Critical Podium Dewanand Islam
JATS DURING MUSLIM RULE IN INDIA by Raja Harsh Vardhan
Sacrificer Raja Harsh Vardhan
Sacrifice code wfor0237
Sacrifice date 25 march 2009
R S Joon
History of the Jats
JATS DURING MUSLIM RULE IN INDIA
The advent, of Islam in Arabia began in 610 A.D. during the rule of
Raja HARSH VARDHAN.
The founder of Islam, Prophet HAZRAT MOHAMMED, proclaimed himself as
the son of God when he was 40 years of Age. He claimed that he
had 'ILHAM' (Divine message) the preaching of which is
called 'ISLAM'. He preached that idol worship was sin and there is
only one God. He stressed on equality and fraternity amongst all
human beings and condemned discrimination. Islam implicitly forbids
drinking wine and outraging the modesty of women.
Partly due to the effective preaching of Prophet Hazrat Mohammed, and
partly by force, Islam spread rapidly in ARABIA, IRAN, AFGHANISTAN
and BALUCHISTAN etc. But its advance got stemmed towards the
boundaries of India.
There were two main reasons for this. Firstly the countries in which
Islam succeeded were engaged in internal wars, and secondly the
Gujars, who became a power in India after the death of Harsh Vardhana
did not allow the Muslim invaders to penetrate in this country. The
sheet anchor of Gujar force was the Pratihars and Parmars. The
Solanki Kings had also joined them. They had driven away the Kauls?
>From Lath (Gujarat) territory.
The creation of the Agni Kul Rajputs and the advent of the Puranic
Mat sowed the seeds of dissension amongst the Indians.
The Kings of one Gotra considered it a disgrace to have matrimonial
relations with other gotras. Bhats were persuaded to change the
dynastic histories to claim comparative superiority. Kings reveled in
listening to the concocted glory from these bards. Every King lived
in an imaginary world of glory, considered himself invincible and
supreme within his own territory and looked upon alliance unnecessary
and below dignity. The ruling Rajputs looked down upon others as
inferior beings and thus alienated them.
Drinking became the fashion of the day. Morals descended.
Idol worship became popular and heaps of wealth were accumulated in
the temples. India was called 'Bhuri Gae' (Brown cow) or 'Sone Ki
Chirya' (Golden sparrow). Muslim merchants and travellers exposed
this social and political weakness of this country to Muslim rulers
who turned their covetous eyes towards India.
Aggression met a disunited India. Mahmood, a daring young ruler of
Ghazni, on appreciating this condition swarmed towards the Indian
frontiers and unhinged the Indian gates. He invaded this country 17
times with the purpose of looting the wealth of the temples and to
spread Islam by terrorizing Indian population. He ransacked the whole
of India, plundered all the wealth from temples and raised these to
the ground- The Rajput Kingdoms due to mutual jealousy were not in a
position to rally under banner to check the advance of the Muslim
invaders. Individually none of them was strong enough for the task.
Once this state of affairs was exposed, further invasions followed.
Muhamad Gauri invaded India after Mohammad Ghazni.
India was in a state of religious instability. It was certainly not
difficult to spread Islam with its belief in Oneness of God, which
appealed to the people.
It would have spread even faster but for certain shortcomings which
were not acceptable to the Hindus e.g. cow slaughter, marriage
amongst first cousins and lack of hygiene in Muslim household. One
thing, which helped Islam, was the inflexible attitude of Hindu
priests. The slightest breach of the prevalent Hindu religious
customs was unpardonable. If a chop of Beef touched the lips of a
Hindu accidentally or even forcibly, it was sufficient cause for his
degradation from Hinduism. Such outcasts naturally became an easy
prey to Islam. They longed for generations to conjoin with their
Hindu brethren, but alas, the adamant Pandits never relaxed the rigid
social order and never allowed those outcasts to fulfil their dreams.
The Jats living in Northern India have always been the corner stone
of Jat arch. The Rajputs could never subdue them. Nor did they
provide recruitment to the army of Rajputs. As the Jat territory was
a corridor through which every invader passed, some Jats did get
converted to Islam. Still most of them never bowed and continued
giving resistance and trouble to the oppressors.
The significant role played by Jats at the time of Mahmood Ghazni's
and Mohammed Gauri's invasions is described in detail in this chapter.
