ARRIVAL OF MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM

MUHAMMAD BIN QASIM.[INDO-PAK HISTORY]

In 712 A.D Muhammad Bin Qasim reached Debal by Makran and besieged it. Debal was famous port of Sindh near Karachi. The year 712 A.D was an important year for Islam. Only 80 years after the demise of Holy Prophet (S.A.W), Islamic armies had swept through the middle east , along the shores of North America, into Spain and reached the frontiers of France. They had also reached Central Asia, Persia and the borders of India.(https://eastwestknowledge.com/indo-pak-history-mcqs/)

Muhammad bin Qasim ruler of Sindh

EARLY MUSLIMS ARRIVAL

[1] ARABS COME BY LAND & SEA

Islam arrived in the subcontinent as early as the 7th Century, when there were several Muslims Arab expeditions, mainly for trading purposes. The expedition came by both land and sea. In 636 a sea expedition landed at the port of Thana near Bombay. Others landed at Broach in Gujrat and at the port of Debel in Sindh. By the middle of the 7th century there were communities of Arab traders and merchants in several ports on the west coast of India.

[2] ISLAM VERSUS HINDUISM.

At the time of the arrival of Islam in the subcontinent, Hinduism was the most widespread religion there. It had changed little over the centuries. People were still ordered according to their caste, with the priest class of Brahmins at the top, and the Shudra (slave class) at the bottom. Because Islam was not based on a caste system it did not create barriers between people. This was to influence Indian life and culture.

[3] BAD REPORTS FROM THE SUBCONTINENT

Many areas West of the River Indus came under Muslim control in the 7th Century. A land expedition arrived in 644 when an army sent by Caliph Usman pushed through Balochistan into Sindh and reached the River Indus. It returned home with captured goods and an elephant. But the journey was difficult one, and the report sent to the Caliphate was not good.

[4] IN SEARCH OF TREASURES.

Temples, with their rich decorations of gold, silver and precious stones were soon to draw more Arab forces to the subcontinent. Under Muawiyah, the Umayyad Caliphate, there were raids in Makran and Balouchistan. In about 633 Arab forces crossed the Bolan Pass near Quetta in Baluchistan and reached Lahore. They also made several raids in the Khyber Valley. The raiders took treasure, horses, and thousands of slaves. Some of the Merchants who had come with the expeditions settled in Makran and other parts of Balouchistan and these areas became Arab conquests.

Later in Caliph Muawiyah time Makran was conquered by Arab forces. They battled with local tribes and a dreaded group of pirates called the Mids, captured treasure and slaves, and established a garrison of soldiers. These expedition did not give the Arab firm control of lands in the subcontinent.

[5] Al-Beruni’s Book about India.

Al-BERUNI (973-1048) THE Persian Scholar and scientist who visited India and wrote an important book called today as Al-Beruni’s India. Although he was a Muslim, Al-Beruni learnt Sanskrit and became an expert on Hindi language, culture and learning.

Al beruni ticket

Al-Beruni admired some aspects of Hindu life, such as the bravery of the warriors and Hindu philosophy. But he criticized the caste system, the Hindu view of women, and early marriages. Al-Beruni studied the Indus Valley and decided that it had once been under the sea.

In times of flood, it sometimes swells to such a degree as to cover nearly a space of ten Farsakh, and to rise above the tree of the plains, so that afterwards the rubbish carried by the floods is found in their highest branches like birds-nests

From Al-Beruni’s India, The River Indus near Multan.

MEANING OF SINDH

In early times the word ” Sindh ” referred to a larger area than it does today and was often used to mean almost all of the area of today’s Pakistan, including Kashmir. The word Sindh came from “Sindhu”, the name of the River Indus, which just mean “river”. Ibn Hauqal, a 10th century Arab geographer, compared the River Indus with he Nile in Egypt.

tamarisk tree

In some places, the banks of the river and its tributaries were covered with thick jungle, there were bahan and babul trees and tamarisk and Kandi trees. There was also much cultivated land in the Indus Valley. In the Delta area to the South, agriculture was important. Wheat and millet were grown.

PEOPLE OF SINDH

There were two main groups, the Jats (or Zutts) and the Mids. The Arabs did not like these people and called them pirates and highway robbers with the wild nature of brutes. They were very different from the Arabs; few rode horses and the ones who did, did not use saddles. The tribal chiefs had long hair and rings in their ears. The Jats were probably the largest group in Sindh.

By the side of the River Indus along the flat marshy lowland for some thousand li, there are several hundreds of thousands of families settled. They give themselves only to keeping cattle, and from this they make their living.

