SPREAD OF ISLAM IN KASHMIR

In his chapter`Spread of Islam’ Jia Lal Kilam says in the book `Ancient and Medieval Kashmir’ edited by S.K.Sharma and S.R.Bakshi on page 332:

“Hassan further on says that “Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the city that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away and some accepted Islam and many Brahmins consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected by these methods about three khirwars (six maunds) of sacred threads (from Hindu converts) and burnt them. Hazrat Amir Kabir who was witness to all this orgy of brute passion and vandalism at last advised him to desist from slaughter of Brahmans, and told him to impose Jazia instead of death upon them. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth.” Governmental coercion coupled with brisk proselytising activities indulged in by the Muslim preachers and also the privileged position which the fresh converts received succeeded in bringing about a mass conversion.”

“Sikandar allowed Hindus to live only on payment of Jazia.” (p.333)

“When Zain-al-Abidin ascended the throne he found himself destined to rule both Hindus and Mohammedans. The Hindus had been reduced to the conventional number of “eleven families” during the reign of his two predecessors. Most of the existing Muslims were converted Hindus who had only entered the Muslim fold for fear of death. They did not seem to have been completely absorbed. The Sultan appears to have doubted their fidelity.” (p.327, ibid. (Indian History Congress Proceedings, 1941).

Two comets appeared in Kashmir in 1533 during Mohd. Shah’s reign. The appearance of a comet is an evil omen.(p.343)

compiled by A.L.Rawal, Associate Professor, DCAC, University of Delhi
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2 Responses to SPREAD OF ISLAM IN KASHMIR

  1. First Muslim ruler of Kashmir- Rinchan
    (After reading this article whom will you blame as cause of conversion of Hindu state of Kashmir to Islam)
    Lha-chen-Rgyalbu-Rinchan was first king of Kashmir who belonged to Islamic faith. He was not a born Muslim but Buddhist by faith. Rinchan’s father was killed in some internal disputes in Ladakh leading him to run away in exile and settle as a refugee in Kashmir. He took refuge in castle of Ram Chand commander of Raja Sahadeva. Here he met Shamshir another fellow like him. Rinchan first won confidence of Ram Chand and later killed him to ascent himself to throne and proclaimed himself as king of Kashmir on 6th October 1320.He gained peace by marrying Ram Chand’s daughter Kota Rani and appointing his son Rawan Chand on his father’s post of commander in chief and Shamsir as vazir(Minister) of his kingdom. Even after securing peace he did not feel secure. He wanted to remove stigma that he captured throne by fraud. Therefore he made an attempt to identify himself with the country and the people to understand and follow their culture, religion and traditions, as one of them. To begin with he expressed desire to accept Saiva cult which was most popular form of religion followed in Kashmir. He approached Devaswami who was head guru of Saiva Hindus of Kashmir in order to become his disciple and entreated him as his devotees. Devaswami appeared to be a very strong head man but without imagination. He turned down request of Rinchan as he was Buddhist by origin. (Ref Jonaraja page 20-21). Hindu Kashmir lost his opportunity forever but Shamshir made full use of it. Finding Rinchan in a state of confusion, he consoled him, pleaded him and requested him to leave the decision to chance. It was agreed that he would accept the religion of that person whom he would first see the next morning. By sheer chance of manipulation it happened, that Rinchan eyes fell on a Muslim fakir bulbul shah the very next morning. He accepted Islam from bulbul shah and adopted name of shah Sadruddin as first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. After accepting Islam Rinchan founded Rinchanpura a quarter in Kashmir and build first mosque in Kashmir known as “Bud Masheed” on the site of a Buddhist temple. Not very far from here he built another mosque at Ali Kadal and started a Langarkhana (public charity kitchen) after his mentor Bulbul Shah as bulbul Langer. He even named his only son born with Hindu wife Kota Rani as Haidar and trusted him to the care of Shamshir. Under Rinchan rule state religion of Kashmir was Islam and full patronage was given for conversion to Islam to both Hindus as well as Buddhists leading to rapid decline in their numbers. Rinchan was later attacked by relatives of king Sahadeva and he died of wounds on 25 November 1353.

  2. G M Lone says:

    Sultan Sikander ascended on the throne in 1389 to 1413 AD. His role as a Muslim ruler of Kashmir generally described as a symbol of Islamic orthodoxy and rigidity of practices.
    Promoted by Syeed Ali Hamdani RA. It has been magnified as a watershed of iconoclasm and religious persecution and a climax of forcible conversions through sword which resulted in the mass exodus of Pandiths to suffer places. Suha Bhattta, the commander in chief and Prime Minister of Sultan Sikandar who after his conversion harassed his former co-religionists, mainly for for social and political reasons. Assuming the name of Malik Saif-ud-din he showed considerable disrespect for Hindu gods, shrines and traditions. Suha Bhatta gave one daughter to the Mohmad Ali Hamadani named Bibi Bari later called Ded Moj. According to Jonaraja” there was no city or town, no village, or forest where an abode of the gods escaped destruction by Suhabhatta.
    Character of Sultan Sikander
    Slab at Ganpatyar temple, Srinagar bearing the following inscriptions;
    (sam)…..(85) (?) Sri Sikandrara Saha Reoya Sangapati Rahulya Kastvehkena Tatha…….. Which means?
    Sikandra Shaha year 85 refers to the Laukika era, in Kashmir (1409) AD when the Sulatan was on throne Sangapati denotes a person who led a group of pilgrims to some sacred shrine. The image was consecrated by Kastvakena son of Rahul, a Buddhist.
    Quite contrary to what this archaeological evidence elucidates, almost all the Persian writers have emphasized the Sultan Sikander was a great iconoclasat. They have left no stone unturned to eulogize him as a gigantic “butshikan” idol- breaker.
    Sultan Sikander was favorable disposed towards his Hindu spouse, Shoba Devi.
    Source: Medieval Kashmir by G M Lone

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