It is said that God raises a man to be a noble and an honest king but God has no control over how he turns out to be. These rulers can be a solace to their subjects or a scourge to their people. Similarly, the Same God raises a holy man who preaches peace and brotherhood among all men and shows them how God can be pleased by employing good deeds through his religion (Dharma) and teachings. However, the prophets have no control over their followers as to how they misinterpret the teaching of God’s messages of peace and brotherhood. The prophets appear at irregular intervals when God sees the need to purge the evil deeds of the men. However, the rulers come sequentially made up of undetermined characters.
This applies to Mogul emperor Aurangzeb very well. He brought the most orthodox “Hanafi” version of Sharia laws to India usurping the Sufi religion of his ancestor- Akbar, the great. Hanafi version itself rose during the Abbasid Caliphate of the 8th century and steered toward orthodoxy that Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law had rejected. Hadith and Quran today provide contradictory messages from their original version. Aurangzeb started as a good person at an early age with his Sufi mentor and was the most educated and intelligent Mogul prince of his time but ended up as a tyrant to his subjects with bigotry and displayed his patricidal and familicidal tendencies.
When Aurangzeb forced his way as an emperor and offered the gift to Mecca when Shah Jahan was still alive, the holy men of Mecca refused it. Aurangzeb ordained nine days of the festival after throwing his father into solitary confinement killing all his blood brothers and his elder sister. He even attempted to murder his father by injecting poison but Shah Jahan’s loyal Eunuch servant had a second thought, he decided to drink the poison himself. His son Muhammad Mu’azzam (Bahadur Shah) had shown a lenient tendency towards “infidels”, but he was taken to a wood shack for proper religious orientation and discipline. Shah Abbas-II, the ruler of Persia was unnecessarily offended by Aurangzeb when he mistreated his ambassador for no reason. Shah Abbas-II settled the score when Aurangzeb send his ambassador by sending him the word that Aurangzeb was “the brother-slayer and father-seizer”
Some sharia Laws during Aurangzeb’s period were stunning and inhumane such as two or more Muslims who pillaged non-Muslim properties can carry that off to either Muslim areas or Muslim-owned property and immediately acquire the right of ownership (having an illegal possession is 9/10 of the law). The women kidnapped must be forced to have sex with the Muslim kidnapper or with the permission of the Muslim owners. Muslim masters had a right to acknowledge or refuse the acceptance of children born out of slave girls. No inheritance right for slaves and their testimonies were inadmissible. There were some harsh conditions under which slave girls can be freed. Any publication not acceptable to the empire can be declared heresy and can be banned with punishment. The whole structure of Sharia was created for the Islamization of the Indian Subcontinent. When power shifted from Moguls to the British, the British did not discard entire sharia laws that they should have done but separated Muslim and Hindu personal laws by injecting the portion of the British jury prudence.
With some cosmetic changes, this madness continues in the Democratic Republic of India. It waters down democratic principles thus it becomes a democracy “by the politicians, for the politicians, and to the politicians.” For God’s sake, UCC is a sense of urgency, and Shia Muslims and other sects who don’t follow “Sunni Hanafi laws” are in favor of a change. This should be pushed down to everyone’s throat with all the power of the Republic of India can slip into the abyss.
Hindu nationalists rightfully believe Sharia Laws are a scourge on the earth not only to the non-Muslims but to the entire human race, particularly women. Aurangzeb was the augmenter of Sharia law in the Sub-continent including Afghanistan. He appointed a slew of officers called “Muhatasib, (moral Police same as Taliban).
This resulted in Hindu humiliation and subjugation during the 9th through 18th century AD, nearly 900 years of rule under Muslims. The founders of the world’s religions never preached violence since they are sent by God and the people believe in that. With the ascent of democracy and equality for women, the free world wants to see a complete ban on Sharia types of Laws anywhere in the world that promotes bigotry. This is a giant undertaking but the free world must come together so such things are never repeated ever by any rulers.
Among many Hindus-Jains-Buddhists, the name of Aurangzeb evokes the same passionate bitter memories as do the names of Mohammed Kassim, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghori, Aibak, Allaudin Khilji, and Tipu Sultan to name few. The 9-11 and 26-11 and similar incidents at other places in the country like Israel have alarmed the world that how Islamic clergies are misguiding and exploiting youth to accentuate their doctrines and that turns into terrorism, costing innocent lives. The founder of the world’s religions does not preach violence if they are sent by God. With the ascent of democracy and equality for women, the free world wants to see a complete ban on Sharia types Laws anywhere in the world that promotes bigotry. This is a giant undertaking but the free world must come together so such things are never repeated ever by any rulers.
Historian Katherine Brown has noted that “The very name of Aurangzeb seems to act in the popular imagination as a signifier of politico-religious bigotry and repression, regardless of historical debate or its accuracy.”
How and when Kasi Visvanatha Temple and Gyan-Vapsi Sanskrit school was destroyed?
