Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi – A great islamic warrior & king of Hind

Mahmud of Ghazni (Persian: محمود غزنوی Maḥmūd-e Ghaznawī)(Mahmood / Mehmood) (November 2, 971 – April 30, 1030), also known as Yāmīn al-Dawlah Maḥmūd (in full: Yāmīn al-Dawlah Abd al-Qāṣim Maḥmūd Ibn Sebük Tegīn) was the Turkic founder of the Ghaznavid Empire, which he ruled from 997 until his death. Mahmud turned the former provincial city of Ghazni (now in Afghanistan) into the wealthy capital of an extensive empire which extended from Afghanistan into most of Iran as well as Pakistan and regions of North-West India. He was also the first ruler to carry the title Sultan (“authority”), signifying the extent of his power, though preserving the ideological link to the suzerainty of the Caliph.
Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi 202x300 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
Military campaigns
In 994, Mahmud joined his father Sebüktigin in the capture of Khorasan from the rebel Fa’iq in aid of the Samanid Emir, Nuh II. During this period the Samanid state became highly unstable, with shifting internal political tides as various factions vied for control, the chief among them being Abu’l-Qasim Simjuri, Fa’iq, Abu Ali[citation needed], the General Behtuzun as well as the neighbouring Buyids and Qarakhanids. Sultan Mahmud’s first campaign, in which he was defeated, was against the Qarakhanid Empire who controlled the northern portion of his Empire.

There is considerable evidence from writings of Al-Biruni, Soghidan, Uyghur and Manichean texts that the Buddhists, Hindus and Jains were accepted as People of the Book and references to Buddha as Burxan or as a prophet can be found. After the initial destruction and pillage, Buddhists, Jains and Hindus were granted protected subject status as Dhimmis. By that time, however, most of the centers of buddhist and Hindu learning were already destroyed.

Ghaznavid campaigns in the Indian Subcontinent
The Indian kingdoms of Nagarkot, Thanesar, Kannauj, Gwalior, and Ujjain were all conquered and left in the hands of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist Kings as vassal states and he was pragmatic enough not to shirk making alliances and enlisting local peoples into his armies at all ranks.

A statue of Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi at Pakistan Monument Museum, (Shakar-pariyan, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Siltan Mehmood Ghaznavi 225x300 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
The later invasions of Mahmud were specifically directed to temple towns as Indian temples were depositories of great wealth and the Economic and Ideological Centers of Gravity for the Hindus, Destroying them would destroy the will power of the Hindus attacking the Empire since Mahmud never kept a permanent prescience in the Subcontinent; Nagarkot, Thanesar, Mathura, Kanauj, Kalinjar and Somnath were all thus raided. Mahmud’s armies stripped the temples of their wealth and then destroyed them at Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi, Narunkot and Dwarka. During the period of Mahmud invasion, the Sindhi Swarankar Community and other Hindus who escaped conversion fled from Sindh to escape sectarian violence, and settled in various villages in the district of Kutch, in modern-day Gujarat, India.




Main article: Malik Ayaz

Mahmud’s chaste love affair with his young slave, Malik Ayaz, became a legendary example of love and devotion, and was a celebrated symbol of the kind of relationship in which a lovestruck powerful man can become “a slave to his slave.”[3] Ayaz became the paragon of the ideal beloved, and a model of purity in Sufi literature. In 1021 the Sultan raised Ayaz to kingship, awarding him the throne of Lahore. The poet Sa’adi was among those celebrating the two

A poem by Allama Iqbal also mentions this in the context of egalitarianism in Islam in the verse below:

Aa gaya ain larai mein agar Waqt-e-Namaz,
Qiblaru hoke zameen-bos hui Qaum-e-Hejaz,
 Ek hi saf mein khare ho gaye Mahmud-o-Ayaz,
Na koi Banda raha aur na koi Banda-Nawaz

(In the midst of raging battle if the time came to pray,
Hejazis turned to Mecca, kissed the earth and ceased from the fray,
Sultan and slave in single file stood side by side,
Then no servant was nor master, nothing did them divide)
Sultan mehmood coins 300x292 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
After 30 years of hard work, the notable poet, Ferdowsi went to Ghazni and presented the Shahnameh to Mahmud. There are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by Mahmud of Ghazni, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. According to historians, Mahmud had promised Ferdowsi a dinar for every distich written in the Shahnameh (60,000 dinars), but later retracted and presented him with dirhams (20,000 dirhams), which were at that time much less valuable than dinars (every 100 dirhams worth 1 dinar). Ferdowsi rejected the money and, by some accounts, he gave it to a poor man who sold wine. Mahmud re-sent the amount promised to Ferdowsi’s village, but when the messengers reached his house, he had died a few hours earlier. The gift was then given to his daughter, since his son had died before his father at the age of 37. Later Mahmud ordered the money be used for repairing an inn in the way from Merv to Tus, named “Robat Chaheh” so that it may remain in remembrance of the poet. This inn now lies in ruins, but still exists.

