According to Ruben Levy, "the functions which the lawyers and theorists lay down for the Caliphate, the duties of the ruler in Islam are four" - (1) Judgement (or justice), (2) Taxation, (3) Friday service and (4) Jihad.1 We shall take up Jihad first.
3.1. ISLAMIC WAR OR JIHAD
War against non-Muslims is called Jihad in Islamic scriptures. The first Jihads were fought in Arabia against the Pagans, Jews and Christians. Later on they were fought wherever Muslims went to spread their religion. Jihad is fought to serve Allah. According to a Pakistani army scholar, Brigadier S.K. Malik,2 "the fountain-head of the Quranic dimensions of war lies in the fact that war is waged for the cause of Allah... To those who fight for this noblest heavenly cause, the Book promises handsome heavenly assistance. The index of fighting for Allah's cause is Man's total submission to his Will. Those who fail to submit themselves fully and completely to the Will of God run the risk of incurring heavenly wrath... Fighting involves risk of life and property that must be accepted willingly and cheerfully."3 Said the Book, "Not equal are believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than those who sit (at home)." "The central theme behind the causes of wars, as spelt out by the Holy Quran, was the cause of Allah... in the pursuit of this cause, the Muslims were first granted the permission to fight but were later commanded to fight in the way of God as a matter of religious obligation and duty."4
Inspiring terror into the hearts of the enemy was a part of the tactics of Jihad. Talking of Badr, Almighty Allah addressed the Prophet thus: 'I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."5 In the battle of Uhud, Allah identified the causes of the Muslim defeat, provided divine guidance, and held out a promise: "Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers."6 The Quran referred to the treachery of Banu Quraiza, "Allah did take them down from their stronghold and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners. And he made you heirs to their lands, their houses, and their goods..."7 "Terror struck in the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. It can be instilled only if the opponent's faith is destroyed. Psychological dislocation is temporary; spiritual dislocation is permanent... To instil terror into the hearts of the enemy it is essential, in the ultimate analysis, to dislocate his faith."8 This is exactly what the Muslim invaders and rulers tried to do in India.
The Holy Quran spelt out the divine war against Paganism when it commanded the Muslims to take recourse to fighting. "And fight them on," ruled the Book, "until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah." Similar instructions were repeated after the battle of Badr, about a year later. "And fight them on," the Holy Quran directed on that occasion, "until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevails justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere."9
Three ideas are central in the above postulation. There have been wars but the wars fought by the Muslims are in the service of Allah. This gives Islamic belligerency divine sanction, and terrorism becomes a divine command. The second idea put forward is that Paganism is tumult and oppression while Islam is justice and faith in Allah. This is what the Muslims are taught to believe. And thirdly participation in this divine war is a must; there is reward for the participants and punishment for non-participants. Jihad in a word is total war.
Jihad is for ever
"The origins of Jihad lie in the desire for the expansion of Arab power and the spread of the Islamic religion first in Arabia and later on in the whole world. Muhammad knew that his people could not rule the world until they were welded into an effective fighting force against the unbelievers for taking over their countries, personal possessions and women, and subjugating them to the Arabian hegemony... Since Jihad is against the unbelievers, the Prophet created unlimited opportunities for holy wars by declaring other religions false and ungodly."10 Thus Jihad is Allah's command to the Muslims to destroy the non-Muslims. It is not at all necessary that the non-Muslims should have wronged the Muslims; their true crime is that they do not believe in Islam. The aim of Jihad is to make them believe in Islam through the power of the sword.
The Dictionary of Islam defines Jihad as "a religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and the traditions as a divine institution and enjoined specially for the purpose of advancing Islam..."11 The Quran says in Surah (Chapter) 2 ayat (injunction) 193, "Fight against them (the mushriks) until idolatry is no more, and Allah's religion reigns supreme." The command is repeated in Surah 8 ayat 39. In Surah 69 ayats 30-37 it is ordained: "Lay hold of him and bind him. Burn him in the fire of hell." And again: "When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield strike off their heads and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly" (47:14-15). "Cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, maim them in every limb"(8:12).12 And "Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem till they respect and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity" (11:8). Such commands, exhortations and injunctions are repeatedly mentioned in Islamic scriptures - the Quran and Hadis. The main medium through which these injunctions were to be carried out was the holy Jihad. The Jihad or holy war is a multi-dimensional concept. When it comes to Jihad, no two Muslims can disagree on this basic concept. It means fighting for the sake of Allah, for furthering the cause of Islam, for converting people to the 'true faith', for killing them if they resist, for seizing their property and their women and children, and for destroying their temples. Iconoclasm and razing other people's temples is central to Islam; it derives its justification from the Prophet's Sunnah or practice. Muhammad had himself destroyed Pagan temples in Arabia and so set an example for his followers. Without Jihad there is no Islam. Jihad is a religious duty of every Muslim.
It is remarkable that all the injunctions about Jihad, a war against non-Muslims for all time, occur in the al-Madinah Surahs. These were revealed after Muhammad had established himself as a paramount ruler, and was in a position to dictate terms to enemies. Verses revealed in Mecca (609-622 CE) begin as a hesitant call to arms for the defence of "mosques, churches and synagogues", and end by being transformed in Madinah into a violent call for all round destruction of non-Muslims. There is nothing surprising about it. One important fact regarding Quran is that each revelation is suited to the exigencies of the Prophet's policy or passion.
That being so, there are rules laid down for carrying on Jihad. These rules are given more elaborately in the Hadis. Muslim theologians make no distinction between the Quran (the Holy Book) and the Hadis (Traditions). Both are works of revelation and inspiration, the one supplementing the other. The leaders of Jihad were told to offer their enemies, that is those who disbelieved in Allah, three options: 1. Invite them to accept Islam; if they do so, then invite them to migrate from their lands to the land of Muhajirs (Madinah in the early days of Muhammad, Darul Islam in later days). If they refuse to migrate, tell them that they will be subjected to the commands of Allah like other Muslims, but they will not get any share in rewards or spoils of war. But if they participate in Jihad they would be entitled to their share. 2. If they do not accept Islam, demand from them the Jizyah. If they accept to pay the Jizyah, do not rob or kill them because as Zimmis, they should be left unharmed. 3. But if they refuse to pay the Jiziyah tax, then seek Allah's help and fight them.13
Fair enough. But patience for such negotiations and agreements was not quite feasible in the midst of war with prospects of gainful plunder. One should have normally invited the infidels to embrace Islam before attacking them, but if the Musalmans did attack them before offering them Islam and slay them, even women and children, and take possession of their property, no punishment, expiation or atonement was due on the part of such Muslims. For, according to the Prophet "war is stratagem", "war is deceit".14 Inspired Mujahids did deeds of valour, of horror and of terror. Muslim chroniclers have written about such achievements of the heroes of Islam with zeal and glee. The Mujahids were encouraged to embark on Jihad because they were promised handsome rewards in this world as in the world to come. That is how Jihad and prayer became equal in beneficence. That is why a Jihadist sought shahadat (martyrdom).15 In this world, the property and possessions of the infidel killed by a Musalman became the reward of the latter - wife, children, animals, wealth. "The man who kills the infidel, even the one who kills a wounded infidel, shall have the right to retain what he had taken from the man he killed - that booty will not be subject to the one-fifth deduction customary for booty in general. He shall also of course get in addition his share of the general Spoils."16
Paradise as Reward of Jihad
In the next world is Paradise for the Mujahid. Whether he survives in battle against an infidel, or is wounded or is slain, Paradise is ensured for him after his death. The spiritual merits of participating in Jihad are equal to all other religious duties like keeping fasts, standing in prayer constantly and obeying Allah's commands in Quran.17 Jihad for the spread of Islam is the most meritorious gateway to Paradise. "Paradise is under the shadow of the swords," the Prophet told his followers.18 The Paradise in the Quran provided "Rest and passive enjoyment; verdant gardens watered by murmuring rivulets, wherein the believers... repose (quaffing) aromatic wine such as the Arabs loved from goblets placed before them or handed round in silver cups resplendent as glass by beautiful youths... 'Verily! for the pious is a blissful abode; Gardens and Vineyards, and damsels with swelling bosoms, of an equal age, and a full cup...' These damsels of paradise are introduced as 'lovely large-eyed girls resembling pearls hidden in their shells, a reward for that which the faithfull have wrought... 'Verily! we have created them (the houries) of a rare creation; We have made them virgins, fascinating, of an equal age'."19 In Paradise the souls of the Mujahids will roam about. at will like the free birds who have their nests in brightly lighted chandeliers. They will be wedded to houries and live in gardens with golden pillars studded with precious stones. There will be seventy thousand golden gates at each of which a beauty (hourie) will await their arrival.20 And all their sins will be forgiven."21 "A man came to Allah's Apostle," the Hadis records, "and said, 'Instruct me to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).' He replied, 'I do not find such a deed.'"22 in consequence of such rewards there was a keen desire on the part of the Mujahids "to fight in the way of Allah and be killed, to fight and again and be killed, and to fight again and be killed."23 It is significant that a detailed description of Paradise attainable through Jihad is repeated and restated at the end of Sunan ibn Majah.24 Muslim students in Madrsas are instructed in the Quran and Hadis from an early age. Books of Hadis are read and re-read by devout Muslims. The closing pages of a book always leave a lasting impression on the reader's mind. The description of Jihad and Paradise at the close of the collections of Hadis inspires the Muslim to an everlasting zeal for Jihad and for entering the tempting Paradise.
