King Aurangzeb;’Misunderstandings’ about King Aurangzeb and him
American historian Audrey Tursky says that the reason for his interest in all Mughal emperors, especially Aurangzeb Alamgir, is the widespread misconceptions about him around the world.
If the historian Jadonath Sarkar saw them with his own eyes, then Jawaharlal Nehru with his own eyes or Shahid Naeem with his own eyes and everyone put more emphasis on his religious aspect than necessary.
The author of Aurangzeb’s book The Man and the Meth told the BBC that all the kings and rulers of the past had been intolerant in terms of the current standard of tolerance.
He further said that there are many misconceptions about Aurangzeb and Muslims are being harmed in the present times by fanning them.
According to the author, intolerance is on the rise in India at the moment and his lecture in Hyderabad (Deccan) has been canceled.
Audrey, on the other hand, says that Aurangzeb was praised by Brahmin and Jain writers of King Aurangzeb’s time, and attributed it to Aurangzeb when he presented the Hindu holy books Ramayana and Mahabharata in Persian.
Audrey writes in his book that if Aurangzeb showed strictness on Holi, he also showed strictness on Muharram and Eid. If they demolished one or two temples, they also donated many temples. Various historians have tried to see Aurangzeb through their lens.
According to the author, Aurangzeb presented himself as a good Muslim or he always tried to be a good Muslim but his Islam was not the strict Islam of today. He was very much a Sufi and to some extent a superstitious person.
The BBC asked him if he could give an example of his superstition. He said that all the Mughal emperors had astrologers and at Aurangzeb’s court there were both Hindu and Muslim astrologers. And he used to consult them.
He quoted Bhim Sen Saxena, a soldier of Aurangzeb, as saying that once there was a flood in southern India where he was living and there was a growing fear that the royal establishment might be damaged by the floods. Write verses from and pour them into the flood water after which the flood water started decreasing.
It should be noted that a similar incident is attributed to the second caliph of Islam, Hazrat Omar, who is mentioned in detail in how he wrote a letter to the Nile River in Egypt.
It is narrated that when the region of Egypt came under the rule of Islam, the then Governor Amr bin Al-Aas found out that a beautiful young lady was decorated there and sacrificed every year in the name of Nile River so that the river could flow freely. Keep flowing and the people there continue to benefit from its grace.
But the Islamic government banned it and then the river water really dried up and people thought that the river’s wrath had descended on them. When this news was given to Hazrat Umar Farooq, he wrote a letter to Nile in which it was stated that ‘O river, if you continue by your own will, then of course do not continue, but if you continue by the command of Allah, then again It is said that after that the Nile River continued to flow in such a way that it never dried up again.
Audrey Trusky said on the incident that Aurangzeb may have said something in his wake that people consider his miracle.
He said that as a modern historian he did not believe in it but Aurangzeb believed in it and he acted on it in front of the people and tried to show that it could be a talisman.
He said that Aurangzeb used to consult both Hindu and Muslim astrologers and sometimes acted on their advice and sometimes rejected it.
Audrey Tursky noted Aurangzeb’s distinction from other Mughal emperors, saying that he was the most pious of all the Mughal emperors, the one who memorized the Qur’an and the one who observed prayers and worships the most.
Aurangzeb is accused of hating the arts and music in particular, and the story of the musical funeral is well known.
But another historian, Catherine Brown, wrote in an article entitled ‘Did Aurangzeb ban music’, that Aurangzeb had gone to Burhanpur to meet his aunt, where he saw the Hira Bai Zain population and adopted it. Heartfelt Hira Bai was a dancer and singer.
Audrey also says that Aurangzeb was not as strict as he is portrayed to be. He had many Hindu wives and the Mughals had Hindu wives.
In his last days, Aurangzeb lived with Ode Puri, the mother of his youngest son Kambakhsh, who was a singer. He wrote a letter to Kambakhsh from his death bed stating that his mother Odeh was with him in a state of complete illness and would remain with him till his death. In the summer of 1707, a few months after Aurangzeb’s death, Odeh Puri also passed away.
Did Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb really hate Hindus?
Only one of the Mughal emperors failed to gain popularity in the majority community of India and his name was Alamgir Aurangzeb. Among Indians, Aurangzeb is portrayed as a hard-line religious-minded king who hated Hindus and did not spare his elder brother Dara Shukoh for his own political gain.
He also imprisoned his elderly father Shah Jahan in the fort of Agra for the last seven and a half years of his life.
Shahid Nadeem, a Pakistani playwright, wrote: “The seeds of Partition of India were sown when Aurangzeb defeated his brother Dara.
Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, also portrayed Aurangzeb as a religious and conservative man in his 1946 book Discovery of India.
But recently, in his latest book, Aurangzeb, The Man and the Meth, an American historian, Audrey Trischke, argued that the idea that Aurangzeb had demolished temples because he hated Hindus was wrong.
Trischki teaches South Asian history at Rutgers University in New York. She writes that British historians are responsible for the image of Aurangzeb who promoted Hindu-Muslim animosity under the British policy of ‘divide and rule’.
In this book, she also states that if Aurangzeb’s rule had been less than 20 years, modern historians would have analyzed him differently.
49 years of rule over India
Warangzeb ruled over 150 million people for 49 years. During his reign the Mughal Empire became so vast that for the first time he made almost the entire subcontinent part of his empire.
Truschki writes that Aurangzeb was buried in a mud grave in Khaldabad, Maharashtra, while a red stone mausoleum was built for Humayun in Delhi and Shah Jahan was buried in the magnificent Taj Mahal.
According to him; It is a misconception that Aurangzeb demolished thousands of Hindu temples. Only a few temples were demolished by his order. Nothing happened during his rule which could be termed as massacre of Hindus. In fact, Aurangzeb appointed Hindus to many important positions in his government.
