Status Of Hindu Women During Islamic Mughal Rule
Status Of Hindu Women During Islamic Mughal Rule
The female captives, in compliance with Quranic sanctions and prophetic traditions, were used as sex-slaves by their Muslim masters. Therefore, they did not only add to the growing Muslim population, but also became valuable tools for expanding the Muslim populace through procreation.
When those hindu women during islamic mughal rule, especially the ones of childbearing age, were taken away, As a result, they did not have sufficient partners for the procreation. That means, wherever Muslims made a successful assault, procreation in the Hindu community dropped sharply. On the other hand, the few thousand Muslim soldiers who came to India with Muhammad bin Qasim had plenty of sex-partners for reproduction to the maximum capacity.
Even Emperor Akbar had amassed 5,000 Hindu women in his harem. Sultan Moulay Ismail of Morocco (r. 1672–1727) had sired about 1,200 children through his 2,000–4,000 thousand wives and sex-slaves. The extensive enslavement of the vanquished Hindus, particularly the women—who were engaged in the breeding of Muslim children— helped the rapid growth of the Muslim populace.
Therefore, wherever Muslims made successful inroads, they reduced the Hindu population directly by slaughtering the men in large numbers and taking away the women and children as captives. It indirectly reduced the Hindu populace by rendering the remnant Hindu men unprocreative by depriving them of childbearing female partners. Since those hindu women during islamic mughal rule became the vehicle for breeding Muslim offspring instead, the final result was a reduction of the Hindu populace and a sharp rise in the number of Muslims.
Qasim’s three-year-long exploits in India, therefore, not only added a few hundred thousand Hindus to the fold of Islam instantly through enslavement, but the enslaved women also acted as the vehicle of reproduction, swelling the Muslim populace in lips and bounds.
Initiated by the Prophet, this protocol was applied by Muslim invaders and rulers everywhere; in India, Emperor Akbar banned the practice in 1564 although rather unsuccessfully.
In his expeditions to India, Sultan Mahmud slaughtered the men in large numbers and carried away a great multitude of mainly women and children as slaves. Al-Utbi records that Sultan Mahmud had taken 500,000 people captives in his campaign of 1001–02.
In his assault in Ninduna (Punjab), he captured so many slaves that ‘they became very cheap…,’ wrote an elated al-Utbi. In Thanesar (Haryana), Mahmud enslaved 200,000 and returned with 53,000 slaves in 1019.
Based on the records of Muslim historians, Sultan Mahmud’s repeated invasions of Northern India had reduced the Hindu population by about two million as estimated by Prof. KS Lal. Many of them were slaughtered in the course of the assaults; the rest—a larger number—were carried away as slaves at the point of the sword and instantly became Muslim.
Later on, Sultan Muhammad Ghauri (Muizzuddin, d. 1206) of Khurasan and his General Kutbuddin Aibak joined hands to consolidate Muslim power in India, which led to the establishment of direct Muslim rule in India, the Sultanate of Delhi, in 1206. According to the testimony of Muhammad Ferishtah, three to four hundred thousand Khokhars (Hindus) were converted to Islam by Muizzuddin. Fakhr-i-Mudabbir sums up the exploits of Muizzuddin and Aibak as thus: “even poor (Muslim) householder became owner of numerous slaves.”
The capture of slaves remained a general policy in Muslim-ruled India until the reign of apostate Akbar (r. 1556–1605), who prohibited mass enslavement in battle-fields. Despite the ban, the age-old tradition continued with vigor even in his reign. His frustrated advisor, freethinker Abul Fazl, says in Akbar Nama that ‘many evil-hearted and vicious officers used to proceed to the villages and mahals to sack them.’
In Akbar’s reign, affirms Moreland, ‘It became a fashion to raid a village or a group of villages without any obvious justification, and carry off the inhabitants as slaves.’ It is no wonder then that Abdulla Khan Uzbeg, a general of Akbar, had boastfully declared: ‘I made prisoners of five lacs (500,000) of men and hindu women during islamic mughal rule and sold them. They all became Muhammadans. From their progeny, there will be crores (one crore = ten million) by the Day of Judgment.’
On Emperor Jahangir, seen as a liberal and kind-hearted ruler, records Shash Fath-I Kangra that ‘he devoted all his exertions to the promulgation of the Muhammadan religion…’ and that his ‘whole efforts were always directed to the extinguishing of the fire of Paganism…’
According to Intikhab-I Jahangir Shahi, when Jains in Gujarat built splendid temples, attracting many devotees, ‘Emperor Jahangir ordered them to be banished from the country and their temples to be demolished. Their idols were thrown down on the uppermost step of the mosque, so that it might be trodden upon’ by Muslim worshippers. Emperor Shahjahan was more orthodox than his father Jahangir.
It is Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707), who brought back the full-scale profession of slavery and forced conversion into the state policy. Even after the British capture of Bengal in 1757, slave-taking by Muslim rulers was still going on with vigor around India. According to Siyar-ul-Mutakhirin, after Ahmad Shah Abdali’s victory in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761, the prisoners, famished due to deprivation of food and drink, were paraded in long lines before being beheaded and the ‘women and children who survived were driven off as slaves—twenty-two thousand, many of them of the highest rank in the land.’