Mahmood Ghaznavi is one of the few figures in history that most historians have, for one reason or another, acted with prejudice and injustice. And later generations, instead of researching, have resorted to the process of duplication and misinterpretation.
Mahmood Ghaznavi has been called an idol-breaker (بت شکن) and the story of his 17 attacks in India has been restricted to non-Muslim historians for the sole purpose of plundering wealth. The fact was that the Rajas (Kings) of northwestern India used to invade Ghazni to expand their territories. With the idea of stopping them forever, Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi launched a series of counter-attacks on India. Mahmood Ghaznavi came to power at a very young age. Therefore, the Hindu Rajas, considering him weak, started interfering in his territories.
Sultan Mahmod Ghaznavi was a very knowledgeable, shrewd, just and courageous ruler. During his invasion, he would go to the largest temple and smash the biggest idol with a thunderbolt. Its purpose was to draw the attention of the idol-worshipers to the power of ‘Monotheism’ and also a psychological warfare strategy so that when these idolaters saw the pieces of their ‘bhagwan’ scattered, their faith and morale would be lowered.
The Ghaznavid government was established in Afghanistan during the reign of Caliph Abu al-Fadl Abdul Kareem bin Mati al-Muqallab Beh Tayyarullah. Its founder was Amir Sabkatgin, a slave of Alpatgin, the governor of Khurasan. He progressed and became the commander of Ghazni. After the death of Abdul Mulk Sasani of the Sassanid government of Mawara’ al-Nahr, his youngest son Amir Mansoor succeeded to the throne. Alpatgin was against it. In 962, he revolted in Ghazni and established his own government. Amir Mansoor attacked Ghazni twice but lost each time. After the death of Alpatgin in 976, his son Abu Ishaq was made the Amir of Ghazni. He ran the government with the help of Sabkatgin. After the death of Abu Ishaq, Sabkatgin took over the reins of Ghazni in 977.
Thus the Ghaznavid government came into being. Subkatgin was a brave ruler. This government had spread from Central Asia to India from 977 to 989. It was overthrown by Shahabuddin Ghauri in 1181. Sabkatgin invaded India in 978 via Khyber. Between Kabul and Peshawar, he faced Raja Jaypal. Raja Jayapal was defeated. He came back to the contest with the help of the Rajas of Qanooj and Ajmer etc. but was defeated. The Sabkatgin captured the area up to the Attock River.
In 995, Sabkatgin defeated Emad al-Dawlah al-‘Ali. Amir Noah captured Bukhara with the help of Sabkatgin. The son of this brave Sabkatgin was the famous Mahmood Ghaznavi. Amir Noah gave the title of Nasir al-Dawla to Sabkatgin and his son Mahmood to Saif al-Dawla. Sabkatgin appointed Mahmood as the governor of Khurasan. Sabkatgin conquered Qila Qasd. The fame of Sabkatgin’s bravery was spreading. Emad al-Dawla Abu Ali invaded Khorasan. Mahmood defeated him and arrested him. He was assassinated by Amir Sabkatgin in 997. Sabkatgin also died in 997. His son Mahmood was in Neshapur. Therefore, Mahmood’s younger brother Ismail was made the successor. He failed to run the government due to inexperience. Mahmood defeated Ishmael in 998 and imprisoned him. Meanwhile, Baktozon captured Neshapur. Mahmood recaptured Neshapur. The Ghaznavid government began to develop. In the 999, the Abbasid Caliph Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Muqtadir al-Muqalib, in recognition of Mahmood’s government, conferred upon him the titles of Yamin al-Dawlah and Amir al-Mu’minin with Amin al-Atalat.
Mahmod Ghaznavi made seventeen attacks on India. The Indian historian has written Mahmood ‘Lutaira’ (Bandit) in his books because he used to invade India and take his wealth to Ghazni.
Mahmud Ghaznavi is one of the prominent jurists. He was also a religious man and he was also interested in knowledge and literature. He was fond of poetry. During this period Persian poetry reached its zenith. Four hundred poets were associated with his Palace. Mahmood Ghaznavi built a huge madrassa in Ghazni. He valued the scholars very much. He spent four lakh dinars annually on knowledge and literature.
He was a kind hearted and just man. The caliphs of Baghdad were grateful to him. He built a museum in Ghazni that contained antiquities. He was a devout believer. He put an end to the mysticism in and around Ray. In 966, the Ismaili preacher Jalam bin Sheiban came to power and expanded the scope of his preaching in the vicinity of Multan. Mahmud Ghaznavi broke his power in 1013. On his return after attacking Somnath, the Ismaili centers at Mansura, Thatta and Debal were destroyed in 1024.
to be continued..
Research and Writing: Muhammad Sajjad Munir
(The famous Islamic conqueror Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi who is remembered as an idol breaker. A brief history of Mahmood Ghaznavi is given in three parts. Thanks)
Refrences: India A History, Majmoo-o-Wazaef Fikri, Musalman Fateheen by Dr. Nazir Ahmad Paracha