Growth under the Mughals
By the time Akbar the Great (1556-1605) embarked upon the policy of reuniting these kingdom under his imperial banner, Muslim population was rising all over the country. Still, despite all the exertion of the Muslims at proselytization, Hindu resistance to it was also admirably effective. Sind and Punjab no doubt had a sizeable Muslim population. But at the beginning of the sixteenth century, northern Sind (north of the River Indus) had, according to Portuguese accounts, a local Hindu as its ruler or governor.1 In Gujarat, Malwa, and Khandesh Muslims were growing in numbers ever since Alauddin Khalji had conquered these kingdoms, but mostly in the cities and seaports. In the interior the Hindus predominated. However, the notices of some foreigners show that Muslim population in Gujarat had risen considerably. The people of Cambay were both Moors and Hindus, wrote Barbosa2 and according to the impression of Pires, the Hindus had been reduced to “almost the third part of the kingdom.”3 On the Malabar coast, according to Portuguese estimates, the Muslims comprised about twenty percent of the population.4 The Bahmani kingdom had a large number of Muslims which went on growing with time. In Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golkunda, Bidar, and Berar, the successor kingdoms of Bahmani, large number of foreign Muslims swelled the ranks of the indigenous. Writing on April, 7, 1561, C. Rodrigues remarks that in Bijapur “the Moors are as innumerable as insects.”5 Another region to which this epithet could be applied was Bengal. Even so the Muslims were not in a majority even in these parts. In the Vijayanagar empire there were a few Muslim contingents of soldiers and some Muslim citizens, but south of the river Krishna the Muslim numbers were microscopic. In the rest of the country Hindu population predominated. The Haryana, Delhi, Agra, and western U.P. regions formed the nucleus, first of the Sultanate of Delhi and then of the Mughal Empire. It was no enemy territory where warfare for conquest would have brought converts; its revenues in kind fed the capital cities of Delhi and Agra; and its aggressive Zamindars were left in restrained peace. Consequently this region remained largely Hindu. Here the small minority of Muslims was introduced as a result of early Turkish victories and Muslim immigrants were added largely under the Saiyyads and Lodis. Rajputana was Hindu; Muslims there were in insignificant numbers, because there Muslim rule could never get a foothold. Indeed when Father Pinheiro and his caravan were going from Cambay to Akbar’s court at Lahore through Ahmedabad, Patan and Rajasthan,6 in the course of the journey they passed through numerous large cities which were devastated, “especially the mosques therein.”7 In the east, according to Fitch, Banaras was a great city peopled exclusively by Hindus.8 He also says that the inhabitants of Kuch Bihar were entirely Hindu.9 The vast majority of the population of Orissa too was Hindu; and Muslim were very few.10 Similar was the case with Gondwana and Central India.
About the percentage of Muslims in the total population no precise information can be obtained from the contemporary records. Babur’s statement that most of the inhabitants were Hindus, conveys only a general impression. Two facts are, however, certain. First, it is widely recognised that the majority of Muslims were converts from Hinduism. Secondly, the largest number of conversions took place under the Turks and Afghans who ruled between C. 1300 and 1556.