However, in spite of the clear injunctions in the Quran and the Hadis, T.P. Hughes writes that "the mystics speak of two Jihads: Jihadul Akbar or 'the greater warfare', which is against one's own lusts; and al Jihadul Asghar, or, the lesser warfare, against infidels."25 There is no Jihad of the former type mentioned in the Quran or Hadis. There is also no defensive Jihad. As M. Mujeeb says, "The Hidayah is quite explicit about the legality of Jihad (holy war) against infidels even when they have not taken the offensive."26 As Hughes himself quotes from Burhanuddin Ali's Hidayah, to the latter Jihad or "war is permanently established until the day of judgement".27
The above discussion shows that the difference between ordinary and Islamic war lies in the latter's essence of malevolence and savagery. The encouragement to loot and obtain booty in this world and the promise of Paradise in the next packs the Jihadists with cruel zeal to plunder and kill no end. Jihad's brutalization of war is writ large on the pages of medieval history. The Turks and Pathans were mainly Hindus and Buddhists before they were converted to Islam. Their record of war and atrocities before they became Muslims is normal. But once they went over to the new faith they were brutalized, and what the Arab armies did in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, North Africa, Spain and Sindh, bears close resemblance to what the Turks and Pathans did in India. Not only outsiders but even those Hindu rulers or zamindars who became Muslim (e.g. in Afghanistan, Kashmir or Gujarat) became hardhearted and brutalized and treated their erstwhile co-religionists with the same fanaticism as was practised by foreign invaders or resident Muslim rulers. Their zeal was also kept alive by works written in India on the merits of Jihad. From Fakhr-i-Mudabbir's Adab-ul-Harb and Ziyauddin Barani's Fatwa-i-Jahandari to Aurangzeb's Fatawa-i-Alamgiri, all are works on Muslim politics. Aurangzeb's Fatawa-i-Alamgiri truly mentions that the noblest occupation for Muslims is Jihad. This meant that military service provided the best career for a Muslim, and it was the business of the kings and commanders to declare every war a Jihad. The practice of the military profession was made identical with the fulfilment of a religious duty.28
Jihad in India
The sanguine psychology produced by Jihad is evident in the behaviour of some of the greatest names in Indian Muslim history. Muhammad bin Sakifi had been sent to invade Sindh by al-Hajjaj. Hajjaj had earlier been appointed Governor of Mecca by Caliph Abdul Malik in 73 H (692 CE) where he built the holy Kaba.29 It was a pious performance; his other great achievement was, as he claimed, that he had killed 100,000 men with his own sword.30 The ambition and boast of killing one lakh or a hundred thousand human beings was shared by many Muslim Caliphs, invaders and rulers. Khalid bin Walid was known as "the Sword of Allah," Abul Abbas, the first Caliph of the Abbasid line was renowned as "The blood pourer" and Alauddin Husain was called "jahan soz (world burner)".31 He carried fire and sword through the kingdom of Ghazni (1151 CE). Such titles had a pride of place in the history of Islam.
In India Muhammad bin Qasim killed by thousands, but Mahmud of Ghazni surely killed by lakhs.32 and took pride in the fact. This becomes clear from just two instances. In his attack on Thanesar, "the blood of the infidels flowed so copiously that the stream was discoloured, and people were unable to drink it". Similarly, in the slaughter of Sirsawa near Saharanpur, "the Musalmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels."33 The temper of a people armed against mankind was surely influenced by the licence of rapine, murder and revenge as recommended by their creed. The story is told of how once Mahmud of Ghazni went on cutting down victim after victim with his sword. In the process his fingers got jammed on the sword-hilt. His grip had to be relaxed by douching his hand in hot water. Like Hajjaj, Mahmud was a scholar of Quran.
Jihad under Turks
The chroniclers of the early Turkish rulers of India take pride in affirming that Qutbuddin Aibak was a killer of lakhs of infidels. Leave aside enthusiastic killers like Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad bin Tughlaq, even the "kind-hearted" Firoz Tughlaq killed more than a lakh Bengalis when he invaded their country. Timur Lang or Tamerlane says he killed a hundred thousand infidel prisoners of war in Delhi.34 He built victory pillars from severed heads at many places. These were acts of sultans. The nobles were not lagging behind. One Shaikh Daud Kambu is said to have killed 20,000 with his dagger.35 The Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga and Bidar considered it meritorious to kill a hundred thousand Hindu men, women and children every year.36 These wars were fought in the true spirit of Jihad - the total annihilation or conversion of the non-Muslims. It was in this spirit that some ulema requested Sultan Iltutmish (1210-1236) to confront the Hindus with a choice between Islam and death. He advised them patience as dictated by the compulsions of the situation. Iltutmish fought against Nasiruddin Qubacha and Tajuddin Yaldoz. But his wars against them are not called Jihad. Jihad was against non-Muslims. Hence the insistence of the ulema on this religious duty. In a hundred years time Muslim ambition paved the way for confident optimism. During the reigns of Nasiruddin Mahmud and Ghiyasuddin Balban (1246-86) extensive campaigns in southern Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Baghelkhand as well as Gwalior, Narwar, Chanderi and Malwa were undertaken. In Katehar and Mewat there were systematic massacres of Rajputs and Mewatis in the true spirit of Jihad. While the numbers of the enslaved boosted Muslim demography, massacres were ordered on selective basis - only of Hindus.37 Similar scenes were witnessed during Alauddin Khalji's invasion of Gujarat in 1299, where massacres by his generals in Anhilwara, Cambay, Asavalli, Vanmanthali and Somnath earned him, according to Rasmala, the sobriquet of Khuni. Also in Chittor, where Alauddin ordered a massacre of 30,000 Hindus. The comment of Amir Khusrau on this genocide (keeping in mind the population of the period) is significant. "Praise be to God"!, writes he in his Khazain-ul-Futuh (completed in 1311 CE) "that he (the sultan) so ordered the massacre of all the chiefs of Hindustan out of the pale of Islam, by his infidel-smiting sword, that if in this time it should by chance happen that a schismatic should claim his right, the pure Sunnis would swear in the name of this Khalifa of God, that heterodoxy has no right."38 Shorn of its verbosity his comment on the horrible massacre only points to the fact that except for Sunni Muslims no other people could be permitted to live in India. Four years later he wrote in his Ashiqa - "Happy Hindustan, the splendour of Religion, where the Law finds perfect honour and security. The whole country, by means of the sword of our holy warriors, has become like a forest denuded of its thorns by fire... Islam is triumphant, idolatry is subdued. Had not the Shariat Law granted exemption from death by the payment of poll-tax, the very name of Hind, root and branch, would have been extinguished."39 Ziyauddin Barani, a contemporary of Amir Khusrau, writes in a similar spirit. He quoted the disposition of Qazi Mughisuddin before Alauddin that the Hindus were the greatest among the enemies of God and the religion of the Prophet40 and so needed to be eliminated. It is in a similar vein that he advocates an all-out Jihad against the Hindus in his Fatawa-i-Jahandari.41 So whether it was a sufi of the stature of Amir Khusrau about whose liberal credentials every secularist swears, or it was an orthodox Maulana like Ziyauddin Barani, the position of the Hindu idolaters in the Islamic law was given by them fairly correctly.42 They deserved to be exterminated through Jihad. If the sultans conceded to the Hindus the status of Zimmis, it was because of the compulsion of the Indian situation.