SULTAN MAHMOOD GHAZNI
Mahmood Ghazni was a Turk. The original rulers of Turkistan were
Jats. Then the Mongols ousted them and Turk tribes were gradually
compelled to leave Turkistan. Mahmood's ancestors had thus come and
settled in Zabulistan and Afghanistan. Alpatgin of this tribe
established his kingdom in Ghazni. Subkutgin, who was borm in the
third generation of Alpatgin, invaded India. His son Sultan Mahmood
was aware of his father's battles with Raja Jaipal and India's
It has been mentioned in Indian History that Mahmood Ghazni had given
a vow to the Khalifa to invade India every year, demolish the idols
they worshipped and spread Islam. He invaded India 17 times.[ Note-1]
Every time he came like a hurricane looted, and returned but only to
create a large Army with that wealth, and invade again. Two of his
invasions were purely against Jats and these proved the costliest.
The Rajput kings of those days did not offer any appreciable
resistance against his invasions. Once it was rumored that an attack
on Somnath temple was imminent and it would be looted and devastated.
All the Rajput Kings assembled there to save Somnath temple from this
anticipated disaster, but had no mutual confidence among themselves.
They had no heart to fight, but presented themselves only as a matter
of prestige. The Head priest of this temple, however, assured them
that there was no need to fight as the idol of Somnath would curse
the devils to blindness, and they would perish moaning and screaming.
The rumor carne true. The Muslim force laid siege of the temple and
the battle ensued. At that time a dance of beautiful girls (devdasis)
was going on in temple to appease the idol and all Rajput chiefs who
had come to defend the temple were busy in enjoying the function.
When the Muslim invaders attacked, the Rajputs took to their heels.
The priests, however, fought bravely and were killed in large numbers
at the altar. Sultan Mahmood demolished the idol of Somnath and
started towards Ghazni with a Caravan of Camels laden with gold,
silver and precious jewels.
It is mentioned in Todd's Rajasthan that while the Army of Mahmood
Ghazni with the booty was passing through the Jat territory of
Multan, they were ambushed by Jats, and all the wealth was recovered.
Sultan Mahmood Ghazni collected the remnants of his force, and
managed to slip away with it. This was the first occasion when he met
defeat in India.
He did not have the courage to invade India for two years. During
this period he prepared to take revenge from the Jats and crush them.
With a fresh force he entered Punjab. He found the Jat territory
surrounded by turbulent river which made him halt for seven months.
He feared that the Jat would intercept him. while he tried to cross
the river. He hit upon a brilliant idea to get the bows of his boats
fitted with sharp spears. He also raised the height of the bows with
holes to enable free firing towards Jat boats. The river battle
ensued but the Jats were surprised when the hulls of their boats were
pierced by these contraptions. They lost the battle without much
resistance. Jats were thus defeated by Mahmood Ghazni and their
territory ransacked. There are Tak and Dagar gotras in Haryana, whose
forefathers migrated from Multan during that Period.[see also note 1]
In Jabulistan there is a big 'Khap' of Gaurzai (derivative of Gaur).
Ghazni's old name was Gazni and was founded by the Madrak Jat Raja
Gaj. After the death of Mahmood Ghazni, Gaurs again came into power.
Their capable ruler planned to extend his empire into India to revive
the ancient glory of Gaurs who had earlier ruled Hissar and Ajmer
Areas. The ancestors of Gaj had also ruled Sialkot and Quetta. Ruins
of a fort Bala-e-Hissar still exist in Afghanistan.
The King Jai Chand was at daggers drawn with Prithvi Raj. He
continued a clash between Mohammed Gauri and Prithvi Raj, and
promised to support Mohammed Gauri with men and material. Mohammed
Gauri jumped at the proposal. Unlike Mahmood Ghazni his aim was not
more plunder. He wanted to capture the throne of Delhi and to
establish his empire there. He invaded in 1192.
Prithvi Raj was a brave Rajput ruler but after a marriage in his old
age he had also became indolent. His army consisted of staunch
supporters of Brahmanism and was therefore well united.
He, however, knew that his army could not stand against
the fanatic Army of Mohammed Gauri infused with the
doctrine of Islam.
Prithvi Raj, therefore, wisely appealed to the
public, including Jats, for help.
It has been mentioned in the chronicles of Jat 'Sarv
Khap', which are still reserved with Chaudhry Qabul Singh
Shoron Distt Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, that the Jat Sarv Khap,
reinforced Prithvi Raj with 22,000 brave Jats, who
contributed a great deal for Prithvi Raj to win the day.