There is one contemporary source which gives precise information about the proportion of Muslims in the total population, but it is not reliable. The Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi,11 an autobiographical memoir of Jahangir, mentions that on one occasion he inquired from his father why all inhabitants of India could not be made Musalmans, and Akbar is reported to have said: “My dear child… with all of God’s creatures, I am at peace; why should I permit myself, under any consideration, to be the cause of molestation or aggression to any one? Besides, are not five parts in six of mankind either Hindus or aliens to the faith; and were I to be governed by motives of the kind suggested in your inquiry, what alternative can I have but to put them all to death? I have thought it therefore my wisest plan to let these men alone.”12
Jahangir is supposed to have repeated this ratio at another place. “Of the whole population of Hindustan it is notorious that five parts in six are composed of Hindus, the adorers of images, and the whole concerns of trade and manufacture… are entirely under the management of these classes. Were it, therefore, ever so much my desire to convert them to the true faith, it would be impossible, otherwise than through excision of millions of men… but the massacre of a whole people can never be any business of mine.”13
These statements, attributed to Jahangir, about the proportion of Muslim population could not have been easily brushed aside but for the fact that they appear to be obviously wrong. From what we know of Akbar and Jahangir, such sentiments and statements cannot be attributed to them. Whosoever be the writer of the Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi, he cannot delude us because, as will be seen later, Muslims were not one-sixth of the Hindu population even as late as the year 1800. By 1600 Muslim numbers may not have risen beyond 15 million. In that year the total population of India has been estimated at 140 millions. Muslims would have formed about one-ninth to one-tenth of India’s total population.14
During the first quarter of the seventeenth century, Jahangir, by and large, continued to follow Akbar’s policy of sulehkul. Perhaps a few cases of forcible conversions might have been brought to his notice so as to prompt him to issue, in the sixth year of his reign, a royal order prohibiting the provincial governors from converting any one forcibly to Islam.15 Jahangir also discouraged making of eunuchs in Bengal for being presented to the court16 (for service in the Mughal harem and ultimately becoming Muhammadans). But he was not against peaceful encouragement to conversions.17 Some prisoners were also offered pardon if they turned Musalman.18
In one respect alone Jahangir deviated from the policy of his father: he did not permit people to embrace Hinduism even of their own free will. He severely punished Kaukab, Sharif and Abdul Latif who, under the influence of a Sanyasi, showed inclination for Hinduism.19 This policy would have stopped any erosion of Muslim numbers. Besides, while on a visit to Kashmir, when he learnt that the Hindus and Muslims intermarried freely, “and both give and take girls (he ordered that) taking them is good but giving them, God Forbid”.20 And any violation of this order was to be visited with capital punishment.21 This indeed was in accordance with the Islamic law. As per the Shariat law a Muslim may marry a Jewess, or a Christian, or a Sabean, but “a marriage between a Musalman and… a Hindu is invalid”. Similarly, it “a female Muslim cannot under any circumstances marry a non-Muslim”.22 So, Jahangir was being unnecessarily fussy, because, whether a Muslim married a Hindu girl or a Hindu married a Muslim girl, in course of time all of them used to become Muhammadan. Shahjahan’s orders in this regard were that the Hindus could keep their Muslim wives only if they accepted Islam. Consequently, during his reign, 4,000 to 5,000 Hindus converted to Islam in Bhadnor alone.23 Seventy such cases were found in Gujarat and 400 in the Punjab.24 The policy of converting such “families” would have contributed to the growth of Muslim numbers.
Shahjahan was even otherwise interested in making converts. Professor Sri Ram Sharma has collected facts and figures of Hindus converted to Islam from the works of Qazvini, Lahori, Salih, Mohsin Fani, Khafi Khan, etc. during Shajahan’s reign and has thus saved me the labour of doing the same. The following is the summary of what he says. “Early in his reign Shahjahan had appointed a Superintendent of converts to Islam, thus setting up a department for the special purpose of making converts. The one common practice was to make terms with the criminals… The Hindus of the Punjab, Bhimbar, Bhadauri and Sirhind… were all offered remission of their sentences provided they accepted the ‘true faith’. When the war with the Portuguese started, of the 400 prisoners taken a few became Muslims. The rest were kept in prison with orders that whenever they expressed willingness to embrace Islam, they were to be converted, liberated and given daily allowances.25 An order was issued in the seventh year of his reign that if a Hindu wanted to be converted to Islam, his family should not place any obstacles in his way… Under Shahjahan, apostasy from Islam had again become a capital crime.”26
Some other practices discontinued by Akbar were revived by Shahjahan. Forcible conversion during war became common in his reign. “When Shuja was appointed governor of Kabul (he carried on) a ruthless war in the Hindu territory beyond the Indus… Sixteen sons and dependants of Hathi were converted by force. The sword of Islam further yielded a crop of Muslim converts… The rebellion of Jujhar Singh yielded a rich crop of Muslim converts, mostly minors. His young son Durga and his grandson Durjan Sal were both converted to become Imam Quli and Ali Quli27… Most of the women had burnt themselves… but such as were captured - probably slave girls and maids - were converted and distributed among Muslim Mansabdars28… The conquest of Beglana was followed by conversion of Naharji’s son… who now became Daulatmand.”29
Akbar had prohibited enslavement and sale of women and children of peasants who had defaulted in payment of revenue. He knew, as Abul Fazl says, that many evil hearted and vicious men either because of ill-founded suspicion or sheer greed, used to proceed to villages and mahals and sack them.30 But under Shahjahan conditions worsened. Now peasants were compelled to sell their women and children to meet the revenue demand.31 Manrique writes that the peasants “are carried off… to various markets and fairs (to be sold), with their poor unhappy wives behind them carrying their small children… all crying and lamenting…”32 According to Qazvini, Shahjahan’s orders in this regard were that captives were not to be sold to Hindus as slaves,33 and under Muslim customers they could only become Musalman.
