I: Chapter 16
RE-LAUNCHED - SHAMS-UD-DIN IRAQI
The chaks, rough and rugged, owing their descent to Dardistan, added new chapters
to the history of gore and blood that was being wantonly written in Kashmir.
It was during their rule and hegemony that the Kashmiri Hindus, who, having
survived the first wave of fury unleashed by Sultan Sikandar, were again
hurled into the orgy of flashing swords and savage brutalities, thus terminating
their short spell of honeymoon with peace and respite during the reign
of Zain-ul-abidin. During chak period of Kashmir history, Muslim bigotry
and intolerance touched a new crescendo and Hindus were brutalised, tortured
and killed on an unprecedented scale.
Iraqi, a frightful crusader from Talish on the shores of Caspian sea, had
two stints in Kashmir, one in the times of Sultan Hasan Shah and the other
during the reign of Mohammad Shah. His stay in Kashmir was highly controversial
as he clandestinely propagated the canons and credos of Shia Sect of Islam,
which the Sunni Muslims bitterly resented and opposed, thus setting the
ground and pace for Shia-Sunni strifes and feuds. Shams Iraqi's mission
and role in Kashmir was the same stamping out and extirpation of infidelity
and he in his conversionery campaigns was extended all manner of support
and succour by the governments led by Musa Raina and Kaji Chak, who as
principal converts to his faith executed his fiats and played a second
fiddle to him. Musa Raina gave gardens, orchards, ornaments, costumes,
horses, jewellery and gold to Shams Iraqi, who utilised the wealth, they
say, for the construction of a Khanqah at Zadibal on the outskirts of Srinagar.
The chiselled stones and other materials from ravaged temples are said
to have been utilised in the construction of the Khanqah.
had already tasted the bitter fury of a crusade, but Shams Iraqi lent it
a new ferocity of pace and momentum and as an outcome history was repeated
for the Hindus, who were tortured, persecuted and killed to bring them
to the fold of Shia-faith of Islam. Temples out of morbid intolerance were
again pillaged and destroyed and mosques built at their sites. The Hindus
were terrorised and converted at the point of sword. "Twenty-four thousand
Hindu families were converted at one stroke to the faith of Islam by force
and compulsion (qahran and gabran),'' records Hasan. The lands belonging
to the Brahmans from ages were suddenly confiscated and as a measure of
coercion men associated with the maintenance and up-keep of temples were
detained and arrested to break their allegiance to the Hindu places of
worship. In the role of a model vandaliser Shams Iraqi vengefully plundered
and destroyed the Vishnu temple, a marvel of Hindu architecture, at Buniyar
in the district of Baramulla. He lavished personal care and attention in
getting all the temples of Srinagar city looted, plundered and destroyed.
"As many as
eighteen big temples in the city of Srinagar and in the rural areas of
the valley were completely destroyed under the instructions and orders
of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi and Malik Musa Raina," records Tohfatul Ahbab.
"At the behest
of Shams Iraqi, Musa Raina had ordered 1500 to 2000 infidels to be brought
to his door-steps every day by his followers. They would remove their sacred
threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and thrust lumps of
beef into their mouths,'' mentions Tohfatul Ahbab.
Prime Minister of Mohammad Shah, proved a scourge for the Hindus. His bigotry
and anti-Hindu animus and venom got reflected when his government raised
and organised a brigade of ferocious and hardened criminals and notorious
scoundrels under the command of a chak brute, who looted and killed Hindu
families, destroyed and ravaged Hindu temples and pulled down Hindu schools
and Hindu institutions of learning.
the government of Malik Musa Raina, all the depraved heretics of this land
had been converted to Islam.
It also records,
"He (Zain-ul-abidin) had permitted idolators and polytheists to revive
the practices of infidelity and they had propagated heresy (kufr) and false
religion (Din-i-batil), with the support of some more kings, the infidels
had flourished day after day. But, with the support and authority of Malik
Musa Raina, Amir Shams-ud-Din Mohammad under-took a wholesale destruction
of all those idol-houses as well as the ruination of the very foundation
of infidelity and dis-belief. On the site of every idol-house he destroyed
he ordered the construction of a mosque for offering prayers after the
Islamic manner. The idolatory and heresy which had existed prior to his
coming were effectively replaced by his preaching and propagation of Islam,
its laws and practices. He brought honour to all the infidels and heretics (Zandiqa) of Kashmir by admitting them to the Islamic faith and bestowed
upon them many kinds of rewards and benefactions. It is publicly known
that during his life time, with the virtuous efforts and elaborate arrangements
made by the fortunate Malik Musa Raina, twenty four thousand families of
staunch infidels and stubborn heretics were ennobled by being converted