I am sharing below two inscriptions known as Veraval Inscriptions. Both are about the land transaction between some residents of Somanatha Patan (the town where Somanatha temple is located) and a Persian ship-owner named Nur-ud’din. One inscription is in Sanskrit and the other in Arabic. It seems to me in addition to the information about legal transaction regarding the land to build a Mosque on, these documents also say something about the socio-cultural relationship between the two communities, Hindus and Muslims; and their feelings towards each other.
Those who are interested in history and social relationships between communities in India should read the inscriptions carefully. I would be very grateful to people who share their views on the following two questions:
- On the basis of these two inscriptions only, and without generalising at all, what can you say about the social relationship between the two parties mentioned in these inscriptions?
- What can you say about the feelings of these two parties towards each other and their customs?
I am sharing the typed versions of the inscriptions below. I have original pages in pdf but they are difficult to read, therefore, got them retyped as they are without any kind of changes.
A grant of Arjundeva of Gujarat, dated 1264 A.D.
Original Sanskrit. Found at Harsata Devi temple at Veraval. Legal document of land transactions for a Mosque at Somanatha Pattan.
Om. Om. Adoration to holy Visvanatha! Adoration to thee who art the Lord of the Universe, adoration to thee whose form is the universe, adoration to thee whose form is the void, adoration to thee who art invisible and invisible (at the same time)!
In the year 662 of the Prophet Muhammad who is the teacher of the sailors living near (the temple of) holy Visvanatha, and in the year 1320 of the illustrious king Vikrama, and in the year 945 of famous Vallabhi, and in the year 151 of the illustrious Simha, on Sunday the 13th day of the dark half of Ashadha, today (and) here;–during the prosperous, happy, and victorious reign of the illustrious Arjunadeva, the king of great kings, the wheelking [chakravarti] of the illustrious Chaulukya (race), (who is) a thorn in the heart of the hostile king Nihsankamalla, who acquired great majesty (in consequence of) a boon (granted by) the holy Husband of Umaa, the supreme lord, the supreme ruler, who is adorned by the whole line of kings (his ancestors), and who resides in famous Anahillapataka, (and) while the prime minister Ranaka Sri-Maladeva who lives devoted to his (Arjundeva’s) lotus-feet was conducting all the business of the seal, such as the drawing-up of documents, at this period; –with the consent of the Panchakula here in the town of Sri Somanathadeva, such as Mahan[ta] Sri-Abhayasha, the servant (pri[Parsvika]) of Mahattara Gandasri-Paravirbhadra, the great teacher of the Pasupatas, the great scholar, an incarnation of the god of Justice, and while on the shore of the Hurmuz coast the reign was conducted by the Amir Sri-Ruknu’d-din;–the shipowner Nuru’d-din Piroz, son of the shipowner Khoja Abu Ibrahim, a native of Hurmuz, who had come for some business to the town of Sri-Somanathadeva, bought a piece of land situated in the Sikottari Mahayanapali outside the town of Sri-Somanathadeva, together with the nine treasures, to do with it what he would wish and list, by the manner of touching, in the presence of all the great menliving in the Mahayana adjoining the Droni of Sri-Somanathadeva, (viz.) the householder (?) and great man Thakkura Sri-Palugideva, the great man Ranaka Sri-Somesvaradeva, the great man Thakkura Sri-Ramadeva, the great man Thakkura Sri-Bhimasiha, the great man Raja[kula] Sri-Chhada, etc., and in the presence of all (Musalman) congregations, fromthe great man Raja[kula] Sri-Chhada, son of Raja[kula] Sri-Nanasiha, etc.
Then, from the desire that bis glory should last as long as moon and sun endure, (and) for the sake of his salvation, the ship-owner Piroz, who was excessively religious in accordance with the code of his religion (the Kuran) (and) who, by his alliance with the great man Raja[kula J Sri-Chhada, had become bis associate in (this) meritorious work,caused a place of worship ( called) a Masjid facing the east to be erected on the abovementioned piece of land.
For the maintenance ofthis place of worship (called) Masjid, for the lamps, oil, and water (required for) the daily worship, and for (the appointment of) a preceptor, a crier to prayers, and a monthly reader (of the Kuran), and for the payment of the expenses of the particular religious festivals of Baratirabikhatamarati according to the custom of the sailors, and for the annual white-washing and repairs of rents and defects, (confirming the gift) by (a libation of ) water, the ship-owner Piroz gave the following (source of income).
(Firstly,) the whole Pallarj,ika belonging to (the temple of) Sri-Baulesvara in the centre of the town of Sri-Somanathadeva, which he had bought from Sri-Paratripurantaka, the superior (of the convent) of Sri-Navaghanesvara, and from Vinayakabhattaraka, Pararatanesvara, and others. (This Palladika is) filled with houses, which are turned in various directions and covered with grass, thatch, and Cheluka . On its northern side stands a convent of two stories; west of it in the middle (lies) the property of the carpenter (sutra[dhadra]) Kanhaia; on the eastern side (stands) a single house outside; on the boundaries of all four (sides) it is enclosed by a continuous wall, and it has (a door for) ingress and egress towards the road on the northern side. (Thus) it is defined by its four fixed boundaries, and its circuit is known.
(Secondly,) the Danapala belonging to 1 (one) oil-mill.