Under Shahjahan, therefore, active steps were taken to swell the number of Muslims. He is praised by all contemporary Persian chroniclers as a great Muslim king who was anxious to restore the prestige of Islam. But proselytization to Islam as such could not be extensive under Shahjahan. He was not a royal missionary like Sultan Firoz Tughlaq, Sikandar Butshikan, Jalaluddin of Bengal, Mahmud Beghara of Gujarat or the Emperor Aurangzeb. In spite of certain deviations, the catholic spirit of Akbar’s government had not been lost under Jahangir and Shahjahan.34 Dara Shukoh was Shahjahan’s favourite son, and his nearness to the throne would have imparted an unorthodox colour to administration.
Indeed, it appears that from about the middle of the sixteenth to the middle of the seventeenth century, conversions to Islam were not done on a very large scale. Bernier, who was in India towards the closing years of Shahjahan’s and early years of Aurangzeb’s reign found India a country of vast majority of Hindus. He even goes on to say: “The great Mogol is a foreigner in Hindustan, he finds himself in a hostile country, or nearly so; a country containing hundreds of Gentiles to one Mogol, or even to one Mahometan.”35 Being a foreigner, Bernier might not have been able to quite distinguish between Hindus and Muslims. In any case, as Beni Prased points out, “he (Bernier) wrote from mere observation and made no systematic calculation.”36 Nevertheless, Bernier’s impression is similar to the observations of men like Timur and Babur and many other foreign writers.37 What is of importance about Bernier’s assertion is that in spite of some conversions in the countryside, the demographic complexion of the society in which he lived and moved had not perhaps registered any appreciable change in the Hindu-Muslim proportion since the days of Babur.
But with the coming into power of Aurangzeb a spate of conversions followed. ‘The proselytizing activity of Aurangzeb seems to have started about the year 1666 (the year of Shahjahan’s death in prison), and remained unabated till the end of his life.”38 He tried his utmost to raise the number of Muslims by all possible means.
In April 1667, four revenue collectors (qanungos), who had been dismissed for various faults, were reinstated on their accepting the Muhammadan faith.39 Aurangzeb’s declared policy of “Qanungo basharte Islam”40 (Qanungoship on the condition of conversion to Islam) brought many converts and many Muslim families in Punjab still retain the letter of reinstatement on conversion or fresh appointment of Muslims in place of Hindu Qanungos who were retrenched because they would not convert.41 Such cases belong to places from the Punjab to Bengal which shows that the policy was followed throughout the length and breadth of the county.42 Government appointments and promotions on conversion, too, were of frequent occurrences. Nam Dev was, on conversion, appointed to the command of 400; and Shiva Singh, a grandson of Raja Kishan Das of Amroha was, on becoming Musalman, appointed Musharaf of Imtiazgarh. The News Letters mention conversion of Nek Ram, who rose to acquire the title of a Raja, and Dilawar, who is spoken of as a commander of 1000.