Mohammed Gauri was determined, and after making up his
shortcomings attacked Prithvi Raj again in 1193, with a
The Jat Sarv Khap again offered 18,000 Jats to Prithvi
Raj who positioned them on one flank of his force. When
the battle started thev pushed Gauri's army for 15 miles and
almost turned his flank. But the centre of Prithvi Raj's Army
was unable to withstand the attack and allowed Gauri to
penetrate. Mohammed Gauri won.
While he was triumphantly returning to Ghazni, the Jats
again hurled themselves against him with 15,000 brave and
furious Khokar Jats, who defeated and beheaded Mohammed Gauri near
QUTABUDDIN AIBAK AND RAZIA SULTANA
In 1205 AD, during the reign of Qutabuddin Aibak, the Jats attacked
Hansi and overwhelmed the Faujdar of that place, On hearing this,
Qutabuddin made his forces march and quickly reached Hansi.
Todd writes that a fierce battle took place in which Jats were
repulsed after heavy losses.
After 14 years of the establishment ol Muslim Rule on Delhi,
Qutabuddin Aibak declared his daughter Razia Sultana as heir to the
throne because all sons were considered incapable. These neglected
brothers of Razia conspired against her by winning over all
courtiers, in their favour. She was forced to run from Delhi and had
to take shelter with the Subedar of Bhatinda.
She was confident that only Jats could encounter the Royal Army- She
formed an army of Jats. It has been mentioned in Todd' s Rajasthan
a large royal army was despatched to Bhatinda to capture Razia. Jats
fought bravely. But being much smaller and not as well organized as
the royal army, they were defeated. Razia was captured, but at a very
heavy price. The Jats could not have hoped to defeat the Royal Army
but the very fact, that they stood up against it, speaks of their
JATS AND ALA-UDDIN KHILJI
Alauddin Khilji was a religious bigot and was deadly against Hindus.
He had a trusted chief named Malik Kafur, a Hindu (Saini) convert,
He had married a sweeper women.
Ala-Uddin ruined Chittor in his effort to get Rani Padamni. He levied
Jazia on the Hindus and placed restrictions on marriages, so that
beautiful Hindu virgin girls could be given to Muslims. These acts
were worse that death to Hindus.
The Jat Sarv Khap meeting was held in protest against these 'Firmans'
at Khanpur, District Meerut.
It was unanimously decided that the king should be given an ultimatum
on a fixed date on which all able bodied men from 18 to 4o years of
age should be ready to sacrifice themselves. They assembled at the
confluence of the Kali (Nadi) and Hindon Rivers.
The remaining men and women were detailed on administrative duties.
The king was infuriated on -receipt of this ultimatum and at once
sent Malik Kafur with 25,000 men, to deal with them.
A fierce battle-took place. Malik Kafur was defeated. The Jats gave
a severe blow to the royal army which was forced to run away from the
He never attacked the Jats of the Sarv Khap again.
During his period it was rumored that Mogul invasion was imminent in
Punjab. Ala-Uddin thought it better to reconcile with the Jats at
this crucial moment. He negotiated a truce with them by canceling his
repugnant firmans. He paid a huge remuneration and compensation to
the Jats and got their promise to help him in the event of foreign
JATS AND AMIR_ TIMUR
It has been mentioned in Malfuzat Temuri that is the time of Temuri's
invasion of India, Jats were the first to intercept him many Jats
were killed in the encounter.
Timur had for long harboured an animosity against the Jats.
Timur was from Chughtaiya (Saktaya) the capital of which was in
Trans Oxiana. A great Jat king Kokaltas invaded Khurasan and occupied
it. After that he invaded Trans Oxiana. The king fled away. But the
nephew of that Amir Timur was a clever and far sighted man. He
offered due apologies on behalf of his uncle and admitted the
suzerainty of Kokaltas, who had one Lakh( 100,000) brave Jats in his
army. King Kokaltas died issue less in 1380, Timur occupied the
throne and also married a Jat Rajkumari. But Jats did not accept the
rule of Timur. A mutiny flared up and continued for long time.