A Chinese writer called Hiuen Tsang who the area in the 7th century wrote.

The Mids were framers but some had become sea pirates who lived in the marshes of the Indus Delta near the main seaport of Debel and other places along the seacoast. They caused a lot of trouble. early invaders against them because they stopped trade along the coast.

EXPORT FROM SINDH

Trade had been important in sindh for many centuries. Major export goods were sugar, teakwood and camels. After the 8th century Arab traders grew wealthy trading Indian slaves in the markets of the Muslim World. Another important export was rock salt from the salt mines at Khewra, in the Salt Range between the valleys of the Indus and Jhelum rivers in the Punjab. This was one of the richest rock-salt fields in the world with salt 1,600feet (490 m) thick. The mines supplied salt to all of Central Asia.

DEBAL- A MAJOR PORT

Historians think Debal may have been at modern day Bhambore-60 Km east of Karachi in salt flats at the old mouth of the river Indus. Archaeological excavations here have uncovered ruins and artefacts showing that the town was an important trading centre as early as the 1st century BC. Debal later became the most important port in Sindh and traders came from as far as China. Arab writers tell us that the surrounding land was dry with very little agriculture. Everyone lived by trading. The Arabs built large stone structures including a city wall and citadel.

BEFORE INVASIONS OF ARABS.

There were following reasons before invasions of Arabs in Sindh.

  • The Arabs were traders by profession.
  • They used to different countries for their trade.
  • They carried their luggage by boats and ships for Egypt and Syria.
  • They developed their amicable relations with the people of there.
  • They were also spreading the message of Islam.
  • The Muslims traders had also settled at the coast of Sri-Lanka and Western India.

REASONS OF INVASIONS IN SINDH

  • Many Hindus were living on the Makran coast and the Indus River Delta.
  • They made their living from the sea [1] Fishermen. [2] traders [3] Pirates.
  • They made the profits by robbing the Arab merchants ships.
  • In 703 A.D The Governor of Makran was Saeed Bin Aslam.
  • He was murdered and murderer took refuge with Raja Dahir of Sindh. Hajaj Bin Yousaf demanded to handover. Raja Dahir denied.
  • It furirated the Hajaj Bin Yousaf. A ship of Arab Muslims, who had settled in Sri-Lanka carrying luggage and gifts for the Hajaj Bin Yousaf.
  • That ship was lotted by sea pirates.
  • Ship crew includes, children and women. Hajaj demanded to hand over the pirates but Raja asked, “It is out of his boundary”.

HAJAJ BIN YOUSAF ORDERED

Governor of Iraq Hajaj Bin Yousaf ordered his nephew Muhammad Bin Qasim to launch war against Raja and recovered all looted wealth from pirates and punish them severely. In 712 A.D Muhammad Bin Qasim reached Debal by Makran and besieged it. Debal was famous port of Sindh near Karachi.

ADVISED BY GOVERNOR.

  • There were Following advised by governor.
  • Let Raja Dahir not cross the River of Mehran.
  • Face the enemy in an open area.
  • Keeping in view the organization of troops.
  • Seventeen years old young boy, acted upon these instructions.

STORMS THE SINDH

The first major invasion of the subcontinent by a Muslim army came early in the 8th century, in Lower Sindh. This invasion, by Muhammad Bin Qasim in 712, firmly established Muslims rule in parts of Sindh.

In about 710 Muhammad bin Qasim from Iraq launched an attack with 6,000 cavalry, the same number of armed camel-drivers, 6000 more Syrian foot soldiers, and a baggage train of 3,000 Bactrian camels. Siege machines came from Iraq by sea. These included battering rams and a huge catapult called manjanik, nicknamed “the bride”. The first thing that Muhammad Bin Qasim did was to besiege Debal.

Manjanik

Muhammad Bin Qasim forces surrounded the city but his battering rams and manjanik could not knock down its strong walls. There was a large Hindu temple of Shiva at Debal. An old record tell us that on top of the temple’s dome was a spire with a red silk flag flying from it.

A Brahmin priest told Muhammad Bin Qasim that if he brought down the spire he would be able to capture he town. Muhammad bin Qasim told his soldiers to fire a catapult at the spire. When it collapsed the people of Debal believed their luck had gone and surrounded. The temple building was destroyed and Muhammad Bin Qasim built the first mosque in the subcontinent. Leaving four thousands Muslims to settle at Debal, the marched North.

