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Chapter 4: Islamic Harems in India
 

Islam: Sex and Violence
Chapter Four: Islamic Harems in India
Anwar Shaikh

2nd Edition: January 15, 2017


Islamic Heaven and the 72 Virgins

Islamic Harems in India

To encounter effects of Feminine Charm, Islam has exploited man's dominance urge, which demands sexual gratification by command (instead of solicitation or submission), and thus stimulated the male lek behaviour, leading to harem-building.

Of course, human history is full of predators known as conquerors, who carried out murder, persecution and abduction of women to satisfy their lust for power, plunder and prestige. They knew that their misdeeds were sheer acts of barbarity dictated by personal ambitions but Jehad, the behest of Allah to destroy non-Muslims, not only sanctified these atrocities, but also raised them to the apex of piety, purity and probity. It is an unusual phenomenon, to say the least.

Since sex is man's greatest delight, Jehad, which provides unlimited opportunities for quenching carnal thirst, acts as the foundation-stone for building grand harems embellished with great, gorgeous and glowing beauties.

A harem was a vast enclosure containing a complex of sumptuous buildings to house women. Historians have remarked that Akbar, the Great, had 5,000 women in his harem, and Jehangir, his son, had 6,000. The much-taunted harem of Solomon, the Wise, was comparatively a pigmy for having only 1,000 females. No doubt, this huge collection of beauties was meant for the enjoyment of one man, the King, but all the ladies of the harem did not consist of queens and Concubines. A large number of these women belonged to the administrative staff of this jovial establishment, which was both an amusement park and place of high security where everybody was yoked by a stringent discipline to display deference to the "divine" dignity of the ruler, imbued with lewdness, libido and lechery. Take for example, Sultan Ghias-Ud-Din of Malwa (1469-1500). His harem consisted of 15,000 females and was organised as if it were a small political administrative unit. Its guards consisted of two corps of women, each having 500 slave-girls of African and Turkish origins - to balance any possible threat of one corp with the retaliatory might of the other. Though these guardians of the harems looked dainty, delicate and debonnaire, their appearance was as deceptive as the mirage experienced by a thirsty wayfarer in a desert.

In fact, these female guards of the harems were Amazons, the legendary women warriors of Greek mythology. Hercules, the Greek hero, undertook an expedition to get the girdle of Hippolyte, the Amazons' queen. In the Greek works of art, Amazons were depicted as having, bow, spear, axe, and half shield. In later art, they were likened with Artemis (goddess of wild animals and chastity). During the 1 6th century, the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana claimed that he had to combat with the fighting women in South America on the Maranon River, which was renamed after them as the Amazon or River of the Amazons.

These legendary Amazons have been associated with Athena and Artemis, the two Greek goddesses considered as the patrons of chastity, among other virtues. The harem--Amazons were employed to guard chastity of royal women -both queens and concubines. King's jealousy knew no bounds on this count; even carrots, radishes and cucumbers were not allowed in the harems, in case, these women, who were actually prisoners of royal gaiety, might use them as dildoes for carnal satisfaction. This danger was real because one man (king) could not satisfy, say, one hundred women. To check lesbianism, beauties of the harem were required to practise total seclusion. Their doors were fastened from outside and they had to observe purdah even within their allotted quarters. Slightest indiscretion was punished severely and lesbianism called for execution

A eunuch was the head of the King's seraglio. It was customary in Persia, where this evil might have originated, to castrate a few hundred youths for turning them into eunuchs, who formed part of the dowry, when a king gave his daughter in marriage to someone else. These eunuchs, who did not need sexual gratification themselves, were thought harmless. Having nothing better to do, they pandered to the lust of their master with an efficiency excelling religious devotion. They knew the art of erotic display, and taught the harem-ladies hilarious ways of doodling and canoodling, romantic postures, fascinating gait, soft speaking and ravishing manners. As in the Roman harems, they acted as night stewards in the private royal chambers of India. Thus they attended to their master's needs when they were fully naked satisfying their sensuality. The King was usually guided by the Chief Eunuch in the selection of a bed-mate for the night. It was he, who had her embellished for the occasion with various dyes such as henna, and made fragrant with the use of musk. He possessed an exquisite taste in sartorial elegance and use of jewellery, and knew how to turn an ordinary woman into a spectacle of sparkling beauty. Above all, he was the connoisseur of aphrodisiacs, necessary to enrich carnal delights through perverse procedures of prolongation.

