Ruler of the Ghazavid empire from 997 to 1030 A.D., Mahmud turned the city of Ghazni, on the road between Kabul and Kandahar, into an empire that encompasses today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and parts of India.
Mahmud of Ghazni is known for his brutal destruction of Hindu temples and for bringing Islam to the Indian subcontinent – a hero to millions, a villain to millions. He was also known for his love for a slave, Malik Ayaz, a relationship which became a model for ideal love in Persian literature and Ayaz himself a model for purity in Sufism. In 1021 he made Ayaz the King of Lahore.
Mahmud of Ghazni has a page at Wikipedia, here, and at the New World Encyclopedia, here. A paraphrase by Edwin Arnold of a poem by Sa’adi about the love between Mahmud and Malik Ayaz can be read here.