Tempting offers were given to high and low to embrace Islam. Even Rajas and Zamindars could not resist such temptation. A brother of the Zamindar of Dev Garh converted to Muhammadanism and became Islam Yar. He was given the Zamindari, superseding the existing chief. Some others like Zorawar Singh and Shyam Singh of the same estate followed Suit.43 Devi Chand, a Zamindar of Manoharpur, who had been dismissed from his mansab, was restored to it on becoming Musalman. There ‘are many other similar cases.44 Shankarji, the Zamindar of Pataudi, and Fateh Singh son of Raja Ram the Jat leader, and the son of Gokal Jat were converted, the last one after his father’s death. Bishan Narayan, son of Raja Shiv Narayan of Kuch Bihar, was admitted to Islam while Aurangzeb’s armies were busy in an expedition against his father. Kondaji, uncle of Netoji was also converted in the tenth year of the reign. The Raja of Palamau was offered better terms if he would accept Islam. Manucci mentions the case of three Rajas, who got appointments at the imperial court on conversion.45 These are individual instances, but many loyal servants and subjects of the Rajas and Zamindars would have followed suit and embraced Islam when their masters became Musalman.
The poor converted more easily and in larger numbers. Of the temptations given for conversion were an audience with the Emperor, a robe of Honour, and a daily allowance which generally ranged from four annas to seven rupees46; even four annas was a high amount in those days. A Deccanese was converted to Islam and given Rs. 2000.47 Obviously economic inducement was a great temptation for the poor. Criminals were given remission from sentence if they converted to Islam. The Maasir-i-Alamgiri mentions a case in which a Hindu clerk killed the seducer of his sister, but escaped execution by embracing Islam.48 There were many more similar cases.49 In September, 1681, an order was issued that all prisoners who would accept Islam were to be set at liberty.50 The practice was so common that no other specific cases need be mentioned.
Imposition of the Jiziyah brought a better crop of converts. We have seen that under Firoz Tughlaq the strict imposition of Jiziyah had compelled many people to become Musalmans. Akbar had abolished it, but under Aurangzeb this “economic pressure” was revived. Manucci notes that the Jiziyah was instituted “to force the Hindus to become Muhammedans, to obtain relief from the insults of the collectors…”51 Aurangzeb “was of the opinion that he had found in this tax an excellent means of succeeding in converting them”.52 Customs duties on the Hindu traders were increased; on Muslims abolished.53 If the economic stress could make some people convert just for a stipend of four annas a day, how many more would have accepted Islam on account of the compulsions of the Jiziyah.
The enslavement of women and children too was a common phenomenon now. The practice was revived under Shahjahan; it had not probably been abolished completely earlier. An interesting piece of information supplied by Manucd should suffice here. He gives a long list of women dancers, singers and slave-girls like Hira Bai, Sundar Bai, Nain-jot Bai, Chanchal Bai, Apsara Bai, Khushhal Bai, Kesar Bai, Gulal, Champa, Chameli, Saloni, Madhumati, Koil, Menhdi, Moti, Kishmish, Pista etc., etc., and adds: “All the above names are Hindu, and ordinarily these…’ are Hindus by race, who had been carried off in infancy from various villages or the houses of different rebel Hindu princes. In spite of their Hindu names, they are, however, Mohamedans”.54 It appears that the number of such converts was so large that even their Hindu names could not be changed to Islamic.55 The policy of enslavement and conversion was also followed by others of smaller note. Sidi Yaqut of Janjira once took a Maratha fort after granting quarter to the garrison. Seven hundred persons came out. Notwithstanding his word, “he made the children and pretty women slaves, and forcibly converted them to Islam… but the men he put to death.”56
Thus Aurangzeb’s proselytizing zeal resulted in good number of conversions. He seems to have employed all the means at his disposal to raise Muslim population. In the dispute about estates between two brothers or relatives, the Raja or Zamindar who embraced Islam was given the property. Other kinds of pressures or temptations brought other Rajas into the fold of Islam.57 Criminals were set free if they became Muslims. Economic pressure of Jiziyah and inducement of jobs brought in may more converts. Enslavement too was a contributory factor. Then there was sheer force - force by the king, his nobles and local officers. There are references in the reports forwarded by Kotwals and Faujdars about their efforts and achievements in making converts in their jurisdiction. The forcible conversion of Frontier Tribes by Aurangzeb is a well-known fact. “Popular Hindu and Sikh tradition ascribes mass conversions by force to Aurangzeb’s reign.”58 Christians too were forcibly converted to Islam.59 Both official and non-official sources point to a high rate of conversion, much above the normal. Naturally Aurangzeb seems to have been satisfied with his achievements. Manucci says that just before the emperor died, he said: “I die happy for at least the world will be able to say that I have employed every effort to destroy the enemies of the Muhammedan faith.”60
Although the actual addition to Muslim numbers because of Aurangzeb’s all-embracing campaign for proselytization is difficult to compute, yet his pronouncements, his enthusiasm, his collection of day-to-day information about conversions, his personally instructing the neo-converts in the tenets of Islamic faith, and his ultimate satisfaction at his success together with the information contained in contemporary writings, do show clearly that addition to Muslim population during his reign was substantial.
