Mnhammad Ghori was a man of vision. Almost all the historians have praised him for his qualities of head and heart. Minhaj the contemporary historian has depicted him as a just ruler. Ferishta has also lavished praise on him.
Dr. Ishwari Prasad has written about him, “He bore the character of a just monarch, God fearing and ever having the good of his subjects at his heart.” But Lanepoole has pointed out towards his shortcomings, “He was no patron of scholars No poets or historians vied with one another to praise his magnificence and power.” His character and personality can be evaluated properly under the following heads.
As a Man:
The character of Muhammad Ghori as a man was praiseworthy. He was bestowed with various qualities. He was a man of fine nature and his heart was full of the milk of human kindness.
Throughout his life he remained faithful towards his brother and treated his slaves very kindly and affectionately. Although God had not granted him a son, yet he loved his slaves as if they were his sons. He was an adept in judging the qualities of men and gave high posts to capable persons.
Muhammad Ghori was brave, courageous firm and an industri- ous ruler. He never felt disappointment in failures and always made efforts for achieving success. He could not sit idle after his defeat in the first battle of Tarain and after making constant preparations he again invaded India next year to attain success against the Rajputs. He had a unique way of emerging from adverse circumstances. He was very firm in his objectives and achieved his motives with firm determination.
A Successful Conqueror and Empire Builder:
Muhammad Ghori was not as great a general as Mahmood Ghaznavi. Elphinstone has also remarked, “Though an enterprising soldier, he had neither the prodence nor the general talents of the great prince Mahmood Ghaznavi.” But he was a brave warrior and successful conqueror. He failed to attain success against Anhilwara’ and in the battle of Tarain in spite of the presence of excellent soldiers in his army, but he never took defeats to heart. After attaining success in the second battle of Tarain, he founded the Turkish Empire in India.
Really, he was a successful empire builder. He received only the small kingdom of Ghazni in legacy but he left behind a vast empire. He was no doubt, inferior in military ability to Mahmood of Ghazni but he was expert in taking advantage of the weaknesses and shortcomings of his enemies. He, therefore, succeeded in his motives of establishing a Turkish empire in India.
As a Politician:
Although Muhammad Ghori was no match to Mahmood Ghaznavi as regards military ability, he was a practical and worthy politician. He very well understood the political situations and circumstances and gauged the shortcomings of the Indian rulers. Not only did he plunder them but also crushed their power altogether and established the Turkish empire in India. Thus he was farsighted politician.
As a Ruler:
It would be wrong to describe Muhammad Ghori as a great ruler but it can be ascertained that he was a more successful administrator than his predecessors. He appointed capable staff to look after the local administration and also directed his attention to the central administration. He established complete control over the army of Ghor. He not only suppressed the rebels with the help of his powerful army and competent staff but also extended his territory.
As a Staunch Muslim:
Muhammad Ghori was a staunch follower of Islam. He had firm faith in the principles of Quran but he was not fanatic like Mahmood Ghaznavi, Historians have praised the liberal religious policy of Muhammad Ghori. He did not force anybody to embrace Islam on the point of sword.
Although during his wars he slaughtered several Hindus, broke the idols and devastated the temples, he did not hurt the feelings of Hindus as deeply as Mahmood had done. He never inspired his soldiers for plundering and destroying the temples.
Whatever cruelty he perpetrated at the time of war, it was due to political reason and not because of his religious fanaticism. W. W. Hunter has remarked, “Muhammad was no religious knight errant of Islam like Mahmood of Ghazni but a practical conqueror. The objects of his distant expeditions were not temples but provinces.
Besides all the virtues mentioned above, Muhammad Ghori had a great shortcoming in his character He had no interest in learning and literature. He did not give shelter to poets, artists and men of letters like his predecessor Mahmood Ghaznavi.
In the final summing up of Muhammad Ghori, we can say that Ghori was neither a great ruler nor a competent general. He was only a lucky victor. He took the best advantage of the shortcomings and weaknesses of Indian rulers and established Turkish Empire in India. It was his sheer fate that he got the services of a competent person like Aibak who immortalized him in the history of Medieval India, by his deeds.
Death of Muhammad Ghori:
After defeating the Khokhars. Muhammad Ghori immediately rushed back to Ghazni but he was not fated to reach his homeland alive. The Khokhars killed him on the way to Ghazni 1206 a.d.