In the words of Al-Beruni, “Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country and performed those wonderful deeds by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust, scattered in all directions”.
Prof. Habib observes, “The worst enemies of Islam had been its own fanatical followers of which Mahmud was one.
He showed to the philosophical Hindus the darker and the more tyrannical side of Islam and the Hindus, who would naturally judge a creed from the character of its followers, began to hate Islam for all times to come.” Sir Woolsely Haig has observed, “He was the first to carry the banner of Islam into the heart of India and to tread the path which so many followed him.”
Following were the important effects of Mahmud’s invasions on India:
1. Mahmud’s victories exposed the weakness of the Rajput rulers. It is an irony and sad commentary on the helpless political conditions of India that Mahmud roamed about in India without facing any serious resistance. “He took from India whatever he could and destroyed the rest.”
2. Mahmud’s invasion exposed the military weakness of India.
3. Mahmud carried huge wealth out of India and thereby weakened the economic condition of India.
4. Mahmud, by destroying idols, temples and beautiful places, gave a great setback to Indian art and sculpture.
5. Mahmud paved the way for foreign invaders to invade India.
6. Mahmud provided a foot-hold in India for the promotion of Islam in India.
7. Mahmud’s invasions which were mainly directed upon Hindu temples cracked a feeling of ill-will among the Hindus towards the Muslims.
8. Along with Mahmud came several Muslim saints who preached lofty ideals of life. These Muslim saints called the ‘Sufis’ started the process of interaction between the Hindus and the Muslims.
9. Mahmud was accompanied by a famous historian Alberuni whose accounts serve as a very useful source of information about the various aspects of life in India.
10. A new chapter in the history of India began. Earlier all the invaders like the Sakas, Kushans and Huns were absorbed in the mainstream of India’s life and lost their separate identities but the new Muslim invaders paved the way for establishing their separate identity.