That is how wars against Hindus were no ordinary wars, casualties no common casualties, and massacres were massacres of extermination. This thirst for extermination was also whetted by the resistance of "the enemies of God" with their determination for survival. The rite of Jauhar killed the women, the tradition of not deserting the field of battle made Rajputs and others die fighting in large numbers. When Malwa was attacked (1305), its Raja is said to have possessed 40,000 horse and 100,000 foot.43 After the battle, "so far as human eye could see, the ground was muddy with blood". Many cities of Malwa like Mandu, Ujjain, Dharanagri and Chanderi were captured after great resistance. The capitulation of Sevana and Jalor in Rajasthan (1308, 1311) were accompanied by massacres after years of prolonged warfare. In Alauddin's wars in the South, similar killings took place, especially in Dwarsamudra and Tamil Nadu.44 His successor Mubarak Khalji once again sacked Gujarat and Devagiri.
Under Muhammad Tughlaq, wars and rebellions knew no end. His expeditions to Bengal, Sindh and the Deccan, as well as ruthless suppression of twenty-two rebellions, meant only depopulation in the thirteenth and first half of the fourteenth century.45 For one thing, in spite of constant efforts no addition of territory could be made by Turkish rulers from 1210 to 1296; for another the Turkish rulers were more ruthless in war and less merciful in peace. Hence the extirpating massacres of Balban, and the repeated attacks by others on regions already devastated but not completely subdued. Bengal was attacked by Bakhtiyar, by Balban, by Alauddin, and by all the three Tughlaqs - Ghiyas, Muhammad and Firoz. Malwa and Gujarat were repeatedly attacked and sacked. Almost every Muslim ruler invaded Rantambhor until it was subjugated by Alauddin Khalji (1301, again temporarily). Gwalior, Katehar and Avadh regions were also repeatedly attacked. Rajputana, Sindh and Punjab (also because of the Mongol invasions), knew no peace. in the first decade of the fourteenth century Turkish invaders penetrated into the South, carrying death and destruction. Later on Bahmani and Vijayanagar kingdoms also came to grips with each other. Mulla Daud of Bidar vividly describes the war between Muhammad Shah Bahmani and the Vijayanagar King in 1366 in which "Farishtah computes the victims on the Hindu side alone as numbering no less than half a million."46 Muhammad also devastated the Karnatak region with vengeance.47
Jihad under Mughals
The Mughals came with new weapons and new strategy of war, but their religious ideology of Jihad and zeal remained as of old. This is borne out by the difference in Babur's attitude and actions in his two wars, one against the Muslim Ibrahim Lodi and the other against the Hindu Rana Sanga. Babur's war against Ibrahim Lodi was only a war, against Rana Sangram Singh it was Jihad. After the defeat of the Lodi Sultan in the First Battle of Panipat in April 1526, according to Ahmad Yadgar, Babur praised the slain King, and his corpse was given a decent burial at the command of the victor.48 On the other hand, the story of the Battle of Khanwa against Rana Sanga in March 1527 has been described in the royal memoirs in an entirely different idiom. In it Rana Sanga is repeatedly called a pagan (Kafir) with studied contempt. His nobles and soldiers are similarly abused repeatedly. On account of Sanga's large army and reputation for bravery, Babur renounced wine as a measure of seeking God's grace. And how? - cups and flagons were "dashed in pieces, as God willing! soon will be dashed the gods of the idolaters."49 The whole narrative of Babur as well as Shaikh Zain's Fateh Nama is laced with quotations from the Quran for wishing victory against the infidels, for "adequate thanks cannot be rendered for a benefit than which none is greater in the world and nothing is more blessed in the world to come, to wit, victory over most powerful infidels and dominion over wealthiest heretics, 'these are the unbelievers, the wicked'." All the Hindu chiefs killed in battle "trod the road to Hell from this house of clay to the pit of perdition". When they were engaged in battle, they were "made to descend into Hell, the house of perdition. They shall be thrown to burn therein, and an unhappy dwelling shall it be."50 In Babur's memoirs his narrative of Jihad is laced with quotations from the Quran in dozens which shows that he was, like Mahmud Ghaznavi, a scholar of Quran and Hadis and no simple secular warrior.
After the victory over Rana Sanga, Babur took the title of Ghazi or victor in holy war. As trophy of victory "an order was given to set up a pillar of pagan heads."51 Similar tower of pagan heads was piled up after the success at Chanderi against Medini Rai. "We made general massacre of pagans in it. A pillar of pagan heads was ordered set up on a hill northwest of Chanderi (and) converted what for many years had been a mansion of hostility, into a mansion of Islam."52 Such language is used, such towers of heads of the slain are piled up, only in the case of Hindus. Similar ideas and actions are not found in Babur's description of wars against the Muslims in India. The language betrays the psychology developed by the ideology of Jihad contained in Islamic scriptures. The ideology is not of universal brotherhood. Its brotherhood is confined to Muslims only.
Even in emperor Akbar's 'secular' reign the religious spirit of Jihad was not lost. Abdul Qadir Badaoni who was then one of Akbar's court chaplains or imams, states that he sought an interview with the emperor when the royal troops were marching against Rana Pratap in 1576, begging leave of absence for "the privilege of joining the campaign to soak his Islamic beard in Hindu infidel blood". Akbar was so pleased at the expression of allegiance to his person and to the Islamic idea of Jihad that he bestowed a handful of gold coins on Badaoni as a token of his pleasure.53 It may be recalled that as an adolescent, Akbar had earned the title of Ghazi by beheading the defenseless infidel Himu. Under Akbar and Jahangir "five or six hundred thousand human beings were killed," says emperor Jahangir.54 The figures given by these killers and their chroniclers may be a few thousand less or a few thousand more, but what bred this ambition of cutting down human beings without compunction was the Muslim theory, practice and spirit of Jihad, as spelled out in Muslim scriptures and rules of administration. Under Aurangzeb every chronicler avers that wars against infidels were fought in the spirit of Jihad. In short, Jihad was never given up in India from the time of Muhammad bin Qasim to that of Aurangzeb and beyond, so long as Muslim rule lasted.
We may close this discussion on the theory and practice of Jihad by pointing out that the prophet of Islam was a very practical man. He advocated Jihad or aggressive wars against non-Muslims till eternity because he did not visualize a world without Kafirs and people of other faiths. But he could not be sure of success always. Muhammad himself sometimes got Muslim prisoners of war released by giving in exchange beautiful slave girls to the strong adversary at Medina.55 Therefore, in many ahadis he recommended that if infidels harass the Muslims, and offer them peace in return for property the Imam must not accede thereto as far as possible, as this would be a degradation of the Muslim honour. But if destruction is apprehended, purchasing peace with property is lawful, because it is a duty to repel destruction in every possible way.56 Muslims also repelled destruction in this wise in Hindustan from the time of Iltutmish to that of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb, ever keen on Jihad as stressed in his Fatawa-i-Alamgiri, used to surrender forts to the Marathas when destruction stared him in the face, Rajputs too used to recover their forts and properties from Muslim rulers throughout the medieval period. But Jihad was a religious duty for Muslims till eternity for the annihilation of non-Muslims. It was carried out in India to the best of the competence and strength of Muslim invaders and rulers throughout the medieval period.
The Daily Mail, London, published a series of articles on India between April 1933 and April 1934 by many eminent British administrators. These articles were later published in the form of a pamphlet which cost one penny. The articles are full of imperialist love for India - a love also shared by the earlier Muslim imperialist power. Islam has all the ingredients of imperialism found anywhere in the world in any age. In one of the aforesaid articles Rothermere asserts that "The plain fact is that India is as indispensable to Britain as Britain is to India" in the same vein as today it is claimed that India is as indispensable to Muslims as Muslims are to India. In another article Sir Michael O'Dwyer, formerly Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, wrote: "The essentials of a good government in every country are: (1) External and internal security, (2) Impartial justice (3) Progressive and efficient administration and (4) Light taxation."57 According to Ruben Levy, as noted earlier, "the duties of the ruler in Islam are (also) four" - judgement or justice, Taxation, Friday service and Jihad. We have already dealt with Jihad which also took care of external and more so of internal security. We shall take up the study of taxation later on. Here we shall concentrate on justice and Friday service under Muslim rule.
