Yamīn-ud-Dawla Abul-Qāṣim Maḥmūd ibn Sebüktegīn was known to people as Mahmud of Ghazni. Born in 971 AD, Mahmud of Ghazni was impeccably the most important ruler of Ghaznavid Empire which is located in Afghanistan. He was a great ruler of Ghazni and the pioneer of Muslim rulers in Indian sub continent. Mahmud of Ghazni is remembered as first ruler to carry “Sultan” title.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Early Life
Alptigin was the grandfather of Mahmud who was Turkish slave in Balkh, came to seize Ghazni from Samanid. His father was Sabuktigin who was also a slave and son-in-law of Alptigin. Sabuktigin came to the place of Alptigin and expanded the empire up to Balkh, Kandahar and Khorasan and Indus River. The caliph of Bagdad appointed Sabuktigin as governor of his kingdom. Sabuktigin choose his younger son Sultan Ismail as his heir. But Sultan Mahmud rebelled against Ismail and took over the Ghazni.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Military Campaign
In 994 AD Samanid Emir Nuh II asked for help from Sabuktigin to stop the rebel of Khorasan. Mahmud of Ghazni got engaged with his father in the mission. During this period the situation of Samanid became very unstable because internal politics and various groups contested for control. Mahmud of Ghazni helped Emir Nuh to control the situation. Mahmud of Ghazni first military campaign was against Qarakhanids, which he lost. After his defeat, he joined in the alliance of Seljuk Turks and diplomatically secured the northern border from the region of Samanid Emir Nuh II. When Samanids engaged rebellion against Mahmud of Ghazni, Mahmud of Ghazni and Nasr Khan defeated Samanids together. Mahmud of Ghazni made a relation with Nasr Khan by marring his daughter in 997 AD.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Struggles in Multan
At the time of moving towards South, Mahmud of Ghazni got a favor from Abbasid Caliphate. Raja Jayapala was the first campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni toward the South. Jayapala was defeated and captured. Jayapala’s sons Anandpala also succeed to him and continued to struggle. In 1008 AD, Anandpala was also defeated and the whole Hindu Shahi Empire ended.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Indian Campaigns – Plundering the Wealth of Somnath Temple
After the death of Emir Abu Nasr, Mahmud of Ghazni took over Balkh. This alliance greatly helped him expeditions to India. Mahmud of Ghazni raided India 17 times. He conquered Nagarkot, Thanesar, Kannauj, Gwalior and Ujjain in his first invasion. The later invasion of Mahmud was directed to the temple towns of India because these temples were full of great wealth, gold, diamonds and jewelry. His army regularly stripped Nagarkot, Thanesar, Mathura, Kanauj, Kalinjar, and Somnath. He also destroyed Varanasi, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Jawlamukhi and Darwaka.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Controversy bias against non-Muslims
Mahmud of Ghazni was a great leader but he was criticized for his destruction of temples. He was called ferocious oppressor and raider. He is also accused of attempts to convert non-Muslims by force and impose Jizya tax on them.
Mahmud of Ghazni – Death and Succession
In the last four years of Mahmud of Ghazni he was on a constant conflict with Oghuz Turks horse tribes from Central Asia and Buyid dynasty.
Mahmud of Ghazni died in 1030 AD and buried in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Mahmud of Ghazni was succeeded by his son Masud I.
By : Sam Antipe