Learn about legendary personalities who changed the world and enlightened it with their luminous minds and deeds. In the annals of history, these scientists, philosophers and conquerors still shine. Know about the people who became the role the model for the generations to come. Read how an ordinary man can change the course of history
Mahmud Ghaznavi is known as one of the greatest conquerors the world has ever seen. He was also among those very few leaders who were never defeated in a battlefield. He is famous in the history for his conquest of the Temple of Somnath which he was able to achieve after 16 years. Born in 979, Mahmud became the Sultan of Ghazni in 998. He inherited the small state of Ghazni from his father Subuktigin, and turned it into an empire that lasted for about a century. He was a brave man and took part in all the battles his army fought. Though he was interested in extending his empire toward Central Asia, the intrigues of the Hindu rulers of Punjab forced him to invade South Asia. He fought against the strong forces of Jaipal, Annadpal, Tarnochalpal, Kramta and the joint forces of Hindu Rajas and Maharajas but all of them were forced to flee away from the battlefield due to Mahmud’s war strategies as a general. After the conquest of Multan and Lahore, Mahmud made Punjab part of his empire in 1021. Unlike other great conquerors like Alexander and Chengez Khan, Mahmud did not leave the areas conquered to the mercy of his soldiers. After becoming the first Muslim ruler to conquer Northern Punjab, he consolidated his rule in the area and established his provincial headquarters at Lahore. He established law and order in the areas that he ruled, giving special attention to the people he ruled. The department of police and post were made more effective and efficient to facilitate the people. He also improved the judicial system with swift and equal dispensation to all without discrimination. Everybody was equal before the law and justice was the order of the day. Mahmud was also a great patron of learning. His court was full of scholars including Firdosi, the poet, Behqi, the historian and Al-Biruni, the versatile scholar. It is said that he used to spend 400,000 golden dinars on scholars. He invited the scholars from all over the world and was thus known as an ‘abductor of scholars’. Under Mahmud, Ghazni became one of the most important and beautiful cities of the Islamic world. It became the city of mosques, seminaries and libraries. He also established a museum in Ghazni. During his rule, Lahore also became a great centre for learning and culture. Lahore was called ‘Small Ghazni’. Saad Salman, a poet in olden times, has written about the academic and cultural life of Lahore. Mahmud was also a deeply religious man. He himself wrote a book on Fiqah (Islamic theology). Mahmud had respect for other religions. A large number of Hindus lived in Ghazni and they enjoyed religious freedom. One of his commanders named Tilak was a Hindu. A number of soldiers in his army were also Hindus. He died on Aril 30, 1030.