(Yamin al-Dawlah Abu-al-Qasim). Born 970; died Apr. 30, 1030, in Ghazni. From 998 to 1030, sultan of the state ruled by the Ghaznavid dynasty, of which he was the most outstanding representative.
Mahmud al-Ghazni was a talented military commander and farsighted politician, remarkable for his energy and strength of will. At the same time he was a deceitful oriental despot and the ruthless suppressor of popular movements. Under Mahmud alGhazni, the Ghaznavid state attained its greatest political power. Mahmud carried out numerous forays of conquest, including 17 raids (between the years 1000 and 1027) into northern India. The raids were accompanied by devastation of the country and the abduction of tens of thousands of people into slavery. To a great extent, Mahmud owed his military successes to the guard that he had created. He also encouraged the growth of learning and culture in the Ghaznavid state.