Dara Shikoh,Moghul Prince of India and Sufi,was Executed in 1659 by his brother Emperor Aurangzeb,as an Apostate of Islam
Who was Dara Shikoh(1615-1659)?
He was one of the 4 sons of Shah Jahan (“king of the world”),the Moghul Emperor of India.The Moghul dynasty was a Muslim one founded by Babur/Babar (1483-1530),who was a Turkic-Muslim conqueror from Central Asia. He was a descendant of Tamerlane(1336- 1405),the Turkic conqueror, through his father, and a descendant of Genghis Khan(1162-1227) through his mother.The name Babur is derived from the Persian word babr, meaning “tiger”.
Dara Shikoh is unique because:
1.He was a Sufi mystic.
2.He tried to reconcile Hinduism and Islam.
3.He was the favorite of Shah Jahan,he was the heir-apparent,he was supposed to become the next Emperor.
Short Video with a Quick Summary of much of this Article
What is Sufism?
It is a mystical approach to Allah and Islam,and it is practiced by both Sunnis and Shias.There is however an idealization of Sufism in the West.
Why Sufism does not deserve the Idealization it has
1.It is NOT a pacific approach,Sufis are mystical but they are no pacifists,they accept the idea of killing and getting killed for Allah,which is after all,in the Koran:
“Who said of their brothers, ‘Had they obeyed us, they would not have been slain.’ Say: ‘Then avert death from yourselves, if you speak truly.’ Count not those who were slain in God’s way as dead, but rather living with their Lord, by Him provided,rejoicing in the bounty that God has given them, and joyful in those who remain behind and have not joined them, because no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”
“God has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of God; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon God in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than God? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”
So,of course the Sufis are NOT the same thing as the Mennonites and the Buddhist monks.
2.Another idea is that the Sufis are monk-like,not at all,they can marry,they are not celibate.
3.In addition,Sufis approve of Sharia-Islamic law,they not against it,in all the more than one thousand years it has existed they have never been against it.That law is anti-human rights:death for apostates,for homosexuals,for adulterers,for blasphemers,etc.I would say the only Sufis who were not like them was,to a certain extent, the famous Rumi and Dara Shikoh.
The Most Famous Sufis
1.Al-Ghazzālī (1058–1111): Persian philospher,the greatest thinker among the Sufis.
2.Amir Khusrau/Khosrow(1253-1325 ): poet born in India,wrote in Persian,mostly.
3.Rumi (1207-1273): very famous Persian poet,wrote mystical poems.
Dara Shikoh and the book that caused his death
1.He was very interested in Hinduism and studied it well.Once in 1653, for 9 days and 7 sessions, he discussed Hinduism with Baba Lal Bairagi,a famous Hindu mystic.He wrote a book about his conversations with him called “Mukalama Baba Lal wa Dara Shikoh.”
2.He even went so far as to translate,from Sanskrit into Persian, the Bhagavad-Gita,some Vedic hymns and the Upanishidads,The Upanishads are Hindu philosophical and religious commentaries and he came to the conclusion that the core of the Upanishads is monotheistic and a revelation of Allah.
3.It appears in his famous book:“Majma ul-Bahrain/The Mingling/Confluence of the Two Oceans”, the 2 oceans being Hinduism and Islam.He was treading dangerous grounds.
Why did he say that?
It is because chapter 56:78 the Koran has the phrase “kitabim maknun” (the “Book kept hidden”).It can also be translated as “well-guarded/preserved/protected”.
Chapter 56:77-78 says:
“That, verily, this is the honourable Koran,in a book kept-hidden”
“Innahu laKoranun kareemun fee kitabin maknunin”(in Arabic)
So he concluded the “Koran” there was the Upanishads of Hinduism,that Allah had revealed to the people of India through prophets of long ago.
Dara Shikoh was killed by his very religious brother Aurangzeb(1618-1707),as an apostate of Islam
1,In 1657 there was a civil war between the sons of Shah Jahan,who no longer ruled but lived as a prisoner.The war was between 4 brothers.
2.One was Murad,who was captured by Aurangzeb,who became the new Emperor, and executed.
3.The other,called Shuja, was captured and exiled and soon died in mysterious circumstances.
4.In 1658 Dara Shikoh,then 43, was defeated in battle and captured.He was declared to be an apostate for his views regarding Hinduism and decapitated.Dara Shikoh begged for his life but it was not to be.When his head was brought to Aurangzeb he refused,saying:
“Ah,I would not look at the apostate’s face when he lived and I will not now.”
Aurangzeb was a Persecutor of Hindus
He was the most intolerant and fanatical of the Moghul Emperors.Read:
“The Mughal Emperor,the Muslim Aurangzeb,killed the Holy Supreme Leader of the Sikhs in 1675″
Play about Dara Shikoh
It is by Pakistani Writer Akbar Ahmed called “The Trial of Dara Shikoh”(2008),where he says he was not an apostate.He has written several books on Islam.
To verify the Koranic citations you can go to quranbrowser.com which has:
1.Six translations by Muslims.
2.Four translations by Non-Muslims.
3.The text in Arabic,with Latin letters.