Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya.

History of mediæval Hindu India (being a history of India from 600 to 1200 A.D.) .. (Volume 1) online

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battle in this conquest in favour of the Arabs on the 10th
day of Ramzan of the 93rd year of the Hezira ( 712 A. D. ).

Enormous plunder fell into the hands of the victor.
Elephants, horses, wearing stutfs, cattle etc. were seized.



CONQUEST OF SIND BY THE ARABS 179

a fifth part of the value of which was sent to Hajjaj as
also the head of Dahar and the heads of his tributary
princes together with their ensigns and royai umbrellas,
with a letter of exultation and thanks given by Mahomed
Kasim. Among the slaves was a wife of Dahar and
several daughters of princes and Ranas and a niece of
Dahar. They were sent further of course to the Khalifa
with the exception of Ladi, Dahar's wife whom Mahomed
Kasim ransomed and married according to the usual pre-
dilection of conquerors for the wives of conquered princes.

One great incident which happened before this battle
requires to be related at length. There were as already
stated, 500 Arabs under Alafi in the service of Dahar and
on the eve of battle Dahar asked them to lead the vanguard
in fighting. Alafi said, "Oh king! we are indebted to you
for many acts of kindness. But we are musalmins and
cannot draw our sword against the army of Islam. If we
are killed, we die the death of pointed wretches. If we
kill we are responsible for murder and our punishment
will be fire of hell." Alafi and his 500 Arabs thus refused
to fight against their brethren and correligionists and had
to leave the service of Dahar. It is said they went to
Kashmir immediately. Others state they remained
behind assisted Jaisiah for a time and when he left Sind
and went towards the modern Rajputana then they
went to Kashmir. This incident shows the glaring
contrast between the conduct of Hindus and Mahomedans
on this eventful day. There were Hindus who fought
against Hindus in this memorable battle but there were
no Mahomedans against Mahomedans. This incident not
only illustrates the stern religious earnestness of the early
A.rab Mahomedans but their elevated morality also. The
500 Arabs of Dahar did not act the treacherous part which
the Mahomedans of Ramrai of Vijayanagar played in
later history at the famous battle of Talikot. The latter
showed as if they fought with the Mahomedan enemies of
Ramrai but when the proper time came they turned their
arms against the Hindus themselves. Alafi could have



180 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

done that, but treachery was no part of the Mahomedan
religion in his days. It was not a tenet of that religion
then that one may without sin be treacherous to an
infidel. Christianity in later days preached and practised
this debased doctrine and Mahomedans of later history
also did the same. But the Arabs of Mahomed Kasim's
days kept their promises most scrupulously. To massacre
opposing Indians and to appropriate their women was
their nvowed creed. But if they promised pardon to any
infidel Indians, they never broke their word. Even in
religious matters they kept theie promises. The question
whether those who had accepted subjection and payment
of tribute for freedom of religious worship should be allow-
ed to build their temples and to worship their idols was
referred to Hajjaj and even that stern and cruel man
said " Since we have accepted their tribute, we must allow
them freedom of their own worship." It is clear then that
the conquering Arbs of the early days were distinguished
not only by religious zeal but high morality and the latter
seems to be as much a requisite of success in war as un-
ity and military superiority.

Jaisiah with a few followers escaped from the bloody
battlefield and went to Raor. That fort was not thought
safe and he went to Brahmanabad where were the accum-
ulated riches of his father and sufficient forces to oppose
the Arabs. Dahar's another queen Bai remained in Raor
with 15000 warriors and opposed Kasim who soon invested
it with his victorious army. Bai found that " She could
not escape the clutches of those chandalas and cow-eaters"
and resolved to burn herself. "She and many Rajput women
were of one mind and so they entered a house, set fire to it
and soon were burnt to death." This was probably the first
immolation of Indian women in its history. The Indians
no doubt fought among themselves in former times and
even sometimes appropriated the women of the conquered
princes as has been stated before. But there was no
compulsion in these cases. If they refused to be wives
and concubines of the victors they remained only as



CONQUEST OF SIND BY THE ARABS 181

servants and were even allowed to go away as Buddhisr
nuns or other recluses. And there was no loss of religion
or of caste. But with the Mahomedan conquerors the case
was entirely different. Women were forcibly appropriated
by them as wives or as concubines or as slaves and were
also forcibly converted. And the eating of cows' flesh and
the slaughter of cows were the most abominable things witii
the Indians. The courage of Indian women had always
been exhibited in the long established practice of sati
and thus Indian women during Mahomedan times often,
nay almost always, made those terrible holocausts of
themselves which make the history of the Mahomedan
conquest of India hideous and painful. This sacrifice by
Bai said to be Dahar's step-sister and wife and other Raj-
put women was thus probably the first of its kind in
Indian history.

