Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aurangzeb -- As he was according to Mughal Records -- Part XIII-- Restrictions on the Hindus

Forbidden to travel in palkis or ride on elephants and Arab Iraqi horses

In March 1695, all the Hindus, with the exception of the Rajputs, were forbidden to travel in palkis or ride on elephants or thorough bred horses or to carry arms.(Muntakhap-ul-Lubab, ii, 395; Maasir-i-Alamgiri, 370 and News letter, 11 December 1694)

In the sketch, well to do Hindus are being made to alight from palki (sedan chair), elephant and good horse by Mughal officers. The need to issue this derogatory order was the requirement, also recorded in fatwa-i-Alamgiri, that Hindus should not be allowed to look like Muslims, that is carry themselves with the same dignity. The folly and futility or even danger of applying or observing the guiding principles, practices and law prescribed, interpreted or recommended in the seventh and eighth centuries in Arabia, after a lapse of ten centuries in a country like India, was never realised by the Muslim clerics or their emperor.

Muslims to replace Hindu Officials as cure for ineffectiveness of prayers
Siyah Waqai Darbar Julus (R. Yr.) 10, Muharram 18 / 1st July 1667

The emperor said to Shaikh Nizam that his prayers are not having any effect. What could be the reason for this? The Shaikh said the reason is that a large number of Hindus are serving as ahli-khidmat (officials and officers) and as musahibs (courtiers) and they are ever (seen) in the Royal presence and as a result, the prayers do not have any effect. The emperor ordered that it is necessary that the Musalmans be appointed to serve in place of the Hindus.

Note: The object of the prayers or the nature of the desired result is not mentioned, but it appears that it was the elevation and dominance of Islam, progress of its mission through means, such as Jihad, which are very differently regarded by people of other faiths and the welfare of the Musalmans in particular. The instant impact of the Shaikh's analysis of the problem and implied advice to Aurangzeb is also indicative of the high degree of influence wielded by this religious class during the reign of emperor Aurangzeb.

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