Ghazni is a town about 150 kilometers south of Kabul, Afghanistan in which Sultan (i.e. absolute ruler) Mahmud Ghaznavi was born around 990. When 17-18, he became the warlord of his town. Gradually expanded his domain, including annexation of Iran. Mahmud had a legendary horse-borne all-purpose male child servant called Ayaz. When Sultan died, at the age of 51, the Muslims regard him as a champion of Islam.
Wherever Mahmud went, he slaughtered thousands of people, including Muslims. Finally, he decided to behave and follow the footprints of Omar, the 2nd Caliph, i.e. carrying out a holy war against the infidel India. He destroyed a thousand idol-temples. Of course, he built the same number of mosques at each ruined temple-site, for whom nobody dared to ask.
After each attack, a feast of general massacre of Hindus was held. One of these holy expeditions was the battle of Thanesar; at which the presiding deity was Shiva. It is recorded that "the blood of the infidels flowed so copiously that the stream was discolored and the people were unable to drink it." It took Mahmud's men three days to search the bodies of the dead to collect the booty. When people fell on their knees to spare the idol Shiva, in exchange for a substantial amount of gold, Mahmud simply rejected the offer, saying, "My religion, Islam, forbids me doing so."
In 1037, four years before his departure to the already furnished palace, crowded with dozens of black-eyed-translucent-skin-female companions and several unmatched male child servants in paradise, at Somanat he turned down another huge compensation offer to spare the residing idol. Again he said," I prefer the glory of Islam above any booty. Besides, on the day of resurrection, I'd like to be called forth as the man who smashed the heathen idols, rather than a man who exchanged the idols for gold."
Consequently, he razed the temple to the ground and broke the idol into four pieces. Two pieces of the idol were sent to Ghazni, his hometown, one to be placed at the threshold of the main mosque and the other quarter at the gate of his palace. The remaining pieces were to be sent to Mecca and Medina.
Perhaps Mahmud chose Somanat because of his belief in the rumor that the legendary idol 'Manat" of pre-Islamic Arabia had been secretly moved to this temple.
Since Sultan is not alive to credit or discredit the following discourse, which might have taken place between him and an infidel, I may go ahead as well and post it. Here we go with the discourse:
(to be continued)