After Aurangzeb’s death the spate of conversions abated. The Royal Princes got busy in wars of succession, the chief nobles in capturing power or carving out independent kingdoms. From the description of wars during the early part of the eighteenth century, aimed at succession or independence, it appears that they resulted in Muslim losses mainly, because “the descendants of Aurangzeb could not persuade one (Rajput) to strike a blow in defence of his throne.”61 Repeated appeals made by the contending parties that Muslim lives should not be wasted in futile warfare, is not without significance.62 It is at least obvious that in such wars Hindu captives or converts could not be obtained.
Invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali added to the loss in Muslim numbers. Disgruntled Muslim nobles and religious leaders used to implore foreign invaders to attack India. Babur was invited and so were Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Such Indian Muslims had little consideration for the overall interests of the countrymen as a whole. These invaders killed more Hindus than Muslims; but of course Muslims were also killed in large numbers. The effects of Nadir’s march through the Punjab, his massacre at Delhi which cost thousands of Muslim lives,63 and Abdali’s sack of the Punjab not less than eight times between 1748 and 1769,64 on Indian and especially Muslim demography need not be stressed. Even Delhi, the imperial capital, could not recover from the shocks right up to the end of thecentury.65
However, during this period a good number of Afghans had migrated to India, compensating to some extent the loss of Muslim population. In the region comprising the modern districts of Bijnor, Moradabad, Badaon, Bareilly, Shahjahanpur, Rohilla Afghans had started settling in the seventeenth century.66 “Sometime during the reign of Shahjahan, Daud Zai Afghans (had) settled in this tract and founded the important town of Shahjahanpur.” But in the eighteenth century, while the rise of Nadir Shah scattered the Afghans in their own country and many of them came to India, the disturbed political state of India and the anxiety of the different leaders to secure military assistance of the warlike Afghans provided the necessary openings which the Afghans well utilized.67 Thus the displacement from Qandhar and the country around by Nadir Shah and the pull exercised by the political vacuum caused by the rapid decline of the Mughal empire resulted in the immigration of a goodly number of Afghans.68 By the middle of the eighteenth century Najibuddaulah, a Yusufzai Rohilla Nawab in India, declared on the eve of the battle of Panipat (1761) that he could depend upon the support of 150,000 Afghans who were in India.69
But for the compensating immigration, the resources of the Mughal empire in the eighteenth century rapidly declined and economic temptations could not be offered to obtain converts. Jiziyah was officially abolished in 1719-20.70 It was only a formal recognition of the fact that it could not be collected after Aurangzeb’s death.71 In independent Muslim states, which had been fighting against Aurangzeb or had emerged with the decline of the Mughal empire, the effort was to seek the goodwill of the Hindus rather than to annoy them with any campaign for proselytization.72
Moreover, the Hindus - Jats, Marathas, Sikhs, and Rajputs - had gathered strength. By 1719 when the Faujdari of Surat was held by Raja Jai Singh and the Subedaris of Ahmedabad and Ajmer, including Jodhpur, by Ajit Singh, “the two Rajas held all the country from thirty kos of Delhi… to the shores of the sea at Surat.”73 The power of the Rajputs can be guaged from certain acts of Ajit Singh.74 In the Punjab, Banda Bahadur’s activities were continued by his successors until the Sikhs became masters of the Punjab, and they in place of permitting any further erosion of Hindu numbers, converted people to their own creed, ‘sometimes by force.’75 The power of the Marathas already established in the South, began to be extended to the North, so that by the middle of the eighteenth century, Rustam Ali, who was compelled to “travel from city to city in search of employment and subsistence”, writes in his Tarikh-i-Hind (composed C.E. 1741-42) that “from the day he left Shah Jahanabad (Delhi), and travelled through the country of idolatry, it was here (at Bhopal) only that he found Islam to be predominant.”76