Raor was taken and plundered. The fighting people
were massacred and the women enslaved. Altogether there
were, it is said in the Chacha-nama, 60000 slaves including
many beautiful women of princely families. These were
like the plunder, divided between the governnient and the
soldiers. From thence Kasim went to Brahmanabad,
capturing two towns and forts on the way, Bahror and
Dahlila. Jaisiah not finding it safe even at Brahmanabad
left it with many followers and took his position in the
desert, deciding to harass Kasim's forces during invest-
ment of the city. It was well prepared for the siege and
withstood it for six months. There were about 40 thou-
sand fighting men in the city and they made frequent
sallies fighting with determination from sunrise to sunset.
Jaisia also harassed the Arabs from behind. In this way
Mahomed Kasim was sorely troubled, but Moka Bassaya
came to his relief. He gave him accurate information
about Jaisiah and asked a force to be sent against him.
Jaisia was finally defeated (much like Indrajit of Ravana
defeated by Bibbishana's aid) and he betook himself to
Chitore. The fate of Brahmanabad was now sealed. » It
fell in the usual way. The merchants and other non-fight-



Iii2 THE MRST HINDU KINGDOMS

ing people threwr themselves on the mercy of Mahomed
Kasim and opened the gates. The city was immediately
taken possession of. the merchants we re spared, the warriors
were slaughtered and the city was plundered. Women
slaves were captured; among them were two virgin daugh-
ters of Dahar who were sent to the Khalifa along with the
fifth royal share of plunder. These as is well-known even-
tually became the cause of Kasim's downfall and death.

As Moka Bassaya said, Brahmanabad was the chief
city of Sind and when that was conquered the whole of
Sind carfie into Kasim's possession. He made a long stay
r£iere and made arrangements for the administration of the
country. One day it is said a thousand Brahmins came
before him with shaven heads and beards. On inquiry
they said "We are Brahmins; many of us had killed them-
selves when our Brahmin king Dahar was killed. We have
shaved our heads and beards in token of our loyalty to
him." Kasim pardoned them, extolled their conduct and
asked them to serve the country as before. They were
asked to do -the same duties to government as heretofore
and were reinstated in their offices. Those who were
actual priests were allowed to worship the idols in the
temples as before and were allowed even to beg as before
" with a copper-bowl collecting corn in it. " This descrip-
tion probably applies to the Buddhist monks. Kasim even
allowed the cultivators to give three out of every hundred
Dirbams of revenue to the Brahmins and to pay the rest to
the treasury. This toleration of the religion of the people-
their being permitted to build their temples, to worship,
their idols and to pay their priests is in strange contrast
with the policy of the Mahomedan conquerors in succeed-
ing centuries. As we have said before, Kasim followed this
wise and honourable policy with the consent of Hajjaj who
said that ouipayment of tribute the subjects had a right to
worship in their own way. The tribute was fixed at 48
Dirhams on rich men (about 12 rupees in weight of silver),
24 for the middle class and 12 for the poor yearly. As the
old revenue administration and even old officers were con-



CONQUEST OF SIND BY THE ARABS 183

firmed we may take it that the old system of revenue
taxation remained in' force and was not changed and
taxation increased as in later times. The whole policy
of Mahomed Kasim and his superiors was thus generous
and truly wise.

But he was not equally generous in his treatment of
the Lohanas and the Jats or as it is said here of theLakhas
and Sammas. Perhaps policy also dictated that these
turbulent and warlike tribes should be kept down rather
than relieved of the disabilities imposed upon them by
( '.hacha. Perhaps orthodox Hindu feeling also was against
cr>9m. Vazir Siyakar, minister of Dahar ( now converted )
bajd that they were compelled by Chacha to wear coarse
cloth, to take dogs with them when they went out in order
to be distinguished, and not to fide horses or take swords.
*' If any headman or Rana was obliged to use a horse, he
was to ride without a saddle. If any accident occurred to
any traveller, the Jat tribes were called to help; if any one
committed theft his children were thrown into flames, that
is, burnt. They guided caravans at night." Mahomed Kasim
dealt with them exactly in the sanie way and further
directed, following the rule made by Umar about the people
of Syria, that " they should entertain a traveller within
their limits for one day and if he fell sick for three days. "

