Indian Political Scenario

The political scenario of India, before Hazrat Khawaja Muinuddin's arrival, was such that he had to face insurmountably difficulties against all sorts of opposition immediately after his arrival in Delhi. It was not Raja Prithviraj alone who stubbornly resisted the entry and stay of Khawaja Sahib of Ajmer. In the preceding centuries also when Muslim visitors came to India and endeavoured to spread the light of Islam, they had to encounter tough opposition in various forms.

As the early Muslims did not come with a missionary zeal or the spirit of a 'world movement', the ephemeral success of Islam was short-lived because they came to conquer and exploit the land. Moreover, the original impetus of the Islamic movement had been spent out when the Ghaznavi, Lodi and Ghauri conquerors tried to establish their rule in India. But Islamic history records in golden letters that the everlasting spirit of Islam was instituted in India only by Khawaja Muinuddin Chishty and no one else. While the early Arabs were true representatives of Islam, the latter Muslims from the North were actuated to conquer the Indian States and not the hearts of the Indian people. The Khawaja Sahib had no armies and did not come to conquer any Indian territory he conquered the hearts of the Indian people, a grand spiritual victory that must stand high among all the political victories of the world. No single person has ever performed such a marvelous miracle. It was the " Will" of God.

To achieve such a unique victory a new approach was necessary and this was given by Khawaja Muinuddin's mission and was altogether different from all previous and subsequent attempts. He did not come to India with the object of political exploitation or rule. He came to deliver the simple message of " Peace and Love". As enjoyed by Islam as a God's missionary with a view to endear the hearts of the Indian people for a world movement. And he succeeded triumphantly because of his own inherent spiritual strength and the characteristic qualities of Islam in spite of all the bitter and mighty opposition. There was thus a great difference between Khawaja Sahib's pious mission and the peaceful way of his approach and the ways of the other Muslim conquerors or invaders who came to India before or after him.

History shows that in the early period of Islam (34 AH to 400 AH) or long before Khawaja Sahib's mission, Islam had already reached India through the Arab traders and travelers who used to visit the western coast. In 200 AH. a Raja of Malabar is also reported to have embraced Islam. Prior to this, Sind had already been conquered in 93 AH by one of the emissaries of the Caliph of Islam. Later on, with the increasing Islamic influence in Malabar and the simultaneous rise of Rajput power in Northern India, the Islamic influence had faded gradually in the north. In any case the Indian rulers of that time were not unmindful of the incursions of Islam in India and had continually been trying to check its influence in this country.


Subuktagin, Mahmud. Jaipal

After the decline of the Abbasside and Saljuki Kingdoms, the distant provinces of Islamic dominions had gradually become independent of the center and Naasiruddin Subuktagin a slave of Sultan Alaptagin, had become the master of Ghazni. (977 to 997 AD)

With the appearance of Sultan Naasiruddin Subuktagin and his notorious son Sultan Mahmud on the throne of Ghazni, the attention of the Hindu Rajas of India was diverted to the conquest of Muslim territories in the North. By the middle of 400 AH they were so much encouraged by their rising power that they wanted to conquer and bring even Afghanistan under their suzerainty. When Raja Jaipal of Punjab took a lead to fulfil this ambitious scheme in 363AH, he was naturally engaged in a defensive war by Subuktagin and was ultimately defeated and captured. He however, escaped with the promise paying 1 lakh gold mohars and 50 elephants as ransom. But immediately on reaching his capital, Lahore, he repudiated this pledge upon which the Sultan was compelled to march on India in retaliation. This time Jaipal formed a strong united front with the help of the rulers of Delhi, Ajmer, Kanauj and Kalahjar and raised an army of 1 lakh with a very large number of foot soldiers. All this mighty force however failed to win the war and Jaipal was once more captured. But the Raja again sought his liberty and the magnanimous Sultan against set him free.