Justice by the King
In Islam, justice has to be done in accordance with the Quran. If solution is not found in the Quran it should be done as per the Sunnah. If Sunnah also fails to provide an answer, then it should be done according to ijtihad (or individual judgement).58 But justice must be done. Justice - Islamic justice - has a very important place in a Muslim state.
"Justice is the balance in which the actions of people, good or bad, are weighed," says Ziya Barani.59 "According to the ancient political ideal... the sovereign is the fountain of justice and it is his duty to try cases personally in open court."60 Like their Hindu counterparts, past and contemporary, Muslim kings in India like Iltutmish, Balban, Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad Tughlaq, followed this ideal and personally administered justice in open court. So did the Mughals. While the emperors attended to ordinary cases every day in open darbar, they had fixed one day in the week specially for cases requiring evidence of witnesses and their cross-examination. Akbar's day of administering justice was Thursday, Jahangir's Tuesday, Shahjahan's Wednesday and Aurangzeb's also Wednesday. Besides kings, the princes, commanders of armies, and other high officers of the state also decided cases, expert opinion on law being provided by judicial officials possessing knowledge of the Shariat.
The law courts under Muslim rule were located in administrative units of the empire, in Parganas, Sarkars, Subahs and the capital of the empire. The adalat of the Pargana Qazi was the lowest court under the Mughals. Appeals were preferred to higher courts, to the Qazi-i-Subah and the emperor. The emperor's court was the highest court in the empire. He tried both civil and military cases. He also sat as the final court of appeal within the empire. In deciding -cases, he had the assistance of a Mufti or Mir Adl. There was a hierarchical cadre of officials like Qazi-ul-Quzzat or Lord Chief Justice, Qazis, Naib Qazis, Mir Adls and Muftis who expounded the law and gave opinion on complicated cases. The emperor's court was quite popular with the people who obtained redress from his impartiality.
Judiciary of Muslim State
But the emperor was not a Qazi or Mufti. Besides, he could not decide all the hundreds of cases that came up for hearing. These cases were dealt with by the judiciary. The chief court of the empire was located in the capital and was presided over by the Qazi-ul-Quzzat, or the Chief justice of the realm. He was appointed by the emperor. He had the power to try original civil and military cases. He heard appeals from and supervised the working of provincial courts. He was assisted in his work by Qazis, Muftis, Muhtasibs. The Muhtasib was the chief custodian of public morals. It was his duty to see that there was no infringement of Islamic law in the public as well as private lives of the people. He used to enquire into the conduct of the people and so instilled a sense of fear in them. The office of the Muhtasib was instituted by Caliph al-Mahdi (775-785) to see that the religious and moral precepts of Islam were observed and that the offenders were detected and punished. Muhtasib was like the Christian Inquisitor without the latter's licence of cruelty and torture. The office of Muhtasib was an integral part of the administrative set up of the Muslim state. There were Muhtasibs during the Sultanate period and in the Mughal empire. They were there in the capital as well as the headquarters of the provinces and their subdivisions.
Justice has one meaning for the ruler, another for the ruled. What was impartial justice for the British was imperialist oppression for the Indians. What was impartial justice for the Muslims was the imposition of the Islamic Shariat on the Hindus because Muslim law was full of discrimination against non-Muslims. Muslim law on crime and punishment is complicated and cruel. Where imprisonment of a month or two would be considered sufficient, say for pilferage or theft, in Islam it is visited with cutting of hands and feet. A Hadd (pl. Hudud) comprises punishments that are prescribed in the Quran and the Hadis. These include stoning to death for adultery; one hundred lashes for fornication,61 and eighty lashes for drinking wine. When a woman is to be stoned a chest deep hole is dug for her, so that her nakedness is not exposed and the modesty of the watching multitude is not offended. No such hole need be dug for a man. The stoning is begun by the witnesses followed by the Imam or Qazi, and then by the participating believers. Cutting off the right hand is prescribed for theft,62 and cutting off feet and hands for highway robbery. In the cases of murder the right of revenge (qisas) belongs to the victim's heir. But the heir can forgo this right of death for murder and accept blood-price in exchange. For the death of a woman, Jew or Christian, only half of the blood-price is due. "As slaves and unbelievers are inferior in status to Muslims they are not entitled to qisas according to most Muslim faqihs (jurists)."63 In all such cases, a woman's testimony (shahadah) has half the weight of a man's.
It is a very great crime to apostatize from Islam (irtidad) and its punishment is death. The Quran gives the broad outline of these punishments, all Hadis collections provide many details of the same. Both Quran and Hadis are specific about punishment of death for giving up islam.64 One can accept Islam freely; one can be forcibly converted or could be captured in war and made a Muslim, but once converted, one cannot abjure Islam. Once a group of men apostatized from Islam. Ali burnt them to death. Eight men of the tribe of Ukl became Muslims. They went to Madinah, but away from the control of the Prophet, they turned away from Islam. The Prophet sent twenty Ansars after them. They were captured and brought back. The Holy Prophet "got their hands cut off and their feet, and put out their eyes, and threw them on the stony ground until they died". Another hadis adds that "while on the stony ground they were asking for water, but they were not given water."65 The rules are so strict that if a Muslim does not deny Islam, if he adheres to all injunctions but denies one single principle, he becomes Kafir and deserves to be killed.66 There was no effective law to hinder the infliction of many other forms of cruel punishment according to the caprice of the local official. For example, killing a man by making a snake bite him became a common Muslim punishment in India.67
Men have been punished in war and peace in all countries through the ages. But severe flogging, mutilation of limbs, amputation of hands and feet and noses and ears, putting out eyes by piercing them with red hot iron, nailing of hands and feet, flaying alive, hamstringing and decapitating were Islamic specializations. Add to this pouring molten lead into the throat, crushing the bones with mallets, burning the body with fire, driving nails into the hands, feet and bosom, cutting the sinews, sawing men asunder - these and many similar tortures were common. With this background, with this ideology, with this set of punishments, justice in medieval India under Muslim rule could only be barbarous in nature, content and cruelty. There were cruel kings and kind kings, there were corrupt Qazis and honest Qazis, but so long as punishments remained barbaric, there was little hope for the accused or the victim. In Islamic conception the state belongs to God. Hence a violation of public right becomes an offence against God. As a result punishment for injury done to God's authority has to be visited according to the rules laid down by God and his Prophet as contained in the Quran and Hadis.
In India in the Sultanate period such punishments continued to be awarded as the chronicles of Barani and Afif show. Under Alauddin Khalji and Muhammad bin Tughlaq punishments became more severe. Cutting of hands and feet was sanctioned by the Shariat. Alauddin added to it slicing off flesh from the haunches of the defaulting shopkeepers.68 Since "God Almighty himself in the Quran commanded the complete degradation of the non-Muslim (yan yad yaham saghrun),69 slaying, plundering and imprisoning of the Hindus became routine. For a handful of tankahs, revenue officials were clamped in jails for many years receiving blows and kicks,70 while the Hindus in general had no gold or silver left in their houses. Muhammad Tughlaq confined Shaikhzada Jami in an iron cage leading to his death.71 Under him punishments laid down by the Shariat were scrupulously awarded. The mother of prince Masud was ordered by the Sultan to be stoned to death for adultery, the verdict having been pronounced by Qazi Kamaluddin. Ibn Battutah relates that on one occasion he himself as Qazi gave eighty stripes to one Razi of Multan for making himself drunk and stealing five hundred dinars. He also says that during Muhammad Tughlaq's reign people used to admit uncommitted crimes and courted death to escape torture. When the royal order was issued for the execution of any person, he was executed at the gate of the palace where his corpse remained for three days.72 The Diwan-i-Siyasat worked vigorously and every day hundreds of culprits were brought for punishments.73 Sultan Firoz Tughlaq writes in his Fatuhat that he appeased by means of gifts the heirs of those who had been deprived of a limb, nose, eye, hand or foot in the time of his late lord and patron Sultan Muhammad Shah. Firoz Tughlaq is known for his kind-heartedness but, according to Shams Siraj Afif, he killed one lakh 80 thousand Bengalis in war. Towers of skulls of the killed were erected. The chronicler adds, "Firoz Shah was near the mound of skulls with all magnificence; and glory and was inspecting the counting of the heads.