When he received the report from his Subah on 18th April 1669 (Hijri 1090) from the Provinces of “Nagar Thatta, Multan of Sindh and Benares, especially later that the “Brahman and misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools and the admirers’ and student both Hindu and Muslim used to come from great distances to learn this wicked science they taught to these misguided men to acquire this vile learning” The director of faith called “Muhatasib” (religious and moral Police officer) issued the orders to all subahs under emperor’s command to destroy with willing hand all schools and temples of infidels. On the 15th of Rabiu-I-Akhir (now called Rabiu-I- Thani) which is the month of June in the English calendar, the religious leader of his majesty had received the message that the subah of Benaras has completed their mission by gutting the temple of “Bisnath” (Visvanatha) and converting the Brahmin school “Gyan-Vapi” to a Mosque and it was recorded as such (We would not know for sure the exact date as Subah always tried to impress the emperor that task assigned to them was quickly done but it takes time to receive and deliver the message back and forth and the work involved in the destruction of temple and conversion of Mosque in time.
The schools probably did not take much time to convert to the mosque while leaving Linga there. The mosque probably occupies the land captured where once “Gyan Vapi” school. (Page 47, Elliot and Dawson). It is uncomfortable but a solid truth as reported by an eyewitness Manucci and captured by Sir Elliot. The expediency was demanded by the emperor, so officers in charge did not bother about the removal of Nandi or Lingam that are still there as evidence. Since the Hijri calendar is based on the Lunar cycle. The data given by Elliot places the complete conversion around September 1669 AD while the Mogul record indicated two-month intervals.
All Shiva temples dating back to antiquity were described as Jyotirlinga. All Hindu kings prayed homage and respect to Lord Shiva. Kashi is one of the most sacred places for Hindus. The worship of Visvesvaraya (Visvanatha, Shiva) goes back as far as 3,000 BCE. This deity was regarded as the protector of the Kasi kingdom. It was a lifetime event for all Hindus to bathe in the holy River Ganges and seek the blessing of Lord Visvesvaraya. After the destruction of the original temple by Aurangzeb, the Gyanvapi mosque was built using materials from the temple. Leaving the “Gyanvapi” name was either the mistake of Subah or people knew the name of the school where the mosque was built but Gyanvapi Mosque occupies the land of the Hindu school of learning.
Amir-Ul-Umra also provides the record of Aurangzeb’s Farmaan (order) that required the officer in charge to demolish the temple of Viswanath at Kashi, the second Jyotirlinga of Hindustan. Amir-Ul-Umra (Vol-1, pp 819-820) and other texts identified the official in charge at Kashi at that time as Khan Dauran. He and his underlings carried out this order leading to the destruction of Kasi Viswanath Temple of Shiva. Khan Dauran’s original name was Khwaja Asam and he came from the noble family of the Mogul empire. His ancestors came to India from Rustaq, Badakhshan, a province of Afghanistan.
Vapi is a Sanskrit word. Vāpī (वापी) refers to “(reservoirs of water). The word is used throughout the Manusmrti. (See the Manubhāṣya, verse 8.248). Gyana(janana) is also a Sanskrit word and means knowledge. “Gyanvapi” was a Hindu school teaching Vedas, Puranas, and other Hindu science of astrology by teachers who usually originated from Brahmin class. This gives us the clear hint that at the time of Aurangzeb, the Temple was leveled flat and later reconstructed by Holker queen after Aurangzeb died and Mogul’s power weakened. The Sanskrit school of learning was converted to Mosque based on the name attached to it. Gyanvapi meant the school of “deep Knowledge of reservoir”. The school probably had Linga within it along with Shiva’s Idols that were removed or destroyed.
Knowing the history of Christianity, when Christian Pope ordered several crusades (military expeditions) to Jerusalem which was thousands of miles away from Europe, there should be no surprise to anyone how devotees would feel if the sanctity of any religious place anywhere were violated by an intruder. These marauders not only destroyed the places of worship but attempted to erase the history of a great civilization. In that context, the world should understand the passion of Jewish and Hindu People to restore their main places of worship, an important component of their culture and right of worship. This is as simple as that. Throughout the reign of Aurangzeb, there were many instances when he found the opportunities to demolish Hindu-Jain and Buddhist centers of worship that he labeled as misbelievers or infidels.
This became the common practice in his reign for demolishing temples and building mosques. This practice disturbed the harmony and religious tolerance many Hindus had acquired towards an alien faith in Sindh and all the efforts applied by Akbar to develop and sustain the largest empire of the world was dissolved by the dastardly acts of oppressive and Jihadi mindset of Aurangzeb. The roots of corruption that were minimum under Hindu culture accelerated from such biased sharia laws and it was allowed to perpetuate through centuries. That remains the heart of the problem in today’s society. More reading at https://www.academia.edu/81392491/Aurangzebs_Sharia_Laws_Destructions_of_Temples_Viswanath_Temple_and_Gyanvapi_Mosque