Maratha and Ottoman
Turkey became the Sick Man of Europe because of what Marathas did? So, the story goes thus. Kara Mustafa Pasha’s arrogance and Jan Sobeski’s daredevilry meant that Turkey got a dressing of its lifetime at Vienna and after that, it was only one loss after the other. A few months later, Turks threw another major army - it was severely defeated at Adrionople. With Constantinople threatened, Turkey had to pool its last resources. Along with that, rally the Ummat behind them. Now, who is the greatest Muslim king alive in the contemporary world? Aurangzeb and inspite of the ego issues Ottomans had with the Mughals they decided to go to Aurangzeb for men and money. The Ottoman envoys located him in a camp somewhere in Karnataka. But, Aurangzeb refused to help them. A pious Muslim refusing to support the cause of Jihad - incomprehensible, right? But, he refused because he was neck deep in Maratha Wars. He had no soldiers nor money to spare.
Ottomans returned empty handed and without the heft of India, its but it was but a matter of time they will end up as the Sick Ones of Europe. On the other hand, these Maratha Wars drained the life force out of Mughals themselves. The end result is that that 30 years from 1675-1705 ripped to shreds, Islam’s status as a superpower in the world. All because of the Marathas. By the way, did you notice me using Aurangzeb the Lame? That’s another favourite story of mine. When Aurangzeb was in toilet, suddenly a rumour spread in the camp that Marathas have attacked. Aurangzeb, excited, stood up quickly with the intent to flee but slipped and fell down, soiled his clothes and broke his leg. He limped all life from then on. To console him, bards compared him with his illustrious ancestor Timur the Lame. But the grumpy old man knew - there’s a difference between a person falling from horse in a battle and a scared person falling in toilet and soiling his clothes. And he knew how messed up his position is - he even refused to nominate a successor - its better to end the kingdom through a civil war than see the slow and painful slide Ottomans and Crimea were going through.