In India, in course of time and under the influence of Hindu environment the violence of punishments was mitigated to a great extent. Under Akbar, "the compassionate heart of His Majesty finds no pleasure in cruelties or in causing sorrow to others; he is ever sparing of the lives of his subjects, wishing to bestow happiness upon all..."75 So that, by the time of Akbar and Jahangir, "No person was to suffer, for any offence, the loss of nose or ear. If the crime were theft, the offender was to be scourged with thorns, or deterred... by an attestation on the Koran."76 In his Tuzuk, emperor Jahangir asserts that "I forbade the cutting of the nose or ears of any person, and... made a vow... that I would not blemish any one by this punishment."77 This statement, however, inadvertently shows that mutilation of this type was quite prevalent before him. Perhaps the digressions from the letter of the law prompted Aurangzeb to restate once more and clearly, the basic canons of Islamic law in his Fatawa-i-Alamgiri, completed in 1670."78 Aurangzeb also issued a farman to the Diwan of Gujarat in June 1672 giving a gist of his penal code. in theory and practice mutilation and decapitation was continued under Aurangzeb, but there was greater emphasis on repentance, and flogging was more often resorted to. But that was also to give time to the accused to see the merits of the 'bright religion' and become its adherent. Those who did not show subservience were meted out cruel punishments. In northern India, Gurdwara Sisgunj in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, stands witness to Aurangzeb's idea of punishment to non-Muslims. Here the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was called upon to embrace Islam, and on his refusal was tortured for five days and then "beheaded on a warrant from the emperor" (December 1675). In South India when the Maratha King Sambhaji and his minister Kavikalash were taken prisoner, "that very night his (Sambhaji's) eyes were blinded and the next day the tongue of Kavikalash was cut out. After a fortnight's torture their limbs were hacked one by one and their flesh thrown to the dogs" (March 1689).
Fate of the Mutilated
What was the fate of those who were mutilated? It would be euphemistic to say that they lived a miserable life. One case gives a glimpse of the plight of such people. Pietro Della Valle was in western India in 1623-24. In Cambay, where "the people are most part Gentiles", he saw "a famous Hospital of Birds" and another of animals like goats, sheep, and calves. "Among the beasts there was also a thief, who having been taken in theft had both his hands cut off. But the compassionate Gentiles that he might perish miserably now (that) he was no longer able to get his living, took him into his place, and kept him among the poor beasts, not suffering him to want anything."79 So, the victims of Muslim justice could live like beasts after they had been mutilated. But many managed to survive. They probably got their food from the free kitchens run by the government.
There was probably another avenue of relief, perhaps rather than probably. Mutilation, blinding and beheading were common punishments as laid down by the Shariat. It stands to reason that some sort of remedy would have been sought to be applied in the case of persons who had lost a limb or the eyes. In India, the land of Charak, Shushrut and Dhanwantari, medicine and surgery had been in a developed state from ancient times. The art and science of surgery was widely practised even by some expert barbers, as for example, for doing circumcision of little Muslim boys and newly converted adults. Allama Abul Fazl and emperor Jahangir both write, but under the caption of magic and sorcery, whereby a man would be cut up in many pieces and then made to appear unhurt. Jadunath Sarkar in a footnote in the Ain-i-Akbari recounts the testimony of Ibn Battutah, Edward Melton, and many others about how dismembered limbs were joined together to form the living man once again.80 Jahangir's Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi describes such a case of revival of a man.81
In emperor Jahangir's Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi, surgical operations by Bengalis, Portuguese and others are described at length along with the description of alchemy and magic.82 But there may have been some remedy available to cure, to some extent at least, the disabilities of the mutilated. Jahangir talks of his expert, excellent and loyal physicians but they were not surgeons.83 However, his own son Khusrau, who had been blinded had his eyes partially restored.84 Similarly, slit noses could be repaired to look almost like the original through plastic surgery.85 Niccolao Manucci gives a detailed description of such an operation of rhinoplasty during the Bijapur-Mughal war under Aurangzeb, when the Deccanis used to cut off noses of Mughal soldiers and send them bleeding to the Mughal camp.86 But there is no case cited of one who had lost his hand or leg being restored to normal health in medieval India.
One thing not mentioned in Islamic scriptures is imprisonment of people. The Quran and Hadis do not speak of jails. The Hadis in particular speak only of beheading or mutilation. In India there were jails under Muslim rule. But these were few. The number of prisoners was not large, for the usual punishments were mutilation and death. In the fourteenth century "for (a default in collection of) five hundred or one thousand tankahs" revenue officials were clamped in jail for many years under Alauddin Khalji. Besides government officials, bootleggers and other criminals were fettered and thrown into underground jails, built specially for them. In these monstrous holes many offenders died, or survived with completely shattered health."87 Amir Khurd, the author of Siyar-ul-Awliya, describes the horrible conditions prevailing in such prisons. He says that once his father Saiyyad Kamal was imprisoned by Sultan Muhammad Tughlaq in Bhaksi jail near Devagiri. It was reported about that place, says he, that no prisoner used to come out alive from it as it was full of rats and snakes.88 The state hardly made any arrangements for "reformation" of the prisons, and the prisoners suffered of oppressions of local authorities."89 By the sixteenth-seventeenth century there were jails in many Mughal forts. The jail in the Gwalior Fort was meant, besides others, for royal prisoners ever since the Sultanate period. The other prisons of note were Ranthambhor, Rohtas, Bhakkar, Junnair, Biana and Lahore. Gwalior was the most prominent fort and next to it in importance was Ranthambhor. Jahangir released "not less than seven thousand individuals, some of whom had been in confinement for forty years," in the fort of Gwalior.90 Similarly, he set free many prisoners, except murderers and rebels, from the fort of Ranthambhor on two occasions.91
Punishment for the Poor
The stern justice, the dire punishments, as happens in autocracies, were meant for the poor while the rich and influential remained untouched; the rich who could "put a few coins in the hands of the Qazi," got scot free. This was specially so, say, in the case of wine-drinking. Wine is prohibited in Islam, but in practice only for the poor.
Many Muslims cannot forgo the pleasure of drinking wine in this world when it is promised to them in the next. The description of Paradise in the Quran specifically mentions free flow of wine (kasir-ut sharab and utuf-ul-yeham) as one of its blissful contents (Surah 38 ayat 51, also 37: 45-46). Prophet Muhammad in one verse of the Quran praises wines of different colours (sharab-i-mukhtalif alwana) as signs of God's grace to mankind and cure of many diseases (Quran 16:69). Nasai devotes many ahadis to the discussion of drinking in Islam. According to him Muslims drank wine of wheat and barley. They were advised by the Prophet to dilute strong wine with water and not to get intoxicated.92 According to Bukhari many Muslims drank wine on the day of ghazwah.93 However, as the early companions of the Prophet got drunk, Muhammad was obliged to show some disapproval. He found that drinking led to gambling, quarrelling and stealing and, worse still, to neglecting the namaz. Consequently, he forbade it outright (Quran 2:216; 5:90-92). Wine-drinking became punishable by eighty lashes, and according to some traditions drinking of wine is punishable by death.94
In medieval India Muslim ruling classes drank freely, at the same time punishing poor helpless Muslims for the "crime". For example, while Alauddin Khalji had prohibited wine-drinking, his own son Qutbuddin Mubarak drank hard and so drank his nobles. All Mughal emperors from Babur to Shahjahan drank hard, Jahangir drank the hardest. But since wine is prohibited in Islam, it was a matter of routine for rulers to put a stop to drinking by common people. Even orthodox sultans like Firoz Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi drank secretly "to keep in good health".95 Most of the Mughal nobles drank openly and "all princes drank in secret."96
In such a scenario, the responsibility of punishing the guilty fell on the Qazis or Muslim judges. Judges of medieval India were, generally speaking, not held in high esteem in high circles. Some lacked erudition, others integrity. Maulana Shamsuddin Turk, a theologian hailing from Egypt in the fourteenth century, complained "that ill-fated wiseacres of black faces sat in the mosques with abominable books and made money by cheating both the accuser and the accused "97 At home they were accused of being bereft of dignity and being altogether worthless.98 The sultans even used to punish the Qazis quite often. European travellers visiting India during the Mughal period like William Finch, Edward Terry and Francois Bernier are also critical of medieval judicial officers. They are criticised either for ignorance of law or cruelty or corruption.99
The Qazis could be easily bribed. Qazi Abdul Wahab, the Chief Qazi of Aurangzeb's reign, had amassed a fortune of 33 lakhs of rupees besides much jewellery during the sixteen years he held office.100 But the Qazi alone did not administer justice. The will of the king and his substitutes (subedars, nobles) "is the law".101 For example, Shahjahan, like Sher Shah Suri, insisted on his police officers to any how produce the thief, else they themselves would be punished. Naturally a 'culprit' was produced if not the real thief. One good thing in the system was that the trial by the king, his officers and Qazis was quick, but executions were also as quick as the trials. All this was due to the fact that the quality of courts left much to be desired, as, "the judicial department stands in marked contrast in organisation, in status, and dignity to other departments of the central government which were highly organised and equipped with efficient men."102
However, in a society where slavery existed, where the Muslims were taught to "obey God, the Prophet and those in authority over you," and Hindu attitude of fatalism among the lowly generated slavish respect for all those who administered justice - kings, officers, qazis - the punishments, howsoever barbarous, were taken in their stride.
