. But his rule was not like that of the previous Sultans, who ruled Hindustan from far. This was the first time that there was an actual Muslim Sultan in Hindustan. The greatest legacy of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg is that he is the first Sultan of Hindustan, and that legacy is still there in Pakistan. All his reforms are worthy of history, but his greatest contribution is to do in the traditions of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, make Lahore a cultural capital of the region. All kinds of people were invited here and intellectuals reigned the city. One can imagine the kind of book activity in the city, when the historian Fakhar-ud-din Mudabbir says that he studied 1000 books to write his book. Manuscripts were made of books written at other places, and countless books written in Lahore. All the instruments of calligraphy, naqashi, as well as illustrations were present in Lahore. We today say Lahore is Lahore, and we should always remember that Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg made Lahore, Lahore. May Allah bless his soul!
THE HYPOCRISY OF TODAYS LIFE ON BOTH SIDES A thousand years and the crisis is still there. When the Muslims came to Hindustan, there was no ambiguity about their Ideology, nor was there any question about the ideas of Hinduism. The Hindu way of life was based on the Caste system, which in simple terms meant that all people were not equal to each other, simply as a reason for their birth. The paradoxical part is that Islam forced the Hindus in talking of the very concept which was not part of their life. Modern India talks of egalitarianism as it was natural to them. They hide the sinister and rampant prejudice in their culture. And here in Pakistan, we too pay lip service to our Ideology, which is no more in practice. The rich are getting richer, and the poor getting poorer, and greed is part of this alien structure. Human beings exploit human beings in India, and humans too exploit humans in Pakistan. The code of life long forgotten by both. And there must be a reason for same, as the legacy of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg was not this at all. 148
THE SWAY OF HIPS, PELVIC THRUSTS AND RELIGIOUS SERMONS Our media is bombarded with double standards. On one hand imbecile Maulvis are preaching everything that is not even Islam, and there is no doubt that some lobby puts them there. To put such uncivilized, illiterate and even malignant people on air is only to put us on the wrong track of the Iqballian dream. And change the sermons to accost a full range of pelvic thrusts and naked sway of hips, to indoctrinate the young and old away from civilization to the bare primitive urges of sexual frenzy. Who is doing all this? Obviously foreign lobbies putting in their full resources in media wars. They were defeated on the battle front, and now desire that the wars be won with media management. The swaying hip aims to conquer without loss of life the dignity of a civilization.
A RAW DEAL War has always united Pakistan, and the heroism shown in various war fronts scare India to all extents. With abundant of resources pumped India by foreign lobbies, this natural fear is experience of more then a thousand years. The Muslims take war very seriously and have no hesitation in sacrificing their lives for their country. That is why the strategy is always now to undo them for within their own ranks. segment of society is purchased and then used to run down all the patriotic citizens of Pakistan. Everything which gives us life as well as honour is deliberately ruined here. Take three simple instances. a well planned strategy India ruined our: 1. National cinema which had ingrained in it a set of moral values. 2. National Cricket, which brought us fame all over the world. 3. Kite-flying in Pakistan, as practised on Basant day. The proof of India's meddling is enormous and this Raw deal is in itself a subject of a research brochure. Suffice to say that with its diplomatic intimidation, water wars, bio-warfare, and ruthless treatment and imprisonment of Pakistanis, the cultural aspect is always in full attack.
THE END VICTORY IS OF ISLAM Allah tells us in a Sura in the Quran that the end victory will belong to the Muslim way of life, but Allah never tells us that it is going to be an easy victory, or that it will take a few years. No time is given for Allah's law of Makufat. Yes, in a thousand years from now, the situation may still be the same. But the voice of Allah is a voice of sanity and reason. Knowledge does what nothing else can. Expose things. And with the media management, there is in all ways the bomb of knowledge. This bomb does not destroy the herds of life. It obliterates the villains who degrade and disparage the efforts of honest living. Love, dignity and excitement is our food, and we must get it in one way or the other. Those who plant trees, do not eat the fruits of the tree. The end game is of generations. Without effort there is no reward.
HOMAGE TO THE GREAT SULTAN There were various poets and men of letters attached to the court of Sultan Qutbud-din Ai-beg . Three main poets of his s court, namely Qazi Hamid-ud-din Ali bin Umar Al-Mahmudi, Jamal-ud-din Mahmud bin Nas, and Malik-ul-Kalam Baha-ud-din Aushi have all paid homage to their beloved Sultan with dedicated poems praising his many abilities. But homage to him was also paid by our National Poet of Pakistan, Abu Asar Hafeez Jullundri, in a poem on the Mazar of Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg . It is our pleasure to reproduce the same in our research book. For a very modern poet to pay this homage to a Sultan of nearly 800 years long gone speaks in itself of the legacy of Sultan Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg still alive after all those years.
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NOTES: The booksellers Atma Ram were in possession of the area of the mausoleum, and their prejudice can be noted from the single fact, that we have a publication on the Qutb Minar written by Kanwar Sain, and published by them in 1950 in Delhi as Atma Ram and Sons. It means after migration from here, their resentment found place in the first spurt of venom against the Minar as well as' the Sultan himself.
FOR THE RECORD: I was told that there is in Kabul a drinking cup with Qutb-ud-din name on it, by an antiques dealer. Also that there is a belt buckle of 13th century with Qutb-ud-din playing chaughan on it, with an antiques dealer in London.
THANKS: With special thanks to Ms Saleena Karim, who traced a copy of Â“Taj-ul MaasirÂ”, then found, ordered, and sent it to me as a personal gift. Keep up the good work !
801 YEARS AGO! Everyone knew the day, the Sultani event, Of the play of Lahori chaughan. On the Eve of same, huddled in whispers, A nasty few got together, dark and dreary, Corner of Lahore. Perfected with details, An assassination plan is laid. In the Royal stables, on official excuse, The saddler cuts the saddle, Of Qutb's favourite white horse, So bound to snap, as anyone, Would try to ride.A berry thorny twig, To undo compliance of a horse's skin, tested and done. As Qutb comes out of the palace, And shifts through the saddler's chamra mandi; The man could not hold himself, and on Qutb's back, Curse you, shouted the wretched, You will not come back tonight; Your bones will rot in the ground. Score after score, excitement, Qutb gallops, signals for a horse change, And jumps from the bay horse, To his favourite white pony, for more. The saddle creaks, the thorns prick, The horse panics, collide. Qutb falls down. Broken bones, undaunted even in last breath, He looks at the Lahori sky, And knows his time has come. Aram Shah hugs him with tears in his eyes, But the Angel of death, gently sweeps, bows humbly, "I am honoured to take your soul!" Only a few years ago, This place was without the Islamic dream. Quranocracy was a bygone Ghaznavid illusion, You enlivened Islam. Islam imploded the old ways. 801 years ago, only, Qutb-ud-din Ai-beg died here. Islam lives! Today I sit near his grave, And feel the radiation of the Sultan still. On the sky I saw him pass, On his favourite white horse. I wave, he waves back. Death is nothing for a Sultan Shaheed.
Arif Rahman Chughtai
SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG AND SON ARAM SHAH
THE MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN QUTB-UD-DIN AI-BEG The Mazar of the Sultan was situated in Mohalla Qutb Ghauri, and was the most popular visiting place before Emperor Akbar changed the complexion of the city. A regular Urs was always commemorated here, before the Sikhs sacked the city. We are informed by Mufti Ghulam Sarwar that nearly 2000 monuments of Muslim Origin were destroyed by the Sikhs, including the Mazar of the first Sultan of Hindustan.