Shivaji and Islam
Claim 1: Muslim saint Baba Yakut of Kelsi was considered a Guru of Shivaji
Fact: There is no contemporary source that says that Shivaji Maharaj was a devotee of Baba Yakut. A reference to Baba Yakut is found only in much later-day non-contemporary records.
Claim 2: When Muslims were 8-9% of Shivaji’s Kingdom, they constituted around 40% of his army.
Fact: Shivaji had 200 officers in civil administration. Not one was a Muslim. Out of 10 bodyguards, 1 was Muslim. Out of 29 cavalry commanders, 1 was Muslim. Out of 36 infantry commanders, none was Muslim. A few in navy. The total number of Muslims was less than 2%. There is no historical source that attests to the existence of a Muslim general named “Madari Mehtar”. As such, the claim that Shivaji Maharaj had a Muslim general named “Madari Mehtar” who helped him escape Aurangzeb’s surveillance in Agra is entirely false and fraudulent. The only mention of “Madari Mehtar” from any historical source is a single undated and unattested letter. Even in this letter, Madari Mehtar was not a “Muslim general”. He was a servant who arranges carpets. Even this letter is false and full of inaccuracies.
Daraya Sarang, a Muslim, was a Naval Chief of Shivaji Maharaj. He was later arrested by Shivaji Maharaj for treachery.
Another Kazi Haider, claimed to be commander was actually a scribe who later turned traitor and joined Aurangzeb. He was given a robe, 10000 rupees, and 2 Hazari rank as per “Maasir I Alamgiri by Saqi Mustad Khan”
Another officer, Sidi Ambar wasn’t Shivaji Maharaj’s officer. He was in fact Shahji’s officer. He was dismissed by Shivaji after 1654 when he set aside his father’s Adil Shahi Authority.
When Shivaji Maharaj’s half-brother Ekoji wrote recruited Muslims in his army. Shivaji wrote a letter castigating his half-brother and comparing him to Duryodhan. “How could you hope to win against me with the help of these Turks?”. He further wrote, “Gods and goddesses have favored me and through their favor, I was able to beat down the Turks”. In his own letter to his half-brother Ekoji, Shivaji Maharaj describes himself as “the killer of wicked Turks (Muslims)”. And that those Muslims could not hope to escape with their lives.
Claim 3: Shivaji built a mosque opposite his palace at Raigarh for the use of his Muslim subjects.
Fact: There is no mosque in Raigarh. There is a Jagadishwar temple built by Shivaji Maharaj in Indo Persianate style. In those days, it was common in Deccan to find such temples.
Why is the Jagadishwar temple Indo-Persianate in style? Because with Muslim conquests, temples were desecrated and destroyed. So complete was the devastation that when temples were rebuilt again by Shivaji Maharaj, there was no living tradition of temple building to draw on. This is why the immediate solution was to borrow from the existing practice of building Mosques and Palaces. This is the reason why the earliest temples of the 17th century are Indo Persianate in style.