3.3. FRIDAY SERVICE
In every religion prayers have a place of importance. In Islam their place is much more important as they are said as many as five times during the day. In Islam, the liturgical mosque service is known as Salat. Salat is Arabic: its equivalent in Persian and Urdu is namaz. The following are the times of prayer: (i) Fajr ki namaz, Salat-ul-fajr, or morning prayer, is said from 5 a.m. to sunrise. (ii) Zuhur ki namaz, Salat-uz-zuhr, or midday prayer, between 1 and 3 p.m. (iii) Asr ki namaz, Salat-ul-asr, or afternoon prayer, from 4 to 4.30 P.m., or till sunset. (iv) Maghrib ki namaz, Salat-ul-maghrib, or sunset prayer, at 6 p.m. (v) Isha ki namaz, Salat-ul-Isha, or prayer when night has closed, at bed time, between 8 p.m. and midnight. These five times of prayer are obligatory(farz). Besides these are others known as 'traditional' (sunnat) and supererogatory(nafl) which are observed by more religious and devout persons.103
"The daily prayers are not necessarily congregational. They may be offered up by the worshippers singly or in companies, in the mosque, at home, or by the way. But at mid-day of Friday, the service took a more public form, at which the believers as a body, unless detained by sufficient cause, were expected to attend. The usual prayers were on this occasion followed by an address or sermon pronounced by Mohammad. This weekly oration was usefully adapted to the circumstances of the day and feelings of the audience. It allowed full scope for the prophet's eloquence... and helped rivet the claims of Islam."104
Friday, the day chosen for the congregational prayer, had a special significance. According to many ahadis Friday is the best day on which the sun rises, the day on which Adam was taken into Paradise and turned out of it. On Friday his sins were pardoned. He died on Friday. It will be the day of Resurrection (Qiamat). The Prophet made his first entry into Madinah on that day, and he appointed it as the day of public worship. A Muslim saying namaz on Friday has his supplication granted by Allah.105 According to a conservative interpretation, "Friday was not indeed to be a Sabbath; for that institution he (the Prophet) had no desire to imitate, but it was to correspond with the sacred week-day of the other communities, and since the Christians had seized the day after the Saturday, he had no choice but to take the day before it."106 The origins of Friday service may be traced to the early problems of Islam. in the beginning, Muslims were few. They were advised to remain together, in groups, in company, and in prayer to have a feeling of the strength of unity. It was decided to call them all to pray together in congregation.107
In the absence of a time-knowing device, like the clock, the worshippers used to assemble for prayer at different times resulting in much confusion. It was felt necessary to call the congregational prayer at one appointed time. How could this be done? It was suggested that a flag should be raised on a high place. People will see it, inform one another and assemble for prayer. But the Hazrat did not approve of it. It was then suggested that the Jewish trumpet or the Christian hammer may be employed for calling the people to prayer. This too was not appreciated. The Prophet did not want any similarity with Jewish or Christian practice. Besides, in every masjid, there would have been need to keep a horn for blowing. Umar saw in a dream the principle of azan or "call to prayer". It was also revealed to Abdullah bin Zaid. The Prophet asked his black slave Bilal to summon the worshippers to prayer. Bilal had a loud voice. He called from some eminence, such as the roof of a barn. It was in the second year of hijr that this practice became regular in Madinah and began to be regarded as an institution of Islam.
Once this institution was established, no exceptions were made. Those who heard the call were ordered to come to join the congregation on pain of having their houses burned down, no excuse being permitted.108 A blind old man living far from the congregational mosque asked the Prophet for permission to absent himself as he was blind and old - he could not see and could hardly walk. The Prophet asked him if he could hear the azan. On being told he could, he was denied permission for absenting himself from the congregation.109 The ahadis declare that namaz said in congregation is twenty-five times superior to namaz said alone at home. Muhammad was very strict about attendance in congregational prayer.110 It was obligatory for every Muslim, with the exception of four - ghulam, woman, boy and the sick.111 Muhammad was very particular about Muslims staying together and eating together like brothers.112 He exhorted them to pray together lest the Mushriks should harm them.113 It became incumbent on one momin to protect the life and property of another momin. If a non-Muslim harms a Muslim, the whole community should join together to save the latter from harm.114 "Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other."115 The unity among Muslims for which the community is famous, was thus established from the very birth of the creed.
Friday Namaz a must
The Friday Congregation service posed some problems which, however, were satisfactorily solved. Abu Daud tells how order for bathing on Friday was issued. Early Muslims were poor. They used to wear blankets (of camel wool). They had to do lot of physical labour and sweated profusely. The masjid (in Madinah) was small with low ceiling. Once in summer season, the bad smell of perspiration reached the Rasul. He observed that when such a day arrives (i.e., Friday) take bath, use oil and perfume you have. In course of time Allah made them rich (through Jihad). They began to wear other clothes besides the blanket. Their burden was also lightened (as they began to take work from slaves and slave-girls) and mosques also became spacious. The odour which inconvenienced one another was gone. That is how bath became customary on Friday. Bath is considered good but not "obligatory".116 But it is obligatory that the service should be performed in Arabic and that the clothes and body of the worshipper should be clean.117
The Prophet was a strict disciplinarian, and a watch was kept on the Faithful about the observance of namaz. One who neglected namaz for three Fridays without reason, was marked out by Allah.118 Even children were to say namaz. For boys it began at the age of seven, at 10 they were to be beaten up if they avoided it.119 When there was Jihad, namaz was to be said in parts and by rotation.120 It was inculcated in the minds of the Musalmans that the difference between a Musalman and a Kafir is that of namaz. There is a vow of namaz among the Muslims. One who renounced it did kufr, did shirk.121 So far as the congregational prayer was concerned, attendance was compulsory. Compulsion inculcated a sense of awe and raised the number of devotees. People "could refuse this invitation or call at their peril, spiritual and physical. As his followers became more powerful, the peril became increasingly more physical."122
As the strength of the worshippers increased it was felt necessary to manage the crowd by making them stand in rows of straight files. First a long stick was used to see that the jamaat stood in linear array. Later on a line was drawn for the same purpose.123 Men and boys stood in front rows, women in the last.124 Men stood as close to one another as possible lest Shaitan should pass between them or Allah sow discord among them.125 No one was allowed to pass in front of the congregation during prayer. If one did, the order was to fight him. In the days of the Prophet, a man once happened to pass on a donkey in front of the namaz. His feet were cut off.126 The namaz during the early period was performed in privacy. Afterwards it was employed as a sort of military drill. "Whatever may be its origin, it is evidently a military exercise, intended to train soldiers (mujahidin) for endurance "127 In the early years of Islam the main features of the Friday service were prayer in congregation with worshippers standing in straight linear rows. Attendance was compulsory and military discipline was maintained. The sermon was like the order of the day; it comprised advice, reprimand and directions on the religious and political obligations for the faithful. A sense of awe pervaded raising the number of worshippers. The occupation of Makkah (8 H/630 CE) had skyrocketed the prestige of Muhammad. It was the Quraish who had declared war on the Prophet and opposed him. When Makkah was occupied, the Quraish became his subjects. Since they could no longer display enmity towards him they entered into God's religion, coming to him from all directions.128
Congregational Prayer and Iconoclasm
The tradition of Friday congregational prayer was followed wherever the Muslims went. In India in the early eighth century, Muhammed bin Qasim established many mosques in towns he took in Sindh, like Debal, Alor, Nirun and Multan and propagated the Islamic faith. Besides, there were some mosques in Gujarat and on Malabar coast where there were settlements of Muslim merchants. The Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid was the first congregational mosque built in Delhi after the conquest of Hindustan by the Muslims. it was built, as per Arabian tradition and command, from the materials obtained from the places of idols. In this case the Mosque was built from the debris of 27 Hindu and Jain temples as per an inscription found carved on it. It had been ordained in the Hadis to construct mosques at places where idols were, and the tradition was scrupulously followed in Arabia. At Taif, for example, a masjid was built where there were idols of Mushriks.129 It is related in some Biographies of Muhammad that while the siege of Taif was being carried on, some companions were ordered to destroy every idol they could find. "Thereupon Ali, the Commander of the Faithful... destroyed all the idols of the Bani Hoazan and Bani Thaqyf which were in that region."130 No count of temples is available in the sources. They must have been many. Similar was the fate of other temples. There were 360 idols at Kaba. They were all destroyed. Hubal, the principal idol in the Kaba, was pulled down and used as a doorstep when the Prophet conquered Makkah. Having purified Makkah, the Prophet sent expeditions to those idols which were around and had them destroyed. These included al-Uzza, al-Manat, Suwa, Buana and Zulkaffan.131 When Islam arrived in India, both the practices were religiously followed - building mosques at the sites and with the debris of Hindu temples and using idols as steps leading into the mosque. Just as it was commanded to fight the non-Muslims till they recited the Kalima,132 it was also commanded to "make your Masjids as tall and magnificent as Jews and Christians make their synagogues and churches."133 The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Delhi was erected in this very spirit - as symbol of unity and strength of Islam as other mosques had been built earlier by the invader Mahmud of Ghazni at many places. The congregational mosques in particular also stood as a challenge and an invitation to the people to convert to the new creed.