The eunuch, who could administer effective stimulants to his master, was admittedly a messenger from heaven. Since he was devoted to enhancing his master's sexual pleasures' he was considered the most useful and trusted member of the establishment. These royal eunuchs of the Muslim harems picked up tips from the Hindu Antah-Puras (inner apartments of the Royal Hindu palaces i.e. harems); they included specially cooked dishes of young pigeons, chickens and sparrows; narcotics also appeared on the list; opium was the favourite, followed by special wines and strong liquors. The Persian Majuns and Kushtas were in great demand owing to their proven effectiveness in the seraglios of that country. It is claimed that Aurangzeb was supplied with aphrodisiac fish known as "instinco of Mecca," usually found in certain streams of Balkh.

With the delightful efficiency of a eunuch, went his absolute loyalty for his master, who, in any dispute trusted his word and rejected the evidence of his wife. This is what made the eunuch a fearsome, formidable and frightening character. A harem was a huge complex but Zenana, where a king's or noble's ecstatic frivolities took place, was the nerve-centre. It had to be superb enough to rival the luxurious milieu of paradise. Every lady of the harem had been given her own beautiful apartments, which were spacious, splendid and sumptuous, though rank and income of the concubine did reflect itself in the elegance of the setting. Almost every chamber had its reservoir of water and running fountains in addition to finely laid out gardens, grand alleys, shady retreats, silvery streams, grottoes and underground structures of considerable architectural magnificence. Since an average Muslim harem in India accommodated 2,000 women, one can estimate its pomp in terms of taste, delicacy and expenditure. Its extravagance is further heightened by the fact that a harem might contain dainties of a dozen or more nationalities, each having a particular sense of pleasure and satisfaction. As these women provided their master with fun, felicity and frolics, he had the duty to amuse, amaze and arouse them because a neglected woman cannot offer worthwhile pleasure to the man devoted to delights or lewdness. This raised the standard of luxury and expense to mind-boggling altitudes. No wonder that Shah Jehan's harem cost him more than one crore rupee per annum. It was a fantastic sum of money at that time.

Each zenana apartment was an example of a fairyland; every lady, irrespective of her rank, had to be pretty like a picture; besides the natural charm bestowed on her by proportionality of limbs, intoxication of eyes, beauty of bust, fascination of gait, sweetness of speech and enchantment of stature, she had to look a doll of light, colour and fragrance. Thus, women of the harems were adept in the use of rose-water, sandalwood, scented oils, flowers, rouge, powder, henna, kajal and various dyes. The most expensive jewellery, (snatched from the Indian rulers) crowned the beauty already made superb by the cosmetic magic. India, the home of the most splendid diamonds and rubies, looked at its best in these chambers of dazzling luxury. The goldsmiths of Delhi and Agra became the privileged exploiters of ladies' desire to adorn themselves with the sorcery of the yellow metal. Their skills in making alluring ornaments coupled with selling plausibility, robbed the royal treasury, but with a tone much humbler than the plundering slogans of their imperial masters.

Clothing of the harem-ladies was less sensible and more sensual because these dainties existed for one purpose only - the carnal gratification of their masters with refreshing, ravishing and resplendent pleasures irrespective of their perversity. It was not enough for them to have natural beauty; they must embellish themselves to look erotic, arousing and attractive. The decorated and musky bodies of these women radiated an intense sex appeal when covered with transparent clothes of exquisite texture and design. Their art of remaining nude despite being dressed, was perfected by the weavers of Bengal, whose skill of manufacturing diaphanous muslin was the greatest sartorial luxury both in the east and west. It is said that when Aurangzeb remonstrated with his daughter, Zeb-Un-Nisa, for having hardly any clothes on, she claimed that she was wearing seven layers of muslin!

