Mehmud Ghaznavi, the founder of Ghaznavid rule in India nurtured a bunch of writers, poets, and chroniclers around him which showed his keen interest into knowledge and wisdom. They were not only the “Qasida go” (praising the king), but they also excelled in Hadith, Islamic Jurisprudence, history, mathematics, geography, physics, and chemistry.
The boundaries of the fame of his scholars expanded globally in different spheres. Some of his bright luminary personalities are as under:
Abu Rehan Mohammad Bin Ahmad Al-Bairuni (973-1048 AD)
Al-Bairuni is the most dazzling celebrity who was born in Bairun, a village adjacent to Khawarism, Turkistan and joined the court of the ruler of Jirjan and Tibristan in 996 AD. From there, he wrote “Aasar-ul-Baqiah”, his famous book and shifted to Khawarism and associated with the court of Mehmud Ghaznavi. He contributed a lot to the diverse walks of life including Mathematics, Geography, history, Chemistry, minerals, and Physics etc. He wrote 114 books in Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, Turkish, and Ibrani languages. “Indica”, his globally famous book written in Sanskrit (which has been translated into German, English and other languages of the world and Anjuman-e-Taraqqi-e-Urdu has also translated it in two volumes) throws light on the ways of living of the Hindus in India. He writes about the rites, and religious supremacy of the Brahmins in India and the concept of “Malichs”, a dogma religiously accepted and preached which divides the human beings into broad categories of Brahmins, Khashtris, Wesh and Shooders. Shooders are the most negated strata of the Hindu society which have been deprived of almost all human rights. They cannot touch or hear the Veids (the holy verses) otherwise they are brutally punished. Al-Bairuni says in Indica:
“One of the biggest disparities between us (the Muslims) and Hindus is that we take all the citizens of society equal and only piety deserves to be superior. This disparity is the biggest hurdle between Hindus and Islam.” He says that the Brahmins were never subject to life sentence whatsoever they had done and that they enjoyed enormous concessions in the religion. On the contrary, the lowest strata were doomed to long for even petty things in the society.
Ansari was one of the most high up poets of Mehmud Ghaznavi who wrote more than 30,000 verses (though his book published in Tehran shows only 3,000 verses). Due to his sublime status in poetry, he was titled as “Malik-ul-Shuara”, the chief of poets.
Abul Hasan Ali Farrukhi’s father was the slave of Amir Khalf Bin Ahmad, the ruler of Sistan. Farrukhi outshined in poetry and accessed the court of Mahmud who hailed him because of his book “Tarjuman-ul-Balagha”.
Abdul Aziz Bin Mansoor was the disciple of Ansari and had a vital place among the poets of Mehmud. On the conquest of Somanath temple, he wrote a poem praising Mehmud.
Hakim Abu Nasr Ahmad Bin Mansoor Asadi was the resident of Toos and the teacher of Firdousi. Being popular because of his Qasidas, Asad died in 1033 AD in the reign of Mas’ud.
Abu Zaid Mohammad Bin Ali Ghazairi, a tenant of Ray (Iran) used to sent a qasida every year to Sultan Mehmud Ghaznavi and get 1000 dinars as reward.
Hasheem Bin Ibrahim Qaini was the contemporary of Mehmud and Mas’ud both and was appreciated by them for his poetry in Persian and Arabic.
Universally known for his Shahnama, Firdausi was born in 622 or 623 Hijra and came to Mehmud who first minister Khawaja Abul Abbas Fazl bin Ahmad Asfarini had very good terms with him. Firdausi wrote “Mathnavi” throwing light on the history of Iran.