For example, at Kalinjar in 1202, "The temples were converted into mosques," writes Hasan Nizami, "and the voices of the summoners to prayer ascended to the highest heavens, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated."134 Call to prayer five times a day with a loud voice carried an invitation and a message - join us, or else. This helped in the conversion of people to Islam.
Mosques came up in large numbers in towns and cities and even in villages as the Muslim rule spread. in any place the main mosque was known as the Jama Masjid or Friday Congregational Mosque. The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Delhi, the symbol of strength of the newly established Islamic state in India, served as the congregational mosque. It was extended by Sultans Iltutmish and Allaudin Khalji. Alauddin nearly doubled the size of this Masjid and built a magnificent gate to its entrance known as the Alai Darwaza. This indicates swift rise in Muslim population in the proximity of the mosque. As per tradition madrasas were located in the Friday mosques. Alauddin's madrasa or college lies immediately to the southwest of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. He constructed many other mosques as well as some masjids in his newly built city of Siri.
Of the mosques of Alauddin Khalji constructed outside the capital, mention may be made of the masjid at Mathura135 and the tomb of Shaikh Farid (built C 1300), which was probably a converted Hindu or Jain temple. There is another masjid built about the same time in Bharuch. it is also a converted Jain temple. In 1300 Alp Khan, brother-in-law of Alauddin and governor of Gujarat, constructed the Adinah mosque at Patan. It was built of white marble, and it is related "that it was once an idol temple converted into a mosque". The Adinah mosque no longer exists. After the conquest of Chittor in 1303, Alladin "constructed a congregational mosque. There was a temple lying in ruins."136 In Biana there is the Ukha mosque belonging to the Khalji period. Many mosques were built during Alauddin's invasion of the South. Farishtah claims that a mosque was built as far away as at Rameshwaram and called Masid-i-Alai and that it was in existence when Farishtah lived.137 The above examples clearly show that as per the dictates of the Quran and the injunctions of the Hadis and the Sunnah, mosques in India too were built on the sites of the idol temples and with the materials obtained from razing the shrines. Muhammad bin Tughlaq built the Begumpuri Masjid at Jahanpanah. It is an imposing mosque of great size. Firoz's Kali Masjid or Kalan Masjid built by Khan-i-Jahan II in 789 H/1387 CE., stands intact till today near the Turkman Gate of old Delhi.138
Congregational Prayer in India
Five times a day namaz was performed by all Muslim kings, nobles and others. From the early days of Islam in Arabia there was insistence on compulsory namaz for all Muslims. Sultans Iltutmish and Balban said it and presided at Friday prayers. In his wasaya (precepts) Balban exhorted both his sons, princes Muhammad and Bughra Khan, that a king should not neglect the worship of God and five-time prayers should be offered punctually and in congregation. In his turn Bughra Khan told his son Kaiqubad that namaz and roza are very important. One who does not observe namaz is no Muslim; to kill him is justified.139 All this refers to converted Indians who swelled the Muslim numbers since the days of Muhammad bin Qasim.140 They were nominally converted as, for example, Barwaris whose leader Nasiruddin Khusrau Shah created fitna during and after the reign of Qutbuddin Mubarak Shah (1320 CE). It appears that they did not care to observe five-time namaz and were dubbed as low born. Muhammad Tughlaq kept a strict watch on their attending the Friday prayers. According to Ibn Battutah: "His standing orders were to the effect that prayers must be recited in congregations... even the menials - those who held the animals of the staff - were punished when they missed the prayers. The sultan issued orders that the people (newly converted) should learn the principles of ablution and prayers as well as the fundamentals of Islam, and they were interrogated on these... In the course of a single day he once killed nine persons for neglecting that (prayers)."141 As for Muhammad Tughlaq himself "the mottos and emblems of Islam are preserved by him, and he lays great stress on the performance of (the obligatory five prayers of the day)."142 All Muslim sultans and officers participated in Friday service, although this obvious fact may not have been mentioned by chroniclers about each and every member of the ruling class.
Some innovations were introduced by Firoz Shah in the Friday Service. The Sultan 'invented' the Tas wa Gharial or the Big Bell or Clock. It was fixed at the top of the Kushak-i-Firozabad and people were amazed to see it. When the bell was struck people came to know about the time of day and night. It guided the namaziz about the zuhr and 'asr prayers and the roza-dars about the time of iftar and sehri. In a way it was against the dictates of Islam in which any Jewish or Christian practice was taboo, and striking the bell or gong for calling the people to prayer was Christian. Still, the azan as usual was continued to call people for prayer and the Tas wa Ghatial had many other uses also - Afif recounts seven benefits of the contraption.143
After the Friday services, Firoz Shah used to repair to his palace where parties of musicians, athletes, wrestlers and story-tellers assembled in groups from the four parts of the city. Their number used to swell about two or three thousand. The king listened to music and witnessed the performance of the dancers. He watched the wrestling feats of the pugilists and listened to anecdotes of the story-tellers. He passed his time in these entertainments till the time of the asr prayer. Then performers were handsomely rewarded. Every one present received some award, including the children present on the occasion.144 Shams Siraj Afif writes about mosques of Firoz Shah Tughlaq thus: "From the qasba of Inderpat (present Indraprastha Estate) to the Kushak-i-Shikar (present Delhi University area), five kos apart all the land was occupied... There were eight Public Mosques and one private mosque... The Public Mosques were each large enough to accommodate 10,000 suppliants."145 This also shows how Muslim population had grown in the capital city in the course of a hundred and fifty years.
Needless to repeat that mosques, and in particular Friday mosques, continued to be built throughout the medieval period throughout the country. When Muslim provincial dynasties came up, mosques of large size and built with local materials came up in Sindh, Kashmir, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Malwa, Jaunpur and the Deccan kingdoms in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. In the Sultanate of Delhi, Sikandar Lodi was by far the greatest builder in the fifteenth century. A devout Musalman, he is said to have built mosques throughout his kingdom,146 like in Lahore, Karnal, Hansi and Makanpur (district Kanpur), besides many others in Delhi and Agra.147 His notable structures in Delhi are the Moth ki Masjid and the mosque attached to the Bara Gumbad. The Lodi rulers, indeed all Afghan ruling elite, observed the five-time namaz and presided over Friday service.