Mahomed Kasim now turned his attention towards
Alor and Multan, the northern chief cities of Sind. He
first came to a town called Musthal with a beautiful lake
in its vicinity. The inhabitants were all Samanis and
Buddhists and these submitted as also t;he Jats of the
surrounding country. They were pardoned' and subjected
to tribute. Then he came to the country " where the
Sammahs lived. They came forward dancing to the music
of drums and pipes and said that was their way of receiv-
ing a king. He then came to the country of the Sahtas.
These came out bareheaded and bare-footed and implored
pardon. They were taken under 'subjection and tribute
imposed on them. Taking guides from this place he came
befor Alor " the biggest town in the whole of Sind. " Tofi



184 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

son of Dahar was there. He still believed that Dahar was
alive and had gone to Hind to bring an army, ( a belief
like that which prevailed after the battle of Panipat about
Sadashivrao Bhau. ) The place was invested and the
warriors fought valiantly. But Dahar did not come with
any rdliefs. As usual the merchants and artizans were
not fighters and dreaded being massacred. They sent word
toKasim imploring pardon. Tofi finding the temper of the
people changed, sought safety in escape and joined his
brother Jaisiah at Chitor. The city fell into the hands of
Kasim who spared the merchants and the artizans for
Ladi's sake and even the fighters who submitted, slaughter-
ing only those who opposed the Arabs. Hajjaj blamed him
for leniency and declared that all fighting people or races
should be killed-, a practice which was certainly safe for a
conqueror but which the great Kasim did not always follow
upto this time. He, however, observed it more truly in his
conquest of Multan towards which he now turned and
which offered him more stubborn resistance.

He first came to Babia on the Beas where Kaksa son of
Chandra and thus a nephew of Dahar, after Dahar's death
at the memorable battle of Zhim where he was present,
had taken refuge. Kaksa submitted without opposition.
He was the most prominent man of his time and was
placed in charge df the treasury of the kingdom. But at
Golkondah Kasim was opposed and here the wariors suf-
fered the same fate as at Alor and Brahmanabad, 4000
men of the military class being killed. Again at Sikkahhe
was opposed by Bachera Taki (belonging to the Takshaka
tribe of Rajputs of the Panjab ). Here for 17 days bloody
battles were fought and many noted Arab chiefs fell. Ba-
chera eventually left the fort, crossed the river and went
to Multan where Kasim followed him destroying all
neighbouring towns. At Multan Kundrai and Bachrai
fought with him every day for two months (Kaksha
couisn of Dahar is strangely said here to have despaired
of success against the Arabs and to have gone to the king
of Kashmir ! Did he leave the Arabs and join the Hindus?)



CONQUEST OF SIND BY THE ARABS 185

Eventually a traitor showed a place where the fortress or
Multan could be burrowed under and thus enabled tiie
Arabs to gain it. 6000 warriors were put to the sword and
merchants, agriculturists and artizans as usual were
spared. But a heavy tribute was exacted from them.
60000 Dirhams in silver were collected by the nobility and
gentry and were given to the soldiers. Kasim deman-
ded more tribute for the Khalifa. In this extremity a
Brahmin showed a temple where in the midst of a beauti-
ful pond was a golden image in a small chamber placed on
copper vessels full of gold coins: '" The idol was per-
fectly like a man with two rubies in its eyes. It weighed
330 maunds of gold and 40 copper jars under it contained
1320 maunds of gold. " These were of course seized. Does
this refer to the idol of the sun for which Multan was so
famous as described by Hiuen Tsang ? It looks like it but Al-
Beruni has stated tlp,t Mahomed Kasim conquered Multan
but left the idol of the sun intact; but Jahan-Ibn-Shaiban
broke the idol and killed the priest. But this must
have been later on. Alberuni also describes the idol as
a wooden one covered with a red coat of leather though
that idol too had two rubies for its eyes. Perhaps there
might have been two idols one immoveable and the other
moveable made of gold to be carried in processions.