In these circumstances, the spate of conversions to Islam slackened. Some stray efforts at conversion no doubt continued to be made even during the eighteenth century, but without much success. For instance when in 1716 Banda Bahadur with his 740 followers was given by Farrukh Siyar the choice between Islam and death, they all died to a man rather than become Musalman.77 Similarly, according to T.W. Arnold, Tipu Sultan issued an order to the people of Malabar to become Musalmans, “and early in 1789 (he) prepared to enforce his proclamation with an army of more than twenty thousand men… Thousands of Hindus were accordingly circumcised and made to eat beef; but this monarch himself perished, early in 1799… Most of the Brahmans and Nayars who had been forcibly converted subsequently disowned their new religion.”78 However, Tipu Sultan declared that his conversion campaign had been very successful and that on a single occasion, within twentyfour hours he caused swelling in the ranks of the faithful by 50,000. All along his invasion route in Kerala, over 500 Hindu temples were desecrated by his armies in Cannanore, Calicut and Mallapuram districts. Some of the ruins are still extent. However, from all the evidence available, it appears that Muslim population did not register rise in the eighteenth century through proselytization. On the contrary, there was perhaps a recession even in its natural growth due to disturbed political conditions in which Muslim numbers seem to have suffered a shrinkage.
To conclude: while
the total population of India from 1000 to 1800 had registered rise and
fall by turns, Muslim population had shown only a constant rise.
In 1000 Muslim numbers in India were microscopic. In 1200 they were
perhaps about three to four hundred thousand. By 1400 their number
had risen probably to 3.2 million and they formed about 1.85 percent of
the total population. In 1600 they were probably 15 million.
And from the 1:9 to 1:10 Muslim-Hindu ratio in 1600 the proportion of Muslims
to Hindus had gone up to about 1:7 by the year 1800. When
Bishop Heber wrote his journal (1826), his inquiries pointed to a Muslim-Hindu
ratio of 1:6.79 Edward Thornton’s Gazetteer2
published in 1854 also gives the ratio of 1:6. Thus at about the middle
of the ninteenth century, the Muslim-Hindu ratio stood approximately at
1:6. This would make the Muslims 16 per cent of the total population.
In 1800 this percentage was obviously less - 15 or even 14. The
total population estimated for C.E. 1800 is 170 millions.80
Muslims who were 15 percent of the total would have been about 25 millions.
By the end of the nineteenth century, the ratio had changed to 1:5, and
Stanely Lanepoole, whose Medieval India was first published in 1903,
rightly observes: “The population of India in the
present day is over three hundred millions, and every sixth man is a Muslim.”81 The
total population of India, according to 1901 Census was 283,867,584 (including
persons in the N.W. Frontier Province) and Muslims numbered 62,861,542.82
Therefore, approximately every sixth person was a Muslim and the ratio
stood at 1:5. And since Muslim numbers in proportion to the Hindus
have increased progressively through decades and centuries, a ratio of
1:6 for the middle of the nineteenth and 1:7 for
the year 1800 is not only a fair estimate but almost a correct figure for
which evidence is available in Thornton’s Gazetteer and its authentic sources.83
2 Barbosa, op. cit., I, p.40.
3 Pires, op. cit., cited in Lach, I, p.390.
4 Lach, op. cit., I, pp.368-69.
5 Lach, I, p.444.
6 Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, p.188.
