The Kashmir

September 4, 2010

ICONOCLASM IN KASHMIR-MOTIVES AND MAGNITUDE

Filed under: Kashmir, Temples — Tags: , , , , , , , — TheKashmir @ 7:12 am

Photo : John Burke , Year 1868 (once a Hindu temple now Zein-ul-ab-ud-din's Tomb, in Srinagar. )

This photograph is reproduced in Henry Hardy Cole’s Archaeological Survey of India report, ‘Illustrations of Ancient Buildings in Kashmir’ (1869), when Cole wrote, ‘In the Panels of the Gateways, there is proof that buildings had previously existed, in which columns play a part…The break in the roof is also remarkable as occurring in conjunction with the simplicity of the enclosing wall, and indicates, I think, that the Gateway is probably more modern than the wall, and may perhaps have been set up by the Mahomedans out of some of the materials of other ruined temples of which a quantity lies strewn all over Srinagar.’  Sikandar has been tainted in Kashmiri history as Butshikan or idol-breaker.Zeinabuldin , the Sultan , was Sikander;s son.The fertile valley of Kashmir offered a retreat from the crossroads of Asia in the high Himalayas, and developed its own distinctive architecture. Buddhism was established here from the 3rd century BC but was eclipsed by the 8th century AD by the flourishing Hindu Vaishnava and Shaiva cults. Kashmir finally became a great centre of the Shaiva religion and philosophy and a seat of Sanskrit learning and literature. By the 14th century Kashmir came under Islamic rule. Most of its early temples were sacked in the 15th century and their remains were sometimes incorporated in later Islamic monuments. The tomb of the mother of Zain-ul-abidin was built in c.1430 on the foundations of an old Hindu temple, and was decorated with glazed tiles. Immediately to the north of this building is an enclosing wall and gateway made of Hindu materials, which contains a number of tombs, one of which is said to preserve the remains of the Sultan himself.

………..While no one can deny the fact that Kashmir was greatly influenced by Sufism and has produced some great Sufi saints and mystic poets(both Hindus and Muslims),we must stay clear of attaching a Sufi tag to every Muslim Godman.

On one hand we have the great Sufi Tradition of Nund Rishi,Shams Faqir,Ahmed batwario,Rahim Saab,Swoch Kral,Prakesh Ram Kurigami,Govind Kaul,Ahmed Dar, on the other we have self styled god-men like Bul Bul Shah and Syed Ali Hamdani on whom this label of Sufi is stuck to make them more palatable to the larger masses.
Syed Ali Hamdani or Shah-I Hamdan as he is popularly called by Kashmiri Muslims is widely regarded as the man responsible for conversion of Kashmiris to Islam.As we already know that the Shah-i-Hamadan mosque was built after demolishing a Kali temple(and there are enough historical records to prove that, apart from the fact that to this day Pandits perform prayers alongside the converted structure).

Now that itself should restrain our Marxist historians from making “religious divines” claim.
That not-withstanding I would like to inform the readers that before Shah-i-Hamadan left Kashmir he ordered the king to impose the following sanctions on Non-Muslims.I am enumerating them for your reading please.

1) The Hindus will not construct any new temples under the rule of Muslims.
2) They will not repair old temples fallen into ruins.
3) They will respect Muslims.
4) They will not dress like Muslims.
5) They will not ride a horse with saddle & bridle
6) They will not put on a ring.
7) They will not carry swords or bows & arrows.
8 ) They will not adopt Muslim names
9) They will not harbour spies or act as spies
10) If any relation of their’s wants to embrace Islam, they will not oppose it.
11) If a Muslim comes to attend a Hindu meeting he will be respectfully received.
12) They will receive Muslim travelers into their houses & provide them hospitality.
13) They will not prevent Muslim travelers from staying in their temples & shrines.
14) They will not mourn their dead loudly.
15) They will not buy Muslim slaves.
16) They will not build houses in neighbourhood of Muslims.
17) They will not sell intoxicating drinks.
18) They will not carry their dead near the grave-yards of Muslims.
19) They will not openly practice their customs & usages among Muslims.
20) They will not give up their traditional dress so that they can be distinguished from Muslims.
In the end the fiat in the form of an advice dictated if any Hindu dares to flout any of conditions, he should be first looted and then possession of his body is halal(Zakhiratul- Muluk).

Read the well researched complete write up by clicking HERE

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