Relationship of Aurangzeb with the Muslim World

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Aurangzeb received “complimentary embassies” from Shariff of Mecca, Kings of Persia, Balkh, Bokhara, Abyssinia, Kashgar, Khiva and Shahrinau, and the Turkish Governors of Basra, Yaman, Mocha and Hadramaut between 1661 and 1667. An ambassador from Constantinople was received in 1690.

According to Sir J. N. Sarkar, “His policy at the beginning was to dazzle the eyes of foreign princes by the lavish gifts of presents to them and their envoys, and induce the outer Muslim world to forget his treatment of his father and brothers, or at best to show courtesy to the successful man of action and master of India’s untold wealth, especially when he was free with his money.”

Heresy Hunt

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Aurangzeb took action against all those Muslims whose belief was not approved of by him. He took action against Mulla Shah Badakshani, who was called by Shah Jahan as one of the two Emperors of India and who never acknowledged anybody as his superior. The matter ended only when the Mulla submitted and praised Aurangzeb. Sheikh Muhib-i-Allah Allahabadi died before Aurangzeb could call him to account. Sarmad, an Armenian convert to Islam, went about naked and was enamored of a Hindu Boy. He would recite only the first foot of Muslim confession of faith (Kalima).

The Chief Quazi had him convicted of beresy for his refusal to recite the Kalima in its entirety. He was executed as a heretic. Hussian Malik and Muhammad Tahir were beheaded for blasphemy. In 1669, Aurangzeb issued an order prohibiting the celebration of Muharram. Many Shias in the public services were degraded or otherwise punished fordaring to disobey the orders of the King.

The Shias among the Bohras were forced to accept Sunni theologians, but many of them kept their Shia beliefs secret. The Khojas of Gujarat were Shias. Aurangzeb summoned their leader Sayyid Shahji to court but he took poison on the way. The invasion and conquest of Bijapur and Golkonda were due to the fact that their rulers were Shias. Shah Jahan had called upon the ruler of Golkonda to his faith and proclaims the Sunni belief as the state religion.

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