The whole of this plunder was to be sent to Hajjaj but
that religous man wrote " You have already paid 120000
dirhams and over i. e., twice the sum expended on your ex-
pedition and you can now build mosques for the faith-
ful." Accordingly Mahomed Kasim laid the foundations
of splendid mosques at Multan. He made this city his
place ot residence as it was a strong place on the frontier.
He had 50,000 horsemen with him for its protection.
He is said to have conquered the country as far as the
boundary of Kashmir as settled by Chacha by the planting
of fir trees and he himself planted some more there. He
also sent a message to Rai Harichandar of Kanauj, asking
him to bend his neck to the yoke of Islam. Rai Hari-
chandar replied " This kingdom has been in our possession

24



186 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

for 1600 years and no enemy has ever set foot in our
territory. When the strength of both sides is tested on the
field of battle then we . shall decide," Mahomed Kasim
decided to make war against Kanauj which he said was
proud of its men and elephants and asked his followers to
be ready. But the fates had decided otherwise. The
tide of Mahomedan conquest was to stop here for three
hundred years more. Next morning a camelman came
post-ha^te from the Khalifa bearing a letter containing a
command to Kasim "to put himself, wherever he might be,
in raw leather immediately and come back to the Khalifa."
Mahomed'S' stern religious sense of duty to the Khalifa a*'
the spiritual and temporal lord of Islam was so strong-
that he there and then asked his men to put him into a
fresh hide. . The box was immediately sent to Baghdad
where on its being opened by the Khalifa the corpse of this
famous conqueror of Sind was taken#out. Thus did the
two daughters of Dahar take revenge upon the man who
bad killed their father and doomed them to their sad fate.
The story is undeniably true, for this end of the famous
Arab conqueror of Sind could not have been fabricated.
But this event together with the previous history shows
clearly one fact viz. that the Arab empire in its early days
was singularly strong in consequence of unity, discipline
and strong religious conviction.



CHAPTER III

SIND DOWN TO THE END OF THE 12th CENTURY.

Sind was conquered by the Arabs in 712 A. D. and
remained under their sway for full three centuries until
its conquest by Mahumd of Ghazni in 1025 A. D. The
Khalifas of Baghdad were the distant masters and they
ruled Sind through their governors. These governors
resided at Multan and there were subordinate governors in
rhe minor towns on the Indus. The local officers in o^K' .
district were no doubt Hindus, Brahmins and Rajputs. The
Buddhists naturally declined as the government was not
theirs. There were remnants for a long time of ancient
Rajput princely families which are given by Tuhfal-ul-
Kiram as follows in the reign of Aram Shah king-of Delhi.
(History of Sind by Mirza Kalich Baig Vol. II, p. 28)

1. Rana Bhanar Sahta Rathor in Darbelah.

2. Rana Sinyar Sammah of Tong in Ropah.

3. Jesar Machhi Solangi of Maniktarah.

4. Wakhia Son of Punhun, Chanon at Dara Siwi

5. Chanon Chana at Bhagnahi.

6. Jiya of Jhim i. e. Himah Kot.

7- Jasodhan Agra of Men Takar in Bhanbhor

( Brahmanabad )
We find here many noted Rajput names such as Samma,
Sahta, Rathor, Solunki etc. but we do not find the name of
Dahar in the above. The family of Dahar appears to
have left Sind altogether and lived subsequently inRajputa-
na, the Panjab and Kashmir. The towns noted in Sind
Hindu history still survived such as Alor, Brahmanabad,
Jhim ( Hydrabad ), Schwan but during Mahomedan
times, new towns became of note such as Ucha, Bakkar and
Thatta. The last especially supplanted Debal on the sea-
coast and the latter is not found mentioned hereafter at
all. It must be noted that during the reign of Haroun-Al-
Rashid or before, about 780 A. D. Sind was visited by a



188 THE FIRST HINDU KINGDOMS

great earthquake which destroyed Brahmanabad and Alor
and other old towns and which changed the course of the
Indus also for it flows now to the west of Nerun where-as
in Hindu times it flowed to the east of it. It may there-
fore be said that even nature changed the face of the
country. Many people were converted to Mahomedanism
including some princes. But the population generally
remained Hindu. Mahomedan saints, however, attracted
now the public attention and gaze and naturally supplan-
ted the Buddhistic monks. Noted saints have still their
holy places and mosques in Multan and other towns which
are revered both by Hindus and Mahomedans. The early
religious zeal and sincerity of the Arabs was undoubtedly
remarkable and Sheikh and Sayyad saints could not but
be attributed as great Ajmat or spiritual power as the
Buddhist.

It is strange that the Arabs did not much try to extend
their conquests. Probably as has been said, the rest of
India was now stronger having revived its Aryan spirit.
Perhaps the Khalifas themselves declined and became
luxrurious. The Ummiya Khalifas reigned only till
754 when the Abbassadies drove them out. These reigned
from ^53 down to 1025 A D. Kadir Billa the Khalifa in
Mahmud of Ghazni's days gave shelter to Ferdusi whose
story is well known, he having incurred Mahmud's
displeasure by writing a satire on Mahmud's illiberality.
Mahmud demanded Ferdusi from Kadir Billa, but the
latter declined to surrender him and Mahmud thereon
conquered Multan in revenge and sent bis vazier Abdur-
razak to conquer Sind in 1025 A. D. In the course of one
year Sind was conquered and lost to the Arabs finally.
Thus was Sind returned to Indian history over a quarrel
between patrons of learned men-not a bad lot. Sind re-
mained part of Mahmud's Empire or kingdom down to
about 1200 A. D. when Muhammad Ghori conquered India
and after him when Kutubuddin became independent king,
Sind became a part of the Turkish Mahomedan Indian Em-
pire, at the beginning of which our history ceases.



