Hindus didn’t build temples for centuries due to rapacity of Muslim invaders

23rd September 2020

23rd September 2020

Daityasudan Temple in Lonar, Maharashtra bear an attempt to turn it into a Masjid

(Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is on nation’s mind. What’s forgotten is fate of India’s other magnificent temples at the hands of Islamic invaders. It’s a poignant tale retold in two parts by Deepika Anjna).

Hindus did not build a place of worship in Delhi for a long time due to the fear of Muslim invaders. Delhi's Laxmi Narayan Temple aka Birla Mandir was the first temple that was opened after several centuries in 1936.

Destruction of temples for centuries instilled a fear in the minds of Hindus. Delhi's largest Christian church, St James Church is nearly 100 years older than Laxmi Narayan Temple.

In the words of Rajat Mitra, the construction of Birla Mandir is defined as, "when the temple came up, the architects who built it cried with joy realising what a historical moment it was for the people of Delhi."

Some similar sentiments have emerged in Hindus since the reconstruction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya has started. Free from Islam's servitude, the historic temple will be ready for the worshippers in three years.

Hindus and archaeologists can claim with confidence that the original Ram Mandir was destroyed by the Mughal emperor Babar because the latest excavations of the site while laying the foundation stone of the new temple have unearthed proofs in the form of broken statues of Hindu deities, a 5 feet lingam, and stone pillars.

These excavations would have come as a blow to historians like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib who have declared that there was no Ram temple.

None of the invaders recorded the number of temples of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists destroyed by them over a thousand years. If we try to find the estimate of the exact figure then the number would be astonishing and still, in reality, that number would be very less than the actual figure.

Authors Ram Swarup, Arun Shourie, Sita Ram Goel, Jay Dubashi, and Harsh Narain have mentioned the number of temples destroyed by Muslim invaders in a two-volume book titled “Hindu Temples; What Happened To Them.”

They have mentioned in the book that Mathura's 1,000 temples were burnt and robbed by Mahmud of Ghazni and approximately 10,000 temples met a similar fate in Kanauj.

Ibrahim, one of the successors of Ghazni destroyed nearly 1,000 temples in Malwa and the Ganga-Yamuna Doab each. Varanasi's 1,000 temples were destroyed by Muhammad Ghori. Elephants were employed by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak to demolish 1,000 temples in Delhi. Bijapur's Ali Adil Shah destroyed at least 200 to 300 temples in Karnataka.Tiruchirapalli's 12 temples were destroyed by Qayim Shah. Altogether these six Muslims destroyed 15,212 temples.

Sita Ram Goel and his co-authors went through an exhaustive process to integrate the information of temples destroyed in India. They started from the work of Al-Biladhuri, a Baghdad historian, and went through 80 histories to complete their book. According to all the authors, “our citations mention 61 kings, 63 military commanders and 14 sufis who destroyed Hindu temples in 154 localities, big and small, spread from Khurasan in the west to Tripura in the east, and from Transoxiana in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, over a period of 1,100 years. In most cases the destruction of temples was followed by erection of mosques, madrasas and khanqahs, etc., on the temple sites and, frequently, with temple materials.”

If you are wondering why all the temples were targeted? The reason is, Muslim invaders, knew the importance of religion for Hindu people and their duty towards the deities. Historian Kishori Saran Lal said, “instruction and inspiration about this duty came to them from three sources – the Quran, the Hadis and the personal exploits of the Prophet. Every Muslim, whether educated or illiterate knew something about the Quran and the Hadis. The learned or the Ulema amongst them usually learnt the Quran by heart and informed their conquerors and kings about its teachings and injunctions. The Prophet’s deeds, even the most trivial ones, too were constantly narrated with reverence. The one supreme duty the Quran taught them was to fight the infidels with all their strength, convert them to Islam and spread the faith by destroying their idols and shrines.”

(To be continued)

(This is a rewrite from an excellent piece in IndiaFacts.in).

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