Saturday, April 13, 2024
 
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Shivaji Maharaj and Muslim Society






Mukhtar Khan

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's name is taken with great pride and respect in Maharashtra, India. Every year on February 19, Shiv Jayanti is celebrated with great pomp across the state. The coronation day of Shivaji Maharaj is also celebrated on June 6, 1674. About three and a half hundred years ago, Shivaji Maharaj completed the coronation ceremony at Raigad Fort in the presence of thousands of people.

There have been many kings and kings in history. People still remember such kings who worked for the good of the people. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also became such a great king. Who established Swaraj based on the values of equality, brotherhood and justice. During his rule, he worked for public welfare without any sense of discrimination. That is why people remember him even after so many years.

Was Shivaji Maharaj the king of only Hindus?

Shivaji Maharaj is being portrait as a Hindu ruler for political interests of many political parties and their organisation. Is it fair to see a great personality like Shivaji Maharaj only in the frame of Hinduism? Presenting the great personality of Shivaji Maharaj only as a protector of religion is like diminishing the stature of great men. The life of Shivaji Maharaj tells us that he set a high ideal during his reign.

He sincerely respected saints, pir auliyas and all religions. That is why, when he established Swaraj, along with the local Marathas, a large number of Muslims from Maharashtra also supported him. At that time the Marathas who were in the army of Shivaji Maharaj are called Mawle of Shivaji. Thousands of local Muslims were also involved in these battles and administration were also mavlas of shivaji. That is why even today Muslims of Kolhapur, Satara take part in Shivaji Jayanti processions with great fanfare. During the rule of Shivaji Maharaj, public welfare, justice, mutual brotherhood were given special priority. That's why he and his regime are shadowing people's hearts to this day.
Shivaji Maharaj's family used to respect Sufi saints a lot. His grandfather had named his two sons Shahji and Sharifji after the Muslim Pir Baba Shah Sharif. Shivaji Maharaj himself used to have great respect for Sufi Saint Baba Yakut. Whenever he used to go on any Mahaj, he used to request blessings from Baba first. During his time, he had also arranged oil lamps for many khankas.

Women were given special respect during the reign of Shivaji. Even during the war, full care was taken for the safety of women's pride. After the defeat of the governor of Kalyan, his beautiful daughter-in-law was presented before Shivaji Maharaj. He was very ashamed of this act of his Sardar. He apologized to that Muslim woman and called her like his mother. Along with this, arrangements were also made for the woman to return to her homeland with full state honour.

Shivaji Maharaj had unwavering faith in his Muslim soldiers. There were more than 60 thousand Muslim soldiers in the huge army of Shivaji Maharaj. He had also established a strong navy, the entire command of this navy was in the hands of Muslim soldiers. Even the management of sea forts was entrusted to experienced Muslim governors like Darya Sarang, Daulat Khan, Ibrahim Khan, Siddi Mistry. Seeing the generosity and working style of Shivaji Maharaj, many Muslim warlords like Rustamozman, Hussain Khan, Kasam Khan left the princely state of Bijapur and joined the army of Shivaji Maharaj with seven hundred Pathans. Siddi Hilal was one of the closest Sardars of Shivaji Maharaj. Siddi Hilal showed his bravery on many fronts with Shivaji.

In the army of Shivaji Maharaj, most of the cannons used to be Muslim soldiers. Ibrahim Khan was the chief gunner. Whereas Shamakhan, Ibrahim Khan used to be the head of the cavalry squad. Siddi Ibrahim was one of Shivaji's special bodyguards. In the encounter with Afzal Khan, Siddi Ibrahim saved Shivaji Maharaj by risking his life. Later, Shivaji Maharaj appointed him as the head of the Fonda fort. All the facts bear testimony to the fact that Maharaj and his Muslim associates must have had a deep relationship with each other.

When Shivaji Maharaj was under house arrest in Agra Fort, a Muslim man named Madari Mehtar played the most important role in his escape from prison. Taking the form of Shivaji Maharaj without caring for his life, he fearlessly sat in the midst of the enemies. Shivaji Maharaj had won the hearts of his colleagues through his secular administration, they would have been ready to give up their lives for their king.

Qazi Haider was a scholar of Persian language. Shivaji Maharaj had appointed him as his lawyer. They used to have a major role in the administration's correspondence and agreements and secret plans. Once a Hindu Sardar expressed doubts about Qazi Haider and advised Maharaj to be careful. On this, Shivaji Maharaj immediately said to him, "Honesty is not tested by looking at someone's caste (religion), it depends on that person's deeds".

The preparations for the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj had started long back. New buildings were being constructed around Raigad, as well as new temples were being constructed, one day when Maharaj reached Raigad to review the construction work. Returning to the palace, he asked his Sardars that you have built luxurious temples in the city, but where is the mosque for my own Muslim subjects? It is obvious that no one's aim was in this direction. Immediately, on the orders of the king, a mosque was built right in front of the palace. Even today its remains are present near the fort.
Even today the struggle of Shivaji and Afzal Khan is presented with a Hindu-Muslim colour. But after the death of Afzal Khan, Shivaji Maharaj himself ordered that the body of Afzal Khan should be buried with respect to Islamic customs, Afzal Khan's concrete grave was also made. At the same time, his sons were pardoned. The example of such behavior with one's enemy is rarely found in history.

Even today the struggle of Shivaji and Afzal Khan is presented with a Hindu-Muslim colour. But after the death of Afzal Khan, Shivaji Maharaj himself ordered that the body of Afzal Khan should be buried with respect to Islamic customs, Afzal Khan's concrete grave was also made. At the same time, his sons were pardoned. The example of such behavior with one's enemy is rarely found in history.

All these incidents of history prove that there was no war of religious supremacy between Shivaji Maharaj and the Mughals. Often the mutual conflicts of the kings used to be for political interests. It is very important for all of us to be aware of the administration and lifestyle of Shivaji Maharaj.



(The writer of this article is Mukhtar Khan (9867210054)Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Maharashtra
[email protected])

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