SIND DOWN TO THE EJSD OF THE 12th CENTURY 189

The Samma and Sumra dynasties of Indian Mahome-
dan rulers of Sind in the 14th century may, however, be
noted in the end. When the Moguls under Timur,-came
to India and shook the Delhi throne, Sind like other
Indian provinces of the Delhi empire attained indepen-
dence. The first dynasty of the Sumras ruled from 1338
as independent rulers till 1357 when the Sammah dynasty
came in and ruled till 1519 A, D, The Sammas* appear to
be converted Hindus. By the strange fascination of religious
zeal they claim descent from the Arabian prophet's family.
But their pedigree consists wholly wholly of Hindu names
like Bharata and Satrughna and the Chacha-nama also
states that the Sammas were Lohanas. They were descen-
ded apparently from Samba son of Srikrishna, a Yadava
and he was a sun-worshipper of Multan ( this sun temple
in the Hindu Puranas is said to be founded by Samba). The
Sammas, therefore, were clearly Aryans and Kshatriyas
degraded by Chacha to the position of Sudras. They were
converted to Islam but they still possessed great influence-
and were warlike in character and thus established an
independent dynasty which ruled Sind for about 200 years
After them the Moguls of Babar came and ruled till 1762
During a short interval after the Moguls, Sind was again
independent under its Amirs. The country finally fell
before the English in 1843 A. D.



*= The Sumras too appear to be converted Rajputs though like many people conver-
ted to Islam in the Panjab they also trace their origin to the Arabs. Sir D. Ibbetson
in his Punjab castes says of the Sumras in the Panjab that they were Rajputs originally
in 750 A. D. They expelled the first Rajput invaders from Multan and Sind and founded
a dynasty." Tod describes them as one of the t\vo great clans Umra and Sumra of the
Sodha tribe of Punwar Rajputs the first giving their name to Umrakot and both
giving the name Umra-Sumra to the Bakkhar country. The Sodhi are probably the
Sogdi of Alexander's historians.



CHAPTER IV

THE SHAHIS OF KABUL

(This history is chiefly taken from Raverty's Afghanistan wherein he
has collected together very many material statements with dates from
Arab historians about Kabul. I have alsocompared with this information
such information as is derivable fromHiuen Tsangandthe Rajatarangini
and also Cunningham's "Coins of Mediaeval India. " It is unfortunate
■ that no detailed account is possible but such facts as are known are
very interesting especially a statement of Alberuni as given below ).

Kabul has always been in ancient history a part of
India. In the Vedas the river Kubha and Kramu are
mentioned along with the five rivers of the Panjab and
form what is called the Sapta Sindhu of Vedic as also of
Avestic literature. Kubha is the river of Kabul and
Kramu is the modern Kurrum both names being derived
from these ancient Vedic names. The Gandharas of the
Upnishads are the people who inhabited the level region
to the west of the Indus and east of the hills. But Kabul
which extended up to the Hindu Kush, a significant name,
seems to have been separate from Gandhara, the capital of
which was Purushapura or modern Peshawar.

In ancient Persian history Rustam (the Persian Bhima)
is said to have married a daughter of the king of Kabul
and also an historical Persian Emperor married another
king's daughter. Persian Empire often included Kabul
and Zabul (modern Ghazni) and adjourning territory upto
the Indus. The people of Kabul and its king were thus'
undoubtedly Aryans and had mo.rriage relations with the
Iranian Aryans as well as with the Indo-Aryans. Ethno-
logically the Afghans are shown by Risley as Turko-Ira-
nians i. e. Aryans mixed with Turkish blood. But they
are certainly mainly Aryans though their own beliefs in
modern days point to a different origin. They claim
descent from a Jewish ancestor a belief which can be easi-
ly explained. It is a remarkable fact observable even in



THE SHAHIS OF KABUL 191

the Panjab that Indo-Aryans when converted to Maho-
medanism turn by the stronger influence of religious zeal
from the east to the west for the tradition of their descent.



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