About Mahmud Ghazni in English

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Priyanshi Pareek

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Mahmud of Ghazni (Persian: محمود غزنوی‎; 2 November 971 – 30 April 1030) was the first independent ruler of the Turkic dynasty of Ghaznavids, ruling from 999 to 1030. At the time of his death, his kingdom had been transformed into an extensive military empire, which extended from northwestern Iran proper to the Punjab in the Indian subcontinent, Khwarazm in Transoxiana, and Makran.

Highly Persianized, Sultan Mahmud continued the bureaucratic, political, and cultural customs of his predecessors, the Samanids, which established the ground for a Persianate state in northwestern India. His capital of Ghazni evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual centre in the Islamic world, almost rivalling the important city of Baghdad. The capital appealed to many prominent figures, such as al-Biruni and Ferdowsi.

Mahmud ascended the throne at the age of 27upon his father's death, albeit after a brief war of succession with his brother Ismail. He was the first ruler to hold the title Sultan ("authority"), signifying the extent of his power while at the same time preserving an ideological link to the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate. During his rule, he invaded and plundered the richest cities and temple towns in medieval India seventeen times, and used the booty to build his capital in Ghazni.

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Mahmud of Ghazni

Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030) was the first sultan of the Ghaznavid dynasty in Afghanistan. A zealous Sunni Moslem, he plundered wealthy India and used the booty to patronize culture in Ghazni, making it the center of Perso-Islamic civilization.

Born on Nov. 2, 971, eldest son of Emir Subuktigin, Mahmud helped his father gain a kingdom from the Samanids through successful campaigns against Turkish nobles of Samarkand and Bukhara. In 997 he overthrew his younger brother, Ismail, who had been nominated by Subuktigin as his successor, and 2 years later Mahmud was confirmed as sultan of Ghazni by Caliph al-Kadir. Challenged several times by the Qarakhanid rulers, Mahmud repulsed all attempts against his territories. Elsewhere, he annexed parts of Murghab (1012) and Khwarizm (1017). In the south and the west he asserted his suzerainty over Seistan, Ghor, Qudsar, and Baluchistan.

Mahmud is chiefly remembered as the plunderer of India. Between 1000 and 1026 he mounted at least 17 raids against India with the aim of extirpating idol-worshiping Hindu infidels and destroying Hindu temples, which were great repositories of wealth. His most important expedition was against the temple of Somanth in 1025. It is estimated that Mahmud took from India jewels, gold, and silver in excess of 3 billion dinars, in addition to hundreds of thousands of slaves. His only territorial acquisition in India was the Punjab (1021).

A patron of the arts, Mahmud attracted poets from all parts of Asia. Among these were Uzari, Asadi Tusi, Unsuri, and perhaps the most famous of them all, Firdausi. All were commissioned to write panegyrics. Firdausi's Shahnamahas placed Mahmud among the immortals of history. Fanatical, cruel to Hindus as well as to Moslem heretics, fickle, and uncertain in temper, Mahmud was extremely greedy of wealth. He refused to pay the 60,000 goldpieces he had promised Firdausi for the Shahnama, making the poet so bitter that he wrote a satire about the Sultan.

When Mahmud was about to die, he ordered all his hoards to be placed before his eyes. He grieved over his impending separation from his wealth but refused to give the smallest amount to charity. Yet though he loved money passionately, he also spent it lavishly. A library, a museum, and a university were endowed at Ghazni. To his court came scholars like al-Biruni; Utbi, the historian; Farabi, the philosopher; and Baihaki, the diarist. Mahmud became the hero of many legends, many of them centering on his relationship with his favorite slave, Ayaz.

The administrative system that Mahmud established—using a predominantly Turkish elite, often of slave origin, promoted to army commands, and a Persian elite responsible for civil and revenue administration—was used in Moslem India for several centuries. He died on April 30, 1030, and his tomb at Ghazni has survived.

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Related questions

When was Mahmud of Ghazni born?

Mahmud of Ghazni was born on 971-11-02.

When did Mahmud of Ghazni die?

Mahmud of Ghazni died on 1030-04-30.

Name the Places invaded by Mahmud of Ghazni.?

Afghan, Pakistan,china were the countries invaded my King Mahmud of Ghazni..

What did mahmud ghazni raided in 1018?

In 1018, Mahmud Ghazni plundered the holy city of Mathura and also attacked Kanauj

How the invasions Mahmud ghazni different from Mahmud Ghori?

i dony know

How did Muhammad ghori benefit mahmud of ghazni s death?

Muhammad Ghori became the next ruler after the death of Mahmud of Ghazni.

What is tribe of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi?

He belonged to the 'House of Ghazni' (Ghazni clan) founded by Sabuktagin

Who attack at samnath?

Mahmud of Ghazni attacked at samnath.

When did Mahmud Ghaznavi attack Ghazni?

The correct answer is: 998

When did Mahmud Ghazni 1st attack India?

Mahmud of Ghazni's first attack on the Indian subcontinent was on November 28, 1001. He invaded India seventeen times during his reign.

What were Mahmud of Ghazni's attacks in India?

Mahmud of Ghazni attacked Thanesar in northern India in 1014. In 1015, he attempted unsuccessfully to take over Kashmir, and in later years, he set out to conquer Mathura.

How many times mahmud of ghazni invaded India?