Homosexual Icon and Gay King Mahmud of Ghazni

In this post I will talk about Homosexual Icon and Gay King Mahmud of Ghazni, who some allege was also a pedophile.

Who was Mahmud of Ghazni?

Yamīn-ud-Dawla Abul-Qāṣim Maḥmūd ibn Sebüktegīn also known as Mahmud of Ghazni or Mehmood Ghaznavi (971 to 1030 AD) was a tyrant despot ruler who invaded India 17 times and butchered hundreds of thousands of people.
He was a Jihadi off the highest order and killed hundreds of thousands of Hindu and Buddhists including monks, women and innocent children. He is considered a heroic figure in the terrorist state of Pakistan for his destruction of Hindu temples and his general savagery against Hindus. He is also considered a Homosexual icon in the LGBT community of Pakistan.  (7)
Al-Biruni writes about him: Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust.This is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of the country conquered by us. (10)

Mahmud of Ghazni and his boy-slave Malik Ayaz

Homosexual Samesex Gay King Mahmud of Ghazni Toyboy Malik Ayaz
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
Sultan Mahmud was famous for having a romance with a man (9). Mahmud of Ghazni fell in love with his Turkish slave Malik Ayaz. Their relationship became widely regarded as true love in Islamic literature. (2) As per Paklins (8), the most famous example was the love between Mahmoud of Ghazni and his slave, Ayaz. As per James Neill (6), “The love between the first Islamic Ruler in Indian sub-continent, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and his slave Malik Ayaz was such that it became an Islamic legend.

Malik Ayaz, son of Aymāq Abu’n-Najm, was a slave from Georgia who rose to the rank of officer and general in the army of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (also known as Mahmud Ghaznavi). Malik Ayaz’s same-sex relationship with Mahmud inspired poems and stories. (5)

Ghazni’s love for his slave boy is Islamic legend. It is said that the two were each other’s slave- one a slave in deed, and another a slave in love. The sultan even raised Ayaz to kingship and made him the king of Lahore. (1)

Mahmud of Ghazni Same-Sex Love Stories

As per a popular Islamic folklore,the following events record the deep gay love of Mahmud Ghazni and Ayaz.
Mahmud asked Ayaz “Who is the most powerful ruler in the world?
Ayaz replied “I am the most powerful
Mahmud said “Please explain wht you mean
Ayaz replied “You, Mahmud, are the most powerful of all kings, But since I rule your heart, I am more powerful still.

As per another incident mentioned in Bustan by great Persian poet Sa’di:
Someone said: “Ayaz, his favorite slave possesses no beauty. It is strange that a nightingale should love a rose that has neither color nor perfume.
Mahmud Ghazni replied: “My love, O sir, is for virtue, not for form or stature“. (1)

In another story the king was travelling with some of his men when an overturned chest of pearls is discovered; all except Ayaz go after the pearls. Questioned by Mahmud about the possibility of gaining riches, Ayaz explains he wants nothing. “I walked in haste behind thee, I do not occupy myself with riches away from thy service.” (14)

Homosexual Samesex Gay King Mahmud of Ghazni Ghaznavi

Mahmud of Ghazni Gay Love Poem

A paraphrase by Edwin Arnold of a poem by Sa’adi about the love between Mahmud and Malik Ayaz is given below. (4)
THEY mock’d the Sovereign of Ghaznin: one saith,
“Ayaz hath no great beauty, by my faith!
A Rose that ’s neither rosy-red nor fragrant,
The Bulbul’s love for such astonisheth!”

This went to Mahmud’s ears; ill-pleas’d he sate,            5
Bow’d on himself, reflecting; then to that
Replied: “My love is for his kindly nature,
Not for his stature, nor his face, nor state!”

And I did hear how, in a rocky dell,
Bursting a chest of gems a camel fell;            10
King Mahmud wav’d his sleeve, permitting plunder,
But spurr’d his own steed onward, as they tell.

His horsemen parted from their Lord amain,
Eager for pearls, and corals, and such gain:
Of all those neck-exalting courtiers            15
None except Ayaz near him did remain.

The King look’d back—“How many hast thou won,
Curl’d comfort of my heart?” He answer’d “None!
I gallop’d up the pass in rear of thee;
I quit thee for no pearls beneath the sun!”            20

Oh, if to God thou hast propinquity,
For no wealth heedless of His service be!
If Lovers true of God shall ask from God
Aught except God, that ’s infidelity.