Is it an exaggeration? Probably not; the garments of these ladies were essentially gossamery: they weighed about an ounce, and thus, could easily pass through a ring. Calicos were yet another rage of the palaces. Their colourful designs and ravishing impressions, gave their wearer the appearance of a moving rose-bush. While the richest and powerful ladies of Europe yearned for them, the ladies of the Indian harems enjoyed them abundantly.

The taste of the harem-dainties for silk was ecstatic, erotic and extravagant. No matter how hard-hearted a lady might be, she wanted to look soft for alluring her master into a creamy net of gratification to keep him away from her competitors. After all, these women of the harems were used to spending a whole day in embellishing themselves to appear as a twinkling star in the darkness of night. The silken garments were embroidered with gold and silver and their borders stitched with colourful laces having pearls and rubies. These perfumed dolls though fully dressed in heavenly costumes, looked naked, and proved the existence of paradise packed with virgins of ravishing beauty, eager to gratify their lovers. It was customary for the Muslim rulers to indluge in debauchery all night and express devotion to high morality by praying to Allah in the morning!

Silk was manufactured in India, and its various types such as Satin, Keemkhwab, Katan, etc., were imported from other countries to cater for the needs and tastes of the "harem-houris." So precious was silk in those days that Tamburlaine felt tempted to rob his victims of their silken wear, which were usually studded with pearls and diamonds This type of clothing had become a custom of the Muslim harems in India. Not only did costumes of these ladies glitter with costly pearls and diamonds but their shoes also sparkled with precious stones. Even more tantalising were their coiffeurs (head-dresses) having an aigrette with ostrich feathers and ruby plumes.

A pronounced feature of the harems was fragrance and colourfulness induced by scents, oils, henna, dyes, flowers, incense and sandalwood

Wine and music are considered Satanic affairs in Islam, yet these were the favourite pastimes of the Muslim rulers of India. They drank expensive wines from the most precious cups. Many a prince, especially Akbar's two sons, died from excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Serving wines ranked as an art in its own right and was appreciated by the Muslim rulers. Jehangir, expressed his "drinking dignity" by giving his empire to Nur Jehan for a "glass of wine."

Drinking was a part of seduction but, when the royal hearts could not indulge in this paradisiac hobby owing to excessive gratification, singing and dancing took over the role of amusement. Not only did the professional dancing women called "Kanchanis" entertain the rulers but also their concubines, who eagerly learnt this art for gaining an easy access to their master's will, also exhibited their skills of providing enjoyment. As their fun-loving tendencies reached the apex of exhilaration, the ruler and royal ladies showered trays of gold and silver coins on the performers.

These Kanchanis were essentially cultivated prostitutes, who could sing and dance; they possessed polished manners, which had the magic of suppressing their vileness, and projecting their vivacity. Having lost their sense of propriety through excessive lechery, the royal males succumbed to the variety of pleasures that these whores supplied. As dealing in hearts was their trade, they extorted rnaximum price for what they offered. History has recorded that a strumpet called Lal Kunwar, a favourite of the court at Delhi during the short reign of Jehandar Shah, was able to secure high ranks for her brothers, as well as presents of jewels and elephants for herself.

These large harems had several purposes:

Firstly, the Muslim rulers sincerely held that faith in Islam meant the guarantee of houris, the most beautiful virgins that one can imagine. Paradise is the abode of polygamy where men have all the rights to sexual indulgence and women are loaded with the obligations to please them. Thus, the Muslim rulers and nobles of India treated sexuality as a form of worship without having any moral qualm at all.

Even Aurangzeb, portrayed as the austere monarch, had several concubines. His excessive attachment to Zainabadi Mahal is well-known to history. She was a Hindu girl; her real name was Hira Bai, a concubine of Saif Khan, the governor of Burhan Pur. Saif Khan, a blood-thirsty man, was married to Aurangzeb's maternal aunt. When he (Aurangzeb) was appointed the Governor of the Deccan, he broke journey at Burhanpur to pay respect to his aunt. As he saw the stunning beauty of Hira Bai, he felt enchanted and remained in this state for several hours. Eventually, when he recovered, he confidentially told his aunt about his emotional upset, and the nagging desire for the girl. Knowing the ferocious nature of her husband, she felt a tremor of consternation piercing through her body, but agreed to talk to him about bestowing Hira Bai on him (Aurangzeb).