The last four years of Mahmud’s life were spent contending with the influx of Oghuz Turkic horse tribes from Central Asia, the Buyid Dynasty and rebellions by Seljuqs. Initially the Seljuks were repulsed by Mahmud and retired to Khwarezm but Togrül and اagr‎ led them to capture Merv and Nishapur (1028-1029). Later they repeatedly raided and traded territory with his successors across Khorasan and Balkh and even sacked Ghazni in 1037. In 1039 at the Battle of Dandanaqan, they decisively defeated Mahmud’s grandson, Mas’ud I resulting in Mas’ud abandoning most of his western territories to the Seljuks.

12th century Ghazni Minaret by Behram Shah 210x300 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
Campaign timeline
As a Prince

* 994: Gained the title of Saif-ud-daula and became Governor of Khorasan under service to Nuh II of the Samanids in civil strife
* 995: The Samanid rebels Fa’iq (leader of a court faction that had defeated Alptigin’s nomination for Emir) and Abu Ali expel Mahmud from Nishapur. Mahmud and Sabuktigin defeat Samanid rebels at Tus.

* 997: Qarakhanid Empire
* 999: Khorasan, Balkh, Herat, Merv from the Samanids. A concurrent invasion from the North by the Qarakhanids under Elik Khan (Nasr Khan) ends Samanid rule.
* 1000: Seistan
* 1001: Gandhara: Sultan Mahmud defeats Jayapala at Peshawar and Jayapala abdicates and commits suicide.
* 1002: Seistan: Imprisoned Khuluf
* 1004: Bhatia annexed after it fails to pay its yearly tribute.
* 1005: Multan revolts under Abul Fatah Dawood who enlists the aid of Anandapala. Defeated at Peshawar and pursued to Sodra (Wazirabad). Ghur captured. Appoints Sewakpal to administer the region. Anandapala flees to Kashmir, takes refuge in the Lohara fort in the hills on the western border of Kashmir.
* 1005: Defends Balkh and Khorasan against Nasr I of the Qarakhanids and recaptures Nishapur from Isma’il Muntasir of the Samanids.
* 1005: Sewakpal rebels and is defeated.
* 1008: Mahmud defeats the Rajput Confederacy (Ujjain, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannauj, Delhi, and Ajmer) in battle between Und and Peshawar, and captures the Shahi treasury at Kangra in modern-day Himachal Pradesh.

* 1010: Ghur; against Mohammad ibn Sur
* 1010: Multan revolts. Abul Fatah Dawood imprisoned for life at Ghazni.
* 1011: Thanesar
* 1012: Joor-jistan: Captures Sar(Czar??)-Abu-Nasr
* 1012: Demands and receives remainder of the province of Khorasan from the Abassid Caliph. Then demands Samarkand as well but is rebuffed.
* 1013: Bulnat: Defeats Trilochanpala.
* 1015: Ghaznis expedition to Kashmir fails. Fails to take the Lohara[citation needed] fort at Lokote in the hills leading up to the valley from the west.
* 1015: Khwarezm: Marries his sister to Abul Abbas Mamun of Khwarezm who dies in the same year in a rebellion. Moves to quell the rebellion and installs a new ruler and annexes a portion.
* 1017: Kannauj, Meerut, and Muhavun on the Yamuna, Mathura and various other regions along the route. While moving through Kashmir, he levies troops from the vassal prince for his onward march. Kannauj and Meerut submit without a fight.
* 1021: Kalinjar attacks Kannauj: he marches to their aid and finds the last Shahi King Trilochanpala encamped as well. No battle, the opponents leave their baggage trains and withdraw from the field. Also fails to take the fort of Lokote again. Takes Lahore on his return. Trilochanpala flees to Ajmer. First Muslim governors appointed east of the Indus River.
* 1023: Lahore, Kalinjar, Gwalior: No battles, exacts tribute. Trilochanpala, the grandson of Jayapala is assassinated by his own troops. Official annexation of Punjab by Ghazni. Also fails to take the Lohara fort on the western border of Kashmir for the second time.
* 1024: Ajmer, Nehrwala, Kathiawar: This raid was his last major campaign. The concentration of wealth at Somnath was renowned, and consequently it became an attractive target for Mahmud, as it had previously deterred most invaders. The temple and citadel were sacked, and most of its defenders massacred.
* 1024: Somnath: Mahmud sacked the temple and is reported to have personally hammered the temple’s gilded Lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city’s new Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) in 1026. He placed a new king on the throne in Gujarat as a tributary and took the old one to Ghazni as a prisoner. His return detoured across the Thar Desert to avoid the armies of Ajmer and other allies on his return.
* 1025: Marched against the Jats of the Jood mountains who harried his army on its return from the sack of Somnath.
* 1027: Rayy, Isfahan, Hamadan from the Buyid (Daylami) Dynasty.
* 1028, 1029: Merv, Nishapur lost to Seljuk Turks
Sultan mehmood court 300x181 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
Mahmud’s campaigns seem to have been motivated by both religious zeal against both the Fatimids Shiites and non-Muslims; Buddhists, Jains and Hindus[weasel words]. His principal drive remained the Ismaili Shiites, Buyid Iran as well as favor and recognition of independence from the Abbassid Caliphate[weasel words]. The wealth plundered from the Rajput Confederacy and his Indian campaigns went a long way towards meeting those ends. By 1027, Mahmud had accomplished this as well as capturing most of modern-day Pakistan and North- Western India as well as obtaining formal recognition of Ghazni’s sovereignty from the Abbasid Khalifah, al-Qadir Billah, as well as the title of Yameen-ud Daula.