(Thirdly,) two shops in front of this Masjid, which he had bought by (the manner of) touching from Kilhanadeva, son of the householder (and great man) Nirmalyachhadasodhala, and from Lunasihadharanimasuma, son of Thakkura Sohana, and from Ranaka Asadhara, who resides in Balyarthakarena, and from others.
From this source of income, this place of worship (called) a Masjid, belonging to the ship-owner Piroz is to be kept up and maintained, and the rents and defects have to be repaired, as long as moon, planets, and stars endure, for the salvation of the ship-owner Piroz.
All the surplus that remains, while from this source of income this place of worship is maintained and kept up, and the expenses on the days of the particular festivals are paid, is to be sent to the holy district of Makka and Madina.
The source of income of this place of worship is for ever to be guarded, and this place of worship to be maintained by all the following congregations together: the congregation of the ship-owners … and the congregation of all the wharf-peoplewho are devoted to the Martyr (Ali) together with their preacher, and the congregation of the (Persian) artisans, and the congregation of the Musalmans among the landholders, and others.
The donor, he who causes (the donation to be made), (and) those who protect (the charity) according to the law, all these will certainly enter heaven for their good deeds.
Whosoever plunders or causes to be plundered this place of worship and this source of income, that bad man will be defiled by (a guilt as heavy as) the guilt of the five mortal sins and go to hell.
Inscription, dated 1264 A.D., From Prabhas Patan
Original in Arabic. About land transactions for a Mosque at Prabhas Patan. Found at Quadi’s Mosque
- Allah the Exalted may assign this (reward) to one who builds a house in the path of Allah …………….. [This auspicious mosque was build]
- on the twenty-seventh of the month of Ramadan, year [sixty-two]
- and six hundred from migration of the Prophet (23rd July 1264 A.D.) in the reign of the just Sultan and [the generous king]
- Abu’l-Fakhr (lit., father of pride), Ruknu’d-Dunyd wa’d-Din (lit., pillar of State and Religion), Mu’izzu’l-Islam wa’l-Muslimin (lit., source of glory for Islam and the Muslims), shadow of Allah in (the lands),
- one who is victorious against the enemies, (divinely) supported prince, Abi’n-Nusrat (lit., father of victory), Mahmud, son of Ahmad, may Allah perpetuate his…….
- and may his affair and prestige be high, in the city of Somnat (i.e. Somnath). May God make it one of the cities of Islam and [banish ?]
- infidelity and idols, and during the time of its ruler Gand Mahattrapadam? and his advisor with correct and beneficial judgment, (namely?) Mehta….;
- and one who made efforts for this meritorious deed and allowed it, is the greatest of them after the afore-mentioned ruler, (namely) Jada (i.e. Chhada) Raw[at].
- son of Rawat Nansih, along with their other prominent persons, one of whom is Bailak Deva (i.e. Palugideva), the second, Bhimsih Takur, the third,
- Somesar (Someshwar) Dev and the fourth, Ram Dev, All of whom unanimously agreed to the construction of this magnificent great mosque.
- for the merit of the great chief (sadr), the fortunate, the martyr, Najmu’l-Haq wa’d-Din (lit., star of Truth and Religion), the chief protector of Islam.
- and the Muslims, father of kings and monarchs. prince among the great men of the age, proof among the accomplished of the time, king of the kings of covenant
- and fulfilment, master of generosity and liberality, Abu Ibrahim, son of Muhammad al-Iraqi, may Allah illuminate his grave and make his (final resting) place and bed agreeable to him,
- in obedience to the order of our Lord? The master of this good deed is the great and the respected chief (sadr), prince among sea-men, king of the kings of
- merchants, Nuru’d-Daulat wa’d-Din (lit., light of the State and Religion), son of Islam and Muslims, father of kings and monarchs, shelter of the great
- and the prominent, pride of the age, Firuz, son of Abu Ibrahim al-Iraqi, may Allah perpetuate his glory; he built and endowed
- for the above-mentioned mosque which is celebrated throughout the universe…….. for the sake of
- Allah, the Generous and by way of seeking the pleasure of the Great Lord….. for the building of this great mosque.
- so that (its) building may serve as a proof of faith in the Manifest Scripture and in utmost accordance with the injunction of the Discrimination between Truth and Falsehood (i.e. the Qur’an) where, for example, (it is) said, ‘Only he shall visit the mosques
- of Allah, who believes in Allah and in the Final Day (i.e. day of Judgment), establishes prayers, gives alms and fears none but Allah; so (as for these)
- they would be among the followers of the right course’, (and) for the benefit of the Imam (i.e. leader of prayers) and its Mu’adhdhin (i.e. caller to prayers); and the balance (of the amount, after the obligations are discharged
- will be sent to Mecca, may Allah guard it and the city of the Apostle of Allah (i.e. Madina), may Allah’s salutations be on him, so that (the said amount) be spent there
- in proper places. As for those who will seek to nullify this good deed or try to defeat its purpose either by word or deed,
- or intention or demonstration, Allah the Exalted will know it from the sanctity of his heart and the weakness of his belief, and he will be liable to the curse of Allah.
- and (also), the curse of the cursers, of the angels, of the people and, in short, of everybody, will be on him. ‘Then whoever alters it after he has heard of it
- the sin of it then is only upon those who alter it; surely, Allah is Hearing and Knowing’ and Relenting and Merciful’.
- … the Exalted Allah, as He says in his Mighty Invincible Book (i.e. the Qur’an), Verily, Allah [and the angels
- send their blessings on the Prophet]. And salutations of Allah be on our chief Muhammad and on his noble descendants.