Jaipal's Third Attack

After the death of Sultan Naasiruddin Subuktagin, Raja Jaipal thought he had great chance of conquering Afghanistan. In 1001 AD he therefore, attacked again but was defeated and arrested for the third time near Peshawar by Sultan Mahmud, son of Subuktagin. Jaipal repeated the same old story of regret and he once again succeeded in securing his release. But the moral affect of his three consecutive attacks and defeats was so heavy upon his self-respect this time that he burned himself alive in a 'Chita' (pyre).

After Raja Jaipal's death his son Raja Anandpal succeed him. He proved to be a haughtier ruler than his father. Fired by old vigilance and hatred, he made an appeal to all his brother princess of India to unite and support him in a crusade against Afghanistan's ruler in the name of 'dhun, dharam and dharti' (wealth, religion and land). On this propaganda, a very large army relied under his banner and he started in 1003 AD via Peshawar to invade the territory of the Sultan of Ghazni. Mahmud Ghaznavi was thus forced to defend his country again and fought a furious war for 40 days. Anandpal was defeated and his allies deserted him to be captured and brought up before the sultan. But the same old story of regret was repeated once more. Like his father he also begged the Sultan to forgive on promise of paying a ransom and the Sultan did set him free.

Whatever may be the verdict of historians against Mahmud Ghaznavi's 17 notorious invasions of India, the above historical facts of the repeated attacks against him and his father should not be overlooked by all impartial observers when Mahmud is accused for his intermittent invasions of India. The Sultan had no other alternative to safeguard his own kingdom except adopting the policy of a curious strategy of a campaign of regular invasions over India form 1003 to 1026 AD in order to keep his adversaries at bay, and in a state of constant confusion and insecurity. This was his defensive policy.


Rajput Rivalries

Just before Khawaja Moiunddin's arrival in India in 1191 AD this country was divided into various smaller states which were ruled by different Rajput clans. Rajputana was under the Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar, Ajmer was ruled by the Chauhans. Delhi was under Tomars, Kanauj was ruled by Rathors, Gujarat by Baghelas, Bundelkand by Chandellas and Bengal and Bihar by Paul and Sen dynasties respectively.

Among the above principalities, Kanauj and Delhi were most powerful but there existed a bitter enmity between Raja Prithvi Raj (ruler of Ajmer and Delhi) and Raja Jaychand Rathor (ruler of Kanauj). They were cousin brothers by blood relation. Raja Anandpal of Delhi was their grandfather on maternal side. Jaychand was the son of Raja Anandpal's elder daughter and Prithviraj was the son of his younger daughter. Raja Anandpal had no male issue. At the time of this death, he nominated Prithviraj as his heir and successor to the throne of Delhi as he was both brave and handsome. This naturally enraged Jaychand who, by virtue of being the son of the elder daughter of Raja Anandpal, claimed to be his rightful heir and successor to the throne of Delhi.

Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan

Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan ruled from 1179 to 1192 AD. He was a legendary figure in the Rajput history of India. He was the son of Raja Someshwara who ruled from 1169 to 1179 A D over a big northern part of India. Raja Somdshwara was the 29th ruler in the lineage of Raja Vasudeva who descended form Chahuman the founder of the "Chauhan" clan of Rajputs whose date is untraceable. Raja Vasudeva is however reported to have flourished in Vikram Samvat 608 or 551 AD according to the genealogical tree given at the end of Prabhandakosh.

Emperor Prithvi Raj was the last Hindu Emperor of India who ruled over a mighty empire from Taragarh Fort of Ajmer and Delhi. He enjoyed the unique distinction of being the "flower of Rajput chivalry and human beauty" of his time. His famous bard, Chand has described his heroic exploits and romantic career in "Prithvi Raj Rasa ," a very rare but historic documentary on the contemporary history of Rajputs in India.

It was during the reign of this emperor Prithvi Raj that Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty arrived in Ajmer on his holy mission in 1191 AD. The Khawaja Sahib had to resist all the stubborn opposition of Prithvi Raj with his amazing spiritual powers.

 

BACK