Finally Timur managed to suppress it, carried out a mass massacre of
the Jats and drove out the remnants from the country. By 1349 he
succeeded in finally establishing himself, but still he was not free
from Jat troubles. He writes in Timur Nama, that he did not intend to
kill so many Jats, because they were handsome, stalwart people, but
he had to do so. It is written in MulfuZai Temur P 429 that when he
invaded India, he was interrupted by the Jats who took a heavy toll
of his army.
It is also mentioned in Todd's Rajasthan with reference to Tazke-
babri that at the time of Barbar's invasion of India a large number
of Jats resisted him at Thanesar and most of them were slain.
THE MOGHUL CHIEF HUMYAUN, SHERSHAH SURI AND JATS
Jats never became faithful and royal subjects with Moghul Emperors
and were a constant source of trouble.
It has been mentioned in Todd's Rajasthan that a chief of Humayun
named Mulla Shakebi once laid siege of a Jat village Dhandras, in
tehsil Gohana, Distt Rohtak( Haryana) and wanted to wipe out the
village but Jat Khaap attacked him so fiercely, that he had to beat a
Sher Shah Suri succeeded in getting the help of Jat Khap and
overthrew the Moghul ruler.
RULE OF EMPEROR AURANGZEB :- HIS RELIGIOUS HISTORY AND
BY JATS, RAJPUTS AND MARATHAS
The Muslim rulers ruled by oppression and the Jazia levied on Hindus
continued, till Akbar came to the throne. He appreciated the
drawbacks of this policy and planned to win the loyalty and
confidence of the Hindus who after all formed the major part of the
Empire. He also bestowed high ranks upon Hindus. He married Jodha
Bai, a Rajput Princess and won the obedience and loyalty of the
Rajputs. This liberal policy continued till the reign of Shah Jehan.
The Hindus remained happy and satisfied during this period.
When Aurangzeb came to power he changed the prevalent policy. He
again levied Jaziya on Hindus to satisfy his religious fervour.
This was bitterly opposed by Rana Raj Singh who sent a note to the
Emperor that he should be prepared for the consequences. When Raja
Jaswant Singh was killed, his queen and son were ordered to be
detained in Delhi by the Moghuls.
This order was not carried out and Rathore Rajputs unsheathed their
swords for a fateful fight. Chief Durga Dass sounded the clarion call
and unfurled the flag of rebellion against Muslim rule. With these
incidents Aurangzeb lost faith in Rajputs and their loyalty to the
throne became suspect. He used to detail a Muslim Chief as an
observer in every campaign to report on the Rajputs activities, on
the battle field.
This was resented by most of the Rajput 'Chiefs in the'Moghul Army
except Sawai Raja Jai Singh Kachhawaha of Jaipur who continued "
unflinching loyalty' to Moghul rule.
Aurangzeb did not like 'Shiya' Muslims and was desirous of ending the
Shia Kingdom of Ahmednagar. The Deccan being a hilly country, was a
hard nut to crack and the annexation of Ahmednagar was not an easy
task. Aurangzeb therefore waited for a favourable time.
The Shiyas of Ahmednagar smelt this danger and became more vigilant
They, however, neglected to tighten up the internal administration
which cracked in the wake of continuous threat from Moghuls.
Chhatrapati Shiva Ji, who was a daring and courageous youth
exploited this sift between Muslim rulers. He organised a well
disciplined army and started a guerilla warfare.
He succeeded in capturing several forts in Deccan and established an
Aurangzeb was witnessing these Maratha raid(s) calmly, because he was
interested in the weakness of Ahmednagar, and its annexation by him.
But Shiyaj1did not spare even Aurangzeb and started raiding Moghul
Aurangzeb had no recourse except to come forward and battle. By this
time , Shiva Ji had gained much reputation and popularity amongst the-
Aurangzeb had a tough time for 30 years at the hand of the Marathas
till Shiva Ji died in 1680.
Inspite of strong opposition from all quarters, Aurangzeb continued
his ignoble deeds of demolishing temples and breaking idols, imposing
restrictions on Hindu merchants and giving a fillip to Muslims to
Have a brisk trade in his rule.
The Jats kept opposing him and he continued his oppression towards
Jats, he tried to subjugate them but never succeeded in any
Recent research shows that this was not correct, and that accounts
of Ghazni's successes were exaggerated. His last 17th expedition
Joon probably did not have access to the original scripts or the
Elliot and Dowson's translation. The story is a 16th century
fabrication for none of the contemporary 11th century accounts refer
to it - see
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