Regional attitudes towards Mahmud’s memory

In Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, Mahmud is celebrated as a hero and a great patron of the arts, architecture, literature, and Persian revivalism as well as a vanguard of Islam and a paragon of virtue and piety who established the standard of Islam upon heathen land. His Lion and Sun is a national symbol in Iran today.

On April 30, 1030, Sultan Mahmud died in Ghazni, at the age of 59. Sultan Mahmud had contracted malaria during his last invasion. The medical complication from malaria had caused lethal tuberculosis. During his rule, universities were founded to study various subjects such as mathematics, religion, the humanities, and medicine. Islam was the main religion of his kingdom. The dialect of Persian spoken in Afghanistan, Dari, was made the official language.

The Ghaznavid Empire was ruled by his successors for 157 years. The expanding Seljuk Turkish empire absorbed most of the Ghaznavid west. The Ghorids captured Ghazni in 1150 A.D., and Muhammad Ghori captured the last Ghaznavid stronghold at Lahore in 1187. The Ghaznavids went on to live as the Nasher Khans in their home of Ghazni until the 20th century.

Modern Pakistan has named one of its short-range ballistic missiles Ghaznavi, in honour of him.

* 1011: Thanesar

* 1012: Joor-jistan: Captures Sar(Czar??)-Abu-Nasr
* 1012: Demands and receives remainder of the province of Khorasan from the Abassid Caliph. Then demands Samarkand as well but is rebuffed.
* 1013: Bulnat: Defeats Trilochanpala.
* 1015: Ghaznis expedition to Kashmir fails. Fails to take the Lohara[citation needed] fort at Lokote in the hills leading up to the valley from the west.
* 1015: Khwarezm: Marries his sister to Abul Abbas Mamun of Khwarezm who dies in the same year in a rebellion. Moves to quell the rebellion and installs a new ruler and annexes a portion.
* 1017: Kannauj, Meerut, and Muhavun on the Yamuna, Mathura and various other regions along the route. While moving through Kashmir, he levies troops from the vassal prince for his onward march. Kannauj and Meerut submit without a fight.
* 1021: Kalinjar attacks Kannauj: he marches to their aid and finds the last Shahi King Trilochanpala encamped as well. No battle, the opponents leave their baggage trains and withdraw from the field. Also fails to take the fort of Lokote again. Takes Lahore on his return. Trilochanpala flees to Ajmer. First Muslim governors appointed east of the Indus River.
* 1023: Lahore, Kalinjar, Gwalior: No battles, exacts tribute. Trilochanpala, the grandson of Jayapala is assassinated by his own troops. Official annexation of Punjab by Ghazni. Also fails to take the Lohara fort on the western border of Kashmir for the second time.
* 1024: Ajmer, Nehrwala, Kathiawar: This raid was his last major campaign. The concentration of wealth at Somnath was renowned, and consequently it became an attractive target for Mahmud, as it had previously deterred most invaders. The temple and citadel were sacked, and most of its defenders massacred.
* 1024: Somnath: Mahmud sacked the temple and is reported to have personally hammered the temple’s gilded Lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city’s new Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) in 1026. He placed a new king on the throne in Gujarat as a tributary and took the old one to Ghazni as a prisoner. His return detoured across the Thar Desert to avoid the armies of Ajmer and other allies on his return.
* 1025: Marched against the Jats of the Jood mountains who harried his army on its return from the sack of Somnath.
* 1027: Rayy, Isfahan, Hamadan from the Buyid (Daylami) Dynasty.
* 1028, 1029: Merv, Nishapur lost to Seljuk Turks
Tomb of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in 1839 40 300x218 Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi   A great islamic warrior & king of Hind
On April 30, 1030, Sultan Mahmud died in Ghazni, at the age of 59. Sultan Mahmud had contracted malaria during his last invasion. The medical complication from malaria had caused lethal tuberculosis. During his rule, universities were founded to study various subjects such as mathematics, religion, the humanities, and medicine. Islam was the main religion of his kingdom. The dialect of Persian spoken in Afghanistan, Dari, was made the official language.

Modern Pakistan has named one of its short-range ballistic missiles Ghaznavi, in honour of him.