The Turks are considered to be the first to have established Islamic rule in India

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The Turks are considered to be the first to have established Islamic rule in India. As stated by Professor Habibullah, “in the Islamic common­ wealth the Arab soon began to lose ground” and the leadership of Islam from the Arabs was first taken by the Persians and then by the Turks. Nomadic in origin, the Turks were brought in as slaves and mercenaries by the Abbasids and the Persians converted them to Islam. As new converts to Islam, they were more fanatic than the Arabs and the Persians. According to Professor Satish Chandra, the aggressiveness of the newly Islamised Turks was increased by a number of factors. “

They had at their disposal the finest horses in the world. These horses which roamed the steppes of Central Asia in wild herds were bred by the Turks who were considered hardy warriors and skilful horsemen The moun­tains around Ghur were also rich in metals, particu­larly iron, and there was a tradition of production of war materials there, as also in many cities of the region. Thus, the Turks had a plentiful supply of horses and war materials, both of which were important for warfare in those times.

“Secondly, there was a growth of what is called the ‘ghazi’ spirit in West Asia at that time…………….. (They were) volunteers who were fired by the spirit of defending and spreading Islam. These volunteers were not paid regularly, and made up for their pay by plunder. These were the Ghazis.

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“The Ghazi spirit which was used for fighting against the non-Islamic Turks was later used against the unbelievers in India. Amongst the figures most closely associated with this movement, the first to penetrate deep in India was Mahmud Ghazni…………….. ,” but he did not establish an empire there. That had to wait for nearly a century and a half after Mahmud Ghazni’s last foray. When Muizzuddin Muhammad started the process of setting up an Islamic empire in India.

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