CROSS THE RIVER

boats crossed the river

Muhammad Bin Qasim set up camp on the West bank on the River Indus. How could he get his army across the river?. He built a bridge of boats across the river. The whole army crossed and no one was hurt except one man who slipped on the planks nailed across the top of the boats, fell into the river and drowned.

FIGHT WITH RAJA DAHIR

Muhammad Bin Qasim marched to meet Raja Dahir, the ruler of Sindh, in Battle. On the way he captured every town. At Nirun, the Buddhist governor surrendered peacefully and promised to pay tribute. But Muhammad Bin Qasim had to fight to capture Sehwan, where he gave people three choices.

  • Accept Islam.
  • Pay Jizya (a tax for Non-Muslims).
  • Or be killed.

In battle Rajah Dahir sat on a white elephant with two women servants. One held his betel-leaf for chewing and the other passed him arrows. The battle was fierce and lasted for five days. Some of Raja Dahir’s soldiers went over to the army of Muhammad Bin Qasim. In end Raja Dahir had only a thousand cavalry left but he fought on. Finally, just after sunset on the fifth day, his elephant litter (the large covered saddle where he sat) caught fire and the elephant ran into the river. Raja Dahir was captured and his head cut off. Wherever he went, Muhammad Bin Qasim built mosques.

MODERN WEAPON

  • Muhammad Bin Qasim arrived here with a large fleet with supplies, weapons and siege Engine Catapult [Modern weapon of that time].
  • There was a temple of Hindus in the middle of Debal, on the top floated their red flag.
  • Their firm believe, no one can harm us, till this flag is there.
  • Qasim Army used catapult and destroy it, Hindus army came out from fort and battle started. Raja was killed in this war.
  • Qasim Army took control over Sindh.
  • In 712 A.D sindh was conquered completely.

CONQUEST OF MULTAN

Historians know little about Multan(House of Gold) before the arrival of the Arabs in the 8th Century. Its name comes from an Old Persian word mulastana meaning “frontier land”. In the 10th century Multan was probably the most important trading town in Sindh. traders caravans passed through it on their way to Afghanistan, Ghazni or Qandahar.

The town was so healthy that it was known as “the House of Gold”. Arab writers recorded that it had a strong citadel, four gates, and a moat. The multi-storeyed houses were beautiful. In addition to riches from trade Multan gained great wealth from the Pilgrims who came to worship at its famous temple of the Sun god, Mithra. The pilgrims gave the temple idol valuable gifts, for example perfumes and sweet-smelling wood.

The province of Multan was also included in the Kingdom of Raja Dahir at that time. It was the center of trade and counted among strong forts. The ruler of Multan was the son of Raja faced the Islamic troops, but saved his life by his escape. Muhammad Bin Qasim found much wealth and treasure. The major portion of the booty was divided among the soldiers and the rest of left to Hajaj Bin Yousaf. This made happy him.

RULER OF SINDH

Now Muhammad Bin Qasim was in control of Sindh. Its Capital was Mansura during this time. Muhammad Bin Qasim stayed for three years in Sindh. During this time :

  • People from different walks of life entered into Islam.
  • He charged taxes to everyone, and non-Muslims had to pay Jizya tax.
  • Buddhists and Hindus were allowed to continue their way of life and came to accept his rule.
  • He set up a fair and efficient system of laws.
  • He made the Brahmin priests administrators.
  • People of Sindh were facing inequality and injustice among Hindu nation. They were divided in class difference. Muhammad Bin Qasim laid the foundations of equality and justice with religious tolerance.
  • Muslims opened schools and Maddarasas to give education.
  • Sanskrit books were translated into Arabic.
  • Many scholars, traders and industrialist settled there.
  • The trade surged along the coast of Sindh and Baluchistan.
  • The Arab tried to expand more but were blocked by powerful dynasties, in the Deccan to the south , Kashmir to the North.

INDIAN SUBCONTINENT & NEW IDEAS

  • Arab learned from people of Indian Subcontinent in Astronomy, it helped them in ship navigation in far better way. They also learned much about subcontinental medicine.
  • Local doctors were using fine surgical instruments such as knife and were doing quite complicated operation without anesthetics.
  • The another important thing learned from here, which was in mathematics.
  • Local scientist discovered, how to write any number using only nine figures without zero.
  • The introduced the idea of decimals and it was helpful in calculation and in trade also.

Muhammad Bin Qasim Death

Muhammad Bin Qasim did not enjoy his success for long. His friend governor of Iraq was died and latter caliph Walled also died. The new caliph Suleiman was his bitter enemy, he recalled and tortured to death.(https://www.dawn.com/news/1098562)

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