7 Peruschi in Lach, I, p.462.
8 Richard Hakluyt, The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation (Glasgow, 1903-05), V, p.477.
9 Lach, I, p.481.
10 Barbosa, op. cit., I, pp. 132-33.
11 “Memoirs of the Emperor Jahangueir, written by himself, and translated from a Persian Manuscript” by Major David Price (London, 1829), p.15. Calcutta Edition (Bangabasi Press, 1906), pp.21-22.
This work, according to Sir Henry Elliot, does not comprise the real Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri or Memoirs of Jahangir. He also points out a number of exaggerations in which the Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi indulges (E and D, VI, pp. 256-264), and adds that “some parts at least… must be ranked in the same class” as fiction. (E and D, VI, p.257).
Dr. Beni Prasad, writing on the Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi says: “The name of the author is unknown. On several points it is fuller than the genuine memoirs. But the work as a whole is a fabrication.” History of Jahangir, pp. 387-88.
12 Tarikh-i-Salim Shahi (Calcutta Edition), pp. 21-22.
13 Ibid., pp. 41-41.
14 For this conclusion see K.S.Lal, Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India, p.143.
15 Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, or Memoirs of Jahangir, I, p105.
16 Ibid., I, pp.150-151.
17 Aziz Ahmad, Studies in Islamic Culture…, p.83.
18 Sri Ram Sharma, The Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, pp.61-62.
19 Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, I, p.171.
20 Ibid., II, p.181.
21 Loc. cit.
May be it was because of this that Akbar discouraged all kinds of intercommunal marriages. Badaoni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, II, p.413. Also Ain-i-Akbari, Blochmann, I, p.220.
22 Hughes, Dictionary of Islam, p.318 and Ram Swarup, Understanding Islam through Hadis, p.59.
23 Qazvini, Badshah Nama, pp. 444-45; Lahori, Badshah Nama, 2 vols. (Calcutta 1876); Khafi Khan, Muntakhab-ul-Lubab. I, p.510.
24 Sharma, op. cit., pp.88-89 and Sharma, Conversion and Re-conversion to Hinduism (D.A.V. College Historical series No.2 n.d.) also Qazvini, p.562.
25 Also Lahori, op. cit., I, p.534.
26 Sharma, op. cit., pp.90-91.
27 Lahori, I, ii, p.133.
28 Ibid., p.139. Khafi Khan, cp. cit., I, pp.522-23.
29 Sharma, op. cit., p.91.
30 Akbar Nama, trs. H. Beveridge, 3 vols (Calcutta, 1948), II, p.451.
31 Manucci, Storia do Mogor, 4 vols., II, p.451.
32 Manrique, Travels of Frey Sebastian Manrique, 2 vols, II, p.272. Also see Bernier, Travels in the Mogul Empire.
33 Qazvini, op. cit., p.405.
34 Bernier, op. cit., p.306.
35 Ibid., p.209.
36 Beni Prasad, ‘India in 1605 A.C.’ Modern Review (Calcutta, January 1921), pp.15-22, p.17n.
37 Early in the seventeenth century, Muhammad Sharif Hanafi, the author of Majalis-us-Salatin (composed C.E.1628) and a much travelled man, carried the same impression about the Southern region of the country. Writing about Carnatic he says: “All the people… are idolaters. There is not a single Musalman. Occasionally a Musalman may visit the country deputed by Nizam Shah, Adil Shah or Kutb Shah, but the natives are all infidels.” E. and D., VII, p.139.
38 S.R. Sharma, op. cit., p.165. Professor Sharma has again come to my rescue by collecting facts and figures of conversions from the original sources of Aurangzeb’s reign including News Letters (Akhbarat) and royal correspondence. Sharma pp.165-174. Since it is a matter of facts and figures and not of “interpretation”, or opinion, there need be no hesitation in accepting them.
39 Sharma op. cit., p.165.
40 K.R. Qanungo, Historical Essays, p.ii.
41 J.N. Sarkar, Aurangzeb.
42 Sharma, op. cit., pp.169-173.
43 Ibid., p.166.
44 Loc. cit.
45 Manucci, II, p. 436.
46 Sharma, p.170.
47 Alamgir Nama, p.567 cited in Sharma p.173.
48 Mustaad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri Eng. trs. Jadunath Sarkar (Calcutta, 1947), p.73.
49 Sharma, op. cit., pp.170-172. Rizqullah mentions the case of a thief who converted to Islam and was given charge of a city. Waqiat-i-Mushtaqi, fols. 13b-14a.