Protest against Iconoclasm
Mughal kings, queens, princes and princesses, all built congregational mosques in many important places in the country. Most of these were constructed at the sites of old Hindu temples. Muslim rulers made it a point to construct large congregational mosques and idgahs after destroying magnificent Hindu temples found in places held specially holy by the Hindus. The smaller temples were replaced by ordinary mosques. Consequently we shall also confine our examples to a few well-known temples which were razed or turned into mosques. Somnath, a very famous temple on the west coast, was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni and several other Muslim kings. Babur built the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on the temple site of the birthplace of Lord Ram (Ramjanambhumi). In the reign of Akbar, a mosque was built in 975 H/1567-68 CE at Jaunpur. It merits mention because the details of the undertaking show how the owner was dispossessed of his property and how the officer completing the task was rewarded. The mosque was built by Nawab Mohsin Khan. The materials for the mosque were "taken from those of the temple of Lachman Das, Diwan of Khan-i-Zaman Ali Quli Khan... Akbar made over all the property of the Diwan to Nawab Mohsin Khan," for "thanks that by guidance of the Everlasting and Living (Allah), this house of infidelity became the niche of prayer (i.e. Mosque). As a reward for that the generous Lord, constructed an abode for its builder in paradise."148 Akbar took great interest in conserving, repairing and adding to the Dargah of Muinuddin Chishti at Ajmer which is also built on a Dev temple.149
Jahangir was not wanting in the performance of his duty in this regard while Shahjahan was quite zealous. Of course the puritanical Aurangzeb chose the most renowned sites of Hindu worship to construct congregational mosques Ayodhya, Mathura and Banaras. Saqi Mustaad Khan, the author of Maasir-i-Alamgiri writes: "His majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces (imperial farman dated April 9, 1669) to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and put down with the utmost urgency the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers." Soon after "it was reported that, according to the Emperor's command his officers had demolished the temple of Vishwanath at Kashi". "The reviver of the faith of the prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated at Mathura, famous as the Dera of Kesho Rai. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum." "Praised be the august God of the faith of Islam that... such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing the strength of the emperor's faith... the proud Rajas were stifled... the idols, large and small... were brought to Agra, and buried under the mosque of the Begum Sahib (Jahanara Begum), in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad."150
Friday service is an article of faith with Muslims. It has three components - congregational namaz, sermon by the imam and, under Muslim rule, an ever rising number of namazis. Congregational mosques could be built without destroying Hindu temples. But in Islam, breaking the shrines of the people of other faiths is advocated by Hadis and Sunnah. Provocative acts of iconoclasm were therefore freely indulged in India without any regard to the feelings of the non-Muslims. Muslim chroniclers have written dozens of accounts about how Hindu temples and monasteries were razed to the ground and how images of Hindu gods and goddesses were destroyed or desecrated. Commandments of Allah (Quran) and precedents set by the Prophet (Sunnah) are frequently cited by them in support of what the Muslim warriors did both in times of war and of peace. But they do not mention Hindu response to such malevolent acts. Hindu Rajas were not stifled; Hindu resistance never slackened. They did react for years, for decades and for centuries, as best as they could, under the circumstances. We shall confine our notice to the only four renowned temples - Somnath, Ayodhya, Banaras, and Mathura - held specially sacred by the Hindus. The bitter memories of their destruction still linger in the Hindu mind.
Somnath was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026 in the reign of Bhim Deva (1022-64 CE). It was rebuilt by Raja Kumarpala (1143-74). Gujarat was again invaded by a general of Alauddin Khalji in 1299, and the temple sacked again. The wealth of the temple was seized, its idol broken and carried to Delhi on bullock carts where it was thrown at the steps of the Congregational Mosque to be trampled under the feet of the faithful. After the destruction of the temple by Ulugh Khan in 1299, Chudasena, the Raja of Junagarh (1270-1333), again restored the edifice. In the middle of the nineteenth century it stood in a mutilated form, but "the whole of the buildings are most elaborately carved and ornamented with figures single and in groups of various dimensions."151 This shows that it had a chequered history of destruction and restoration from the eleventh to the nineteenth century. After about a thousand years of its first destruction, it has been rebuilt for the seventh time as a magnificent temple dedicated to Lord Somnath in the middle of this twentieth century.
In 1528-29 Mir Baqi, a Mughal official, by Babur's orders destroyed the temple at Ayodhya commemorating Lord Rama's birthplace, built a mosque in its place as attested to by an inscription on it.152 But the Hindus continued to struggle to reclaim it and worship there. Aurangzeb destroyed it once again when, writes Niccolao Manucci, "all of them (temples at Hardwar and Ayodhya) are thronged with worshippers, even those that are destroyed are still venerated by the Hindus and visited by the offering of alms."153 Finally Hindus, working on the principle that "revenge is a kind of wild justice," have destroyed the Babri structure on December 6, 1992 and are striving to build the Ramjanambhumi temple at its original site.154
The desecration and conversion of the temple of Bir Singh Bundela at Mathura built at a cost of thirty-three lakh rupees sent a wave of consternation in the contemporary Hindu mind. The idol was removed by its priests and taken to Rajasthan. Maharana Raj Singh of Mewar installed it in a tiny village of Sihar on 10 March 1672.155 Sihar has now grown into an important town, which named after the deity, is now known at Nathdwara. At Banaras the temple of Bisheshwar was built by Rani Ahilya Bai of Indore near the place of the one converted into a mosque by Aurangzeb. Maharana Ranjit Singh of Punjab mounted a gold plate on its shikhara. Marathas, Sikhs, Bundelas and Jats joined the crusade against the Mughals. Like Somnath and Ayodhya, Hindus want ' to get back the temple sites of Banaras and Mathura also. It is a struggle in contemporary Indian politics and therefore we shall stop here.156
In the capital of the empire, generally the emperor used to lead the Friday prayer as was done by Akbar in March 1579. Citing the authority of Faizi Sarhindi, Sri Ram Sharma says that while playing the role of the imam, Akbar was only following in the footsteps of his predecessors.157 So also did his successors. Elsewhere in the empire governors, military commanders, qazis and other high officers led the Friday prayers in congregational mosques. Akbar's famous Mahzarnama or the infallibility Decree was issued in such a congregational assembly between August and September 1579. His policy of Sulehkul too would have found a mention in the Friday Khutbas. Similarly, Aurangzeb's reversal of this policy would have found a reflection in the Friday sermons. That is how one Friday when he went to public prayer in the Jama Masjid of Delhi, a vast multitude of Hindus thronged the road from the palace to the mosque, with the object of seeking relief (from the Jiziyah). The protest was crushed, but the emperor also got perturbed and stopped going to lead the Friday prayer at the congregation mosque. He prayed in the small mosque of marble inside the Red Fort called Moti (Pearl) Masjid, built for his private service. However, as said earlier, little is known about Friday sermons in the medieval period. But if the Friday sermons in present times reflect the trend, it can be surmised that in the medieval period also references would have been made to day-to-day political and religious problem. It has been found that these sermons result in working up the feelings of the namazis, and sabre-rattling and street riots generally take place on Fridays after the afternoon prayer.
Friday Service and Growth of Muslim Population
As said earlier, Friday service added to the number of worshippers because of many reasons. The rise in the number of Muslims in medieval India has been dealt with by us in a separate monograph.158 We have seen how in the reign of Firoz Tughlaq two congregational mosques in Delhi could accommodate 10,000 worshippers each. Such was the rapid growth of Muslim population during Muslim rule. A pronounced feature of Muslim chroniclers is a description of how the Hindus were converted by force, how Hindu temples and monasteries were razed or converted into Muslim places of prayer. Very often the unlettered Hindu worshippers continued their prayers at these very spots. But now they prayed as Muslims at places that were so sacred to them but which had been converted into mosques. Today the descendants of these converts insist on their separate and different identity. As I have said elsewhere,159 no community, however newly born, however weakly constituted it may be, exists without a moral power which animates and directs it. After the passing of a few generations, Indian Muslims have forgotten the circumstances of their conversion, and developed a sense of oneness amongst themselves. With time, they began to insist on being considered a distinct and separate entity in Indian society. On the other hand, the Hindus were so well organized in their social and religious life,160 that a few conversions had not even made a dent in their social organization, and gradually they would have tended to become indifferent towards those who had become Muslamans. As the influence of the parent society on them declined and the influence of Muslim regime and religion increased, the Indian Muslims began to look more and more to Muslim ruling and privileged classes abroad for guidance, help and protection and in return gave them their unflinching cooperation. Much more important than the recession of Hindu moorings and the ascension of Muslim beliefs and culture in their life and thought, is the fact that these Muslims are governed by a new set of laws - the Shariat. They pray in a different fashion now, in congregation and several times a day. They marry amongst themselves. The magic word 'Islam' gives them a unity of thought, interest and action. Of the three components associated with congregational prayer, two still adversely contribute to the political scene in India the problem of minorities and the unforgettable vandalism of Muslim iconoclasm.