Aurangzeb was very fond of literature
Aurangzeb was born on November 3, 1618 in Dohad during the reign of his grandfather Jahangir. He was the third son of Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan had four sons and their mother was Mumtaz Mahal.
In addition to Islamic studies, Aurangzeb studied Turkish literature and mastered calligraphy. Like other Mughal kings, Aurangzeb also spoke fluently in Hindi from his childhood.
From an early age, Shah Jahan’s four sons competed for the Mughal throne. The Mughals believed in the same principle of Central Asia in which all brothers had an equal right to rule. Shah Jahan wanted to make his eldest son Dara Shukoh his successor, but Aurangzeb believed that he was the most capable heir to the Mughal Empire.
Audrey Treschki mentions an incident in which after the marriage of Darius the Magnificent, Shah Jahan arranged a contest between two elephants, Sudhakar and Surat Sundar. It was a favorite pastime of the Mughals.
Suddenly, Sudhakar mounted his horse and angrily approached Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb hurriedly stabbed Sudhakar in the forehead with a spear, causing him to swell further.
He hit the horse so hard that Aurangzeb fell to the ground. Eyewitnesses included his brothers Shuja and Raja J. Singh who tried to save Aurangzeb but eventually the other elephant Shyam Sundar drew Sudhakar’s attention from there.
Abu Talib, the court poet of Shah Jahan, has mentioned this incident.
There was enmity with Darius
Another historian, Aqeel Khan Razi, wrote in his book, The Events of Universalism, that Dara Shukoh stood behind him throughout the contest and made no attempt to save Aurangzeb.
The historian of Shah Jahan’s Dabari has also mentioned this incident and compared it with the incident of 1610 when Shah Jahan defeated a terrible lion in front of his father Jahangir.
Another historian, Catherine Brown, wrote in an article entitled “Did Aurangzeb Bean Music” that Aurangzeb went to Burhanpur to meet his aunt, where he fell in love with the Hira Bai Zain population. Hira Bai was a singer and dancer.
Aurangzeb saw them plucking mangoes from a mango tree and became obsessed with them. Ishq grew to such an extent that he was ready to break his vow not to drink alcohol in life at the behest of Hira Bai.
But when Aurangzeb was about to take a sip of wine, Hira Bai stopped him. But a year later, Hira Bai died and with that, their love came to an end. Hira Bai was buried in Aurangabad.
If Darius became a glorious king!
A big question in the history of India is what would have happened if there had been a sixth Mughal king with a temperamental temperament instead of the hardline Aurangzeb?
Audrey Truschke responds: In fact, Darius the Great was not capable of running or conquering the Mughal Empire. Despite the support of the ailing king in his struggle for the crown of India, Dara Shukoh could not resist Aurangzeb’s political acumen and speed.
In 1658, Aurangzeb and his younger brother Murad laid siege to the fort of Agra. At that time his father Shah Jahan was present in the fort. They cut off the water supply to the fort.
Within a few days, Shah Jahan opened the gates of the fort and handed over his treasures, weapons and himself to his two sons.
By making his daughter a mediator, Shah Jahan made a last offer to divide his kingdom into five parts, which could be divided between four brothers and Muhammad Sultan, Aurangzeb’s eldest son, but Aurangzeb did not accept.
When Darius the Magnificent was captured and sent to Delhi in 1659 by Malik Jeevan, one of his trusted companions, Aurangzeb wrapped him and his 14-year-old son Safar Shukoh in rags in the scorching heat of September and seated them on an itchy elephant. He roamed the streets of Delhi.
Behind them was a soldier with a naked sword, so that if he tried to flee, he would be beheaded. Nikolai Manucci, an Italian historian currently traveling in India, wrote in his book “Storia do Mogor”: “On the day of Darius’ death, Aurangzeb asked him what to do with him if his character changed. Will you Darius had replied that he would cut Aurangzeb’s body into four parts and hang it on the four main gates of Delhi.
Aurangzeb buried his brother next to Humayun’s grave. But later the same Aurangzeb married his daughter Zeb al-Nisa to Safar Shukoh, the son of Dara Shukoh.
Aurangzeb imprisoned his father Shah Jahan for the last seven and a half years of his life in the fort of Agra, often accompanied by his eldest daughter Jahan Ara. The greatest loss to Aurangzeb came when the Sharif of Mecca refused to accept Aurangzeb as the official ruler of India and refused to accept his gifts for many years.
Baba ji dhan dhan
Aurangzeb left Delhi for South India in 1679 and never returned to North India. He was accompanied by a caravan of thousands of people to the south, which included all his sons except Prince Akbar and his entire harem.
In his absence, Delhi became a haunted city and the rooms of the Red Fort became so dusty that foreign visitors were prevented from showing it.
Aurangzeb wrote in his book ‘Raqaat Alamgiri’ that in the south he felt the greatest shortage of mangoes. From Babar onwards, all the Mughal kings loved mango. Trischke writes that Aurangzeb often ordered his officials to send mangoes to northern India. He also gave some mangoes Hindi names like Sadha Ras and Rasna Blas.
In a letter to his son Prince Azam in 1700, Aurangzeb reminded him of his childhood when he used a Hindi address for Aurangzeb, imitating the drumming, ‘Babaji Dhan, Dhan’.
In his last days, Aurangzeb lived with Ade Puri, the mother of his youngest son Kambakhsh, a singer. In a letter to Kambakhsh from his death bed, Aurangzeb wrote that Ade Puri was living with him in his illness and would be with him even in his death.
And in the summer of 1707, just a few months after Aurangzeb’s death, Ade Puri also died.
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