50 News Letter of even date, cited in Sharma, p.166.
51 Manucci, op. cit., II, 234.
52 Ibid., III, pp.288-89, also IV, p.117. Also most Persian chroniclers.
53 Ibid., II, p.415.
54 Ibid., II, pp.336,337-338. Also Lal, The Mughal Harem, pp. 29-32; 165-67. For instances of enslavement by Aurangzeb see Khafi Khan E and D. VII, pp.300, 371.
55 See K.S. Lal, The Mughal Harem (New Delhi, 1988), pp.167-169.
56 Khafi Khan, op. cit., II, p.228.
57 Manucci, op. cit., II, p.436.
58 Sharma, p.168.
59 Manucci, op. cit., II, p.404.
60 Ibid., IV, p.398.
61 C.H.I., IV, p.358.
62 Eg. Khafi Khan, op. cit., pp.396, 452, 496, 542.
63 C.H.I., IV, p.361 and n.2.
64 Shaikh Abdur Rashid, Najibuddaullah, His Life and Times, (Cosmopolitan Publishers, Aligarh, 1952), Introduction, pp.xlix-li. Also see Irvine, Indian Antiquary, Vol. 36, 1907, pp.46ff.
65 W. Francklin. The History of the Reign of Shah-Aulum, pp.200-201.
66 Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, op. cit., I, pp.27-28.
67 Abdur Rashid, Najibuddaulah, op. cit., Intro. xxxii, Iiii.
68 Ibid., liii-iv.
69 Ibid., lxxvi.
70 Khafi Khan, p.479.
71 Ibid., pp.462, 516, 524, also Kanz-ul-Mahfuz, E and D, VIII, p.39.
72 Khafi Khan, op. cit., p325.
73 Ibid., p.485.
74 “Maharaja Ajit Singh took back the Maharani, his daughter who had been married to Farrukh Siyar, with all her Jewels… he made her throw off her Musalman dress, dismissed her Muhammadan attendants and sent her to her native country… In the reign of no former Emperor had any Raja been so presumptuous as to take his daughter after she had been married to a king and admitted to the honour of Islam.” Khafi Khan, op. cit., p.483.
Probably this is not an isolated case of reconversion to Hinduism.
75 Khafi Khan, op. cit., p.419.
76 E and D, VIII, p.58.
77 C.H.I., IV, op. cit., p.335.
Some people would have been converted during the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Muhammad Aslam in his Farhat-un-Nazirin says that during the Third Battle of Panipat (1761) about 90, 000 persons, “male and female, were taken prisoner and obtained eternal happiness by embracing the Muhammadan faith”, op. cit., p.171… But not only is he not supported by any other contemporary historians, the very incidents of the war militate against such large-scale conversions.
78 Arnold, The Preaching of Islam, pp.261 ff cited in Titus, Islam in India and Pakistan, p.33.
79 Heber’s Narrative of a Journey. Also see J.M. Datta, Modern Review, January, 1918, pp.33-34.
80 Lal, Growth of Muslim Population… op. cit., p.15.
81 S. Lanepoole, Medieval India, p.1.
82 See Census Report for 1901 and Kingsley Davis The Population of India and Pakistan, p.179, Table 77.
Robert Orme’s estimates are low both for the Muslim population as well
as for the total population of India. His assessment of the Hindu-Muslim
proportion also does not seem to be correct. What he writes is this:
“From these origins time has formed in India a nation of near ten million
of Mohamdans whom the Europeans call Moor, to them under the authority
of the Great Mogul, the greatest part of Hindustan is now subject; but
although the reigning nation, they are outnumbered by the Indians ten to
one.” Robert Orme, A History of the Military Transactions of the British
Nation in Indostan, 3 vols. 4th ed. (London, 1803), I, p.24.