If thine eyes fix on any gift of Friend,            25
Thy gain, not his, is thy desire’s end:
If thy mouth gape in avarice, Heaven’s message
Unto Heart’s ear by that road shall not wend.

It well-known that many Turkics from Mahmud of Ghazni to Babur and from Ottomans to Safavids practiced homosexuality. Here is a beautiful Indo-Islamic painting that depicts Mahmud of Ghazni with his male lover, Ayaz.

Please note that I have censored the image to ensure that no one’s sentiment is hurt.
Homosexual Samesex Gay King Mahmud of Ghazni (Censored)
Image Courtesy (13)
As per noted myth-buster and history researcher, Captain Ajit Vadkayil (3):
Let me lay the bottomline right on top. Mahmud of Ghazni did NOT get any wealth in Somnath temple. In sheer frustration he kidnapped the most attractive of the nearly 400 dancing girls . Mahmud was a homosexual ( the receiving type ) and he had NO use for these girls.  It was for proof.  Below:  DE DO YAAAR !    CHAL DENA YAAR !!”

As per LGBT Muslims (7),

Their love story has been the subject of many poems, songs, and stories. Today, many people visit Malik Ayaz’s tomb in Lahore; remembering the city’s first Muslim ruler, who made the city a cultural center for the entire area. The relationship between these two remains a strong inspiration for gay people. This is because the Sultan brought Islam to the region, and therefore it reminds them that Islam is far less homophobic than what the new fundamentalist generations want people to believe.”

Homoeroticity, Homosexuality and Pedophilia in Urdu and Persian Literature and Culture

Extant Urdu literary canon .. contained several examples of homoerotic desire, especially in case of ghazals where a male speaker often expressed his love and longing for a young male companion. (10)
As per James Neill, “Homosexuality continues to be prevalent among the Muslims of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, down to the present day. The widespread homosexuality of Islamic India, a contracts to the more restrained sexual mores of Hindu India, came as a shock to the British when they discovered the customs during their colonial rule. When in 1845, Sir Charles Napier conquered and annexed Sindh, the region around Karachi in modern day Pakistan, his forces discovered a number of male brothels featuring boys and eunuchs“. (6)

As per Alice Albinia (9), Pashtuns – Afghan and Pakistani – are notorious for preferring male to female lovers. 

As per paklinks (8):
Miranda Kennedy says that “Among the Pashtun majority, having a young, attractive boyfriend is a symbol of prestige and wealth for affluent middle-aged men. Indeed, Pashtun men often keep a young boy in their hujra, the male room of the house that the wife rarely enters.” She also says that sex is commonplace in Pakistan’s gender-segregated madrassas, or religious schools. However, one of the problems of Western journalists’ reports of boy-marriage in this part of the world is that they often conflate this ancient custom with pedophilia and reduce what was often a love-match to a temporary commercial arrangement.

In a shocking article on pedophilia in Pakistan, Director Mohammed Naqvi and British producer Jamie Doran’s film Pakistan’s Hidden Shame was shown in UK on Channel 4, revealing the punishing reality of paedophilia occurring in the northern areas of Pakistan. The documentary, mainly set in the city of Peshawar, interviews homeless boys of different ages recalling their experiences of sexual abuse and male prostitution. The documentary claims that nine out of 10 children in Peshawar have been victims of paedophilia. It also includes interviews with the truck drivers who have committed such crimes. Unashamed, callous and remorseless, one of the drivers admits to having raped more than 10 boys. When confronted, PTI Chairman Imran Khan admitted, “It is one of the most sad and shameful aspects of our society. I am totally embarrassed by this and that we have not really been able to protect them.” (12)

(2) Mahmud of Ghazni and Malik Ayaz
(4) Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895. From “With Sa’di in the Garden.” I. Mahmud and Ayaz: A Paraphrase on Sa’Di Sir Edwin Arnold (1832–1904)
(6) The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies by James Neill
(7) 5 Ways Pakistan Is Gay Friendly
(9) Empires of the Indus: The Story of a River By Alice Albinia
(10) Deconstructing the Stereotype: Reconsidering Indian Culture, Literature and .., Kaustav Chakraborty
(12) Young boys for rent
(14) Featured Image:


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