Realising that Aurangzeb was a rising star in Indian politics, he thought it fit to oblige the prince but conditionally. He was willing to part with Hira Bai provided he could have Chattar Bai, the Hindu concubine of Aurangzeb!

We ought to realise that Aurangzeb, the Emperor, is considered a mighty but austere saint of Islam. One can see his moral conduct when it comes to concubinage. Yet we should not place an undue emphasis on his character with reference to this event. After all, this is an established Islamic practice.

Secondly, the Muslim rulers of India were determined to impress the Hindus with their power, pomp and prestige. They wanted to appear as extraordinary kings, whose might, magnificence and martial excellence must be acknowledged by their Hindu subjects. After all, running harems of several thousand women bubbling with beauty and zest, is not a child's play. Of course, the Hindu Rajahs also had their seraglios but they ranked as sinful brothels because the Vedas do not stamp lust, lechery and lewdness with piety, purity and probity. However, in Islam, the situation is totally different; it is morally and legally right to murder non-Muslims for abducting their women with a view to turning them into concubines; having sexual intercourse with them is no sin; even flogging and selling them at will is permissible.

Thirdly, building large harems by the Muslim rulers had a sinister political purpose:

Islam does allow sexual intercourse with a non-Muslim woman but forbids marriage with her. Thus, the marriages of Akbar and his sons and grandsons with the Hindu princesses cannot be taken seriously, and must be treated as a mystifying political ruse to appease and please the subject Hindu rulers. In fact, the Hindu princesses were very useful hostages of the foreign rulers. The subjugated royal fathers and brothers of these girls felt attached to the Muslim monarchs as a matter of pride. Despite being children of the Hindu princesses from their Muslim husbands, they thought of themselves as Turks and Mughals; the part--Hindu blood in their veins and Indian birth made no difference to them. Even the subject Hindu rulers looked upon these children as part of their dynastic honour and supported them with their wealth and blood to perpetuate their own national slavery!

There was yet another aspect of these "marriages" which was even more atrocious: the Hindu custom has laid it down that the bride's father must give maximum dowry to his daughter. The Hindu brides brought, not only huge numbers of female servants with them (as a part of dowry) to swell the size of the royal harems but magnificent treasures also accompanied them in the form of jewellery, gold, diamonds, money, elephants, horses and land estates. For example, when Rajah Bhagwan Das arranged the marriage of his daughter, Man Bai with Prince Salim, he bestowed on her a cash dowry of two Crore Tankahs, an absolutely fabulous sum during that time; in addition, he gave her one hundred elephants, several hundred horses of high pedigree, golden vessels encrusted with diamonds and family jewellery accumulated over a period of centuries. Nobody has been able to compute the value of this merchandise.

Rajah Alit Singh gave two crore (20 million) rupees as a dowry settlement of his daughter to Farrukh Siyar, in addition to the most expensive paraphernalia of the type already mentioned. It happened during the time when Charles I of England could not raise one million pounds to fight his parliamentary rebels!

Obviously, harem-building of the Muslim rulers was a form of political piracy to keep the Hindus under subjugation through marital ligatures.

There are many instances to show that most of the Muslim rulers of India wanted a fresh virgin every night. Mirza Ghazi Beg, the governor of Sindh, during Akbar's reign, is a frequently cited case. However, lechery of the Muslim rulers and nobles in India is not confined to women; it also extends to homosexuality; after all, young boys are a part of the Islamic paradise .There were plenty of nobles. who hankered after the boys.

Islam maximises the sexual scope not only in this world but also declares carnal enjoyment as the goal of life--after-death, which can be achieved by gaining entry into paradise through the agency of the Prophet Muhammad only. This philosophy has devastated the Muslim mind all over the world: it is opium which keeps believers in a state of insensibility; they forget all about realities of life and moral obligation to enjoy the delightful vagaries of make-believe saturated with sexual sweetness. Therefore, it is interesting to know:

1. What, paradise is, and
2. What kind of sexual pleasures it offers.

In a nutshell, paradise is the most luxurious place for Sex-after-Death. As such a great issue cannot be tackled briefly, especially, when sex is considered to be of several types, I may devote the next chapter to explain it. Next Page

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