Rafed English

Frightening scenes of the brutality of the Moguls

In the book 'Prisoners of War' in the story of the Moguls the writer says: "The Moguls were known for cruelty, brutality and bloodshed. Genghis Khan the founder of their empire was famous for violence, killing, and his love of destruction and annihilation.

Amongst their wars they became embroiled with the Kharazm Shah 'Ala al-Din. The Moguls burned the city of Bukhara and plundered its wealth and raped the women. The prisoners were marched to the city of Samarqand. When they could not keep up with the horsemen Genghis Khan ordered that anyone who lagged b ehind be killed and Bukhara was razed to the ground.

Samarqand met with the same fate when the city was plundered and the inhabitants killed and 30,000 skilled craftsmen were taken p risoner. Genghis Khan sent them to his sons in the north. A great number were forcibly enlisted into the army and used for military operations and transport.

In Kho rasan, the Moguls gathered the citizens in a wide space and ordered them to manacle one another. They then began to slaughter them killing more than 70,000. When they occupied Merv, they distributed its occupants amongst the Mongol warriors each of whom got a share.

They only spared 400 people who fulfilled the needs of the army and some individuals were taken as slaves. The rest of the cities met with the same fate. When the Moguls heard that some citizens were sleeping amongst the corpses of those killed the order was given that every head should be severed from its body, an order that they carried out in all future battles.

They would pursue tho se who fled like hunters pursuing their prey. They would use all kinds of devices to bring people out from their hiding places. For example they forced a muezzin from amongst the prisoners to give the call to prayer so the Muslims came out from concealment believing that the raiders had left but they were ambushed and wiped out. Before they left the cities they would burn produce and crops so that those who were hiding or had fled would die of hunger.

The policy of Genghis Khan in his wars was to slaughter all of the soldiers in the garrisons and the inhabitants of the cities and to p lunder and pillage and drown the prisoners. If a city resisted the Moguls they would do even worse to it. The city of Nisapur resisted for a few days and its reward was the wholesale slaughter of men, women, and children.

The Moguls did in Russia what they did in the state of Kharazm, destroying and burning. They took a number of Russian leaders prisoners through deception and betrayal and put them in chains. Then carpets were put over them and the Mongol leaders sat upon them to eat the victory banquet while the Russian leaders were dying of suffocation.

The Moguls then returned to Mongolia and destroyed the city of Bulghar, and pillaged all the cities of Bazan and razed their buildings to the ground and burned Mosco w and besieged Tlotir. When the noblemen cut their hair and hid in churches and wore the robes of monks, the Moguls ordered that the church and the city be burnt and all perished. Hulagu continued the advance in western Asia until he reached Tabriz and turned towards Baghdad the seat of the 'Abbasid leadership.

They laid siege to Baghdad for forty days and set up mangonels around all the castles and fortresses. Then they pelted them with rocks and flaming torches making a large breach in the walls and setting fire to houses.

When the Caliph saw that there was no way out except through peace he requested peace and showed his readiness to surrender on condition that his life and the lives of the citizens be spared. He went out to meet Hulagu with three thousand judges, aides and nobles. But Hulagu betrayed the agreement and double- crossed them and destroyed the city. He ordered that the city be pillaged and the population slaughtered.

The bodies of those pleading for help fell under the hooves of the horses and the women were raped. The blood flowed in the streets for three days until the waters of the Tigris were red for a number of miles. The city became a free for all for six weeks. They slaughtered the population, violated sacred sites, burned houses, palaces were levelled, and mosques and tombs were ruined by fire or pickaxes.

The patients in the hospitals were slaughtered, students and professors were killed in the schools. The shrines of saints and Imams were desecrated and the corpses burnt. The bloodbath went on for a number of days until Baghd ad became a wasteland of rubble. More than a million and a half citizens had perished.

The Moguls then crossed the Euphrates heading towards the Arabian Peninsula in pursuit of the populace. They killed and pillaged and destroyed all the population of al-Raha, Jaran, and Nasibayn and butchered in Aleppo fifty thousand and abused ten thousand women and children.

They did the same thing in all the lands of Islam. For example when Tamburlaine heard of the killing of a number o f his men and soldiers in Isfahan he became angry and ordered his army to invade the city and that each soldier was to return with the head of one of the citizens who had been killed which the army duly did.

The city became a human bloodbath. By the evening some 70,000 of the victims skulls had piled up so Tamburlaine ordered that towers be built from them in the streets. The same thing happened in other cities they reached, slaughtering the populace and setting fire to the cities."

Adapted from the book: "War, Peace & Non-Violence" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Shirazi"

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