Mahmud of Ghazni
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Mahmud of Ghazni (Persian: محمود غزنوی, Maḥmūd-e Ghaznawī; November 2, 971 - April 30, 1030), also known as Yāmīn al-Dawlah Maḥmūd (in full: Yāmīn al-Dawlah Abd al-Qāṣim Maḥmūd Ibn Sebük Tegīn), was the ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire from 997 until his death. He turned the former provincial city of Ghazni into the wealthy capital of an extensive empire which included modern-day Afghanistan, most of Iran as well as regions of north-west India including modern-day Pakistan. He was also the first ruler to carry the title Sultan, signifying his break from the suzerainty of the Caliph.
Mahmud was an Afghan ruler and was the eldest son of Emir Subuktigin. He was famous for being the first major Muslim invader of India. When he was young, Mahmud helped his father gain land through campaigns against Turkish nobles. In 997, he overthrew his younger brother, Ismail, who had been nominated for the throne after his father’s death. As soon as he had the throne, he went out to conquer territory. Between 1000 and 1026, he raided India at least 17 times, trying to rid them of Hinduism, and convert them to Islam. He took slaves, gold and jewels from the Indians. His raid of Punjab was his last invasion where he increased his territory located in India. From then on, most of Mahmud’s raids were to gain wealth. Mahmud’s most famous and last raid was on Somnath- a temple city on the Gujarati coast that was also a pilgrimage site. The temple included many riches: heavy golden chains and thousands of jewels. The battle was violent, and more than 50,000 people died. Mahmud’s army won, and with all his riches, he founded a university, a library, and a museum, and richened his capital. When Mahmud was about to die, he ordered all of his riches to be placed before him, and he grieved over them, but refused to give any to charity. After Mahmud died on April 30, 1030, his empire fell apart.
Notes[change | edit source]
- "Mahmud of Ghazni." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013. "Mahmud of Ghazni." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.Biography in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.